Calmando Qual // “Even though we don’t speak the same language, music is universal and we can enjoy it together.”

Calmando Qual is quite well known in the European ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) scene, but let me introduce them anyway, just to make sure. They’re a gothic ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) band, which has formed in August of 2001 by vocalist Hibiki and guitarist Tak, but only signed with Starwave Records in 2010.

Their music can be described as “gothic rock” at the very core, but the lyrics are based on the themes of “cruelty” and “grief that lurks within beauty” while the band’s intention is to make everything come together like a movie.
The band has toured Europe numerous times since their formation and even changed their name to “Twisted Clock” in 2007 to pursue a more emotional, heavy band sound before pausing their activities. When they picked up activities again in 2009 they reverted back to Calmando Qual and signed with Starwave Records the following year.

Also… Just like the interview with Plunklock… These interviews were done within minutes of each other, so the situation was the same. More about that later.

And currently they’re on tour in Europe, so… Let’s not waste any more time then, shall we?


Let’s start!

For most of you it is your sixth visit to Europe, but for MAYA it’s actually the very first time, isn’t it? Did you have any expectations before you came here, or do you just feel like you landed in a completely different world?
MAYA: Europe is fun. Before I came here I knew Europe was different from Japan, and it really is. But regardless, Europe is fun!

I’m sure you’ve seen quite a lot of things on your travels through Europe, but what would be the weirdest experience you’ve had so far?
Hibiki: When we stayed in Belgium during a day off I went for a walk and got thirsty. I wanted to buy a coke or something but I don’t speak French at all so the old lady who owned the shop just looked at me weirdly the entire time.

Looking at most bands that come here for a tour, Calmando Qual really is something else with the darker themes and sound. Did you expect your work would be doing so well in Europe that you could come here so many times already?
K-个 (Ken-ka): We wanted to come to Europe for a really long time, yes. And you’re very right, we’re really something different than the other bands who come here alright!

Calmando Qual – K-个 (Ken-ka), MAYA, Hibiki and Tak.

Today is actually the last day of the tour for you guys, so we can ask this question now. How did the tour go this time?
Hibiki: We’ve been to a total of nine different countries and played nine different shows, and every single time the audience was really waiting for us and our show so we really enjoyed their enthusiasm. We really want to come back again!

The last day here means you’re returning to Japan again soon too, but what are you planning on doing to relax after you return home?
Tak: I usually get some tempura udon.
Hibiki: I usually drink beer when I have a day off, but I also like to search the internet for new Japanese bands I don’t know about and can take inspiration from.
K-个 (Ken-ka): I usually drink beer as well, but I also like to watch anime.
MAYA: I like watching pro-wrestling on the TV.

Speaking of anime and manga, word is going around you guys are big fans. But how do you decide which one you want to read or watch next?
K-个 (Ken-ka): Manga and anime are a big part of Japan’s culture, as you know. Ever since we were children we’ve grown up reading and watching it. Some people watch less and less when they grow up, but it’s still a part of our culture. For me personally the story has to be good, so I’ll read or watch anything based on that.
Tak: I like Dragon Ball!
MAYA: I like the ones that make me cry.
K-个 (Ken-ka): I tend to like the ones that focus on comedy.

To quickly squeeze one more question before the ending here, what are your current goals for Calmando Qual?
Hibiki: We would like to go to any place where we can rock out with our fans, and we really want to express the essence of Calmando Qual in every country all over the world.

And finally, do you have a message for everyone who has been reading this interview today?
K-个 (Ken-ka): I’m really happy from the bottom of my heart. And I really hope I can come here again.
MAYA: I have been waiting for this European tour for four years now, and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed it from start to finish. I really want to thank everyone who came to our live shows this time!
Tak: Even though music is our job, this tour didn’t feel like work at all. It was really fun to be able to come to Europe, and I know that the next time we’ll come here we’ve improved our skills and we’ll be even better than this time.
Hibiki: I want to say everything the other members have already said, but I would like to add that even though we don’t speak the same language, music is universal. We can all enjoy music together here in Europe. I would also like to say “I love you!” and “Thanks!” to everyone.


Extra information

Like mentioned earlier, this interview was done only minutes apart from the interview with Plunklock. The backstage area was chaos because of a lost key that actually opened a second door to leave the backstage that didn’t end up on the stage, so during the entire time we couldn’t leave and we were all coped up in a small room with three journalist, at least one band and some staff.

While it was a nice setting for hanging out, it was quite difficult to combine our interviews because we were asked to do all three of our interviews at the same time. Some questions overlapped, others were scrapped entirely, and we completely forgot to ask the first question of “please introduce yourself to our readers” at the start because of all this chaos.


Follow Calmando Qual on social media

Calmando Qual has officially disbanded after their oneman live show on June 9, 2016.
This means there are no social media icons for the band.

雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind Arlequin.
She originally started the project in 2009 as a photographer under the name of Arlequin Photography, but developed an interest in journalism and translation ever since. Because of these interests interviews and reviews were added to the project, until it eventually hit the limits as a "photographer" in 2021, and Arlequin Magazine was added to the mix.

雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker with a graphic design degree, which means she is also the main person behind Arlequin Creations.
After all these years she is still the main person who does interviews the interviews and live photos that you see on Arlequin, but also a large chunk of the reviews and behind-the-scenes work and communication goes through her.

She speaks Dutch and English on a native level, but also understands Japanese and German.

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