-eve of destiny-
Sonic Seducer Starfacts 2006 Mana interview
translated by Lardeen
It is one day after Manas birthday. His age is unknown, one of his big secrets, again. Accordingly his Japanese sign is unknown, which problems to identify the sight. But the point is that this gesture fills his aim. The mood is great, even if the J-Rock diva has shortly before many Interviews cancelled – just because he doesn’t like to do them. Yet the prince of the Asian electric-guitar is talking like a waterfall and it seems like he has fun with it…
Interviewer: Mana, what do you think about the show yesterday at your birthday?
Mana: Yesterday it was not only my birthday, it was also one of the rare Europe-gigs of my soloproject, of course an special experience for me. The presents the fans gave me made me happy, everything has a good organization. I really liked it and it also was an good gig. But something else, something special, people have made up their minds. There was a kind of a lottery and I drew 20 people of the audience, who were allowed to celebrate backstage my birthday with me and hang out with us. It was nice to see how the boys and girl got happy as I drew their name. That’s an honor for me. You can recognize that they experience our concerts a whole different way than the people in Japan.
I: Does it feel different to play in front of an European than an Asian audience?
M: The portion of men is higher than in Japan or somewhere else. You can see that very clear. Here you can also see a lot of girls, but in total different circumstances. I can feel the enthusiasm of the audience, but in a total different way. Somehow an intensive experience.
I: Japanese musicians are known for their strict discipline, their perfectionist devotion and their great technique. Do they play better liveshows than others?
M: I do not know, it really feels different between recording and doing lives. At the studio everything seems to be very cold, you just record a CD, totally dry. But at the stage you really need to prove it. You need to show feelings, others than normal, because you are in a state of emergency. Everything is much stricter and all are more concentrate.
I: Which American, European, western band have you seen live, which let a permanent impression?
M: First time I saw Mötley Crue, it was really great. At that time I was an teenager. (Mana orders another cup of tea)
I: It was able to read, that you love Germany and France. What is so fascinating for you about those two countries?
M: It does not matter whether I am in France, Germany or somewhere else, you can find the Gothic-culture everywhere. A great phenomenon, which shows intercultural similarities. Moreover art is very marked, of course. Sculptures and statues are very fascinating for me. In Germany it has great dark forests and beautiful buildings, which represent the rebuilding. Both is very energyspending for me.
I: Yesterday not only you hac birthday, it was also Moi dix Mois’ birthday. How did it came that this fortunateness happen?
M: Sometimes live is like a Disney film. (laughs modest, but openhearted – something extremely rare. Even the Tourmanager and Promoters are surprised) (The tea comes and gets served)
I: Moi dix Mois exist since four years. How do you see the evolution of the band?
M: “Beyond the gate” really was a challenge for me. I want to develop myself, want to improve the music. I began to set electronic, yes – nearly industrial elements. That opened new doors, you were able to work very precise, were able to play with quickness, open the soundcosmos. In former times my focus laid on classic, but with the time I got more modern. Electronic parts are yet in my music, too.
I: Back to classic. You are a big fan of Johann Sebastian Bach. What does he give to you?
M: I feel intensive with Bach and his music. It has an enormous mysterious charisma and carries a lot of sadness with itself, even if you often don’t believe it. His talent for harmony is enormous. Besides I love the sound of the Cembalo und Bach made music which brings this instrument to its borders. An extremely fascinating and interesting musician, moreover timeless.
I: Are there any American or European band besides Mötley Crüe which inspires you and your music?
M: Since the time I was a teen I like Slayer. They have absolutely stamped me.
I: Do you maybe try to make your music timeless with the mixture of old classic music and modern rock music?
M: Classic for itself has in my opinion a timeless character, themes/topics (Lardeen: not sure what is meant here) that hold longer than eternity. Rock and Heavy Metal are more for power, I think. Mixed there’s a totally new sound, which carries the effect of both types, of course, but it makes it much more intensive. But I never study classical music or occupy of the theory of it, even though my parents were teachers. I just follow my ear, my feelings and I was able to absorb the ghost of this style, in a total natural way. Now I have created my own sound, a new original, based on classic and rock.
I: You once said that writing a Moi dix Mois album feels like a soundtrack. If your music would be a movie, how would it look like, which kind would it be?
M: First I choose a topic when I am writing a song. Then I let my mind free and create myself inner pictures. But I do not like to give too much away, because I appreciate individuality and libertine a lot. Thoughts are free and I do not like to influence the perception of my music with any utterances. But when I watch movies at my home, then mostly occult horrormovies or vampirestories. I think, so far away that would not be.
