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- Artist The Mavericks
- Score Type Interactive, PDF, Included with PASS
- Writer Raul Malo
- Format Digital Sheet Music
- Pages 7
- Arrangement Piano, Vocal & Guitar Chords
- Publisher Hal Leonard Europe
- Range D♯4 - E5
- Product ID 100821
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How I wrote 'Dance The Night Away' by The Mavericks' Raul Malo – Songwriting Magazine
The Florida country band’s frontman tells us about the “happy accident” that led to the creation of their biggest hit
Blending rock ’n’ roll, country and Cuban rhythms, The Mavericks have created a style of music that seems a perfect fit for their Miami origins. Having formed in 1989, their nine studio albums to date reflect these influences, as well as the band’s ability to write catchy pop songs – none more so than the track in question.
It’s now almost impossible to think of the band without hearing the familiar blast of horns of Dance The Night Away, or picturing the happily swaying supermarket visitors of the accompanying video. Taken from their fifth album, 1998’s Trampoline, it remains their most popular song, and a staple of many parties. Here, The Maverick’s leader Raul Malo tells us all about this “happy accident”…
More ‘How I wrote’ features
Released: 10 March 1998
Artist: The Mavericks
Label: MCA Nashville
Songwriter: Raul Malo
Producer: Don Cook, Raul Malo
UK chart position: 4
US chart position: –
Misc: Went to No 63 on the US country chart
“I was in my house in my work room, my little studio room, and it was written in an afternoon. But it sounded like something, and it was really an eye-opener as to how simple a song can be. I made a demo of it and, funnily enough, it already had all the parts in it, so when I played it for the band we basically just did the demo. It gave me the confidence to really learn how to arrange songs, in that the arrangement is as important as anything else in the song. It can really make or break a song, and I learned that just by working on that little number.
“When I presented it to the band everybody was like, ‘Oh yeah, we can do this,’ and it was a no-brainer – it was that simple. I really wish there was a deeper story to it, but it was just one of those little things that happen, almost like a happy accident.
“Lyrically, it just sounded like an escape: it sounded like you just needed to get away from whatever you were doing, and that was really the inspiration, a bit of escapism, that’s where it stemmed from.
“The record company loved it, but as per usual they didn’t know what they were going to do with it, and we thought, ‘Well, we don’t know what we’re going to do with it either… but we know the UK label love it.’ And so they put it out and started working it and it just became a smash all over Europe, and we were proven right.
The Mavericks’ Raul Malo: “Some songs just connect for some reason…and then before you know it they’re played at every Irish wedding ever held!”
“If I knew why, or if you knew why, we’d be doing it every day! But the truth is we don’t know why – we might think we know why, we might have an idea, but so many things need to happen in order for a record like that to become a hit and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. I feel like I have a million songs that are 10 times better than that one, just as a song – that one was almost a kind of a throwaway. But some songs just connect for some reason, and they linger, and then before you know it they’re played at every Irish wedding ever held!
“I don’t resent it: certainly there are going to be people who only know us for Dance The Night Away, which is a sad bi-product of that success and sometimes it keeps some people from digging a little deeper. But part of me feels like if you don’t want to dig any deeper than that then you’re missing out, because I think there’s a lot of groovy music that we make. That’s a small price to pay because most of our fans love that song but they love a lot of others things, too.
“It’s give and take, and that’s okay: there are certainly worse problems to have and the fact that we had success with that one is a beautiful thing and I would obviously welcome it again. But that’s not something that you shoot for – it’s just something that happens.”
EXPERT OPINION by James Linderman
“In every genre there’s already a set of artists that define that genre, so a good strategy might be to try and be the best ‘rock ’n’ roll/country/Cuban’ band in the world, and then define that cross-genre for yourself. It fills an empty seat.”
Find out more about theDance The Night Away songwriter Raul Malo and The Mavericks at themavericksband.com
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mana.Part 1 - Finding Yourself
How did the shy punk from Hiroshima become the androgynous rocker we all know? In the first part of our special issue, we will tell you about the life of Mana - from the first steps to the breakup of Malice Mizer.
Japanese name spelling: マナ, 魔名
Date of birth: March 19,
Place of birth: Hiroshima
Blood group: 1
Height: 173 cm
Hobbies: Games, movies, cooking, musicals, ballet
Who is Mana?
Musician, composer, producer, designer, model and trendsetter - it's hard to overestimate the contribution of Mana to Japanese pop culture. As part of the Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois groups, he has gained international fame, and his fashion line Moi-même-Moitié is one of the most prestigious brands in the gothic lolita world.
Mana does not recognize conventions. Both in music and in fashion, his goal is to free himself from all the norms and prejudices of society and, harmoniously combining the incongruous, create his own unique style. Dark and soulful themes form the basis of his work, such as the powerful gothic metal that he composes for his solo project Moi dix Mois . However, he can also easily manage soft pop melodies, as in some compositions of Malice Mizer , and songs for his protégé Kanon Wakeshima , a young vocalist and cellist. And even his line of gothic-cute clothing combines seemingly incongruous elements. An implacable individualist, Mana encourages people to trust their own instincts and be whoever they want, no matter how others react to it.
What influenced the formation of the musician we see today? In this article we will tell you about the life and creative path of Mana - from a teenage punk who does not recognize authority to a world-famous musician and fashion icon, and also we will slightly open the door to the world that he created for himself and his like-minded people.
Mana was born on March 19 in Hiroshima and was the eldest of three children. His real name and year of birth are unknown. His parents taught music, so classical music was always played in their house, and the children were surrounded by musical instruments. He listened to music in the womb; thus the sound that would later distinguish him from the crowd of other musicians was born before the birth of Mana . His parents wanted to teach him to play the piano, but the restless boy, who loves walking, football and baseball, hated music lessons. And all because he contemptuously considered the piano an instrument for girls.
Given the current androgynous image of the musician, such an aversion to "girly" things may seem surprising, but even then he had interests that would play an important role in the future. For example, Mana adored scary comics and fairy tales, say, about Hansel and Gretel. Later, he will make fairy-tale characters, angels, demons the heroes of his songs. His obsession with the question "What does it mean to be human?", 'ningen to wa', which would later become one of the key themes Malice Mizer was born after watching the anime "Youkai ningen Bem", which can be translated as "Human Monster Bem". The grim picture tells the story of three yukai, supernatural creatures. