Calmando qual

Please can you introduce yourselves and tell us one interesting fact about yourselves that you think the fans don't already know?

Hibiki: I’m vocalist Hibiki. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to come into contact with people from the UK and have an interview like this! I don’t think Calmando Qual is really known by people in the UK, so by the end of this interview I hope you will know something about us. I don’t know what kind of image people have of me, but well… I drink beer every day. My intake is quite a lot, so much so that I can’t think of a life without beer! (Haha). Someday, if I ever get to go to the UK, I’d like to drink beer with all our fans! So until then, everyone please grow to love beer!
Tak: I’m guitarist Tak. I had the horrible experience of being chased by a dog once…
Kenka: I’m Kenka, the guy in charge of bass. Something interesting… What does everyone think of anime? That’s one of my very interesting hobbies. By all means, if you watch it you’ll want to know more about Japanese culture!
Maya:  I’m Maya, my area of responsibility is the drums! When we restarted in 2009 I wasn’t actually supposed to be the drummer but rather I was scheduled to take part behind the scenes. But I’m glad I am the drummer! (Haha).

In the past you have performed shows in Europe - do you have some good memories / had some good experiences?

Hibiki: Yes, all of it was a good experience and it really drilled into me the concept of the values of life, but in a good way. I’m also very grateful to the fans and various staff who are involved with Calmando Qual. I guess because those who gathered to see us were mainly people who like the band; it might be a natural thing that the fans in the concert at the time were really shining. The response of the band was also as crazy as it’s ever been up until now! The music crossed over boarders and even without understanding the words, the fact that you could actually feel that transmitted through everyone’s hearts was for me a great asset.
It was a great experience. The best thing of course was the fan’s crazy power!
There were many good impressions. I was deeply moved by how kind the European people were to us Japanese people. Although I was warned I wouldn’t be able to communicate with fans, I was glad that there were so many who were kind to us. Conversely, I feel that if European people were to come to Japan, I’d also want to be able to show them the same kindness. I would be glad if, even a little, they could think of Japan as a good country.
 It was the best experience! The trip was fun and the fans also gave us a warm welcome.

Some of your members take part in other projects, for example Tak in THE SOUND BEE HD, but what is special about Calmando Qual that keeps bringing you back?

Tak: What’s so special about Calmando Qual I wonder… I think it’s the fact that we are a band that can represent the bond of the band members through our music.
 The special feeling we have about Calmando Qual… Though we have being continuing our activities for a long time I don’t think it’d be overdoing it to say that we have a special feeling toward Calmando Qual because we are a band who want to continue on with our activities and be able to clearly express ourselves.
Of course we’re a special band! I have also taken part in various support projects, but I really feel that Calmando Qual is special.
The four of us have been doing this for a long time so it’s pretty easy going between members (haha). Musically, I think the really fun and special thing is being in the studio with everyone continuing to compose and arrange music.

Who, or what music would you say motivates or influences you the most?

Hibiki: I was inspired by punk and hardcore punk; I considered making a band like that. However, in the end it didn’t become the kind of punk band I intended to make. By the time we got started we kind of unexpectedly became a Visual Kei band.
Tak: There are a lot of influences, but within music I have been especially influenced by AUTO-MOD and BAUHAUS.
Kenka: My influence is Japanese music. I like anime songs and of course Visual kei, but really I just like any music with a cool bassline!
Maya: I don’t have any specific influences, but English influences that come to mind are bands like King Crimson and Yes, those kind of progressive bands.

Your newest album "Black Sheep" was released on the 27th of June last year; can you tell us the concept of the album? How did you choose the title name, "Black Sheep"?

Hibiki: I think there are many people who understand the meaning of ‘Black Sheep’, but the meaning we are using is more like ‘a burden’ or ‘an outsider’. However, for us who are called black sheep, our message is to believe in your own opinions and individuality and live by it without getting mixed up with and becoming one of the crowd of white sheep who do as they are told by others and think anyone who is a ‘black sheep’ is strange.
Tak: If there is a point that sticks out in terms of concept it’s the band’s sense of emphasis and melody of the arrangement we have before us. For me personally, I have tuned my soul to ‘sing’ with my guitar which has being increasing in our work up until now.
Kenka:  The title is something that troubled Hibiki’s thoughts. I’m also really pleased with this title. Written on the album’s CD is the message; ‘I don’t want to be separated from the white sheep because I am no longer me’. Even if others elsewhere are different, who are you…? But there’s no doubt that it’s an individual’s existence. That caught on.
Maya:  The drum concept is a fresh start. I was making a fresh feeling with the rhythm. I tried out rhythms I had never attempted with Calmando Qual up till now.

