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Home > Jpop > Jpop Essentials > Moi dix Mois
Moi dix Mois
Moi dix Mois
Lamentful Miss Lamentful Miss New single release from the reborn Moi dix Mois features twin guitars and their ever dramatic approach to music. Includes two re-arranged versions of "forbidden" and "Perish" as B-sides. . . .
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CD | 2006/10/04 | 1400yen
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If you're looking for shocking music, you've come to the right place. Mana, the leader for legendary visual band Malice Mizer, has returned with his solo project Moi dix Mois for a brand new single. Titled "Lamentful Miss," the new single shows off the new line-up and ever-evolving sounds of one of the top names in the visual world.

Like a wicked whisper speaking through the wind, the powerful vocals of title track "Lamentful Miss" whisk the listener into the world of the song and announce the arrival of something sinister. From there the twin guitars kick into a violent competition, at once both aggressive and pleasing to the ear. However, the guitars aren't the only things to look forward to--leave it to Mana to bring such unexpected sonic developments. You may be expecting elegant harmonies during the chorus, and you'd be right, but just when you're wondering if the chorus is about to wrap up, the twin guitars return in a crazed, raging attack. Only one man can tell stories through music like this: Mana.

The single also includes re-arranged versions of "Perish" and "forbidden." Those familiar with the original "Perish" are set to be surprised. While the bass and drums have always been key to this song, the rearrangement takes this approach to its extreme conclusion. If you think Moi dix Mois is only about synthesizers and guitars, you'll definitely have to hear Mana's new re-arrangement of this single.

Then there's "forbidden." The song kicks in with a very Mana-like symphonic introduction, followed by heavy twin-guitars and a fragile harpsichord sound. The new composition does leaps and bounds over the original in terms of the completeness of arrangement. Of course, the guitar distortion is still there in full force. The harpsichord features that distinctively Mana blend of delicacy and eccentricity--it might, in fact, be the harpsichord and not the twin guitars in which Mana projects his rock spirit. Since "forbidden" has always been an essential track to the Moi dix Mois live repertoire, I suggest you definitely try to imagine what this new arrangement will sound like live.

The new single "Lamentful Miss" will also include the complete instrumental versions of the songs appearing on the single. However, with Moi dix Mois these aren't just add-ons--you could even call them the essence that rules their music from the shadows. While I'd definitely like you to hear the vocal versions of these tracks, I strongly recommend you have a sip of the intoxicating, pure sound of these tracks as Mana envisioned. The truth that you desire is here, and its completeness is guaranteed.

Moi dix Mois will be performing live on November 23, 2006 at the Shibuya O-East, the final show of their monthly concert series this year. Their annual year-end concert "Dis inferno" will be held on December 26, 2006 at the same venue. Also look forward to one more single before the year's end, with a brand new album to be released sometime in 2007.

Mana's back with the newly reformed Moi dix Mois, and this time he promises to "give you another reality." What does he mean by these words, and what is the story behind "Lamentful Miss"? Mana is trying to tell you all this and more through his music . . . but the answer is left to you. First check out the single, then go see one of their concerts. There you'll find Mana's "other reality" waiting.

+ Moi dix Mois Official Website +

+ Monologue Theater +

+ Moi-même-Moitié +

Malice Mizer - The 10th Anniversary

It's the middle of the 1990's and visual kei is booming. Among the frontrunners is a band of incomparable musical talent and impeccable aesthetic sense, Malice Mizer. Look back on the landmark career of this legendary band with a series of new releases marking the tenth anniversary of the band's major label debut.

La meilleur selection de Malice Mizer Best Selection La meilleur selection de Malice Mizer Best Selection
Release: 2006/10/18 | CD Samples
In Stock at Supplier:Usually ships in 2-4 days
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La Collection des Singles "Single Collection" [CD+DVD] La Collection des Singles "Single Collection" [CD+DVD]
Release: 2006/07/19 | CD
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+ Malice Mizer Official Homepage +

Moi dix Mois

+ Moi dix Mois Interview +
--So you'll be releasing your new single "Lamentful Miss" on October 4, 2006.

