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 Leda – Rock and Read #30 Interview Translation (part 1)

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PostSubyek: Leda – Rock and Read #30 Interview Translation (part 1)   Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:08 pm

Leda’s interview – a Guitarist’s Triumphal Return

With an excellent display of skill, Deluhi’s Leda represents today’s “young guitar hero”. Because of Leda’s technical play, honed by much hard work; it is needless to say that the search for peers of the same level led him to matters such as a change of school (at middle school level) to a place where there were many people of good musical caliber. Leda’s turning point was after a guitar audition where he played bass, as an extracurricular activity, with a band which he admired. After which, this led to the establishment of a band which carries his own expression – Deluhi. In this interview, Leda’s personal path would be unraveled!

R & R: Leda-kun, how would you describe your childhood?

Leda: I was the youngest child and I was spoilt (laughs). Because my parents were not strict in my upbringing, I was allowed a lot of freedom as I grew up. My sister and I were the only two who were about the same age in our neighborhood. My cousin lived with us and he was like an older brother to me.

On the musical aspect, there were about 2 people who had a huge influence on me. Before I dedicated myself to music, I didn’t simply follow whatever music was popular on TV. My cousin and I paid attention to musicians such as X-Japan, Cronus and Hide. During the time my sister and I entered middle school, I started to get into Dir en Grey’s music. As“Breakout”1 was also a really good watch, it was natural that this type of “new rock” moved me in a special way. But I have to add I really like 19 (Jyuuku)2 as well!

R & R: At that time, what aspects (of the music) attracted you?

Leda: It may have been the melody or it may have been the punkish looks that I both found cool. Thinking about it, acoustic duos were very unique aren’t they? But at that time, 19’s lyrics were mainly about school life so there wasn’t much of a widespread impact… But as far as I’m concerned, Juukyu’s first album “Ongaku” was their career’s most famous recording.

Following that, I picked up the acoustic guitar, copying 19’s songs in the beginning. It was when I was in the 2nd year of middle school that I made friends with Nakao-kun by chance3.

Back in my hometown, my middle school didn’t have much people who played music but then, rumor has it that I could have found more if I searched hard enough. He (Nakao) played the electric guitar, so following him, I quite suddenly wanted to try X-Japan’s and Luna Sea’s band scores as well. But, even before that, I was quite consistently listening to music with my cousin. Then, I was thinking along the lines of “Hey! Why, this looks awesome!” (laughs).

On the topic of making friends, for now, Glay’s “if ~ ash and diamonds~” seemed to fit my situation pretty well. Eventually, we began to listen from songs by various bands. It was in the middle of all these that I realized that X-Japan was really cool and furthermore, I felt I could listen to them anywhere (laughs). Before long, I decided to pick up the electric guitar.

R & R: At this time (when you picked up a liking for X-Japan), it was not long before X-Japan broke up.

Leda: Yes. It was already decided then so there was no going back on that decision.

In the beginning, I listened to X Singles, Silent jealously… although I enjoyed them all, it seemed like I couldn’t play them. Since I felt that “Weekend” was easier to copy than other X-Japan songs, I ended up practicing it first. The songs have an intense feel to them and I felt that as I kept practicing, I gradually seemed to gain a better understanding of the melody and my ear for music slowly improved.

Before I entered the music scene, I tried to try different appearances but I realized at that time, that I didn’t really know what kind of image I wanted. Maybe I only began to like the fashion fad set by 19 then.

Underground music was something I liked listening to as well and one of the feelings I got from the music was that it was really not easy, isn’t it? For example, Panthera’s songs are really not easy.

R & R: As for the popular examples that you mentioned, there probably wasn’t much of that sort of music to listen to when you were in the 2nd year of middle school (laughs). Perhaps, it was natural that you could have listened to the music your parents were influenced by?


Leda: But, there was much more in addition to that (which I have mentioned earlier). In the family car, there was always the music of Char-san. My father played the guitar from the start and he really enjoyed the likes of Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Rory Gallager, and British Rock music.

Because I always listened to Japanese music, I found at that time, that when it came to English song lyrics, I couldn’t understand a thing. There were incidentally many songs I heard over the radio which I really missed because I didn’t know their names. Shortly after, partially due to my sister and cousin’s influence, I started to listen more to western music and it naturally took root in my liking.

R & R: About when was the time you put together your first band?

Leda: Although I tried forming a band when I was staying in Mie, I couldn’t find members from my (middle) school so I decided to transfer to a neighboring school. This was May of my 3rd year in middle school. I could find many potential band members in the new school.

