Saturday, June 04, 2005

Behind The Tour: Vengeance For BLOOD 3 Part 3 - The Fu~k'ster, The Hentai Video Director, and The Death of a PV

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I woke up early the next morning. Despite being up over 24 hours, I didn't sleep well, probably from anxiety due to the PV shoot that night. I decided to explore the hotel a bit until someone woke up who I could chill with... or atleast get some breakfast with. This place was noice (sic). The building was basically designed with one main room. Each floor didn't have its own roof (except in the guest rooms of course). Think of it this way: if you stand in the lobby and you look up, you can see 10 stories straight up to a glass ceiling. It was kinda nice coz when you left your room, all you had to do was walk to the railing and you could look straight down into the lobby. This place was made for luxury though. They had a bar, live music, a resturant, a store, plants almost everywhere, a game room with billiards, a spa, a staff that was very polite and curtious (and many could speak english), and an indoor pool that none of us ever saw anyone in the entire tour. When I got back up, I saw that my roomate Leslie, Shelly, and Kiwamu were all out, so I went into my room to freshen up.

When I came back out, Fu~ki is scoping out the place over the railing. I said hello and the first thing he does is comment on my Heartagram shirt. So we start talking. Fu~ki's English was the best out of all of the members, so it was easy to talk to him, but I still was speaking relatively broken, accented English. He then admires my black over shirt. I hand it to him to try on, and he does. He puts it on and looks at me and says "Too big." The shirt was like an XL (I like loose clothing), and the ones he usually wears are skin tight S's. I then take him into my room and show him my long coats. I tried to get him to try those on, but he wasn't gonna touch those! We went back outside and he told me he listened to the CD I got him last night and he really liked it.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Before we went down to Mexico, I decided to get everyone gifts for giving me this opportunity to make their PV. The girls had never heard any CKY before, so I got them Volume 1 and Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild, and Kiwamu told me he did not have ANY MetallicA album except The Black Album. I couldn't allow this atrocity to continue, so I decided BLOOD needed to be Metallic-ly educated by buying the band the first 3 MetallicA albums: Master of Puppets for Kiwamu, Kill 'em All for Kaede (because of Cliff Burton's amazing bass solo song "(Anesthesia)-Pulling Teeth"), and Ride The Lightning for Fu~ki. Fu~ki was well ahead of the others. He had every album BUT Ride The Lightning. He told me his favorite song was Fight Fire With Fire, and I was telling him how for a loooong time, my favorite song was Fade to Black.

He flags me to come back to his room so we can lounge a bit. This is where I got shocked. He told me he had been to my old Bad Transitions site a few times and enjoyed our playlists! (shameless plug: Bad Transitions, hosted by Andrew Weiler. Sunday nights 7-10pm only on 91.7 WIXQ. Check him out at ... hey, I gotta support my old show!) I guess Kiwamu gave him the site coz, up until then, I thought only Kiwamu went there. We start talking about HIM alot (Yeah, we are huge fans). He tells me he only has Razorblade Romance and ...And Love Said No. He told me that it was difficult for him to get their CD's because they aren't sold in Japan. That didn't surprise me coz he made a post on the official site before about it, but what shocked me when he said that The 69 Eyes have. I thought it was funny coz here, we have the reverse situation.

