Let's spend a rosy moment together with mythical D'ERLANGER

Let's spend a rosy moment together with mythical D'ERLANGER

Mandah 13 septembre 2023 Mandah

After a 4-year break, legendary D'ERLANGER will release its 10th studio-album titled Rosy Moments 4D, on September 13th  2023. The number 10 symbolizing the completion of a cycle, the Japanese veterans wanted to mark the occasion and pay hommage to their debut album, La Vie en Rose which was released in 1989. As a ouroboros swallowing its tail, the band comes full circle with this burst of raw sunshine that is this new album. D'ERLANGER is proving once again why they are an inspiration to so many. Before the release, we had the privilege to meet with vocalist kyo to discuss it in detail and reflect on philosophical questions. An absolute galvanizing encounter : the man - far from being dérangé - is well-thought, humble and expresses his ideas eloquently.

D'ERLANGER will release its 10th album, titled Rosy Moments 4D, on September 13th. Congratulations on the new release ! What can you tell us about it ?
kyo : Up until now, we were releasing an album every two years. With this new album, our pace of work has slowed down a bit. The global health crisis that the world has experienced with the coronavirus has turned our pace of life upside down. Four years have passed since our album roneve. As for content of the album, there is no concept. With the band, we never decide on a general idea before making an album. We just create songs as we go along. We accumulate musical material until we feel we have enough. For this album in particular, we never said to ourselves to do this type or that kind of album. That being said, when composing the new music, the word that came out naturally was : simplicity. The melodies and the way of we played them are basic, simple. When CYPHER was composing a song, all members worked together to bring out the best in it. I think for this album, we focused on the fundamentals. Though no concept was determined, our goal was to create music by going straight into its heart. The vocals, too, were done in a simple way : without excess. I believe that I have completely submitted myself to the melody. I just surrended myself obediently to the music.

Sometimes simplicity is the best form of sophistication.
Who produced the album ?

kyo : We did. It's a self-produced album.

What are the advantages of self-producing music ?
kyo : I will answer by taking a little detour. I think the advantage of having a producer at our side is that he can show us the things that we don't see. His presence is an added piece to a puzzle, an undeniable creative collaboration. For this new album, we wanted to use the individual and creative vision of each member. One of the main benefits of self-producing music is greater creative control. Here, we wanted to showcase our unique vision of the music and we knew exactly how to make it sound. When we produce music ourselves, we have the freedom to experiment with different sounds and production techniques until we get the exact sound we’re looking for. We wanted Rosy Moments 4D to be the modest work of D'ERLANGER only.

A rosy moment connotes the idea of happiness, being on cloud nine, over the moon. Is there a special meaning behind the title Rosy Moments 4D ?
kyo : To be honest, the meaning of the title is not that profound. We just needed to find a name (laughs). I remember starting the conversation when we were eating all together. I asked the guys : "what are we going to call the album ?". The more we thought about it, the important the word "rose" became. D’ERLANGER and the word rose seem inherently linked to one another. It is a key word all throughout our career. Our very first album is titled La Vie en Rose. We are about to release our 10th album. When we resumed our activities in 2007, we held a concert titled Bara iro no shikai (rose-colored vision | 薔薇色の視界). The word rose appears at very particular milestones. Also, during the coronavirus, we couldn’t see our audience as much as we would have liked. We were more distant from one another. When we met again, we all were genuinely happy. We all realized how much we loved each other. We cherish these moments of reunion. These moments are 'rosy moments' for us. The number 4, stands for the English conjunction "for". Basically, the title means : "a rosy moment for you, a rosy moment for ourselves". We are also 4 people in the band and the letter d stands for D’ERLANGER

I was sure about this connection between the first and last albums (smiles).
What does the word rose connote to you ?

kyo : The rose is beautiful and noble. But it has thorns. It evokes the duality of beauty, it evokes fragility and danger. These 2 inseparable and opposite aspects are inherent to the rose. This dichotomy is interesting and, I think, symbolizes rock music. Rock music is grand and danger but also beauty and fragility. I think the idea that every rose has its thorn is interesting.

Roses are perfect to convey a metaphor for life. No rose without a thorn.
Is there any particular message you want to convey through D’ERLANGER ?

kyo : There is no concrete message in this album. I would like the fans and listeners to make their very own interpretation of the songs. But that being said, I do have a general purpose. In Japan, there are lots of songs that can help you push yourself to go further. I don't want my songs to be paton the back but I want them to help people dig further into themselves. I would like to touch their innermost selves. I want to find what they try hard to hide in their everyday lives. I want to touch their hearts and souls. I want them to release their stress and channel their frustration into the concerts. I want them to feel lighter once they leave the venue. And I wish this new album will trigger these raw and pure emotions.

