Interview with nilfinity (translated)

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TEXT: 長澤智典
Translation: JROCK’N’ROLL

It’s a new beginning to seize the light!! In this interview, nilfinity will talk about “ZERO INON”, which has become a hot topic in the online music world!!

With the introduction to nilfinity, a band that has gained a reputation for their profound and dramatic musicianship, that contains specific influences such as dark, intricate, gothic, and symphonic. In the full-length album “ZOETROPE” released in 2021, the musicality cultivated as nilfinity was depicted with certain colors. In other words, “This is nilfinity!!” That’s the attitude that the album “ZOETROPE” shows you. In spite of this, nilfinity refrained from holding live shows soon after the release of the album. However, for the last six months they have been busy shaping a brand new movement.

On July 10, about half a year later, nilfinity released a MV of their latest song “ZERO INON” on YouTube. As if to coincide with the date and time, they announced the resumption of their activities in front of their fans through a gig. Also it is surprising that KAZUKI (from LAID BACK OCEAN, ex-Jelly→) was in charge of composition and arrangement. “Zero Inon,” was the band’s first animated video which was created by Numata Zombie, the MV showed an evolved nilfinity. Nilfinity, who was comfortably immersed in despair, sought light through “Zero Inon.” However what is actually the meaning behind this all?

This time we asked the members of the band, Karan (Vo) and Ryosuke (G), about the truth behind this.

We both felt that we needed to spend more time on production to raise our level and broaden our perspectives. In order to make time for this, we needed to take drastic action.

On February 5th of this year, nilfinity released the album “ZOETROPE“, which “crystallized the nilfinity style“. Just before the release of the album, the song “Accomplice” was chosen as a tie-up for a TV program, and the album was highly praised by the fans and the people involved. Everyone was sure that they were going to “attack with full power” from here… but they stopped their activities on February 21 and stayed away from the stage for about six months. On July 10th, they came back to the stage as the last act of a label-sponsored show at Akabane ReNY. I’m sure there are many people who are wondering, “Why did you stop your live activities?“

――So first of all, please tell us the truth about it.

Karan: This January, our album “ZOETROPE” was buyable in advance via our liveshows. The nationwide CD release was on February 5. This was also the time when nilfinity announced that we were going to stop our live activities. When we made the announcement, we received a lot of responses like, “What do you mean??!! Didn’t you just release an album?”.

Ryosuke: The album “ZOETROPE” is a release that we can confidently say “This is nilfinity!”. At the same time, we had a strong desire to add a different color to nilfinity, and to expand the possibilities of nilfinity. In other words, because we created the best work, we needed time to concentrate on the production in order to move to a higher level.

Karan: While we had been performing at our pace of “four to six shows” a month, we both felt the need to spend more time on production to improve our level and broaden our perspectives. In order to make time for this, we had to take drastic action.

――Oh, so that’s why you set up a six-month period of taking a break from live activities.

Karan: That’s right. During this period, we have produced and recorded many songs, and have also been focusing on video production for the internet, which is something that we plan to focus on more in the future. Also, nilfinity finally gained the confidence to take our first aggressive step to the next stage, and created “ZERO INON” with KAZUKI (from LAID BACK OCEAN, ex Jelly→) as the composer, arranger, and engineer. We asked Numata Zombie, the illustrator of Ado’s “Giragira,” to do the illustrations and to create the video. When we resumed our activity we shared the brand new MV.

――So it was necessary to take a six months break in order to evolve into the next level.

Karan: It was a necessary period of time for nilfinity to break out of our shells in order to take our existence to the next level.

We both felt it was important to try adding “blood” from other people.

――Up until now, Ryosuke had been composing the music, right? To be honest, we were surprised that you hired an external composer.

Karan: One of the biggest reasons for this was the desire to add new colors to nilfinity. Of course, the songs that Ryosuke creates have established the world view of nilfinity, and we will continue to shape the new songs that he creates. Some of the songs have already been re-recorded, while others are ready to be performed live. But at the same time, we both felt it was important to try adding “blood” from other people. The reason why we asked Kazuki from LAID BACK OCEAN is that he had a connection with our original producer of nilfinity and our producer thought “oh, maybe KAZUKI would be a good choice” and introduced us to him. Also, since KAZUKI said that he had “never” provided music for anyone other than his own band, we asked him if nilfinity could be the first band to produce songs for, and he gladly accepted. KAZUKI proposed the song with a lot of thought about the current state of nilfinity and its future evolution.

Regarding “Numata zombie” we had seen a number of artworks and we really liked them, so we sent an email requesting to work with us with all heart and soul and so “Numata zombie” gladly accepted our request.

We felt really happy that the people we requested to help us, created a wonderful work together with us.

――So Ryosuke, you were also in favor of seeking blood other than your own, right?

Ryosuke: Of course, I take pride in the fact that it is my music that has shaped the world of nilfinity so far. But I don’t stick to it, or rather, I try not to be particular about it. The reason for this is that if you have a sense of “this is the way it should be,” you will not be able to see what you should really be able to see because your vision and awareness will be narrowed. It would be great if nilfinity would move into the right direction when we pour other people’s “blood” into nilfinity like we did now. I’m really standing behind it, when “ZERO INON” was born, the feeling turned into conviction.

――That means you will continue to bring in all kinds of new blood, right?

Ryosuke: We have already performed “ZERO INON” and another song created by a different lineup at our revival live on July 10, and we will continue to do so. Of course, I will continue to shape my own music as well.

Karan: Actually, the introduction of “new blood” was so well received that the “twitter tweet” containing the music video for “ZERO INON” received over 10,000 views and likes in just three days. It’s not about what happened before, it was about “cool is cool“. We were able to realize that because if we do really good work, it will be appreciated. So our feeling of “Let’s do what we really wanna do without any weird obsessions.” has even become stronger.

