THE BLACK SWAN | VISULOG Interview, Pt. 1 (ENGLISH)
PART 1: The Band’s Formation
“I thought that, if I could, I wanted to make a band where I could express myself even more than in my previous band, so I began looking for members. ”
――When did your band form?
儿-JIN-：We formed the first of this month and officially began activity in June, so it’s been about four months since we started.
――Please tell us about how your band formed in more detail
儿-JIN-：After my previous band decided to disband, I thought that, if I could, I wanted to make a band where I could express myself even more than in my previous band, so I began looking for members. There wasn’t really anyone that fit, but then Rena, who was a junior at my previous company, came and told me that he wanted to be in a band together, and then from there we started branching out. Then when my previous band broke up, we started looking around Tokyo, and met a considerable amount of people up until now.
RENA：It really was a long time, huh? (Laughs)
儿-JIN-: First we decided on Len as our drummer. When we saw him doing sessions and lives, the way he drummed was really cool, and when we talked to him, he told us that his group was disbanding, and from there it was a smooth decision. It wasn’t exactly an act of fate or anything (laughs).
煉-LEN-：Nope, just a normal meeting and I just decided to do it (laughs).
RENA：Jin was like, ‘So, he a was a good drummerー！’ And me,‘Okay, okayyy, I got it!’ We kind of decided like that.
儿-JIN-:At that time, we had already decided on one guitarist, but we wanted to have twin guitars so we began looking for another. But, we were having a hard time deciding, and while we were looking around, the guitarist we had already decided on got invited to another band, and temporarily we were stuck almost being a blank sheet again. That was during the summer of last year, but since the beginning of this year we decided on two guitarists we liked.
――How did things turn out that way?
儿-JIN-：I was introduced to Makoto through a mutual acquaintance, but our plans didn’t really match up and it took a long time before we were able to get to the studio to get our sounds to fit.
RENA：I was also made aware of Makoto’s existence, but all I knew was that he was good-looking (laughs).
儿-JIN-：It’s not like I was choosing members just because they were hot or anything. I thought that it would be good someone who had cool stage presence, and when I met Makoto for the first time, I felt like he had a good aura because he had a good appearance and presence about him, so from that I wanted to be in a band with him. At that time, Makoto hadn’t even seen a picture of the band, and he was taking the stance of trying to do a live first before he decided anything, so he had only half made up his mind then. Itsuki was also introduced to me through an acquaintance, but my friend said, ‘It looks like he’s already made a commitment to another band, so it might not work out.”I was feeling like, “Are you serious right now…”when, without even consulting Rena, I went drinking at my kohai’s bar. I admit I got pretty drunk, but I found his blog and without even having met Itsuki or knowing his contact details, I sent him a message saying “I’d like to talk to you once if that’s okay.”
RENA：Looking at his pictures you can tell he’s a hottie (laughs). I guess that’s where we go from
儿-JIN-：Well, after I had done that, I got a reply back from him really quickly. I’ll let him explain the rest (laughs)
樹-ITSUKI-: When I opened the message, I noticed that ‘UNDERCODE_JIN’ was written in the address, and I was like, “This is Jin from NEGA!! Why is he writing me?” (laughs). At the time I had already decided on another band, but I was like, “I wanna try being in a band with Jin!” So I replied right away, and I guess that’s how it all happened (laughs)
――You didn’t know from the start that your mutual acquaintance was introducing you to Jin?
樹-ITSUKI-：I had no idea.
儿-JIN-：Seriously?! It’s my first time to hear this
――So when you got the message it was like, “Why is Jin from Nega messaging me?!” (laughs)
儿-JIN-：That’s surprising. I thought you knew.
――So, if you hadn’t sent him that message when you were drunk, you wouldn’t have what you do now.
儿-JIN-：There’s that, and there’s also the fact that my blog got deleted on January 6th, so if he had written back even one week later we wouldn’t be in a band together. (laughs). It was a really significant, fateful meeting. And then, when we were on our way back from the studio, he said, “I’ll do it!” For me it was only a temporary decision, so I was like, “Huh?!” (laughs)
RENA：When we met face-to-face for the first time, he was really nervous and jerked around a lot, so at first I thought “Wow, this guy is really serious.” But really he wasn’t serious at all (laughs)
樹-ITSUKI-：I was so nervous when we met face-to-face for the first time. I think everyone remembers it, but I couldn’t get anything down besides drinks.
RENA：When we asked him, “You don’t eat anything when you drink?” he was like, “I don’t….”
But now he eats normally (laughs)
儿-JIN-：Now I can say this because things are different now, but the first time we went to the studio, the way he played guitar wasn’t very cool …. ….. (laughs)
樹-ITSUKI-：You pretty much said the way I held my guitar was “fundamentally unsophisticated” (laughs).
儿-JIN-：But since I had invited him, and because he had said “I’ll do it!”, it seemed like, “Well, if he has that much motivation, may as well.” So with that feeling, we did a secret live jokingly named, “Session Band TBS ※ The Vocalist’s Final Decision.”Before, I didn’t like doing session bands, but it seemed like doing a session band would be kind of fun if we could do our own original, catchy songs. But, even during rehearsal the day before the show, Itsuki’s performance still wasn’t very good … … .
RENA：The two of us were talking about it like, “Uhm, is he gonna be okay as a member?” (laughs).
儿-JIN-: So, that day at the studio we talked to him. We told him in a way that was comparatively strict, “Tomorrow is the real deal, so you don’t have to be so conscious of every little detail, but do try to think of things a little more from a fundamental standpoint.”I think if it was any normal person, if they had been given such harsh criticism, they would have been really put down, or maybe even angry, one of the two. But he really handled it so maturely.
樹-ITSUKI-：After Jin told me, it was the day before the live, but right up until the day of the live itself I studied at home, watching videos on Youtube, and whenever I thought “Oh, this is good!” I was determined to try to imitate it, and spent the whole time doing stuff like that (laughs).
儿-JIN-：I had no idea he was practicing so much, so when were doing the show, and I caught a glance at him, I thought, “Huh? He’s getting cooler” (laughs). I’ve been doing bands for a long time, but I had never seen someone who changed so much in a single day.
樹-ITSUKI-: Well, I was like, this isn’t good. I was happy Jin invited me, but I was like, he doesn’t see what I’m capable of yet (laughs)
儿-JIN: For me, I had been blank for about a year, and had developed a strange confidence from somewhere, so I thought that so long as I had this blankness I could keep going. But if I tried to take the lid off, I thought “Huh? I can’t work as much as I thought, there’s no way I can do this.” But then, here was this guy who could improve so much in one day, so he really motivated me by trying so hard, and it made me as happy as if it had been myself who had done it. Actually, I think it’s safe to say that If Itsuki hadn’t joined, I don’t think Makoto would have agreed to, either.
――At that point, Makoto hadn’t joined yet, right?
誠-MAKOTO-：For the time being, I wanted to wait until we had done a live once, but I didn’t particularly want to join. I didn’t know what kind of staging everyone wanted, and I had my own set conditions regarding that ….. ….. . But, once we started recording, and I heard Itsuki play, I thought “Ah, this kid is good! If he agrees to join I want to, too!”
樹-ITSUKI-：This is the first time I’ve heard that (laughs)
誠-MAKOTO-: So when I heard him say, “I’m gonna join!” I was like, “oh, really” (laughs).