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Hey boys and girls, it’s my extreme joy to give you some more of the fabulous Melissa Castor’s reports from the AM2 convention in Anaheim.  Here’s Melissa’s exclusive interview with heidi., followed by her heidi. concert report with exclusive photos.

Dig it!

 

heidi.

AM2 Exclusive Interview

Melissa Castor:  Thank you for sitting down for our interview.  First off, can you please introduce yourselves and position in the band?

Kosuke: Bassist Kosuke.

Kiri: I am drummer Kiri.

Yoshihiko: I am vocalist Yoshihiko.

Nao: I am Nao, on guitar.

 

MC:  How did you come up with the name for your band, “heidi” (ハイジ, read haiji) ?

Yoshihiko: The four of us were drinking and all these names popped up. We based it off of the sound of it.  It is easy to remember and sounded good.

 

MC: What inspires you to create the lyrics you write? What sort of emotions/imagery do you feel when writing, and what do you hope to convey?

Yoshihiko: It’s pretty simple. When I get the music first, I’ll listen to it and get an impression of it. If it’s fast, there might be more aggressive lyrics. But if it’s a slow mellow song, there might be more of a love aspect to it.

 

MC:   What are you working on musically right now? Do you have new music coming out anytime soon?

Nao: Right now, we’re in the process of making a new CD. We are excited to see how it will turn out.

 

MC:   Do you feel like you would want to experiment with different sounds in future songs?

Nao: We want to be able to keep our type of music. But we are also up for a challenge to try new types of music while keeping the heidi. taste.

 

MC:   Do you have any plans (or would you like to) release a US version of your albums? That way, it would be easier to purchase for overseas fans.

Nao: Of course, if we could do that, we would love to.

 

MC:   How did you feel when you found out you would be playing in America?

Kiri: Very excited. There were many opportunities where it seemed like we would have a chance to come, but it never happened until this time. We are very excited.

 

MC:   What do you expect from your performance tomorrow? What hopes do you have?

Yoshihiko: We perform lives in Japan too, so we are hoping to see how fans in America react and use that as inspiration to play more concerts.

 

MC:   Do you have any future plans to play overseas, especially here in the US?

Nao: We would love to.

 

MC:   Earlier this year, you did a cover of hide’s “Pink Spider” for the 90’s cover album, “Crush!”.  You have also played at the hide memorial summit.  Is hide an artist you place in high regard?

Nao: I’ve listened to hide since I was young.  hide is one of the musicians who taught me the joy of playing music. In that aspect, I really respect him.

 

MC:   You recently collaborated with the fashion brand Sixh. What brought about this collaboration?

Nao: There was a movie released in Japan with our song on it {Maebashi Visual Kei}, and Sixh. was the provider of the costumes. We really clicked with Sixh., so from there on we decided to work together.

 

MC:   heidi’s concert is part of the fashion show. Will any of you be modeling Sixh. X heidi brand clothes before you perform?

All: Yes, we are going to participate in the fashion show.

 

MC:   You recently celebrated your 5th anniversary – where do you see yourselves as a band in another 5 years?

Yoshihiko: We think that in 5 years, we will be big. By that time, our name will be spread around overseas even more.

 

MC:  I really hope so, and I wish you good luck.  Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us~.

 

~ Melissa Castor

June 30th, 2011

 

heidi.

AM2 Exclusive Concert Report

heidi. (ハイジ, read haiji) wasted no time in riling up the audience for their U.S. debut at AM2. They jumped right into the concert with “Houmatsu”. Unbeknownst to the audience, convention rules had it that each attendee must remain near his or her seat. Everyone was so excited to see heidi., that around 250 fans rushed forward out of their seats to the front of the stage. The staff had to usher everyone back to their seats and unfortunately forced everyone to sit for the duration of the concert. That didn’t stop people from jumping around in their seat and throwing their hands in the air, though!

Vocalist Yoshihiko’s first MC started off with him saying, “Hello! We are happy to be here!” He then said he does not speak English. The majority of what was said on his behalf was said in Japanese, yet his message still reached the audience.

An interesting factor about this stage is that, since it is in a convention center and not a concert hall, it has many uses: Just prior to the concert was designer Gashicon’s label “Hangry&Angry” fashion show, followed by designers Ibi & Mint’s brand “Sixh.” show. At the end of Sixh.’s fashion show, heidi. members came out to model the clothes designed by Sixh. as their stage outfits. Vocalist Yoshihiko and guitarist Nao came out and showed off the clothes, followed by bassist Kohsuke and drummer Kiri. Ibi and Mint once again came out to stand side by side with heidi., all taking a bow.

As stated, the clothes heidi. wore during their concert were designed by Sixh. They matched with similar clothing designs and all wearing black (or shades of it). While their clothes were designer label, 3 of the 4 members interestingly enough decided not to wear shoes on stage. The only member wearing shoes was bassist Kohsuke, who had on boots.

“Synchro
” had a strong bass introduction with Kohsuke showing off his skills. There were quiet parts in this song and the strongest sound was the vocals. Yoshihiko’s voice was brilliant throughout the live, never missing a beat. It was a very nice song, which had people cheering.

Drummer Kiri was not forgotten at the back of the stage. He made his presence known by standing up after songs and pointing the drumsticks up or out to the audience. He never stopped smiling as he drummed, often tossing his head around to the beat of the music. Each member moved in his own unique way. The band constantly traveled around the stage, reaching all areas.

“Yasashii uta
”had another display of Yoshihiko’s voice. It was slower with more emotion coming through. At one point there was only a drum beat and Yoshihiko’s voice, the audience kept quiet to hear every note. The man can truly sing.

Their 10th song was “Yokan”, used in the anime Kaicho Wa Maid-Sama. It is a very upbeat and happy song. Following that was “Sentimental
” which had the audience moving their hands up and down, as if dancing. Yoshihiko asked the audience to dance with him and they complied with his request. He also asked the audience to sing along and held the mic out. A few voices could be heard singing along, but not a lot. The song was in Japanese, so those unfamiliar with the language would have a hard time singing along. Nonetheless, it was nice that those who did know that sang along.

During “Mukuro”, Yoshihiko was screaming, “America!” multiple times.

The last song of the night was the upbeat “Omaesan”. It was the perfect song to end the performance with, parts of the chorus having the phrase, “yai-yai-yai-yai” which made it very easy for the audience to sing along with. Everyone sang and waved their arms from their seats. Yoshihiko moved to the very front of the runway, singing to the audience members. He then moved to the sides of the stage, making sure no one was forgotten. Guitarist Nao also walked down the runway, jumping around. “I love you America!” was said once again before silence. Yoshihiko sang the final verses a capella before the song became once again, and they ended with a bang.

 

SET LIST



泡沫/Houmatsu (Utakata) {note: Seen it translated both ways}

ハロー!/Hello!


月光ショータイム/Gekko ShowTime


=mc=


∞ループ/∞loop


夕焼けと子供/Yuuyake to kodomo


シンクロ/Synchro


ヤサシイウタ/Yasashii uta


レム/Rem

夏一途/Natsu itizu


=mc=


予感/Yokan


センチメンタル/Sentimental


/Mukuro


おまえさん/Omaesan

 

~Melissa Castor

Special Contributor for The Diva Review

July 1st, 2011

 

Click here for Melissa's report & exclusive photos of SCANDAL at AM2

Click here for Melissa's exclusive interview, concert report & photos of Sadie at AM2

 

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Photos

Exclusive photos by Melissa Castor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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