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Orkus, October 2005
translated by Geisha

You don’t meet an icon such as Mana every day. The extraordinary artist, who had come to Germany together with his musicians under the name Moi dix Mois, had extended an invitation for an interview. In the meantime, the DVD Europe Tour 2005 – Invite to Immorality has been released, which impressively preserves this event for future generations. One day before the concert in Munich, the following information was revealed:

Orkus: Since when are you in Germany?
Mana: Since 2.00pm yesterday afternoon.

O: What did you feel when the plane began to land in Germany?
M: It was a smaller plane and it was shaking a lot. I felt uncomfortable.

O: Were you at least able to look forward to visiting Germany during the flight or after the plane had landed?
M: This is the first time that I’m playing a concert in Germany. Of course I’m happy to be able to be in Germany.

O: What have you seen of Munich so far, except for the hotel and the airport?
M: Modern buildings.

O: What was the autograph session like that you gave at Neo Tokyo’s shop yesterday?
M: The German fans were all queuing in a very disciplined manner. They were quiet. Outside the building there were also other fans, who screamed and later ran after our car.

O: What else have you got planned for today, apart from our interview?
M: We want to do some video filming.

O: Is the video for your next song?
M: Not directly. We will record a live DVD and the video film is for the extras on the DVD.

O: What is the difference for you between organising a concert here in Germany and normally in Japan?
M: Of course not every member of the crew that is usually involved in Japan was able to come to Europe with us. That is probably the main difference.

O: How many people are usually working on the overall organisation of a concert in Japan?
M: that’s a difficult question. Approximately 500.

O: When will you begin with the preparations for the concert tomorrow?
M: of course we will have to get up early but the actual preparations for the concert will begin around 1.00pm.

O: How much time do you normally need for the sound check?
M: 30 minutes.

O: Only 30 minutes?
M: To rehearse the songs, yes. The tuning of the technical equipment and everything else that is involved, however, takes several hours.

O: Something completely different: have you ever been close to death?
M: Yes, yesterday. On the plane.

O: Imagine you knew that you will die in 24 hours. What would you do within those 24 hours?
M: I would put on makeup and nice clothes in order to die then.

O: In our last interview you said that every person’s goal in life is death. What do you think happens after you die?
M: Another world exists. When you die you lose your body but your soul lives on.

O: Is the world that your soul moves on to a better world?
M: Of course it is better. [translator’s note: it’s not clear from the original text which world Mana is referring to but logically he probably means the after life, so that’s the way I have translated it.]

O: What do you want to do in life before you die?
M: I want to make a concert tour around the world.

O: Which country would you like to visit most if all during this tour?
M: Germany.

O: During our last interview you also told us about your fashion label, Moi-même-Moitié. How do you design the clothes? What is your source of inspiration?
M: I’m inspired by films, for example the film Dracula.

O: And how do you create an item of clothing from there? Do you draw a sketch first?
M: Yes, I first draw a sketch and then I imagine what colour would suit it best.

O: Is Mana a musician one day and a fashion designer the next? Or does this change more frequently, even hourly?
M: First and foremost I’m a musician. Sometimes I have a spontaneous idea for an item of clothing and I have to draw a sketch of it immediately.

O: How long does it take from the idea and the sketch until the item of clothing is in the shop?
M: Approximately 6 months.

O: In the last interview you also mentioned that some companies copy your style of Gothic Lolita. Can you explain to us the exact differences between the original and the copy?
M: My concept is to unite the cute and the dark. Other companies only show the cute and that isn’t Gothic for me. And Gothic Lolita to me is both.

O: What else do you find cute, apart from fashion?
M: Barbapapa.

O: Which materials that you use for your fashion are your favourites? Cotton, silk, or special synthetic fabrics?
M: Actually, it depends on the dress. We like to use luminous, shimmering materials but not silk. It is difficult to name a specific material that we use the most because we use so many different fabrics.

O: In the past you were producing and supporting another band: Schwarz Stein. Would you like to produce another band again in the future?
M: I’m looking for other bands at the moment.

O: Which musical style are you looking for?
M: It doesn’t matter if it is a band or a solo project. It has to appeal to me personally. Of course it will not be pop music but music that possesses something dark.

O: Is time in that respect, but also generally, a friend or an adversary for you?
M: That’s a difficult question. Usually I pay little attention to time. But if you, for example, play a concert you have to make a schedule and you have to be punctual. I would say time is a friend but sometimes it can be against me.

O: It is said that we grow more intelligent every day. Every day we can learn more about ourselves and about life. What have you learnt so far about yourself and about life in general?
M: I try to preserve my childhood and the emotions from that time.

O: Is there a person in the past or in the present, who has particularly impressed you or impresses you?
M: There isn’t really a special person that I’m trying to emulate. Of course there are people who I find good and great but that also depends on my form on the day.

O: In concluding this interview I would like to give you a couple of key words and ask you to respond spontaneously to them within 2 seconds.
M: I will try.

O: Superstition.
M: I believe in something like that.

O: Clothing.
M: Moi-même-Moitié.

O: Chaos.
M: In my head and mind.

O: Dragon.
M: Bruce Lee.

O: Respect.
M: Difficult…yes, I have got respect.

O: Friendship.
M: Friendship is not always what it seems to be.

O: Thoughts.
M: The thought of eating a German sausage.

O: Hope.
M: To make a concert tour around the world.

O: Irony.
M: In Japan you would say that someone has got a second personality.

O: Jubilation.
M: When the fans are screaming.

O: Cook book.
M: This Japanese cook book with manga illustrations – Hojonin.

O: Philosophy of life.
M: To develop/think something new, to create something new is my philosophy of life.

O: Mana.
M: To put it simply, it is my music. To make music, that’s Mana.

Claus Müller