Mana: Yes. This will be our first single release with our current five-member line-up.

--Why did you choose the maxi-single format when you've performed so many new songs live?

Mana: I'm thinking about releasing an album next year. However, we've changed our line-up, so I wanted everyone to hear how the new Moi dix Mois sounds. I figured a single would be the way to go.

--I was surprised to learn that you chose "Lamentful Miss" for your single. I thought the somber song during the flame pillar pyrotechnics at your May 2, 2006 show was the most appropriate for the next single. Why did you choose "Lamentful Miss" and not that song?

Mana: With K and I on guitar Moi dix Mois has become a twin-guitar band. I chose "Lamentful Miss" because it was the best at bringing out our twin-guitar sound. It's hard to just throw away that other track, but I felt that it didn't properly show off our twin guitars.

We chose to make "Lamentful Miss" our first single because it shows off the beautiful harmonies of Moi dix Mois' twin guitars.

--It was stated on your official website that you were holding back your second single. Will you be releasing that other song as your second single?

Mana: I'm not able to speak about that right now. However, I wouldn't say it's impossible. (Laughs)

--I imagine the fans are growing impatient with all they're imagining right now. (Laughs)

Mana: Hmm, I wonder. (Laughs) Right now we're writing a lot of songs in preparation for our next release, trying to decide which to chose.

--Well then, what can you tell me about your new single, "Lamentful Miss"?

Mana: I wrote the song to feature our powerful guitars, so I held back on the synthesizers. I'll write our music with either a guitar or a keyboard, and with "Lamentful Miss" I used the guitar. As a result, the song is structured with the guitar as the main part.

--You performed "Lamentful Miss" at your March 2006 fan-club-only show. When did you complete this track?

Mana: Complete? Man, I don't remember. (Laughs) But the single version of "Lamentful Miss" is actually different from the version we played live. I rearranged the song for recording. It's also a little different from the version of "Lamentful Miss" we performed in May.

--What did you emphasize in the sound of "Lamentful Miss"?

Mana: I wrote the song by guitar from start to finish, so I emphasized the guitar riffs and harmonies. I put importance on the harmony of the twin guitars and on the dramatic sound of the chorus in the latter half of the song. One of the things I'd like people to hear is the subtle harmony over the main vocal melody.

But it's not just a harmony; it's a harmony like someone is screaming from behind. Instead of a pretty melody, I wrote it so people would feel like their hearts were screaming. I think it's something fresh.

I made the song so that you could only hear the harmony vaguely. The stereo image of the harmony is different from the main vocal melody. The harmony feels farther away compared to the vocals, like you're hearing it from the depths of darkness. It's different from a pretty melody, and something I hadn't tried before.

--The guitars are so prominent that I feel myself wanting to play air guitar.

Mana: Really? OK. (Laughs)

--Did you have trouble with the twin guitars?

Mana: There was a lot of trial and error with the sound design. I tried a variety of power amps and cabinets while we were recording. First I tried recording with different equipment from what I normally use. It sounded good when I first recorded it, but after I finished recording the guitars I had another listen and thought it didn't sound right.

Ultimately, I re-recorded the song using my main setup even though I had recorded it before using different equipment. This time we took a more roundabout, tedious approach to recording.

--So it's easier to make the sound you want with the equipment you always use?

Mana: Yes, definitely. But we had the chance to borrow all sorts of equipment from the studio we were using. I wanted to take advantage of the chance and experiment with a bunch of stuff but once I'd done my experiments I came to the conclusion that it's better to stick with my normal setup when I want to make my own sound.

--I see. (Laughs) In the places where the guitar is panned all the way to the right, is this done in response to how the song is performed live?

Mana: Yes. I'm on the right side, K on the left.

