Interview by Michelle Minikhiem
The band is called DECAYS. What’s the reason you chose this name?
DIE: Its a really, really stupid and trivial reason, so I’ll never say.
Since the release of your first single “secret mode”, the sound of DECAYS has changed a lot. What’s your inspiration?
DIE (vocals/guitar): Whenever I picture something in my mind or there’s something inside my head that I want to visualize, it gradually becomes a story. I often try to make music that matches that story. The three songs on our most recent single are all based on imagery drawn from Chidoni’s (keyboards, turntables) lyrics urging one to do something.
You perform both guitar and vocals in DECAYS. Why did you start doing double-duty?
Does it make it harder for you to perform?
DIE: I started doing vocals for real in DECAYS, but when we formed the band that was absolutely not something I planned on doing. It’s hard to keep the rhythm of the song and the rhythm of my guitar while singing at the same time.
The member lineup has changed a lot. Is the goal of DECAYS to collaborate with lots of different artists?
DIE: We don’t know yet. (laugh) We’re probably going to go on collaborating with people so maybe it’ll all firm up completely later. Producing artists with DECAYS seems really interesting, too.
How are DECAYS members chosen?
DIE: The image of the songs and the image for tours is always the main consideration. A producer I know and the record company also sometimes go, “How about this person?” and introduce me to people that way.
It could be said that the mood of songs is changed by the singing voices of artists such as Nakamura Ataru. What’s your experience of making music and working with each vocalist been like?
DIE: Kobayashi Yusuke, Nakamura Ataru, they both have careers and are different individually, so by singing with them I was influenced by them. I got a lot out of it.
What are your plans for the current member lineup? Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to in regards to that?
DIE: Moving forward, the members are all people that I’ve personally networked with for a long time. I know both aie and Takuma’s personalities and play styles, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how they can stimulate DECAYS.
You could probably say that the visual style of DECAYS is gothic or steampunk-esque, but you could also say that the music is up-tempo and dance. What’s the reason behind this contrast between musical style and image?
DIE: In terms of musicianship, dance and blues and pop have been the foundation of DECAYS from the beginning. The visual style changes based on who is in the band at the time, so I expect that it will probably keep changing as we go.
LIVE TOUR 2017 “Who gives birth to the Cero Cielo?”
OSAKA BRONZE, December 16th, 2017
Live report by Michelle Minikhiem
The DECAYS show at Osaka Bronze was the first on the brief three-stop tour celebrating frontman DIE’s birthday and promoting a string of three digital singles released in November. It was a cozy, intimate event limited to subscribers of DIE’s mobile site. Only a couple hundred people were squished into the tiny live house on one of the busiest streets in lively Amemura.
Highlights included Die’s impressive seven-mile stare as he took center stage as the sole main vocal for the band for the first time. Not at all shy about the constantly changing member lineup, DIE made light of it by jokingly commenting that, “Kobayashi Yusuke (The Novembers) and Nakamura Ataru ran away, but with the power of these guys beside me (new members aie and Takuma), we can do this!”
Die has a coy way of singing, with one shoulder tucked near the mic while the other is angled away toward the back of the stage. His vocals were shaky at first – something he explained away as sheer nerves, having found the close proximity of the audience intimidating enough that it was hard for him to remember the lyrics to the songs.
His vocals smoothed out after the first few songs, leading into a fun show full of upbeat tunes and dramatic hairflips from DIE himself. Somebody tell me who his hairdresser is, because he looks sickening.
Once DIE relaxed he was able to showcase some of what he’s best at -– classic rock guitar solos — especially impressive during the lovely song “beautiful”. He’s actually quite good at coaching his voice into haunting tones – “Red tide” featured this best.
DIE spoke to the audience at length at the end of the show. This included a fun story about how Takuma was a roadie for DIE’s other band, DIR EN GREY, for a few years, and how Kyo, the vocalist for DIR EN GREY, liked to give Takuma a hard time back then. The thing that keyed up the fans the most, however, was how DIE swore that he wanted to do a lot more shows with DECAYS in the following year.
With the air charged with anticipation of what 2018 would bring, DIE reluctantly left the stage with the rest of the band members, waving enthusiastically at the fans from the second floor greenroom.
02. Secret mode
03. Imprisonment Leaving
04. Where are you going？
05. NOVA SPIRAL
06. Kirei na yubi
08. Aesthetics of the transgression
09. Same sort hatred
10. Red tide
11. Desire stone
12. Masked Ball
13. Ai to ai wo nokosazu…
15. RANA～from Future Boy～
E1. Shake Hip Doll
E2. HELLO！NEW I
E3. Zero Paradise