We leave the room and run into Shelly, Leslie, and Kiwamu.
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We confess we are all hungry and go down stairs to grab breakfast. We knock on NoA and Yuu's door, but there is no answer, so we assume they are out. We all sit down to a buffet breakfast which I guess could have been a brunch (or a Mexican breakfast) as they were serving some things that I'm used to eating for lunch. However, the omlet bar was exquisit, so we all had atleast one of those. When we sit down, Kiwamu and I start discussing the PV. Basically, I tell him that this is gonna be nothing like their previous PV's. I wanted this one to be completely story driven, with the plot coming straight from the stories told in the Vengeance For BLOOD albums. He asks me if they should perform at all, but I tell him that if fans want to see that, they can pick up the live DVD. I don't like PV's where there is nothing happening but the band playing the song (mhmhmmhmmmhmmmmm). Kiwamu wants to do some performing though, so I said ok, but to keep it to a minimum. As I start talking about other aspects of the PV, then a door behind Kiwamu swings open and a waitress comes through, just doing her job. But, behind her, going about his jolly way, unknowingly about to open a fire escape door (that sets off alarms mind you), is Yuu. So, I interrupt Kiwamu mid-sentance, snap up out of my seat and yell "YUU!!!"... but the girls thought I was screaming "YOU!!!" (like I was screaming and yelling and barging into the back room to get a waitress) so they got upset. Yuu snaps to attention and instead of talking, I just put my arm around his shoulder and sit him down at the table. The girls go "ohh" and bust out in laughter in releif, and this is when I realize they thought something else was going on, so I was like "What?".

We head back up to our rooms where Kiwamu begins his mission to find himself some sandles. I don't blame him since I think all he had were those platforms. While he was trying to find a way to buy some, Fu~ki, NoA, Yuu and I started going through my CD collection. They seem rather impressed by my mix of rock bands the world over. Yuu seemed especially amused that I had Jamiroquai. I hand them my head phones and play him some CKy (Escape from Hellview), but to my surprise, Fu~ki said it's boring! That's when I said "Oh yeah, he's a metal head", so I threw in some Dimmu Borgir and Kovenant for him. THAT got his head knodding! Luckily, the others liked CKy.

Soon, Antinio, Daniel, and Janine show up (They were staying at different hotels than us I think) and Kiwamu tells them about his epic quest for sandles. So, we head on out to a mall. We go in, and the first thing everyone does, except Yuu, Fu~ki, and myself, is forget about the epic quest and get food... they should have stayed true to the quest. As they ate, the three of us wander into the CD shop next door. Yuu is interested in finding some Mexican metal bands, and Fu~ki was looking for some HIM CD's. Meanwhile, I was feelin like an ass. I got everyone presents except NoA and Yuu because I didn't even know they would be there. So I was browsing around for something for them. But unfortunately, I could find anything GOOD. Example: Fu~ki didn't find his HIM CD. I thought I would have another opportunity to go shopping for them again, but I assumed wrong.

The next stop for us was a tattoo shop. Yuu had some cool tattoos on him, so he was interested in checking it out. As soon as we walk in, some European death metal band is blaring and Fu~ki is immediately interested. He asks me if I knew who it was, but I didn't. I turn to the guy behind the counter and this is where 2 years of highschool Spanish finally come into play. I ask him if he spoke English, and he did. Then I asked him who it was, and I told Fu~ki (who it was escapes me now) who goes "Ahhhhhhh. I have this band." We go down to the lower level to wander some more, but Janine comes down to warn us not to go too far. She also tells us after this we may head to a Tower Records, which would have been perfect! So, we wander around and window shop a bit. We stroll by a cross with Jesus on it and Fu~ki stops to admire it. I ask him if he likes it and he says "Upside down" and giggles a bit.

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We go back upstairs and join the others in the resturant. Kiwamu suggested us getting this chilled mocha, but I didn't exchange my money yet. Fu~ki, hoerver, gets it and seems to enjoy it. After lunch was over, we resumed the quest. We went downstairs to I think a Payless and Kiwamu find some sandles that he likes, with NoA buying a pair for himself as well. Unfortunately, we ran out of time for Tower Records and had to go to the TNT hall for sound check. Before we left however, on the esculator on the way back up, Antonio taught me the proper way to shake hands in Mexico.
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It takes me a few tries, but I enentually get it. He then says "You are a true Mexican now". I thought I was the shit after that.

