| An In-depth Interview with Mana by Mademoiselle L
- Today, in order to find out more about Mana-sama, we would like to focus on the birth date, or your fate day. We are hoping this may help us "dismantle" some mysteries of Mana-sama. According to the Dictionary of Birthdays, Mana-sama, who is born on March 19th, would be described, foremost as a "persevering hard worker."
M: Well, I may be persevering...but then again I may not be...I guess the fact that I've always stuck with the things I'm passionate about, and from the aspect of my inquisitive nature, you can call me persistent or diligent.
-Also, you "accomplish all goals."
M: Well, I am always striving to do so, and I might even go so far as to say that I live for the goals. When I was a student, I didn't give much thought, but ever since I discovered music, I've set goals and visions for myself and I've never stopped thinking of ways to accomplish them. I don't like the phrase, "If you wish from the bottom of your heart, your dreams will come true." I believe that in order to accomplish your goals, you need to apply yourself and make the effort. If all you had to do was wish really hard for something and it came true, no doubt, everyone's dreams would be a reality today. Realizing your dream takes more than that. It may be nice to hear those words, but it just sounds like a mere comfort to me. There's nothing special or significant about working hard to achieve your dreams so I don't particularly show it that I am applying myself either. It's all about the result, if you can produce results without putting in any effort, I think that's great as well; seeing someone working hard is not what is beautiful.
- So you don't put any emphasis on the process taken?
M: The process doesn't mean anything. It may just be due to my profession but, the result is the only thing that counts. Even if I do everything to create a song, if that song isn't good, the effort is utterly meaningless. I live in a world where I'm judged, whether it's good or bad, and not whether I've put in the effort or not.
- In other words, making an effort is only a given. Another characteristic is "pureness like that of a child." What do you think? I agree wholeheartedly and believe you have not lost your inner child.
M: Yes, I often don't feel like a full grown adult. It's not like I make an effort to maintain the child in me though, so maybe it's just that I can't grow up. (Laughs) For someone my age, I must seem very childish. This may be because when I try to express something in my work, I keep on going back to my childhood memories and emotions.
-Are you the type of person that can vividly recall their childhoods?
M: It's not like I recall all the minor details, but I do find myself constantly going back to my childhood. This is because when it comes to how I perceive things today, nothing has changed from the time I was first touched by music or when I first felt love as a child. I think the memories of when I lived only by instinct, as children do, connects greatly with the act of creating music. I want to pursue what I feel is precious according to my instinct, and not what the surrounding information, the norm, or society decides it is. I think listening to your instinct and believing in what you yourself find "good" is essential, and I hope everyone can understand this and pursue it.
- Well, listening to that, I can understand that you are someone that "Goes forth to break new grounds." What about the description: "In general, you are a realistic person that acts according to logic and order." What would you say about this?
M: It's right in some regards. I think it's always important to take one step back and view things objectively. I agree completely when people say "There's a good chance you might be headed the wrong direction if you don't take objectivity into account." Especially in my case because when I'm pursuing my passions, I have a tendency to not see anything else. Then everything becomes objective, and I run the risk of becoming a maniac. (Laughs)
- That's true. When I think back to your daily actions, I am reminded of how you are always careful to ask other people's opinions, and also to ask: "Why don't we look at it from an obective point of view?"
M: Sounds like I care what everyone else is thinking after all. (Laughs) Of course when I've made up my mind, I always want to just run with it. However, I do always try to be open to various opinions.
- The Dictionary advises that that this is what you "should" do, but I think it is impressive that you seem to already have this under you belt. By the way, your strengths are listed as: persuasive, fatigue-less, and thorough.
M: "Persuasive"...really. It's hard to know oneself. Am I? As for "fatigue" I'm quite aware of that. (Laughs)
- Really? I always think you're full of energy.
M: Maybe because I sleep a lot? But I do remember my dreams often so my sleeps can't be very deep. There isn't a day that I can't recall my dreams. I wake up from even the slightest noise, so I envy people who can sleep through anything.
- It does sound like you're tired then. (Laughs) How about the last quality: "thorough"? That one has to be right.
M: Yes, what I hate most is leaving something, anything undone.
- Okay, then going on to your weaknesses, they are: careless, stubborn, and reserved.
