Interview Exclusive

Interview with GOTCHAROCKA

29/07/2020 2020-07-29 02:00:00 JaME Author: Amai.382 Translator: Sophie

Interview with GOTCHAROCKA

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, visual kei band GOTCHAROCKA found some time to talk about their beginnings, recent releases, and much more.

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GOTCHAROCKA is a visual rock band formed by vocalist Jui and guitarists Jun and Toya. The three members were all part of well-known visual kei groups (Vidoll, Phantasmagoria and Charlotte, respectively) before they joined forces in 2012. With this in mind, it is not surprising that when they began working together, their different styles merged into infectious, powerful melodies, an attractive aesthetic and a desire to always search for new horizons.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, GOTCHAROCKA had to postpone a series of concerts scheduled for the first half of 2020. However, to overcome this lack of direct contact with their fans, they have uploaded content to their YouTube channel and even revealed some special sessions recorded from their homes.

JaME recently had the opportunity to ask the band about their beginnings, their intentions to travel abroad, their latest releases and their plans for the future.

Since this is our first interview with you, please introduce yourselves to our readers.

GOTCHAROCKA: We are a three-person band - vocalist Jui, guitarist Jun and guitarist Toya. We can't really be defined genre-wise but we try out a lot of different styles of rock.

How did GOTCHAROCKA form?

GOTCHAROCKA: We all knew each other in one way or another from a long time ago, and we each performed in different bands that then happened to play together, so we were actually in competition with one another. But then those bands disbanded, and we all thought that we wanted to make the best band ever together next, so we formed GOTCHAROCKA in 2012.

After almost eight years of playing together, what are the easiest and the most difficult parts of being a member of GOTCHAROCKA?

GOTCHAROCKA: The easiest thing was forming the band and doing the first concert together, and the hardest thing is continuing with the band, I think.

Please tell us about your influences, both as individual musicians and as a band.

GOTCHAROCKA: Even now, we are influenced a lot in our activities by our seniors.

What is the vision or the concept behind your music?

GOTCHAROCKA: Our concept changes depending on the music we plan to release. Isn't freely and stylishly playing any kind of rock a concept in itself?

How has GOTCHAROCKA evolved over the years? Do you feel the band or its music has changed significantly since your debut release?

GOTCHAROCKA: Our image has become more important. We've thought a lot more about how our visuals match our music. Also, our methods of expression have broadened, and our sense of nuance has been growing each year in a good way.

What is your songwriting process like? Does it vary from release to release, or do you have an established routine?

GOTCHAROCKA: We have lots of stock music, but as we approach a release we remake the songs. We rearrange demos we made previously, adding changes, etc. There are lots of different ways.

For the song Gekiai from your 2015 album Royale, you recorded the voices of your audience during a live show and used it as the chorus. It was an interesting way to highlight the importance of your fans and their voices. Have you ever considered doing something like that again in the future?

GOTCHAROCKA: Yes. I think we will in the near future.

Two of you have performed overseas, reaching as far as Brazil and Chile in 2008. Do you have any plans to bring GOTCHAROCKA to foreign lands in the future?

GOTCHAROCKA: Of course. We want to hold a concert overseas.

If you could perform in any country in the world, where would you want to go and why?

GOTCHAROCKA: First, I think we would want to progress to Taiwan, Hong Kong or other Asian countries. Then lots of the people who support us there might come to Japan!

You uploaded a number of music videos from your past singles to your YouTube channel recently. If you had to choose one music video to introduce a new listener to GOTCHAROCKA, which one would it be? Is there any specific reason you want people to listen to that song?

GOTCHAROCKA: I want to say "all of them", but recently I think I want people to listen to Chirality. I think it's perfect for the current unsure circumstances.

Another recent addition to your channel that we’ve noticed are the STAYHOME SESSION videos. What led you to share these more intimate sessions on your channel? Can we hope to see more of these self covers in the future?

GOTCHAROCKA: Due to the coronavirus, our concerts continue to be postponed, but we thought that the least we could do in this situation is deliver our music to our fans, which is why we uploaded videos in the form of the STAYHOME SESSIONS. If we can, we want to be able to deliver our music live at concerts and we want the world to become one where we don't have to upload these videos, but it was fun, and if we have the chance we would want to do it again.

Last year, you released the mini-album Guerilla in January, the unplugged album Naked songs in May and the single Chirality in November. What can you tell us about these releases?

GOTCHAROCKA: Guerilla is a song that tells you to protect everything that is dear to you in daily life and to stand up and face the difficult things. At its core, Guerilla is a mini-album that has more nuance to its sound than our music did previously.

As for Naked songs, that style was well received at our previous acoustic concert, so we decided to release it for everyone.

In regards to Chirality, we've had a lot of variations to our music and we wanted to show the music as it was without variation. The image the three of us were thinking of was of becoming one beam of light and striking true.

After all that activity last year, it must have been difficult to pause and reschedule so many of the shows you had planned for the first half of 2020. How are you adapting to the COVID-19 crisis? How do you think it will affect your activities during the second half of the year?

GOTCHAROCKA: We think that the postponements can't be helped. And we don't think we were wrong to make those decisions.

Our way of expressing ourselves through music has also changed slightly with the appearance of the novel coronavirus. Of course, we really want to hold concerts, but until it all blows over we want to continue with remote activities. We moved the tour we were supposed to have in the summer to the latter half of the year, so we want people to take comfort in the fact that we are doing what we can to play concerts. All across the world, digression from the current situation can't be forgiven. We want to continue on taking note of the situation and acting accordingly.

We know that GOTCHAROCKA usually celebrates Toya's birthday with a live show on the beach. Do you have any plans for this year? Have you thought about streaming that day if the global situation doesn't improve?

GOTCHAROCKA: I think it has been easily misunderstood by overseas fans, but NEW SIDE BEACH is actually the name of a concert venue. It's an unusual name, but it's a really good venue.

By the way, the Toya birthday event that we were planning to hold at NEW SIDE BEACH has been postponed until late autumn. We haven't decided what to do on his actual birthday yet, but we think it would be nice to do something.

What do you have planned for the future? Can we expect any new releases, events, YouTube videos or other projects to stay connected with your fans?

GOTCHAROCKA: It's probable that streaming online will be our main outlet for a while. We are continuing to release music, and once there is a safe environment for concerts and our guests, we will continue to protect that safety.

Lastly, please leave a message for your fans overseas.

GOTCHAROCKA: The world is still in a difficult place due to the effects of the novel coronavirus, but what we can do is provide everyone with our music to help give them courage. Let's try our best and overcome these difficulties together. For those people who don't know GOTCHAROCKA, our music is available through subscription services, so please have a look and listen. We believe it will definitely touch everyone's hearts.

JaME would like to thank GOTCHAROCKA and Chaotic Harmony for making this interview possible.

GOTCHAROCKA have uploaded the full music videos for all of their releases to their YouTube channel, where you can also find the self cover videos they recorded during the pandemic as part of their "GOTCHAROCKA STAYHOME SESSIONS".

The self cover versions of Ash and Guerilla can also be viewed below:



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