Sunday, November 1, 2009

Interview - Risknote November 2009

The horror nursery rhyme in which black roosters chant their magic
Let's open the door to the strange world where we can see such a scene
Interview by Ayako Tokita
Translated by Chiva

―Gallo started their activities only in the beginning of this year, right?
Jojo Right, right, right. This year in May.
Andy From a small meeting.
Kaede We were already playing in a session band at the end of January though.
Jojo Andy, Lulu, and I were previously in the same band, so it was more like we were searching for new members while doing sessions and many other things. And I've known Kaede for a long time, so at one unexpected meeting, when I asked him: "Kaede, won't you play drums?" he said, "Okay." (laugh)
Kaede By chance, when I was doing support for a band called Watashime Slug, I also played at some of the same lives as everyone else. We met up every month for one thing or another and in December I called Jojo.
Jojo I was kidnapped. (laugh)
Kaede I said "Let's do a little something!" And then he was like: "Okay then, please join THE GALLO." (laugh)

―Did you play with each other's previous bands?
Jojo That's right. There was that as well...

―According to some sources, Kaede is Jojo's senpai.
Jojo Hahahaha!!
Kaede To put it frankly, he was a member of a band my roadie was in. (laugh)
Jojo Well, I think that the fans also probably know that Kaede is older than us...
Kaede Is it because I'm doing something differently? (laugh)
Jojo I guess they probably know because of the atmosphere, but we haven't made any official announcement. (laugh)
Kaede That might be it, since I'm in a band with those old men [test-No.]

―Well then, you have that big brother image in THE GALLO?
Jojo Hmmm
Kaede ... I'm hearing this for the first time. (bitter laugh)
Jojo More like Kaede bro.*
Kaede That's only you who says that! Everyone thinks that you are a bro here!
Jojo No way! Every time something comes up, it's like "It was Kaede bro!"
Kaede You turn me into a bad guy!
Jojo But somehow it's because you're the busiest. But since there is only Kaede for us, if it's not him, we don't like it.
* aniki - originally yakuza terminology; meaning someone older and more experienced, literally older brother

―In other words, Kaede is the busiest, but you want to be in [the band] with him.
Jojo But I was really happy. I think I can stand on the stage only because everyone is there.

―It seems like you three [Jojo, Andy, Lulu] have always been in bands together though.
Jojo  That's right, from the time when we were kids. It wasn't that we were together, we knew each other's faces. I've known Lulu since kindergarten. (laugh)

Jojo And Andy since primary school.

―I wonder what it feels like to grow up and be in a band together with people one has known since they were children.
Jojo Our love for home is strong. (laugh)

―In this case it is understanding each other, thus doing a band together, right? THE GALLO created a great individual worldview, but has it always [even before] been such a harsh worldview?
Jojo It's because I like harsh. (laugh)

―You don't do sparkly nor even a little happy.
Jojo Exactly.
Kaede It's not happy, hmmm.
Jojo I think that whatever we do, it probably ends up being that way. Even if we did the sparkly... it would become-how should I put it?-a little weird. If it's in this business, we want to be a little heretic.

―What is the meaning of the word THE GALLO?
Jojo We write the name of the band in katakana, but transcribe it as GALLO in romaji; it's the Italian word for a 'rooster'. It has this"Eh, why a rooster?!" feeling, but Gallo just had a good sound. We even have a song called "Black Roosters". There is a grimoire called Black Pullet [hen] too...

―A grimoire?
Jojo It really seems there is. By chanting the incantation "Elloim Essaim Elloim Essaim" written in this grimoire, apparently you can invoke an evil spirit. It makes a hen lay eggs. So, isn't "Black roosters" cool? That's why we've been calling ourselves "a flock of black roosters". It's that kind of a strange concept...

―You started your activities in May, released a CD right afterwards and then released another one in September. You produce ... a lot. (laugh)
Kaede It certainly feels that way. (laugh)
Jojo Even though we are roosters. (laugh)

―The title of the 1st single is...which one?
Jojo It's "Mudai."*
Kaede Because the title of the first song is "Mudai."
*actually means "untitled"

―Contradicting yourself in such place already!
Jojo Haha! Right! (laugh) But it also means something; what we do is... our works have continuation. Without regard to the previous bands or the present one, I think it would be good if THE GALLO was able to express itself.

―Meaning it doesn't matter where [in what band] Jojo composes his music, it's still Jojo's world?
Jojo I am Jojo.

―The name of the 2nd single is "Maou".
Kaede It's a ...bit old-fashioned. Our choice of words.
Jojo Right.
Kaede Moreover, all the songs are called "Maou". (laughs)
Jojo I talked to Andy and we were like "It would be interesting if it was a trilogy, wouldn't it?" That kind of a thing.
*Maou = "The Devil"

―Then these songs are Andy's contribution?
Andy Well... nah, Jojo's?
Jojo It happened while the two of us talked, right? If by some chance it becomes a tetralogy, that would be Andy's contribution.