M: Careless, definitely. (Laughs) Like when I want to build something, I always just go ahead with it without ever consulting the manual. As a result, I end up fitting something in the wrong place and getting it stuck, or breaking it. Other times, when I've finished putting it together, I discover an important piece has been left out. (Laughs) This happens to me all the time. I just never take caution, though I end up regretting it too often.
- I remember for the photo book "Magnifique," which was released last month, the page numbers didn't match when we checked it during production.
M: That's right. (Looking a little panicky.) I was thinking about the structure of the photo book, and going through everything relatively fast. At the very end, the page numbers didn't match, and we had to go back to the beginning. What's worse, I repeated the mistake two, three times total. When I'm working on it everything looks to be in order, but then at the end, the numbers don't go together. I have this habit of trusting my gut feeling too much, or just doing everything according to my instinct. Sometimes that leads me to success, but just as likely it leads me to failure, so I guess I have to think ahead a little bit more.
- What about the word, "stubborn"?
M: On certain things, I'm stubborn but on most, I'm pretty laid back. I guess the fact that I'm very stubborn in certain issues, means the description is right though. "Reserved" is a characteristic I've dealt with all my life. Communication is the basis of society, so I do wish I were able to be a little bit more friendly with people. Easier said than done though. I've never been good at talking to someone I'd never met before, and also I've never really cared for such things either. (Laughs) Often, I seem to give off the impression that I'm a very cold person.
- So you do feel that people see you as "reserved."
M: Sure. (Laughs) Basically I do what I want, but at the same time, there's always something that is sacrificed as a result of it. Something has to be "cast aside" for the sake of attaining your goal, and that process is never easy for anyone. Yet I don't think most people see it that way. The various decisions I make aren't made so easily or so heartlessly, but most people don't recognize that. Maybe it's because I don't explain myself all the time, but sometimes people will just make assumptions.
- You're not going to try to correct those assumptions?
M: I don't want to make so many attempts in order to be understood. I simply make efforts towards my goals, and those who can relate to that will, and that's good enough for me. Of course if I'm considered cold hearted by too many people, then naturally, that would get me down. In that regard, I do wish that I had a more friendly way about myself. Whether it's my fate for being born on March 19th or not, this is no easy task though.
- People will only think what they want to think, so one can't get too caught up on that. Nonetheless, it is sad when people mistakenly have the wrong idea about you.
M: I don't want to be accepted by more people if that means having to change myself and pretending to be something other than what I am; even if it's more useful to do so. I suppose I may have some disadvantages in that regard, but that's not my true self so... This is why I'm in an "in-between" position.
- In between wanting and not wanting more people to understand you?
M: Well, my love and passions are very specialized, and I don't have a deep interest for the things that are in the mainstream culture. At the same time though, I feel that I want to share what I treasure with more people. In that respect, I do want to go out more into the mainstream in order to make contact with those who aren't yet able to show their true selves, or people who are not aware of different possibilities. I'm not about to accept the situation that you are looked at strangely just for dressing differently. Even with MALICE MIZER, this was one of the prejudices that I wanted erase...although this is very hard.
- You have established the "Goth-Loli" (Short for "Gothic-Lolita") genre with Moi-meme-Moitie. What are your thoughts concerning that?
M: I established it in 1999 with the hopes of making it into a fashion standard. However, even to this day, it is still treated as a very specialized style. Actually there is a part of me that feels that this specific genre should only be dealt with by a select few who enjoy the unique aspect of it. Rather than have everyone wear because it's the trend of the moment, I prefer to have it worn by people who truly love it for what it is. All that said though..! There's this part of me that simply doesn't want the style to stop with a select group. (Laughs) That's what makes it complex.
- I think that certain worlds are just meant to be shared among only a select few, or a minority group, and that is part of the appeal. But it seems that what Mana-sama aims for is something different.
M: I despise being looked at as, "just another underground." Much of the underground scene has had the attitude of just ignoring the mainstream culture, and doing everything within their world. This was what I truly wanted to break apart. I can understand the point of view of hard core Goths who wants to keep Goth underground as it is. As for me though, I am always in search of the world for something new, so it isn't enough and I would get bored. I want to be stimulated by new things. The ideal is to be able to act as a bridge between the mainstream and the underground culture. The only thing is, when Goth starts to become mainstream there are always people who, don't have an idea but start to describe everything anyways. Like, "Goth is..." That sort of phenomenon in itself is proof that I'm out in the world and it's being noticed, but it makes me wonder; "Is that what I really want...?" It's a difficult choice.
