Interview with Luv PARADE
JaME had the chance to ask the recently revived cover session band Luv PARADE, a special project born during D'ESPAIRSRAY's "PSYCHEDELIC PARADE" tour in 2009, a few questions.
In April 2022, the revival of session band Luv PARADE, which features some well-known faces from the visual kei scene, was suddenly announced.Luv PARADE was originally featured during visual kei group D'ESPAIRSRAY's PSYCHEDELIC PARADE tour in 2009. They returned with three of their former members: Angelo guitarist Karyu and THE MICRO HEAD 4N'S bassist ZERO and drummer TSUKASA. Former vocalist HIZUMI (now active with NUL.) is also serving as the designer for the band. The session band made their comeback with an event titled DEVIL'S PARTY 2022 on June 20th. During this show, Luv PARADE was supported by TAKA from defspiral, who performed with them as a guest vocalist.
Shortly after this event and before their next show on September 8th (streaming tickets for which are on sale now via ZAIKO), JaME took the chance to ask the three members of Luv PARADE some questions about their restart, the DEVIL'S PARTY concert series, and various other topics.
Could you please tell us when and how Luv PARADE was originally started?
Luv PARADE: Luv PARADE originally started in 2009 as a cover session band just for encores so that we could give HIZUMI time to rest his throat, even if only a little.
How did you come up with the name "Luv PARADE"?
Luv PARADE: "PARADE" was the tour title, and Karyu added "Luv".
How did you end up restarting activities this year?
Karyu: I was wondering which musical project I should activate in order to get myself back on stage as soon as I could, and Luv PARADE was the answer. I contacted the members once I made that decision.
ZERO: We had a talk after Angelo's hiatus was decided. Right now I am also a member of THE MICRO HEAD 4N'S, and OFIAM, but I thought performing with Luv PARADE would be a good opportunity which would open up various possibilities.
TSUKASA: I joined at Karyu's invitation. I myself was also happy about playing music together again as a trio, and decided to join.
In June, Luv PARADE hosted the DEVIL'S PARTY 2022 live event. You were standing on the same stage for the first time since the one-day revival of D'ESPAIRSRAY at Angelo's event THE INTERSECTION OF DOGMA in 2014. How did that feel?
Karyu: It was different from the feeling I had during the rehearsal. It was both nostalgic and new at the same time, and I felt very good.
ZERO: It felt really right and good. I had no problem because TSUKASA and myself have been played music together before. D'ESPAIRSRAY is the band that made me who I am today. I feel like I have returned to my origin.
TSUKASA: I remember how it was overwhelming for me to hear such a huge ovation from the fans. It was the loudest ovation I ever received in my life. And, four of us playing music together again after so long was a very moving experience. It was very fun.
Could you please tell us something about the rehearsals for DEVIL'S PARTY 2022? Was it difficult to play together after such a long time?
Karyu: The ensemble was nostalgic. It was not difficult, but very inspiring.
ZERO: Like I said before, that wasn't really a problem. TAKA is a great singer. He naturally fitted with the band.
TSUKASA: The loudness of stringed instruments and TAKA's vocals encouraged me a lot. I was able to play music with high spirits.
During the PSYCHEDELIC PARADE tour in 2009 you performed cover songs from Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, KORN, hide and BUG. At DEVIL'S PARTY 2022 you played some unexpected songs, including pop tracks like Toxic by Britney Spears and Poker Face by Lady Gaga. How did you choose these songs?
TSUKASA: Each member came up with the songs he wanted to play. Over the course of the discussion, we came to think that arranging songs by female vocalists would be more unique and new. But, we also agreed to include our favourite bands' songs as well.
What other songs would you like to cover in the future?
Karyu: I would like to arrange my favourite song, which has elements of surprise.
ZERO: I would like to cover the songs that I find interesting.
TSUKASA: I would like to cover classic songs that are known worldwide in Luv PARADE's style.
During the last song DEATH POINT fans were allowed to take pictures and videos of the show, and many of them were posted on social media. Is taking pictures or videos during live events becoming more common in Japan, or is this something you decided specifically for this show?
Karyu: Shooting photos and videos during live shows is not commonly accepted in Japan. It was an interesting experiment for us to make a special time during a show that allowed fans to shoot photos and videos.
ZERO: It is not common in Japan, but we did it because we have no restrictions from a production company. We thought it would create a special memory of the day for the audience. It was also our hope that those photos and videos shared on SNS would enable us not only to get new fans, but also to reconnect with old fans.
TSUKASA: The video taken during our show abroad was shared on SNS without our permission. But, that video delighted not only those waiting for us in Japan, but also fans worldwide who could not come to the live venue. I thought making a special time for photo and video shooting and allowing audiences to share them on SNS would make fans overseas happy.
