Spell/grammar check: Katt
BTW: The interview with Nagasawa Tomonori will be translated by JRNR and shared on a later moment!
We have talked about the album “In the Shade” together with Shigeta, NAGANO (BEAST) and Akiwo(red earth).
el:cid were a band that originally formed in Kyoto, which would end up breaking up in 1996, leaving a bunch of unreleased songs. However, this year el:cid released their first full album after 25 years! Let’s figure out why they decided to release an album after such a long time.
Congratulations on the release of “In the Shade”!
──Your first album has been released! How do you feel that you received the opportunity to release a full album many years after it was produced? Also could you tell us your most memorable memories when you created the songs?
Shigeta: I felt deeply moved by the fact that I was finally able to release an album, I thought that it would never happen and that my songs would never see the light. Back in the days while we were active, we worked together with a different producer when we were recording our songs, so it was pretty difficult to merge our images back in those days.
──What kind of “different image” did you have at that time?
Shigeta: Back then our producer wanted us to give the melody of our songs more a j-pop feeling. However we couldn’t turn our songs into j-pop.
──Please tell us the meaning of the album title 「In the Shade」.
Shigeta: Akiwo suggested this title, and I decided to use it. We chose his suggestion because he was (and still is) deeply involved in the recording and music production of our material.
──So it was Akiwo who proposed the album title “In the Shade”? Akiwo please tell us what your intention was for this title?
Akiwo: I named it with the inspiration of creating a “song title”, which isn’t included in the album.
──The Jacket has an image of a butterfly. Is there any reason why a butterfly was chosen for the cover design?
Shigeta: When we were designing our ideas on paper, it just happened that one of the jacket designs had a butterfly motif, but I wasn’t particular about wanting a butterfly at all. However when we all saw the finished samples together, we decided to choose this design based on the overall tone and atmosphere it created.
Ryu: I still can’t believe that this design was chosen, there were other amazing designs. Anyway the booklet/inlay design of the CD are designed in the same atmosphere, please look forward to hold it in your hands!
──The album was released many years after your disbandment, however even until today the music doesn’t feel “old” at all. All songs feel as if they are “timeless“. What’s the “secret” behind this “timeless” feeling you created?
Shigeta: When we made our music, we didn’t aim to create a hit song according to what was popular, but we felt it would be good if we stabbed it in a niche layer, so I guess that worked out well. Also at that time LUNA SEA, Kuroyume, and L’Arc-en-Ciel were all the rage, so I also wanted to create something that could match those band styles by adding their influences into our music. (laugh)
──The album has a total of 15 songs, and el:cid’s auditory aesthetic still flows in all of the songs, so please tell us the reason why those songs were chosen to be on the album.
Shigeta: The songs that were added to the album are the ones I love the most. (laugh)
──I see, but why do you love those songs?
Shigeta: It’s just a feeling I have, when I listen to the songs, I receive a kind of fluffy sensation. (laugh)
──Last year your EP “Cry for the moonlight” was released as a digital release. Please tell us the reason why you released the album as a physical CD this time.
Shigeta: At first I thought of releasing the album as a digital release, but I received many requests for a physical release, which felt inclined to release it for those who are looking at a niche release.
── Please choose one of your favorite songs from the album and tell us the reason why you like this song.
Shigeta: 2020. This song has everything inside that I want to transfer to the listener and what I wanted to create from the feelings of myself the most.
──The album has been completed, please tell us your feelings about it.
Shigeta: Above all, I feel really happy to share the process of creating the album together with NAGANO.
──How do you feel about Shigeta being so happy that you joined to help him to make this release happen?
NAGANO: I don’t really understand the feeling of his joy (laugh). It’s maybe a little bit foolish to say, but at the time he asked me I was sort of busy, however I joined because we still could match our schedules which is very important to do as musicians.
──What is the biggest influence NAGANO has had on you?
Shigeta: Not only his music, but also his attitude as a person and the way he deals with things.
──Those who bought the CD at the HAUNTED HOUSE webshop also received an additional bonus CD-R, which includes another 6 songs. So the listener obtained a total of 21 songs. Why did you decide to include so many songs?
Shigeta: That you won’t waste money too much. When you can buy a release digitally you might only buy the songs you like. But if you buy a physical version you end up with songs you might also don’t like. So I don’t want that a person would feel “disappointed” in the end because it contains too many songs a person might not like.
──The selection of the bonus CD-R songs have been carefully selected, what was the process for picking songs to be on this bonus CD-R?
Shigeta: We wanted to replicate something that would be similar to what would be played during a live setlist. It’s like a setlist of the early days from when the word “Visual Kei” wasn’t popular in the world yet, and it’s a setlist from the early days of el:cid. At this time I was playing with Kyo from DIR EN GREY a lot, and around that time I was also invited to join the omnibus of “Rock Tengoku Jack In the Music Box” with the song 斜陽 (Shayou).
Also I grew up listening to D’ERLANGER and buck-tick, so there are also song inspiration elements of them inside my music. (laugh). Also it includes strong elements of positive punk.
──Please tell us how you decided to release the album as a national release as well.
