Mikaru // “G.L.A.M.S is the embodiment of my love for painting, jewelry, music and photography.”

Maybe you have heard of G.L.A.M.S already, but in case you haven’t: G.L.A.M.S is the new project of the former vocalist of Dio ~Distraught Overlord~, Mikaru.
But aside from music, G.L.A.M.S is also very much about art, fashion, photography, film… Everything creative, really. There’s too much to name. But the most “developed” part is probably the music.

Last year Mikaru showcased his painting skills at a special exposition in Paris (France), but this is actually the very first musical performance in The Netherlands. For G.L.A.M.S that is, since Mikaru has been here with Dio ~Distraught Overlord~ and BLACK LINE throughout the years, so it’s definitely not his first time here.
Accompanied by Syu -the former drummer of Dio-, Tetsuto and Yudai Mikaru is here to deliver the works of G.L.A.M.S to everyone at the Fan Base Project convention here in Rijswijk (The Netherlands).

Reason enough for a chat, so…


Let’s start!

Let’s get the most basic question out of the way first. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers, so everyone knows who you are?
Mikaru: I’m the vocalist of G.L.A.M.S, Mikaru.

Mikaru during the performance at Fan Base Project in Rijswijk (The Netherlands).

G.L.A.M.S isn’t just about music, you also heavily focus on art, fashion and photography, among other things. But how do you put all of this together? Isn’t this a bit much for you at times?
Mikaru: When BLACK LINE was still active I just felt like painting the jacket for the CD myself, and that was actually the start of my painting career. I started to fall in love with painting and I couldn’t stop myself, I had to have a solo exhibition of my works.
Regardless, music is my main focus. That’s why I want to continue to compose many different genres of music. I also love to wear jewelry, so the jewelry I create might suit the girls more, but it’s based on what I would like to see being worn by a girl.
It’s not easy to handle all three of these things at once though, they’re all very interesting so it doesn’t feel like “a lot” to me or anything.

You’ve created G.L.A.M.S based on the things you love, but you still have a few musicians here with you today. Why did you choose these members specifically?
Mikaru: There was something special to each of them. I created a prototype of a song, and I asked Tetsuto to arrange it for me. After that I asked Yudai to add his guitar sound to it because I love his style of playing. And finally I ask Syu to add the drum sounds. Once all of this is completed I ask professionals to arrange it for me, and then the final version of a song is created.
I think I’ll produce the next songs of G.L.A.M.S in this exact same way.

You’ve said you want to continue to compose music for G.L.A.M.S in many different styles, but is there a style you intend on using more? Or a style or theme of painting that you want to continue on?
Mikaru: I don’t mind that every piece of art is an individual piece rather than part of a group together with others. In painting each painting has it’s own atmosphere and is therefore unique, so I really don’t mind painting different things.
With music there can be an album that has let’s say five songs for this example. These five songs can all be unique to the point where they can make you think that each of them was composed by a different artist. It would be fun if I could produce such an album and such songs.
I don’t have a set path in mind for my works. I’ll just do what I want whenever I want to do it. This enables me to figure out what I like, and that’s also why I don’t know what I like right now. Not even I know what I like.


An art exhibition rather than a live show

The very first works of G.L.A.M.S actually weren’t music, but paintings. You’ve held an exhibition in Paris (France), but I’m very curious to the story behind this…
Mikaru: I had painted so many works during that time that I decided I wanted to held an exhibition to display all of them to the public. I wondered what the best place for an exhibition would be, and learned that Paris is thé city that is famous for arts. So that’s why I wanted to have an exhibition in Paris.
I started searching for galleries and contacted them, but this was the very first time to be doing something like this for me as well, so I’ve learned a lot from it.
There were a few girls who visited the galleries every single day of the exhibition, and some people came from countries really far away. There were a few opportunities for me to talk with fans outside of a live venue, which is something I was never able to do before. So it was a very fulfilling experience for me. After everything calms down again I will pick up painting again and start to wonder about where I want to have an exhibition in the future.

Mikaru during the performance at Fan Base Project in Rijswijk (The Netherlands).

All forms of art need inspiration of some kind, so where does the inspiration for your works come from?
Mikaru: If I had to paint something right now, I think I’d paint something by following my feelings. The surroundings don’t matter, I just think about what I feel or what I want to be reflected on the canvas.
I think it’s the same way for me if I compose as well. I think I compose or paint what I feel in the moment rather than naming something that inspires me. I’m actually not too sure about this myself.
I do however want to visit Egypt and places that enable me to see auroras. The auroras in particular are something I really want to see. I’ve decided I’ll surely visit one of these places before I die.

When you created G.L.A.M.S you probably had a vision in mind of what you wanted it to become, right? Do you feel like you’ve achieved this vision, or did you go in a completely different direction somewhere down the line?
Mikaru: When I started G.L.A.M.S I was only painting. I didn’t think that I would add music and jewelry to it as well.
I thin that what I feel makes G.L.A.M.S advance, it’s a kind of feeling and passion. So it’s very likely that G.L.A.M.S can handle other arts besides music, painting and jewelry. But it also takes time to do them. I’m not sure, but for now I’m very satisfied with these three forms of art. So I plan on focusing on these three for now.

Do you already have something in mind for the future works of G.L.A.M.S, so fans can look forward to these already?
Mikaru: I haven’t decided on paintings just yet, but the new songs are nearly completed. We’ll start recording them after this tour comes to an end. I think these new songs will be very different in comparison to my first works on “UNDER THE MOON”. I want to produce songs that are more “heavy”, or songs that hype up the crowd during a live show. On the other hand, the new work will include a jazzy song as well. I think this will be an interesting CD for sure.

And with that, we’ve already reached the last question on my list for today… Do you have a message for everyone who has been reading today’s interview?
Mikaru: Thank you all so much for reading. G.L.A.M.S will continue to advance until I die, so please look forward to the G.L.A.M.S future, of which even I don’t know what it will be like… Let’s have a party when I visit the European countries again next time!


Extra information

As you can tell, G.L.A.M.S is a rather unique project since it focuses on three forms of art at the same time, rather than one of them. While music is the main focus, there’s always a chance that Mikaru will turn his attention to painting or jewelry for his next project within G.L.A.M.S.

The project is also very focused on being accessible to overseas fans, so basically everyone outside of Japan. Which is also a feature you don’t see that often. Of course Japanese artists aim their primary focus at their home country, but for a project to aim it’s main focus to Europe while being based in Japan… That’s rather unusual.
I’m personally quite curious to the future of G.L.A.M.S, so I hope you are too!

We also took photos of their performance at Broodfabriek (Rijswijk, The Netherlands). You can find these photos on our photography portfolio, Arlequin Photography, by clicking the image below!


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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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