We get to the concert hall, where the stage was still under construction. So, we just chill a bit. Kiwamu wants to go out and get a Coke with the girls, and I go with them. We find a stand near by that has bottled Coke, and in my best Spanish (which is horrible), managed to pay for them. We go back in to so one playing Rammstein over the sound system, so OF COURSE I start rocking out. This is when they compliment me on my head banging and then see if I can pull a Jason Newsted and do it in a perfect clockwise motion... and of course I couldn't. However, Rammstein soon turned into the Byakuya back track and the band was pretty much like "Lets fucken jam" as the took up their instruments and stormed the unfinished stage. However, Fu~ki was singing without a mic! So I handed him my empty Coke bottle.
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After that outburst was down, I pulled Fu~ki aside. We had to get work done on the PV, and since this video was going to be based on the words he wrote, he was man to talk to. I start talking rather in depth to him, but he gets a bit frusrated because he can't communicate well with me. So, luckily, Antonio was right there to save our asses. We start discussing the meaning of the lyrics for "Forever Lost", and they are pretty much what I thought they were based upon what Kiwamu told me. These were really deep, sorrowful words, so luckily, I had an accurate idea of what to do. However, when I tried telling Fu~ki my ideas, he did not like them! A sudden case of "OH NO!" hit me, so I ask him what ideas he had. He reiterates the lyrics and tells me it's my job as the director to portray it visually.

He's right.

And I had to deliver something that was not only going to please them, but floor them. I start to panic a bit and asked if we could postpone the video shoot and instead shoot DTMH that night (The original plan was that we were going to shoot two PVs during the tour with Kiwamu directing DTMH and me being Director of Photography). However, he says with their schedual, we must do it that night. This is why I was really really wanting to talk to him loooong before I came down. So I started from scratch with major help from Antonio and get really focused coz we have to get a killer idea in under 5 hours. I go over the lyrics as Antonio interprets. I then get a suspicion that Fu~Ki didn't fully understand my old ideas after we began talking more. I re-explain them as I act out the scenes and actions I had conjured up in my head right there in front of him. Then he seems to understand what I was going for and likes the ideas. I re-iterate that it can't be ah "Yeaaaaah, I kinda guess that could work", it has to be a "Damn... that's... that's pretty good!". He opted for the later, which made my day. We start doing some true colaboration now, and the 3 of us start getting really excited and into it. We decided to have three seperate plotlines, one for each member, that would reveal more about their characters in the Vengeance For BLOOD story.

Now It was time to get Kaede. However, Kiwamu wanted me, Fu~Ki, Shelly, Yuu, NoA and himself to go back to the hotel to prepair for the PV, and the others to pick up Kaede. This was good because I still needed to flesh out Kaede's storyline with Fu~ki. On the way there, Fu~ki was asking Shelly, Leslie and me what to name the song, as at this point, it was tenatively titled "Gothic". He had a general idea, something along the lines of "Foever Lost" but he wanted to use some really impressive English wording. To be honest, the three of us were kinda baffled. We went through some ideas, but none of them seemed to really fit. Then things get quiet and we just enjoy the ride a bit. Then I hear Kiwamu say something, but I didn't know he was talking to me so I keep looking out the window, viewing the cityscape. Then he taps me on the shoulder and repeats "Royair!". This was the first time I heard my name being pronounced in Japanese, so I snapped to attention and was like "What?". He then took both of his thumbs and index fingers, made the shape of a C and a reverse C across his chest and stretched them out and said "Royzeire". It took me a second, but then I was like, "No, that's BRAzeire". Then he points at me and goes "No no, ROYzeire!" I guess my name sounds like brazire or something when pronounced in Japanese, but then he starts almost jumping around saying , "Royair is hentai video director!!!". I told him "Only if you're my lead actor!". However, I never lived that down. From then on to EVERYONE (Even Shelly and Leslie) I was "Royair the Hentai Video Director".

