GYZE Interview 17.10.2015 Essen Astan Asia Days

Vocal/ Guitar: Ryoji, Vocal/ Bass: Aruta, Drum: Shuji

RD & AnN: We are very happy that we could have this interview today. Thank you very much.
All: Same for us. Thank you very much

RD & AnN: So far, what do you think of today?
Ryoji: This is our first live in Europe, so we are really glad to have it.

RD & AnN: Please introduce yourselves to our readers and listeners.
Ryoji: First, I am Ryoji, the leader, guitarist and vocalist. I write the lyrics and compose the songs. Nice to meet you. We are a Melodic Death Metal band from Japan, called Gyze (Note: pronunciation = gize, like the pyramids) not Gyze (Note: pronunciation like in the word “guys”). Please don’t mix it up. And now the other two.

Shuji: I am the drummer Shuji. Nice to meet you.
Ryoji: We are brothers.
Aruta: I play the bass and do the vocals. I am Aruta. I am not their brother.

RD & AnN: Looking at other Japanese rock bands, which are well known overseas, your sound is very much like Swedish or Finnish metal. Why did you choose to enter this kind of genre? And what attracts you to this type of music?
Ryoji: First, we like those just mentioned bands from Finland and Sweden. For example In Flames, Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, Throne of Chaos or Karma. And we also like bands like Sonata Arctica and Speed Metal. And there is another reason. As we are from Hokkaidô, the climate and the scenery is very similar, it also resembles Germany, but I think it is very different from the Japanese image, the Tokyo image. This is where we got our inspiration from and what started our motivation to do this kind of music.

First, we only listen to this kind of music, especially to Melodic (Metal). The beautiful music also has a dashing speed to it, which creates a nice feeling. When we complete everything with the band and I start with the screaming and add this violence, I think this contrast of energetic parts, quiet parts and moving parts is the charm of Gyze.
Shuji: Fast. A fast sound and a violent sound.
Aruta: Definitely the mood. If I have a good feeling, if I feel well, the mood rises. So the fascinating point…I think it is something nice for people who like this fast music.

RD & AnN: And you already toured together with other foreign metal bands like Carcass or Children of Bodom. What was it like and how did it influence you on a musical level? And how on a personal level?
Ryoji: First, it was a great experience. That is because we toured with those bands we like. I could be more active in this world. It was the first time I was recognized the same way as those people. That made me very happy. But we experienced also a lot of difficult moments while giving a world tour, for example traveling by plane and where to keep our luggage. Regarding the words above, we want to keep on going. Speaking about the musical level, I honestly don’t want to lose. I have the feeling, that it does not matter where we are or what we do, as long as we play our music, the music of Gyze.

Speaking of the personal level, well…, how to say…I would say it is the same reason, the same matter.
Shuji: Well, speaking of a musical level, I have to say that bands like Cracass or Children of Bodom definitely have a lot of experience. I thought “Ah, as expected”, when I watched the live performance from the backstage area. Also mentally a lot of things happened during the tour, which made me think “those people are really strong”.
Regarding my personal level…My own level… I have still way to go.
Aruta: Regarding the music, for me it is the same as said above. I don’t want to lose to someone. And to enjoy everything, including the things one can see from the backstage area. I thought if we will be able to make such an extraordinary tour, too.
For my personal level I have the same feelings.

RD & AnN: So talking about concerts, what do you expect of the live today?
Ryoji: Honestly, we are very happy to be in Germany. But, it doesn’t actually matter where we are and who is in front of us, it will be good as long as we are Gyze and play our songs. For example, during Loud Park, one of Japans biggest metal festivals, we played in front of thousands of people. At an open-air in China we also played in front of a huge crowd of people and of course this is a great feeling, but the important part is to do it together, to create some memories with the audience. For example, at that time when you are not that famous and there will be only a few people, you go on stage with the same feeling. So today as well, the three of us will give 120% and go full power on stage.

RD & AnN: What are your strong points during a live?
Ryoji: First, the assets of Gyze are that we only have a lead guitar, there is no backing guitar. So it is my unique style to play the lead guitar and do the screaming. That would be my strong point. The other would be that we are only three people. Normal bands usually have five members; they do it with a large number of people. But for us, if there would be good people around, they could enter, but as we are right now it is the best. I think we will continue like this. So I think this is the good thing, the strength of Gyze.

RD & AnN: What kind of atmosphere do you want to create during your lives?
Ryoji: Real metal! (laughs)
Shuji: Atmosphere? Hm… I have two points. I think it is nice to create a fun atmosphere and a hot and violent atmosphere.
Aruta: To have an exchange of feelings with the audience. If this can happen, I think that is the best.

RD & AnN: And were there any difficulties you had to face while touring?
Ryoji: It happened today as well. The time for the sound check is seriously short. Especially for the support acts. During the Asia tour the support acts nearly had no time and the equipment one could use was limited. During Loud Park we almost had no time for rehearsals. I think those would be difficulties. But speaking honestly we never really had problems. That is because the three of us play together. But we don’t want to challenge our luck. We will do the things we do. But regarding difficulties I would say the main problem mould be the one with having no time for sound checks or rehearsals.