How was creating the album for you? Did you come across any problems or did the music flow together easily?

Tak: By no means was it easy! (Laugh).  I suppose there was a problem when Maya came down with the influenza during recording. (Strained laugh).
Hibiki: It was hard work to think about most of the songs on the album up until now… Because I had a cold I annoyingly lost the use of my lungs and because of my condition kept coughing in the songs. Because we had a predetermined release date we couldn’t postpone it though my physical condition was poor. So I did my best to sing! One thing I can say is that if your physical condition is good, more and more a good singing voice will come out, right?! (Haha).
Kenka: It wasn’t easy to make! (laugh). We really did put our hearts into it! It wasn’t easy but I feel like there were many parts that came naturally to us.
Maya: Although it was hard, the composition, arrangement, recording and production process was fun. Then we individually became ill during recording. That’s the influenza! (Haha).

The music video for "Hizumi" is quite dark and cinematic, can you tell us the concept behind the video and the song itself?

Tak: Rather than firmly deciding on the concept we would shoot, we filmed it as the imagery expanded from the director and Hibiki’s discussions. We were able to keep in mind that the musical performances are the main part of the video, so we could put in the parts of the song that are viscous or hard.
Hibiki: The director Tokami 1000 shot the PV for us, and it really became an amazing feeling piece of footage. We wanted to show the concept of the heart becoming distorted, but we didn’t really have the means to do a lot of preparation due to monetary problems and so the video was shot with an extraordinarily low budget (laugh). Nevertheless, considering the circumstances it seems the video turned out rather well and the feeling of just coming out from ‘behind closed doors’ came through unexpectedly well. A point we were careful with was to not follow the subject of the lyrics too closely, we really paid attention to that. The reason being was if you base the film around the lyrics alone, because they are particularly connected, it would ruin the view of the world we have created for the person watching it.
Kenka: Because many of the other members are members who like film, a more natural atmosphere probably came out. I also think that because of the limitations of the situation and the place we filmed in, a part of that natural atmosphere was born from the equilibrium in the mood of the song.
Maya: As I haven’t done much in the way of acting I honestly performed musically with all I had.

If you had the chance to visit anywhere in the world where would go, what would you do and why?

Hibiki: Obviously I wanna go to the UK!!! (haha). I’ve never been there and to me it’s the homeland of rock, so one day I have to stand on an English stage and perform! My dream is to become famous in the UK!! (smile).
Tak: Of course it’s the UK! I want to be able to make my performance resound on the soil of British rock!
Kenka: I want to go to space. After that I want to travel to the depths of the ocean. I really love places that overflow with romanticism.
Maya: I want to go wherever I haven’t been before and the UK is definitely one of those places! Bands and artists from the UK have influenced me a lot!

What are the future goals for the band? Do you have anything planned for this year?

Hibiki: As a band I think our goal is to get even just a few more people listening to our music. That main goal hasn’t changed since a long time ago. We’ve been hearing talk of a live in Europe this year, so it’s important to spread the name of the band Calmando Qual so we will not fade away in Europe!
Tak: I want to continue on as the genre pioneer that is Calmando Qual without losing our personality. Though we don’t have any plans, this year I want to go on a tour overseas for a long time!
Kenka: Now and again we are deciding our plans for this year. First of all we want to take it one step at a time towards what’s in front of us.
Maya: I want to always continue making our awesome masterpieces!

Finally, please give a message to your fans here in the UK.

Hibiki: Though I think there are many people who don’t know of Calmando Qual, I want us to become the kind of band that can one day play live in the UK, so please support us! Rock n Roll!
Tak: Even from so far away thank you so much for your support! I once transferred flights at an airport in the UK, but next time for sure I want to bask in the spotlight outside of the airport and one day do a Calmando Qual show for you in the UK!
Kenka: Please look out for us when we come to the UK! I’m always hearing that British food isn’t very nice, but even so I certainly want to eat something delicious when I go! Also recently I’ve been able to participate in the Japanese team of the Premier League football, so please give a warm welcome! On the occasion that Calmando Qual come to the UK please also give us the same warm welcome! I’m looking forward to it!
Maya: To everyone in the UK who supports us, thank you! I’m dreaming of the day when I can perform in front of all of you! From now on please keep an eye on Calmando Qual!