September 13th ! Note the date.
Which of the new 10 songs do you like the most ?

kyo : I am not sure to have a favorite song on the album but after listening to Aibu (哀撫), I was particularly happy and enthusiastic. I think it has a special atmosphere. It stuck with me from the first time I heard it. It’s the type of song you love as soon as you hear it. The song is about the road to love. Life is made of encounters and farewells. When we are young, we have more positive encounters. As you age, encounters and farewells accumulate. Goodbyes take on a bigger part. I tried to express that inner feeling the best I could in this song.

What song did you have the most fun recording ?
kyo: There are fewer intense songs than in the past. The sexy songs, the ones with an emphasis on the mood, are becoming more present. On the new album, the song 'Love Like Blood' is much more upbeat than the rest. It represents our blood, our origins. It sounds as wild as it was in the early days. We all had lots of fun recording it but it'll tire us out playing it live (laughs). This song is made to shout : 'yeah'. There is no story. Its purpose is to release pressure.

What was the most difficult song to make ?
kyo: Hum, I would say 'Be with your Love'. When CIPHER came out of the recording studio to record his guitar part, I felt like the song overwhelmed him emotionally. I was also overwhelmed with emotions during the writing of the lyrics. I wanted to express this overflow of emotions concretely. I really felt like I was on the same track as CIPHER when writing the lyrics. Completing the song took a little effort. Recording my voice and finding the appropriate tone took time. I can say that it was the most emotionally complicated song to finalize. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was an arduous task... I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment.

Are the lyrics on this album all autobiographical ?
kyo: Yes and no. The lyrics deal with my experience but not only. I also write about the things tI imagined, the things I have read about or seen. Let's say that all the words have not been experienced and lived but they have been all thought in my head. This album contains my experience and my thoughts. If I had lived and experienced everything I sing about, I would feel extremely embarrassed (laughs).

I see. One might feel naked and vulnerable...
When you hear people singing your experiences, how does it make you feel ?

kyo: Eventually, people have their own interpretation of a song. They make the songs their own. Even if it is my story, it becomes theirs. We are human, our stories are similar. Hearing them sing my lyrics makes me extremely happy, I can't deny that. When performing, the feeling of being united with a crowd is amazing.

Do you feel like you are playing a character on stage ?
kyo: A little. At the beginning of my career, I think I was acting as I was trying to get into the character of a typical rock star. But with the years and experience, this exuberance has gradually disappeared. My stage persona is very close to who I really am. Sometimes I think I need to get into the skin of a character because I have to be different on stage from what I am in everyday life. So, there must be a little bit of acting (laughs). On the other hand, I can assure you that I am not playing character. On stage, I am completely myself but I show bits of my personality that I don't need to exhibit in my everyday life. It’s philosophical (smiles).

True !
What was your goal when you joined D’ERLANGER ?

kyo : Oh, that takes me back ages ago (laughs) ! Before becoming the singer of D'ERLANGER, I was in another group. I met the guys of D’ERLANGER as buddies. The band was so damn cool and lassy that ​​I wanted to be part of it. My first wish in regards of the group came true. My second wish was to transmit lots of emotions to people, to touch them. I was young at that time, I wanted to revolutionize music in Japan with D'ERLANGER.

Do you think you have achieved this goal ?
kyo : (bursts out laughing) Um, did I achieve my goal ? Reflecting upon it, my main goal has changed over the past. My wish, now, is to continue creating great music with these guys. That being said, new bands have popped up and we have repeatedly heard from a small handful of these artists that we had been an influence to them.

Yes, your name is quite often mentionned.
So your current goal is to keep making music you are proud of ?

kyo : Yes, exactly. I want us to be a cool band whose music gets better every year. I want us to be on an upward slope. I hope to be able to say the same thing in 3 or 5 years. I want to be able to be proud of myself. Continuing being the same artist is not a goal in itself. I want to renew myself and create things that always stimulate me. If I can be an ever-evolving artist until the end, I will be able to say that I have achieved my professional goal.

The band broke up in 1990 and resumed its activities in 2007.
What happened ?

kyo: We broke up in 1990, probably because we were young (laughs). Because of our youth, we sometimes make mistakes (smiles bitterly). But we never stopped seeing each other. In 2005, we  decided to begin the process of reforming D'ERLANGER. I think fate brought us back together at the time. Even when we were working seperatly, we went to each other's concerts, we met at parties. Our friendship has never changed. We met with each other relatively often. In 2005, fate brought us closer together, we all thought it was time to play together again.

