Shigeta, we are really glad to have a 2nd interview with you!
Firstly please express and introduce yourself with a single Kanji character.
Also please tell us the reason why you decided to choose that kanji.
「誠 (Makoto)→truth; reality;sincerity; honesty; integrity; fidelity」
It means, to live honestly with your heart without lies or deceit.
Please tell us why you wanted to become a vocalist?
Well actually, I wanted to be a guitarist, however when I formed the band I couldn’t find someone who was willing to be the vocalist, so I kind of got forced to become a vocalist.
—- Alright let’s talk about el:cid
What was the reason why you decided to disband in 1996 and start again in 2020?
I’ve lots of free time now to work on it again, due the influence of COVID-19
Going back in the days; How did you meet all the members? Were you classmates? Or did you meet differently?
Guitarist kairi and drummer michitaka are friends from elementary school and I’ve known bassist kenji since high school. We have been friends since our school days.
Do you still have contact with all ex-members of el:cid? Or did some friendships fade away during the years? What’s everybody doing now? Did everybody retire after el:cid or did some of the members join new bands?
I’m still in touch with all the members. We are together in a LINE group chat. After our disbanding, drummer Michitaka was actually supposed to join DlociA(ドロシア), but he retired due to personal circumstances. Bassist Kenji switched to Jazz music and is still playing Jazz sometimes as a hobby. Guitarist Kairi, he is completely retired. And time to time, I used to make music with Akiwo(アキヲ).
Do you remember what date el:cid formed and which date el:cid disbanded?
el:cid was formed when I was a student. This was around 1990.
We disbanded around September 1996.
What is the origin of the name el:cid?
We wanted a name which started with the sound of an “E”. And that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word. (laugh)
What does the name el:cid mean?
el:cid, the name of the band was chosen by sound, and then the letters el:cid were added later in order to use the alphabet.
el:cid was a Castilian knight and warlord in medieval Spain and was the model for a 1961 movie, but it has nothing to do with the origin of the band’s name.
What was el:cid’s goal? Did el:cid achieve them?
The reason for doing a band was to make music and to play live. There wasn’t really a feeling of having a specific goal. Each time I completed a song I had a sense of accomplishment, but as an activity it felt never enough, so for activity there is no sense of accomplishment. (laugh)
What drove el:cid as a band?
I guess it was the motivation to have fun together, but also to have personal connections with the members. To have fun with each other before entering the stage might have been the most fun thing. (laugh)
Are you currently also recording new songs? Or will you only release past songs for a while?
A few new songs have been recorded.
When we will release the new songs is still undecided, yet, we are considering releasing unreleased songs from time to time.
How many songs have not been announced?
There are more than 10 songs which haven’t been announced
Still more than 10 unreleased songs?! That’s a lot. Do you really have them still saved? Or are there also songs which sadly didn’t survive being digitaliged?
I’ve not mastered the songs, but I’ve digitized and saved them. There are a few more if you include the non-digitized songs, which are created by MTR
Read more about what MTR is on wikipedia.
Could you name some bands which appeared on the same events you played at?
La:Sadie’s、MASCHERA、DEVELOP=FRAME、Fleches damour、DlociA、Romance for〜、blue etc. There were a lot of other good bands, but lot’s of bands from the Kansai area impressed me who played at the same events.
Your lyrics are really dark and depressive, where did you find the inspiration for writing such lyrics?
Sometimes we are lost in loneliness for no reason, we doubt ourselves, sometimes we let others take the blame for our sins, and we reflect on it while we resent others. Those are emotions which humans have been carrying around for no reason since their birth.
el:cid music has a unique view of the world, is there anything you keep in mind when creating your music?
When I’m in the middle of writing a new song, I create a song without thinking particularly about the genre, but I am aware of el:cid’s style, so I choose the genre which fits el:sid’s style.
Which videos influenced el:cid?
ZI:KILL: DESERT TOWN TOUR 1991
SOFT BALLET: TOUR 1991 Ariake Coliseum
Back in the past, who took the photographs of el:cid?
I don’t remember, at that time, there were a lot of staff and roadies, doing such jobs.
Have you ever attended an event in Tokyo?
We did do a live show at Meguro Rokumeikan, but it was not an event but a regular tour.
Which of el:cid’s live shows still stands out in your mind?
When we played a live at YANTA rokumeikan in Osaka(大阪のYANTA鹿鳴館), we played the song Again from Takeuchi Maria as our SE.
The audience laughed at us and we had a hard time to motivate ourselves to go on stage. It was a complete mistake on our side.
Kairi, the guitarist, was supposed to prepare the sound system for that day’s show and the sound source that kairi handed to the PA was Maria Takeuchi, which was of course a total mistake.
Which el:cid song do you particularly like?
It’s 2020, because NAGANO helped me create this song.
—- On August 7th you have released your EP 「Cry for the moonlight」
Why did you name the EP 「Cry for the moonlight」?
