Full disclosure guys: this is actually the very infamous very first interview I ever did.
I started this project when I was still in school, so the questions for this interview aren’t directed at the band and their activities as much as they are in other, later, interviews. The band was informed beforehand that this interview was intended for a school project that touched on visual kei, but we still tried to make the interview specifically for this band rather than for the genre in general. This is why we can also touch topics specifically for ダウト (D=OUT), like their most recent release CARNIVAL浮世 (CARNIVAL-ukiyo-) and their own thoughts and opinions about the band and individual styles.
Regardless of this limitation I still want to share this unconventional interview with you, so…
Let’s get the ball rolling!
I’m very sorry if I seem nervous in this interview, but it’s actually my very first time doing an interview. I also feel bad that this interview is so different from the other interviews you usually get as a band. But let’s start with the most important thing first, can you please introduce yourself to the readers?
幸樹 (Kouki): I’m the vocalist of the band, 幸樹 (Kouki).
威吹 (Ibuki): I’m the lead guitarist, 威吹 (Ibuki).
ひヵる (Hikaru): I’m the rhythm guitarist, ひヵる (Hikaru).
玲夏 (Reika): I’m 玲夏 (Reika), the bassist.
ミナセ (Minase): And I’m the drummer, ミナセ (Minase).
This isn’t your first time in The Netherlands or Europe, is it? So I think that means I can say “welcome back!”, right? How does it feel for you guys to be in such a small country as The Netherlands?
幸樹 (Kouki): We love the Dutch fans here, and the entire thing feels like a band meeting rather than a big show. So it’s very intimate!
You are here today as a group of five members. When you first started the band, did you ever expect to not only be touring outside of the comfort that is Japan, but also that you would be doing it with this exact group of people?
ダウト (D=OUT): We’ve actually never really thought about that. We’re here now, and the first time we ever thought of it is actually right now because you asked us about it. (everyone laughs)
Being musicians means you all have a passion for music, so what started this fire? Did you always want to play in a band since you were a child, or did something else (or someone else) influence you into this career?
ひヵる (Hikaru): I have loved music since the moment I was born, so being here now feels like the most natural thing to do for me.
幸樹 (Kouki): I’ve wanted to play music ever since I was in elementary school.
威吹 (Ibuki): I actually only started to play the guitar six years ago.
As artists you get to work with a lot of different people, and that includes both people who love your work and people who don’t understand it and thus give a negative response. Have you ever dealt with people who were clearly against everything you are with ダウト (D=OUT)? How do you deal with these types of people?
幸樹 (Kouki): Yeah, we’ve dealt with people who don’t like us or our music before. We try to explain them our ideas and show them our music if possible, but if that doesn’t work we just forget about it. We don’t have time to deal with the negative, so we try to focus on the positive instead.
ひヵる (Hikaru): It may have happened before, but we don’t really care when they say that. Honestly, I don’t even remember any situations like that right now…
You’re currently touring through Europe to promote your new album CARNIVAL浮世 (CARNIVAL-ukiyo-), and based on what I’ve seen from your previous releases your outfits always match one another to a certain degree. But this time it’s more a combination of light and dark in contrast to each other. Because the theme of the album is “carnival”, did you decide to “dress up” as such for the visual image, or is there another reason for the outfits for this release?
幸樹 (Kouki): Of course we all like the outfits we wear no matter what the release is. Otherwise we wouldn’t wear them. And for the ones that have piercings we wear them all the time, not just on stage or for our music. Piercings are accepted in the current fashion sense of the world anyway.
玲夏 (Reika): The stars that return in my outfits from time to time don’t have a special meaning or anything. I just really like stars. That’s the only reason!
威吹 (Ibuki): The same goes for the gemstones I wear. They’re a part of my fashion, they don’t have a special meaning, I just like to wear them. They’re a part of my fashion.
幸樹 (Kouki): Honestly, we’re all a little crazy. Visual kei gives us the freedom to see how far we can go with our outfits before the audience decides it’s “too crazy, even for us”!
ひヵる (Hikaru): We also design our outfits ourselves, but there’s a separate company specialized in clothing that makes them for us.
玲夏 (Reika): I actually made a mistake this tour. I forgot to pack the belt that goes with the outfit I’m currently wearing, so every show I’m very scared that my pants are going to fall down or something. Hasn’t happened yet though!
(Luckily 玲夏 (Reika) didn’t jinx anything, and it didn’t happen this show either!)
Some bands in the visual kei genre don’t have a long life as a group, but ダウト (D=OUT) seems to be doing really well for themselves! Not just in Japan, but all over the world. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here for a European tour right now, right? But how do you see your future?
ひヵる (Hikaru): We’re happy together as a band, so we have no plans of quitting.
幸樹 (Kouki): If one of the members feels like quitting, they’re going to be killed! (laughs)
(Fun fact: 幸樹 (Kouki) answered this after jokingly trying to force ひヵる (Hikaru) out of the second floor window only moments before this interview started… This feels a little like a forced answer now doesn’t it?)
Of course every band has their own style, but the songs ダウト (D=OUT) creates are very catchy and easy to listen to by a large audience all over the world. The only “problem” might be the language barrier. Can you give a little insight of what you want to tell the audience through your music?
ミナセ (Minase): We are trying to tell a story through our music, but unfortunately our English isn’t good enough to use much of it in our songs. So we’d really like it if fans would look for translations of our songs online to find out what the meanings behind each of them are.
威吹 (Ibuki): We also draw inspiration from each other. We all have different interests and ideas and we like to talk about these things together. We combine those things together into our songs.
Out of pure curiosity, is there a specific song you’re really looking forward to playing tonight during the show in Utrecht?
幸樹 (Kouki): “SUNRISE”!
威吹 (Ibuki): “サテライトTV” (Satellite TV).
ひヵる (Hikaru): I’m looking forward to playing everything!
玲夏 (Reika): “花咲ビューティー” (Hanasaku beauty).
ミナセ (Minase): Just like ひヵる (Hikaru) I’m also looking forward to playing everything!
Last question, I promise. Since this has been quite a lengthy interview I think… Do you have a message that you want to share with the people reading this interview?
威吹 (Ibuki): I love The Netherlands!
ひヵる (Hikaru): We came here all the way from Japan, so I really love the fact that we have fans here!
ミナセ (Minase): I would like to come here again and again!
幸樹 (Kouki): I want to live here in Europe, and I want to learn all the languages and meet all the people.
玲夏 (Reika): Next time I come here I want to do so in private, so I can explore more.
Like I mentioned earlier already, ダウト (D=OUT) were in The Netherlands for one of the stops during their tour to promote their new album, CARNIVAL浮世 (CARNIVAL-ukiyo-). In addition to this being my very first interview, it was also the very first time I took photos at a live show.
You can find these photos on our photography portfolio, Arlequin Photography, by clicking the image below!
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雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind Arlequin Magazine & Photography.
She started in 2009 as a photographer with Arlequin Photography, but due to a growing interest in journalism, translation and behind-the-scenes work in general the project burst out of it's seams in 2021 and expanded through the addition of Arlequin Magazine.
雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker and maintains both the English and Dutch sections of both Magazine and Photography with original content, translations and photography as well as all the behind-the-scenes work for both websites.
She speaks Dutch, English, Japanese and German.