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ACME – well known for their funny attitude, colorful outfits and amazing music, just released a new song that shows them from a darker and more intense angle. In this interview they shared some really interesting insights about the new songs, their PVS, the upcoming US tour and more!

ACME is the first visual kei band that featured a black woman in a MV with your previous single, COME BACK TO YOU. How did you come up with the idea? Also, did you know that it would be such an important first for visual kei?

CHISA: The recording of COME BACK TO YOU involved some very talented people from various countries and races. It all started from the desire to make a video that is suitable for a song created in such an environment.

Shogo: We chose it because we wanted to have a female extra in the video. 

RIKITO: Unlike other genres, visual kei consists of a wide range of expressions and is free by nature. That is why we were able to freely and strongly convey the message of the song with a MV that featured a black woman. We were the first ones to do that.

HAL: Looking at the MVs of other artists, most of the female extras are blonde, white women so we questioned that and made an offer to a black woman. We are very satisfied with her character, style, and acting skills.

ACME is mostly known for its colorful image. However, your new image seems a bit darker. How did you come up with this new concept?

CHISA: GEKKOUYOKU (月光浴) is a dark song, so it’s a world created by expanding the image of the song.

Shogo: I don’t remember if it was the cameraman’s idea, or whose idea it was, but the promotion photo turned out different than before, and I think we were able to express a new ACME through that. 

RIKITO: The idea for the photo shoot was chosen based on the opinions of the film director and the cameraman. I think that the message we want to express in the song is clearly conveyed in the promotional photo as well. 

HAL: In the 5 years since the formation of the band, each member has grown into an adult, so we chose a dark image to express a different ACME from before. The title of the song is “GEKKOUYOKU” (月光浴; “Moonlight Bath”), so the light is about the same amount as the moonlight. 

You are releasing the new single “GEKKOUYOKU” (月光浴) very soon. What is your favorite thing about the song, and why?

CHISA: Of course I love everything about it, but, to single out one thing, I would say the lyrics. I think I was able to write lyrics that only I could write.

Shogo: The interlude at the end of the intro of the song! The reason is that the guitar phrase here and the rhythm around it are the coolest. When it comes to this song, this is the best part, right? 

RIKITO: At the end, the sound of the band fades away, and CHISA sings a cappella. I like it because it’s a type of expression that hasn’t been seen in ACME’s songs before, also I think the ending surprises people who listen to it for the first time. 

HAL: The composition of the song is very simple, but to make up for that each member is more expressive than usual. This is very difficult for musicians, but it is also the most important thing in order to make music.

We have only listened to the preview of GEKKOUYOKU (月光浴), and even though the first a cappella feels dramatic, it gets more intense from the moment the instruments get involved. The beginning part of the song, and the title sound like ballads, but is it really a ballad song?

CHISA: I think there are various ways to interpret it depending on the listener. I didn’t have a ballad in mind when I was writing the song, but I was particular about the mood of the melody.

Shogo: I don’t think it’s a ballad. I think the good and the fun part of music is that it is up to people to perceive it as a ballad or not.

RIKITO: We didn’t write the song with the intention of making it a ballad, but the fact that it may feel like a ballad to the listeners might be one appeal of the song.

HAL: If you think it’s a ballad because the tempo is slow, you would be mistaken, but it is a ballad in the sense that the lyrics tell a story. There is a sound and beauty to the words that is unique to the Japanese language.

The lyrics of GEKKOUYOKU (月光浴) are very dramatic. It feels like a well-directed movie scene. However, the lyrics of WALK are rather straightforward and aggressive. Where did you get the ideas for the lyrics of the songs?

CHISA: Regarding GEKKOUYOKU (月光浴), I wrote it focusing on the use of the Japanese language.

HAL: I wrote the lyrics of WALK. The lyrics of this song are inspired by the various scenery I see and experience during mountain climbing, which is my hobby. 

Also, the lyrics of WALK are mostly in English. Only the last part is in Japanese. Is there a reason for it?

HAL: The English part is meant to appeal to people. In the Japanese part, however, I just freely expressed my deepest feelings without worrying about what people want. I’m from Japan, so Japanese is how I think about and understand things. 

GEKKOUYOKU (月光浴) was written by CHISA, and WALK was written by HAL. What parts did Shogo and RIKITO play in the single?

Shogo: I play the guitar. Also, half of the original melody is a mixture of my own songs, like the impressive part of the guitar riff and the progress of the hook.

RIKITO: Not to mention the recording of the bass, but I also made  the synchronization with the original melody that became the basis of this song.  

HAL: ACME always works together to make the music arrangements. If the demo of the song is the ingredients, the members decide how to cook it and will cook it together. Then, we serve it to people. Did you enjoy your meal this time?

You did a US Tour in 2020, and you announced another US Tour, the “Unbreakable Tour 2021”, this year. What were the highlights of the previous tour for you? Also, what are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming tour?

