Interview by Michelle Minikhiem
March 17, 2019
Your album released in February is titled Kowareta Piano to Living Dead (“The Broken Piano and the Living Dead”). You listened to 140 demos that you created a long time ago and chose 9 of them to make this album. That sounds like a really difficult task. How did you choose the songs?
Miya (guitar): We listened to them all.
What’s the meaning of the album’s title? Where did it come from?
Miya: I dug up an old-timey sound from the grave and then made this album with it.
Of all the songs on the new album, which do you like the best?
Tatsuro (vocal): I’m into “Living Dead”.
Miya: All of them!
YUKKE (bass): “Psycho”. It has this incredible power to make an atmosphere of horror when it’s played as the first song of the night, and that makes it really fun to perform.
SATOchi (drums): “Living Dead”, because I can play the drums for this while my emotions pour out!
At the Osaka show, the performance of “Sekisou” was particularly moving. Tatsuro, can you tell us about this song? What was the meaning of the candle?
Tatsuro: I wanted to sing a song about the regret everybody must carry around with them. I wanted to make a song in the style of film scores, and I wanted the performance to evoke that, too, so I used a candle to convey that image.
During “Jiko Keno”, Miya pretended to kill Yoshida. It was surprising and interesting. Miya, did you decide “Let’s do this!” in the moment?
Miya: It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
Recently, MUCC released some singles on cassette tape, and you also produced a cassette player to go with them. What’s the meaning behind these nostalgic things?
Miya: It’s because I feel drawn to outdated things in this age of digital convenience.
MUCC’s sound is very unique — you incorporate rock, metal, dubstep, rap and jazz into your music. “IN THE SHADOWS” is a good example of this. What is the inspiration behind mixing all these genres together?
Miya: To show respect to these various genres.
This year MUCC celebrated their 22nd anniversary. Congratulations. What is your inspiration to continue to move forward?
Miya: Always seeking for something new to discover.
I think MUCC has been reflecting on the MUCC of the past. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would want to do over?
MUCC TOUR 2019 “Kowareta Piano to Living Dead”
Zepp Osaka Bayside
Live Report – February 17th, 2019
MUCC’s dedication to the creepy, 1930s aesthetic of their newest concept album Kowareta Piano to Living Dead was evident in the red velvet curtains and elaborate illustrated backdrop – the same illustration as featured on the album’s jacket. A baby grand piano sat center stage, though this one was clearly not broken like the one described in the album title. This piano was being played by guest support member Tooru Yoshida, who lent his talents to enhance the turn-of-the-century sound and atmosphere. Miya’s DJ setup and SATOchi’s drum kit were draped in red velvet as well.
Kowareta Piano to Living Dead is a solid entry into MUCC’s already stellar discography, and though fairly brief at just 9 tracks, every song is so well-executed and such a banger that you still feel satisfied by the end. A plus of the short tracklist is that MUCC was able to perform every one of the songs during their Osaka show.
“Psycho” is a great hard-rock tune that features Tatsuro’s signature harmonica skills. “Iris” is a slow burn, meandering and chaotic, a fresh and wild song that Tatsuro really got into as he and the other members headbanged their hearts out.
During “Jiko Keno”, a single released last summer, Miya appeared to go into a frenzy. He went behind Yoshida and pretended to violently murder him, then slammed his hands and arms onto the piano before Yoshida seemed to come back to life, rising up from the floor to resume his place at the keys. It was an unexpectedly theatrical treat.
“Vampire” had Tatsuro’s charisma cranked to maximum as he abandoned his top hat atop his mic stand so he could freely and expressively gesticulate, and he spiced things up with some wide-stanced hip-grinding against his mic stand near the song’s end. “In The Shadows” is clearly an old-school MUCC song calling back to their hard rock roots when the demo was likely made. It’s a rap-rock song echoing in a haunted house, and it broke the tense atmosphere the impressive ballad “Requiem” left in its wake.
Tatsuro lifted a candle with a burning flame into a lantern before launching into the breathtaking “sekisou”. It was an absolutely arresting performance of the ballad, and a true example of how MUCC has elevated their craft and evolved into a force to be reckoned with. All eyes were on him up until the very end when he blew the candle out.
The highlight of the night was “Living Dead”, no question. If you could serve a ballad to a metal head as a delicious dessert, this is what it would sound like. The light design was fantastic, really setting the mood and locking down the night’s cinematic feeling.
If you happen to have the opportunity to check out the band’s upcoming shows on March 31st and April 1st, do it — even if you have to be the living dead to make it there.
06. zetsubou rakuen
08. Jiko Keno
12. In The Shadows
14. yuri to tsubasa
19. Living Dead
EN2. Mr. Liar
EN4. sei to shi to kimi