Ars Nøva single “Vanitas”, which is only available at their live concerts, was composed and built with their current line-up of “vocals”, “piano” & “drums”.
With their brand new approach sound (Ars Nova) they are not limited to any band boundaries. It has opened up and created a world that only Ars Nøva can create!
■ This is Ars Nøva’s first appearance with Vijuttoke, so please introduce yourself.
HIVARI: Nice to meet you, I’m Hivari the vocalist. With Ars Nøva we focus on symphonic sounds and convey the beauty of life through our live performances and songs. Our band name Ars Nøva means; New art that only we can draw. We also want to become a “new star” for those who touch us and light up their future.
RyO: I’m the keyboard player, RyO. I perform with my portable keyboard.
Noie: I’m the drummer Noie. I play the drums in a style that matches the origin of the band’s name.
■ The venue-only single ‘vanitas’ was released in May this year. The two songs are built around the current line-up of the band with “vocals”, “piano” and “drums”. Did you have a theme for these two songs?
HIVARI: Before our first one-man show, one of our members left the band. It was a situation we could not have imagined when we first announced the formation of the band. But instead of running away from this fact, we wanted to leave behind a world that only Ars Nøva can create as a work of art, which led us to create ‘Vanitas’ this time.
RyO: From the point of view of “What can we do with only three members?”, we dared to create “Vanitas” with just the three of us, and performed it as the opening of our first one-man show. It turned out to be a new sound (=ars nova) as a song that was not bound to the common framework of a band. “Kokkai(告解)” has a typical band sound, but the concept remains the same and our world view hasn’t changed either.
■ Regarding the song title “Vanitas”, it felt like the essence of an epic composition, characterised by its brooding intensity and a profoundly worldly aura. Can you tell us what kind of song it turned out to be?
HIVARI: It’s a song that reveals something about myself what I hate that I’ve kept hidden so far.
RyO: Dark, intense, beautiful. This is what comes to mind when I think of Visual Kei. Stillness and movement, beauty and ugliness, emptiness and rage… Despite the title, the song has many different elements. I also play this song live on the piano.
Noie:A s for the drums, the theme of the song is “rebirth from emptiness”, so I usually use a multi-point set with a lot of phrasing, but for this song I used a minimal set and a larger score, so it became a challenge for me to stay in tune with our worldview in my own way,
■ I felt torn by HIVARI’s words, especially after the middle part of the song, which felt like an emotional outpouring. Could you please tell me more about the lyrics of ‘Vanitas’?
HIVARI: Beyond the despair was neither anger nor sadness, but a void. There was nothing. The story I had drawn to leave evidence of my life through the image of HIVARI would surely disappear one day. It was as if nothing had happened in the first place. I thought I could bring more reality to the concept of “life is art” by expressing the folly of dreaming and the weakness of wanting to be someone different than they really are.
■ I also saw the MV for ‘Vanitas’. To express the song and the lyrics, the music video was simple and focused on the vocalist HIVARI, but the emotional expression was amazing. Did you have a concept for the filming?
HIVARI: The music video was directed by Genki Takebuchi, who has been a personal friend of mine for a long time. I consulted with him not only during the filming, but also from the stage when the concept of the song was first conceived, so I felt like he was the general director. With Takebuchi’s help, I was able to express the danger and fragility of something beautiful being spoiled.
■The coupling song ‘Kokkai’ was a track with a different approach. Can you tell us about this song as well?
RyO: It is one of the few middle-heavy songs from Ars Nøva so far. The world and sound choice is sacred and churchy. The hook brings out HIVARI’s quiet voice very well.
Noie: The atmosphere of the song is similar to ‘vanitas’, but here I did my own drumming, which is my usual style. In the bright part at the end, I was very conscious of creating a big beat and power, as if I was taking another step into a new world.
■ I would like to ask you about the lyrics of Kokkai. What did you want to express by including shouts?
RyO: In contrast to the inwardly depressing image of ‘vanitas’, I wanted an outward expression in ‘Kokkai’, so we included it.
HIVARI: Every human being carries sin from the moment of birth. For this sense of guilt, which can never be borne alone, we have expressed the cry of the heart that turns to God.
■ What kind of day was your hosted event for Noie’s Birthday “Xenøverse“‘? which took place on 12 June at ‘Ueno Otoyoko ‘?
Noie: We were able to create an ideal form for a live performance hosted by a band. Because we were able to fulfil our wish for “Xenøverse” with the help of everyone involved, not only us, but also the bands that performed and the Stellas (= fan’s name) that came to see us. Thank you very much!
■ On August 28th, your hosted event for RyO Birthday “Appassiønato”” will be held at “Sugamo Shishio”. What kind of day will it be?
RyO: It will bring us closer to friends and seniors of bands we love. The title is a musical term for ‘intense’. So we hope to create an event that lives up to its name.
■ Finally, please give a message to the readers of Vijuttoke.
HIVARI: I will keep on taking good care of myself, so that you can enjoy being my fan and to feel proud of being Stella. So please come to follow me anywhere.
RyO: Please visit us at least once to experience the world of Ars Nøva.
Noie: Thank you for reading, let’s meet at the live house!