KAMIJO - Interview with a Vampire!
One doesn’t become "King”: this right has to be earned. With that quest in mind, VYPER Japanese Music is glad to present you an interview with a Vampire.
“KAMIJO: singer, guitarist, pianist, keyboardist, writer, composer, musician, music producer, actor, model”... The list is long and there’s nothing new for purists. Nonetheless, one “profession” is missing, one that is not to be forgotten! To complete this list, you should add “narrator”, because this artist clearly is one, always trying to recount, like a modern times minstrel, the life of protagonists whose existence you may not even know. They’re the ones who give a rhythm to each verse and chorus. Thanks to that, his songs keep getting more and more epic.
One doesn’t become “King”: this right has to be earned. With that quest in mind, VYPER is glad to present you an interview with a Vampire.
Part 01 - LAREINE
It is inconceivable not to linger over the band “LAREINE”, for many reasons. One of them is its incredible concept, which brings us beyond what is imaginable. We are going to make our first stop to ponder about the romance between “Lillie Charlotte” and “Jérémie Florence de Jarger” that, paradoxically, deals with the thin line between sadness and happiness.
V1 - For starters, could you tell us more about the very first meeting between “Lillie” and “Jérémie”?
At the beginning, “Jérémie” was in love with someone else who wasn’t “Lillie”. The meeting between these two protagonists might have been painful for the young woman.
V2 - “Asphodel”, “Jérémie” or even “Illusion Blue” are all linked together. Can you tell us more about that link?
“Jérémie” represents the past life of “Asphodel”. As for “Illusion Blue”, it’s “Jérémie”’s soul, previously “Asphodel”’s at the time he lived.
V3 - Can you explain how to get to the “Lake of Reminiscence” if it existed for real?
Well... This lake is in everyone’s heart. So, if you close your eyes, you’ll be able to see it, too.
V4 - “1, 2, 3, 4, 22, 23, 24...” says the little boy in “Café des Fées” during the reading of the “Lettre de Lillie”. In that scenario, each character has a precise role, and we were wondering: who is that child? Why is he counting? And why is he skipping numbers?
In fact, the child counts the time. It’s not easy to count “the time”, that’s why he is skipping numbers. But if we admit that this child may have been a “God”, it must have been easy for him.
V5 - Before we finish, we’ll stay in this café and the people inside, mostly with the woman who’s reading “Lillie”’s memoirs. Based upon the “third letter”, which is an introduction to the song “Fiançailles”, can we conclude that this person is like the reincarnation of “Lillie Charlotte”?
Absolutely. This woman, reading what “Lillie” wrote, is her reincarnation, indeed.
Part 02 - NEW SODMY;
... Is, in fact, a metaphor of what could be evolution, the time that goes by, and the act of moving forward. Here, we won’t focus as much on the visual aspect, but we’ll dive deeper into raw expressions of emotions.
V6 - Drifting away from “LAREINE” with the track “Since J&L”. The lyrics have us wondering if the man who “leaves his quill in the book” couldn’t be an anamorphose of “Jérémie”, transposed in another world.
Bravo, that’s correct! The “quill” man is another physical incarnation of “Jérémie”.
V7 - “Phantom” and “Are you sodmy?”, for example, seem very far from the poetic universe we’re used to. Those tracks have a more “realistic” feel. Can you tells us more about them?
For me, the song “Phantom” represents “KAMIJO”’s deepest nature. As for “Are you sodmy?”, it is a pun!
V8 - In all your works, each musician embodies a character, whether it’s a subordinate role or not. In “NEW SODMY”, are the artists with you supposed to be a character, feelings or even allegories?
I came to think of “AYA” and “YOU” as lone wolves.
V9 - Through your whole career, you’ve always aimed towards aesthetics in its purest form. Knowing that, and since “NEW SODMY” is supposed to keep in touch with modern times, can you explain why you chose to have softer, more simple look?
At the time, we had decided to change and go back to a more “fashion” style.
V10 - Finally, if you had to choose one expression that would fit “NEW SODMY” best, which one would it be?
Simply “Rock Fashion”.
Part 03 - VERSAILLES;
Through their songs, the quintet tells the story of the “Descendants of the Rose”. We are going to take a closer look at the four albums of “Versailles”, which are the “chapters” telling, one after the other, the story of these fictional characters. We’ve based this series of questions on the pamphlet published during the “Europe Tour 2011”, made to summarize this musical tale.
V11 - “Chap I: Lyrical Sympathy”
Hypothesis: “Louis” and “Flowery” chose to put an end to their story on “The Day of the Red Carpet”, named like this because it reminds of the death of the young woman. Did the two lovers agree to this final decision? If so, why did they choose this solution instead of another one that would have allowed both of them to “live” together?
