NightingeiL is a fairly active visual band that was first formed in 2008 and dissolved in 2012. They recently came back into the visual scene in late 2017 with a few new members, and have continuously been putting effort into playing shows. Each member has been in the music scene for many years, and their experiences and history coincide with the driving force and effort NightingeiL serves to their fans.
NightingeiL thank you very much for this interview.
We are living in a global pandemic, so how are you currently dealing with the corona issue?
Vo. Kon: I just leave the global corona problem to the experts.
Gt. Kaie: I’m soooo tired of it.
Gt. Nao: I’m taking more precautions than just following the general measures.
Ba. Rei: I don’t take any special measures, because I think, if you get it, you’ll get it.
Dr. Hakuya: I just endure it, and I’m aware of myself to stay safe and healthy.
Japan is full of Kanji, so how would you describe NightingeiL with just using one Kanji?
Kon: 傷 (kizu, scar): I guess because we are a naive and sensitive band.
Kaie:血(chi, blood): Because it’s or underlying concept.
Nao: 色 (iro, color): We have a dark image, but we have different nuances in various aspects.
Rei: 闇(yami, darkness): Because we are a two faces band
Hakuya: 夜 (yoru, night): It’s the opposite of the brightness of the day, we as a band can live without light as a nocturnal character.
And how would you describe yourself with just one Kanji?
Kon: 無 (Mu,nothing) Because I want to think about anything at all.
Kaie: 楽 (Raku, easy) Because I am an optimistic person.
Nao: 猫 (neko, cat) Because I can’t live without this creature.
Rei: 陰 (Yin,shadow) Because I’m a gloomy person.
Hakuya: 喰 (Ku, eat): LIVE is a one-shot soul life, I’m performing on stage with the intention of eating and swallowing everything!
In 2012 you disbanded once, and in 2017 you guys returned back, has anything changed?
Kon: We had a member change and we are a 5 member band now, also what we want to express has expanded with those changes.
Kaie: To me it feels as if we started a brand new story.
Nao: Of course the members changed, but I don’t think that the inner core of NightingeiL has changed.
Rei: The color of Solei has become darker.
Hakuya: We understand each other better and also our new members own input of their sound and entanglements ideas.
Why did you decide to use the name NightingeiL as a band name?
Kon: We chose the name NightingeiL to express life, love and death.
What made you decide to use your stage name?
Kon: I can’t remember it anymore, I chose it too long ago.
Kaie: A character in the manga To-y is also called Kaie.
Nao: It’s a part of my real name.
Rei: My name is of no particular origin, but my fortune teller advised me to change my name because it doesn’t have any pluses.
Hakuya: From the anime “Bleach” from Byakuya Kuchiki, the first captain.
We are all influenced by someone or something so what are your musical influences?
Kon: Many bands and artists have influenced me.
Kaie: Punk at its core, also hard rock and positive punk. To keep it short, I like LUNA SEA.
Nao: Of course it’s Japanese visual kei music, but nowadays I don’t care much about the genre. If I think it’s good music, I’m influenced by it.
Rei: I like Zi:Kill and Merry Go Round.
Hakuya: 90s J-POP.
You all play an instrument (vocals included(smile)), but what made you want to play your instrument?
Kon: Because I didn’t have to spend money to buy an instrument.
Kaie: I just happened to be in charge of it.
Nao: My dad had a guitar at home.
Rei: I’ll skip answering this question because it’s an impure motive.
Hakuya: My parents played the drums as a hobby, so we had a drum set at home, so also I started to play the drums for fun.
So please tell us which type of instrument you use.
Kon: I’m using SHURE BETA58A.
Kaie: The tones I play are almost straight from the amp.
Nao: The current guitar I use is one I painted myself.
Rei: I’m using Warwick JAZZMAN.
My drum set: TAMAdrums starclassicBirch.
Twin Pedals : AMAHA FP9310
Talking about memories, what are some of your favorite memories?
Kon: Our emotions after we finish recording together..
Kaie: Can’t choose, so I guess all of them.
Nao: Our live shows and also our daily life together.
Rei: That I am finally able to perform with the legends which I saw in magazines as a junior and High school student.
Hakuya: Our live shows at big venues and touring around.
You’ve been in the music industry for a long time, so what has changed the most since the start of your career?
Kon: I stopped to compare my own band with other bands.
Kaie: I don’t have too many expectations anymore.
Nao: We don’t have to be bound by certain stereotypes anymore, we can express ourselves in different ways.
Rei: Our hair was up to our waists, however now our haircuts are shorter.
Hakuya: Our music and attitude towards the band and how to enjoy it has changed.
And what’s the secret to staying active for so long?
Kon: It’s finding the good balance between yourself and bandmates, also too keep up a healthy distance between each other.
Kaie: Because I love what I do and because we have people who support us.
Nao: We love our music and we respect each other, which leads to good relationships between each other.
Rei: We don’t get into conflicts easily because we don’t play as a band on a regular basis.
Hakuya: The most important thing above all is that we all love playing music and we are having lots of fun while doing it.
Which song do you think is most popular under fans and what’s your own favorite song?
