MIKARU was in the Netherlands on July 11th to perform with his solo project G.L.A.M.S at the first edition of Fan Base Project. For the short existence it is the third time that MIKARU is in Europe with his project. Time to know more about his project and future plans!
AVO Blog: We know you as the previous singer of BLACK LINE and even before that as the singer of Dio-Distraught Overlord-. However now you are very busy working on your own project called G.L.A.M.S. Why did you pick this name and when did the first idea come to let this project arise?
MIKARU: I was thinking a lot about it, so many times. Eventually, GLAMS comes from GLAMOROUS DIAMAND. At first I only chose GLAMS and thought it was cool. I made a Photoshop of the word GLAMS on a black wall and it looked cool, beautiful. I thought something is missing and I tried to add the points between each letter: G.L.A.M.S. and realized – oh, it’s even better this way! So the points do not mean anything, it’s just beautiful. (smiles)
AVO Blog: This is your second European tour as G.L.A.M.S.. How does it feel to come back to familiar places? Have things changed since the last time?
MIKARU: The biggest change this time is that we have our guitarist Yudai with us. First tour was too difficult: one singer only and the DJ style for the first try-out. I have always had a band: drums, guitar, bass. But DJ style is very-very difficult. So I let the guitarist join us this tour and the sound is better. Next time I hope I will bring the real drumkit, guitar, bass and me. I hope!
AVO Blog: So will it be a full band or still stay as a solo project?
MIKARU: It’ll stay as a solo project.
AVO Blog: You are visiting a lot of European countries, such as France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg… Do you have any association for each country? What is the first feeling you get?
MIKARU: Well, France (Lyon) was my first European country ever on tour so every time I come to France I feel like I’m home, I came back!
Next day was Luxembourg. This was my first time, beautiful town! *MIKARU points* Is that a castle? I don’t know! It’s too hot, too hot, I’m dead! But I wanted to go sightseeing, unfortunately couldn’t go this time, not enough free time.
Next day was Munich (Germany). Same place as the last year, same staff, same engineering. It’s a very good place, very good and special engineering. I felt like I’m home again, I came back!
And Next day was Vienna! Also the same place and the same engineering as during my last tour. They remember me, I remember them. This feeling of me together with the engineering and staff feels like a family. I have a family in France, Belgium, Germany. It’s fantastic! Fantastic baby! (smiles)
The Netherlands was a big surprise for me. Last tour in the venue the bar was upstairs, downstairs was the showcase, and the backstage was upstairs too. I went down the stairs and I was thinking: “What’s the smell? Not tobacco, not cigarettes, no, no, no! Oh my god, wonderful country!” (laughs)
Belgium. I love Belgian beer, but there are so many! I heard there are like 5.000 kinds of beer. I want to try everything! I can drink Belgian beer in Japan but there is a very little choice, maybe 10 or 20 kinds.
AVO Blog: If you could have a concert in any place you want around the world, in any stage or stadium, where would you like to play and why?
MIKARU: Tokyo Dome, Madison Square Garden, Paris, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Japan, every Disneyland, Everywhere! Cinderella castle! Yeaaah, stand on top and shout “Wake up children!” (laughs)
AVO Blog: We know you as a very creative person, first of all as a musical artist but also as an overall rounded artist with the exhibition being proof of this. Is there a form of creative expression that you have not tried before, but would love to do?
MIKARU: In the beginning I only wanted to paint, this is my passion since I was born. Then I realized that I want to play music, my own music! Black Line was 4 members, 4 brains working on 1 song. G.L.A.M.S. is only me and it’s very interesting! This was the first time for me. After making my own paintings and music I realized that I like jewelry and I was thinking: “What if mhm…I want to make my own jewelry!” I’m imaging the girls with my necklace or my ring on and it’s a wonderful thing. Then I tried to make one and yes, oh… I can do it! And I tried to make the next one and in my head was “Oh, I really can do it!”. Painting, music, jewelry and everything is so interesting and fun. I’m not getting tired of it. Maybe next year I’ll try something else… I don’t know yet… I only know my heart and passion.
AVO Blog: Are music, painting and photography equally important in your life or do you prefer one of these activities over the other?
MIKARU: Sometimes I think: “Actually I’m a musician”. So music comes first, then painting, and then jewelry. So my center is music! Yeah! When I’m on stage every time I think I’m alive! This is my place, yeah, I think so. My center is music.