Kaede was a tough cookie to plan out because his role in the story, thus far, is really really mysterious. I was hoping in this PV to reveal to the audience more of Kaede's character. So, when we returned to the hotel, Fu~ki and I went straight up to his room and started planing Kaede's story, which was to be the finale to the PV. He gave me a really deep, detailed profile of his character and we went from there. We talked for a good hour and a half and finally, we had a detailed, solid, and killer idea for this PV. I told him we had it, and he was happy. He then decided to take a nap before getting into costume. I retreated to my room to do some story boarding and last minute preperations. After a while of jotting notes, writing, doodling, and drawing, I needed a break, so I went out for a short walk.

No one was around, so I figured everyone was napping. After I strolled around a bit, I went back up to return to our floor (We all had our own floor) and I ran into Shelly. She tells me Kiwamu wasn't feeling well and had to retreat to his room. I was concerned, but didn't think much of it coz I thought if he was still sick, he would tough it through for this PV as the man has killer work ethic. Shelly and I start chillin on the railing and I tell her all of the ideas Fu~ki and I came up with for the PV. After we conversed for a while, she tells me she's going to check up on Kiwamu, and I tell her I'm gonna finish work on the storyboards. Not long afterwards, Leslie returns with our new roomate, Miwa, who flew in with Kaede. She kinda did a little bit of everything for the band. She was a camera girl, make-up artist, hairstylist... she did ALOT. After introductions, I went out to see if Kiwamu was out and about yet, and introduce myself to Kaede. Unfortunately, neither was out of their rooms. Kaede pretty much darted straight for the shower as soon as he stepped in. I converse with Leslie, Shelly and Miwa a bit as now I'm a bit worried about Kiwamu. Kaede eventually comes out and we all agree we need dinner.

Everyone comes to dinner except Kiwamu and NoA, who we had just discovered was sick too. We went down to the dining are where we had breakfast. It was the usual joking, fooling around, and having a good time. I think everyone had chicken or something light like yogart. We ate a few bites... but then I saw the time: 9pm. We were supposed to be there at 8, and it takes them a good few hours to get ready. I tell Fu~Ki and Shelly that I'm going to check on Kiwamu. I go back up to our floor and knock on his door.

The PV wasn't going to be made. I knew it as soon as the door opened.

I go down and tell Fu~ki the bad news just as Daniel, Janine, and Antonio show up to pick us up. Fu~Ki was actually the one that made the desicion right there at the dinner table. He turns to me, and this is the first time I had seen him really serious, and he apologises to me. I told him I more than understand and there's no need for apology.

After dinner, we all retreat to our rooms to try and salvage the night, but I was feeling a bit bummed. I talked to Leslie a bit. Almost on cue, Yuu comes in. And of course, you could be the most depressed sonofabitch in the world, but this mother fucker will brighten up your day anytime he walks in the room. He just starts doing all of this crazy shit and immediately I forget my disappointment. This guy pretty much did what ever we told him to do, which made it even better. So, we taught him how to be a pimp! We told him his next costume will be a huge fur scarf, leopard skin pants, snake skin boots, a green hat with a peacock feather, and covered with "da Bling-Bling". We then taught him 2 essential pimp sayings: the ultimate "pimpin' it up"- taking a deep drag of a cigarette and moaning, "Ooooohhhh fuck yeah", and the classic "Where's my money bitch!?" complete with him bitch slapping his own hand, and he could barely pronounce either! After we stop dying from laughter, he says that he saw a billiard room downstairs, and he wanted to try and play. I say lets go. The three of us and Miwa head down to the front desk, but get our asses kicked as they tell us the pool room is closed. We go back upstairs where I have a new idea. Swimming! Yuu says he doesn't have any swimming trunks, so I gave him some of mine. He goes in the bathroom and tries them on and comes out. Good thing they had a string coz these were't shorts on him. They were MC Hammer pants! On our way down, we ask Kaede is he would like to joing us, and he does.

