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We haven’t had an introduction interview in a while, but we would love to introduce you to VIRGE! They took their time and answered our questions in detail and with so much enthusiasm, it would be a shame to miss out on a chance like this!

We already had the pleasure to talk with 遼-ryo- and SAKU from NICOLAS together. But we are very glad to finally talk to all of you. How are you feeling? 

遼-ryo-: Thanks for having us again. After our last interview, we released our 7th single MOTHER and went on tour through Japan. We are giving our best.

紫月-sizuki-: I had fun reading the interview. I am really happy, thanks a lot.

氷龍-hiryu-: It’s an honor!

憂璃-yu-ri-: I’m also happy. Thank you very much.

達也-tatsuya-: I am really happy. Please treat me well.

It might be quite a basic question to start the interview with, but can you tell us more about your band name? What is the meaning behind the name and how did you come up with it?

遼-ryo-: While we do this band that is called VIRGE, we want to find the meaning of “VIRGE” ourselves. Furthermore, we started our activities with the intention to attach meaning to the name, so there isn’t really an intended meaning we had when we started! We get told that we are a band with a strong ideology, but we have no fixed concept and won’t let us be bound to anything. 

達也-tatsuya- (Dr.)

How did you all meet and end up in a band together? And what was your first impression of each other when you first met?

遼-ryo-: I already knew 紫月-sizuki- before he started his two bands before VIRGE and we planned to do music as a band together, but I didn’t feel like it and declined last minute. That’s why both of us started different bands first before we reached this point.
紫月-sizuki-: I also always wanted to be in a band with 遼-ryo-, but I got the cold shoulder (laughs). It’s fate that we ended up in the same band now though!!

遼-ryo-: 氷龍-hiryu- and 憂璃-yu-ri- entered the band later, but when they were still in the band before ours, we had many things in common and went to see concerts together. When the band they both were in disbanded, we decided to do music together. 達也-tatsuya- was introduced by a senior band member, right?

紫月-sizuki-: These members have come together through acquaintances, and all kind of happenings. All of us are from different areas in Japan and our way of talking differs, which is very interesting.

氷龍-hiryu-: My first impression of the other members was that 遼-ryo- looked quiet and as if he doesn’t talk much. I thought that 紫月-sizuki- was a surfer when I first saw him (laughs). I’ve known 憂璃-yu-ri- the longest, but my first impression of him was that he looked like Benzou from Kiteretsu Daihyakka. 達也-tatsuya- with his tattoos looked kinda rough.

憂璃-yu-ri-: 氷龍-hiryu- is a cheery person and stylish, the exact opposite of myself. 遼-ryo- was quiet and difficult to talk to, so I was worried whether we would get along in the beginning. 紫月-sizuki- looks scary, but for the better or worse he’s kind! If I’m honest, I felt like it would be impossible to be in a band with 達也-tatsuya-! I couldn’t stand the thought! …but now we’re close.

達也-tatsuya-: When I met 遼-ryo- and 紫月-sizuki- through a senior band member, 遼-ryo gave off the feeling of a boss. When I first talked with 紫月-sizuki-, he was very cheerful and lively and gave off a sincere impression. And I met 氷龍-hiryu- and 憂璃-yu-ri- when we first played together. The music 氷龍-hiryu and I listen to match, so I wanted to talk more with him, but I didn’t know how to connect with 憂璃-yu-ri-, so he was quite mysterious. But my first impression was still that everyone was very serious.

What bands influenced you as musicians?

遼-ryo-: I got to know about visual kei for the first time when I heard my senior sing X JAPAN’s ENDLESS RAIN and was influenced by it. From there I researched it further and found VIDOLL. The skills of the vocalist JUI and their sense for songs influenced me a lot.

紫月-sizuki-: I started with playing the guitar because a friend invited me to their band for a school festival, but it was love at first sight and I left for Tokyo. So I wasn’t really impacted by anything in the beginning. However, I was a roadie for JUN from GOTCHAROCKA for some time and I was influenced by his guitar phrases, his sense for song composition, and how he is always doing something new.

氷龍-hiryu-: If you ask me who influenced me, then it’s X JAPAN. It wasn’t in real time, but my older sister liked them so I listened to hide’s ROCKET DIVE by accident in middle school. I was really influenced a lot by hide. hide and his band looked as if they were having so much fun and my first impression was just that they are so cool. Not only that it looked like fun, what they were doing, but I felt attracted by how they expressed fun and coolness alike. And also MIYAVI. He also looks like he’s enjoying himself, right?! His guitar play too. He has that in common with hide and I admire them because of that.

