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10 years of THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S! No matter whether they encountered member changes or global pandemics, they continued their way and are still persuing their dream! 2 of their members were in D’espairsRay before they joined THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S and toured overseas already. They always think about their foreign fans and it shows!

You recently announced two new projects called “OFIAM” and “THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S Still Night”. Could you tell us your impressions and expectations for these two projects?

kazuya: “OFIAM” is an experimental group I’m in with SHUN. and ZERO. In terms of the sound,  we process the voices of the members and make heavy use of samples. There are also songs where I, myself, do not play the guitar. Instrumental ones and some that are more artistic than popular music. “THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S Still Night” removes all decorations, such as synthesizers, from the  melodies we have created throughout 10 years of activity and plays the melodies on the violin or piano, wrapping it up in an acoustic sound. 

ZERO: I hope that they will turn into two extremes. I want to use what I learned from both ends and return it all to THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S.

SHUN.: For “OFIAM”, I hope it will become a group that can continuously challenge new things. I, too, expect that something interesting will be created as a result. “THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S Still Night” on the other hand plays a more mature sound.

TSUKASA: Both have strong experimental elements, so we can challenge many new things with both projects. Regarding “OFIAM”, even though I’m a supporting drummer, I am really looking forward to it. 

“OFIAM”’s website is mostly written in English. Are you planning to appeal to an international audience with it?

kazuya: We’re always thinking about it. Having instruments is different from what we have been doing before, so in terms of the sound, we have this big goal of “creating something of world standard someday.” 

ZERO: Personally speaking, I want to appeal to them even if it’s not through

 “OFIAM”. For example, I try to be conscious about the things I create, such as the format of schedules. I write them in a way so that both Japanese and overseas fans can understand them easily.

SHUN.: I think that it would be great if we could create something that’s borderless in every way. 

TSUKASA: On my personal twitter account, I always start the day by writing “GM. OHAYOCHAN” (a cute way to say good morning in Japanese).  It’s proof that we are always looking at the world. We are really paying attention. 

Other than the announcement above, there was also an announcement that you are currently looking for a new vocalist. The voice of the band is a very important factor for the fans, and the new vocalist will have a different voice, so it definitely seems like a risk. How is being in  a band without a vocalist?

kazuya: The voice is the central axis for THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S as a band, so, honestly, it is tricky. However, I try to create a new common sense and do not see the negative as a negative, but as an advantage

ZERO: As someone who wants to be in a band, I think that a band without a vocalist can only show half of their charm. I think music can be created with only sound, but it is absolutely necessary to have a certain performance technique. It’s not really close to my style, so having a vocalist is indispensable for me personally.

SHUN.: Instead of just being an instrumental band just because we do not have vocals right now, we want to explore various possibilities.

TSUKASA: Instrumental bands are great, but personally, I think that having a vocalist is a must. Moreover, in a sense, it is also a great time for challenging new things, so until we find a vocalist, I want to continue enjoying the progress. Although that isn’t limited to the time that we don’t have one.

This year you are celebrating your 10th anniversary, so what would be the ideal celebration if there was no COVID?

kazuya: Regardless of COVID, I think just having the members, the staff and the fans who always support us there with us is enough.

ZERO: I wanted to have a huge festival. Although considering the current situation that we are only 4 members, I don’t know if we could actually do it even without COVID.

SHUN.: To be honest, personally, I wanted to have a concert where we could make as much noise as we used to, move freely and enjoy ourselves. However, even though there are restrictions right now, we are trying to find ways to enjoy it to the fullest.

TSUKASA: It would be being close to the fans, making a lot of noise together, and having a celebration with the members and the staff. I think there’s happiness even in doing such  ordinary things. 

Also, the anniversary live “THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S VS OFIAM” will be livestreaming on Zaiko, so overseas fans also will be able to access it. Do you plan to continue live streaming even after the COVID crisis?

kazuya: Since we started live streaming, we once again realized that there are many people from overseas, and even in Japan, that cannot go to concerts. My personal thought is that I want the people who like us to see us, so I want to do live streaming with “OFIAM” as well. Therefore, even when the COVID crisis ends, I want to actively continue doing it.

