Source: NICOLAS Official & VIRGE Official

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Why have an interview with one band if you can have 2? A simple thought led to an amazing interview with SAKU from NICOLAS and 遼-ryo- from VIRGE to talk about their joint tour and single! Don’t miss this chance!

Thank you very much for giving us the chance for an interview with the two of you! NICOLAS and VIRGE recently went on tour and also released a single together, right? Before we go into details about these events, we would like to ask you two how you met.

SAKU: We met when both of us were in our previous bands. We had a two-man event together organized by our label. That was 7 years ago, so it’s been a long time. It felt like I had a junior for the first time so that left a lasting impression on me.

遼-ryo-: 7 years ago, isn’t it amazing? At that time I was still inexperienced, so I learned a lot from SAKU.

Your joint tour is called TOKYO UNTOUCHABLE. Can you tell us more about the meaning behind the name? Were all members of both bands involved in the naming or was it just the two of you?

SAKU: It has been decided by NICOLAS. It has the meaning that if we formed an alliance with VIRGE, we would be invincible.

TOKYO UNTOUCHABLE included 14 concerts and the final will be held in the middle of June. Can you tell us how you decided to do a whole tour together in the first place?

SAKU: Personally, we used to have a two-man show with VIRGE that we organized. After it was over, I regretted it a little. I wish I had put more feelings into the performance. After that, we often played with VIRGE at events. I kept having this feeling of wanting to have a two-man show again, you know. So I think I told him “Let’s do it?” when we were in the smoking area of Ikebukuro EDGE. 

遼-ryo-: While we were participating in an event together, we talked about having a two-man concert again. At that time, I told SAKU that I was thinking about going to several places this year because there were some areas that I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit properly yet. Then he proposed to increase the amount of concerts and make it a two-man tour instead. That’s how we decided on it.

During TOKYO UNTOUCHABLE you also covered each other’s songs. How was it for you to hear your own songs being covered and to cover the songs of the other band?

遼-ryo-: It was really interesting. I wondered how it would feel if NICOLAS played NIMAIJITA (二枚舌), and it was fun to think about how to put the shade of VIRGE in GEKKABIJIN (月下美人).

SAKU: I was more than happy that 遼-ryo- sang GEKKABIJIN (月下美人).. NIMAIJITA (二枚舌) is such a catchy song at concerts, I’m totally addicted to it. Thanks to that, I feel as if something is missing now.

You for sure made many memories during your 1-month-tour, but what were your personal highlights? 

遼-ryo-: When I think about it, there were various things, like RITSU being always by my side, NIMAIJITA (二枚舌) being too intense, but the number one highlight was that I got to sing MIYUKI (ミユキ) at the Tokyo show for the first time in 7 years. 2 days before our gig in Tokyo, I decided to surprise NICOLAS with it, but singing it for the first time since our two-man show 7 years ago made me feel nostalgic and I was the one about to cry.

SAKU: Our two days in Sapporo. MIYUKI (ミユキ) at Ikebukuro EDGE. And also the appearance of a stalker, The awakening of Tsushima? The MVPs (most valuable player) of this tour were without a doubt RITSU and Sizuki.

In addition to TOKYO UNTOUCHABLE you also released a CD with 1 song you covered from the other band, as well as a photo book. Could you tell us why you chose those songs?

SAKU: When we thought about doing a cover, we wanted to play it as if it was our own song. We discussed that it would be okay to change parts and to boldly choose songs. We chose NIMAIJITA (二枚舌). Well, the reason why I chose this song is that NIMAIJITA (二枚舌) is actually the only song that I can sing with its original tone (laughs).

遼-ryo-: At first I was torn between 5 songs, GEKKABIJIN (月下美人), MAHIRU NO SHINKIROU (真昼の蜃気楼), ECHO OF SILENCE, DELIGHTED and JUUSEI GA KIETA KONO MACHI DE (銃声が消えたこの街で), but SAKU and ZERO told me that GEKKABIJIN (月下美人) is a song that’s been around since their previous band. I thought that it’s a song they cherish and therefore chose it.

What song of the other band did you enjoy most during the tour?

SAKU: I was always listening attentively to IGON (遺言) in the dressing room. And also SEN (千).

遼-ryo-: It’s ECHO OF SILENCE. I got mesmerized by it. Also OSHIOKI NO JIKAN (お仕置きの時間). It’s a song that left a strong impression on me the first time I saw Gossip at a concert. The songs of Gossip’s era were particularly exciting. I was listening from a fan’s point of view.

You probably spent a lot of time together during the tour, didn’t you? Were you able to do some activities outside of the live houses at the places you visited?

SAKU: Apart from the concerts, I drank with 遼-ryo-, AKANE and Sizuki when we were on the ferry, I guess?

遼-ryo-: We did, didn’t we (laughs)? We drank and blabbered until the morning on that ferry. I went for dinner with RITSU after the Tokyo performance. He didn’t let me go home before the morning…

Have you always wanted to be a vocalist or were there times when you’ve wanted to try a different position within the band?

SAKU: The vacant part was on vocals, so I became a vocalist. But afterwards I never thought that I wanted to have another role.

遼-ryo-: Since the beginning, I started a band with the intention to become the vocalist. Even now I sometimes play the guitar, the bass or the drums at concerts, but as expected being on vocals is the most fun. I’ve never wanted to change for another part, but I once thought about playing the drums. But I’m left-handed, so I stopped because it was troublesome to change and reverse everything (laughs).

What is the biggest challenge for you as a vocalist and a member of a band? 

SAKU: Honestly, I do it because I like it. I can be myself and express my strong personality. I think I don’t have many difficulties. If I have to pick something, it would be remembering the lyrics.

遼-ryo-: As a vocalist, I don’t have any difficulties in particular, but if I have to say something, then it’s taking care of my health. As a band member I’m in charge of the songwriting, but every time we’re in the song production process, I feel like I’m on the verge of death (laughs).

Before we close this interview, we would like you to tell us your general impression of the TOKYO UNTOUCHABLE tour and your expectations for the final in June.

SAKU: I think it was a strange but amazing match. It’s a tour we’ve been able to create with not only the bands but also with all the fans who support us. Actually, the content of the tour was too unrestricted, so I only thought about not destroying that freedom (laughs). But that is what TOKYO UNTOUCHABLE is about, I guess. For some reason the final is in a hall too. I’d like to thank the fans of both bands for following us during this unconventional tour, and we’ll go totally wild so please do come to our tour final.

遼-ryo-: At the first performance, I was trying to figure out how NICOLAS would set up the live performance, but eventually it was a violently broken tour, in a good way (laughs). I’m glad we did this tour, because each date was really intense. I’m looking forward to the final.

And finally, please leave a message to your fans overseas!

SAKU: I hope our music will make you more optimistic, even if it’s only a little. No matter the reason, I’m against war. Thank you for supporting us from the bottom of my heart. Let’s meet someday. This was SAKU from NICOLAS.

遼-ryo-: I’ll continue to sing so that our music can be delivered to as many people as possible. Thank you for your support. This was 遼-ryo- from VIRGE.

Interview: Jenny
Translation: 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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