Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Interview with Bijo♂men Z


About Bijo♂men Z

VKEIOS: To begin, would you each introduce yourselves to our readers?

Yakkun: I'm the singer, Yakkun. Nice to meet you !

Natsuki: I'm Natsuki Kisaragi, on the guitar (・ω・っ)З POWPOW(・ω・っ)З

Toru ch: On the keys, Toru ch (Toru chan) the anime otaku ・x・b

Iori: And on the bass, Iori !

Yakkun: We are the Bijo♂men Z !

VKEIOS: Bijo♂men Z is a truly one of a kind band. In the three years that you have been around, what have been some of the high points?
Yakkun: Our live at the Shanghai Expo was memorable. The feeling when all of us stood on that stage in front of the world, was overwhelming. That is when we thought we'd like to our the whole world.

VKEIOS: How did you come up with the term "Unisex rock"?
Yakkun: We ourselves have already crossed the line between genders, and I believe that our music has crossed many borders, our performances also aim at reducing the gap between the artist and its public, so we thought I'd be better to invent a new genre to describe our music.

VKEIOS: There is actually a "story" behind Bijo♂men Z, what went into creating it?
Yakkun: Well, behind our style and story is a group effort of creation in making this setting.

VKEIOS: How do you decide what character you were going to become?
Yakkun: We talked together about the characters we'd like to create, included parts of our own personalities, and also included a kid friendly heroic image to the characters.

VKEIOS: Is there a real person that comes to mind when you think of the devil character, "Sakito"?
Yakkun: This character was created by virtually assembling parts of each of the members' faces.

He is the evil that dwells inside any person, Sakito is the personification of the evil side of all the members. And they fight him, to conquer evil and lead the good to victory.

VKEIOS: What about a real place for "Fantasia"?
Yakkun: Opinions differ a little among us, Middle Age Europe, Akihabara, or even a flying city like the ones in Hayao Miyazaki's movies. In the end, we each relate it to the place we love the most.

VKEIOS: Bijo♂men Z has a mascot, Baka "Sherry". What exactly is her job as mascot?
Yakkun: Actually, she is a powerful hound summoned by magic, but really she is just a pet dog that we love to have around us.

VKEIOS: With such extravagant costumes and background, how exciting are your live performances?
Yakkun: The keywords for our concerts would be : fun, energetic and positive. It's an ecstatic moment of dancing and singing where we break the wall between us and the public. Once you get in, you'll never want to leave !

VKEIOS: Have your costumes ever gotten in the way of playing?
Yakkun: More that our way of playing, sometimes with our bigger costumes, like the feathers on our backs, we end up hurting other members. Once, I got hit in the eye by one of the accessories Iori had set on, and cried a lot ! (laughs)

Anyway, we also try to take that into account in perfecting our costumes.



VKEIOS: On July 20th, you just released Bijo♂men Z's first album as a limited live distribution. Does the creation process for an album differ greatly from a single?
Yakkun: I think it broadens our repertory. We were able to express nuances that we couldn't before : having fun together, enjoy the moment, notions that helped strengthen the core image of what Bijo♂men Z is.

VKEIOS: Why the limited distribution?
Yakkun: We wanted to create this difference for the people who came to our concerts, talked to us, and bought our album, for them to have a more personalized experience than a regular release.

VKEIOS: What were your reasons for re-recording your older songs? Have they been updated?
Yakkun: We thought that our musical skills had evolved, gotten better, and that we could do a even better version of those songs. For any song, with every time we play, it evolves, and we wanted to give what we think is the highest quality, the best version of our songs.

VKEIOS: On September 4th, you'll be doing the full release of the album. As this is the first album, how are you feeling about the release?
Yakkun: We hope that we can deliver or sound to the biggest number of people possible.

VKEIOS: What are you most proud of about this album?
Yakkun: The fact that we made everything with our own hands, without any external help.

VKEIOS: Each version of the album has exclusive tracks - what goes into deciding and making these tracks?
Yakkun: We decide upon talking with all the members. For example for the national release version, we chose tracks that would represent us better for people who didn't know us yet, whereas for the live distributed version, the tracks were chosen for our loyal fans.

VKEIOS: Furthermore, what goes into deciding and making the member bonus tracks?
Yakkun: Every member is totally free, and any idea is welcome !

VKEIOS: YAKKUN and Natsuki, you two share a bonus track. Why is that?
Natsuki: Because I think Yakkun is the best singer there is !

VKEIOS: Is it much different making an individual bonus track versus one with another member?
Yakkun: One could say it is easier to make a song alone. However, even if there are more difficulties to tackle on together, there is so much more you can do with someone else ! The possibilities are endless.

VKEIOS: Earlier in the year, Win / SEXY NIGHT was released. Both songs on this single were theme songs. When making a theme song are you given a preview of the movie or show?
Yakkun: Yes we get to check the content beforehand. Also “Here we go” got picked as theme for a show on TVK (Television Kanagawa).


VKEIOS: In September you’ll be performing at TOKYO CRAZY KAWAII PARIS, what are the things you’re looking forward to most in your trip?
Yakkun: We want the french people, fans of japanese sub culture or not, to enjoy our show and discover unisex rock. It's been 3 years since our concert in Shanghai, so we're anxious to see how we have evolved in the meantime.

VKEIOS: Are there any places where you'd like to play, but just haven't had the opportunity to yet?
Yakkun: Everywhere ! We want to do a full world tour !

Toru ch : I especially want to play and be successful in my motherland, Taiwan.

VKEIOS: What can fans expect from Bijo♂men Z in the future in regards to music?
Yakkun: When Unisex Rock will be all over the place, you guys can brag and say “I was there for the beginning”. And you can count on us to give all our energy in spreading the world of Bijo♂men Z, whether in terms of music, but also games, smartphone applications, accessories, etc...

VKEIOS: Is there anything, musically, that each of you would like to do more of in future?
Yakkun: We'd like to try things we have never done, instruments we have never played yet. And even if we get to play in bigger and bigger halls, all around the world, we'd also like to keep on playing in smaller venues, where we're eye to eye with the public and we can feel closer to our fans.

VKEIOS: Any closing statements for the readers at Visual KEIOS?
Yakkun : Bijo♂men Z is a fun band made of 4 people who love to play together. We really do our best to change the world everyday, and we're really looking forward to seeing everyone for our concerts in France ! See you there !

Natsuki: Hey everyone ! I love you !

Iori: Even if you're not into cosplay, I'm sure you're gonna love us. Wait for us, we're coming !!!

Toru ch: The key-wound on my back, it's not just for show, it moves !!!

Bijo♂men Z Official Homepage


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This interview with Bijo♂men Z was written by Michelle Gaynor. Contributions and editing by Alicia R. Thomas. Many thanks to Bijo♂men Z, their management, and Tokyo Crazy Kawaii Paris for making this interview possible!

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