It was here that I ran into Becky and Calla. I was a bit shocked at first coz they just kinda appeared and said "Hi Roger." So I was like "Whoa!." I told them to tag along as we went down to the pool. We get there, only to be told that isn't open either! Ass kicked again, I was just like "I just wanna go back to the room." I told Becky and Calla we were going back and they went off. It wasn't exactly how I wanted my first meeting with them to go, but this was three ass kickings in one night and my ass was sore. We went over to Yuu's room just to lounge. I handed Yuu his guitar and asked him to play some X. So, Yuu starts playing the song X. As he seranades, I get to know Kaede. I tell him a bit about the American fans and such. His English was actually ok. Some people told me if you try to talk to him in English, he just kinda sits there and gives you this cute look like "I have no idea what you are saying", but he understood me fairly well. There were a couple of times we had to break out this niffty little pocket translator Miwa had. I tell him that some of the American fans... actually nearly all of them, were disappointed that he didn't participate inmy and Andrew Wieler's interview with them on Bad Transitions. I told him that when I interview them again on my new show, he has to be there!


(This post was approved by Shelly & Leslie Lefferts and Kiwamu)


Anonymous k chan - connie :P said...

Royair is hentai video director!!! ^0^ hahaha now that will stick :P

aw, the idea of a storyline for a PV is nice~ Hopefully in the near future you guys can get it done!

Yuu seems really fun~

and... I know as I was reading this I thought "oh I have to comment on this, and this, and this..." but it is so long that I forgot :x

4:34 PM, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous GenisisCherub777 said...

Poor guys getting sick. As long as the feel better soon and don't push it.

My friends and I were wondering if Blood would consider touring up in the east coast at anytime. I would be more than willing to try and get a club around here (DC) to get interested in the band.

8:45 PM, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha, that was awesome xD BLOOD seems like pretty cool guys in just daily life. I loved Yuu and his pimpness. Hope you guys do get the PV finished. I would love to see it.

9:13 PM, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Chris said...

Wow! Your account of all the events are so detailed. It is very interesting. I can't wait for more. I really wish BLOOD would come play in Las Vegas. I know they could get at least an attendance of 500 people or more.

10:09 PM, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Amy said...

I agree with everyone that the story line for the PV seems really interesting. I hope that I’ll be able to see it one day. Yuu does some to be really fun. I remember the whole name sounding like something in Japanese happened to me once, but that was with Jun. “Look it’s Jun.” “No it’s May.”

Also thanks so much for the pictures I love the use of the coke bottle of Fu-ki’s mic, so funny and at the same time it actually matches his pants. (I’m strange and notice these things too much)

And lastly I’m glad you got to talk with Kaede a bit, we really do need him there when you do your next interview.

11:34 PM, June 09, 2005  
Blogger The Suburban Legend said...

I'd be interested to see where Yuu goes with his music career after helping with Blood. I can only imagine some of the crazy shit he could dream up for songs and shows. He could be the Devon Townsend of J-rock.

5:11 PM, June 11, 2005  
Anonymous Elizabeth Kido said...

I'm mexican. i really like me your report about BLOOD in mexico. Congratulations!

8:44 PM, June 21, 2005  
Anonymous Calla said...

I finally managed to read it all! LOL

So Kiwamu did get some sandels? And you're Royair the Hentai Video Director? *giggles* Well guess that works for the other PV you're making/were making... (not sure if you still are or not O.o). And yes, we found you amidst our unending quest for ice. >.> But how we met, it's ok... we were kinda shocked that we saw you as well, so we were just as suprised to see you. So no worries! ^^;

It is too bad that you and Fu-ki and Antonio spent so much time fleshing out such a detailed and awesome Arc and storyline for the PVs and they weren't able to do them. -__- But it's more important that Kiwamu and Noa is better now. But I'm sure when you guys do get to make it, it'll blow everyone away ^^

Looking forward to more later!

11:31 AM, June 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what happened with the another parts???????

8:05 PM, June 27, 2005  

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