Kon: Our most popular song is “吊り下げの恋”. And my own favorite is “その手”
Kaie: I guess that our most popula song is “吊り下げの恋” and “白い森”. My personal favoriets are “その手” and “彼女と空腹”
Nao: There are various of popular songs “吊り下げの恋” “12秒間” and “水銀”, but my own favorite is “孤島の彼女”
Rei: “吊り下げの恋” a song which is easy understand, so it’s loved by many people. My own favorite is “孤島の彼女”.
Hakuya:歪んで走る and 身代わりの人
You have a lot of introspective lyrics, where do you get your inspiration for writing lyrics?
Kon: I take inspiration from everything that happens in my life.
How do you write and compose your songs?
Kaie: We bring our ideas to the studio, and turn them into a real song together.
Nao: When we write a song idea, we turn it together into a song.
Rei: Based on our ideas, we create the final song together in the studio.
How has your songwriting changed as you have gotten older?
Kon: If you wonder about the lyrics, they haven’t changed.
Kaie: Basically, I haven’t changed at all.
Nao: WE haven’t made any big changes, but we’re not trying to omit them with negative energy, but we’re trying to affirm them and trying to absorb them.
Rei: It’s getting simpler.
Due to Corona, you weren’t able to perform live earlier this year. How has this affected you? How did you deal with it?
Kon: No, problem at all, we didn’t have any live show planned.
Kaie: We’re just in the middle of a hiatus, so…
Nao: We weren’t able to make any plans originally, so it didn’t really affect us.
Rei: It didn’t interfere with NightingeiL’s activities, so I just gave my dogs attention during the self-restraint period.
Hakuya: I’ve been doing some personal activities, so I was able to perform live. However I wasn’t able to do any activities for about 3 months during the self-restraint period, so in that meanwhile I just practiced at home.
When you are standing on stage, do you face any challenges?
Kon: I’m always wondering how I can betray my audience in a good way.
Kaie: To keep doing stuff easygoing, just to be natural and not being afraid of what I’m doing.
Nao: Just to have fun.
Rei: I always feel sorry for my dog to let her stay alone at home.
Hakuya: To stay calm, if you stay calm you are able to enjoy the live show.
Why is it important for (rock) bands to play lives?
Kon: To feel alive.
Kaie: Because it’s fun.
Nao: It’s the most fun to do and more importantly it’s not only fun with the members but also with the audience.
Rei: It’s a great way to earn money.
Hakuya: We want people to see us because we’re alive.
What’s the most important thing that has happened to you in your music career so far?
Kon: Being into this current state now.
Kaie: To be able to meet a lot of people.
Nao: That I am blessed with my musical friends.
Hakuya: Playing with my favorite artists and supporting them.
Some years have passed since your last release, can we expect a new release soon?
Kon: If it’s expected we’ll release it, we are also considering digital distribution.
Kaie: We’re looking at it positively!
Nao: Maybe yes, maybe no, I’ll give my best.
Rei: Would love so.
Hakuya: We’re currently considering it.
What’s the biggest challenge of being a musician?
Kon: To stay yourself.
Kaie: To absorb things without losing yourself.
Nao: How to deal with music.
Rei: To not get fat and not to age (becoming unattractive).
Hakuya: To keep loving and enjoying it.
Have you ever thought about performing overseas as NightingeiL?
Kon: If you have an offer for us, we’d love to consider it!
Kaie: I would love to go abroad!
Nao: Currently not.
Rei: It’s hard because it makes me feel homesick.
Hakuya: I always wanted to go abroad.
Kaie tweets a lot of anime, but what are some anime’s everyone watched as a kid?
Kaie: Can’t really tell, just check out my tweets.
What’s your ultimate goal for the future?
Kon: Sokushinbutsu. (To become a Bhuddist mummy)
Kaie: My goal is as long as I can enjoy my life, it’s the best life I can have.
Nao: filial piety (laugh)
Rei: To own lots of dogs.
Hakuya: To be a respected musician and not just a band member.
Please tell us your beliefs and/or mottos as an artist?
Kon: Where there is will, there is a way
Kaie: Don’t beg, win, and it will be given to you.
Nao: The first thing to do is to make something that you are convinced and confident about.
Rei: It’s going to be a long story, so we’ll have to come back to it another time.
Hakuya: I always like the drums, hit the drums, and push the ensemble to the next level.
Please write a last message to your fans and readers.
Kon: If you haven’t been exposed to the world of NightingeiL yet, this is a great moment to start.
Kaie: The reason why I can take it easy is because there are people who are waiting for me. I am sincerely grateful. Although we are a peculiar band, we are looking forward to your continued support.
Nao: Nice to meet you. My name is Nao, I play guitar in NightingeiL. Thank you for taking the time to read this interview. I hope you will continue to support us.
Rei: Please let me touch your boobs when we meet. (laugh)
Hakuya: Thank you for your support. I’ll always play the drums with my heart and soul. I will continue to play the drums, which is my life’s work, and I will continue to work hard every day to provide you with a comfortable and pleasant sound. I will continue to be a band member, musician and drummer for the rest of my life.
JROCK’N’ROLL teammate Katt joined me to make this Interview happen!
Katt also has done the English grammar check!