Interview with SUICIDE ALI
Continuing the series of interviews with Starwave Records artists, JaME talked to SUICIDE ALI about the concepts behind their shows and releases, their overseas experiences, plans for the future and more.
We had a chance to interview you two years ago. Could you please tell us how you changed since the last time we talked to you?
Ravishan: I just joined the band two years ago, so I wonder how it has changed during this time. Compared to before, the scope of our songs have become wider. We have created more songs and I think that the scope of the melodies and the worldview of the band has become wider since then.
How has the worldview of the band changed?
Ravishan: When I joined, I think the part of the worldview that was most prominent was the dark, violent one. Since then I feel like many different, other parts have been appearing.
HIY: I think that we experienced a lot during this time.
You are playing a one-man at Meguro LIVE STATION tonight. Could you tell us a bit about the concept of this show?
HIY: It is centered around a story of a regular salaryman who normally goes to work, comes back home, leads a regular life style, but all of his family suddenly gets killed one day. This man actually becomes a murderer spirit who carries out revenge for his family’s death in the dream world. This dream world is the world of this band, a place called Faifilseea. It’s quite difficult to express.
Bit el bedi: The theme is the control of emotions. There are various thoughts about a perfect crime, about killing. Are you able to lead a normal lifestyle once you’ve killed a person? These kind of thoughts.
Do you like performing live shows or making songs and recording more?
Bit el bedi: I like lives, absolutely and definitely lives. What about the others?
HIY: Me too, I prefer lives, because I can spend time with the fans.
Ravishan: I like both. I like it once the recording is finished, but it’s pretty harsh In the midst of a recording though. (laughs).
SUICIDE ALI: That’s no good. (laugh)
You are releasing a new single THE COLD BODY in January 2012, and today is the pre-sale event of this single. How did the recording go?
Bit el bedi: There was one overarching theme which went through several steps of the production process, during which the different intentions of the members were included, and an interesting result was produced.
HIY: The recording of the drum part went faster than expected. On the contrary, I felt that the setting and the sound production was perhaps what took more time.
What is the concept of this new work?
Bit el bedi: The concept of the release is linked to the theme of today’s one-man.
Could you explain the meaning of the title THE COLD BODY?
Bit el bedi: There is a collection of several meanings, but it mainly refers to the coldness of the murderer's heart, as well as the coldness of the victim's body.
Could you briefly explain the meaning of your lyrics for the foreign fans who do not understand Japanese?
Bit el bedi: THE COLD BODY is based on the feelings you have about people who resemble you. There is a feeling of relatedness, you want to get along with them, you want to become friends, but at the same time, you sometimes remember an anger that makes you want to kill them. It also paints a portrait of a person who has become used to killing.
Where do you get inspiration when writing lyrics?
Bit el bedi: There is a lot of delusion. When I look at a painting for example, I do not look only at what is shown on it, but I on my own accord imagine what is not shown on it in my head and make lyrics out of this.
Although you have been releasing singles and mini-albums, it has been a while since you released a full album. When can we expect the next one?
Bit el bedi: We will definitely make one next year!
The CD jackets of your recent releases are rather interesting. Could you tell us how they are designed?
Bit el bedi: It’s the guitarist Shundei who does the design. First I communicate what I imagine to Shundei as I cannot draw myself. I communicate to him an image formed to a certain degree, and he puts it into shape.
Among the releases of SUICIDE ALI, there are many which include both new songs and rearranged versions of older songs. Why do you chose this form of releases?
Bit el bedi: We feel the song might not have reached the perfect shape that we have in our minds yet, so we retry, we challenge ourselves again, and remake it repeatedly.
Do you think you will continue doing this from now on too?
Bit el bedi: I think so. Even if it is the same song, it would be great if we could bring out a different face of it.
Distancing ourselves slightly from SUICIDE ALI, there have been many cases recently where music is downloaded via the Internet. How do you feel about this?
Bit el bedi: It’s same with CDs, but after all I would like people to enjoy music at live shows.
HIY: In whatever form, I am happy if people can enjoy SUICIDE ALI. But there are things with CDs such as the jacket design, and there are many things that you cannot understand unless you come to a live show, so I would like people to come to our shows and have fun and for them to be able to get hold of CDs as well.
What music do you usually listen to?
Bit el bedi: I like Marylin Manson, PJ Harvey and more. Shundei likes X JAPAN, BUCK-TICK, LUNA SEA and the like.
HIY: I have been listening to LUNA SEA’s old songs recently and also GACKT I suppose.
There was the Tohoku earthquake disaster this year. How was SUICIDE ALI affected by it?
Bit el bedi: We live quite far, so we did not receive any substantial damage, but... We live in Kansai area, around Osaka, and there was a big earthquake there in the past, so we understand the feelings of the victims and sent in our donations.
You have played overseas a few times. What are your feelings about those lives as compared to the lives you play at home?
Bit el bedi: America is more aggressive, isn’t it?
HIY: Feeling that the audience in America want to enjoy the show is great. In Japan, there is an impression that the audience doesn't really enjoy any band other than the one they came to see. These are only the feelings I get from looking from the stage, so I don't know how it really is.
Apart from the lives, what did you remember most about America?
Bit el bedi: Because it was a pretty big event, for me it was the anime. After all, anime that is interesting and popular is common all over the world, and it was also interesting to see the differences.
HIY: It was interesting to see cosplayers that were not Japanese and it was also fun to be able to meet the American fans. I was happy.
Bit el bedi: Yeah, everyone's cosplay level was high! (laughs) I was moved when I took a picture with an American person who was cosplaying a Final Fantasy character. The level was really high.
Do you want to go overseas again? Where would you want to go?
Bit el bedi: Definitely. I really want to go but... I really want to go on a European tour.
HIY: If I had to pick, I would say Germany. The streetscapes look cool.
Bit el bedi: Yes, I'd like to include Germany, England, Italy and France.
HIY: I want to go.
Please tell us SUICIDE ALI's plans from now on.
Bit el bedi: First of all it's the album production. The album production for now, and our goal is Europe! (laughs)
Finally, please give a message to our readers.
Bit el bedi: We want to go on a world tour, so please support us! (laughs) In any case, I want to meet people all over the world who love SUICIDE ALI, because there are people who like SUICIDE ALI whom we have not been able to meet yet. I would be happy if I were able to go to all the different places to see you. Please wait for us!
HIY: In any case, I want our lives to be seen. There are people who specially come to Japan to see us, and this time we from our side would like to go and meet you. I want people from all over the world to be able to see our lives.
Ravishan: When we went to play in America, the behaviour of the audience had a different sort of excitement to it, and it was very motivating and fun. We are doing our best for everyone overseas to be able to feel SUICIDE ALI live, so please support us from across the oceans! I am looking forward to the day when I can meet you all.
JaME would like to thank Kiwamu, SUICIDE ALI and their staff for making this interview possible, as well as Xin for help with transcription.