Interview Exclusive

Interview with KAMIJO

24/03/2021 2021-03-24 07:00:00 JaME Author: Louise Lagadec, Aude Translator: Tsukumi Giusto, Aude

Interview with KAMIJO

KAMIJO discusses his upcoming online tour and his 25th anniversary "PERSONA" trilogy.


© CHATEAU AGENCY CO., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Thrilling tales populated by peculiar characters and mysterious creatures, skilfully blending historical reality and pure fiction, such is the fantasy universe created by visual kei singer KAMIJO. The artist, whose narratives and musical compositions are intimately intertwined, celebrated his 25th career anniversary with the "PERSONA" series, a trilogy of singles culminating in the release of a new album, aptly titled PERSONA, that should have dropped last summer.

However, the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the singer to make some adjustments to the celebrations of his career milestone. It is in this atypical context that KAMIJO announced his very first online world tour, consisting of three concerts to be held on March 26th.

Ahead of these online performances, JaME spoke with the singer about his livestream gigs, his 25th anniversary "PERSONA" trilogy and the intricacies of his storytelling.

Your KAMIJO Online World Tour「Queen of Versailles -LAREINE-」 will take place on March 26th. How did you come up with the idea of creating an online world tour, and what can your fans expect from these three concerts?

KAMIJO: Thanks to the online concert infrastructure, they can be attended from anywhere in the world. In this case, I wanted to hold concerts at convenient times for every corner of the world. On a normal tour, I travel by plane or bus, but with this tour, my means of transport is planet Earth.

You are going to perform three times on the same day, which is a major physical feat. How did you prepare for this, and have you taken any special steps to protect your vocal cords?

KAMIJO: It is true that these concerts represent a big physical effort. But if they can make my fans happy, it is never a pain for me. Especially since these are hybrid concerts with a live part and another previously recorded part. So I think there is a unique advantage to online gigs.

The concerts will be broadcast from your own home music studio. Do you plan to offer other online performances from this place in the future?

KAMIJO: I think I will livestream more concerts from my home studio, but when the health crisis is under control, I would like to perform from other places too.

During these concerts, you will also perform a brand new song composed by LAREINE’s guitarist MAYU. Can you tell us about this new track? Does this bode well for future collaborations between you and MAYU?

KAMIJO: MAYU gifted me a very nice song. He created this song to encourage his fans. A future collaboration with MAYU is not yet decided but I would like to be on stage with him one day.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of your career, you introduced the "PERSONA" project consisting of three singles, released between November 2019 and April 2020, as well as a forthcoming album. Could you tell us the story of this project?

KAMIJO: In this world where we communicate mainly through social media, I felt like everyone was wearing a mask. This is how the concept of "PERSONA" was born. In my works, I am interested in issues of today's society such as child abuse that I tackled in Symphony of The Vampire. For Sang, I was inspired by the energy problem in Japan as well as the aging of the population. With "PERSONA", I am interested in crowd psychology.



The Count of Saint-Germain, the Order of the Rose-Croix, the symbol on the single Eye of Providence’s cover evoking the Illuminati... Although they have a real existence, these figures are linked to mysticism and even to conspiracy theories. Why did you choose such special symbols for your story?

KAMIJO: In the creative processes, I did not pay much attention to any particular organisation. If my stories can distract everyone, I'm glad they do.

Louis is a potential king, while Napoleon is a fallen emperor. Do you plan to introduce other historical figures in your story? You talk about democracy and the United States, can we expect to see former presidents, like Washington or Lincoln?

KAMIJO: Ah, hmm… What do you think? Please wait patiently for the rest of the story.

Why did you choose the United States as a setting for your story? Is Louis exiled forever from France as he is considered dead there, or is he waiting for the right moment to return?

KAMIJO: Louis XVII's survival is not yet official. And the fact that this is happening in the United States is only part of the story. In Sang, Japan and Egypt are the setting of the action.

