Friday, May 4, 2012

Interview with Kairu


- Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. To begin, when did you start getting interested in music?

Hello and thank you as well. My grandfather is a professional drummer who played in many
different countries so growing up seeing him perform and learning how to do basic drum beats
was what laid the foundation.

- What is your musical background - Did you ever receive any formal training, or are you self-taught?

Initially I was taught the basics of music theory by a genius multi-instrumentalist named Joe Onzo
who moved in next door to me right when I wanted to learn guitar, so it was a kind of fate I think.
After a year of lessons from him I began teaching myself from where we left off and
started learning how to use recording programs as well.

- Your list of influences include X Japan, D, Vidoll, Malice Mizer and many other talented individuals – But is there one in whose influence you more than the rest?

X-Japan! When I was around 12 years old I saw X-Japan's DAHLIA TOUR FINAL '96 live DVD for the first time, as soon as Rusty Nail began shivers went down my spine. Watching Hide play guitar so amazingly and nonchalantly I was in awe and knew what I wanted to do with my life instantly.

- Outside of the Visual Kei scene, tell us some of the other artists who have inspired you?

Trent Reznor(NIN) and Prince were big influences on me as they are both people who make
all their music on their own. There are many California bands I love like AFI and Tiger Army,
seeing them live multiple times taught me the power of proper showmanship.
Maybe this might surprise people but I am a big KT Tunstall fan! I have 3 versions of her first major album even, She is so cool!

- Your first mini-album "Obscene American Magazine" releases May 23rd, what inspired this album and its unique title?

Since I was young I've asked myself "What does it mean to be American?"
I feel like America and humanity as a whole has walked down the wrong road,
we have so much technology but instead of these tools working for us it seems
we are working for them. I see so many kids lost
and confused at what it is to truly be human in this 24/7 mass media society filled
with so many harmful messages and standards, so it is
also a question of "What does it mean to be human in this age?" that arises.
Something like Alvin Toffler's Future Shock I guess you could say.

- You produce your music entirely by yourself, which must be very time consuming – what are the advantages and disadvantages of handling the entire process on your own?

It is nice because understanding how each instrument interacts I can make songs relatively quickly, fine tuning everything and editing it all is the time consuming part. The disadvantages
and advantages are two sides of the same coin, though it is enjoyable to have free reign to
create things as I see them in my mind I believe that when different minds come together
something beyond just one man can be created. Like Lennon & McCartney!

- If you had to pick a favorite out of your songs, which would it be and why?

It would be really hard to choose one... From the new mini-album my favorite
is "LETTER TO EDITOR". The first single from 2010 "AGARTHA" has a special place
in my heart though, my new favorite film is the 2011 anime "Hoshi o ou Kodomo" it is about

- Let’s talk about your first band, [mid:night] - how did this band form?

The drummer and I formed the band with our friends in Jr.high,
we started playing live during our first year of high school
and would throw out 99cent store lingerie and candy to the crowds.

- What sort of music did you play with [mid:night] - was it also a Visual kei inspired band?

Mhmm, We were always talking about bands like Due le Quartz, Kagrra, and Nightmare.
We covered many different genres over the years.

- In addition to your solo work, presently you do synth & programming for “XII XXI” – can you tell us more about this?

It is a side project I did with my amazing friend Melissa (, I've made more songs for this so it may start up again someday.

- “XII XXI” translates to “12 21” if you’re using roman numerals – is there a special meaning behind this name?

It is a magical day on which magical things happen!

- Comparing your solo work to what you’ve done in the past with [mid:night], THE 27 CLUB and Schwarze Sonne, how has your music changed over the years – has there been any difference?

When you are a child you draw a picture and you are so proud of it though it just scribbles,
I am still learning how to draw in this sense. I was support bass for THE 27 CLUB at some of their gigs only.

- It seems as though you perform exclusively in California? Can fans look forward to seeing you perform outside of California soon?

I am working on this and cannot wait to visit many places, please wait for me and bring pistachios to the merch table!

- As a Western Visual Kei musician, your goal is “bringing together the modern sounds and styles of the east with the west.” Can you elaborate on this mission?

The musicians of Japan were influenced by artist like KISS, David Bowie, and Queen growing up
and combined this influence with the influence of their own culture's music. Now it's gone full circle and lots of musicians in the West have grown up listening to bands like X & Luna Sea.
You can call it Visual Rock, or a new incarnation of Glam Rock, Whatever is fine.

- What do you think is the key to making this happen? Tell us about the efforts you have made towards goal?

It has already begun! There are many great bands out there making amazing music,
recently I have been hooked on Jenlayn's "Alice" single and often have Nana:[shi]'s "Violet"
stuck in my head. The group Visual Unite started by Seike of Seremedy has been a great
tool for the bands to connect. All the great work people are doing inspires me alot.
At all of my upcoming lives there will be small photo ads listing many of the bands URLs,
these will also be included in the photo sets that are coming along with the new CD at lives.

- In your bio you’ve stated "the ancient world and its many secrets" – can you tell us what you mean by this?

Humanity is just so beautiful. Pre-history that shows up in shared truths between peoples
so far apart can surely can inspire us all.

- If you weren’t a musician, what career would you have chosen?

hmm, I would have probably lived in the mountains and became a wizard.

- What is your favorite part of being a musician?

Playing guitar and singing to my cat and the tree by my small house.

- What does music mean to you?

It is the most beautiful language.

- Where can fans go to purchase your music?

OBSCENE AMERICAN MAGAZINE is my first worldwide release,
so you can go to your local CD seller and order it.
and the websites for such stores will carry it also.

- Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

Thank you for reading,
I hope you could enjoy and to meet you at a live someday!



Learn more about Kairu - check him out on Myspace and Facebook

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This interview was conducted by Kaitlin Maginnis (Rain)


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