I first found out about David at a show of Versailles, of all places. At the entrance of the venue people were given a very small business-card sized flyer advertising SUI’s new project, and this seems like a rather strange place to promote a project that’s not even on stage that night, right? Well yes, I agree. But at this time SUI was signed to KAMIJO’s label, and KAMIJO is of course no one other than the vocalist of Versailles.
This doesn’t make it any less strange, but it was a creative method none the less!
Other than that, SUI has recently done a crowdfunding campaign through Muevo to gather funds to celebrate David’s third anniversary in the most grand way possible: SUI plans to celebrate this anniversary in Paris (France) rather than in Japan, because the project has French roots… More than enough reason to have a chat, right?
So, without further ado…
I have introduced David very, very loosely in the introduction to this interview, so as an opening question I’d like to ask you to please introduce yourself in your own words, since that’s always more fun than me doing so, isn’t it?
SUI: I’m SUI. I’ve worked as a vocalist for several bands for about 10 years now, up until the beginning of 2016. But in order to pursue the potential as a vocalist and the embodiment of my ideals as a person I have decided that a solo project would be the best way to do this, so I continued my work under the name “David”.
You’ve officially started your solo project in January of 2017, and the very first reveal of your work to the audience was a surprise live show in France. Why did you decide to reveal your project in France first, rather than in Japan?
SUI: I wanted to develop this project with an overseas perspective. While I was in France during one of the international tours with another band I really felt like I wanted to come there again as a solo artist. Five years later I was back, but this time as the secret opening act of a great senior in Paris, it was the best.
You’ve said that the origin of David lies in France, and I can see the French/Victorian influence you have in your work as well. But did you come up with this idea because of what you saw on tour, or did you research the history of France and based your work on that?
SUI: There was a certain style of beauty that I wanted. I felt something when I started to touch on the history and the materials of France, but what I see when I get to visit the country again gives me completely different influences. Up until now I have been actively incorporating it as artwork.
The project most people here in Europe will recognize before David is probably Megaromania, because you were here with that band in 2012 for a large European tour. But after that you’ve joined 凛(Rin) -the end of corruption world- as new vocalist because their original vocalist left the project to work on his solo project chariots. A year later you revealed David. Were you already working on David when you joined 凛(Rin), or not?
SUI: When I was in Megaromania and 凛 (Rin) I of course thought about the concept of a solo project, but I never had the time to act on it. A year later I wasn’t involved in any project, and that gave me the time to confront myself and rethink about what I wanted to do. In this year I created the foundation for myself as a solo artist.
Current projects: Crowdfunding and 創生録 (Souseiroku)
Time really does fly, because in January of 2020 you will reach a new milestone with David already: the third anniversary. You have a dream to celebrate this milestone in France, to return to where it all began. But what makes you want to go to France rather than celebrate the anniversary at home in Japan?
SUI: Like I mentioned earlier, I created David with a more global aspect in mind. It was very difficult to go abroad, however, because I was at the limit of my capacity with all of my activities in Japan. When we started thinking about how we could celebrate the third anniversary we came up with an overseas project that uses crowdfunding to help us achieve what we couldn’t do before financially.
That was actually my next question indeed, it’s no secret that you’ve started a crowdfunding campaign for the third anniversary show in France, but you’re giving people who donate special rewards like merchandise, video updates and messages in return for their support as well. How did people receive your crowdfunding?
SUI: Not long after the campaign went live we’ve had an amazing response to it. Of course we’re doing this with the intention to succeed, but the most important thing is to be aware of your own feelings, as well as the feelings of the fans both in Japan and abroad. I think there is a big different between keeping this a secret, and putting it out there in the world.
Next to the crowdfunding you’ve also released quite some material recently. A single, a full album and a DVD to be exact. But let’s focus on the album for a moment. “創生録Ⅱ～Fearless Scenario～ (Souseiroku ~Fearless Scenario~)” is a continuation from “創生録飯I～Birth and Confession～ (Souseiroku ~Birth and Confession~)”, but did you intend to release both albums in quick succession, or did the first inspire the second as you were working on it?
SUI: When I finished the production of ～Birth and Confession saw the possibility to expand this work and add more to it. Based on the theme of “Fearless Scenario” I started to write more and more songs which eventually turned into the second album.
