Interview by Nhu Nguyen
March 23, 2015
VAMPS is gearing up to support their international release of BLOODSUCKERS with the Sixx:AM tour, two Florida rock festivals in April, and a New York headlining show on May 1st at the Best Buy Theater. We spoke with the HYDE and K.A.Z. about the tour, music, and of course, vampires.
VAMPS has mentioned before that Motley Crue among other groups has been an influence on VAMPS’ music. How did VAMPS get invited to open up for Nikki Sixx’s band, Sixx:AM?
HYDE: I’m a big fan of them. Our management talked to them and we started communication from there. Then we invited them to Japan, and the rest followed after that. I think that’s what happened…
Even though you’re well known in Japan, you’re going to tour America where not many people know you. What are the pros and cons of building a new audience for VAMPS?
HYDE: I grew up listening to American music, but it’s not everything. Each band has their individuality and unique style. I think that we get to show something refreshing to international fans. We haven’t seen any example how to build international fans, so we need to find our own way to do it. There’s no easy way, and there’s no path to follow. We have to make it happen.
K.A.Z: We don’t have enough recognition in America yet. We need to perform more and have them experience VAMPS live. I think it’s a good thing we’re “rookies” in other countries! (laughs)
A large part of Sixx:AM’s audience has never listened to a Japanese band before. Do you feel any pressure to represent Japan, and say “this is Japanese music”?
HYDE: I’m really anxious to see their reactions. But I believe we can reach them, we just need the chance to deliver our music.
K.A.Z: No pressure at all. This is a good time to show our energy and passion to thousands of new people.
Since VAMPS’ debut in 2008, you’ve toured in America several times already. What’s your goal this time?
HYDE: This is fourth time for us in the U.S. Our goal is to bite deep into the hearts of U.S. fans.
K.A.Z: Our ultimate goal is to deliver VAMPS music to overseas fans wherever we can, anywhere, anytime.
K.A.Z has mentioned before that he would like to hear VAMPS songs played in strip clubs here in Los Angeles. Where would you like to hear your music played in?
HYDE: I’d really like to hear our music on the radio in America.
You and K.A.Z write the music and you write the lyrics. What is the difference between the lyrics you write for VAMPS vs L’Arc-en-Ciel?
HYDE: I can play around more with VAMPS, maybe. I’m discovering and trying new things.
You starred alongside Gackt in Moon Child as a vampire and this duo is called VAMPS… you truly love vampires! When and how did you fall in love with these dark creatures?
HYDE: Since I was a teenager. I discovered vampires in Stephen King’s novels. That’s when I got bit.
I was surprised to see a pirate-themed song title on BLOODSUCKERS called “The Jolly Roger”. What inspired this song?
HYDE: I was inspired by all sorts of images, like the Japanese fashion brand Roen.
What is your biggest wish for the future of VAMPS?
K.A.Z: Success all over the world.
HYDE: I know I just said it, but hearing our songs on the radio in different countries would be my wish. I want to reach out to everyone, and getting on the radio would mean “that’s it.”
VAMPS performs live in New York City on May 1 at Best Buy Theater. Tickets are on sale now at AXS.com.
VAMPS Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAMPS.UniversalInternational.DeliciousDeliRecords
VAMPS English Website: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/vamps-english