In October of last year, the Malaysian-based company Toybox Projects presented the first edition of Toybox Showcase, where they introduced four Japanese indie bands to a worldwide audience through a live broadcast. This special event included performances and short introductions to the band and resulted in a special digital release. Soon after this event, we had the chance to ask these bands a couple of questions. These interviews all have their own article, so be sure to read them all. The third in the line of interviews is the rock band Dazedgarden.
The Tokyo-based rock band Dazedgarden gained popularity through their originally written and composed songs with a nostalgic sound that goes beyond alternative or metal with strong, natural and melodious lines. Vocalist Reona Nishiyama pens poetic lyrics that grab at the heart and linger in your mind. Consisting of Reona Nishiyama on vocal & guitar, Hideki Nanba on guitar and Tenji Nagano on bass, the band is known for their frenetic and fiery movements on stage. Recently Dazedgarden released an album, titled White Echo, consisting of a mix of remastered songs and a new song.
AVO Magazine: It’s been over 10 years since Dazedgarden formed in 2010, with almost no line-up changes. How do you stay motivated to keep active as a musician in a band, especially considering the pandemic which made live activities difficult?
Reona: The Corona problem limited where we could go (especially overseas), but as always, I’ve sustained myself by going to places with beautiful scenery, visiting Shinto shrines, watching movies and anime, and looking at pictures.
Tenji: Fortunately the internet makes us able to maintain various connections now, so I worked on things believing that people on the other side of that are listening.
Hideki: I listen to new music from around the world every day.
AVO Magazine: Perhaps this is a frequently asked question, but who or what are the biggest influences for Dazedgarden?
Tenji: For me personally, mixture rock, emocore, and anime songs have been a strong influence, but even though each of the members has different influences, we find what we have in common and blend all of that, which is interesting, I think.
Reona: When I think of Dazedgarden, I’d have to say it’s Hideki Namba.
Hideki: I would say many of my senior musicians. The emotions I felt when I was younger have firmly rooted themselves as influences for me.
AVO Magazine: What are the most important things you have learned from starting a band and by taking the first steps to put out your own music?
Reona: It would have to be the joy of creating something.
Tenji: While being clear about what inspires me, I try to unravel that as logically as possible.
Hideki: Being able to enjoy even a day that doesn’t go well.
AVO Magazine: Looking at the history of Dazedgarden, it might not seem strange that you have joined the Toybox Showcase, as you have performed in Malaysia a couple of times before. What exactly is your connection with this country?
Reona: My brother has an acquaintance who is a Malaysian singer he got the chance to know in Tokyo, and at her suggestion, we applied for a Malaysian event called J Rock no Tamashii. So the start of things was when we got selected to perform. Thanks to that we were able to put out our first major release with Warner Music Malaysia.
AVO Magazine: Recently you released a remastered version of the 2011 EP, White Echo. What can you tell us about the release, and why did you decide to renew this EP and also add a new track to it?
Reona: The coronavirus situation going on it made us put restrictions on our live performance activities and imposed other limitations, and there were a lot of people who were spending more time at home, so we wanted people to once again enjoy our past works by putting them on the subscription services that have become a mainstream thing. As we recorded the songs with a sound that goes beyond what we made originally, we definitely would like you to give them a listen.
AVO Magazine: Do you have a message for the readers of AVO Magazine and can you share with us what currently are the best ways to support Dazedgarden?
Hideki: Let’s meet at a live one day!
Tenji: It really encourages us when we get likes and replays of the contents we’ve been putting out. Please give us your support.
Reona: Please get acquainted with our music by watching our MVs and listening to us through subscription services. When we can get back to performing live concerts like usual, let’s meet at the venue!
A big thank you to Dazedgarden for taking the time to answer the interview questions. If you want to find out more about this band, please check out their official homepage, Twitter, and Facebook. Many thanks to the lovely people from Toybox Projects who facilitated and translated this interview. The digital release of Toybox Showcase Vol. 1 can be found on several major streaming services.