ZERO: Originally I never really liked cameras, but the current situation has gotten me used to them a bit. That’s why I want to continue doing it in the future, too.

SHUN.: Since live streaming has been invented as a new form of doing concerts, I want to create something that can only be enjoyed through live streaming (a charm different from live concerts). So I want everyone to see concerts in the form of live streaming in the future, too.

TSUKASA: I like the live streams. Of course I want to have fun together with the audience and with the fans, but I think that live streaming is becoming a new form of doing live concerts and above all, I think it is a good era for people who want to watch the concert but can’t go.

Before starting THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S, kazuya and SHUN. were active in a band called FANATIC◇CRISIS; and ZERO and TSUKASA were active in a band called D’ESPAIRSRAY. What was it like to start a new band from scratch? 

kazuya: When we  formed this band, I was in a place where I had nothing to lose, so it was a “go big or go home” type of situation . That is still the final goal even now that I am in this band that I want to achieve my dreams with. That’s why I am still very grateful to the members, from the bottom of my heart, for doing the band together.                                                    

ZERO: First of all, we weren’t aiming to “do just anything”. But if you are going to do something, rather than just choosing an existing option, it is better to create an option from scratch. Because I want to make my own rules.

SHUN.: At the time, I was already thinking about quitting being a bandman so when kazuya made the suggestion, I thought if I want to do it, isn’t it better to start from scratch again?

TSUKASA: I think I am lucky. The only thing I can do is music, so I am just very grateful to have met the members.

Everyone has a long band history, but are there any big differences compared to when you first started?

kazuya: SNS, greetings, and the sense of distance to the fans are all different.

ZERO: The way we present ourselves is completely different. I think there are a lot of options in this era, and bands can compete not only with music or their appearance, but in other areas, too. On the contrary, as different opportunities increase, the things we didn’t need in the past are also increasing. I think that the mystery around artists is fading.

SHUN.: Certainly a lot of things have changed as the times have changed. The big thing has to be the power of the internet. As I said earlier, live streaming is also one of them.

TSUKASA: I think it is an era when it is crucial for us, who were supposed to live for the music, to start doing other things too. Eventually, it may become natural that doing music will be equal to creating visuals and videos. Oh, or maybe it already is.

The Profile on the website shows the instruments of each member and one other role you have. For example, ZERO is a bassist and a CD designer. The instruments go without saying, but is the other role your own responsibility without other members’ involvement?

kazuya: It’s mainly that person’s role. In this era, I think it is important to have various expertises, not just playing an instrument. I have been saying this to the members since we formed the band. It ended up being a lot of work, but as the things we accomplish within the band have only increased, it feels good in terms of the speed and the satisfaction. It is still difficult, though. 

ZERO: Aside from the fact that it is fun, we want to continue having special skills. Of course I also hope we can increase the content we can enjoy. 

SHUN.: I am a type of person who has a lot of private hobbies by nature, so I think it might be normal for me to take on many roles. However, if you get into too much detail it will be too much and it will get confusing (laughs). 

TSUKASA: In an era where we can do anything by ourselves, we always maintain a stance of being grateful to our areas of expertise while also entrusting things to others.

In the comment sections of the MVs posted on YouTube, there are a lot of overseas fans. Did you think your music would reach so many people outside of Japan as well?

kazuya: I think it is ZERO and TSUKASA’s band D’ESPAIRSRAY that paved the way, so I am really grateful. The melodies I created at home became songs for our band, which later became something that belongs to the fans, and even the people living across the sea are listening to it. As a writer there is nothing that can make me happier.

ZERO: I think the era when visual kei was special and attracting attention overseas is over, but I want to keep aiming to expand overseas in the future if we get the chance. 

SHUN.: I am grateful. I am happy that the borders in music, sports, arts and many other areas are gradually disappearing so various people are able to see and learn about them.

