Hot off the release of their ‘best of’ NEO JAPANESE HEROINE and their signing to Setsuzoku Records, exist†trace guitarist and vocalist Miko joined Beyond Senpai for a chat about the release and future plans of the visual kei band.
Beyond Senpai: Welcome to Beyond Senpai, please introduce yourself.
Miko: Hi, I’m Miko, guitarist, vocals, and songwriter of exist†trace.
BS: Congratulations on the release of ‘NEO JAPANESE HEROINE’! How do you feel about the international release?
M: Thank you! We are so happy to bring our music to our fans around the world.
I’m happy to know people will discover exist†trace from this album!
BS: How did you decide on the tracks for this ‘best of’ record? And which tracks are your favorites?
M: The songs on this album are ones that we are playing most often in our live shows in recent years.
We haven’t played live overseas for the past few years, so we chose songs that we have been playing live a lot recently in Japan.
I’m sure you can imagine our live sets from this album.
BS: What is the process of writing your songs?
M: Sometimes I sing a melody while playing the guitar to make a song, or I come up with a melody or lyrics while taking a bath, and I come up with it when I’m riding my bicycle.
BS: Which bands or artists inspire you? And have these influences changed over the years?
M: I love Evanescence and Within Temptation! I have always respected the beautiful and strong vocals and their cool sound over the years.
BS: As a visual kei band, your look is an important factor. What do you enjoy about this style and why? And how do you decide on the visual themes for your live performance?
M: When we started the band, we thought it was necessary to dress like a man, but now we are choosing what we want to wear and what suits us. It is to express our music more honestly, and we also want us to be evaluated regardless of gender. At live performances, we choose costumes that look gorgeous according to each stage performance. Sometimes all the members have the same color to match the theme of the concert.
BS: How do you feel about playing live shows again after the past few years? Which venues are you looking forward to playing?
M: The place where we strongly want to perform live is overseas! The convention we attended in the United States was great, and we enjoyed playing at the University of London too. We also were pleased with Russia’s enthusiastic welcome, so after overcoming various difficulties, we would like to go back to all the cities we have been to.
BS: Can your international fans look forward to seeing you on tour?
M: Of course yes! We’re really serious about touring abroad, so we are looking forward to seeing everyone again after this pandemic is over!
BS: What are your dreams for the future of exist†trace?
M: We’ve been in the band for so long, so I think it’s most important for all the members to continue to enjoy the music from the bottom of our hearts. We always dream to play on a bigger stage with this lineup and with the biggest smile.
BS: Do you have a message for your overseas fans?
I am very happy to deliver “NEO JAPANESE HEROINE” to everyone overseas! I hope you listen to this album and we can make you smile. We can’t come to see you right now, but stay healthy until the day that we do!
Beyond Senpai thanks Miko for joining us.
Special thanks to Christopher Morris for arranging this interview.
To support exist†trace
Interview and Editing by: JustPanda