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There are many artists and bands with interesting concepts, but GE + IM is definitely one with a very unique one. I mean who else refers to their fans as their patients? Read all about his newest medicine in our interview!

Thank you very much for another opportunity to talk to you about your music. How have you been since our last talk?

Thank you very much. Thankfully, I have been doing well. 

You released your first mini album, MAVERICK’S MEDICINE, in the middle of October last year. Congratulations from our side! Your album has a very interesting name. Do you see yourself as a Maverick (one who has separated himself from his group)?

Thank you very much. I’m not a normal doctor, that’s why I think I’m a Maverick (laughs). Moreover, since I’m a visual kei solo artist, I’m not someone normal (I’m a heretic), you know. That’s maybe the reason why I’ve been able to last for 7 years in this scene.

You actually released a full album just in 2021. Where did you get your ideas from to produce so many songs in such a short time? 

The ideas, sounds and words just came up one after the other, so I greedily worked on them. However, SICK and TRANQUILIZER were difficult. Maybe because they hold the meaning of GE + IM continuing his activities from here on, too. I was focused to the point of shivering. I didn’t want to lose GE + IM.

Is there any song that turned out very different from how you imagined or that you want your fans (patients) to pay especially close attention to? 

Without doubt, it’s ODAIJINI∞ (おだいじに∞). At first, I came up with something completely different, and I remade it many times because I wasn’t satisfied with it. But it was still fun. Eventually, as the song was able to stand on its own, I had the feeling that I achieved an evolution. The ones I want people to pay attention to are BISQUE DOLL 99 HARI (ビスクドール99針) and KEIREN, MATA WA HAKURI (痙攣、または剥離). And let’s not forget TRANQUILIZER.

TRANQUILIZER is the only song title which is written in English. Is there a specific reason? 

No, there is no deep meaning behind it. With the past medicines (songs) I released called INFECTION, UNDERMINE, CALLING, and UNRESECTABLE, it felt like a natural progression for me.

In addition, with TRANQUILIZER you appear to be reaching out to people who have lost themselves after being hurt over and over again, fighting a reality they can’t escape anymore. The song really conveys your feelings of wanting to connect with your fans (patients) by telling them that they are not alone, despite feeling lost and different. What was the image you had in mind while writing this song? 

Since I’m playing a role in the music video and I’m also the one who wrote the lyrics, I think it’s natural to interpret it that way. But actually, it’s absolutely not a story about me alone. I imagine the “mentality” of a human who unconsciously tries to get something back. It’s the negative message “Nothing will change after all” written by someone (the viewer or someone unknown) in a notebook, where the story begins. The message at the end “You are perfect the way you are” didn’t come easily; it’s a message from my own blood. TRANQUILIZER is the last music video of the trilogy, but it’s neither an easy-to-understand happy ending nor a bad ending. I think that the way you feel about it will depend entirely on when you watch it.

On the other hand, the lyrics for BISQUE DOLL 99 HARI (ビスクドール99針) and BYOUIN NO KAIDAN (病院の怪談) show your mad therapy theme, as they contain quite explicit expressions. We got the impression that the lyrics of BISQUE DOLL 99 HARI (ビスクドール99針) can be interpreted in two ways: the main character is turning themselves into a porcelain doll, because they want to be loved; or they are turning someone they want to be loved by into a porcelain doll. Could you tell us if one of these two interpretations we thought of is correct and what kind of story you are telling with this song?

I think both are correct! Because first of all, I feel that there’s a “death ≒ nothingness” sense in the bisque doll itself. It doesn’t have a bad meaning. I actually like it. “Masochistic expression of love” and “sadistic expression of love” are both overflowing in this world, aren’t they? We want to love or to be loved, therefore we tend to “death ≒ nothingness”. It expresses such a “distorted love”. It’s very bloody!

KEIREN, MATA HA HAKURI (痙攣、または剥離) is the only melodious ballad on your new album. The lyrics seem to convey the message that you never realize how much you’ve lost until you’ve actually lost someone, and that once you’ve lost someone, you can’t return back in time. The English phrase „If you leave yourself the truth sinks deep“, really captures the essence of this theme beautifully. Could you tell us more about the story in this song as well, or about the songwriting process of it? 

Thank you very much. First of all, KEIREN, MATA WA HAKURI (痙攣、または剥離) had the shortest production time. I think it’s because I managed to make it as I wanted and how I felt. It has a 99 BPM (tempo), but since the human heart beats 60-100 per minute, I aimed at the very limit, 99. It contains a heartbeat too, and I composed it with the image of being enveloped while feeling the heartbeat. As for the lyrics/story, I want people to interpret it as they like.

“MIGITE NI MESU” WO “HIDARITE NI ZETSUBOU” WO (「右手にメス」を「左手に絶望」を) seems to tell a story about someone indulging in forbidden pleasure questioning their identity, as if you were trying to convey that its okay to be different once more. The phrase „A surgical knife in my right hand, despair in my left hand. Who am I? There‘s no way anybody knows what it is – the meaning of life. (右手にメスを、左手に絶望を 僕は誰?誰もわかるはずもないでしょう 生きる意味)“ particularly stands out. What do you personally think about the meaning of life and have you found yours yet, perhaps in music? 

Whether or not we truly accept the stupidity and ugliness of human beings greatly changes our sense of values, you know? Don’t you think it’s nonsense to ask the meaning of life to humans who have accepted this? But what else is left then? That’s what this “forbidden pleasure” is about. There’s no meaning or anything like that.

Also, ODAIJINI∞ (おだいじに∞) appears to be an upbeat song that is going to be fun during lives. The lyrics also contain English phrases like „mad party“ and „bloody party“, as well as the phrase „I’m giving you, who I’m destroying, a medicine that will turn you into my prisoner (壊すキミを虜にする薬をあげよう)“ – it appears as if you are inviting your fans to create a mad party during lives with you after you have won them over. Did you write these lyrics based on the assumption that the song sounded like it will be fun during lives?

Exactly. In a mad world, in a mad period, what do mad people want? For example, if you’re in a situation where you end up feeling depressed no matter which of two ultimate options you choose, then why not release everything during a secret space before you reach your limits… I wrote it with such a feeling. And if you get side effects, of course I will tell you: “Get well soon (ODAIJI NI).”

You also told us that playing the instruments, the creative parts and also the administrative side, is all done by yourself alone and that your workload is therefore 4 to 5 times more than a normal band member. What is your secret to get everything done in time?

It’s just “I’ll do what I decided”. That’s all. There are many things that I can’t do if I don’t work very hard, but I feel that if I’ve already decided it, then I have no other choice but to do it. Because my patients (fans) are waiting with expectations.

We are looking forward to the activities in your 8th anniversary year! You also hosted an event for your birthday last month, right? How was the day for you?

It was a day where Naoki from GE + IM was born for the 8th time. I’m really glad I was born and it was a great day.

And same as last time, please leave a message to your fans (patients) overseas!

Thank you very much for reading to the end. The best part of GE + IM is the live medical treatment (concert). Let’s definitely meet someday, okay? Please request for me to come to you.

Interview: Tiffany
Translation: L-A
English Edit: Kaity


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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