HAKUEI : interview with the singer of PENICILLIN 10 days before his appearance at JAPAN EXPO 2007

HAKUEI : interview du chanteur de PENICILLIN 10 jours avant sa venue à JAPAN EXPO 2007

note: this is an English translation of a french interview with Hakuei of PENICILLIN, originally published by Orient-Extrême and available here.

Known as the singer of PENICILLIN –a visual kei group formed in 1992- also known as a model and sex symbol, the seductive HAKUEI has joined the long list of musical guests of JAPAN EXPO 8. By himself and without a programmed concert, what is he going to do on the festival this July 7th, 2007? HAKUEI will model for the Laforet HARAJUKU fashion walk, in Paris, before joining with this fans on a public conference, to finish with a VIP signing session for a few priviledged people… We gave a review of his last album, BLUE HEAVEN by PENICILLIN, so this week we’re offering a small interview, a few days before the event.

Orient-Extrême: You’ll be participating in the JAPAN EXPO convention in France in July. Is it going to be your first time in France? What are you expecting from your appearance at the event? What would you like to do?
HAKUEI: It is indeed the first time, and I hope to taste lots of good champagne!
Orient-Extrême: You came here specially to participate in a fashion show for Laforet HARAJUKU in Paris, this July 7th. In Japan, how do you usually work with Laforet? What exactly are you going to do during the fashion show in JAPAN EXPO?
HAKUEI: Actually, I work with the brand BLACK PEACE NOW, which is marketed, among others, in the Laforet shopping center. The fashion show in JAPAN EXPO will showcase the clothing from the brand ALICE and THE PIRATES.
Orient-Extrême: Your european fans have been very excited since the announcement of your appearance at the expo, but they have been lamenting that there’s no concert. Can they hope of seeing you in France or in Europe, either with PENICILLIN or other one of your projects?
HAKUEI: For the moment, I have no plans of a concert in France, but I would like there to be. Someone call me!
Orient-Extrême: We hear that you initially wanted to be a teacher when you were young. What made you decide you were going to base your career on music?
HAKUEI: I joined a group when I was in the first year of high school, and after my first concert, I became of obsessed with the idea of becoming a musician. And you know the rest…
Orient-Extrême: Yes, you became the singer of PENICILLIN in 1992, while simultaneously becoming the singer of machine, and there was also the nano project… you’ve had a solo career and you’re a model… are you a person who always feels the need to do new things?
HAKUEI: Haha, that’s exactly it. It’s just insatiable.
Orient-Extrême: What do you expect to take from your music and your visuals?
HAKUEI: The spirituality…
Orient-Extrême: You have also modeled for the Gothic & Lolita Bible Magazine. You have also posed… posed naked. Vous avez fait des photos de mode pour le magazine Gothic & Lolita Bible. In your depths, do you consider yourself more of a singer or a model? What do you like the most?
HAKUEI: Clearly, I am a singer. It’s really what I prefer the most.
Orient-Extrême: However, your pictures have a lot of effects… to Europe… you show a lot of tattoos. In the AKON convention, in Dallas, you’ve said that your favorites were the ones in your hands because they were the most visible ones. But you haven’t clearly answered the question as to how many tattoos there are. So, how many do you have and do they hold a special meaning for you?
HAKUEI: I have fourteen in total. They’re one of the components of the design of my body.
Orient-Extrême: Where did you get the idea to make the rock music comedy adaptation of Hamlet (Shakespeare) in 1998 from? What do you think of this experience?
HAKUEI: It was interesting… but there wasn’t a particular reason. I just did it, but in the end it was really exhausting. I thought Hamlet was an extraordinary story, but I didn’t want to do it as a musical anymore.
Gisho, the bassist for PENICILLIN, has decided to quit the group this year, at the end of your tout, just when PENICILLIN was celebrating their 15th anniversary. Could you comment on the effect the departure will have on the band?
HAKUEI: Personally, the departure of Gisho deeply saddens me, but I am incredibly grateful for the fifteen years we have spent working together. But now, I would like Chisato, O-Jiro and I to make PENICILLIN an even more sensational group.
Orient-Extrême: There has recently been a certain “explosión” of Japanese rock in Europe and the USA. What do you think of this internationalization of J-Rock and this phenomenon?
HAKUEI: Frankly, I am happy and I find it interesting. I would like to become active abroad, too. It’s a desire of mine!
Orient-Extrême: What are some of your upcoming projects? Are you planning another visit to or a CD release in Europe?
HAKUEI: Not for the moment, you should put me in contact with someone!
Orient-Extrême: All the major acts will be showing up at JAPAN EXPO on this occasion… the festival is coming very very soon, so what do you want to say to your fans and the visitors of the JAPAN EXPO you will be visiting in France?
HAKUEI: From the bottom of my heart, I expect to experience the pleasure of meeting everyone, without forgetting the champagne!