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With their bright outfits and cute band name Chanty touches the hearts of fans worldwide, but the bands foundation is surprisingly dark. The perfect combination if you ask us!

First we would like to ask about your band name. Why did you choose “Chanty”?

Nonaka Taku: Originally there were 2, 3 other possible candidates, but since there is also some other implication to the word “Chanty”, majority of us voted for this and we decided to use “Chanty”. If I remember correctly, there was something like “Jikasei Jet” [homemade jet] among the other possible candidates!

Akuta: There was also “Shangrila”. By the way, I liked the name “Jikasei Jet”. It’s cute, “Jikasei Jet”. But I’m glad we chose “Chanty” in the end.

There are a lot of bands in Visual Kei that are dark and obscure. Chanty’s white clothes and bright image is the direct opposite. Please tell us about Chanty’s concept!

Akuta: Our image, for example our clothes, may be bright, but deep within our foundation is extremely dark. We are rather gloomy. That’s perhaps why we admire bright things. We weren’t conscious about a concept to that extent but in your casual daily life there are times you feel frightened or frustrated. We wanted to pin down such exquisite feelings. 

On September 16th, Chanty will celebrate their 8th anniversary. Among the things you accomplished as a band during these 8 years, what are some things you are proud of?

Nonaka Taku: I feel like it’s probably each and every thing. Our first one-man, first anniversary, second anniversary… While we are active as a band everything gets renewed continuously. Therefore I was also always thankful for and proud of the present situation in which we continue with these innovations.

Akuta: I thought we would have exhausted all the things we wanted to do after playing for 8 years, but there are still so many things we want to do. Though if I try to immediately think about something in particular, I can’t come up with anything. So I guess ultimately, I’m proud of Chanty’s concerts and of the things we are able to achieve at each show. I’m proud because every concert is a challenge and an accomplishment.

8 years is a very long time. What was your biggest motivation to continue making music?

Akuta: Of course it does happen that we lose motivation, but the things you encounter after you overcome that are just amazing. Because of that we let ourselves get demotivated and then blow away our frustration.

What was the funniest thing that happened during a tour or while you were making music?

Shiro: Most of the time Chanty’s music is composed by all of us in the studio. Thus it happens a lot that the original song, which one of the band members brought with them, turns out completely different once it is finished. I think that’s funny. I’m always looking forward to the ideas everyone has.

Akuta: Nonaka is spacing out when we are not proceeding well with the compositions. Even if he denies it, I’m paying attention to it, because I personally think it’s a bit funny. I have the feeling it’s become a barometer, too, which says “Ah, this doesn’t seem to work out very well.” It’s easy to understand.

Which song would you recommend to people that aren’t familiar with Chanty yet?

Nonaka Taku: I would choose HARU WAZURAI (春煩い). The title is not “Haru urusai” but “Haru wazurai”. [The more common reading of 煩い is “urusai”]

Akuta: I would like people to try and listen to ANATA DAKE WO KOWASHITE KAZATTE MITAI (貴方だけを壊して飾ってみたい). It has the impression of being THE song for Chanty.

Many of the comments under your MVs on YouTube are from overseas fans from various countries. One very remarkable comment said: “Thank you very much to all of you for making such brilliant music. Your music always gives me strength and happiness.” Did you expect to have such an impact on so many people outside of Japan with your music?

Akuta: That is delightful. We didn’t expect it. We once played a concert in America and also had an acoustic concert. After we finished there were standing ovations. The interpreter said it was difficult to translate my lyrics into English. But in the end we were able to create music that could affect people regardless of things like the content of the lyrics. I came to think that as long as we can make an impression on people like that, that’s enough for me. 

Shiro: Because Visual Kei is, after all, a cultural phenomenon unique to Japan, I wondered if people from overseas would be interested in us. Since we are very free in terms of our musical character, we can do the things we like. And I’m really happy that we are able to reach even people from abroad like this.

As of June this year, Naruto has paused his live activities temporarily due to pain in his right wrist. Your fans are probably worried, so if there is anything you can share with us, please definitely tell us about it!

Nonaka Taku: They are surely worried. We members are too, but Naruto is doing well! We meet from time to time and he also comes to the concert venues! For the time being he’s fine!

Akuta: When he came to our tour the other day, he also had a healthy appetite, so he is already fine. We pray that his hand gets better bit by bit, without being in a hurry.

To celebrate the release of HARU WAZURAI (春煩い) you held an online event. You had the chance to talk with your fans directly through Zoom. How was this online event? Was it different from instore events?

Shiro: I had the impression that at instore events it can become quite hectic due to the schedules, but if it is online you can talk relatively unhurriedly. I think the fans were also more relaxed during our conversations. It feels lonely that we are not able to meet face-to-face, but I realized that meeting online also has its merits to it.

Do you want to play concerts overseas someday? And are there any countries you would like to visit?

Shiro: Chanty played a concert in America before I became a band member and I’ve heard lots of funny stories from that time. Therefore I would like it if Chanty could go to America again. I want to eat at McDonald’s.

Akuta: Last time we went, we said we would come back so I  want to go to America again. I would also like to go to Taiwan. And I would like to go to London and try to record something overseas.

Finally, what would you like to say to your overseas fans?

Akuta: If the drum goes Bam!, the guitar and bass go Screech! and the vocal screams Wah!, that’s already a miracle. The wonderful thing about music is that you somehow don’t need words or meaning in there. Thus I hope we can continue to make this kind of music and make it through in the future, too. We welcome you to the world of Chanty!

Interview: Chris
Translator: Katharina
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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