It is time for yet another interview. This time it’s none other than Ice, who most people will recognize as the vocalist of Black Gene For the Next Scene.
Ice was actually one of the very first Japanese musicians I really liked in terms of style and skill, and because of that I have followed his work ever since I first heard his work in XodiacK. I however never really had the courage to ask him if I could ask some questions for an interview, but since today (January 1st) is his birthday it seemed like a good opportunity to combine the two…
In this interview we talk a bit about his work throughout the years and what it was like to play overseas for the very first time during Tokyo in Tulsa in 2019. What do you think? Did Ice like the overseas enough to dream of more overseas performances?
(This interview is set to be published on January 1st, 2020, at midnight Japanese time, in honor of Ice’s birthday. This is why the date outside of Japan is actually still December 31st on this post.)
01. Can you please, in your own words, introduce yourself to the readers? Because I am sure not everyone will recognize the name immediately.
Ice: I’m Ice. I’m a playboy.
02. You’re currently a solo musician, but you have been singing for many years already. What made you choose the profession of musician over a “regular” job?
Ice: I chose to be a musician because I want to live freely. I can’t work a regular job because I am socially incompatible.
03. Tell me a bit about the name you chose for yourself. I know you love ice cream, but is that really the whole reason why you went with Ice as your artist name? Also, since you love ice cream so much, what flavors do you like?
Ice: No. I don’t feel gender. There is no other reason than that. As for flavors I like caramel, praline, milk and strawberry. The sweetness is strong…
04. When I first heard your music many years ago you were the vocalist of a band called XodiacK, a band with a very different theme than what we see you as today (each member had their own element, and you were known as Eros “the absolute”), and a very heavy metal sound. What made you choose this genre? Were you a fan of metal? What made you come to the visual kei genre?
Ice: Of course I liked metal. As an expression of the lyrics and world view during that time the heavy sounds and screams were absolutely necessary. I was attracted to visual kei genre because of the visual expression and ROCK.
05. After XodiacK disbanded you eventually became the vocalist of Black Gene For the Next Scene, which was quite a change from the heavy style from before because of the addition of electronic and programming music. Was it you who had to adjust to the sound of BFN or did BFN had to adjust their sound to your voice?
Ice: It doesn’t necessarily mean that BFN’s music matched my singing voice. However, I think it was a good collaboration between all members and exploring new possibilities. There is no such thing as an “I won’t do it because it won’t fit me”-attitude for me.
06. After BFN announced they would stop activities for the time being you came back to the music scene as a solo singer, with the single “雨は次第に弱まる” (Ame wa shidai ni yowamaru). A single that to me sounded completely different than the style I have heard from you all those years. What made you decide to make this song the leading tune of your first solo single? Would you like to release another single too?
Ice: In order to convey the song purely, the emphasis was placed on the ease of understanding the melody and composition. As for songs… We are constantly improving them.
07. You were asked to perform at “Tokyo in Tulsa” in 2019. What was it like for you to play overseas, and would you like to play overseas again? At a festival or your own show?
Ice: It was the best. I want to do it again. It was such a fresh, gentle and enjoyable environment! I want to do more, I want to go to more countries. The place can be anywhere, wherever you can sing. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small.
08. Right now you mainly play small live shows with other musicians in Japan. Do you like working like this, or would you rather be in a band again where you work with a set group? Is there someone in particular you would like to work with?
Ice: I am inspired every single day. I think that if the opportunity presents itself a band will do as well. I don’t have anyone particular in mind, but I would like to work with someone who can play an unfamiliar instrument.
09. In Japan people can support you and your work by visiting your live shows, but what about people overseas? As for them the social network services seem to be the only way to enjoy your music right now…
Ice: I like the people overseas because they don’t complain about anything other than music like private things and whatnot. (lol) I would be grateful if you all can make a lot of voices and help me reach my dream of more overseas performances (feel more than free to pitch my work to promoters and event organizers, too!).
10. And as a final question, do you have a message for everyone reading this interview?
Ice: I’m looking forward to the opportunity of meeting all of you someday!
Ice – 雨は次第に弱まる (MV):