―So it's something like, there is "Maou" as a theme and inside this theme there are more minute scenes?
Andy For the time being, yeah, there are subtitles [for every song].

―What is the whole image then?
Jojo The whole image...hmm. "Anti-war" or something like that.

―Isn't it a pretty peaceful theme?
Jojo It is! But written in a difficult way... (laugh)
Kaede It's not that our own thoughts become the lyrics. It's certain people in the whirlpool of the settings. Or a certain place. That's why perhaps it's not Jojo's point of view.

―So there is something like a fictional protagonist in the songs?
Jojo That's right. I guess if you try thinking about it as of one volume of a book, it's easier. First "Mudai" would be a book called "Foreign Brothel". And when you open its door, there is a different world. So for example if you opened the door to your room, it could have been a boutique before, overseas afterwards, something like that.

―Is there a story like that in reality?
Jojo It's my creation. It's not like I decide one theme. It's tied together with various worlds.

―Like a door that takes you anywhere?
Jojo Well, yeah. (laugh) To put it simply, "The dora to anywhere"* ... I said Dora. (bitter laugh)
Andy No good, no good! (laugh)
Jojo I ended up saying a friend's name. (bright smile)
Andy Advertising him. (laugh)
Jojo Hahahahaha!
*どこでもドラ - dokodemodora, Jojo's tongue slips and instead of dokodemodoa - the door to anywhere says a name of his friend Dokodemo Dora - now Dora is in the band Blood (previously in Hibi subete wo nomikomu fukamoka)

―So to say it simply, it's similar to the door to anywhere in Doraemon.*
Jojo Yeah, that's right.
Kaede THE GALLO is the building and the songs are the individual rooms.
*Japanese anime

―And when you open the door to a room, you don't know where it leads.
Kaede So, maybe the lyrics in "Mudai" are the beginning of it all.
Jojo Exactly.
Andy That's why "Mudai" is the entrance. (laugh)
Jojo Clever!

―So for a listener it's like entering THE GALLO?
Jojo That's right.

―It seems like "THE HOUSE" in a horror movie.
Kaede Aaah, I know what you mean!

―The house itself is an apparition, so it can happen that for example a piano ends up eating a person.
Jojo I haven't seen that. Well, I'm being asked whether I watch movies or read books, but I'm the type that doesn't watch at all. I don't watch/read anything except "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure".* (laugh) That or at most "Vagabond" that Andy borrowed.
Kaede I will lend you "Super Radical Gag Family"*! (laugh)
Jojo I haven't decided much about the lyrics yet. If I'd decided, it would have ended up being bound by it.
Kaede For example, even if we didn't make that harsh of a song, if put inside that house called THE GALLO, it could be heard as such.
* both titles are manga

―The subtitles for "Maou" are "Taidou" ["Fetal Movement"], "Kakusei" ["Awakening"], "Maisou" ["Burial"]. It ends up as a life completion.
Kaede Even so, there is a talk of maybe making a second volume! (laugh)

―Will you really continue?
Jojo Andy has the compositions!
Andy For a 4th "Maou".

―So it's a certain direction, right?
Andy The direction, yeah. (laugh)
Kaede Oh, but we might change the title!
Jojo No, no, no! I want to try making at least five songs for "Maou"!
Kaede Five...!?
Jojo I have ideas for the subtitles inside me!
Kaede Like "Revival"? (laugh)
Andy That'd be too easy. *bitter laughter*
Jojo But I've been thinking.

―December 21st is the planned day for the release of the new mini-album.
Jojo That's right! The songs that will be included are...still in a raw form.
Andy But which songs are going to be used.... we've decided to that extent.

―Even if only a little bit, can you tell us about the content?
Jojo What about "Songs of love that Jojo writes".

―Love!? What have you written about until now?
Jojo There were none [about love]. There were none, but these are quite good. Everyone will be surprised probably!

―Now everyone's burst out laughing. (laugh)
Andy Weee~ll (laughs)
Kaede I just thought this was a very veteran-like...speech. (laugh)
Jojo Now everyone is acting dumbfounded, but they don't understand my talent! I think when I die they will all say: "Ah, that guy was so awesome."
Kaede Nah, I understand!
Jojo Kaede understands!

―But aren't Andy and Lulu the ones who have always been watching Jojo?
Jojo They both understand, but they don't dare to say...?

―So exactly because these two really know you and at the same time are in a band with you, they feel rather sceptical about "Songs of love that Jojo writes"?
Andy Tha~t's right. (laugh)
Jojo Like "Eh, you!?" (laugh)
Andy On the contrary, it's because we know him, we go like "Eh?" (laugh)
Jojo No, no, no! I want to understand love~ Though, I've been turning in the spiral.
Kaede It's more like whether or not you can call it "love". (laugh)
Jojo But I think there are many kinds of love. Not only love stories like they make on TV. Many kinds of love at different times.

