Jul 17

VAMPS Press Conference Otakon 2009

What’s the difference between a press conference and a fan panel?  The fan panel is fun. Otakon provided a cozy space at the Hilton, attached via skywalk to the Baltimore convention center, for the VAMPS press conference. There was an unprepared atmosphere amongst the press there.  Top it off with some truly wacky translating on behalf of Ai at Neubauhaus and you have the following transcription (some sentences corrected and random ums, ahs, buts and likes removed.)

Q: How did you find out that “Do you like crabs” was so well remembered by your fans here?

HYDE:  Actually, last time I came to Baltimore in 2004 and I said about this, but I totally forgot about this. But I heard that fans get together and then they actually say about this “do you like crab” thing and then I like, oh, and I heard about that and that’s why I used that in yesterday’s, for the concert, but once I said it and then, oh, that’s right, it reminded me.

Q:  You did a lot of cover songs and music from some solo work. Why did you include that in a VAMPS concert?

HYDE:  If it’s a cover song, we transform it into a VAMPS state. We don’t recognize it as somebody’s song; we recognize it as our song. For the audience too, we wanted to sing some English songs, so they could sing along.

Q:  You two collaborated a lot before forming VAMPS. Has there been any change in the collaborative process since forming VAMPS?

HYDE:  Not so much difference. I’m not sure because of (mumble) formed VAMPS. Or maybe our relationship is so long, maybe that’s why. These days I just leave it up to him (K.A.Z) and I do something else, these days. Because I have more stuff to do now.

Q:  Ju-ken did a good job of riling up the crowd last night. Are you guys considering have him as an official part of VAMPS?

HYDE:  VAMPS is the two of us but once we get on the stage it’s all of us as a band. We never differentiate like that.

Q:  The word VAMPS means both vampire and a flashy, sexy type of woman. Were you considering those meanings when you picked the name VAMPS?

HYDE:  Originally I named VAMPS for vampires. But we like the flashy, mysterious woman too. It’s all good.

Q:  Why did you choose to write most of your album lyrics in English as opposed to Japanese?

HYDE:  Usually I listen to a lot of songs in English. The lyrics are in English. I like the atmosphere. When I want to attack with my words to the Japanese people then I use Japanese.

Q:  Is there an adjustment going from Oblivion Dust to VAMPS?

K.A.Z:  Even just a change in the person you play with, there’s so much inspiration. Everybody has a different sound. It’s a very different atmosphere. That’s why it’s very interesting for me. It’s chemical…chemistry…chemical reaction!

Q:  Are you ever surprised by the response of American fans as opposed to Japanese fans?

HYDE:  Actually, in Japan it’s normally, oh this part of the song everybody gets so excited or this part of the concert gets really excited. Everybody kind of knows what’s going on. But in the US, when I was expecting people to get really excited, but not so much there or sometimes it’s not that big part of the song but still it’s still so much reaction. The reaction level is always different. It’s unexpected. That’s why it’s very fun for us to do and it’s very encouraging. Basically, to me, American fans are very open and it’s nice to see that.

Q:  Your CD booklet has a story running through the pages about a girl being bitten and not being able to put on makeup. How did that story come about?

HYDE:  While we were in the process of making the booklet and the album, it looks like a picture book. We thought we could make it interesting by adding a story to the booklet.

pSKY:  Has VAMPS effected your work with Oblivion Dust? You were supposed to put out an album this year or next.

K.A.Z;  Not so much because everybody has own timing and everybody knows when you perform in a band and we all coordinate it.

Q:  What’s your favorite Motley Crue song?

“Dr. Feelgood” and “Livewire”

Q:  You [HYDE] were really adamant about how really good Evangelion was in the fan panel. Why do you love Evangelion so much?

[HYDE replies in English] I dunno.

HYDE:  I don’t know why I like it so much. The second movie out in Japan right now, it blew my mind. I would never have thought one actual movie could feel so inspiring and affect the bottom of my heart. It’s so weird, after I watched the movie, it made me so tired. I felt like I almost fought in the movie. It was a great movie.

Q:  If this tour is successful, will you tour again next year and expand? What city do you look forward to going to?

HYDE:  I don’t have much experience touring in the USA. It makes me nervous and I feel a little jittery about it. The many fans help us with their warm welcome and so our anxiety goes away and we play with our usual energy as if we were in Japan. Next year we hope to have a bigger tour though we’re not working on it right now.


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  1. boo

    That was painful. Hyde only came alive to discuss Evangelion and nothing else (though I’m sure he was still very charming). The press need to ask themselves what kind of article they could write with the answers they got. And since the answer is a shitty uninformed one, that means they asked the wrong questions. You know? They didn’t need a press conference for VAMPS, so they could recycle their press kit.

    1. Victoria Goldenberg

      From what I hear, the problem is most of the attendees were fan bloggers and not real press, ie people trained and experienced in journalism. Either they need to learn their craft if they’re serious about it, or the cons need to be more selective about whom they give press passes. It’s better to have fewer people at the press conference if that’s what it takes for the event to serve its purpose.

  2. Victoria Goldenberg

    Q: Are you ever surprised by the response of American fans as opposed to Japanese fans?

    PSA to my fellow Japanese music journalists: Please don’t ask this question or variations on it anymore. It always nets the same response–something about how American fans are more expressive. Is it even surprising anymore?

  3. Laura

    God, “Wacky” is almost a polite way to put the translating here. That’s quite some butchery.

    1. Kathy Chee

      I fixed the sentences that I understood. Some of the translating though, I just had no idea what they were trying to actually say. There was alot of nervous laughing amidst a sea of ums and likes and cut off sentences.

  4. tekki

    OMG… he watch that movie…
    haiah… remember tetsu’s write in his blog abt rent all teater for himself… OMG did they watch that eva 2gether? *megapalm in the face*

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