Eventually, there was a point where I begin to have “fun” outside and for a short while, I totally didn’t touch my guitar. But it was about the time when winter was arriving that I unexpectedly began practicing the guitar in my house again. Then, my father would tell me “Your playing, it’s really hopeless!”…

It was from then that I spurred myself on to really practice and improve continuously. Then, unexpectedly, it seemed that my dream of being in a band was suddenly within reach and probably, I thought then, I may be ready to go to the capital4. At the time when I felt I was able to advance, I had to enter high school.

For the time being, I selected a school which was far from my hone as I accepted a fixed term bond and I guess I had to look for band members here and there again.

Eventually, although I didn’t discover much (band related stuff) after entering high school, it was through a magazine “To band-play like Dir en Grey” that I discovered the drummer of Mie by chance5. I got in touch with him before I wanted to play the electric guitar (laughs). At the start, we both worked together well then we discovered what it was like to actively recruit other band members. The end of the matter was that the band members withdrew not long after forming and I had little choice in that matter. That band’s first live was at a place called “Music Farm”. When all these happened, I was 17.

R & R: It must have been really cool isn’t it, to suddenly be on stage at Music Farm.

Leda: Hmm, the band did perform at one of the famous livehouses in Nagoya then. That occasion was something like waking up from a bad dream (laughs). But that band band was a visual-kei band which unfortunately broke up in about 2 – 3 months.

Nevertheless, how should I say it, the live at Music Farm was a good opportunity for exposure. This was because I was able to build a good relationship over time with people in the “taiban”6 business and while being called for various special events, I was given the opportunity to enter Crimson Head.

That happened around summer, when I was 17.

We (Crimson Head) played music which you could describe as death metal-ish. It was around this time that I really liked Children of Bodom and Syu-san7. It was because of X-Japan that I quickly took to liking and playing metal since I was about 14.

And then, on another occasion, I received a call from the Nagoya Music Office8 and I could hear a female voice at the other end of the line. She said “You are really good. Would you like to be in a band?”. Although I thought it was really shady, I have to admit I was quite charmed by those words.

I think, although I liked death metal, I also wanted to do visual-kei. I was told to start playing for Crimson Head after the office call and I was told it was not possible, but I held 2 or more jobs to make a living. When I was a starting member in Crimson Head, I got to know how more about the “Taiban” system and it was really quite a handful.

R & R: But to be invited to a band, that does show a high level of competence doesn’t it?

Leda: In reality, a short time after that, I heard that I had somehow become a guitarist with good prospects in the Nagoya area and I was honoured to receive a high valuation from a guitar specialist-magazine ovation event.

How should I explain the details of my participation? I guess it just happened in one way or the other…

In those days, I would travel 1.5 hours to Nagoya. Besides school, I had to juggle 2 bands to provide for myself but as money became a problem, that became 3 bands. About my situation I was thinking “This is really bad” (laughs). I had to change to a part time school system.

Life in a Visual-kei band is hectic to the point of being absurd… It’s like the mafia9. But I couldn’t think much about it then and they told me “Please pay if you want to sell”. Because I didn’t know much then, I guess I just followed along. Bit in the end, that band was still obscure, and I needed to stop going down this tract soon, as age was on my side then. Crimson Head had MySpace activities then though, and that was really fun10.

After I handed the money over… At least we released an independent CD and did a tour near Nagoya.

R & R: Exactly when did you manage to distance yourself from that past?

Leda: I see. I recall Crimson head appeared in an Ovation (event).

When I started learning the guitar, I always wanted to go pro so somehow or the other, I would seize any chance which came by and give it a shot. As time went by, slow as it was, I slowly built up a little self-confidence.

However… I can say the performance (Crimson head’s performance at the Ovation event) was really bad, and whatever excitement we had about the performance totally died.

Anyhow, I read with pleasure the article in a guitar magazine which featured the event where I participated in the capacity of Crimson head’s representative.

Oh! Syu-san appeared as the guest demonstrator for the event and I thought that was hot (laughs)11. Anyone and anybody, it’s like propagation, but I really liked Galneryus.

What was surprising was that my performance was unexpectedly favoured by the judges and they asked “How about going to Tokyo?” and I answered something like “I’m going!”.

When I went to the capital, it was Feburary 2006.

At this time, the Crimson Head drummer also stopped and it was the situation then that the band activities were suspended.

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PostSubyek: Re: Leda – Rock and Read #30 Interview Translation (part 1)   Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:04 pm

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