Garnet - Kindan no Sono e-
UV vol 73, Nov 2001
About the 11.30 release single [Garnet~kindan no sono e~], Garnet is a red stone, yes?
M: It’s a stone I’ve liked from long ago. It’s typically known as a precious stone, but if you look it up, from old times this stone was used as a good luck charm, or for illumination. For famous stories there’s Noah’s Ark. When Noah held the Garnet it illuminated the darkness, and brought him light. It also seems to mean blood crystal. In terms of Malice Mizer, there’s the image of the red blood in [Beast of Blood] that became the crystal in [Garnet].
Have you ever seen the stone itself?
M: Personally I’ve never seen or touched it.
Ko: They have it in accessory shops, rings and stuff.
What was the impetus to write a song with Garnet as the motif?
M: It’s simply an existence that is on our minds from the track that runs through [Gardenia]. Before that I’d taken interest in it but hadn’t thought of making it into a song. We linked the new song’s image of “leading into the next world” with Garnet.
You wrote the song, right Kôzi?
Ko: I started writing the song, but it’s not like the item “garnet” came to mind from the beginning. After listening to Mana, and seeing the materials, I knew that there was that kind of deep meaning. I starting working anew from that.
The word stone isn’t in the lyrics is it?
Kl: The word “fragments” is though…this time there’s a feeling of dashing forward in the song, but that’s not all, and it’s not just fun. It’s tied into Malice’s Theme of “what is human?” and amongst the members we said we wanted to express the pleasure received from the sacrifice of something. Like I’m singing in the lyrics, “Once you go you can never return~.”
That place seems to be both Eden, and forbidden, but as for why you won’t be able to return, it’s not specified in the lyrics?
Kl: Right. Like if I said that then it wouldn’t lend to the song.
You mean you can’t give us the answer?
Kl: Right. Even I can’t write the answer. I’ve rarely written lyrics where there is no ending part to the composition and development, but I thought it should express the expectation of going somewhere when I wrote them. I’d like you to use your imagination.
M: We didn’t want to make the part of “What’s waiting for you next?” clear until the next development, and I think everyone has their own image of what forbidden is, but we’d like you to imagine it. Imagination is important when listening to Malice Mizer after all.
Ok, well in the lyrics the phrase “white stairs” comes out in English, but after climbing them is the thing waiting beautiful, or…?
M: We don’t know.
In both [Gardenia] and [BOB], there was the meaning of increasing the blood relatives, right? Is it the same this time?
Kl: Gardenia was one shoujo, and BOB was a street unit. In various towns blood sucking is spreading out. This time is a larger world. Actually when I saw the materials for Garnet, in the language of stones there’s the meaning of “union of blood relatives.” Following the flow of BOB, the blood that had trickled down became a crystal and then a stone, and gives confirmation of the blood relation.
I see. As for the melody, I felt a sort of nostalgia?
M: Me too. Közi’s song’s have a fairly 80’s feel to them. Moreso than my songs do.
Ko: I consciously took a direction away from the dark feeling we’ve had recently, and wanted to show a light piercing through it, but that’s not all. I wanted to give it an atmosphere that would become a little sentimental, like it’s fun but for some reason sentimental.
You’re uncharacteristically playing the guitar (lol)
Ko: I play it. In the first steps the arrangement was simpler, but it took the direction of the Malice Mizer twin guitars.The interlude and the like are harmonized too.
M: It’s harmony and counterpoint. Not cleanly and prettily harmonized – a little displaced and lagging, even though there’s a fairly classical approach.
Ko: It’s not made obvious. That gives it more style.
M: My songs obviously have a classical arrangement. Közi’s songs are skillfully neutralized, and it’s good that they can’t be heard as classical.
I don’t really understand that. I think that’s one of the differences between Mana and Kôzi’s compositions.
M: Yes. You can probably hear the B melody too. Kôzi and I are playing with a different rhythm, but metaphorically speaking it’s like from [Tsuioku no Kakera]. We’re doing that in the back of the song.
Really? I didn’t notice.
M: We don’t usually do it, and your ear goes to the song so maybe you don’t notice, but I’d be happy if people listened to that part too.
The acoustic quality is uncharacteristically rough?
Ko: For sure when I was composing at the studio I was aware of a sort of coarseness. We recorded [Gensou Rakuen] (the coupling song) with a clicky feeling.
And the bass has a course sound too?
Y: Certainly it does. I gave [Gensou Rakuen] an extremely heavy sound style, and compared to that [Garnet] has more of a balance where the phrases are lively, and I play with an eye for the atmosphere. It ended up not having a heavy sound.
And the singing style turns out relatively whispered?
Kl: Rather, it’s light. [Gensou Rakuen] has an opposite atmosphere, and I wanted to make that gap interesting. PersonallyI get the image of a sort of wistfulness, and so in terms of technique the style of singing is probably the lightest.
Just now you said that [Gensou Rakuen] is at the opposite. The melody is certainly completely different, but can you explain more concretely?
M: The approach to musical composition is the exact opposite. Even though the concept of a paradise is present in both songs, the contents is still different.
Does that mean that the place that [Gensou Rakuen] points to is different from the forbidden garden?
Kl: Completely totally different. And for the singing style, don’t you get the sense that it’s more breathy in [Gensou Rakuen] instead?
Yes, it certainly is.
Kl: The theme this time is “the whisper of death.” Since singing this song at least year’s Budoukan I’ve rethought the contents, and decided to sing it in a more thrilling manner.
M: Harsh more than dramatic, the song’s main point is aggression. BOB was aggressive too, but there’s a cembalo throughout it and it’s mixed with beauty. This song is overwhelmingly aggressive.