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It hasn’t even been one year since their last EP, but that didn’t stop them from creating yet another EP already! We had the pleasure of interviewing them for ICY and here we are again for GLITTER!

Thank you very much for giving us another chance to interview you. When we heard the title of your new EP GLITTER, we instantly thought back to the era of 70’s GLAM ROCK. It is often said that visual kei developed from GLAM ROCK. Do you want to go back to the roots of visual kei with your new EP?

Mao: I didn’t take into account visual kei, but created the songs with the theme of The THIRTEEN’s avant-garde nature. For sure there’s a part that is familiar with GLAM ROCK.

Mizuki: I often compose songs thinking about the live performances, but there are still restrictions like shouting being forbidden, so they’re like a weapon. We can’t enjoy proper loud rock and metal concerts right now, so it’s a challenge to enjoy performances in a new way.

The art design of your CD also reminds us of the pop art style, which also feels kind of nostalgic. Were you inspired by this art style?

Mao: We met the designer to talk about the theme of a marvelous artwork. Even though it has a pop style, we created the colours and the contrasts based on the impressions of the songs by incorporating realistic pictures and elements of contemporary art with a fairy tale style. 

Mizuki: I wanted to imagine something gorgeous and colourful and it turned out to be such an artwork.

We saw that Mizuki is wearing gloves while playing the guitar in the MV for Focus. Was it very different and difficult not being able to feel the strings while you play?

Mizuki: I think I’ll take off my gloves for our concerts (laughs). That’s only for the MV!

Your eye make-up is especially impressive this time. How long does it take to get ready? 

Mao: It takes about 1 hour! I especially use glitter for the eyeshadow, to match with the title.

Mizuki: I need 2 hours.

Mao (Vo.)

Compared to your releases so far, GLITTER has a very positive and bright image. Can you tell us why you chose this name? 

Mao: It’s a work we produced during the coronavirus pandemic. The whole world is not back to normal yet, but we chose the name with the intention to spark hope for a new world. 

Mizuki: It’s the challenge of new things. That’s the result of trying to find a new way to enjoy concerts during the pandemic.

The bass and drums are also very intense. Are the both of you coming up with those parts alone, or do you seek help from your support members?

Mao: At the demo stage, we create the basis for the bass and the drums, but we leave the finishing to the person in charge because they have the best knowledge, techniques and skills.

Mizuki: I play both the bass and the drums for the demo. Then, the support members take care of the arrangements.

Tokyo Sympathy sounds like a song that would suit a bar very well. What kind of drink would you order while you listen to it?

Mao: I guess some old whiskey (laughs)?

Mizuki: What could it be… Something like Old Parr?

In the second part of this interview we would like to ask you a few questions about The THIRTEEN in general. How or why did you start making music? Was there a band, artist or music genre that inspired you to do so?

Mao: When I was in junior high school, my cousin was playing the guitar which made me want to start as well. From there, X made a strong impression on me and I started to play the guitar. Then I discovered DIR EN GREY and discovered singing for myself.

Mizuki: It started when I saw Takuya Kimura, from the band SMAP, singing while playing the guitar on TV. After that, there were GLAY, L’Arc〜en〜Ciel and DIR EN GREY.

Mizuki (Gt.)

You celebrated your 5th anniversary in 2021. Did you celebrate it in private? And how do you feel about these 5 years? 

Mao: I didn’t celebrate it in private. It has been 5 years of turbulence, so I feel like it all passed in the blink of an eye.

Mizuki: I couldn’t celebrate it due to COVID, you know. I only had a drink alone, I guess?

You often have 2-man shows with other bands, don’t you? Can you share a funny story that happened during one of those events?

Mao: Since we celebrated our 5th anniversary until our 6th one, we will have two-man shows with 13 artists, to match with the name of our band. All these bands are dazzling, so it’s a one-to-one fight. I often challenge myself to have a setlist and makeup that fit the other band, but they also try to match us with their setlist and makeup, so it becomes inversely proportional.

Mizuki: It was difficult to get ready because I often change my outfit depending on the band we’re playing with.

Is there a goal you want to reach with your new EP GLITTER or in 2022 in general?

Mao: I never have a goal I want to reach, but we couldn’t do concerts due to corona, so I want to do as much as possible with our fans to fill the blank time.

Mizuki: I want to do many live performances. I especially would like to have an overseas tour as well, so I count on your support.

Interview: Jenny & Chris
Translator: L-A
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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