―So many meanings. I am really looking forward to this; what it will be like.
Jojo Please, do look forward to this! (laugh)

―It seems that you've only sold all the CDs you've released until now at the venues where you performed, but what about putting this third mini album out in music stores?
Jojo We're thinking about that direction. But putting it out into stores... I think it may happen only after the event on the December 21st.

―It was decided that the event for the release of the new record will take place at Takadanobaba Area; is this Andy and Lulu's birthday event?
Jojo Right! When is Lulu's birthday?
Lulu December 20th.
Jojo Andy's?
Andy It's December 18th.
Jojo At first we thought of doing 2DAYS - 18th and 19th or 19th and 20th, but our discussions resulted in combining them. We are sorry. They'll be held together as a Christmas present and New Year. (laugh)

―But putting it all together into one will make it very exciting!
Jojo We are still thinking a little about what to do, but we're considering calling a magician to do some magic or something. (laugh) I have a friend who's a professional magician, he is really great. My proposal to him is shaken though... By things like "Where in Area will I do it?" I'm still worried about that. (laugh)
Kaede If he can't come, wouldn't it be good if he taught you and you did it?
Jojo Right, that could work too. (laugh)

―The day's special feature "THE GALLO The Limited" is?
Jojo It's a DVD.

―And it seems like at first until now you were selling "THE GALLO The Boot" one, two, three, four...
Jojo  The people who bought all those four DVDs were given a "rooster mark"; then if they all bring it on 21st they can buy "THE GALLO The Limited 2nd Volume". (laughs) On December 21st anyone can buy "THE GALLO The Boot 1st Volume".

―What did you record?
Jojo The footage from lives was the main part, but what the special feature is I wonder... "THE GALLO The Boot 1st Volume" is a secret.

―Can't you buy all four DVDs at once on the 21st?
Jojo You can't. There is a limit for the sales on that day.
Kaede Perhaps we like that kind of project, right? Until September 4th, we had this project where if you bought XYZ, then you got a CD as a present, and that probably felt like getting even stricter.
Jojo Getting stricter..., but later you can feel the kindness. It would have been good, if you'd come to a live; you could have bought it and brought it.
Kaede I really think the content is not bad at all.

―People who read this can only buy the first volume of the bootleg now.
Jojo That's right. We're sorry.
Kaede If we got around 5000 orders, then we'd reconsider. (laugh)

―So what are your plans for the next year?
Jojo Next year, probably around March, we might sponsor a show. Then we were thinking about holding 3-month consecutive shows.
Kaede And maybe we will put an album out. Perhaps, we will show more than this year, won't we? I think that more opportunities to show ourselves will come arbitrarily.

―The number of lives will increase and there will be more tours...
Kaede And we will collect loads of data.
Jojo Next year a fifth rooster will... maybe...

Jojo Really. (laugh)

―Eh~?! Isn't this huge news? Won't next year be full of changes?
Jojo That's right. A lot will change.

―It seems there is a lot that can't be said yet, but what can you say?
Kaede Hmm, maybe I can say our costumes will change?

―New costumes...
Kaede And I want to make loads of friends next year.
Jojo Wait, wait, wait. You totally have friends, right?! (bitter laugh)

―When I went to see one of the sponsored events, I led a meeting and everyone talked to me. Do you like that kind of thing?
Jojo Talking... I like that. I don't think that everyone hates it. Just the other day, I thought I'd like to try out a project called "Jojo's Bizarre Talkshow" and I did it. Everyone was having so much fun. I don't know whether I'll do it next time or not, but I realized that everyone can talk well.
Kaede Only I don't see you talking every time, that's why I don't know that.

―I see. What about on the video then?
Kaede I still haven't seen it all.
Jojo That image perhaps....!!!!! A place like this is in the video.
Andy Did you not just give it all away? (bitter laugh)
Jojo No, no, we have to let them taste it...

―I think that THE GALLO's music, lives and character has a really staggering individuality, and that's why I really want our readers to check the band out as soon as possible. With that in mind we did this interview this time.
Jojo Certainly, without fail, I want everyone to have a taste of this individual and heretic atmosphere. Come [see us] for sure.
Lulu Yeah, Pisces.*
Jojo If you are worried, "Pisces". (laugh)
Andy Well, if you come, you will get it. Something like that. If you come, you will understand it all.
Kaede The number of rooms [songs] will gradually increase and I can already feel like our individuality will keep on growing even wider. I think it'd be awesome if you came and we could have fun together.
* Pisces is a sneaky reference to Hikaru, the band's guitarist who hadn't joined yet when this interview was conducted. His zodiac sign is Pisces, and in this interview he is referred to like this as a sort of an inside joke.

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