--Are you conscious of how you'll be performing songs live when you arrange?

Mana: Yes. I always consider how the songs will look in concert when I'm composing.

--I feel like there's a story to be found in the lyrics to "Lamentful Miss."

Mana: Yes. One of the focal points of the song is on the story element. I was also conscious of the C-melody.

--What exactly is the C-melody?

Mana: (While glancing at a printed lyric sheet) The lines where it says "Chimi Moryo" and "Hyakki Yagyo" are the C-melodies. I wrote them in the complete opposite image of the chorus. Instead of making everything beautiful, I emphasized a more wicked taste. I advised Seth, the vocalist, to sing in a wicked manner. We thought up the modulations. I've made the "Chimi Moryo" and "Hyakki Yagyo" keywords for myself.

--I was surprised to find the words "Chimi Moryo (evil spirits of rivers and mountains)" and "Hyakki Yagyo (march of the creepy, scheming characters)"--two very Japanese themes--in the lyrics this time. Why did you decide to use these words?

Mana: I've always liked the Japanese spirit world of Shigeru Mizuki. I read manga and spirit picture books as a kid, so "Chimi Moryo" and "Hyakki Yagyo" are words that are naturally inside me. But it's true; these Japanese elements are something I haven't brought to my work before. They might be a little weird to hear for some people, but these words are a very natural part of me.

--Who or what does the title, "Lamentful Miss," refer too?

Mana: The origin of the title "Lamentful Miss" is the angel of lamentation. "Miss" refers to the hero of the song who may be an angel, or may be a girl. The song is about what sort of entity "Lamentful Miss" is.

--Could you elaborate on that?

Mana: I'd like to leave it up to the imaginations of my listeners.

--Do you have a solid image of "Lamentful Miss"?

Mana: Yes. I wrote the final lyric of the chorus to reveal a bit about the story of the song. If you want all the hints to the puzzle, they're strewn throughout the lyrics.

--I've never been able to predict where your compositions will lead. You change rhythms, keys, have multiply vocal melodies, instantly change your harmonies--I've been surprised with many of your works. I feel like you've drawn a line between your compositions and the "verse-chorus-verse" songs of everyone else. Do you have any unique theories or ideas you use when composing?

Mana: My compositions don't come from theories; they come entirely from feeling. I've never studied fundamental music theory--I don't even know about chord progressions. My basic style is to develop the songs I've imagined via guitar or keyboard. I'm not conscious of the chords I use--for that matter; I don't even know which ones I'm using. I can only move forward through feel. There are times when not even I, the composer, know how a song will develop.

I look for stimulation in my compositions and find regular song progressions boring. Of course, I don't force song changes; I make the songs flow naturally as well. I'm not interested in the "let's change the rhythm" aspect of progressive rock. My songs flow naturally from my feelings and imagination, and I arrange them in a way that fits the composition.

--Isn't it difficult to make a complete song from feeling?

Mana: Yes. I switch around and stress over each and every song.

--Have you ever thought of making a song based on popular or classical music theory?

Mana: Actually, there was a time when I thought learning theory would expand the breadth of my compositions. But I think the interesting part of my songs is that they have developments that can't be explained with theory. I've come to believe that refusing to learn theory so that I compose solely off of feeling is more representative of my personality. And of course, I'm at the point where I feel that my writing style helps me put out songs that represent me.

However, the other members of the band know all about chords, sheet music and whatever. The guitarist K and bassist Sugiya discuss my songs using that specialist lexicon. As for me, I can't follow the conversations. (Laughs)

--Don't be so hard on yourself. (Laughs)

Mana: The two of them were writing down sheet music to my songs to remember the complicated parts. They wrote down notes for all the chords and yet, I couldn't read a single thing they wrote. (Laughs)

--I see. (Laughs) So here is your composition written according to musical notation, and yet it means nothing to you. Only sounds.

