She, in the haze formed in 2010 and with a musical style reminiscent of early Placebo, this is one trio that requires your attention! If you enjoyed the live performances from THE SIXTH LIE at the HYPER JAPAN Festival earlier this year, She, in the haze could be your new favourite band!

Join us as we delve into the trio’s first EP ‘Paranoid’, vocalist Yu-ki’s melancholic vocals and how movie soundtracks have influenced their sound.

She, in the haze are:

Yu-ki Vocals & guitar,
Akihiro Drums,
An Keyboards.

Q. Please describe the origins of She, in the haze.

A. We all shared similar musical visions which drew us together naturally around the music Yu-ki was creating. Although each member had been pursuing their own musical directions, we weren’t 100% satisfied with the existing music. The dissatisfaction we had in common helped us evolve a mutual concept with shared goals in a short period of time.

Q. How has social media enabled you to reach and interact with new audiences outside of Japan? 

A. So far we haven’t made any direct approaches towards overseas audiences. We are strongly interested in gaining international recognition and are planning to produce an English homepage and other social media in the near future. We like a lot of the music from the UK, so it would be a dream for us to perform there.

Q. Yu-ki: Your vocals have melancholic and haunting tones. Was this style your intention from the beginning?

A. I have experimented with many ways to sing, but decided that using this style I can get the best out of my own natural voice. Also, this style is more expressive—often people will speak softly, yet intensively, when conveying deeply felt emotions.

Q. Please describe your writing process; what comes first, the music or the lyrics?

A. First of all, I create a main character for the song and then imagine the circumstances and environment of that person. Then we work on the soundtrack production to reproduce the whirling emotions of the character. Depending on the song, I then start writing the music. Generally, the lyrics are written at this same time too, so I guess I’d have to say the writing of music and words is simultaneous.

Q. You recently released your first EP ‘Paranoid’; was it difficult selecting the final (four) tracklistings? Are there any tracks missing that you wish made it on to the final release?

A. No, I chose what seemed exactly right to me and have no regrets about the selection. When putting together a recording, there are certain songs which resonate inside me, and at that release those 4 songs were precisely what I wanted on the recording; there were no others I wanted. Regarding future releases, I plan to continue to select the songs which resonate the best to me.

She, in the haze 'Paranoid'

Artwork for She, in the haze’s 2017 single release ‘Paranoid’.

Q. Which artists / musicians inspire your sound?

A. We listen to so much different music that it is difficult to narrow it down to just a few. But I think the soundtracks to movies have a strong influence on our music. We try to create more than just sound, and it is importance to create imagery of a story as well.

Q. Please explain the concept behind your recent MV for ‘Doubt’.

A. The concept of the song is about the open and hidden faces of a world, and we show a person who is deceiving, and another who is being deceived. As I play the deceiver I wanted to express the cruelty of such a person, and so I wear a mask to appear expressionless with a lack of empathetic feelings. I think the emotionless choreography and stark lighting greatly contribute to the mood.

Q. Please describe your live show to someone that hasn’t seen your performance before.

A. We place our greatest emphasis on expressing the inner story of our music. For that reason we pay a lot of attention to the lighting and costumes in addition to the music. Also, the kind of heated energy and passion shown in our live performance is different from the videos and is something you need to experience for yourself. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Q. I really enjoyed the energy and pace of ‘Paranoid’, what’s your favourite track to perform live?

A. We have strong emotional feelings when we perform this music, but it’s hard to say that one is a favourite above the others. We need to feel an empathy towards the main character of each song, so each is different. But that aside, I do feel a special kind of ‘release’ when I sing ‘Teddy’.

She, in the haze’s recent releases ‘Doubt’, ‘Paranoid’ and 2016’s ‘Mama said’ are now available to stream on Spotify.

Social media links:

Twitter (Japanese)

Twitter (Overseas account)

Thanks to Roger Manners and She, in the haze for this opportunity.