Between these two albums you released a single, “Stigmata”. This single also fits with the rest of the album really well, but why did you release it in between? Did you want to prepare the listener for the Fearless Scenario-album?
SUI: That’s right, I absolutely was. I wanted people to listen to this song and it’s message, but it’s also very thrilling as a lead tune. That’s why it’s also so prominent on the album. But to be entirely honest, I was at a complete loss for a long time about which song would take the place that “Apolutrosis” has on the album right now.
Next project: Anniversary
I know you said that you would reveal more of the future of David after the anniversary show in Japan, but can you give me a sneak peek already?
SUI: Even though David is currently “inactive”, the third anniversary show for Japan will be held on January 24 in Takadanobaba AREA in Tokyo next year. This oneman live will be the moment David resumes it’s activities again, meaning it will revive with a new concept on this day as well. There will also be new singles which are only available at this live show. It will probably be difficult for overseas fans to attend, but please keep an eye on the news!
Speaking of live shows, since David is your solo project you make use of support musicians. One of them, 美沙麗 (MIZALY) is no stranger to us because we could already see him in Megaromania, and he was in 凛 (Rin) with you as well. To me it’s not a surprise to see him with you in David either, but what about the other members? How did you come up with this group of musicians?
SUI: The songs of David are the most difficult songs in my entire career. So I wanted to have members who are reliable in both performance and technology. However, the most important part is that we have to be able to synchronize our thoughts together so the support musician will have the same vision as I have. In short, I can only say that David’s support members are very passionate and amazing people!
You’ve obviously been singing for quite some years now, showcasing your skills in different projects throughout those years, but where did your passion for music come from?
SUI: I simply liked the ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) scene, actually. Because of the untouchable and sublime word that is reflected in an unreal reality very beautifully. I eventually came to singing because I liked to spell words.
But why did you choose the ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) genre? There are so many genres out there, have you never thought about being in a different, less theatrical genre? Since throughout your entire career we’ve always seen you in ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) projects…
SUI: For SUI as a vocalist it’s simply not possible. Visual things are also essential for my performance. I do think that while there has been a lot of cutting of corners, the underlying ideas have not and will not change.
New project: CULA
There’s one more topic I wanted to ask about today, since speaking of ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) projects, you’re about to embark on another journey with former members of Fixer under the name CULA. Do you feel like joining a project with a completely different concept than your own enhances your creative vision?
SUI: Yes, absolutely. CULA was born in David, but I was able to meet members with a clear vision and because of that I saw new possibilities. From now on, no matter what development you might see, SUI is David and David is SUI. So I think we will work in parallel from now on.
At the moment there haven’t been many details about CULA other than who the members are. Is there anything you can tell me already, since the project won’t reveal it’s first works until September 30?
SUI: Well… We haven’t announced any prominent releases at this time, but I think we will take action at our own pace in the future. The other members are involved in different projects as well, and I will work hard on everything myself as well so each of us can do as much as possible.
Unfortunately, we’ve reached the last question of the interview today… And yes, it is the familiar one you usually find here… Do you have a message for everyone who’s reading the interview?
SUI: To everyone who is cheering from a far away place: I would be happy if I could connect all of these tricks and make them big. Please do not stop cheering, because your voices have been heard and your support has been received. I will go see you!
The original reason for this interview was actually SUI’s crowdfunding campaign at Muevo, which is still going at this every moment. I had not seen an artist go for the idea of a crowdfunding before, but it’s also not surprising since the concept to start a crowdfunding is getting more popular worldwide. This also gives foreign fans an opportunity to pitch in and enjoy something that’s normally mostly targeted to the local audience in Japan…
Additionally, I didn’t want to ask too much about SUI’s new side project CULA, because not only will they fully reveal it by the end of this month, it’s also pretty clear they don’t want to feed us too much information about it just yet. While CULA is presented as a full band, based on SUI’s answers I can conclude this is a project they will all be working on “on the side”, so to speak. SUI’s main focus lies on David, and primarily the international part of it. While it’s still in it’s infancy stages, I can tell that SUI really hopes to connect with his overseas audience and listen to their wishes and feedback. So please continue to give him your comments, because as you can see yourself, he has heard them!
Follow David and SUI around the web
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.