So the single, "Rhapsody" is finally released! The subject of the interview today is about their second single entitled "Rhapsody" in which they had ex-X Japan, YOSHIKI do backup. There is also the coupling song, "Vampire" a power ballad written by ROSE (drummer). In that song we can see the nature of TRAX and how they are a band. And on the day of their last recording session they have come to Japan again. So let's go talk to them =D
INT: What have you been doing ever since you debuted with the single, "Scorpio" last December of last year?
TYPHOON: We went to the debut event and the came back to Korea. We wrote songs and practiced among other things. This time I came to Japan about 3 weeks before everyone to do voice recording.
INT: The event was the gala premiere of the Korean movie, "Boku no Kanojo wo Shokaishimasu" in which you sang and played the piano of YOSHIKI's TEARS. And the other band members greeted the guests that came to listen right?
ROSE: So many guests came that I was pretty embarrassed, but I was happy that everyone gave us such warm receptions.
TYPHOON: I was really nervous that I had to sing YOSHIKI-san's song because usually I would be on stage with everyone in TRAX but this was the first time I was on stage alone.
ATTACK: I was really enjoying watching TYPHOON sing on stage. My mind was all blank, completely white *laughs* When the live ended, I was really surprised that the spotlight shone on the spot where we were sitting. I almost didn't introduce myself in time, I was really panicking. Now that I look back, it was really embarrassing *laughs*
CHRISTMAS: After we debuted and we started going to events like this, everyone would clap their hands when we introduce ourselves. So now I feel "I have to do my best."
INT: After that you released your second single, "Rhapsody" right? How did you feel when you first heard the song?
TYPHOON: I think it's a normal song that can only come out of the four of us, that was my first feeling. A simple ballad but a beautiful one.
ATTACK: (talks in Japanese) It's beautiful isn't it! *laughs* The sad melody that flows through your ears, it's the type of sound TYPHOON said. It's only the sound of us four, there're no other instruments or anything.
ATTACK: (it doesn't say, but I think he's speaking in Korean here which is why he has another line -D.T.) And the theme of the song is love, I really like the lyrics of the song, and the sound has a certain violence mixed with it.
INT: Did you have to build up your emotions or divide them in anyway for the song?
ROSE: Personally we are all more adepted to songs with a fast rhythm, when we do slow songs we have to have more concentration. Most of the time we would play fast songs, this time in order to play a slow song like "Rhapsody" well, we had to do special practices and experimentations.
INT: So you like hard and heavy songs better?
ROSE: Hard and heavy, or songs with a beautiful melody, I like all of them.
ATTACK: Usually I would use my fingers to play the bass, but this time when we were recoding, I used a pick on both songs. I think it suited with the atmosphere more.
INT: What do you mean?
ATTACK: It gives a certain atmosphere and it's better, when I use a pick I can play happily.
CHRISTMAS: This time it was more challenging because we used a guitar that was kept on the ground (I'm not sure what he means here but I think he means a guitar on a stand -D.T.) and there were also solo parts.
INT: So playing a guitar normally is actually harder?
CHRISTMAS: Yes, technical-wise "Rhapsody" can show the atmosphere of the song in a very special way...a song where you can really get the feeling of the song clearly.
TYPHOON: Because it's a power ballad the first thing we think of is the emotions that it shows. And because the lyrics of the song talks about a painful love, it required us to think and experiment on how can we get our feelings to best show. Our previous songs we just sang it so that it would be enjoyable, but this song isn't like that. We had to convey our feelings profoundly word for word. That was the hardest thing to do.
INT: And do you have a secret on how you use such natural Japanese?
TYPHOON: Thank you, I actually don't know how or why I was able to sing such natural Japanese *laughs* I wrote the pronounciations from a tape that told me how to pronounce them. I wrote it in Han-Gul (Korean characters) and just sang from that. When I was singing I felt, "man, I have a weird accent" or "it doesn't even sound like Japanese" but the Japanese staff and the manager said that it was good.
