Interview by David Cirone
June 12, 2011
exist†trace members Jyou, miko, Omi, Naoto, and Mally gave this interview on April 25, 2011, just 2 days after their debut American live show at Sakura-Con 2011.
Over 3000 fans attended your first one-man show here in America. How did it feel?
Jyou: I was so shocked. I’m still shocked.
Mally: I really can’t believe it.
Jyou: It’s not just that there were a lot of people, it’s that we were so afraid that no one knew us here.
During your Sakura-Con live show, you performed the title track from your upcoming EP “TRUE”. Fans are familiar with your other songs from music videos and your previous releases, but this was a song that no one in the audience had ever heard before. Was it a risky choice to include it?
Jyou: Our major-label debut CD “TRUE” is coming out soon, and we wanted to give our fans a glimpse of the future of exist†trace, not just the past. The other day we just finished shooting the PV for this song in Japan.
Speaking of PVs, your music videos have been very successful in building your international audience. How important are music videos to the band?
miko: With videos we’re able to express ourselves through a visual format. Our songs all start just as audible experiences, so the videos bring a new dimension. For our overseas fans who can’t see us regularly in Japan, it’s the best way for them to get to know us.
You’ve talked about wanting to do more shows in America. Why is America an important audience for you?
Jyou: From the beginning, it was always our dream to go to America. Miko especially really loves America!
Mally: Because we’d already been to Europe twice, one of our dreams had been realized. So it’s natural for us think about the next dream. And here we are.
Naoto: Simply stated, 10 songs wasn’t enough. As soon as the last song finished, we all knew we wanted to do more.
Why do you choose to become a visual kei band?
Jyou: When we started, there were no female visual kei groups. We didn’t think there was any reason there shouldn’t be one.
Naoto: Growing up, I was really affected by visual kei style. This style allows us to express ourselves. It didn’t seem wrong that there could be a group of all girls, so why shouldn’t we be the ones?
Does visual kei allow you to create a new persona? Does this give you more freedom?
Mally: I agree, I can express myself more freely. I have a lot of complex feelings inside, but I can express myself this way. I think my true personality can come through, and it makes me feel really strong.
Omi: I can become the person I want to be. Within this style of performing, I’m doing what I want to do, and it’s got nothing to do with being male or female. It’s really fun. I love doing it.