A chat with: Kiwamu

After the show of BLOOD at P60 in April of 2012 guitarist and leader Kiwamu agreed to sit down for another interview, but this time we speak about his labels (Darkest Labyrinth and Starwave Records) and various artists signed to them.


01. You started out quite some years ago. Which bands joined your labels first?
Kiwamu: When I started Starwave Records 2 years ago, LIX. (before lix changed the band name) and Luzmelt joined my label first. I released their first CDs in February 2010.

02. And which of the bands have been on your labels the longest?
Kiwamu: Before I created Starwave Records, I helped SUICIDE ALI release their first mini album [Sarau Fue to Yakusoku]. It was released in March 2008, and up to now they’ve released 10 titles and 2 compilations through my label. I’ve worked with them for 4 years already now.

03. Luzmelt had their ups and downs, and even disbanded earlier this year. What happened to Luzmelt? Why did they have so many problems?
Kiwamu: Because of the traditional bad way of forming bands in Japan. In Japan, many band members start to find their band members during session bands. Some members make their cover bands and check their band with the question “will this be going well or not?”. If the fans come to see their show, they will make their cover band to be an original band. But the cover bands play major songs of visual kei, so fans know these songs. But if the real band starts their show, they need to play their original songs. To survive in the music scene, the real band needs good songs, a good live show, a good relationship between members and a whole lot of patience. Some members think “being a cover band was easy to get the fans, but the original band is very difficult. But I am not bad. The other members are bad. I am not bad.”. And some cheap mind members leave from the band. Please check the visual kei band scene. Many, many young bands disband or pause their activities in a relatively short time. Two years of activity are better in a ‘stupid’ band scene. Many bands disband in half a year to a year. If they give up in such a short time, they will not learn anything from their band and the mistakes they’ve made. Anyway, after I worked with them for 1 year, they decided to leave from my label. But after leaving the label, the vocalist yuhma always asked me many things, lol. But they couldn’t work well by themselves. So they disbanded this year.

04. A few months ago we placed an article about marlee, can you tell us about about this band? Who are they?
Kiwamu: They are a band on my other label, Darkest Labyrinth. They worked for some years by themselves while I talked with the band leader SEN sometimes. He made the remix for one of my projects and I like his work. So I decided to help them and they joined in my label to be able to release their material. Their big aim was to perform in foreign countries. This month I finally booked them in Canada, and their Canadian show went really well!

05. XodiacK has been very silent for a while, what are they up to?
Kiwamu: I worked with them as one-shot contract to release one single. So after this one release they started to work by themselves. So I don’t know the real reason after their pause of activities.

06. BLOOD is going to lose their singer, do you have anyone specific in mind that you would like as his replacement?
Kiwamu: We’ve had some auditions to find new members, and we’re still looking at the results. The thing is, if I write the songs, it will still be BLOOD. At the same time I don’t really focus on BLOOD’s activities now because I feel a sense of fulfillment in my labels’ activities. If I can’t find a new singer, I will work for my labels extra hard.

07. THE SOUND BEE HD is releasing quite a lot lately, they too have been really active. Can you tell us a bit about who they are?
Kiwamu: I started to talk with them three years ago. THE SOUND BEE HD’s vocalist DAISUKE was in the major band Media Youth, a band that was big in the Japanese visual kei scene. Big enough for him to play in the Nippon Budokan, which makes him the one person with the biggest career in my label. He wanted to release their CD., but they didn’t know how to work after he formed THE SOUND BEE HD when Media Youth disbanded. He wanted to go to foreign countries for the shows and wanted to release CDs periodically. So I talked with him for one year to make preparations before I released their new CD. They released their album by themselves seven years ago, so the album [Hachi] was after a long silence. After the third album they released two CDs every year.

08. Which band has the craziest members, and what makes them the craziest?
Kiwamu: On stage some of the members look crazy, but in rife they are very normal and serious. Some foreign fans might think “Kiwamu is very crazy!”, but it is just how I am on stage, lol.

09. How do you see your labels in the future?
Kiwamu: I explained the “short life” in the visual kei scene. I don’t like it. I will support all bands in my label forever. Each band has their own goals, and to make them reach their goals I will continue support them forever!!

10. Can we expect any bands to come to Europe this year or next year?
Kiwamu: lix will go to Sweden in September. Their shows were going well in Canada this month, so I think the Swedish show will be going well too. And if fans wanted to get the bands from my label in your city, please push the promoters in your countries!!

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