You will be holding DEVIL'S PARTY 2022 Vol. 2 in September. This time NUL. will participate, too. Is there a possibility fans will get to see HIZUMI join you for a D'ESPAIRSRAY song?
Karyu: It would still take time for D'ESPAIRSRAY to be able to play D'ESPAIRSRAY's songs again one day.
The broadcast via ZAIKO enabled fans all over the world to enjoy the first DEVIL'S PARTY event. Will there be a live streaming option for Vol.2 as well?
Karyu: Vol.2 will be broadcast. I would like fans to see Luv PARADE's heavy metal-style cover arrangements.
ZERO: Yes, we will broadcast the show. One reason is because, even if it is not D'ESPAIRSRAY's show, we want to deliver the band's sound to audiences worldwide. Another reason is because we would like those who cannot come to the venue because of the pandemic to still enjoy our show through streaming. For those reasons, we want to continue with online broadcasts.
TSUKASA: We will mainly cover classic songs known worldwide. We hope people around the world will enjoy watching our broadcast again.
HIZUMI was at the DEVIL'S PARTY event too, watching the show from the balcony. It is said that he also took part by doing the graphic design for DEVIL'S PARTY / Luv PARADE - is this correct?
Karyu: Yes, it is true. HIZUMI did the logo design for us.
Do you have plans to release music as Luv PARADE in the future? Or can fans look forward to new music from Karyu's solo project?
Karyu: As of now there is no plan yet. But, we will add more songs so that we can create a good work.
ZERO: I hope we can release music as Luv PARADE since that's one of the reasons we are playing music.
TSUKASA: I hope we will create an original song one day.
Karyu, you have stayed away from social media for many years. However, since starting your solo activities, you created Twitter and Instagram accounts. What made you join these sites? How has the response from the fans been?
Karyu: I was interested in SNS, but it took some time for me to get started with it for various reasons. I am glad to find that a lot of different fans worldwide show their support for me.
It has been many years since you've toured Europe or America. Despite that, many foreign fans have been following your careers for two decades already. How does this make you feel?
Karyu: It is amazing and I am very thankful. Our fans go through a lot of things in their lives, and I am grateful they kept holding onto our music through their journey even until today. I hope we get to have fun together again.
ZERO: I am delighted. I still remember the shows and the enthusiasm of the audiences. Some of our fans do not know yet that we are still active. Please share our activities with them and tell them about what we are doing now.
TSUKASA: I still remember the strong support we received from the fans both in Europe and the United States. Their enthusiasm thrilled us a lot. We would like to keep sharing the same dream together with our longtime fans.
What thoughts do you have about performing outside of Japan again someday in the future?
Karyu: We will have shows abroad. My dream is to hold shows in various countries.
ZERO: Absolutely. That wish to have shows abroad has always been in me. As I answered in the previous question, please join us and let's have a great time together again.
TSUKASA: Being able to hold shows abroad and being able to learn about unique cultures is a treasure of my life in many different meanings. I would like to add such treasures both in Japan and abroad.
You have known each other your whole adult lives. Could you please share some funny memories you have about each other?
Karyu: TSUKASA drank a beer while he was doing a handstand after the show at Wacken Open Air in Germany. (laughs)
ZERO: I have so many memories. I will share them with you when you interview us in your country, in person. (laughs)
TSUKASA: When D'ESPAIRSRAY was just formed, we took our first artist photo under the theme of "commemorative photo with Statue of Ashura". It is a really funny photo. (laughs)
Thank you very much for answering our questions. Could you please leave a message for our readers?
Karyu: We will have a great show. I will add more songs to Luv PARADE, and also make new songs for Karyu Session BAND. There will be more exciting things to come, so please support us!
ZERO: I do not fully know what is actually going on in each country, but I will say surviving is the first thing we have to do. Please stay in good health. We need to be in good health in order to both meet new people and reconnect with old friends. I sincerely hope to visit your city and meet with you again someday.
TSUKASA: I am still dreaming about playing music abroad, which has given me many precious experiences. We will keep working hard so that we can become a unique and cutting edge band from Japan. Please support us!
JaME would like to thank the members of Luv PARADE and their management for making this interview possible.
DEVIL'S PARTY 2022 Vol. 2 will take place at Spotify O-EAST on September 8th. Tickets for the live stream are priced at 4,000 yen, and they can be purchased via ZAIKO at the following link: https://parade.zaiko.io/e/devilsparty0908.
The event will see Luv PARADE perform alongside NUL., Karyu Session BAND and GOTCHAROCKA. It will begin at 6:00pm (JST), and after the live broadcast is complete, an archive of the stream will be available for ticket holders to watch for three days.
Below, you can watch a digest video from DEVIL'S PARTY 2022 Vol. 1:
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Luv PARADE, GOTCHAROCKA, H.U.G, Karyu, NUL.
Spotify O-EAST (former Shibuya O-EAST and TSUTAYA O-EAST)