Mana: Yes. I was astonished because I can't write sheet music at all. To some, writing music may be a regular thing, but to me it was amazing. On the other hand, I felt that something this astonishing was something I shouldn't learn. Dare to not learn! (Laughs)

--Yes, try. (Laughs) Don't get caught up with anything, just let the songs come from your thoughts.

Mana: Yes, absolutely. If I knew music theory then I'm sure I'd know how to harmonize when I'm writing my songs. But I write from feeling and not theory. I think about what sort of sound should come in relation to the main melody and then look for the sound. It's quite tedious.

--That sounds difficult. However, this is also the most comfortable, natural way for you to compose?

Mana: Yes. I want to be surprised when I'm writing. I want my songs to stimulate me. That's why I play from feeling.

--The new single contains "Perish" and "forbidden" as B-sides. "Perish" is a re-recording of a song from "Nocturnal Opera," and "forbidden" is a re-recording from "Dialogue Symphonie." Why did you choose to redo these two songs?

Mana: "Perish" and "forbidden" are still the most crucial songs for the new Moi dix Mois when we perform live. Particularly "Perish" holds a very unique spot in our set, so I wanted to re-record it using the current five-member lineup. "forbidden" is another song that is absolutely essential to our concerts. I wanted to record these two important songs first.

--You've already performed these tracks live with the new lineup. Did you record using the arrangements you used live?

Mana: Look forward to hearing the songs at our concert after the CD comes out.

--I see. (Laughs) Well then, can you tell me what elements you focused on when rearranging "Perish"?

Mana: I made it a little heavier and more illusionary. I also focused on including a clean guitar sound. That's my favorite part. I always use humbuckers on my guitars, which makes it easier to get a heavy sound. This time K brought a Fender Stratocaster to recording. We used that for the clean parts. I was pleased with how beautiful and fresh it sounded.

--I got the impression from the rearranged "Perish" that you'd subdued the guitars and brought the bass and drums to the front for an overall heavier sound.

Mana: It's been the case from the time I first composed "Perish," that the song is driven by the bass. The basic idea was to entwine the bass to a jungle beat. The guitars are more of a dressing than the main part. The song has the drums and bass in the center with the guitar wandering, or really playing, around.

--I see. Well then, can you tell me what elements you focused on when rearranging "forbidden"?

Mana: The edge on the guitars. I wanted the guitars to sound crunchier than ever--to raise only the high and low sounds. I wanted the lows to pulse and the highs to shimmer. Then I focused on carving the riffs with the sound I was able to achieve.

--What parts of the new "forbidden" would you like us to listen to?

Mana: I've changed up some of the percussion in the arrangements. We originally recorded "forbidden" before our first single "Dialogue Symphonie," so the drums all came from a drum computer. We've completely changed it around for the new "forbidden" with full live instrumentation. I've also made the guitars way heavier, so definitely check that out as well.

--When you say that everything is performed via live instruments, what exactly do you mean?

Mana: The drums on the original "forbidden" were actually all programmed. The title track "Dialogue Symphonie" featured live drums, but the B-side, "forbidden," was all drum machines. This time we've recorded using live drums.

--So programmed and live drums are that different?

Mana: Well, live drums better capture the speed and groove of songs--particularly heavier tracks. But programming also has its good sides. I like both.

--I find the rearranged "forbidden" begins with your characteristic symphonic sound, preserves the original heaviness, and pushes the harpsichord sound farther forward. Why did you choose to arrange it this way?

Mana: This song is about modulation; about light and shadow. I wanted to show off both the violent and the delicate sides of the track. We pulled off the violent sounds by recording them with heavy twin guitars. By bringing the harpsichord into the intervals I was able to create a more delicate sound. It's definitely a very representative process for me, but Moi dix Mois has been about fusing the violent and delicate from the start. I believe we we're able to achieve that with this arrangement.

--Why do you like harpsichords?