RD & AnN: The next questions will be more about the topics of composing and creating music. First: Can you remember when and why you started to get interested in playing music?
Ryoji: I think I was around ten years old, when I thought of becoming a rockstar and when I had my first contact with a guitar. When I was thirteen years old I reached the point where I wrote my first own songs. It all started with the band KISS, which I liked the first. After that I started to listen to German bands like Halloween or Gamma Ray. The music we do now, this Melodic Death Metal style arises from those bands. So in my case it happened during the time I was little.

Shuji: The moment where I got interested in playing music, was when I was fourteen years old while I played a drumming game at the arcade center. It was so fun that I started to play the drums. The first metal song I played was from Children of Bodom. Around that time I got interested in playing music. With seventeen I got interested in Heavy Metal.
Aruta: For me, I was around fifteen or sixteen years old. Actually there is no specific reason for it. Actually for me rock, or rather, metal just looked really cool. That is the way it happened.

RD & AnN: What would you say is the most fun part of being a musician?
Ryoji: I have three things. First, as I create the songs for Gyze by myself, I give a toast to myself when I finish creating a song. I then tell myself “Well done!” Then the time from the design of the CD till it gets sold is fun. When you finish the jacket and do the recording. And finally, when we can inform everyone that from today on we start our live activities. Those three points are definitely the most fun parts of being a musician. Well, with the first two I strongly want to fulfill my own desires. With the last one, with giving a live, I want to fulfill the desires of the audience. But first of all, I want to cherish my own satisfaction.

Shuji: For me the most fun part of being a musician is when I beat the drums. At the drums I feel the coolest. And to be seen like this by everyone is the most fun part.
Aruta: The exchange of emotions with the audience, which I mentioned earlier. Well, of course there are good and bad moments, but when something happened as planned, saying a “Today I did it” day happened, that is the most fun and happy part.

RD & AnN: Would you mind telling us how much you usually practice a day?
Ryoji: A lot! (laughs) Well, the most during recording. Then I play more than 24 hours. Hm…well, a lot. I don’t count it. (laughs)
Shuji: I quite decide my time. Generally, about one and half hours. When we toured together with American bands through Taiwan, those drummers were insanely good. And there was also this drummer from the American band Unearth, who is that type of person who can do everything immediately. I tried to practice the first ten minutes a day everyday but when I saw this person I thought “Ah, the world is wide” and that is why I decided for myself to practice one hour and more a day. I don’t like it, but because of the practice I got a little better.
Aruta: In my case there are days when I don’t feel like doing it at all. It is quite loose. When I don’t feel like doing it, I don’t do it.
Shuji: Linked to the practice…I practice one hour and when I decide to do so, I fill it with basic training and something I like to do.

RD & AnN: Do you have dreams as a band?
Ryoji: We have. First, for the close future, we want to have a tour throughout Europe next year. After that, we decided to have a one-man live in Japan. And then there is the creation of our third album next year. In the future, we want to become a main act with the same position as Children of Bodom, which we already met, and give a world tour. Finally, we want to be active as band, which has the same influence as KISS. Those are the dreams we have as a band.

RD & AnN: Let us talk a little bit about composing a song. From the first idea till the mastered song, how do you proceed?
Ryoji: Regarding Gyze I almost create everything. Gyze is strange. I also hold the position of the producer, decide everything and at the end I receive the play from everyone for the recording. Everything is inside my head, even the tunes of a Keyboard. Of course I would accept the ideas and opinions from the others as well, not all is directly a “No”. But when I already decided something, then there will also be a “No”. It is the same with painting. When there is one canvas, I want to finish it all by myself and this feeling appears already during the first composing. When the hard part is over, we all look forward to enjoy the recording and the tour.
Shuji: The composing is not done by us all.
Ryoji: But Shuji once composed a song.
Shuji: It was not a metal song.
Ryoji: More like Blink 182, more punk. I think he can write good songs. If he devotes himself to it, he is really good.

RD & AnN: And where do you get your best ideas for a new song?
Ryoji: While fishing I come across a cool song. So from a place where you hear nothing, I think it is possible to create something new. I definitely have this kind of inspiration.

RD & AnN: On your opinion, what is the most challenging part when composing a song?
Ryoji: The sensation when you listen to the same things and think whether they are good or bad, or if you can get accustomed to them or not. For example, if you feel down you can’t think a song is good, even if it is a really cool one. Therefore I think the most important thing is to protect your own feelings. That is the most difficult part.

RD & AnN: Is there some kind of message you want to transmit throughout your music?
Do the lyrics support this message?
Ryoji: Regarding the music and the lyrics everyone should interpret it the way he likes. However, the three of us act through Gyze as a substitute for each life. As a band living in 2015 we are aware of things like the way of living or having no perspectives and if you can get courage through our music I think it is a good thing. Of course our music has positive feelings but it is also violent. But we force no special feeling to appear in the music you’re listening to.