Shigeta: After consulting with HAUNTED HOUSE, NAGANO and the members, we felt like releasing it nationwide is a good idea.
──It has been about a year since you have been using SNS regularly. What surprised you the most? Do you think it’s perfect for promotion?
Shigeta: It’s a little different from what I was “expecting”. But, it is a place I can use to connect with people who I haven’t spoken with for a long while, as well as I can use it to connect and interact with new people right? Also in this era, SNS is a must for promotion.
──This time NAGANO is involved in the album in the form of Sound Treatment. What kind of nuance did you give when working with el:cid’s sounds?
NAGANO: I got inspired by “SOFT BALLET, SCHAFT, She Shell, 睡蓮 (SUILEN) 、minus(-) and Maki Fuji’s words” so I mixed the songs with that kind of treatment in mind. (Please forgive me)
──What do you have in mind while working on the Sound Treatment?
NAGANO: I wanted to make an artistic version of the state of the 2MIX DEMO. Actually, before everything got started I already had a mysterious exchange of playing with el:cid songs as a hobby for many years. (laugh) Somehow I understand shigeta and el:cid’s world view and scenery, so I was able to concentrate the image and force it into something better!
──Because shigeta-san is a disciple of NAGANO and he respects NAGANO musically. Which makes me wonder if there are any musical similarities between BEAST and el:cid. Have you noticed anything similar of this nature from your perspective NAGANO?
NAGANO: Nope (laugh), but since our antennas are close to each other we can send our favorite songs to each other and give our own impressions and catch-up with each other. Also we talk about various things such as, comeday, art, religion, world affairs and so on, so I also feel lots of sympathy between us.
──NAGANO’s noise guitar was added to the song “2020”. How did you come up with this style?
NAGANO: I understand Shigeta’s taste very well, so I added my guitar without any problems. Also I tried to create a sense of anxiety by not playing some notes that were a bit messy.
──From your point of view, what do you think is the reason why el:cid’s music is so special?
NAGANO: When I first heard it, I was surprised to hear how well the music was constructed through his expertise. I don’t know about anyone else, but his music sticks out to me.
Akiwo: For myself it’s music that is comfortable and stimulating, so I guess that’s the main reason why it feels so special.
──Please tell us how you participated in the album production this time.
NAGANO: The music is so great that I thought we should publish it in some way, so I naturally joined the progress, or maybe I just got hooked (laugh).
──Please tell us your favorite song of el:cid.
NAGANO: My favorite song has to be Cry for the moonlight. Because, back in the days while the guys recorded this song at the studio, I gave them some advice and suggestions.
Akiwo: I like PEJIMAARU and 2020, because both of the song styles have a lot of shigeta’s personal flares.
──Akiwo, how did you actually get involved with el:cid back in the days?
Akiwo: I got involved back when I was a high school student. I forgot the reason, however back then I bought a synth and I went to Shigata’s home to help him to create a demo song.
──How do you see the current activities of el:cid?
Akiwo: I’m very happy that I am also one of the persons who got involved in the production of the songs and also that the unreleased songs finally have seen daylight, and that each song is still echoing around even after such a long time.
──Akiwo and Shigeta, how do you feel about creating music together again after so many years?
Akiwo: We didn’t create anything new yet together, we’re currently checking out our old songs and I’m fixing them together with Shigeta’s suggestions. Personally, I’ve been away from music production for a while, so it takes a bit of time to regain my senses again.(bitter smile)
Shigeta: It is definitely something good. I’ve been doing music for a long time now, so it feels the same as it was back in the days.
──Could you tell us a little bit more about el:niño?
Akiwo: Back in the 90s, I tried to release songs that were created with a concept of music that was similar to J-pop, which we release under the name of el:niño but it’s played by el:cid.(laugh)
Shigeta: In parallel with el:cid just as a hobby, I was doing something like imitating the trendy J-pop which I couldn’t do with el:cid. The image of the sound is similar to HIM or T.M.Revolution. One instance was when Nishikawa (T.M Revolution) came to greet us in the dressing room of el:cid, and he was a very gentle and polite person(smile). Partly because of that happening, I’ve been playing around with J-POP style for fun. Anyways, I’ve included a remix from that time on the pre-order bonus disk.
──Can you please give a message to everyone who purchased the album?
Shigeta: Thank you from the bottom of my heart if you purchased this album. From a standpoint as to which the album was created, we all go through different terms of a worldview, but this one- the one the album conveys is a non-realistic one. But, we all go through periods of time when we want something different. You can listen to this album when you dream to be in a world that is different from ours.
──Please tell us your future plans for el:cid
Shigeta: There are still a bunch of songs which I couldn’t release this time, so I’d like to release those songs someday as well.
──Finally, please share a message to everyone.
Shigeta. For those of you who are listening to our album, we ask that you take your very valuable time from their life and we just hope that the time you’re putting into listening to us, is not a waste.
You can buy the CD via a proxy at the HAUNTED HOUSE webshop(+bonus CD) or you can get the CD via HMVJapan or CDJapan(without bonus CD), If you have trouble purchasing the CD, be free to ask me for help via twitter.