I: You often play with dark symbols; write dark lyrics, what is absolutely current in occult rockmusic. What is you faith; Mana, your religion?
M: I do not belong to a specific religion, what does not mean that I do not have a faith. I trust myself, go everytime deep in myself, ask my inner and create with the time my own faith, my own way to see the things, up. That is my faith. Resurrection is for example a subject in it, often fortunetellers help me to find myself. Since some special experiences I even belief in ghosts.
I: Here normally the singer of a band is also the leader of this band, but you prefer the role of an guitarist. Don’t you feel an urge to perform live with your voice, your words?
M: Of course the voice is in the centre, but the guitar is my voice. It is even a part of the lyrical understanding.
I: Do you think you are an hard, strict bandleader?
M: In my music comes a lot of history together and many stories. But they aren’t stories like a scene. Before “Beyond the gate” the plot of the lyrics was more clear, but now everything is not that hard anymore. I think, therefore it is easier now to work with me. It is different than the time before.
I: Why are your lyrics for Moi dix Mois more personal than for your former band Malice Mizer?
M: Moi dix Mois is my own band. In Malice Mizer we were five, that is one point why it was not that personal. The power was more in the music itself. There are differences, how big they are, my sense is not able to say. An solo-project offers everytime more freedom to get more intimate und now I use this.
I: Do you think there is a musical difference between these two bands?
M: I am not able to see an extremely big difference. But at that time we were five people, who came together and everyone brought his own energy to this project. Now this circle is torn to pieces and the energy is brought to many separate bands. At the end this feels different.
I: What are at the moment your aims for the future with Moi dix Mois?
M: At the moment Europe is one of my aims. I want to play more concerts here, maybe bigger tourneys and more festivals. I think it is not the last time that I was in Europe. I have big plans for your continent.
I: What is harder, to be a fashiondesigner or to be a musician?
M: My eyes lay on the music, but the beauty of our music is that styling is needed there without compromises. I was never able to separate this two areas. Music and fashion are both areas that you need hard to work for. Anyway I would not be able to decide on one of them.
I: Additional you have your own musiclabel Midi:Nette. What are your points to look after, when you are searching for new talents?
M: No matter if band or solo-artist, self-marketing and an own character are the things to put a finger on. When it convinced me, then I like to produce a new band.
I: Do you regret something in your life, Mana?
M: You are not able to turn the world and the time back. But it is my aim to do a worldtour. Till yet everything looks good, and in that facts there is nothing that I regret.
I: And something like that I get to hear from some claustrophobic and flight-afraid person. How were you flights to the EU till yet?
M: (you can that see nausea is written in his face) I am afraid everytime. Unsafety in every kind is nothing for me and height in general is something very shaky for me. (move his hand to show a flight. Especially at starts and landings he seems to get very sick)
I: Do you often feel lonely?
M: That’s all relative. Of course this happens, but then I entertain me with myself, for example I watch animes, or look through mangas. I really changed through the years. In former times, when I was an teenager I was an really mysterious boy, harmless like an angel, but dangerous like the devil at the same time. First when my music started to get liked, I began to like myself and started to get calmer and balanced, because I found my destiny. It is nice to know that everywhere in the world are followers of my thoughts and I do not like to disappoint them. Because of them I first start to accept myself, therefore I treat them with a lot of respect. I do not like it when things get thrown in front of the feet of musicians, the fans should better cheer well-mannered. But the days of my exaggerate social exclusion are probably over. Now people sometimes have enough of me, because I drum that much, no matter where I am. Besides I listen to noisy music to sleep. (smiles)
I: Could you imagine acting again at a theaterstage or in a movie?
M: I was already able to get some experience. I would not lock it out to do another film.
I: Do you like role-plays?
M: Yes, totally interesting!
I: Would you say that you are at home a totally different person than on stage?
M: My friends say yes, I am different.
Interview finished, Dictaphone off. Mana is happy, starts immediately talking to the boss of the recordlabel, relaxed, openhearted and open. His bandmembers running up the foyer, not much make-up or styled, too. All duties are done, for them the small, but nice Tour is finished. But a little bit party and chic meal is allowed, before they start their way back to the land of the rising sun the next day. Although Mana got a lot of selfconfidence and happiness while his stay and his plans for the global escalade are more matured, he knows the dark sides of his fame. Every more success Moi dix Mois have, all the more the hostesses should take care of theirselves…