REOL Interview: “It’s Important For Us To Carry On Making Good Music”

REOL Interview: “It’s Important For Us To Carry On Making Good Music”

0 comments 📅05 August 2017, 16:09

“When we started [the band] I didn’t realise that it was going to become as big as it has and I’m grateful for that,” says vocalist, and REOL band leader Reol after their second day performing at Hyper Japan. “Before then we were just students, so it was a massive life-changing thing.”

Sporting a blonde bob, dark shirt and white overalls, with blush under her eyes to replicate this year’s biggest make-up trend in Japan, Reol is soft-spoken as she talks in Japanese, keen to answer our questions.

Her band members, GigaP and Okiku, are less at ease, though. Sitting nervously either side of her, they only take a break from their staring contest with the table to glance at the translator as she interprets our questions. This shyness creates a wholly different atmosphere to the one that they present to fans. On stage, they’re bursting with energy and self-confidence, running around and encouraging people to join in on the fun, but that’s not so here in the snug press room of the Tobacco Docks, London. Here, even when questions are asked directly to them they prefer to let Reol answer on their behalf, only really becoming involved when talking about their favourite Japanese food.

Perhaps this nervousness around the media, and their efforts to stop fans from posting pictures of their performances post-Hyper Japan online, stems from the fact that they never showed their faces when they debuted. Go to the band’s YouTube page and you’ll see that before the release of their debut album Sigma (∑) their videos were all animated; even the releases from Reol’s solo album, Gokusaishiki, used anime. The singer is quick to explain why they decided to change that: “When I was a student I was making music online as a hobby so that’s why I hid my face,” she says. “I wasn’t sure whether I would continue my career as a musician so that stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. But when we signed on with Toy’s Factory we decided that we would show our faces. That meant that I could do the things I wanted to do before which I am really happy about.”

The title track of their debut album “Give Me A Breakhas been a particular hit at the event. The aggressive lyrics and infectious melody had fans shouting in excitement as Reol sang; calling for people to “give me a break, stop now”. It’s no wonder it did so well. “I usually start making music when I’m feeling sad but I hadn’t really explored [the] frustrations or anger that I feel,” the singer says of the track. “[Give Me A Break] is particularly about the frustrations that I feel sometimes towards the world or even smaller things; it’s my call-out for those feelings at the time.”

Having met five years ago, Reol and GigaP have made music together on a number of projects including for vocaloids like Hatsune Miku. Reol first began making rock music, but over time her style evolved into electronica and EDM. “My music changed when I met GigaP,” she says, when talking about the change. “I didn’t know desktop music was a genre until I met him. He gave me lots of recommendations [and] since we started to make music together we wanted to incorporate his style of music as well.”

The tasks within the group are pretty evenly split: Reol write the lyrics, and then the music with GigaP who arranges it, and Okiku makes the beautifully illustrated videos. “Each of us has a distinct role and we try not to step on each other with these roles,” Reol adds.

Since their visit to the UK, the members have announced that they will be disbanding to follow their own paths after a final tour in Japan in October, so their hesitation to talk about their future plans during the interview makes more sense now. When the question was posed about it, and any potential of the group embarking on international tours, Reol dismissed it. “We don’t have any future plans for performing abroad at the moment, but we would like many people to enjoy our music regardless of where they are,” she says, at the end of the interview, “but… it’s important for us to carry on making good music.”

We at MyM BUZZ wish them best in their future careers.

GigaP and Reol

Photos by Shalimar. All performance shots were approved for publication by REOL.

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