INTERVIEW: girugamesh @ Backstage, Munich [girugamesh TOUR 2016 "-chimera-" in EUROPE]

On May 21st, girugamesh visited Munich as one of the last cities during their tour called girugamesh TOUR 2016 "-chimera-" in EUROPE. They will still be performing in Krakow, Budapest and Aschaffenburg (we reported), so make sure you go there if tickets aren't sold out yet!
We are very thankful for the opportunity to talk to them before their final live on July 10th at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo which will be the band's last performance before they disband (we reported).
We asked all four members about their last Europe lives, their most recent release chimera, their future plans and more!

VKH: This is your last time performing in Europe as girugamesh. What sort of thoughts have you had regarding the tour?

Яyo: Due to our decision to disband, the performances in Europe will be some of our last ones. And because of that, we regard every show we're still having as the very last one ever. So, to make sure the audience enjoys our shows, we chose to play old, as well as new songs!

VKH: Did you have the feeling that the sad news about your disbandment somehow reflected on the audience’s mood during your performances on the tour so far?

Яyo: Regarding our disbandment, we didn't have the feeling it reflected on our audience's mood. Of course, the people looked a little sad, but nevertheless, it seemed like they still want to keep on supporting us despite our decision to end activities.
But talking about negative, outside of our concerts we always have problems with European bathrooms. Since we're here in Munich, we can't take a bath! That's bad news really... (everyone laughs)

VKH: Is there a particular difference you noticed between the audience in Japan and Europe?

Яyo: During our lives, European fans are much more aggressive than the Japanese audience. But then again, in Japan the atmosphere heats up during faster songs, while in Europe this is the case when we play ballads. We always recognize the huge difference between Europe and Japan when it comes to that.

VKH: How did you decide what songs would be played at each show?

Яyo: It very much depends on the available equipment at the venues as well as the overall situations. Those are factors we have to consider, and due to which we sometimes have to change the setlists.
In Moscow, for example, there were LED lights in the boxes and we couldn't remove them. We then had to adjust our songs to the equipment on hand.
Nevertheless, and as already mentioned, we tried to play old and new songs alike in order to make our audience remember our performances and of course to enjoy our shows together with us!

VKH: Can you tell us when you decided to end activities? Did you already know you would be disbanding before your tour?  

Яyo: We are always thinking about performing in Europe. In fact, we were coming here every two years, so it actually is more of a coincidence the timing of our tour and our disbandment announcement is the same. However, we already decided beforehand to be standing on European stages as some of the last performances before girugamesh will be dissolved.

VKH: What was your original goal when you produced your most recent album chimera? 

Яyo: Since the day we debuted, we always put more and more meaning in our songs and had certain mottos like for example "Konoyaro!" (F*** you!) or "Bukkoroshiteyaru!" (I will kill you!). Now that 12 years have passed we wanted to express those negative and aggressive feelings from an adult perspective and thus compare our current emotions to our earlier and more childlike ones. So the goal was to show this development too.
Hence, the themes of chimera are negativism, complexes, and anger.

VKH: Can you explain more particularly why you chose such dark themes for the song "chimera" and its music video?

Яyo: We have been a visual kei band for a very long time. Back in 2014, we wanted to try many new things to somehow cross that field of what is considered visual kei. So in a way, we wanted to stay the visual band we are but also become an ordinary rock band at the same time.
Since the time we chose this path we basically kept on working with the notion of saying: "We don't give a f*** if our band is considered a normal rock band instead of a visual band!". Unfortunately, no one seemed to understand the new way we chose and the new music we produced, so this angered us a lot. Additionally, our new looks also met with criticism in Japan.
We really didn't know what to do back then, so naturally we got very angry. And in the end, all those memories were the reason why we chose such a gloomy theme for the song "chimera" and its music video.

VKH: Out of all of girugamesh's songs, which are the ones you are especially proud of and why?

Nii: "Break Down". Everything girugamesh's music stands for comes across in this song, so that's the reason I'm very proud of it!

Satoshi: "Kowareteiku Sekai". It's a ballad and every time we play it in Europe everyone is singing in Japanese! Because of that, this song proves that music is able to cross all cultural borders and it also convinces me that music is the only language everyone in this world is able to understand!

Яyo: I agree with Nii since I personally think that girugamesh's music developed thanks to this song.

ShuU: For me it's "evolution" because no matter if we play it in Mexico, America, Japan or somewhere else, the song can simply be called girugamesh's biggest weapon.

VKH: Your album GO, in comparison with the rest of your discography, is much lighter and has an almost pop-rock feel. Why did you decide on this change from your original musical direction? 