CHISA: The people we meet in each region, the places, the food are all good memories. Also, the scenery I saw while travelling was completely different from Japan, so I was looking at the color of the sky. I feel like it really inspired me.

Shogo: Speaking of the last tour, I can’t forget the car break-in incident we had (laughs). The concerts are always fun, but the time when we went to San Francisco for sightseeing was memorable. There are a lot of places I haven’t been to yet in the upcoming tour so I’m really looking forward to meeting the fans who will come to see us, and trying the local food in the area.

RIKITO: The most memorable thing was, of course, the car break-in, but it wasn’t a happy event. Other than that, the sunset at Santa Monica Beach when we went there together with the fans left an impression on me. There will be another event in the upcoming tour where we will go sightseeing together with the fans, so I want to make a lot of memories along with the concerts. 

HAL: It was the time when I did cocaine and threw out the TV from the hotel window to the pool. Huh? Did this memory belong to a different band?

Also, various special events have been planned for the tour. For example, we think that sightseeing with the fans is a very unique event. During the sightseeing, fans get to have meals with the band members. Is there any food that you want to eat in America? On the contrary, is there anything that you cannot eat?

CHISA: Sightseeing with the members is very fun! There is still a lot of food to try for the first time, so I want to try what I haven’t had yet.

Shogo: We will be able to eat together with the fans, I think. Outside the concerts, I like trying local food during the events or in my private time. I hope they taste good.

RIKITO: I want to eat the original hamburgers of each region. I can’t eat cucumbers.

HAL: I interact with my overseas fans on SNS and live streaming, so I really look forward to being able to look them in the eye and talk with them. I look forward to the local gourmet food of the places we will visit in the tour. I want to try everything!

Is there anything that you always pack with you when you go on a tour? Could you tell us three things?

CHISA: Camera, card case, glasses.

Shogo: Extra cigarettes, extension cord, bath goods such as my favorite shampoo.

RIKITO: Hair treatment, face lotion, body milk.

HAL: Knife, compass, water.

Performing in both Japan and overseas, do you notice any differences between the Japanese and overseas fans? What is your favorite song to perform in Japan vs. overseas?

CHISA: Both are having fun during the concert, I think, but the way of expressing their feelings is different. I think it’s ROTTEN ORANGE that charges up everybody regardless of the location.

Shogo: COME BACK TO YOU is fun to play all over the world, and I think fans also have fun with it.

RIKITO: Of course the desire to enjoy the concerts is the same, but I think that most of the overseas fans are enjoying it aloud. I think the song that can be enjoyed in both Japan and overseas equally is MONONOKE REQUIEM (モノノケレクイエム). 

HAL: Both in Japan and overseas, everyone comes to the concerts with passion, but I think the overseas fans express their emotions straightforwardly. We always sing together with the fans, mosh, and enjoy ourselves, but since the spread of COVID, we bring something that makes noise to the concerts. Our recommendation is a plastic chicken that makes a “baa” noise when you squeeze it.

You have a lot of fans from overseas. They are always inviting you to their own countries. Do you have any plans for a world tour?

CHISA: I love travelling so I want to go to various countries even in my private time. We don’t have any plans for a world tour yet, but we would love to make it happen someday if we have a chance.

Shogo: I want to do a world tour. But I don’t want to go to an unsafe place.

RIKITO: Of course, we would love to perform in various countries, so if you invite us, we would like to do a world tour.

HAL: If we get invited, we will go wherever there is air! 

During the COVID crisis, you have done a lot of online events on various platforms (YouTube, TwitCasting etc), and online video calls with your fans. Are you planning to keep doing them even after the COVID crisis is resolved?

CHISA: We are energized by the fans so I want to continue doing them.

Shogo: Personally, I want to continue just like this. Through those events, we are able to interact with overseas fans, so I actually wish we had started doing them earlier.

RIKITO: There are many people who got to know ACME through online events, so I want to keep doing them, of course.

HAL: Unfortunately, ever since COVID started, we haven’t had the opportunity to talk to our fans directly, but we have been doing a lot of online events instead. We were able to meet new fans from all over the world, so I want to continue doing them.

Finally, is there anything you want to say to your overseas fans?

CHISA: If we get a chance, we want to perform in various countries and places. I am looking forward to meeting all of you, who are reading this, so please support us.

Shogo: I’m the least popular one overseas, so I want to try even harder abroad as well. Please support us.

RIKITO: I think there are many people who know ACME but have never been to a concert yet, so please come to our concerts when we go overseas. And let’s make the best memories together.

HAL: We will continue to work hard, so please look forward to it. Recently, my YouTube channel has been all about mountain climbing, but I will try my best for music, too. Thank you for reading the interview to the end.

Interview: Chris & Gamze
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!

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