The last time we spoke to 砂月-SATSUKI- was at the end of 2014, when he was on tour to promote his new album “Squall of Emotions”. In that interview he already said that he gained a lot of inspiration from this tour, and that clearly wasn’t a statement to keep people happy. 砂月-SATSUKI- is currently back in Europe to promote the release of both “APOCALYPSE” and “ECLIPSE”.
砂月-SATSUKI- has been pretty busy in these last two years, so enough reason to ask him for some updates, don’t you think? So, without further ado…
Even though we’ve spoken to each other before quite recently, can you please introduce yourself to the readers once more, since I’m sure not everyone has read our previous interview?
砂月-SATSUKI-: I am 砂月-SATSUKI-. I am a Swedish meatball! (laughs)
Well, this derailed at the very first question already. Almost a personal record on my end. But the reason for this answer was actually the situation right before the interview started. I got a phone call right before 砂月-SATSUKI- was ready, and when he came over to me the person on the other side of the line misheard his name and thought he was some kind of meatball. 砂月-SATSUKI- overheard this, and he found it so funny he wanted to introduce with it.
So now you know, we’ve been fooled all along. He’s not Japanese, he’s secretly a Swedish meatball. Cover blown!
Today’s stage is quite different from last time isn’t it? Today we’re at OshareCon, a convention held in The Netherlands. But what do you think about the Oshare movement as a whole?
砂月-SATSUKI-: I’m happy, because Oshare is Japanese, and many people know the meaning of it. Even in this difficult world where so many people don’t know the meaning there are a lot that do know. In Japan, Oshare is a style that expresses happiness. So it makes me feel motivated and happy to be here today. I actually think there are many, many people that need more Oshare in their life!
Being here at a convention is different than the show two years ago. At a show for me alone the entire audience comes to that show to see me. At a convention there are a lot more people, and even though it’s a lot more difficult to draw them to my performance than it would be at the same situation in Japan, it’s also more interesting.
Today’s show is part of a much larger tour, since you’ll be on the road for roughly three months. How did you prepare for this tour? And are you looking forward to any country in particular?
砂月-SATSUKI-: COFFEE! (laughs) No, seriously. I brought coffee, candy and tea from Japan, all so I can survive these three months where I normally wouldn’t have access to these items I love.
As for a place I’m looking forward to the most… I’m looking forward to every single stop of the tour, but I’m also going to Ukraine. It’s definitely a more difficult part of Europe to go to, so it’s a very rare opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to going to Ukraine for that reason.
Unlike last time, you’re all by yourself this time. No support musicians in sight. But was this your personal decision, or one made due to circumstances?
砂月-SATSUKI-: I would love to play with European musicians while I’m here in Europe, but it’s really hard to bring support members for a tour that spans three months in total. They all have daily jobs next to their music, so it will be a solo tour for me this time.
But there’s also the acceptance between members. There are still a lot of differences between Japanese and European musicians, and not everyone is open to the idea of putting makeup on their face and playing all kinds of genres. You can’t expect a heavy metal musician to suddenly play dance music, for example.
I still really want to work with European musicians, but I haven’t found anyone who can and wants to come with me for this tour yet.
The start of an “EPOCALIPSE”
The entire tour is intended to promote the release of your new CDs “APOCALYPSE” and “ECLIPSE”, which actually come out officially today. But wouldn’t you’ve rather had a release party in Japan than being at a convention right now?
砂月-SATSUKI-: It’s not weird for me at all to be here right now. I’m actually very happy, because this convention gives me an opportunity to reach more people than when I would be doing a release party in Japan. And being here is also a lot more interesting, because we don’t have these kinds of events in Japan.
We also have to talk about the cover art for these albums… You know what I want to ask, and I know the answer, but I don’t want to betray it in the question, so… Go? (laughs)
砂月-SATSUKI-: Yes, yes I know. Yes, I made the cover art for these releases myself. Sometimes inspiration comes naturally. I don’t know why or when, but sometimes these emotions come naturally and I’m able to translate them into something you can see. In this case that was a painting.
While I was working on this painting I also reached the point where I had to decide on the cover art for these albums. So I decided to scan the painting and turn it into the cover art you see now.
If you put both albums together, you actually get the full painting I created!
Overall both albums show a different side of you as a musician, a side we haven’t seen before in your previous releases. But what inspired you to go both the heavier and more dance-route with these works?
砂月-SATSUKI-: I met an interesting sound producer in Belgium, and I was very interested in their work so I wanted to collaborate with them. This collaboration resulted in the “APOCALYPSE” album. I wanted to try a different sound as a vocalist and touch more people with my music.
This definitely is a first for me, a new route. But I think it will work well. I’m happy with how these releases have turned out!
It might be a bit early to ask, but do you have a favorite song from these albums already, or do you feel like you need to play them live more first?
砂月-SATSUKI-: From the “ECLIPSE” album it’s very easy, it’s “BERSERKER”.
For “APOCALYPSE” it’s a lot harder. I can’t choose a song from that one yet. I like them all at this point, bit I think I will have a favorite by the end of the tour based on how much I enjoyed playing each song live.
Unfortunately we’re already out of time for this interview, but we have time for one last question. Do you have a message for everyone who has been reading today’s interview?
砂月-SATSUKI-: Right now I’m touching a lot of different forms of art… Music, painting and my clothing label. So please continue to enjoy my works!
As you can tell, 砂月-SATSUKI- is currently touching on several different forms of art. During OshareCon there was also a mini-fashion show which featured some of the shirts he had created for his clothing label “Feathers”. So that’s another skill he can add to his resume!
Like mentioned in the interview already, he’s currently on his “EPOCALIPSE” tour to promote the release of both “APOCALYPSE” and “ECLIPSE”, so you’ll see him around Europe for a while. And who knows, he might gather some new inspiration during this tour too!
We also took photos of his performance at OshareCon (Nieuwegein, The Netherlands). 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 both Arlequin Magazine and Arlequin 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.