Because of the recent release of their new album and the upcoming European tour I managed to ask Jupiter a few questions about the album, their expectations for the tour and of course about new vocalist KUZE.
(The questions for this interview were made before the album was actually released, keep that in mind!)
Jupiter will be touring Europe from May 9th to May 19th, with a stop in Rotterdam for The Netherlands on May 10th. More information about the show and tickets can be found on the website of the Baroeg, here.
I also made a review about the new album, Zeus ~Legends Never Die~, which you can read here.
01. Jupiter is quite well known in Japan, but that’s not so much the case in Europe yet. Could you please explain -in your own words- what Jupiter is for the ones who aren’t familiar with you yet?
Jupiter: We are “the most beautiful and the heaviest” band in Japan.
02. A lot of people will recognize HIZAKI and TERU from Versailles, but Jupiter has a different musical approach than the band they might recognize you from. What I’m most curious about, is the story behind the name Jupiter. What made you decide to name your band Jupiter?
Jupiter: We both love the universe and myths very much, that is why we named our band “Jupiter”.
03. You’ll soon be going on a European tour, which is the second time for HIZAKI and TERU as Jupiter, but what about KUZE and DAISUKE? Have you ever been to Europe before?
Jupiter: It is the first time to go abroad for KUZE and DAISUKE, so they really look forward to visit Europe.
04. Europe is very big, but every country is different as you might know already. Is there anything you would like to see or do while you are here?
Jupiter: We often visit churches while being on the tour.
05. As some people might already know, shortly after announcing this European tour bassist RUCY decided to withdraw from the band, which I am sure caused it’s fair share of problems for you as a group. I’m also sure you were already working on the new album behind the scenes during that time. How did you decide to solve the absence of a bassist in your lineup? Did you request the help of Shoyo again, since he also helped with The spirit within me single? Will he be joining you on this European tour as well?
Jupiter: During the recording of the album, HIZAKI played the bass instead of a new bass player who we expected to join us. For European tour, yes, Shoyo will be joining us as the support bass player.
06. You’re also coming here to promote your new album ZEUS ~Legends Never Die~, which is the first full album with KUZE as the new vocalist. Do you feel like you had to take a different approach with writing and composing this album because of the differences between ZIN and KUZE as vocalists? (Because both have a different sound and style.)
Jupiter: The biggest difference between the two of them is their extent their vocal range. Now, we are able to create our songs without limitation in the range of melodies.
07. Speaking of the new album, for fans who don’t understand Japanese (as well yet), it might be a bit difficult to get a full idea of the story you’re trying to tell with the new album. Could you tell me -in your own words- what ZEUS ~Legends Never Die~ is about as a whole?
Jupiter: “ZEUS” in Greek mythology has is the same meaning as the Roman Jupiter, which is our band name. This means, the new album is expressing pretty much “what we are”. And the determinations that defeats any difficulties or sufferings.
08. I’m sure that during the writing and the recording of the new album you all liked some songs more than others, and maybe even picked a favorite of your own? Which song of the new album would you say is your personal favorite? Are you looking forward to playing it during the European tour?
KUZE: No cry no more
DAISUKE: SHOW MUST GO ON
09. I was surprised to find one song with both music and lyrics by KUZE on Theory of Evolution already, but since there are only a few songs for you (before the release of ZEUS ~Legends Never Die~) we’ve heard you sing a lot of “older” Jupiter songs like “ARCADIA”, “TEARS OF HE SUN” “The spirit within me” and “Guilty as Sin”. Since a different vocalist can change the sound of a band completely, was it difficult for you to find your own style with these “older” songs? Do you enjoy singing them, or would you rather only sing the songs you helped to create?
KUZE: When I had chance to present the guitar riff of “Bring me out” to the other band members, they liked it. Then, we decided to include this song on “Theory of Evolution”.
When they ask me to write lyrics, I am asking them for images of the songs. After that, I blow up these images and start writing.
Of course we play the four songs you mentioned, but I am singing them in my own style. It doesn’t bother me at all. Whether it is older songs or new ones, I really enjoy singing them both. To be totally honest, it’s actually harder for me to sing the new songs more than older songs. (laugh)
10. You have been active in the music industry since 1997 with various different projects, but you’ve also literally moved mountains for (what we here call) the lolita fashion scene (together with Mana from Mois Dix Mois your name is the first that comes up during a conversation). You recently got to celebrate your birthday with a special fanclub event and you’re still going strong as ever with your signature onnagata fashion style. When you first started as a musician on stage you obviously decided on going with this style, but what was the reason behind it? Why did you decide to continue the onnagata fashion style for yourself instead of a more “masculine” style like for example KUZE, TERU and DAISUKE have?
HIZAKI: I want to be an entity that crosses the border between nations and genders.
11. (For TERU): A lot of people might not know that next to music, you also have an interest in art (as we could see with おねがいかなえてヴェルサイユ (Onegai Kanaete Versailles) very clearly). You’ve designed art for Versailles, HIZAKI grace project, 摩天楼オペラ (Matenrou Opera) and Jupiter (among others) in Japan, and Impellitteri in the US, but you’ve also given a lecture about the development of pop culture in Japan at the Kyoto University of Art and Design back in 2010. Basically you have a very creative mind! What makes art so important in your life? Have you ever considered a career in arts or graphic design if the life of a musician somehow didn’t work out for you? Or would you have a totally different job?
TERU: It comes very natural to me to create art. It might even be the most important thing to live my life. I was once thinking about a working life in graphic design, but for now my priority is music.
12. Before officially joining Jupiter, you were already playing live shows with them as a support member. And before that you were a part of ROACH, which has a completely different visual approach than Jupiter does. How does it feel for you to make such a drastic visual change from ROACH to Jupiter? Was it difficult for you to make that change (wearing make up and a more visual style opposed to the more “casual rock” style from before), or would you rather have played with the guys in a more casual visual appearance?
DAISUKE: I always loved a gorgeous style, so I am lucky to have been able to become a member of Jupiter. And no, I had no difficulties to change my style.
13. Right now the new album is around the corner, as well as the Japanese and European tours. But what about the time after those tours? Of course you’re going to take some time to rest after working hard for several months, but do you think you will be working on new music again after, or would you prefer to do another tour or a different kind of event with another artist first?
Jupiter: We already have plans to release our new album!
14. And of course, there’s still this elephant in the room we’re all dancing around. After RUCY’s sudden announcement that he would leave Jupiter, you are left without a bassist. Do you wish to fill this gap with a new bassist in the future, or would you prefer to remain a 4-member band with a support bassist for now?
Jupiter: We are actually looking for a new bass player all over the world.
15. And as the final question, is there anything you would like to say to everyone reading this interview?
Jupiter: We hope you will like our new album. And also, we hope you will come to join our shows!