You have included the CIA in your story, giving it kind of a crime novel flavour. Are there other investigations to come?

KAMIJO: It will have nothing to do with the actual organisation, but I will continue to entertain you with mystery-solving.

Your song Conspiracy, set in the United States, talks about the fact that Saint-Germain and Louis are trying to popularise a new source of energy called the Emigré System, which turns blood into electricity. How did you get this idea? Are Saint-Germain and Louis environmentalists or does it serve other purposes?

KAMIJO: This is to create an ideal world where humans and vampires coexist. This idea came to me when I was thinking about the energy problem and the aging population in Japan.



In the "PERSONA" project, you introduce the concept of Persona, a facial recognition software that no one can escape from and created by "globalists" whose goal is to unify the earthlings under the yoke of one ruler. This aspect is reminiscent of dystopian novels such as "1984". Is there a link between your work and the multiple scandals of illegal data collection and reselling that regularly make the headlines?

KAMIJO: Indeed, your hypothesis is correct. Through my music, I would like to take an interest in the different problems that humans are currently facing.

At the end of the "Persona Grata" novel, you indicate that Saint-Germain died on May 30, 2020. But he is presumably an immortal creature, so isn't he not supposed to die? Does that mean he will return someday, or that his story arc is well and truly over?

KAMIJO: I don't have an answer to this question. Only the Count can answer it.

The story you have developed so far is rich and intricate but sadly almost inaccessible to your non-Japanese speaking fans. Yet your stories are as important as your songs in order to have a full understanding of the universe you have created. Do you plan to have your writings translated for your international fans in the future, as you did for the limited edition’s DVD of Sang?

KAMIJO: Absolutely. I would need the help of many people.

The artwork for your "PERSONA" trilogy was made by famous illustrator Ayami Kojima, well known for her work on the "Castlevania" video game series. Can you tell us how this collaboration began?

KAMIJO: I was a fan of her work on "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night" so I asked her to work together.

As we mentioned earlier, the highlight of your "PERSONA" trilogy is the release of an album. Can you tell us more about the content of this opus and its release date?

KAMIJO: Releasing this album, then perfecting it with the fans in concert, that's how I see it being finalised.



Your music style is more and more symphonic, as evidenced by the orchestral versions featured on your last three singles. Are you going to continue in this direction? Are you planning to do concerts similar to those of the Epic Rock Orchestra?

KAMIJO: Absolutely. Please be patient.

The music industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. In order to keep in touch with their audience, many artists have been streaming their concerts online, as you will do with your online tour. Do you plan to continue streaming your concerts online once the pandemic is under control, so that your fans around the world can attend your performances?

KAMIJO: If fans from all over the world attend my online concerts, I will organise more of them without any hesitation.

What are your plans for 2021? Is there something you have never done before as an artist that you would like to achieve this year?

KAMIJO: This year, I will continue to upload my works on my YouTube channel.

Finally, do you have a message for our readers?

KAMIJO: Thank you for reading to the end. Right now, the whole world is fighting and suffering from an invisible enemy. I would love if I can cheer you up, even a little bit, with my music. On March 26th, I fly to you surfing planet Earth!

JaME would like to thank KAMIJO, Tsukumi Giusto from YAMAZAKURA and Charlotte Naudin for making this interview possible.

Tickets for all three concerts of the KAMIJO Online World Tour 「Queen of Versailles -LAREINE-」can be purchased on YAMAZAKURA and ZAIKO.

Related Releases

Single CD 2020-04-29 2020-04-29
Regular Edition KAMIJO
Single CD + Book 2020-04-29 2020-04-29
First Limited Edition KAMIJO
Single CD + Book 2020-02-26 2020-02-26
First Limited Edition KAMIJO
Single CD 2020-02-26 2020-02-26
Regular Edition KAMIJO
Single CD 2019-11-27 2019-11-27
Regular Edition KAMIJO
Single CD + Book 2019-11-27 2019-11-27
First Limited Edition KAMIJO

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