Interview with miyavi in Las Vegas
JaME caught up with miyavi after his appearance at the MGM Grand nightclub, Tabu, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The announcement for this performance was very sudden, and many of your fans could not attend, but it was good to see that many were able to come. Do you have any more definite plans for the future or plans to come back to the US and perform again?
miyavi: Now that I realize that I have so many fans outside of Japan, I really want to visit them all over the world and perform many places overseas someday. I also hope to come back to the United States again... but probably not right away, unless it is on one of my 'secret missions' that brought me here. I do not have any definite plans right now.
miyavi: Yes, 'secret'. (He put a finger over his lips in a hushing gesture)
I am highly impressed with how far your English has come along. How long have you been focusing on the language?
miyavi: I have been studying since... last year. To be precise, I got started on it last October. But I am not very good at it yet.
Oh no, you are doing very well!
miyavi: Really? Thank you very much. (laughs)
If you were to meet someone who had never heard your music before, how would you discribe your style? I know in the past you have termed it 'Neo-Visualism'.
miyavi: That is what I like to think of it as. It is...shock rock, visual like shock rock. Like in Kabuki.
As in your performance is like watching Kabuki theater?
miyavi: You know Kabuki? Yes, it is very elaborate in visuals and style. That is what I like.
Why did you choose Las Vegas and more specifically Tabu, a 21 and over night club in the MGM Grand as the first place for you to perform in the US?
miyavi: I was invited here while on one of my secret missions by Mr. Freeze [legendary break dancer]. When I visited before, I met Mr. Freeze through Tony Lee [also a legendary Hip-hop dancer] at the Tabu Ultra Lounge. I liked it (the club) and was asked if I wanted to perform here sometime soon. So I came on another, not quite so secret mission to perform here, where the setting is to my liking.
Did you have any specific influences that guided you toward being a guitarist, being the type of visual performer you are today?
miyavi: Growing up, I did not have any role models. But as I have gotten older, my influences have mostly been my feelings. I'm always willing to try new things with my music and new ideas to integrate different styles of music into mine.
For example, what other types of musical influences have you used in your music?
miyavi: Lots of Reggae and Blues. [miyavi continued to list a few guitarists that inspire him.]
Have your views on the Visual Kei scene and visual rock bands changed over the years as you have expanded and grown as an artist?
miyavi: Well, many of the artists are my friends, so I greatly admire and respect them. But unfortunately, so many of the new bands, though very talented in their own way, sometimes just seem to be doing the same things over and over. They don't let their emotions, or their feelings influence their music, and you sometimes need that to keep things new and fresh.
Since Due'le Quartz disbanded in 2002, you have enjoyed a sucessful solo career. Do you see yourself as the kind of person to stay a solo artist, or do you think that someday soon you may want to be in a band again, sharing thoughts and musical ideas in a more collective setting?
miyavi: (laughs hard) I love being in bands, but I think for now I will probably stay a solo artist. Because I am selfish.
I can understand that, because after such a long time having the majority of the say in how your music will sound and what your image will portray, I can see why you would not want to give up that level of 'control'.
miyavi: Yes, that is how I feel sometimes.
Is there any sort of special message you would like to give to your fans in the US?
miyavi: I appreciate all your support over the years! All of my fans cheer for me, and that makes everything worth it. I didn't know how my music would be accepted here, but now I know. Now I know and I want to thank all of my fans who have supported me so faithfully.
Thank you very much for this interview. We wish you all the luck in the future.
miyavi: Thank you.
Thanks to miyavi, his manager, the PS Company, Erin Randell and Tabu Ultra Lounge at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas for this interview