What has changed in the creation process after the revival ?
kyo: I think our creative process hasn't changed that much. Our music has evolved, certainly matured. We have grown and aged a lot. The vision we have of the band and the vision we have the music have fundamentally not changed. I can't tell you what kind of band we are not what band we have become. For us, what really matters is the feellings towards D'ERLANGER. We often hear that we have gotten older and have become more mature (laughs). I believe our musical tastes are where our greatest evolution lies. With age, we appreciate music that we might have found boring when we were young. As we age, our eyes see things differently, our ears hear things differently. I believe this is a logical and common development of a human-being.

It is.
What kind of singer would you classify yourself as ?

kyo : That’s an interesting question. With my singing, I want to trigger strong emotions in people. I'd rather be a singer who can convey emotions than a technical vocalist. Obviously, I hope to be gifted with my voice, but I also want to trigger powerful emotions in people so that they can, in a way, relate to my experience and learn a little something about themselves.

In order to do so, what is the most important : the voice or lyrics ?
kyo: I think the voice should take precedence over the words. When writing lyrics, I am in a certain mood, I experience certain emotions that are not necessarily the same when I sing them on stage. The words are the same but the emotions you feel can differ greatly. Words can have other meanings depending on the way they are said or sung. A song written in a positive and gentle atmosphere can become a song of anger. It's the voice that makes this possible. And that's the reason I think that the voice is more important than the text.

It's interesting.
Do you take singing lessons ?

kyo: I took singing lessons when I was in my early twenties and it was a really good experience. I learned a lot of interesting things. I had lessons with a mind-based approach. I learned how to envision a song. This might sound strange to some, but I didn't learn any singing techniques like how to develop vibrato. I had lessons with a more passionate approach. I learned ways to interpret a song, how to convey emotions. Today, my teacher no longer practices but we contact each other about once every 5 years. We always have relaxing conversations.

A more theatrical approach.
In 2021, you underwent treatment to remove a tumor in your lung. I heard you completely recovered which I am very happy about. Has your vision of life changed ?

kyo : Cancer is an extremely heavy disease. I was shocked to hear the diagnosis. I was lucky to have a small malignant tumor. I didn't have any particular symptoms. I did a health-check examination, the tumor was found. I had surgery and took the treatment recommended by the doctors. And here I am today, in perfect health (smiles). Once the treatment was over, with the band, we started touring again. I can tell you that the band's sound was the best treatment ever. Feeling like you belong is a really powerful feeling. It is a very influential feeling of security. During my treatment, I had a lot of support from the members of the band. I received a lot of love. It is in these moments of solidarity and trust that we can grow more. What could have been negative turned into something positive. With this type of serious illness, all it takes is bad timing to die quickly. It is often said that illnesses change one's outlook on life and death, but for me it hasn't really changed. Let's say that I haven't deepened my reflection on life and death even though I am aware of the importance of cherishing life, the moments shared with people.

I am really happy it turned out positive for you. I wish you well.
What advice would you give to a young musician starting out ?

kyo : Nowadays, there is a myriad of ways to create music. There are many books and manuals, with different approaches. But rather than using a manual, a ready-made recipe and going for it, I would advise young people to create what they have in mind. I would advise them to surrender completely to their imagination. I would advise them to let their tastes guide them. For example, when you love a sound, a song, that's a bit particular and weird and you meet someone who is on the same page, it's time to form a band. I think it’s a good way to approach the music industry. You don't have to think about business, and a ready-made recipe, you have to appreciate music for what it is. You have to have fun writing music. You need to be passionate about it. If you are already in a band, I advise you to enjoy the times when you and your band play together. If you can do this, it becomes likely possible that you will achieve something bigger than what you envisioned.

Great advice !
Do you have a message for the foreign fans ?

kyo : Yes, I do ! I want to meet you and I want you to come see us play live here in Japan. We have to meet one way or another. I really want to go and play abroad. It really is one of my biggest dreams. No matter how old I get, this desire will not fade. I have always loved and been attracted by European cultures. When I was young, I was inspired by British music. I was and still am very influenced by it. Europe is a source of inspiration, it's where it all started for me.

 Have you ever been to France before ?
kyo : Yes, I have ! But that was a long time ago (laughs). Besides, DERLANGER comes from French (ndlr. déranger) and for each album, I always try to insert at least one song with a French title. On this new album, there is a track called 'le grand bijou'. It's one of my creative gimmick. I love French.

How do you choose these words in French ?
kyo : Google Translate (bursts out laughing) I also have old Japanese-French dictionaries. When I have a little free time, I browse them.

Thank you very much for your time. It was very interesting to talk with you.
Please take care of yourself and see you soon.

D'ERLANGER | Rosy Moments 4D

01. Longing
02. Bitter Sweet
03. le grand bijoux
04. Missing Piece
05. what's yours is mine
06. Sacrifice Love
07. Be with Your Love
08. La Brea
09. Love Like Blood
10. 哀撫

>>> buy the album : HERE <<<