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333music.net Mana Interview - part 1
translated by Lede

Moi dix Mois, Mana Interview [1/3]

Lately, it's been occuring that the gothic movement has been crossing national borders. The person who could be called the instigator, we will introduce here: Mana. Not only in his music, but in his make-up, his fashion, and his live shows, Mana continues to present for himself his beloved "Beautiful world of darkness." With that, here we will talk about Mana's solo project as of 2002, Moi dix Mois' new album "Beyond the Gate" (On sale March 1), his response to the recent oneman lives in France and Germany, and Mana's thoughts on the upcoming May 2 SHIBUYA-AX live show.


[The beautifully dark world, it's my very life itself]
--Mana, you started your solo project, Moi dix Mois in 2002. Last year, you added new members. How did you choose them?
M: Last year, the previous vocalist left, so I searched for a new vocalist. It is a solo project, so, for example, if there was no vocalist, I could still put out my work, I thought, and I was preparing to put out my work, when at exactly the right time, I found him. He was doing me a favor, and so it was possible to release the album.
--On the back of the jacket, there are two people beside you.
M: On my left is the vocalist, Seth, and on my right is the other guitarist, K.
--When you accepted them as members, what were the deciding factors?
M: First of all, they adapted their voice and guitar playing to match the music I produce. When the sound and voice matched, then we unaffectedly, somehow or other got more familiar. It feels like it was an intuitive judgment, I think. The remainder of people weren't able to share in how I present my world, so the question "do they have interest?" is also important. There were people skilled at the songs, and who would share in my world, but there were some people who were unreasonable...
--So, from Moi dix Mois' formation up until now, you've had the problem of presenting a single world view. It comes straight from your heart, without blurring.
M: Yeah. So, for sure, it's difficult to find someone who doesn't try to solve the dark world view.
--You haven't had any problems like changing band direction, have you?
M: Yes. Because the beautifully dark world is a thing very much like my life itself. Therefore, I hope to always continue pursuing it.
--Usually, when one keeps progressing in the same direction, you reach your limit, and try to escape it. You haven't felt like this?
M: Not particularly. I'm not a very social thing, and strangely, I don't have an excited interest at all in bright, cheerful sort of things. I have no choice but to ultimately pursue that worldview.
--To pursue that worldview, day after day, you must be very determined.
M: I don't do anything special. In my head, I feel like I'm always having crazy ideas about a world of darkness. To make things, I don't specially have to go try and see and hear about dark things. It's natural, a world I made up. Things like fads are a waste, and I'm not interested, so I'm just together with my worldview.
--Well then, about your new album representing your beautifully dark world, "Beyond the Gate". While recording 12 songs, you ended up with five having vocals (First press edition.) Moi dix Mois is unusual, and relatively unknown, but doesn't it have a rare form?
M: In me, only through sound can I express my world, and make it have meaning. To better express it, I include vocals. These songs I created, I'd like them to be listened to as they are, but the vocals erase some of the effect, and I'd like the instrumentals, without vocals, to be listened to also. Unfortunately, the normal press doesn't include instrumentals.
--Haven't you heard from any of your fans who'd like more songs?
M: Not at all. The people who call themselves fans of me, people who like the instrumentals, there are many of them. Conversely, I previously have had many people say "I want to listen to the instrumentals."
--Oh, really. About how long, in all, did it take you to make the album?
M: Recording took about one month, to compose the songs took about two or three months. I can't write down music, so although arranging the orchestra went tolerably well, it took time. The melodies were practically put in my head, and I was thinking about all this while the harmonies were echoing in my ear, so...For me, that's the only way I can do it, but (laugh) for example, it's easier for me to choose an atmosphere to make a Mana-like sound, rather than make sheet music. Once it's nicely in order, I have to ask, "Is it not boring? Is it a beautiful sound? Was it like that?" From that place on the edge, the harmonies that can be born...I seek that thrill in the sound, I rely on my instinct to make music, although that way doesn't seem to match, but in that way, can't thrilling music be born, I think to myself.
--This time, your song lyrics are both in Japanese and English, and the basis is in both, isn't it?
M: I choose words that match with my compositions. It does seem like because it's being exported, I use English, doesn't it. In spite of that, there is still the beauty of Japanese, things like the characteristic sound of Japanese. If I were to stop using English altogether, my songs wouldn't exist.
--The music you bring forth, what kind of genre has it been treated as overseas?
M: What it's typically called...It's been called a Gothic type of band often. Our costumes are pitch-black, and there's a small taste of wicked demon-ness. To me, I make various compositions, and it's not possible to lump them all into one genre. At any rate, I think it's best for the person listening to decide. Especially with this album, as it's an experimental piece, and each song is a different world. It's a work that stretches the depth of Moi dix Mois' sound, and I'd like for someone to be emotionally moved by it.