Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Despite appearing a little under the weather, vocalist Satoshi spoke to us, together with bassist ShuU, a few hours before girugamesh's third London live at the O2 Academy Islington.

Welcome to London. Obviously everyone’s thoughts are with those who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Where were you when you heard about it and what impact has it had on you?

Satoshi: We were in Berlin when we first heard the news. When I first heard about the earthquake, I couldn't believe it at all. After checking the internet and YouTube, I realised that it was true and I was really shocked.

You’re currently collecting money to help victims of the tsunami. How has the fan response been?

ShuU: At the signing sessions all the fans were worried about it and asked how our friends and families were, if everything was ok. We got the impression that everyone was very worried about our homeland and people, and that not just our fans but the whole world has been very concerned.

And is everyone alright back home?

Both: Yes, our families and relatives are ok.

That's good to hear. So this current tour started on the 5th of March. How has it been so far?

Satoshi: It's been going really great. It's our first European tour for two years, so we wanted to have as much fun as possible and also wanted the audience to have a lot of fun as well. We're really trying to enjoy ourselves on this tour.

This is your third live in Islington. Is it starting to become quite familiar now?

ShuU: To be honest, the previous times we didn't have any time at all to go out and see the city. Yesterday we had a day off and time to walk around and explore the city: we walked through the streets behind our hotel and had a look at the small shops and things, and the scenery reminded us a bit of Japanese scenery. Even though we hadn't walked around that area before it had a familiar ambiance in parts.

The weather hasn't been great recently as well - Satoshi-san appears a bit unwell (he is wearing a face mask and coughing quite a bit). Are you ok?

Satoshi: Yes, I'm ok!

Last time we interviewed you here you said that you’d like to sample the local Japanese food, specifically MISO down the road. Have you managed to do that now? Verdict, if so?

ShuU: We did try the MISO down the road last time actually. We ordered sushi as it looked really nice, like real sushi. However what arrived was vegetable sushi, so what looked like tuna fish was actually red pepper. We were really surprised, but they had taken all the time to prepare it for us so we ate it all (laughs)!

How’s your English now with all this international touring?

Satoshi: As far as I'm concerned my English hasn't really improved. I can understand a little bit but not much, and I can't reply in English.

ShuU: One of the other band members is learning English seriously at the moment. As for me, I'm trying my best to learn and communicate better with the fans.

How about any other languages?

ShuU: We're touring with quite a few German crew members and they all speak German to each other, so I think I'd like to learn that someday.

Your latest album has the quite succinct title of GO. Why did you decide to name it that?

ShuU: The title GO represents our positive feelings. We wrote many songs for the album with optimistic lyrics and melodies. Our music used to be quite negative before, but with this album we wanted to go in a positive direction and we wanted to reflect this in the title.

Is it also a pun, because it is your fifth album (the Japanese for five is go)?

ShuU: (laughing) Yes, it is meant to be that too!

Can you tell us about the inspirations for GO, lyrically and musically?

ShuU: We put our positive feelings and energy into the album as music has helped us a lot. We wanted to help our fans with our music and give positivity to them so it was with that intent that it was written.

Satoshi: Lyrically, I wrote about those people and fans we met whilst we've been girugamesh, who we wouldn't have met otherwise. We wanted to show them how appreciative we are of the bond we formed with these other people, and that was the concept.

What led to this change to write more positively?

ShuU: We managed to rid ourselves of the negativity which we wrote and played with before. This is my personal story but one of the band's colleagues died last year, and I started to think that I can't keep looking back with negative feelings. I decided the most important thing was to look at now and the future.

Where would you like to GO if you could go anywhere at all?

ShuU: Good question!

Satoshi: I'd like to go back to my house in Japan, and check if my room is ok after the earthquake.

ShuU: Me too!

When we interviewed you back in 2009, ShuU-san said that there was still some discrimination against visual kei in Japan and you would like to change that. Is there any change yet in your opinion?

ShuU: There are still many negative perceptions of visual kei. For example if you look at Marilyn Manson in the US: he's a very popular artist with many fans but the majority of people think that he's really strange. That's the case with visual kei as well. But I still have a very strong will to change this view with our music.

What do you think you might be doing if you weren’t in music?

Satoshi: I can't imagine doing anything else.

ShuU: I think I might be working in a pasture, with cows (laughs).

Do you have any funny stories from being on tour?

ShuU: Hmm...well one of the Japanese members of the crew on this tour didn't think that European winters would be very harsh so he only brought one jersey with him (laughs). It was really funny to watch him when it was really cold!

And finally, can you give a message to your fans.

Satoshi: This is our third European tour. After releasing the new album we'd love to come back as many times as possible, which we couldn't do without our fans. So please continue supporting us in the future as well.

Thank you very much, and good luck with your performance tonight.

Both: Thank you.

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