psychopath is a digital rock unit consisting of vocalist Chiru and guitarist brainmindsystem. Their dark and radiant worldview fascinates their listeners all around the world. We spoke with them about their music.
・Hello and thank you for accepting this interview. I heard you are working on your third album. What is the concept behind this album?
brainmindsystem→ Personally, I’m aiming for industrial pop. However, it is our way to freely create sounds with each other without deciding on a concept or decision.
・How far along are you in the recording process?
Chiru→I feel like we’re finally halfway there. When it comes to recording, I get so nervous and stiff that I can’t sing as well as usual… So recording is always a challenge for me. One song took a while until I was satisfied with it, so I had to retake it over and over again… It was a battle with myself. I don’t want to compromise, so I want to give everything until I can sing a song that I’m satisfied with, even if it takes a lot of time.
brainmindsystem→ Because we live so far away from each other, we haven’t been able to meet again because of Corona. So we haven’t really been able to move forward with recording. But we’re going well at our own pace.
・ What is the process of creating new songs?
Chiru→ For “psychopath” songs, brainmindsystem creates the basic melody and after I’ve listen to it, we’ll create the image of the song. Once the theme has been decided, we create the final melody that fits the theme. If I feel it needs also piano, we add it too. After the track is done musically, of course, lyrics will be added to it too afterwards.
・What are the bigger differences between your solo activities and your unit activities?
Chiru→ As for my solo work, I’m free to create and express the music I want to, but as for the unit, brainmindsystem writes the music, so it’s interesting that he comes up with songs that I would never write myself. When working with him, I often think; “Am I really going to sing a song with such an intense sound?”. It’s really fun to work together while thinking about what kind of melodies will match for each song which brainmindsystem wrote for us.
brainmindsystem→ The range of the expressions inside each song is totally different. Of course, Chiru is able to create something that I alone (solo) cannot express myself.
・brainmindsystem lives in Kyoto and Chiru lives in Sendai. Because it’s really far away, how did you two actually meet?
Chiru→ As for how we met, if I were to put it coolly, I would say that it was just a matter of time before we met. When we first met, we were both doing our own music. I was in a unit, and brainmindsystem was a solo artist. After the unit broke up, I went solo and started my solo project, but after a while, I started to feel like I wanted to create music with someone again and I thought that brainmindsystem was the only person I could work with. I was the one who asked him if he wanted to start a unit project with me.
brainmindsystem→ I guess our fans and readers really wish to know how we both meet. But I would like to keep that a secret.
・ How was your first impression of each other?
Chiru→ When I first met him, he was dressed all in black with long hair and bangs that half covered his eyes. It gave him a visual-kei look. (laugh)
brainmindsystem→ A negative girl with lots of energy (laughs)
・ Please tell us the origin of the name of psychopath.
brainmindsystem→ As the name implies, I proposed the idea to Chiru, and we both decided on it, hoping that fans of mental illness would like us as much as the mental illness like us.
・brainmindsystem lives in Kyoto and Chiru lives in Sendai. What’s the most difficult part of this?
Chiru→ When we first formed, we decided not to do any live shows because of the distance and only promote and release our stuff via the internet. At first I didn’t think it would be such a big problem, however later on I really had the desire to also stand on the stage as a unit. However, we can’t meet up right away, so we always need to take a plane to meet each other. Even if a live show is scheduled, we can’t always get into a studio too and practice together. Recording together is also difficult now, especially now that we don’t leave our prefecture because of Corona, so it takes us longer to create new music together.
brainmindsystem→ There are various things that (can) happen when you can’t see each other right away and you also can’t record right away. However, that said, I’ve never been distressed by it. On the contrary, I really enjoy everything.
・What kind of music have you been influenced by?
Chiru→ I listen to a wide range of music regardless of genre, so various artists have influenced me. For example, for women, Cocco and Junko Yagami. Cocco is the reason I started singing and Yagami-san has a strong influence on my style of piano and singing.
As for piano, I respect Dairo Suga and was shocked when I heard his piano playing for the very first time. Recently, I’ve been writing songs for “psychopath” that incorporate rapping, and the reason I wanted to rap was because I admired “Mark Panther” of “Globe”. I’m a beginner when it comes to rapping, but I’m going to do my best.
brainmindsystem→ Soft ballet, ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, Ministry, The Mad Capsule Markets, D’erlanger, BOOWY
・What’s the reason you play the instrument you play now?
Chiru→ My part is vocal and piano, but I’ve been playing the piano since I was 4 years old. But when I was a kid, I didn’t enjoy playing the piano. I feared the piano teacher. Back then, I quit playing the piano and said I never wanted to play the piano again. (laugh). So since I was a junior high school student I’ve quit playing the piano. About 12 years ago, I thought about playing the piano again. At that time, I was forming an acoustic unit, and was in charge of piano and singing, and that was the start of playing it again. As for singing, I’ve always liked to sing ever since I was a kid. I remember singing enka songs a lot when I was a kid. When I entered elementary school, I started writing my own songs and sang in a unit with my friends. Singing is my reason for living, so much so that if I took singing out of my life, there would be nothing left.
brainmindsystem→ As for the guitar, I had one at home when I was a kid. As for programming, my favourite band was digital.
・To brainmindsystem please tell us about your memories of NAGANO and el:cid.
I have known NAGANO for a long time already. He was my senior at school when I was a kid (a bad boy junior high school student), and he has been very cute and nice to me since then. There used to be a tradition where seniors would give their juniors their uniform after their graduation ceremonies, and I succeeded in getting Nagano’s uniform (laughs).
When I wasn’t doing any music yet Nagano asked me if I wanted to be the roader for Body Dept and in doing so, I also met Shigeta from el:cid and since that time we respect each other’s music as well.
・To Chiru, Why do you actually always wear sunglasses all the time?
Chiru→ There is no particular reason. However, I just don’t have the courage to expose everything about my face because of my inferiority. So when I take a photo I always hide things. Sometimes I only show one eye. Often I’m just too afraid that people can see my full face. There is a song called COMPLEX on our 2nd album and that song is about myself singing about an inferiority complex.
・Please tell us about your future plans.
brainmindsystem→First of all, to complete our 3rd album and after that, to plan some live shows.
・ Please give a few last words to our fan readers.
Chiru→ Thank you to everyone who always supported us! Your support is supporting me daily. I haven’t been able to do any live shows due to Corona, and I feel bad for our fans who have been waiting for us to perform again. My goal is to complete our 3rd album and perform live shows again this year. Please look forward to it! Thank you for your continued support!
brainmindsystem→ I hope that more and more people will be stimulated by the music I create and be moved by the vocals that Chiru pours out.