Interview with Dio -Distraught Overlord
An interview with Dio the day after their concert at Japan Expo.
To begin with, can you please tell us more about yourselves and your musical background?
Mikaru: I'm Mikaru, Dio's singer. It all started with The Beatles, and then John Lennon. I have a strong admiration for this person, and at a very young age I wanted to become like him. Of course, as time passed by, my musical research and my taste in music changed, but I think that if I need to give the name of one person that really got me inspired, it would be John Lennon without a doubt.
Oh really? I could have never guessed that when looking at you...
Mikaru: (laughs) It began around junior highschool- highschool actually. I forced all my schoolmates to call me John! (All the other members start to call Mikaru "John" while laughing)
Ivy: I'm Ivy, the bassist. At 12, I was still in primary school when I heard TM Revolution's music for the first time, and that's when I decided to become a musician. At first, I was playing guitar but I quickly realized that guitarists were always put in front and that didn't fit very well with my character. Actually, I was looking for an instrument that would put me a little behind, but would also be the "base" of the band, so I chose the bass guitar.
You do look like you're really shy!
Ivy: I am! (everyone in the band starts to call Ivy "Timide" (shy in French) while laughing).
Denka: I'm Denka, the drummer. When I was in junior high school, I was more of a sports guy. I played basketball. But around 19, I started to play drums. The drummers that have the biggest influence on me are Shinya from Luna Sea and Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater who are the both artists I have much respect for. Actually, when I started to play music, it was the guitar, in a club at my high school, but as we had too many guitarists already, the guys at the club told me "You're gonna be a drummer and that's final!!" (laughs)
Erina : I'm Erina, one of the two guitarists of Dio. Actually, to be honest, I never liked to work in an office and that's why I oriented myself toward a creative job like becoming a musician. Besides, when you become famous, it's easier to get girls and money falls into your pockets! (laughs) All these points looked really attractive to me and that's why I became a musician.
Don't you think that is a little opportunistic?
Erina: No. I'm just telling myself that you only have one life, so it's more interesting to fill it with things you like instead of missing those kind of opportunities.
Kei: I'm Kei, the second guitarist of the band. I'm into music because of X-Japan and Luna Sea, who really blew me away with their lives performances. When I was 16 years old, my parents gave me my first guitar and that's when I really got into this instrument, but I became a professional musician when I was 19 years old.
And how did you guys meet?
Ivy: At that time, Mikaru put a really pretentious and pompous music ad on the internet and maybe because of this pretentious feeling, I told myself "well, maybe this one is really out there". So we met and we got along instantly.
Mikaru: Then, to have a real band we needed good guitarists and a good drummer. So at the second step we met Kei. Then Erina came, followed by Denka.
Kei: I had actually already met Denka while answering an ad on the internet too.
Mikaru: But there is something that made the creation of the band more unique. Usually when you make a band, you look for the attitude first, the way people work the stage, the musical influence etc... But we felt the person inside first, his aura, his charisma, more than the actual talent or the influences, and its really this whole person that we judged.
Interesting! About your band name, why did you choose Distraught Overlord?
Mikaru: This name could be translated as "The biggest tyrant of the world fell into madness". This tyrant is extremly manipulative, tall, decadent, and strong. These character traits were the points that seemed interesting to me. You really have to be strong to overcome everything that is happening in the world.
Could it be that you have a message along the lines of "The world is manipulated by powerful and evil people and that you have to fight to survive" behind this concept?
Mikaru: Personally, if I had to choose an image to represent our band, it would be one tower that raises there in the middle of the chaos. We don't care if people like it or not. We're not looking to make the balance lean one way or the other, only simply to be ourselves with our inner strenght. That's why we would like to be like a raised tower in the the chaos. What's important in all this is to be ourselves.
You already have a lot of PVs for a band as young as yours, but of all those PV, Last Dance really made an impression on me. It looks like it was filmed in an european castle, care to share the story?
Erina : Actually, this PV was made in Japan. This castle was build by a Japanese who made the castle with Europan material. So we can say that it's like a "real European castle" (smile).
Can you give us a summary of the PV shoot?
Erina: This castle was build at a mountain very far away and it was filmed during the winter, when the temperature was going as low as -5. With our light costumes, the temperature and the number of takes we had to do, I'll let you imagine what we had to go through during this filming ... (laughs)
Yesterday you played in the biggest Japanese culture convention in Europe. What was your reactions after the concert and what does this event mean to you?
Erina: The French audience express them self more directly than the Japanese audience, and during the concert the energy that came from them cheered us up and made us instantly start the music, that really made us happy.
Kei: Regarding Japan Expo, which is a really huge convention, we felt a little like the Japanese music ambassador in France and we are really honored to feel like this.
Mikaru: I found out that other foreigners, like Swiss or Spanish people, came to Japan Expo, and what surprised me the most is that Japanese music has fans all over Europe!
Have you ever had an audience that large before?
Erina: No, and that's why its really touching. It filled our hearts with joy!
Let's go back to your PVs, and especially to the future of the band. Do you think you're going to put all your PVs on a DVD to be released in the future?
Erina: We've already released two maxi singles which are a part of a trilogy , the third one is coming out the future, but we're thinking about releasing a live DVD first. We filmed it in May and it should come out around August.
You seem to put a lot of importance to this story concept and especially to your visual...
Erina: Indeed, every track has its own musical and visual concept and we're working on our costumes and make-up all the time. This artistic approach won't change, that's for sure.
With the little of what's left of our time, would you like to say something to your French fans?
Mikaru: I really was touched by the French audience and the only thing I want now is to come back and see you again as soon as possible!
Ivy: Thank you Europe!
Denka: Please always stay updated about us!
Erina: I love France and I don't want to leave!
Kei : We promise we will come back as soon as we can!
JaME would like to thank Dio, JMusic-Distribution and Laurent Koffel for his lights for the pictures.