Interview Now ～LM.C～
LM.C’s maya and Aiji visited Fukuoka as a part of their “LM.C TOUR 2014 PERFECT FANTASY” on April 3rd, 2014. In this interview they reveal the reasons behind why they decided to become Visual-kei musicians, what they keep in mind when they write their music, their experiences in Fukuoka, and finally a message for their fans.
I guess our “concept” is that we have no concept.
Q.(asianbeat)Tell us, why did you decide to become Visual-kei artists?
maya：When I was little I saw the band “X”, which later changed its name to “X JAPAN” and that was a definite source of inspiration for me. Back then, the word “Visual-kei” didn’t even exist yet but just knowing about them motivated and drove me to become a Visual-kei artist.
Q.What about “X” appealed to you so much?
maya：Well, I’m not sure if it was admiration so much as being so stunned by their appearance that it had a lasting impact on me. I was an elementary school student back then and the only word I can really use to sum up my feelings would be “shock.” I remember thinking: “What is this!!?” and looking back, that moment was really the start of things. I had heard their song, liked it a lot and decided to buy their CD. Only, when I got home I thought I had bought the wrong one because the contradictory nature of the whole thing really blew my mind.
Q.What finally cemented your decision of becoming a visual-kei artist?
maya：At first, I really wanted to play the guitar. I always felt guitarists were really classy and cool, so I would often rehash some tunes I picked up along the way on the guitar. I guess this was the official starting point of my career.
Q.What is LM.C’s concept as a band?
Aiji：We don’t have a musical concept. If anything, not having a concept is our “concept.” We just concentrate on whatever we feel is suitable at the time. If you’ve listened to any of our music you probably noticed that many of our songs don’t hold to a specific musical style or genre. One thing I do always try to keep in mind however, is to always be happy. I think happiness is the key to life and I just try to enjoy myself whether it be during interviews or daily life.
Q.What is the most important thing, when you make music?
maya：In my case, it would be to enjoy the process of making music. It’s something that I’ve started to feel even more strongly about lately. Normally, the production periods and deadlines are set in advance; however, we try to look for ways to do what we want to do, when we want to do it.
Q.Was that a thought that you had even when forming your band?
maya：I guess anyone who was motivated enough to form their own band will eventually be able to perform live or to write lyrics naturally as the time goes by. However, by repeating this year after year, it eventually starts to feel like routine work. Sometimes its repetitive nature makes me feel like I’m being forced into it and makes me forget the objectives I had laid down in the early days. When we initially started our band, we were simply satisfied with making music and it came pretty naturally to us. Once we took it up as a career, psychologically we feel restricted in our creativity so we try to remind ourselves not to.
Our fans have become more passionate and I can feel that they have been waiting for us.
Q.You two are from Nagano-Prefecture, right? How many times have you been to Fukuoka?
maya：Many times! (lol) As LM.C, we come to Fukuoka every year.
Aiji：Maybe this is our seventh time.
maya：LM.C has been active for 7 years and since we visit Fukuoka every year, this would be our 7th trip here.
Q.Do you feel that your Fukuoka fans are different to your Tokyo or Osaka fans?
Aiji :Well, first off there is that physical distance between us. Maybe because of this I feel that the fans are waiting for us and that energizes our performances!
Q.So what you think about Fukuoka?
Aiji：It’s great. I like the Fukuoka so much that sometimes I come here privately. We visit many places in Japan for business trips but we don’t have many chances to travel Japan outside of work. That being said, Fukuoka is definitely one of the cities which makes me want to come back for more.
Q.Is there any place in particular in Fukuoka you want to go or any special food you want to eat here?
maya：Nothing in particular comes to mind. The restaurant we went to yesterday was really good, though.
Q.What did you have?
maya：What kind of food did they serve…?
Aiji：It was a seafood restaurant by the name “Seimon-barai” in Nakasu [Fukuoka]. We really wanted to eat the squid-sashimi there.
Q:Did you like the squid-sashimi?
Aiji：It was excellent! The Mackerel is a personal favorite, though. The place was something between a fancy restaurant and a Japanese-style bar “Izaka-ya”.
Q.You have lots of fans abroad. Do you ever feel the full scope of your international popularity?
maya：When there are lots of people at our live performances. (lol) Japanese culture such as Visual-kei and amine was extremely popular overseas when we first started out but back then, the idea of gaining popularity overseas was something unfathomable to me. Even when I would receive a letter from a fan, I just couldn’t believe it. But when they’re standing right in front of you, that’s when you realize that it wasn’t all just a dream.
Q.How many countries have you preformed in?
Aiji：About 20 countries or so…
maya：We’ve been on large-scale world tours three times so far. Sometimes we will revisit certain countries, so I think in total we’ve been to approximately 20 countries.
Q.How are your fans overseas different to those in Japan?
Aiji：In Japan, there is this idea of wabi-sabi* that is inherent in the culture and this consciousness makes itself apparent through certain mannerisms unique to Japan. People overseas understand the concept of “sabi” but have yet to grasp “wabi” and will sing along with us throughout our entire concert. This reminds us that we can’t make lyrical mistakes. (lol)
*Wabi-sabi is a school of thought in Japan derived from Buddhism that isolation and life are inextricably linked and that perfection is unachievable but must be accepted.
Aiji：The fans overseas will bellow out the songs with us, putting all they’ve got into it! It’s a pretty great feeling, to hear your fans get so passionate about it. It’s something that doesn’t really happen in Japan.
Q.Are there any changes you make to your live performance routine before hitting the stage?
Aiji：We just accept things as they are and don’t give it a second thought. For example, when we give performances in Japan everything is in working order and goes smoothly; however, when we go overseas we face certain misunderstandings and uncomfortable conditions. I’ve come to conclude that it is just cultural differences. (lol) Because of this, it is a simple matter of just accepting whatever comes our way as is; it’s a lot less stressful that way.
Let’s be happy until we meet again!
Q.Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
Aiji：For those of you reading this and have joined us on our previous LM.C world tours, we would like to announce our new album that will be kicking off our next world tour and will be released at some point in the near future. Sorry to have kept you waiting! We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!
maya：Ditto. (lol) I feel the exact same way but would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all those fans that have sent letters our way. I’m looking forward to when we will be able to meet again. Our next album will be featuring unique songs in typical LM.C style so be sure to have a listen!
Aiji：We don’t have a lot of opportunities to go abroad. The physical distance between us might make it difficult at times, so we appreciate those that are waiting for us every time we touch down and have no words for the support you show us. Stay strong and keep us in mind!
credit : asianbeat.com