Interview with $ali from IX -Nine-

This Thursday IX-NINE- will perform for the very first time in Europe! The concert will take place in Krakow, Poland. Read our interview with the band’s composer $ali and get to know them better!


AMP: Hello! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

$ali: Hello. I’m $ali, I’m the composer of IX -NINE-. I will come to Poland in May to play our first concert abroad for you. I’d like to encourage all of you to check out our band and the music we make.

AMP: Your music is a mixture of various music genres – electronic, traditional, classical, post-rock and others. How would you describe it?

$ali: Describing our style in just one word is very hard. I’d describe it as an equation: visual kei (ambient+electronica)÷Japanese traditional music=IX. Music genres are like walls that limit us. We’re doing our best to make songs that are not monotonous and boring for our listeners.

AMP: Your band, IX -NINE-, was created in February 2015. How did the members first meet? Who has created the concept of the band?

$ali: At the very beginning I was a solo artist, but then I’ve decided to create a band. The first one to join me was our vocalist – IX. We have already known each other. We had met earlier after one of the D’espairsRay’s concerts. That’s how our relationship started. Until now we’ve been performing together in various projects and that’s how well I learned about is vocal skills.

When it comes to Noi – he’s my good friend from my hometown. He’s into house and electro music, so his views on composition and music are completely different from my aesthetics. For those who are interested in his works, if you buy anything from us during our concert, you will get the CD “Heat Haze” with remixes made by Noi.

That’s how we’ve started making music, but playing live would be difficult with only three members. That’s when my friend from high school Syouki (drums) came with help and also introduced his younger friend Akatsuki (guitar) to this project. In 2015 as a five-member band we performed our first concert entitled Nie no daishō”.

AMP: All of the IX -NINE- members wear Noh masks during concerts. Why?

$ali: The main reason for us to wear Noh masks is that I’m personally interested in them. As long as I can remember I’ve always liked the Noh theatre and I was really into it. Additionally there is no other group apart from IX -NINE- performing in these masks. I thought it would be interesting and unique.

AMP: In January you released your first album ”Nirdvandva”. Please, tell us something about it. Why is it divided into two parts?

$ali: It’s our first album and it includes two CDs. One of them, entitled ”Numinöse”, contains songs inspired by the Western music, and the second one, ”Mabayuki tenbō”, is imbued with Japanese spirit. As a band we rarely perform live, so I decided that we’ll release an album that will be different from what other bands release. I think there are not many artists promoting their first album in this way.

AMP: What does ”Nirdvandva” mean?

$ali: It means “being liberation from extremes”. To put it simply, it is the respect for well-balanced decisions. Everything that is extreme is not good. In my music I encourage the listeners to reflect upon accepting various opinions and choosing the right answer. I want to make others aware of the most important things that concern us, such as religious beliefs, interests, preferences and personal likings. I well understand that it might be difficult so I would be satisfied if you just listen to our music, even without analysing it deeply. Maybe somebody will find a part of them in our music.

AMP: What is your inspiration? How do you come up with the ideas?

$ali: It’s not that we’re inspired by religion but as long as I can remember I had been interested both in the Western churches and Eastern temples and somehow it became reflected in our music. The atmosphere and culture of these both worlds defined our music.  Of course, other bands and music we like also influenced what IX –NINE- creates.

AMP: You will perform in Poland in two cities – Cracow and Wroclaw. What do you expect from those lives?

$ali: It’s our first tour abroad, so we’re expecting that the audience’s reception of our music will be totally different than in Japan. A performance abroad is one of my dreams coming true. I can’t even find words to describe how badly I cannot wait for it!

AMP: What do you associate with Poland?

$ali: My first thoughts are “war”, “alcohol”, “black metal”. As for the last one: I have known that Poland is the country the band Behemoth comes from. The fact, that on one hand it’s a country where many devoted Christians live, and on the other that there is a band that foreigners associate with worshipping Satan, really surprised me and caught my attention. In my opinion these extremities are kind of Polish charm.

AMP: Your only concerts in Europe will take place in Poland. What is the reason of it? Why our country?

$ali: We’ve had plans to perform in other countries too, but this time our band will perform with only two members, that’s why we chose Poland. We have a lot of Polish friends and that had a big impact on our decision.

AMP: What can the Polish fans expect from your performance? Will your concerts be full of energy, will it have an atmosphere of contemplation or will it be a real art performance? How do you present your band on stage?

$ali: Because our band will perform with only two members, I’m wondering how our concert will be received. Actually it will be more of a performance than a rock concert, it will be something new for everybody. The Japanese bands performing in Poland are usually hard rock, visual kei or rock bands, so I guess we will be something new compared to the other artist. Of course we will perform IX –NINE- songs, but without vocal, so we hope that we will meet the expectations of the audience by playing on Japanese zither or guitar.

AMP: Only you and Noi are coming to Poland. Is there any reason why there will be only two of you?

$ali: There’s no particular reason, it’s just that the rest of members has busy schedules and weren’t able to join the two of us. It won’t affect our performance, because I composed all of the songs by myself and I know how to present them during the concert. It doesn’t really matter to me whether I play on bass, guitar or zither. I would even say that the less people on stage, the easier the concert becomes.

AMP: You will perform with two other bands – Deadman Show and Vulgarism. Do you know each other? What do you know about these Polish bands?

$ali: Of course I know these bands! Last year a member of both of them came to Japan and we had a lot of fun together. We still keep in touch and we are on good terms. I can tell you that during the event in Wroclaw we will do a project together. I am also very thankful to the Liverpool Club and Re Club for giving us the opportunity to play for Polish fans.

When it comes to the Polish bands… For me Deadman Show is the quintessence of Polish approach to rock and heavy metal music. It’s a great band with heavy, strong tone thats really stuck in my mind. Vulgarism plays the songs of a Japanese band Dir en Grey. I will have the pleasure to perform one song in collaboration with them.

AMP: What are your future plans? Performing in Japan? Or maybe working on some new stuff?

$ali: I’m thinking about performing in our country and abroad. Until now we’ve played only one concert in Japan. Of course I would like to, and I will try, to have more concerts. I’m working on releasing new songs, too. When it comes to the concerts abroad, it’s quite difficult to have them, but if we only will have the chance, we will take it!

AMP: Lastly, do you have any message for your Polish fans and the readers of Asian Music Poland?

$ali: I am very thankful for those of you who have read all of this interview. I don’t know where or when we’ll show up next time, so if you have a chance and want to see us – I invite you to have fun with us in Cracow and Wroclaw. I just want to add that we worked very hard on our album and the official merchandise and I will be very happy if you’ll like them. I can’t wait to meet you all! Thanks to Asian Music Poland for this interview. See you in Poland!


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