Hizumi's personal interview for SHOXX June 2006 vol. 160
Becoming honest and from there my bare self...
Changing the viewpoint and contemplating the subject again, that is when a new discovery is made. After a release of their new single [Kogoeru yoru ni saita hana], D’espairsRay are in the middle of [PIGheaded] tour. This time we feature a solo interview and a special photoshoot of their frontman Hizumi. “Looking at a city below from the top of a skyscraper”, what he talks about is his “change”.
Q: It was your wish to do a photoshoot standing at the top of a skyscraper in Shinjuku and looking at the city below. It seems there was a reason for suggesting such an idea?
H: Certainly, I wanted to take photos in a place from where the center of a metropolis can be seen. No, rather than talking about looking over the city, it’s probably better to say looking down on it (laughs).
Q: Could it be because it is connected to the lyrics of [MAZE] (a coupling song on the new single [Kogoeru yoru ni saita hana])?
Q: During an interview for the previous issue you said that those lyrics came to your mind when you saw the streets of Tokyo from the plane.
H: But look, it’d be impossible to get on the plane just for the photoshoot so that’s why I thought of this.
Q: Except for people who live up in the hills or in the skyscraper apartment buildings that became a fashion lately, we don’t normally have many opportunities to look over the city like this.
H: The scenery is amazing here today, we can see sakura in the gardens of Shinjuku too. I think it’d be nice to live in such a place (laughs).
Q: I agree.
H: But it was also very new to see the streets from the plane. Until then I had never seen Tokyo like that, it looked like such a labyrinth. American cities are basically all planned, they don’t feel so jumbled like Tokyo. That’s something I felt every time we went over there.
Q: One understands a lot of things when going to the outside world for the first time?
H: Regarding [MAZE] and other lyrics I’m writing right now, I think it is probably something that pretty much could not be created before. Going abroad, having new experiences, facing many different things for the first time, I probably came to think more deeply about everything. For example, I feel that I changed a lot in comparison with how I was even a year ago. I myself think it’s mysterious, why have I changed so much?
Q: When you saw that scenery was there also a thought from before: “Actually I wanted to change”?
H: It was probably somewhere there, but it was not something I strongly wished for. However, it’s true that there were a lot of changes I ran into at full force.
Q: When was the time that you came to feel the change?
H: At the end of the last year or maybe at the beginning of this one.
Q: That’s really recent.
H: Well, I thought so. Around the time everybody was saying “Happy New Year” I became able to show more of my changed self. If I remember correctly, weren’t we able to broaden our music when we wrote [Coll]? But it was not only the musical aspect, isn’t there more things we can do now?
Q: What kind of things specifically?
H: It’s like we broadened our horizon. Until now if an idea occurred to us, we would always hesitate thinking “Somehow it does not suit us, does it?” But now we've changed so that when we think of something and we think it’s good, we go ahead and try it.
Q: So as D’espairsRay that proceeded carefully at everything, you have reformed?
H: I think we have always been too careful until now (bitter laugh). As a band we feared doing something new, something we were not used to doing. But now all band members are beginning to express their opinions, and when it comes to those opinions there is an atmosphere of “let’s try it right away”, it’s easy somehow. This kind of flexibility is certainly something we learned because we were in contact with the western bands.
Q: I see. So that’s how it was.
H: It’s not about everybody there, but the guys in the bands there are really flexible like that, and large-hearted. Seeing that we thought “ah, unexpectedly this kind of an easy-going attitude is good too” (laughs).
Q: You became aware of your change at the beginning of the year. It was then that you changed you hair color to blond, it had always been dark before, right?
H: Everybody I met then said the same thing (laughs).
Q: Simply because it is about the appearance, so maybe it’s taking even the most trivial thing to the extreme, but isn’t this kind of outward change in synch with the changes in your feelings too?
H: Yeah. It was the time when I thought a lot of things were changing, and if it was already happening I thought I wanted to change all at once, so I tried it. Well, isn’t this kind of change easy to understand?
Q: How should I say it… your way of thinking changed and following that your outward appearance and countenance changed too during the past year.
H: Is that… so?
Q: Though it is possible to get the impression that you had a plastic surgery because of your bold make-up, I really think your countenance changed.
H: Is that so? It’s something I don’t see myself.
Q: I have an impression that there is gentleness and manliness in your facial expressions. I feel that the ratio those two are mixed changes depending on the situation.
H: (embarrassed laugh).
Q: By the way, as a person who writes lyrics, you showed a deeply meaningful change recently. Just like you said a little earlier, “I came to think more deeply about things”, for example, like [PIG] that came out having such different lyrics from everything else before.
H: I think that if, for example, [PIG] was written at the same time as [MaVERiCK], it would be the case of me vs. other people from the beginning to the end. But it came out having a third person point of view of myself mixed in as well.
Q: When you saw yourself from the objective point of view and there was a room for something new born, what was it?
H: Something like “See me as I am!” (laughs).
Q: Oh! That’s hot.
H: It is probably what I’m looking for in mania. Being honest is difficult, but that’s why I want to be more frank. The self-control, always keeping things inside oneself is not good after all.
Q: It’s the words filled with the feelings.
H: I understand it very well, because more than anything else that’s the way I was myself. I understand the bitterness of hiding inside oneself, I also feared strangers. But because I wanted to understand others instead of being scared of them, I had come to realize that it’s important to open my heart first.
Q: You managed to conquer your shyness?
H: It was not so much shyness, rather that before I didn’t have a desire to let others know me (bitter laugh).
Q: Oh dear. That’s an interesting story how a person like you who had a very weak desire to be known, aimed to become a vocalist. I feel it’s basically usual for people who crave the limelight to become frontmen.
H: From the time when I was little I was the type to shut a door of my heart with a bang like “Don’t come further than that!”
Q: It’s amazing that you’ve changed so much and come to think so positively now.
H: The same can be said about all band members. In the past I think we all tended to shut ourselves away, but lately we began to talk about different things among us.
Q: Only now after so many years since you formed the band?! But at the same time that kind of awkwardness is very D’espairsRay-like, isn’t it? (laughs)
H: Even though you say “only now”, it is only now. We are all awkward guys. But I think it’s true that we can build a much better relationship now. Another thing is that during the American tour I did the reverse bangee for the first time. It’s something that I would have never done in the past. That’s another thing that changed about me during the time – fear has disappeared (laughs).
Q: So what was you impression of the reverse bangee?
H: Unexpectedly it was fun. I was invited by the guys from the bands we played with and I thought that it couldn’t be helped, I really didn’t want to look weak, but I expected it to be painful. The night view of the sky was so beautiful too.
Q: The thing is you are doing a photoshoot feature in an elevated spot right now (laughs).
H: Ah, that’s true. When I see this scene, I want it. I want to say “This city is mine!” (laughs).
credit: notafanboy for this translation.