The clan to which belonged “Flowery” believed that death was “the ultimate happiness”, only reachable during the last moments of their lives. It is the complete opposite for “Louis”, who wished for eternity. That’s why he did it: for her...
V12 - “Chap II: Noble”
For “Louis”, the red rose represents true love. Which other symbol could he have chosen if the rose hadn’t imposed itself?
Concretely, for “Louis”, the red rose also represents blood. So, if he hadn’t chosen this flower as his symbol, he would have chosen blood, for sure!
V13 - “Chap III: Jubilee”
“Louis” saves a little girl from a certain death. This leads “Suzanne”, a nurse, also “Flowery”’s reincarnation, to investigate on these strange phenomenons. Her researches lead her to the Vampire. We can guess “Louis” saved this little girl because he knew it would make the love of his love come back to him. What do you think of this hypothesis?
I think it’s good that there are many interpretations to this story. I am really glad to see you’ve seen this truth.
V14 - “Chap IV: Holy Grail”
In “Masquerade”’s music video, we can see a little girl growing up until she becomes elderly. We can imagine that she ends up dying, and that the little brown-haired girl we see at the end of the PV is her daughter. Thus, in “Louis” and “Flowery”’s story, do these female characters have a link with the Vampire’s lover, or are they just a figurative image of time running, a metaphor of a life’s running its course?
If we’re looking at the PV, the story can be interpreted this way, but also in a totally different, abstract way. Enjoy it with several points of view.
V15 - Let’s close that “book” and go on to the last question! “Versailles” has been created according to a precise concept. Going from there, did the story of the “Descendants of the Rose” exist from the beginning, or has it been created and staged little by little?
At the beginnings of “Versailles”, there was only “The Revenant Choir”. Then, I’ve written stories step by step to adapt them to new albums.
Part 04 - KAMIJO;
This adventure has now reached its peak: this “Interview with a Vampire” couldn’t end without an ultimate face to face with the King.
V16 - Can we say that, in “SYMPHONY OF THE VAMPIRE”, the Vampire to who “KAMIJO” lends his image is, in fact, the representation of a second life for “Louis XVII”?
Absolutely. But only if he were alive... Keep that in mind to enjoy this story fully.
V17 - In “Louis - Enketsu no La Vie en Rose”, based upon the importance and signification that have the “Roses” as a symbol of immortality in all of your previous works, can we suppose that this track could have been entitled “Louis - Enketsu no La Vie Eternelle” (i.e. Eternal life)?
You’re right, this song could have been entitled as such. As for me, what I consider even more eternal that roses is loneliness.
V18 - “BASTILLE” and “YAMIYO NO LION” can be considered as engaged odes, created to abolish borders thanks to “Art” and destined to touch the “Heart” of everyone. Can you explain the different stages that allow a song to reach this goal?
Firstly, the Art transforms into Love. Then, it overwhelms the Heart of the main character.
V19 - To finish, at the end of the album “HEART”, the eponymous title announces the arrival of a mysterious “Count”. Can you tell us more about him?
That, however, is “Top Secret”!
Part 05 - FAN-QUESTIONS;
VYPER Japanese Music organized an international contest on social networks. Thanks to fanbases all around the world on Facebook, it sparked a strong interest from many contestants. A random draw on October 1st decided who the lucky quintet would be, offering each of them the chance to ask KAMIJO a question.
V20 - Coralie: “Hello KAMIJO! Is there a particular French song you’d like to sing in Japanese? If so, which one is it?”
On the contrary: I would like to sing my own songs in French.
V21 - Mickay: “What is your opinion on Visual Kei these days? What kind of future do you see for it?”
I don’t really understand today’s Visual Kei. There is no artist by whom I feel threatened. But, maybe, at some point, there will be bands looking for beauty...
V22 - Clio: “How does the creation of your outfits work? Does someone show you pre-made models, or some kind of series (like a book) that you can modify to your liking?”
First, I draw my own ideas. Then, I create them and make them better with the designer.
V23 - Auro: “First of all, thank you for everything, you are incredible! My question is: when you write songs, do you happen to think they may save a life? Do you know that your work can have a positive influence on someone’s everyday life?”
I keep writing more songs while dreaming about that.
V24 - Aldo: “In case you have surprises in store for 2016, can you tell us about them?”
All I can say is that I’ll offer a story that is purely beautiful and fresh!
V25 - KAMIJO, do you have a message or a last word for our readers?
I had a lot of pleasure answering your questions which were very elaborate. I would be pleased to do it again. Come and see my show!
We sincerely thank the “B7Klan” team and KAMIJO himself to have offered VYPER the opportunity for this interview. We also thank the administrator of “KAMIJO France” and the fanbases for participating in writing this article.