SUICIDE ALI & LUZMELT: VISUAL KEI CONCERT AT EAST COAST ANIME CONVENTION, TEKKOSHOCON. J-ROCK BAND INTERVIEW, JAPAN MUSIC IN AMERICA.
I promised you J-rock eye candy… and here’s the delivery. Young Visual Kei band Luzmelt wearing what can only be described as training bras! And shorty-shorts. And a butt bustle? Regi and photographer Shiori Saito continue their epic Tekkoshocon journey by interviewing Suicide Ali about Pikachu pijamas and headbanging to their music. Read on…
Tekkoshocon brought in one of my favorite bands for the convention this year: Suicide Ali. I anticipated only interviewing them, but was also scheduled for an interview with Luzmelt, a new Visual Kei band I had never heard of before. Fortunately, prior to each interview, I managed to see the Q&A panels and performances from both bands.
Luzmelt’s interpreter knew ahead of time that she would be on break, as I speak Japanese. Unfortunately, the band seemed to have forgotten… and the result was rather comical (one almost fell off his chair and there was quite a bit of nervous laughter going on). The vocalist, Yuhma, was extremely polite, and the drummer, Miu, was absolutely adorable, always smiling. It was harder to get the other members (guitars Asuka and Kaie and bass Zig) to speak, and when they did I was never 100% certain of where their minds were. My favorite question was: “What country do you want to go to?” and the answer was immediately “London.” They also had gone to Walmart, and were fascinated by it, enough so that they took tons of pictures.
The Suicide Ali interview was extremely enjoyable, with lots of laughs and random comments from both sides. Kozi (bass) started the comedic ball rolling when he sounded out his name incredibly slowly. Apparently Hiroshi (guitar) sleeps in Pikachu kigurumi, and Goshi (vocals) swore that he saw it. Hisashi (drums) didn’t say much. At one point I accidentally skipped Goshi on a question (I thought he had answered it already)… I apologized but he had answered the question (“Favorite brand?” “I don’t have any, actually…”) the same way I’d written it on my notepad a few moments earlier. Awkward…
Time to rock out. Luzmelt opened with an energetic rock vibe, and Suicide Ali sealed the deal with their twisted “industrial metal,” for lack of a better term. Both performances were outstanding and the crowd was very involved, even trying to mimic the para-para-style motions.
Suicide Ali’s live act never ceased to impress. Goshi’s vocals were spot on and every attempt to speak English was adorable (Hiroshi forgot the word “happy”). They’re not quite as gimmicky as Mix Speaker’s Inc, but the sight of Goshi spreading his arms as though they were wings during the song “Revendish Ring” made me scream and jump around like an idiot.
Though there were some sound problems, the shows were executed nicely and the bands treated fans who lined up for autographs with respect and a touch of humor. Though I am partial to Suicide Ali, I highly recommend seeing both groups live.
Also: buy their new singles! You can get Luzmelt’s “Sacrifice” from HearJapan. Suicide Ali’s “Stitch Doll” (which is AWESOME) and the best-of album of Variable Messiah (Goshi and Hiroshi’s former band) are available from Darkest Labyrinth. What are you waiting for? Go for it!
Any fans of Suicide Ali in the house? Which Visual Kei band would you most like to see perform in America?
Japanese Word of the Day: Mijuku = Immature
Song of the Day: Suicide Ali – Revendish Ring (from the DVD)