Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Part Two of Rock and Read's Interview with Mana

Continuing with my synopsis of my translation of the interview with Mana by the Japanese music magazine, Rock and Read. I got my copy at Kinokuniya book store. Since no translations were online, and I wanted to read the interview, I did my first long translation. Since I am not a skilled translator but I know there are people who want to know what the interview was about, I decided to post a synopsis of it. If there are any errors I will correct them. But for now, here is the rest of the interview.

The topic changed to the 25th anniversary of Malice Mizer and the memorial event this September. Mana laughingly said the 25th anniversary was actually last year. He said that this is something he has never done before, but there was one time something was to happen at the time of the 20th anniversary, in 2012.

Mana shared that back when Malice Mizer stopped working he felt sorry inside. That everyone who enjoyed it felt the same. He spoke about 1998 and mentioned Gackt leaving saying "what is the truth and what is a lie?". That the situation was not expressed then and has continued. The interviewer said that at that time, there were no comments from the Malice Mizer side. Even in 2001 when they stopped performing there was no comments about that. Mana was asked if he wanted to break it down in the 20th memorial year.

Mana said he had that kind of feeling. That the Gackt side was speaking in interviews and putting out books, where the Malice Mizer side was at a disadvantage. That since they did not do anything to talk about it, the situation was misunderstood because there wasn't information released. Mana said it was not his intention to continue things that were not true. So he thought it would be good to move on, "shed the past things into the water". He thought it would be nice to be onstage as an artist.

Asked if it would be with Gackt, Mana replied that the mind and circumstances of people will gradually change over time, that ten years had passed so things will fade away like heartburn. In the first place, he acknowledged the talent of Gackt as part of Malice Mizer. Because Gackt joined they were able to expand theatrically and be more effective. (It was previously mentioned their major debut allowed them to go to France to have photographs taken and shoot a promotional video, Bel Air ~Kuuhaku no Shunkan no Naka de~ de L'image.)

The interviewer asked "So you contacted Gackt?" Mana replied that since they had no contact since his sudden departure and withdraw from Malice Mizer, even though he did not have a way to contact him, Mana made up his mind to call him.

Mana spoke of the rumor that has gone on since Gackt left. That Malice Mizer would not do a comeback because he as leader of the group never forgave Gackt. Mana said that as for what is real and what isn't, he thinks there are some people who understand. That some of the music magazines asked for their thoughts and feelings at the time of Gackt leaving (this is true, there is at least one interview with the band at that time. I plan on posting something about that).

Mana did call Gackt in 2011. He met with Gackt, gathered the other members and they even went to dinner. They discussed Gackt participating in the 20th anniversary show. Back when Malice Mizer was active, they were planning on performing at Tokyo Dome following the live at Yokohama Arena in 1998. Mana had hoped they could trying to do something like that for the anniversary. They had started working out the plan, meeting with staff and it was going well. Then circumstances changed and Gackt could no longer do it. Since they ended up not being able to do the kind of show they wanted for the 20th anniversary, Mana decided to do something special for the 25th anniversary.

Mana contacted everyone who was a former member and roadies and asked them to appear. While he called out to everyone, there were people who could not be contacted by any means (most likely a reference to Klaha, who has gone from public life to private). Sakura-kun (ZIGZO etc.) who was a sensei of Kami will play drums. Kamijo and Hitomi were very pleased to be asked to perform.

The interviewer mentioned she saw Mana's birthday shows in March and had the impression that a lot of the Malice Mizer era fans are still fans. She asked Mana what did he think was the secret that continued this? Mana said perhaps it is because he does not change in what he does. That it is only him. She asked if he thought about changing, taking in new things? He replied that he does not and mentioned his wearing make-up for the shows, that he never did one with out it. (In other words, don't expect Mana to not dress-up for his shows. I wonder if this is a reference to the trend of older musicians making comebacks but not wearing the same kind of outfits and make-up, groups like X-Japan.)

Mana is asked what he thinks is interesting and the interviewer refers to various photographs taken during the Malice Mizer era. Where he was dressed in a motorcycle riding jacket next to a motorcycle, took photos with kids at a kindergarten, and various other shots. He replied that now there is a solid image of medieval Europe and gothic books, although his interests are wide. (Mana may have been referring to the image he has created since Malice Mizer, with his band Moi dix Mois.) He said there is always a desire to constantly surprise fans. He would like to challenge a variety of things, so it is a matter of what those would be.

Asked what is popular with him, Mana replied that it is music. That he can not change the music in any way that he has been doing for 25 years. That is okay to do whatever you do, if you defend it. She asked about the music with Moi dix Mois. Mana said that the atmosphere of the songs are like Malice Mizer and so that has not changed. That he is ready to keep doing this music without bending. It is meaningless for him if music and visual are not fused.

Mana is asked that the fans continue to love Mana, but when he looks back on his life so far, when is it that he thinks he is happy? His reply was that his music life, was not it a series of accidents? That if one thinks so, that he is still well behaved. It may be different from happiness. He mentioned how many of the vocalists have changed, which is not that unusual. Asked how many were there, Mana lists them in order. With Malice Mizer there was Tetsu, Gackt and Klaha. He laughed and said he is adding himself before Klaha since he did the vocals on ”再会の血と薔薇" . With Moi dix Mois there was Juka and now Seth. He said there are mountains and valleys but he appreciates that each singer always supported him.

The interviewer closes with saying even though Mana and the world he creates have not changed much, that it still attracts a lot of fans. Mana said that because the music and world he wants to express are hardened in him, there is no way to deviate to a side street. There is always a feeling that he wants to protect this world, this world that comes from him. From now on, because he will keep his music and world forever, he wants people to follow him.

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