憂璃-yu-ri-: There are so many, but the first to mention would be L’Arc〜en〜Ciel. Their bassist is cool and they were the reason I wanted to start playing bass. Next one would be KAGEROU. They are the beauty of visual kei! They’re just so cool, not just their appearance, but their character too!!

達也-tatsuya-: It’s Do As Infinity for me. I basically like melodic songs, so I was influenced by them.

憂璃-yu-ri- (Ba.)

What song would you recommend to people, who want to check out VIRGE?

遼-ryo-: If I can only say one, then I want you to listen to SEN (千). This is a very important song from a time when we wanted to do music but couldn’t because of COVID, where we couldn’t stand in front of people, where not only we, but the whole world was in a difficult situation. I want to show this song to as many people as possible in this world. We actually also received messages from fans overseas that said that they were saved by SEN (千) too, which made me really happy that we created this song.

紫月-sizuki-: I also like SEN (千), so please check it out. It was the song that saved me when I was in a really difficult phase.

氷龍-hiryu-: There are so many, I can’t decide on one, but a song I already knew before entering VIRGE and which I still request for our setlists is NIMAIJITA (二枚舌). Another recommendation would be IGON (遺言), I guess. When we perform it, I could cry because of all the feelings I’m putting into the play. There has been a time where I actually cried. You can merge with the song… that’s why I recommend it.

憂璃-yu-ri-: It’s KYOZETSU (拒絶) for me. The lyrics are full of sarcasm and I love it! It’s also a fun song for live performances, so please listen to it.

達也-tatsuya-: Sure enough it should be a melodic song. If you listen through a CD it should be MOTHER, during shows I’d recommend MARMALADE (マーマレード).

Can you tell us more about your working process during song production? 

遼-ryo-: I start with the chord progression of the guitars and bass for the chorus and then move on to create the rhythm of the drums, and when that’s done, I create the melody. I will then put it all aside for a day and if I still like it, I will start to make a song out of it.

紫月-sizuki-: I always try to get as close as possible to the base of what we want to express with the song. Something I am particular about is that I use phrases people will like even if they aren’t familiar with guitars.

氷龍-hiryu-: I think about every part of the original song source, but most important for me is the topic of the song. I make sure that the phrases will be something I want to play from an objective point of view but that they’re also captivating.

憂璃-yu-ri-: For the bass, I make sure that every sound has a meaning. I think you will discover a new side to our songs if you listen to them again while keeping this in mind.

達也-tatsuya-: I am usually using 遼-ryo-’s songs and work on them, but I am careful that drum phrases support the vocal parts.

Your band outfits and make-up are really amazing. Do you decide as a team on new outfits or does everyone come up with their own outfit?

遼-ryo-: We decide our costumes while consulting our tailor. For the ones this time, I wanted something white, which I had never done before. I am not used to it yet and it still feels strange, though (laughs). But it’s refreshing. I want to challenge more things I have never done before in the future. 

紫月-sizuki-: I always used to only wear long coats, but for our new outfits I am showing my arms and ankles, so I am also doing something I never did before.

氷龍-hiryu-: The highlight of my new outfit is the cloak! I ordered it because I liked the silhouette it creates, but it’s actually really difficult to play the guitar with it… (laughs).

憂璃-yu-ri-: I made sure that the whole silhouette looks good, that’s why I am wearing an A-line. I always also think about how the outfits would look when I move during shows.

達也-tatsuya-: The highlight of my outfit is the volume of my shoulders and the weird cloak. I had the models of the Paris Fashion Week in mind.

氷龍-hiryu- (Gt.)

Also, If you had to change outfits with another member, which outfit would you choose and why?

遼-ryo-: I’d change mine with 氷龍-hiryu-. There was actually an occasion once to do exactly that. I wore his outfit for his birthday one-man show and it felt nice to wear it. I liked it.

紫月-sizuki-: I want to wear everyone’s outfits. … But I won’t fit into them (laughs).

氷龍-hiryu-: I thought and thought about… If I have to choose one, it would be 遼-ryo-’s.

憂璃-yu-ri-: I can’t really imagine myself in other outfits than my own. If I have I choose, I’d say 達也-tatsuya-?!

達也-tatsuya-: I’d like to wear 氷龍-hiryu- outfit. I always think that his designs are cool.

You participate in events quite a lot, don’t you? What do you especially enjoy during these events?

遼-ryo-: We think of each band as an opponent, so we enjoy the challenge of fighting while presenting our own individuality.

紫月-sizuki-: It’s allowed to shout in live houses recently again, right? But if we play together with friends or senior band members we can talk a lot about guitars and I enjoy that, but during live shows it’s different! I’m gonna swallow them all, no matter who.

氷龍-hiryu-: It’s a battle about winning and losing. It doesn’t matter whether you are the junior or senior there, everyone is equal on stage so I’m enjoying myself by trying to present our very own nuances as well as trying to leave something within our audience.

