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Original article: VISULOG
Part 1 for now, part 2 will follow soon~
We listened to the story of the five guys who will embark on their first oneman tour "2013 Spring Oneman Tour - Taste of 『Rose』 -" through Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka as a five member band starting in may.
―― Ichirou-kun just joined the band, so do you feel any different from before you were an official member?
Ichirou: I was a support member for 2 years so I don't really know how to feel, but becoming an official member has definitely increased my sense of responsibility.
Satoshi: The five of us are now feeling like "The new Lycaon has begun!". Of course the four member Lycaon we were until now will remain but I feel like these five members will be creating new things together again, so we want to always strive after a freshness without forgetting our original intentions.
Hiyuu: He was a support member for us for two years, so at first I didn't think it would make a difference if he became a member but there really has been quite a change. The atmosphere of the band has become great and above all we started talking a lot more together. So it hasn't been a bad decision (haha).
Ichirou: Two years sure was long for my training period...... (haha).
―― And on February 2nd the first single with the sound of your new lineup 『bara ～Rose～』 was released right.
Satoshi: I came up with the original melody, but since the line-up changed and we changed our attitudes, we talked a lot about "what kind of elements can we add". Until now Lycaon strongly contained the different colors of the four of us, but Ichirou joined and that gave us the challenge of "how to represent that change", so I feel like we expressed that in mixing Ichirou's dark side into the brightness of the song.
―― The composition is really varied.
Satoshi: We also talked about if it wasn't too long, but we couldn't find anything to leave out so in the end we figured this version was the right one.
―― What sort of meaning does the title『bara ～Rose～』have?
Yuuki: At the time I wrote the song and lyrics, I created it more from the image of "Yuuki" vocals than from the way the words sounded, but this time the flashy "Yuuki" came out and among all the flashiness there's also beauty, brightness and prettiness, but also thorns. With that kind of image, the fascinating impression of Lycaon and the violent parts [of the song] I had no choice but to call it "Rose".
―― What's the message of the lyrics?
Yuuki: Until now I've always cared about myself too much and I wasn't able to see what was going on around me and I didn't understand anything but myself. Because of that I didn't know what I wanted, but when Ichirou joined and we talked about the band's activity I emerged from, or should I say broke away from the me who's always cared about himself and understood that I had to create a new me. Or maybe that it's no good to never change. It's based on my experiences and so it has a strong meaning of "rebirth".
―― Is there something you were conscious of when you were playing it?
Rito: When the sound is powerful you leave a strong impression, it’s basic but, I play strongly because I want the nuances to come out with power, so when I’m playing I’m really conscious of being exactly in the rhythm.
Hiyuu: I wanted to really bring across the feeling of a mix of intensity and fascination so I paid a lot of attention to the lyrics when I played. During the last recording I did some picking and I found a lot of my own themes so from now on that’s something I want to delve in deeper.
Ichirou: I’ve got more cymbals compared to when I was still playing as a support member, but the sound coming from cymbals also varies with the size and thickness so I’ve been talking about using them like that a bit with composer Satoshi.
Satoshi: The way the cymbals sound can change the song’s entire image so I’m definitely going to pay more attention to that next time.
―― Please tell me something about the best parts [in the song]
Satoshi: At one point there’s a long silence after the solo, then the drums come in with a solo and I’m really pleased about that part. The song had a different feel to it in its demo stage, but when we were all jamming during the recording the rhythm section suddenly started doing something different and it sounded really cool so I used it (haha).
Ichirou: I really feel the same too. It’s the point where the drums and bass stand out most so I want you to listen to that.
Rito: For me it’s the intro part. It starts with just a guitar arpeggio and then all members come in but when I play that riff I feel really good so that’s why I like it. The intro manages to present the image of the song really well.
Hiyuu: For me it’s the female chorus in the intro. Rito said it too but the intro creates the atmosphere of the song so that’s why I want you to listen to it.
Yuuki: Actually that chorus is my mom……
Hiyuu: Is it okay to say that?
Yuuki: Well VISULOG is special (haha).
―― Thank you very much. Is your mother a singer as well?
Yuuki: She really isn’t, it just suddenly came to be (haha).
―― Since it's your parent your voices must sound similar.
Yuuki: They probably are (haha). We definitely have the same basis so I think the way we sing is similar.
―― So Yuuki’s recommendation [to listen to] is his mother's chorus after all?
Yuuki: Of course, but besides that the verse and bridge really showcase Lycaon’s recent vocal approach so I want you to listen to that too.
―― How did you record the MV?
Satoshi: It has a "red" image.
Yuuki: The red is standing out in the monochrome color scheme. We didn’t really have a location until now, but this time we did and the location had a chandelier that matched the atmosphere of 『bara ～Rose～』, rose petals were falling down and because we did the MV a bit different than we used to I think it’s filled with highlights. It’s an MV that really has that sense of “ah, they’ve changed”.
Hiyuu: The thing that’s changed most is the fact that there’s drums set up now. Ichirou gave his best efforts and appears in a lot of parts and the way he strikes his drums is really cool too so you should definitely watch it.
―― Can you tell me about the second track “kuroneko”?
Satoshi: When I made the song I thought it would be interesting to create a “gothic” atmosphere we hadn’t done before and so I created the shuffle rhythm with a gothic feel. When I start writing a song there’s always surprises and Yuuki also did a lot for the melody so the song was completed really smoothly. It’s also the first time we used piano in a song so I think we were also able to express a more mature eroticism in some parts.
―― And what about the lyrics?
Yuuki: I have a black cat myself but in the end stages of the song it didn’t have that “black cat” image yet, but when I wrote the lyrics and the melody the title “black cat” just suited it. The atmosphere was also really precise so I had no choice but to call in “black cat” because it felt as if I ‘d written it together with my black cat and thanks to that I instantly knew what to do with the melody too. Being a singer is different than doing the instrumental part, if you don’t have an image, or rather, if you don’t have an imagination you can’t get the smallest details of the text done. The chords and such aren’t really theoretical I just smoothly wrote them all in one go with the image of a black cat in my head. (TN kuroneko means black cat).
―― And the content of the lyrics?
Yuuki: I wrote it while thinking back on meeting my black cat and our life together. It’s mainly the story of me meeting my cat, a story of me hugging a cat that was abandoned in a cardboard box in the rain and taking him home.
―― The scene you drew inspiration from was pretty real right, since it’s something you experienced yourself.
Yuuki: I’m not sure about that since I described it into such detail.
―― Is there anything you obsess over when playing this song?
Hiyuu: There’s this point where the bass fades out before the guitar solo and then comes in again together with the drums like “guh”, I’m really pleased with that part.
Rito: I really like the feeling all of the chords have, or rather, their timbre, so instead of just one particular part I like the entire atmosphere of the song. We did songs like this in the past too but since we haven’t used the piano before it’s still fresh.
Ichirou: I drum with the image of a black cat walking in my head and I really love having that feeling.
～ To be continued...