It’s not that I changed my lyrical style, but that I wrote down the words that the song evoked, and as a result, I was able to express myself in a different way than before.

Ryosuke: In spite of the heavy tone of “ZERO INON“, the pop sense that spreads out from the chorus is a style that I would never be able to create before, with that Kazuki’s ideas has brought a new vibe into nilfinity.

Karan: KAZUKI gave us three demo songs, and they were all amazing. Among them, “ZERO INON” gave a subtle pop to the dark elements that suit nilfinity, and gave it the appeal of being easy to listen to. It was such an amazing song that I knew I wanted to sing along with it from the moment I heard it.

Ryosuke: It’s also because the style of lyrical writing has changed, hasn’t it?

Karan: That’s right. However, I didn’t change my style of lyric writing, but rather, I wrote down the words that the song evoked, which resulted in a different expression. Until now, nilfinity’s lyrics were mainly about expressing despair or the deep darkness of the heart. As I myself have been writing about my feelings of despair as if I were gouging them out. I’ve written a lot of really dark and gloomy lyrics and that’s something that will never change. In fact, if there are people who can sympathize with my lyrics and resonate with “understanding” them, people whose hearts can be saved by “darkness and pain“, those people will love the music of nilfinity.

Ryosuke: Until then, the lyrics were written by someone who seemed to be a massive misanthrope. (laugh)

Karan: That’s true (laugh)

Ryosuke: All of the lyrics that Karen has written so far have been “I don’t dare to say it, yet it’s a feeling that everyone has felt before”. Those painful taboo feelings are put into words. That’s why, over time, the more you deepen your understanding of those feelings, the more each word slowly seeps into your heart. But for “ZERO INON,” the lyrics switched to a more positive outlook, which fits with the crisp atmosphere of the song. Especially when you read this part of the lyrics, “It’s also alright to believe in it,” feels very positive!!

Karan: “ZERO INON” stands for “ZERO IN ONE,” which means “to get the target” or “to focus on”. I wrote these lyrics with the idea of “narrowing the focus to where we need to push forward” The lyrics of “ZERO INON” are generally negative, and I remember feeling hopeless. But as I searched for answers to “What should I believe?” and “What is the most important thing?” I wrote about the feelings that gradually changed my feelings positively. At first glance, you might think the lyrics are gloomy, but for me, I wrote them with maximum brightness so that the changes in my feelings would shine through.

Ryosuke: It’s nice to look forward “at the end”.

Karan: Yes, the tune and lyrics are like that. Also, while having an unwavering core as nilfinity, we have expanded a brand new evolution, and the first of this evolution is “ZERO INON”.

Right now, we are focusing on expressing myself through the Internet with more power of communication.

――We’re looking forward to seeing you evolve even more. However right now you will continue your LIVE break to improve your quality right?

Karan: That’s right, however we would love to do a national tour as well we would love to go overseas. Also the current situation makes it harder to perform live, so we try to limit the number of gigs in order to give each gig a deeper meaning. Instead, I’m now focusing on expressing myself through the Internet with more power of communication. Besides, if you use the internet, you also can deepen your connection with people all over the world.

――How has the response been since the release of the “ZERO INON” MV?

Karan: The interesting thing about video content is that at first, everyone judges the music based on their impressions of the sounds and pictures they see, without any preconceptions. That’s one of the reasons why there are so many positive comments about the pure sound. We also hope that people will take the time to read the lyrics after watching the MV.

Ryosuke: As we have strengthened our approach to the Internet, including the development of video content and subscriptions, the number of followers on SNS sites has increased, and we are certainly touching the eyes and ears of new people. Of course, because we can see this, we are now going to focus our efforts on that. We’re already working on creating new video content. (Is it okay to spoil this?) Such as an uncut music video.

Karan: We’re thinking about who we should ask to do the illustrations for our next videos, and we’ve making new moves, one after another in the background. Of course, we’re also working on various developments in terms of live shows. We hope we can show everyone many different aspects of nilfinity again, using just one song as one project at each time.

Ryosuke: If “ZERO INON” has made you like nilfinity, please visit our official YouTube channel. We hope that you will be able to learn more about nilfinity’s history and music through the videos of our past live shows.

Karan: For now “”ZERO INON” is only released as a YouTube video. However, we will continue to release new songs on our SNS channels. And of course, the songs eventually make it to a CD release. If you’re interested, please check out our older releases as nilfinity first. If you still are interested we hope you will continue to chase after us!

Comments

Vo. Karan
ZERO INON was created with the help of two respected musicians and creators.

Composed, arranged, and engineered by KAZUKI (from LAID BACK OCEAN, ex Jelly→) .
Our first animated video was illustrated and animated by Numata Zombie.
We were able to show a new side of the band by adding a new strength to the nilfinity that we have been doing.
The lyrics were also written in a different way than before, by emphasizing the rhythm and sense of words. I tried to express the gradual change in a girl’s mind.
Also it would make us happy if people who have never heard of nilfinity would listen to the song and to us.

Gt. Ryosuke
In preparation for our first live show after a break of about half a year, we were able to continue working with the cooperation of more people than ever before. The new song “ZERO INON” was written by KAZUKI from LAID BACK OCEAN, and is a superb power tune with a perfect fusion of heavy and pop. We are very happy to have this song shine from an angle that nilfinity has never shown before, and we believe that this song will open up new possibilities for us.

KAZUKI
This is the first release since nilfinity’s revival, But it’s also a celebration of my own first release. Karan’s beautiful voice and also the melody that contradicts the edgy guitar riff plus the animated video which Zombie Numata created makes it a wonderful combination and turns ZERO INON into an amazing song! All this together makes me even more excited about the future of nilfinity. So please check it out!

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