RD & AnN: Soon this year will come to an end. So what are your plans for the next one?
Ryoji: Well, like I already said, we want to create our third album and go on European tour. We will definitely come back to Germany.

RD & AnN: Play time (those questions are for fun, so please be creative):
If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?
Shuji: You can only lie here…hm…to be invisible… (giggles)…well….I…hm…
Aruta: No comment?
Shuji: No comment! (laughs)
Ryoji: I would not change. If I am invisible or not my behavior would be the same. I would not look at girls panties.
Aruta: For me it is the same…
Shuji: Lie!! (all laugh)
Aruta: I am quite the indoor person and rarely go outside, so…
Ryoji: What about fishing? Aruta and I like fishing, therefore invisibility would be good to get not caught by the fish.
Aruta: Yeah, to not be seen by the fish… it would be good… to be invisible.
Ryoji: That’s what I want to do.
Aruta: That’s what I want to do.

RD & AnN: If you were born with a superpower or a magical power, which one would it be?
Ryoji: I don’t have any expectations. I lived up to this day believing I already have one.
Shuji: Me? I wish I could move ten times faster, it would also be an advantage for drumming.
Aruta: I want to use magic. Simply because I like fantasy.

RD & AnN: What did you want to become as a kid?
Ryoji: Well, rockstar. Before I wanted to become a rockstar I wanted to be a storyteller and character animator for games.
Shuji: I once wrote that I wanted to become a takoyaki. (Note: small dough ball with a little piece of octopus inside) Not a tokoyaki shop owner…I wanted to become a takoyaki. When I was little I wrote “takoyaki” inside a book at home about what I want to become.
Miwako: I wonder why? (Note: She is the owner of Bakery My Heart and joined the interview in case of possible translation problems)
Shuji: Because I liked takoyaki.
Aruta: I thought whatever I will become, I want to do it good…That’s it.

RD & AnN: If you received ten million yen, what would you buy?
Ryoji: *answers instantly* Buy land, increase the money and use it for the band.
Shuji: I would give 1/3 to my parents, keep 1/3 for myself to enjoy and the other *thinking*…use it for an animal shelter.
Aruta: Should I buy a racehorse? I buy a Ferrari.

RD & AnN: With whom, dead or alive, would you like to spend a night out drinking and why?
Ryoji: I would like to talk with Sakamoto Ryôma. (Note: He took part in the Meiji Restoration; the opening of Japan to the world) But, well, speaking honestly I don’t have anyone in particular. Right now my interests lie in my satisfaction. I would like to drink…more like, I would like to do something with the people I like.
Shuji: To spent a night out drinking with...? Well… hm…Well, I don’t drink, so…No comment.
Aruta: With Marie Antoinette. Because I think it is great to say “Ah, I met her!”

RD & AnN: What is your most embarrassing memory of being a musician?
Ryoji: At the first song my nose started running. (laughs)
Shuji: I forgot to remove my earphones and when I wanted to get to the front I got stuck in them.
Aruta: One time I put my leg on the speaker in front of me and fell over.
Shuji: You didn’t fall because of spinning?
Aruta: If it would have been while spinning, it would have been funny. That’s ok.

RD & AnN: Last but not least, what are you looking forward to do while spending some time in Germany?
Ryoji: To do the live of course.

RD & AnN: Are there any places you want to see?
Ryoji: Honestly speaking there are a lot. I want to see a lot of places out of the modern history, like the concentration camp Birkenau or other historical places or stuff from the Second World War. Actually, we have elements of this topic appearing in our songs, too. Japan as well is a land which faced the war and if possible I want to go and see those places, too. But actually we are looking forward just on the live.
Shuji: First of course the live. I want to go on this live. After that, I want to eat tasty food.
Ryoji: Like from this bakery. What was the name again?
Miwako: Bakery My Heart.
Ryoji: This place, Bakery My Heart, has tasty food.
Shuji: To die for.
Ryoji: And there is this beautiful woman called Miwako as well. So, everybody go and take a look.
Shuji: The curry pan was so so good.
Aruta: The first reason for me is the live as well. Then I want to drink beer. Yes, beer. I love it.

RD & AnN: Please leave a message to the readers and listeners.
Ryoji: Hey everyone out there in Germany. We are Gyze. First, we are very happy that our first land in Europe was Germany. The German bands and their influence are really impressive, like the band Halloween, which was mentioned earlier. It is really a far away country but we will take a lot of impressions with us from Germany. From now on, if you thought our music was good, then certainly please check us out…well during the times of the internet it is very easy. Let’s meet next year!

Shuji: Ok. Hello everyone. I am Shuji. I am very glad that I could come to Germany for the first time and give a live here. I want to come many times again and give a live in Germany. And as it resembles my hometown a sense of intimacy already grew in me. Now and from here on thank you. Danke schön! Bitte schön!
Aruta: When we were first called to Europe and Germany I felt so grateful. I don’t want to forget this feeling of gratefulness. With this feeling always in my heart I want to continue to give everything. Thank you very much!

RD & AnN: Thank you very much for giving the interview.
All: Thank you very much. Danke schön.



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