INT: You wrote the pronounciations in Han-Gul (Korean characters)?
TYPHOON: I can't even read kanji yet, and I can only read some hiragana and katakana characters *laughs* Even thought Japanese and Korean has similar pronounciations, there are differences. I try to fix those differences and sing it, before this I had an instructor come help fix these things and practice, but this time I had to do it by myself.
INT: "Vampire" and its lyrics were both written by ROSE right?
ROSE: Yes, I think it's a scary song *laughs* I've always wanted to write a scary song and then I had the idea of what would it be like if a vampire fell in love with a human. So I wanted to write one.
INT: Not only the music, you had a picture in mind from the beginning right?
ROSE: Yes, I had a picture in mind from the very beginning. And then I wrote the melody from that, I wanted the feelings of a vampire, so I put in strings in the intro and arranged it bit by bit. It came out the way I hoped.
TYPHOON: Before this we had other people come help write the rhythm and the lyrics, but this time ROSE wrote both of them. Everyone in the band also pitched in when arranging the song, so we can really say that this song is the beginning of TRAX's music. From now on we will slowly create our own music that is really our own.
ROSE: When we were arranging it I thought that if the intro had a melody of the piano it would give a nice vampiric atmosphere.
INT: So everyone got to express their own opinions in this song?
TYPHOON: There's a rap at the beginning and it's not in Korean either. It was really hard because it's in Japanese because you have to sing it in a way that it would fit the rhythm, and you have to sing it together with others too. Recording was the most difficult. During the bridge of the song I had to sing really emotionally which is different from "Rhapsody." But because I'm more used to heavy metal, it sounded really weird when I sang in Japanese. (I think the bridge that he's talking about here is after the second verse where he screams, "ubawareta sakebi wo..." -D.T.)
INT: How did it feel to sing ROSE's song?
TYPHOON: The lyrics were another point of view, I had to understand it and sing it as clearly as possible. So I talked to ROSE about the concept of the songs and went to watch movies about vampires together.
INT: You two went to watch a movie together?
TYPHOON: No, we didn't go together like that *laughs* I just borrowed a DVD. There were movies like, "Interview With The Vampire" , "underworld" , and "Blade" so that I could get into the world of vampires and understand the feelings of a vampire.
ATTACK: For me, this was the first time we got to arrange the song ourselves, so I got to play the heavy heavy bass like I wanted. Plus, the song chorus of the song has to be shouted and screamed to get the scary atmosphere, everyone's voice is in there. Try guessing which voice is whose *laughs* The one who was shouting the loudest was me.
CHRISTMAS: Hahaha *laughs* I've always wanted to make a song like this and it was a good experience. When the strings during the intro ended, everyone would play their own instruments at the sametime, I really like that.
INT: Why did you want you want to make this kind of song?
CHRISTMAS: Because I wanted to show the power of the voice of our band, when we were planning this we all wanted to make this kind of song. We only had to recorded it twice and then we were finished.
ROSE: We worked all night until we finished it, I was pretty surprised *laughs*
INT: *laughs* Say, who are your favorite artists?
ATTACK: Right now I like bands from England like Keane and Creed. I like Maroon 5 from America too.
CHRISTMAS: I like Eric Johnson and Paul Gilbert and guistarists such as Akira Takasaki (from LOUDNESS).
ROSE: Right now it's probably Smashing Pumpkins and No Doubt.
TYPHOON: I like Christ Cornell (from SOUNDGARDEN), Radiohead, muse, and coldplay.
INT: Lastly, do you have anything you want to say to the fans?
ROSE: We're very proud of this work, we want to know if you liked it.
TYPHOON: Yes, we, TRAX, have grown up, I want everyone to listen to it.
ATTACK: Help buy our CDs too *laughs*
CHRISTMAS: See you all at the live!