Interview with SCREW during J-ROCK INVASION

interview - 03.01.2008 07:00

Interview with the young visual kei band SCREW in Cologne.

One day before the J-ROCK INVASION, we had the opportunity to interview SCREW, a recently formed visual kei band who would be performing live for the first time in Europe. The five musicians, all wearing thick jackets and looking a bit tired from the long flight, greeted us warmly in one of the backstage rooms of the Cologne Palladium.

Hello, please introduce yourself to our readers!

Jin: I am the drummer of the band, Jin.
Yuuto: I am Yuuto, the bassist.
Manabu: My name is Manabu and I’m guitarist.
Kazuki: I’m also a guitarist and my name is Kazuki.
Byo: I’m the vocalist, Byo.

You are in Germany for the first time now. What impressions have you already gathered and what do you think about Germany?

Jin: I heard before that Germany is great, and that the German fans are generally in a good mood. I like that, and I hope that will come true tomorrow!
Yuuto: I have only seen Cologne and to me, this town is very beautiful, as if it’s from a movie!
Manabu: Since I’ve arrived at the airport, I’ve felt as if the air is somehow different here.
Kazuki: I’ve heard that it would be very cold in Germany. But personally I find the climate very comfortable.
Byo: I think that the German people are very good at soccer. (laughs)

Tomorrow you will perform at the J-ROCK INVASION. What are your expectations?

Jin: I will be very happy if we can make the fans enthusiastic with our sound.
Yuuto: That is our main goal when we perform in Japan, but here we are so close to the fans, I like that.
Manabu: I think that the German fans react and feel differently from the fans in Japan. I’m really excited to see how the fans will accept us, what it will feel like.
Kazuki: We want to prove ourselves and show that we can deliver a good show.
Byo: We want - especially as a Japanese band - to make an impression with our performance.

Manabu, you were the last to join the band and have only been a member of the band since May 2007. How do you feel about being a part of the band?

Manabu: I am very happy to be a member of this band. It’s really great and it gives me great joy.

What meaning does the name 'SCREW' have?

Byo: I don't really like things to be 'straight forward,' I prefer things with which you need to use your head, to think about it. The people need to listen to us carefully, intensively, to 'screw' themselves into us, and as a band, we want to do the same to our fans (laughs).

How did you all meet each other?

Yuuto: Well, Byo and I had been making music together before and Kazuki was introduced to us by acquaintances, and we immediately thought he fit with us. We got to know Jin through the internet (laughs), we thought he was cool and fit with us as well. Manabu was also introduced to us by a friend and joined us then.

Byo and Yuuto, the two of you have been together in a band before. How come you are together in a band again?

Yuuto: In between, I’ve also made music with other people, but I’ve noticed that Byo and me simply fit together best. I’m having the most fun with him, but we also have the best results musically and we both gain advantages from that.

You are a relatively young band and already got the opportunity to perform abroad. What do you think about this?

Jin: When we experienced this, we were truly very surprised, because we are such a young band. We hadn’t counted on it, but this chance has made us ambitious – we want to deliver a great show and not to 'lose' to the other bands.

We've heard that your live shows are very interesting. How can they be described?

Jin: Our songs are hard, yet at the same time they also contain nice melodies. We want to transmit this interaction on stage as good as possible.

Byo, you’ve been a roadie of the band Kagerou and once said their vocalist Daisuke is like a role model to you. Why?

Byo: Yes, that’s right. I’ve learned a lot through Daisuke, he was like a teacher for me. His influence has definitely shaped me in a good way.

In your music, one can find several musical styles. Do you decide beforehand in what kind of direction a song will go, or does that happen spontaneously?

Kazuki: Byo usually gives a structure and tells us how he imagines the song. Then the rest of the band creates accordingly to this image, a song that we like. But usually we decide beforehand in what direction that particular song will go and what kind of theme it’ll have.

In your opinion, did joining the label Indie PSC help your career?

(The band discusses this for a moment with their manager)
Byo: At first the band was pushed a lot of course. Moreover, Manabu joined and the band grew, he is really an asset to us. So it was a positive decision that has really helped us.

Why did you only do those so-called 'secret lives' at the beginning of your career?

Byo: We first wanted to see what it was like, to perform with the four of us. We first needed to put out our feelers (laughs).

Do you have a certain message that you want to transmit through your songs?

Yuuto: We don’t have a special message, but it depends on the song we play. The listener has to absorb our music and then decide for themselves what message they find in it.

How did you get into visual kei and what fascinates you about it?

Jin: Most of all, I was influenced by X JAPAN and my passion for music has brought me to visual kei. This band has really influenced me.
Yuuto: I especially like that in the visual kei scene several music styles dominate. There are pop-like bands, very heavy bands and several melodious bands. I like this variety.
Manabu: For me, I enjoy everything that belongs to the scene and especially the extraordinary style.
Kazuki: I can only agree with that. The style really fascinated me, but I’ve also been influenced by my older friends who were interested in this style, and the music also got me into it.
Byo: God told me, you should become a follower of visual kei! (laughs)

And what kind of music do you listen to in private?

SCREW: Slipknot and Radiohead. And we also listen to our own music often!

As a band, do you have any goals for the future?

Jin: We want to develop ourselves more as a band and be successful.
Yuuto: We don’t want to perform in Germany only, we also wish to play our music everywhere in the world.
Manabu: We want to become more successful step by step and improve ourselves musically.
Kazuki: I think that one always has a goal, reaches it and then sets themselves a new, higher goal. At the moment I’m looking forward to tomorrow and see this performance as a goal, after that I’ll find a higher goal!
Byo: We would like to tour Germany by ourselves.

To end the interview with, do you have a message for our readers?

Jin: I hope that you will get to know SCREW better and that you’ll like us.
Yuuto: We want to be a famous Japanese band and we would be happy if the readers from JaME would support us with that.
Manabu: I'll also be happy when, through the help of the readers, our popularity in Germany grows. Thanks!
Kazuki: We will definitely return to Germany and hope to be supported by you with that!
Byo: I would be happy about new friends. (laughs)

Thank you very much for this interview!

SCREW: Thank you very much.

JaME would like to thank the band, Rei Sato, Rock Identity and PS Company.
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