Mana: Why indeed . . . That delicate, breakable sound reverberates beauty throughout me. I like piano for being piano, but I just can't get enough of that sweet, sad tone of the harpsichord.

The harpsichord has lost popularity since the birth of the piano. I've had people ask me what a harpsichord is after I've brought the instrument up in conversation. However, I've been using them forever. (Laughs) I'm sure my fans have already become familiar with the instrument, but generally people know little about the harpsichord. I want people to know what a delicate sound the instrument can make.

--Harpsichords carry more harmonic overtones than standard pianos. I felt that was part of the delicateness after hearing your song.

Mana: Harpsichords and pianos produce their sounds differently as well. They may look similar, but in a sense you could say that a harpsichord is a stringed instrument--they produce their sounds by plucking the strings with a nail. Pianos pound their strings with a hammer--you could maybe say they are a percussive instrument . . . well maybe not. (Laughs) Well, if you were talking extremes. Anyway, I believe that's why harpsichords produce a more delicate sound.

--Are people shocked to hear songs that centrally feature a harpsichord?

Mana: There aren't many rock bands that use harpsichords. (Laughs)

--So you've never thought of the harpsichord as a supporting instrument, a part of the background sound?

Mana: No, I haven't. I want the beautiful sound of the harpsichord to be in the center. And not just one, I'll usually mix at least two in my songs. I personally feel that the harpsichord sounds best when you mix two of them.

--When people think of harpsichords they think of Bach. Now, Bach composed works for three harpsichords, but personally you feel they sound the best with two?

Mana: No, I'm not saying it absolutely has to be two. (Laughs) At least two. Bach only had to compose for harpsichord and string instruments, but I have to deal with drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. I can't layer on the harpsichords without muddying up the sound, so for me the ideal is two harpsichords for the best balance.

I've only composed one song with harpsichord as a supporting instrument. "Deflower" from "Beyond the Gate" features three harpsichords. The supporting harpsichord is in the center with the main harpsichord lines panned one each to the left and right--so overall three. As far as I can remember we've only used the harpsichord for support in "Deflower."

--"Deflower" is another great song.

Mana: "Deflower" was another song where I tried to compose something new. It's illusive, heavy, and features a delicate, beautiful harpsichord tone.

--Now then, at what point should the audience go crazy during "forbidden"?

Mana: The audience should raise their hands during the "my Dis" and "your Dis" parts. That's the most live-oriented part of the song-- (Laughs) the point at which the stage and the crowd become one.

--I see. Well I definitely want to listen to the new, live-oriented rearrangement of "forbidden." Changing subjects, how do you feel different about these songs after rearranging them?

Mana: Specifically in regards to these tracks, I'd say that the amount of time that has passed since we wrote these songs has allowed me to improve as an arranger. I rearranged them based around what I think I am capable of now, and I feel that the person I am now comes through stronger in these tracks. The old versions show off who I was when I wrote them back then. So when I compare them I think "Ah, so that's what I was thinking back then." It's hard for me to say which version is better--I think both of them have their strong points.

--How would you describe rearranging? Is it a process of adding more energy to the originals or starting from scratch to create completely new versions?

Mana: I've done both--either adding more energy or completely reorganizing a track. However, the rearrangements on the single are of the adding energy type.

--What songs, for example, did you start from scratch with?

Mana: "neo Pessimiste." We haven't recorded it yet, but its a complete reworking of "Pessimiste" from "Dix infernal."

--How is it different to rearrange a track from creating the arrangement for a new track from scratch?

Mana: It's easier to do a rearrangement since there is already a song present. However, I feel a sense of unknown possibility when I'm composing songs from scratch.

To rearrange a previously released song is to think about how to best make use of the underlying track. It's frightening to think that the way you rearrange the song could revive or kill the track. While I enjoy stepping into the unknown with a brand new song, I also fret a lot over how I want my songs to be arranged. I believe there are good and bad sides to both arranging new songs and rearranging old songs.