Яyo: When we produced it, we wanted to see what would happen when we added pop-rock elements and mix it with our typical girugamesh sound. It is indeed very different compared to what we did before, but nevertheless, we believe we succeeded in producing another great album!

VKH: What was the greatest moment you ever had during your 12 years of activity?

Яyo: The fact that we could perform outside of Japan! When I was in junior hight school I formed my first band. Back then one of my teachers said that musicians have to learn English in order to play live in foreign countries. I have been very lazy in school, so she always advised me to try my best and study more English. Now that I was able to go abroad with girugamesh I really want to thank her for this advice!

VKH: Are you still in touch with her in some way?

Яyo: No, I'm not. But I'm pretty sure she still remembers me!

Nii: It has always been my dream to perform abroad too! Now that my dream came true I also reached my goal.

Satoshi: For me it was our first one-man live at Meguro Rokumeikan! Performing at this venue basically is the first step to success for a visual band, so it definitely has been my personal greatest moment.

Яyo (in English about Meguro Rokumeikan): It's kind of like a traditional venue. A great venue, but really traditional!

ShuU: For me it has been our abroad tours too.

VKH: We thank you so much for taking your time for this interview! Our last question is about what's going to happen after your last live in July. Do each of you have individual plans you would like to share?

Яyo: First of all we want to say "Thank you!" to all of our fans with our last live! After this show, each of us has different plans for the future. I myself will keep on uploading youtube videos to my channel (here) and I also want to stay in contact with my fans via my social network accounts. I want to form a new band sometime too!

Nii: I don't really have plans yet, to be honest. For now, my goal is to successfully bring our girugamesh band activities to an end and I'm going to give all I've got to do so!

Satoshi: I don't have plans yet either. However, I will let everyone know via my social media accounts when I decide to make music again!

ShuU: Just like Nii and Satoshi I didn't really take a decision yet. But what I definitely want to do is travel, especially to Europe! I also want to go to Brazil or Chile one day, but I'm interested in countries like Belgium and Italy too!
(Jokingly, the other three members then say they want to join ShuU on his trip through the world, but no one really means it.)

Special thanks to GANSHIN for making this interview possible! We also want to thank Keisuke Asashima who translated everything from Japanese to German!

girugamesh are still on tour until May 27th. If you want to see them live check out their OHP (here) for details about tickets! Check out the tour dates below:

girugamesh TOUR 2016 “鵺-chimera-” in EUROPE
  • 2016.05.11 (Wed) Volta Club (Moscow, Russia)
  • 2016.05.12 (Thu) Opera Club (St Petersburg, Russia)
  • 2016.05.14 (Sat) Zeche Carl (Essen, Germany)
  • 2016.05.15 (Sun) Zeche Carl (Essen, Germany)
  • 2016.05.17 (Tue) O2 Academy Islington (London, UK)
  • 2016.05.18 (Wed) De Helling (Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • 2016.05.20 (Fri) La Maroquinerie (Paris, France)
  • 2016.05.21 (Sat) Backstage (Munich, Germany)
  • 2016.05.22 (Sun) LIDO (Berlin, Germany)
  • 2016.05.24 (Tue) Kwadrat (Krakow, Poland)
  • 2016.05.25 (Wed) Club 202 (Budapest, Hungary)
  • 2016.05.27 (Fri) Colos-Saal (Aschaffenburg, Germany)

And if you haven't bought their most recent mini-album chimera yet, then here is your chance to order it online!

chimera [TYPE A] (¥2,500)
01. Introduction
02. slip out
03. chimera
04. wither mind
05. Horizon
06. END
07. Big Bear Remix from gravitation

[DVD: 2015/3/14 Live at Studio Coast]
01. gravitation
02. Go ahead
03. driving time
04. Not Found
05. suiren
06. crime-tsumi-
07. Drain
09. Omaeni sasageru minikui koe
10. Zecchou BANG!!
11. arrow

*Purchase it on CDJapan

chimera [TYPE B] (¥2,500)
01. Introduction
02. slip out
03. chimera
04. wither mind
05. Horizon
06. END
07. Big Bear Remix from gravitation

[DVD: Documentary]
01. girugamesh 2015 documentary

*Purchase it on CDJapan

chimera [European Edition] (¥2,500)
[DISC 1]
01. Introduction
02. slip out
03. chimera
04. wither mind
05. Horizon
06. END
07. Big Bear Remix from gravitation

01. Go ahead
02. gravitation
03. Not Found
04. reflection
05. Vortex

*Purchase it in-store (EU)
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