TSUKASA: Originally I thought the word “overseas” didn’t suit me, but when I was in D’ESPAIRSRAY, I was surprised and impressed, thinking “Is it really possible?” From those feelings, the dream of starting in Japan and then having people all around the world listen to our songs was born. I still have that dream of playing an active role overseas.

Which song would you recommend to someone who doesn’t know about THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S yet?

kazuya: I don’t really have one that would make me say: “You have to listen to this!!” For the better or worse, we have had member changes repeatedly in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd term, so the music range is wide. That’s why I’d be happy if you’d find your favorite song on YouTube through a subscription to our channel. On the contrary, I want you to tell me which song is your favorite.    

ZERO: All of them. You’re bound to like some of them at least.

SHUN.: Personally, I like loud songs but I want you to listen to them all, of course (laughs).

TSUKASA: Since we all created it together, I want you to listen to  them all.

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

kazuya: Concerts, composition, planning. Everything related to music feels more like playing than work, so anything is fun.

ZERO: I don’t think there would be many people who would support me if I lived a normal life, also there are fans I get to meet just because of the fact that I am a musician, and I get to share an unbelievable time with them.

SHUN.: It is definitely fun to play the guitar. It wasn’t possible to enter the studio because of the COVID crisis at the beginning, so it felt so good to finally play in the studio and hear that roaring sound again after a long time.

TSUKASA: At first it felt like a dream to be able to make a living with music, but thanks to the power of all of my friends, and above all, thanks to my fans who support me, that dream has come true. I love the time I get to spend together with members and fans.

What makes you laugh most during a tour or when you’re writing a song?

kazuya: Once when I was composing a song at home with the auto lock turned off, I was doing the temporary vocals when TSUKASA suddenly came in, which was so embarrassing (laughs). Another time, I had a great time talking with ZERO and SHUN., who doesn’t drink, until morning during a tour. But I don’t remember the night very clearly…

ZERO: It is when I exceed the limits in various areas. In order to achieve that you have to make a mistake first, though.

SHUN.: THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S is fun when on the move (laughs). When we are travelling by car on a tour etc., for the first few minutes, the excitement is high and everyone acts like a fool, but after 5 minutes everyone falls asleep and it gets really quiet (laughs).

TSUKASA: During the tour, as soon as we enter the dressing room, everyone starts looking for a bento box. During composing it is when we are doing temporary vocals, I end up letting my voice vibrate like in Enka-music and therefore need to re-record the take.

Finally, please say a few words to your overseas fans.

kazuya: Thank you for your constant support. From now on, our new projects “OFIAM” and “Still Night” will start. These two groups are experimental groups without a role model. It would make me happy if these activities can heal people’s hearts and even affirm their existence at times. Also, I really value the existence of THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S. I will do my best so that my future activities will eventually connect with THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S and make it shine even more. Please keep supporting us.

ZERO: I’m sure that this interview is read by people who already like THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S but there might also be some people who have gotten to know about us by casually reading this. Encounters happen to everyone in one form or another, and some are memorable, some are forgettable. We  will continue to do our best to make as many memories as possible with you, so please continue supporting us.

SHUN.: I hope that in the future you will get to know us more and more in various forms like THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S, “THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S Still Night”, and “OFIAM.” I am looking forward to having a concert overseas someday. And I am looking forward to meeting you all when that time comes.

TSUKASA: I think we can definitely go overseas again. I always perform believing in that. Also, I will do my best in Japan, having fun together with fans while expanding my horizon. It would be great if, eventually, we could do a world tour that connects Japan and overseas. Please continue to support us.

Interview: Chris
Translator: Gamze
English Edit: Franzi


It would be great if you could support us with a small donation.
It might not be much for you, but it would help us providing more and better interviews in the future.
With a little bit of your support we might be able to realize even more!

One thought on “BAND IN: THE MICRO HEAD 4N’S (Jul. 2021)

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