I don’t think I have to introduce Versailles to any of you, right? Given their track record here in Europe and how pretty much everyone who has ever heard of ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) knows their name?
Well, we all know Versailles has been on a hiatus for a few years now already while vocalist KAMIJO works on his solo career and HIZAKI, TERU, MASASHI and YUKI have been working on Jupiter together with ZIN.
It has been a long wait, but everyone’s wishes have finally been answered: Versailles, or Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- like the band is known in the US due to a name conflict, are going to be returning to Europe for a reunion tour. The last time we’ve seen Versailles was in 2010, where they played in a small venue in Amsterdam. Unfortunately The Netherlands is not a stop during this tour, but unlike last tour bassist MASASHI is now a full member of the band rather than a support member like he was during the last tour.
So, more than enough reason to ask the guys some questions, right? Well then…
Like I already said in the introduction to this interview, I don’t think there are many people who haven’t heard of you or your works before, so we’re just going to dive right in. Since you’re about to embark on another European tour after many years, what can fans look forward to during your shows?
KAMIJO: They’ll not only hear our new songs, but I guess they’ll all be able to see the smiles of the members, and maybe even the tears on their faces?
YUKI: They can look forward to new songs. And I’m personally looking forward to seeing you again.
HIZAKI: They can look forward to a place where you can enjoy everything freely. I want you to be able to feel the miracle.
This time you’re also visiting quite a number of European countries, but is there one country that you’re looking to visiting (or visiting again) the most?
KAMIJO: I’m looking forward to everywhere!
MASASHI: I’m also looking forward to visiting everywhere, but it will be my very first time visiting Bochum (Germany), so I’m looking forward to discovering it.
YUKI: I love everywhere, here in Europe.
TERU: I’m actually looking forward to visiting Finland, since it has been a while since I’ve last been there.
HIZAKI: I’m looking forward to see, and feel ourselves at the tour final in Paris (France). So I can see how we have changed after the tour.
Of course fans are hoping their favorite songs have made it onto the setlist for this tour, but which song do you like to play the most yourself?
KAMIJO: The Love from a Dead Orchestra.
TERU: Aristocrat’s Symphony.
Vampires, Sailor Moon, Art and Music
KAMIJO, it has been a while since we’ve seen all of you together as Versailles, and I personally think that the most noticeable change is actually your vocal style. Do you think that the works from your solo career have influenced your vocal style for Versailles now?
KAMIJO: I unfortunately cannot give you a proper answer to this question because of vampire rules, sorry…
HIZAKI, you’ve always been a groundbreaker when it comes to the lolita scene, even before Versailles. For Versailles you’ve taken a more neo-renaissance style for your dresses, but in Jupiter you’re also wearing more modern styles. Do you have a personal preference between the two?
HIZAKI: Well, since this is Versailles I’ll be wearing the same style as you’re familiar with all this time during this tour as well. But if you want me to wear something different, maybe I could wear the costume of Sailor Moon sometime?
Since HIZAKI has brought this subject to the table himself… Maybe we can convince him to dress up as Sailor Moon for a Halloween event sometime? If this is something you’d like to see, by all means remind him of this comment on his social media accounts (listed at the bottom of this interview)! 😉
TERU, next to one of the guitarists of Versailles, you also the designer for a lot of works, and you’ve expressed your interest in creative arts other than music (like partially directing “Onegai Kanatae Versailles” for example), but was this a one-off event, or would you do it again in the future?
TERU: I spend a lot of time to create the art designs of our CDs, since I care a lot about visual elements in general. I’m also interested in photography and images, and I really want to make a full length movie someday. Maybe a vampire story, starring the members of Versailles.
MASASHI, during the last tour you joined as a support member. This time you’re a full member of the band, but did you ever expect to return to Europe as a full member of the band?
MASASHI: You’re right, the last time I was merely a support member for the rest of the band. I enjoyed it, but I always wished to be able to return to Europe as a full member, and now this wish is about to come true. I’m so happy, and I will do my best this time as well!
YUKI, during the shows in Japan you have a much larger and more extravagant drum setup than during the European tour. You pretty much have to do with a lot less here. But what would be something that you consider to be essential? Something you just can’t live without on stage?
YUKI: Well, I always try to give the best possible performance with the tools that are available to me at that time. But in all honesty, I would like to use an acrylic drum set at all times.
Of course there will be merchandise available during the tour, but usually these are limited to clothing, CDs and cheki, just to name a few things. But other than those items, what would be a merchandise item that you’d personally like to sell?
KAMIJO: I’d like to sell DNA.
MASASHI: I want to sell a Versailles album of course, but if you have ever seen my social media I’m sure you’ve seen one reoccurring theme… I’d be so glad if I could sell goods that are themed in the style of my lovely cat, lol!
YUKI: I’d sell drumsticks.
TERU: A sculpture.
Well… I didn’t expect any of the answers to that last question, but now I’m stuck with an image of HIZAKI promoting his new lingerie merchandise line in a Sailor Moon outfit in my head.
This interview was done very last minute due to a mistake in communication, which actually meant I didn’t have time to ask for an introduction or closing message. Quite unfortunate, but you win some and you lose some I guess.
Anyway, Versailles is starting their “Renaissance” tour through Europe on January 26 in Russia, and ending on February 5 in France, but for more information about the tour itself and tickets, please check the official website of the band.
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.