It was the title that got the most consent from the members.
What was your biggest inspiration for creating this EP?
A requiem for songs who have fallen asleep.
How was the song selection for this EP done?
After consulting together with O.4.D and the members, we decided together which songs we put on the EP.
Please tell us the concept of each lyric of the EP「Cry for the moonlight」
「Cry for the moonlight」is a song about a person with a traumatic background, who is suffering because he is unable to take his own life.
「Crying limit」It’s not just about loss in love, but it also expresses the sense of loss of people.
「2020」The original title was actually “Winter”, but this song was temporarily titled 2020. Since we released it in summer, I’ve adopted the temporary title. The lyrics are about losing your way in a reflecting silvery world.
Basically all the lyrics are so inescapable, just like after you get knocked down by something harsh. In human life there are many such kinds of encounters, which leads to that you need (some) time to find yourself again and to start walking happily again.
What are your thoughts when you look back on the three songs produced this time?
When we recorded「Cry for the moonlight」and「Crying limit」O.4.D also attended the studio and he gave us some advice. He has a special place in my heart, not only for the band’s sake but he also for myself as an individual.
The song 2020 has been made by NAGANO (ex-BEAST). You said that he is your teacher, but what was the reason why he joined this time?
Since I was a teenager, NAGANO is a close friend, we have been listening to each other’s songs regardless of what kind of release it was, we always shared our opinion to each other.
NAGANO told me that it would be a waste to keep my past songs “asleep”. And so he and I prepared songs for this release. And while being at it he decided to join to create the song 2020.
How did you actually meet Mr. NAGANO? Shigeta said you have known him since he was a teenager.
Back then I still was a student, while I met a guy who was a roadie for Amphibiam (アンフィビアン) he was asked to look out for roadies for other bands and so he approached me. And so I started to work as a roadie for the band NAGANO was playing in and that band was BODY DEPTH.
—- Let’s talk about visual Kei
Why did you decide to wear make-up?
The ideal type of band were Buck-Tick, D’ERLANGER, Dead end, etc. since they wore make-up naturally, I wanted to be like them.
Also, I thought if I was going out in the public, that I had to look pretty at least for a little bit.
Visual Kei has become a common word to use to describe bands who wear make-up. Did you adopt that word? Or do you feel uncomfortable to be named Visual Kei?
Well, there wasn’t a scene where we bands called ourselves “Visual Kei”. However we surely must have fallen into the visual kei category, because the events we played at were often with bands which we call now “Visual Kei” bands.
Also back in the days, the audience decided which bands were visual kei, and if they said so, it’s visual kei. If we were to play at a visual kei event, and the audience felt that we were totally out of place, then that would mean that the audience felt el:cid wasn’t a vkei band at all, right?
Recently, the visual scene has changed a lot. How do you see the current scene?
I’ve got the impression that visual kei is becoming borderless?
Also nowadays music contains elements of various genres.
Even K-pop looks like visual kei. (laugh)
That’s very interesting. So k-pop does look like a visual kei to you. Why is that so? Because the guys are handsome? The perfect man?
Their hairstyle and make-up.
Back then, only bandman had that kind of make-up.
Game characters also look like visual kei bandman.
In short, the visual fashion of the old those days, has become standard and is now everywhere. In that sense, I do have the impression that the concept of visual kei is spreading widely.
— Let’s talk about you
What kind of music are you influenced by?
Many artists have influenced me, however since D’ERLANGER origin is also Kyoto, they are my biggest influences.
To tell you the truth, I was actually a non-social person who couldn’t get used to the world’s real-life, music was a way to escape from reality.
What kind of music have you listened to recently?
I listen to a variety of music, to which artist I listen depends on my mood, regardless of the genre.
Did you read “visual” magazines at the time?
I’ve read some at the bookstore.
Are there any countries you would like to visit?
South France (laughs)
Why do you want to travel to south france?
I just want to see the scenery!
which movies influenced you personally?
What’s your favorite LIVE video?
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite book? (including comics)
Corona is a really big problem around the world now. How do you face it? Did it affect you somehow?
I also try to take responsibility for my own actions so that I don’t bother others.
I am careful not to get infected or become infected.
Also the coronavirus has given me more private time.
What makes you smile?
When I feel touched by human kindness. I also feel that way if I see videos with such kindness.
What’s your ultimate goal for the future
I want to make a song like HOME of Depeche Mode
Please share some words of wisdom to your fans/readers.
CARPE DIEM (seize the day)
Do what you can do now, rather than worry about what you cannot do and what you don’t understand. If you are worried or anxious, just listen to your favorite music.
please give a message to your fans and readers
I think that music has the power to transcend time and space. I also believe that music has the power to heal wounds on the soul. I know it’s not easy for everyone because of the impact of the coronavirus, but I encourage you to listen to your favorite music and to fly to a place and time of your choice. If you can add el:cid’s music to your list, we would be very happy about it.
This interview is a collaboration together with vkgy.