Interview with Riku (ex-Phantasmagoria, Lin and chariots)

This time we will introduce Riku, you might know him from bands like HISKAREA, Phantasmagoria, Lin and chariots. He started his solo project in April 2019. Let’s learn a little bit more from his own worldview.

■ Riku, thank you very much for this interview. This is your first appearance on JROCK’N’ROLL, so please introduce yourself based on your past activity history.

After starting my music career as an independent band I joined a label and was a member of HISKAREA, Phantasmagoria, Lin and chariots. Currently I’m active as a solo artist.

■ Why did you choose to become a visual kei artist?

I wouldn’t say that I’ve chosen it, but it was more because the artists I fell in love with were in that genre of music.

■ What’s the biggest change in the visual kei scene from the beginning of your music activities to 2022?

The performance level of the artist has been improved.

■ You have released many songs so far. Could you tell us your favourite song and why you love this song the most?

I would say my newest song “HONEY NIGHT”. Because it has a type of sound that I haven’t used in my previous music activities at all.

■ Which two songs would you like to recommend to those who have never listened to your music before?

I’ve released two albums so far, so I’ll recommend one song from both albums.
undrop city
煩悩事変 (Bon’nou Jihen)

■ What’s the secret of being still active as a musician?

Because I don’t do anything against my will and I sing the songs which are dear to me.

■ What’s the reason for becoming a vocalist?

As far as I remember, I always loved to sing.

■ What’s your biggest inspiration for writing new music?

Well I don’t really know… I do absorb everything around me… or something like that is my biggest inspiration.

■ What’s the real thrill of standing on the stage?

It’s creating art that cannot be taken back by anyone.

■ What do you find most attractive and what do you find most difficult in your solo activities?

The attraction is that I am able to pursue anything I wanna do.
The difficulty is not to become self-complacency.

■ The Corona pandemic brought significant changes in life, including restrictions on everyone’s musical activities. How did the Corona pandemic affect you?

I don’t see it as a negative thing, because it gave me the opportunity to distribute my music online and have many people around the world listen to my music.

■ Are there any songs you would like to re-record for your solo project? If so, which songs would you like to re-record?

Well, I do have re-recored songs, two of the songs are included on my first album “ZORO“; “リ オートマタ (Re:Automata) (Chariots cover)” and 鱗粉(Rinpun) (Chariots cover). And from my newest digital releases; 契約 (Keiyaku)(KAWON cover) is a self-cover as well.

■ What do you wish what people feel what they listen for the first time to your music?

The charm of my singing voice.

■ What’s your process of writing new music?

After the melody of the song has been completed, I’ll start writing the lyrics and then choose wisely the words matching to the sound of the melody.

■ How do you compose your music?

Some songs I create from a melody that pops into my mind, some are assembled from a rhythm and some are provided with a finished song melody. So the method varies from each song.

■ When do you decide your visual image when a new song will be released.

I start to create the visual image when I have finished about 80% of the song and start writing the lyrics to the song melody.

■ Could you tell us the world view of your lyrics?

Each song has a different view, so i can’t tell it in just one word, but I’ll try to choose words that are as easy to understand as possible for everyone. If I choose too difficult words it feels to me that the listeners will concentrate too much on the words, rather than focus on the music as well.

■ Your 2nd solo album [残響クレイドル (Reverberation Cradle)] was released on June 14th 2022. Could you explain each song?

  1. ツァイガルニク (zeigarnik)
    At first it had an ordinary feeling, so the melody was re-done many times.
    The song is about, as the song-title “zeigarnik” implies, the more something is not completed, the more it persists in your mind.

  2. 煩悩事変 (Kleshas)
    When the melody of the song was finished, the atmosphere felt much more “Japanese” than I expected, so I thought that I would name the title of the song with a Japanese atmosphere.
    The name was inspired by the “Honnouji no Hen (Honnouji Incident)”. The lyrics are about klesha, which are typical human emotions. Such a topic is easy to understand for everyone.

  3. 心、篭った人の詩 (Hermit’s getting have will)
    A song about how a current utopia would look like.
    I tried to express how the perfect utopia would look like with this song.
    This song doesn’t include any betrayal.

  4. 禍禍しさに相対し (Overwhelming)
    I wrote a song about something that was even unusual for my own reality. Because we cannot see our own future and what will happen to us. I asked myself “What could happen in the middle of a disaster?” You cannot compare any past happenings, because nothing will be repeated the exact same way.

  5. 彩色世界 (Nirvana)
    A foolish song about taking life for granted.
    Which turned into an unwanted life end.
    Anyway, someday everyone will die.

  6. to stir my heart
    The song didn’t end with a good sense, it still has the sense of a lingering hazy feeling.
    As with anything, there aren’t many things that end nice and smoothly.
    The decadent world of the good old days.

  7. 軋轢 (friction)
    When there is a (deadly) conflict, usually the victim is responsible as well as the perpetrator.
    It’s not that you should be “against” the perpetrator, but taking the matter as “The way something should have to be“.
    You should not solve the conflict by seeing the victim as the “dead person“. But more as a “nobody“.
    Because in the first place, both of them were never “the victim“. But both are “perpetrators“.
    To be able to judge about the conflict it’s necessary to disconnect yourself from their relationship.
    This solution doesn’t work for the general public, but there are exceptions to everything.

JRNR NOTE: For example; Person A kills B, because person B has killed person’s A most dear person. So, should you actually see person B as the victim? Because person B killed person’s A dear person? so aren’t both actually “perpetrators”?

  1. 全能エンカウント (omnipotence)
    If you say you are all ready for it, but in the end you aren’t, then you’re lying.
    So you need to be omniscience and almighty?
    Of course there is nothing wrong with being well-prepared, however isn’t it more human-like if you are being swayed by your own intuition and emotions?

  2. 待ち侘びて、残された結末 (The regret was left behind)
    No matter how blessed we are, we can never know what lies ahead.
    To be exact; We should live our lives with no regrets.
    We must live each day to the fullest.
    Our precious life is just a momentary to our undesired end.
    Someday we all die.

  3. アマツカツバサ (Angel feather)
    In terms of the story, after an (dear) Angel spreads his wings and flies away, you/someone picks up and holds strongly the left behind (angel) feathers, which makes you/that person fall deeply immersed in thoughts. I hope it gives such a kind of feeling.
    It’s like an excerpt from a story that is easy to imagine.
    The lyrics are positive and push your back to move forward positively.

BUY: 戮-Riku- 2nd Solo Album 「残響クレイドル」 | 戮-Riku Official Web Shop

■ Why did you choose to name the album [残響クレイドル (Reverberation Cradle)]?

In the hope that this album will be listened to forever, and that every time I perform it live, it will be like cradling a baby in a cradle.

■ How do you feel about that many overseas people like your music?

I feel very happy that people enjoy and love my music (by melody) even though I only sing in Japanese.

■ Is there any artist who you want to record a song together with?

I would like to record a song with all artists who have influenced me so far.

■ When you started your musical career, did you ever expect to be on stage of a major visual kei festival?

I would never have expected it, but back then and even now I have groundless confidence in myself.

■ What does “music” mean to you?

Even if you listen to a limited amount of time, it won’t let you feel that you have spent your time useless, it allows you to spend a better time.

■ Do you have any beliefs or mottoes as an artist?

Stay positive.

■ Do you have any goals for your future activities?

My near-term goal is having a solo ONE-MAN show.

■ We came to the end, so please share some last words to your fans and readers.

I’m not good at communicating with words alone. So I really hope that you also will listen to the songs I’ve created.
And thank you for reading without getting bored until the end.