--Which do you prefer?

Mana: (Laughs) Lately I've really been enjoying working on our rearrangements. However, this is far outweighed by the happiness I feel after I've written a song from scratch. I like the feeling of completion after I make something from nothing.

--It seems like rearranged tracks cry out to be compared to their originals. How does this make you feel?

Mana: I don't really mind if people compare them. (Laughs) I'm sure plenty of people will think they sounded better before. They might have been drawn in by the impression--the shock--of hearing the song for the first time; they might feel strange hearing a different arrangement from the version they've been listening to since way back when. I understand that feeling as well, so I don't particularly mind. On the other hand, I'm sure there are also people who will be glad that the songs have been freshened up.

There are pros and cons to rearranging a song. Everyone has their own feelings toward music and, unfortunately, I don't have the power to control them. However, we did try to freshen up the tracks, so I definitely would like everyone to try listening to them. Then I want to hear what you think. I want to know how the songs made you feel.

--Are you planning on releasing more rearrangements on CD?

Mana: Once we began rearranging songs for the new single, thoughts of all the other songs that could use a rearrangement popped into my head. So, in that respect, there is a possibility we will do more in the future.

--I look forward to it. How was recording "Lamentful Miss"?

Mana: This was the first time in the studio for our new bassist and drummer. Surprisingly, we didn't get caught up much and were able to run right through it. I want everyone to listen to the bass in "Perish" since we changed up the bass line between versions.

--I imagine it's difficult to prep for your concerts while you're in the middle of recording. How did you hold up?

Mana: Actually, I'm used to it now. (Laughs)

--I see. (Laughs) Where do you get your ability for tirelessly working in music?

Mana: I'd say it's because I'm always looking to make something to stimulate and move me. When I find it in our compositions and performances, I'm glad I've continued in music. That's the root of my desire to create.

--I imagine you're busy with all your music work. When do you find time to write?

Mana: Usually at night. I generally plug myself up in my room in the middle ofthe night and write. I can't really write otherwise. Still, I don't always have time for that so I've taken to bringing a mini sequencer on our tours. However, I'm still not able to write out of my room.

--So, completely in your room.

Mana: It always seems to turn out that way. I've been trying to write outside as much as I can. I brought out my sequencer on the plane ride to Europe for our tour and punched in a lot--however it wasn't quite a song. (Laughs) I guess there's just something inside me that makes it difficult to write outside my room.

--Environment is important.

Mana: Probably. But I'm slightly in love with the idea of writing outside. You know how they have those scenes in movies where a character will dash to a restaurant or cafe and work? I love that idea, so sometimes I'll go to a coffee shop to write. I want to be able to write outside, but once I bring out my sequencer things don't go the way I want them to. (Laughs)

--I see. (Laughs) But when you work in your closed-off, quiet room late at night you're able to concentrate better.

Mana: Yes. That's why I prefer to work late at night. Still, it's difficult not being able to make loud noises since it's so late.

--Musicians have to be able to make sound.

Mana: Yes, that's one of the problems with writing at night. Usually I'll work with headphones in order to hide the sound.

--I see you've included instrumental versions of your songs with both this single and the limited edition version of "Beyond the Gate." Has there been much of a response from your fans regarding the instrumentals?

Mana: Yes. It seems like a lot of people want instrumentals. People want to hear the song as I made it, before the vocals were added. I guess I'd also like people to hear the instrumental versions of these songs as well.

--I'm sure there are plenty of people who look forward to comparing the original and instrumental versions. Do you plan on putting more instrumentals on your releases in the future?

Mana: Yes, as much as possible. And if people have instrumental versions they can practice their karaoke. (Laughs)

--I see. (Laughs) So you want people to listen to the vocal versions, practice singing with the instrumentals, and go sing them at karaoke?