憂璃-yu-ri-: I like that events feel like battles. It’s fun to show your feelings at that time truthfully.

達也-tatsuya-: I always go into a show with the energy to swallow up the bands I’m playing against. If the audience reacts to that, it’s the best.

紫月-sizuki- (Gt.)

Is there a particular band you would love to share the stage with one day?

遼-ryo-: There are so many. We belong to Timely Records now, so I want to have a 2-man show with our seniors RAZOR. 

紫月-sizuki-: I want to play with GOTCHAROCKA. I want to share the stage with JUN, that’s why I want to give my best in order for them to ask us one day.

氷龍-hiryu-: I want to perform at LOUD PARK or KNOTFEST!!

憂璃-yu-ri-: RAZOR, XaaXaa, THE MADNA, NIGHTMARE!!

達也-tatsuya-: I want to have many events with the other bands in our label.

Please give our readers the opportunity to also get to know you as a person. You all have been in the music business for a long time already. Was being a musician always your dream job? And if you wouldn’t be a musician, what job would you do instead?

遼-ryo-: I always had the dream of creating music since I was in school and started with music. If I hadn’t started with music, I’d probably be an athlete as I was doing various kinds of sports. I also wanted to become a veterinarian at one point. 

紫月-sizuki-: I never thought about the future until I started a band, so I don’t really have any other dream job. But when I was a child, I once wrote “I want to become a star”, so I am still doing my best to make that wish come true!

氷龍-hiryu-: Right now I can’t imagine a life without music or my guitar, but in elementary school I loved Pokemon, so I wanted to become a Manga artist, and in middle school I liked Beckham, so I wanted to become a soccer player.

憂璃-yu-ri-: Since I found L’Arc〜en〜Ciel in my 3rd year of middle school, becoming a musician has become my dream, but before I encountered that band I wanted to be a tax counselor.

達也-tatsuya-: I can’t really imagine myself not playing the drums, you know… I liked to play around with machines, so maybe something in regards to computers?

Is there a word or phrase in a language other than Japanese that you love?

遼-ryo-: “Garasha”. I like the sound of the word and we also have a song that is called like that.

紫月-sizuki-: “Rice”. Because I am happiest when I eat!

氷龍-hiryu-: “You Only Live Once”. After coming to Tokyo I remember those words when I am having difficult and draining times. The words reflect that I want to give my best because the life we have right now is the only one we’ve got.

憂璃-yu-ri-:”Hate”. It’s my kind of sarcasm against all things that happen around me.

達也-tatsuya-: “START IT AGAIN” (However many times you fall, get up and keep going). I remember these words whenever I have a setback. 

遼-ryo- (Vo.)

Are there any countries you would like to visit for concerts or travel?

遼-ryo-: I want to go to New York and Hawaii. I never went abroad, so I would like to go on trips there.

紫月-sizuki-: I want to visit a place that is as far away as possible. The exact opposite of Japan would be Brazil, I think?

氷龍-hiryu-: New York! There are so many movies that play there, so I want to visit the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.

憂璃-yu-ri-: I love Yu-Gi-Oh!, that’s why I’d like to go to Egypt.

達也-tatsuya-: I want to visit England. I like the fashion there.

If you could change one thing about society, what would you change?

遼-ryo-: If I have something I usually write it in my lyrics, so I convey it through songs. Please listen to them.

紫月-sizuki-: I’d like to create an environment where we can enjoy live shows like they were before COVID.

氷龍-hiryu-: Through COVID it became obvious how distorted the view on live houses is and that those and music itself aren’t important, so I was pretty distraught, you know? I can’t live without music, so I want to continue telling everyone how much fun music is.

憂璃-yu-ri-: I want to lower the taxes without wasting money.

達也-tatsuya-: I want Japan to lose its prejudice on tattoos.

Before we end this interview, we would kindly ask you to leave a message for your oversea fans.

紫月-sizuki-: We often receive messages from fans overseas, it makes me really happy. We will try our best to have shows overseas too, so please treat us well at that time.

氷龍-hiryu-: Thank you!! (in English) I want to go overseas one day, so please wait for us.

憂璃-yu-ri-: Thank you very much for reading until the end. When we perform overseas VIRGE will grow even further, so please look forward to it.

達也-tatsuya-: Please make sure to listen to VIRGE’s songs.

遼-ryo-: I hope we will be able to meet one day. But first of all, I want you to check out our songs. On the 29th of March, we will release our new single HITOMODOKI (人間モドキ), so I’d be happy if you could check that one out.

Interview: Chris, Jenny
Translation: Jenny
English Edit: Franzi

SpotifyApple Music

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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