Special thanks to Guren and Râmen Events for making this interview possible!
01 – Since not all readers know you yet, could you please introduce yourselves first?
Sunako: I’m the vocalist, Sunako.
Katsu: I’m the guitarist, Katsu, I play both lead and rhythm guitars right now.
Kaori: And I’m the bassist, Kaori. I play drums in the studio too.
02 – If I am not mistaking, “Guren” means “red lotus”. Why did you three choose for this name?
Sunako: “Guren” comes from the word “Gurentai”, which means “family” in Japanese. The three of us really feel like a family together, so we have decided to stick with the name Guren. An example of the good feeling we have together is that we allow things we don’t personally like. I don’t really like the screaming I do, but I do it for the band as the boys here like it.
Katsu & Kaori: We’re grateful, as we try to support each other in whatever we do, so we support Sunako even though she doesn’t really like the screaming. As you heard she does it for us anyway!
03 – As a three-member band you tour along as a support band for Japanese artists in Europe. Like El -Ethnic Legist-, UnsraW, Dio ~Distraught Overlord~, Pinky Doodle Poodle and now the fool. Is it very hard to tour without a drummer and was it your own choice?
Sunako: Whenever Râmen has a Japanese artist they ask us if we want to come and support their performances with our own. We used to have a drummer and a second guitarist, but they left.
Katsu: It was very frustrating, it’s often hard for us to play without a drummer, but we are not going to back down for that. We will always find a way to play!
Kaori: For now it’s just the three of us, and I play the drums in the studio and it’s all working out like this so I don’t really complain.
04 – Originally you were playing covers of Japanese bands, or at least what I have read about your beginning plans. From that you ‘evolved’ into what you are now. What was your motivation to go from a cover band to a ‘normal’ band?
Katsu: We had a very good feeling with the three of us so we loved to come together and play, but eventually we got frustrated.
Sunako: We got frustrated indeed, it was nice to play but it wasn’t ‘ours’ what we played.
Kaori: So we started to write our own songs and record them. And that’s what you see now, us playing our own songs with all our passion.
05 – Do you have any plans for the future? Like hopes, dreams, etc.?
Katsu: We want to play as many shows as we can, in as many countries as we can!
Sunako: That’s right. We love to travel and go to places, so we really want to go to Japan too, but if that will happen next year… We will see!
06 – The audience seemed to receive you very well here in Amstelveen today even though they are not with that many. Would you like to play here again for them and others?
Katsu: Of course we would play here again!
Kaori: The audience gave a very good vibe, it was the best audience we have ever had next to a show we played in Dijon recently.
Sunako: I agree, but we would love to play everywhere, even at places we have not been to just yet.
07 – For artists, you all seem pretty young. Is being in Guren your only ‘job’ or do you do something else next to this?
Katsu: Currently Guren is my only job. I’m indeed pretty young and I graduated not so long ago but for the upcoming year I am going to see what I will do next. I’m thinking of going back to school for the year after this one.
Sunako: I have a job next to Guren, I am the oldest of the three of us, so I have to look after them a bit, so to say.
08 – And the last but not the least question… Do you have any message for the both the people here and the people that missed out on your performance tonight?
Kaori: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Katsu: Steph, do write that in big fat letters, as we really mean it, THANK YOU.SO.MUCH! We would love to come back here as soon as possible and we love The Netherlands, it was the best audience after Dijon!
Sunako: Next time, we hope to see everyone we saw tonight again, and new faces are always welcome too!