Mana: Yes. (Laughs)

--There are so many ways to enjoy your single. (Laughs) I guess I have to try that as well. Actually, did you know we have male customers ordering your CDs? How does it feel to have not just women, but men as well anticipating your releases?

Mana: I guess being a man, and having awakened to music through rock, I'd say one of my goals is to have men listening to my music. Particularly in Japan, visual bands and musicians tend to draw a mostly female crowd. I'd like to get rid of the prejudice that visual-kei is for girls and embrace men.

--So you definitely don't want them to just buy your albums, you want them to come to your shows?

Mana: Yes. I imagine there are people who can listen to our music but find it hard to come to our concerts. I want them to stop worrying and just march right out here. We have a male-female ratio of fifty percent at our shows abroad--I'd like to have that same fervor here in Japan.

--It seems like guys hesitate to come to shows with so many girls.

Mana: I don't think they need to worry about that. Don't hesitate at all, just come on out.

--Do you want to say anything to your male fans about your concerts?

Mana: I want you to come out and get into the music. Forget yourself and just have fun!

--Thank you. Back to "Lamentful Miss," one of the keywords for this single is "Mo hitotsu no genjitsu wo anata ni ataeru daro (I'll give you another reality)." What sort of reality is this?

Mana: I can't tell you. (Laughs) "Another reality" is the largest theme in this song, and I feel people need to feel it for themselves.

--How will you portray this "other reality" at your monthly shows kicking off in August?

Mana: One of our themes for the monthly concerts is for Moi dix Mois to create "another reality." I want to be as experimental as possible since we're playing once a month.

--Tell me what those wanting to see this "other reality" should do to prepare.

Mana: I want them to bring a clean heart and throw out any preconceptions. Preconceptions are the biggest enemy of humans--they prevent us from moving forward. If you want to see "another reality" you must first throw out your preconceptions. Everything starts from there.

--You're previous approach to performing was more "quality over quantity." What made you want to perform monthly?

Mana: I definitely used to think that our concerts should be more about quality than quantity. But I'd like to strengthen the live feel of our new members. It's hard to get a feel for our concerts if we only hold them occasionally. Though the new members have already experienced playing abroad, there's a huge difference between our shows abroad and in Japan.

Since our shows are particularly rare in Japan, I felt they needed to experience our Japanese shows as much as possible and sublimate that into their playing. That's why I decided to do monthly concerts--to increase the number of shows we play in Japan and improve the live feel of the new Moi dix Mois.

--I think your fans are really looking forward to seeing monthly concerts from Moi dix Mois up until the new year. How do you feel about actually performing every month?

Mana: A month goes by fast. I'm glad to be able to perform again so soon. But, on the other hand, I worry about how I'm going to change up the contents and how best to do the songs justice live. It's terrible thinking that through every month.

Our first show of the monthly concert series was at the Daikanyama Unit. I was glad to see the audience get more into it than I had even imagined. I guess I wanted to improve the union our audience and the new lineup feel in concert. That's why I chose a relatively small club for the first show in the series. Once we actually started doing shows it seems like we didn't even need to move for the crowd to go crazy. I wondered why everyone was so excited. I really felt that something good was in the air. I want to bring this union of audience and band to the next level at our shows in the future.

--Do you prefer bigger or smaller venues?

Mana: Personally, I prefer slightly larger venues. It suits me better to be able to put on a show. But I'm able to feel the crowd stronger at smaller venues, so I really enjoyed performing our first show at the Daikanyama Unit.

--The stage is definitely close to the crowd at the Unit.

Mana: Yes. The Unit is smaller than the Shibuya-AX, but you can feel the audience so much more. At the Ax I'm more conscious of putting on a show than I am of merging with the audience. I guess the way of experiencing our shows changes with the venue. There are good sides to both large and small venues, so it's difficult to cling to one type of show. I think that the glammed up stage element is a show of it's own, which is why I really like large venues. But it's also great to work with the crowd at our smaller shows.