- When the media picks something up and people become aware of it, the more unique that objects of attention is, the higher the risk that it will be interpreted differently than it was originally intended.
M: There is always that fear. To be more precise though, I am not all that concerned with spreading Gothic whether it be music or fashion. I am more concerned with how to present my material, and how my world is accepted by people. This is what matters to me more than the framework, such as underground or major labels. I am just in pursuit of my own original style so I think all the talk about how Gothic should be or Metal should be, and comparing it to something of the past is nonsense. I much rather prefer that people see Moi dix Mois as a music genre in itself. It just seems pointless to me to compare it with anything else, because what really matters is whether that itself is good.
- Yes and there are always people who talk as if they understood the whole music scene.
M: Maybe its only human nature that people feel superior when they have more information but more than that, I think what is important is being able to say what you believe is good and just being honest to your individualism. I think things get confused only when individuals let their likes and dislikes be influenced by other people or what the media deems popular. Its like everyone knows the trend, but no one is really certain about anything.
- You mean people should go with their instinct, which may be the only true thing.
M: I think it is enough to trust your natural instinct which tells you right from wrong, and love from hate. Everything is about listening to your six senses. I suppose it is hard to do so though and this is why people feel more secure with bringing up data and theories. So maybe the true task is to start by finding ways to become someone who is comfortable trusting their natural instinct.
- Can you tell us your secret?
M: First dont believe every thing you hear from the media, and instead try to acquire your own taste; listen to what your instinct hungers for. In other words don't be so influenced by whatever-whatever top rankings or lists. (Laughs) No matter what the rest of society thinks, have absolute confidence in the things you love. You can't be ashamed of being different from people. It isn't easy, but this is necessary. In the end, the theme always returns to the "Breaking Down of Logic" (Madousho #23.) I'm not trying to force this on to other people though because when it comes down to it, it's really up to the individual.
- Following your passions and doing what you want to do sounds good in words, but often this is very difficult to do. Many people cannot even decide what it is that they feel passionate about.
M: I can understand that people can't find what it is that they feel really crazy about. In such cases, I feel like saying: just follow me! (Laughs) That's going too far maybe. (Feeling shy.) It doesnt matter what people think though. For people who don't feel as I do, what I'm doing might seem crazy, but that just means that we all have different beliefs and different ways of living, I wouldn't criticize anyone for that. In that same regard, I don't think anyone has the right to riticize me.
- It's not a matter of right or wrong. It would be best if everyone could respect each other without having to go into other people's lives. I think it is embarrassing for someone to make judgments about things they have never experienced, and therefore can't understand.
M: It's sad but there are many people who make criticisms of other people to no avail, when instead they can be using that energy to do something they actually want to do. When you have goals and things you want to do, you are often too busy trying to figure out ways to do them, that you naturally stop being concerned about other people's business. This is why I hope everyone can find at least one thing that they are truly into.
- Among various human natures, the presence of Mana-sama's fans that understand you, must be a source of great happiness.
M: I have confidence that my fans listen to my sound and seek my music. That is what makes me most happy. What I want to do is continue making music that only I can produce. This is not to say that whatever that is different and new will be taken up, but rather I wish to fuse the new with the things that make up the basis of my music. So in that way, I believe that fans who follow me will not be betrayed because I know what my music is.
- So you will incorporate many new things, yet your core essence will not waver.
M: It is because I have this core that I can stay strong. The music most likely would not lead to anything if I was constantly debating where I should take the music to next, or if I constantly had to choose a direction. I always have an ideal form in my mind, as well as a hunger towards new music, and this is what keeps me moving. Even if I found my self in despair, my music will always give me hope. I love myself best when I am creating music. The rest is all on how I can produce something exactly as I imagine it, and this I am constantly doing.
- I think it is really your strength that you have an unwavering core in you.
M: I don't want to betray my fans. The things is when I was a teenager there was a band that I loved. But they changed themselves both musically and visually according to the change of times. I recall distinctively that it was a devastating shock for me to witness that, and I don't want people who have come to love me to experience that. I want to always present a dream world. I don't want my fans to experience what I did.