AVO Blog: Let’s talk about your paintings! You are using a very interesting technic in your painting “MY FACE”. Why did you physically place your face in the paint? What were your thoughts while making this painting?
MIKARU: I’m always looking for something new so first I drew a white old wall and thought that it was beautiful but I wanted something more…mhm…(Showing with gestures) Look…(put a little bit paint on the face with the fingers, look in the mirror) Oh, it’s cool! I want to put more! More and more! (applying the face on the painting of the wall) Oh, it looks good! Yeah, it’s really good, I should hurry, OK! (quickly put the whole face on the painting). Oh my god, that’s really something new and something I’ve never seen before. And here is my face. I do not know why I did that, just spontaneous (smiles).
AVO Blog: About your painting “REAL” with a description “Everyone has two faces. I am lonely. But I’m enjoying the loneliness.” It is a very touching and heartbreaking scene. Could you share with us what is the exact meaning for you behind this artwork?
MIKARU: This painting is very special. We all have two faces: outside and inside, our other side. Everybody who sees this work is thinking that it is scary or something similar, but this painting is very sad, very-very sad. When I am home, lonely, looking in the mirror and seeing the other face. The black line in the corner represents the cage. If you have noticed, the sad face on the back is smiling a little. This is a representing of a good feeling, feeling free when I am coming home. G.L.A.M.S. is symbol of freedom. That guy is me.
AVO Blog: Last year you have composed the 1st EP of G.L.A.M.S. “Under the Moon”. The last song of this album is called “The Light of My Life”. This melodic moving ballade was a closure of your shows during the last European tour in 2014 and it haven’t changed since then. What did inspire you to write this song? Does it have a special meaning to you or what feelings do you want to invoke from your fans?
I always sing for the fans. Maybe not everybody understands the Japanese lyrics but I sing: “I want to stay by your side forever! Spring, summer, autumn, winter, I want to stay with YOU always and forever!”. I sing this kind of feelings. Maybe they understand the word “Aishiteru (愛してる – I love you).” This is the very first time I’m using this word in a song. I couldn’t say “Aishiteru” before because I’m too shy. (laughs). Yesterday in Lille people were singing “Aishiteru” together with me and I was so happy, “Aishiteru yo! ( 愛してるよ – I love you!)”. This is why this song is the closure. I don’t know if this will stay this way but I like this feeling a lot. Wonderful world, very good and beautiful.
AVO Blog: What song of the EP “Under the Moon” describes you the most? What is your favorite and why?
MIKARU: Maybe “The Other Side Of The Moon”. This song was the first song I made for G.L.A.M.S.. I always make a melody first and the lyrics come after. I asked the guitarist, the bassist and the drummer to help me record the melody, but all of the songs are made completely by me. When this song was complete and finished I felt so happy and deeply emotional.
AVO Blog: You want to travel the world with G.L.A.M.S. What places/countries are next on your list?
MIKARU: For this tour: tomorrow is Liège (Belgium), Cologne (Germany), Atsusacon (Belgium) and the final show is in Paris!
This tour is unfortunately too short, but I also want to go to Poland, Greece, Finland, England, Chili,…EVERYWHERE!
AVO Blog: What are your near future plans with G.L.A.M.S.? Could we expect any new releases?
MIKARU: In August we will start recording the new EP. Perhaps we will need 2-3 months and after the release I want to start painting again. I also want to hold an exhibition again. Maybe next time it will not be in Paris. I do not know where yet, but I am thinking about Germany or Belgium.
AVO Blog: Did you have an exhibition in Japan?
MIKARU: Maybe someday I will have one in the future. I tried contest this summer and autumn. In japan a lot of painting contest and I tried a lot of contests so after 1-2 years later maybe I’ll have exhibition in Japan, 7 days in Japan.
AVO Blog: Do you have a message for the readers of AVO blog (from The Netherlands and Belgium) and your fans?
MIKARU: Thank you for reading and thank you for the interview! I hope I will see you guys again next (longer) tour in more cities and we will have even more powerful shows! With drums! Follow me baby! I love you! *MIKARU says: “Rooaaar!”*
I want to thank MIKARU for his time, Fan Base Project, Râmen Shô and AVO Events & Promotion for making this performance possible and Francisca for her support. Follow MIKARU on his official website, Twitter andFacebook!