--When you say it was "great," does that mean that you've had enough now, after your show at the Daikanyama Unit?

Mana: No, it was just good. People had their hands up all the way to the back of the Unit, everyone danced like mad, and I thought it was really great how united the whole venue became.

--It sounds like a steam-drenched, amazing performance. Speaking of which, I believe you handed out a questionnaire at the show. It seems as though some of your fans are hesitant to send in the questionnaire because they think that the band won't read their answers. Mana, do you read the questionnaires?

Mana: Of course I read them. Reading questionnaires is my number one purpose in life!

--Purpose in life, eh? (Laughs) So the questionnaires are that important?

Mana: They're important. (Laughs) Particularly after our shows, they give me purpose. I need the questionnaires to understand what everyone felt at the show. It's the thing I look forward to the most after our shows since it allows us to know how our fans felt the moment the show is over.

--So you'd definitely like your fans to fill them out.

Mana: Yes. I'd most certainly like to ask that of them. I read them a lot--so much a hole opens in me. (Laughs) Please write a lot!

--Do you prefer long comments or collected, short comments?

Mana: I prefer long comments--the longer the better. I wish they'd write all the way over the back of the questionnaire. (Laughs) Even if you write over the whole back in teeny, tiny letters, I'll read it all!

--I've seen some questionnaires with purikura (photo stickers) stuck to them. How do you feel about that?

Mana: Stick on as many as you want. (Laughs) I get to understand just who is thinking what. I completely cannot get enough, so please stick them on.

--Do you mind if people who can't fill out the questionnaire fast enough at the show send them to you by email?

Mana: Sure, you can even send them by email so please, send them in. However, more people send them by regular mail. Of course, I'll read them whether they come by email or regular mail.

--How does it feel to open up time in your schedule after a show to read the questionnaires?

Mana: It's nice to settle down a little before I read them. But the thing I enjoy the most is reading the questionnaires the day of the show. (Laughs)

--I see. (Laughs) So if they can, you'd like people to write the questionnaires right after the show.

Mana: Yes. I'd be really happy if everyone that could; filled in the questionnaires right after the show. Still, it was a furnace at the Unit after our show there and I was worried that people were suffering while they wrote the responses. There are a ton of reasons why people can't write the questionnaires after the show. If you have one, please at least try to send it in through mail.

--Do you ever re-read the questionnaires?

Mana: Yes, I do. The other members read them as well. It's a chance to learn, a chance for everyone to tell us how he or she felt about the show.

--So it's a way to communicate with your fans.

Mana: Yes. People have different ways of experiencing shows, different songs they'll like. It's interesting to hear everyone's opinion through the questionnaire.

--Finally, could I get a word from you for your fans?

Mana: I'm very pleased with the way the new Moi dix Mois has recorded "Lamentful Miss" so please buy it and give it a listen. Please, also come out to our monthly concerts. Men, don't hesitate to come on out. Let's meet at the show. I'm looking forward to seeing you.

--Thank you.

Mana: Thank you.

Moi dix Mois Biography:

As the aloof leader of visual rock band Malice Mizer, Mana cultivated an unprecedented musical quality through his peerless compositional talent. For most, there is no reason to retell the story of his affect on the music world, ask anyone familiar with the visual music scene and they will surely know his name. However, Mana wasn't complacent with resting on his laurels, and after the break-up of Malice Mizer, set out on a new quest to bring music to the world through his solo project Moi dix Mois.
Mana is always trying something new, always looking for new ground in his artistic life, and always set on fusing elements of the classical with the radically new. You could say he's even created his own genre of music: Mana-progressive. His originality has also gathered him praise abroad, with many fans in Europe and America. Aside from music, Mana is the largest advocate of "Elegant Gothic Lolita" style, producing the apparel label "Moi-même-Moitié." We look forward to seeing what Mana has in store for the future.

(Written and interviewed by Denno. Translated by Dan)

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