- So we have nothing to worry about?
M: Yes, nothing. I will protect the world that only I can create. So just follow me! (Laughs)
- Now that are minds are at peace, (Laughs) on the Birthday dictionary, it also lists Numbers and Planets. Are 3 and 19 meaningful numbers to you?
M: 1 and 9 make up "Dix" right? Then if you make 10 into, "1 plus 0" that makes 1. My number really feels like it ought to be 1! I always feel that I have to be number one all the time.
- It does say "The feeling of wanting to be number one is nearly an obsession." So to conclude, you are someone that "...has a distinctive goal and tries to be number one in that regard. You work hard to achieve this, and as a result all ends well for you." How's that?
M: Already that makes me happy. 1 and 0 are very important numbers for me. 1: To be always number one. 0: Symbolizes unlimited or root source. These are one my life themes. When I chose the name "Moi dix Moi" I wanted to go back to my root, and so with that in mind I put 10 in the middle. In that regard I think I do have a fascination with numbers. Also if you flip the number 3 to the left, it makes an M. So 3 is one of my other favorite numbers along with 1 and 0. It seems that they are my fate numbers.
- Whenever you name something it seems they are always included. That also leads to you being thorough doesn't it?
M: Does it? It does symbolize who I am though, so I am careful in how I name everything.
- Okay, so today we dug deep into Mana-sama from the perspective of Birthdays. In total what did you think?
M: My birthday, March 19th really is my fate day and I consider it to be very profound. It may be interesting for the fans to explore aspects of their birthdays as a way to learn more about themselves. To search and explore is everything and something may very well be hidden there...
In the bubble: Hmm...the Madousho is deep...
Page 8 COMIC:
Dis inferno III is Coming Up!
Is everyone ready for the party?
Let's decorate the December 15th night with craze and extavagance.
Since it's a Moi dix Moi concert, we will take it very far.
To gain more power for this event, we have added new member(s).
Experience Moi dix Moi at its newest form!!
You can also expect other features for this event.
However, the main is of course, Moi dix Moi and Schwarz Stein. Let's go crazy and end 2004 with a blast.
Kazno's Zunou (Brain)
Yeah, next month is finally the concert!
You there, looking forward to this event, let's party together!!
I was flipping through some old photos recently, and I found one of myself with red hair. People in my neighborhood use to say "He must be Kabuki."
Presently I'm all about black hair, but I use to change hair colors constantly.
What do everyone think?
During this time, I use to only play the base with my fingers.
However, Moi dix Mois' songs are ultra-high speed.
When I tried playing it with my fingers, red fire lit from my fingers...
Due to the fast speed, I felt the limit of my fingers so I picked up the pic, which was something I was not use to doing. I remember it made me nervous playing with it at first.
Now, I play certain songs with my fingers.
For the December event, please compare my finger and pic base play.
Nocturnal Opera Voting Results
"Nocturnal Opera" is made up of votes by Montamour Fan Club (domestic) members. Introduced here is the result of Favorite Song Ranking. Mana-sama has added his comments for each song.
Number 1: the Prophet
This song is my favorite in the album, so it's a thrill for me to find out that what I am pursuing and what the listener wants has matched. When I had completed this song, I felt incredibly proud, and no matter how many times I listen to it, I seem to always be stimulated from it. I hope to make another song like this. Actually better yet, I hope to make a song that surpasses it.
Number 2: monophobia
I had the most difficulty arranging this piece. I still think this is an incomplete piece, but I just can't put my finger on what is bothering me about it. I especially like the piano melody at the introduction. This part really emphasizes the song's theme: "Fear of being alone."
Number 3: vestige
I thought this would be number one, but it turns out third. For the last album, "Dix infernal" the song "solitude" was popular. For me, "vestige" has surpassed "solitude"! Which is why I am all the more sad that it ranked only third... I don't have one part that I dislike about this song, and it gets me sort of nostalgic.
This song, in a way, symbolizes the album "Nocturnal Opera" so the fact that it didn't make it in the ranking gets me down. It may not have extravagance, but if you listen to it carefully it does have its own. It's classically arranged and runs loose, which is a style I'm confident in. This song is like a standard in that regard.
2004-12-14 22:19:03 ()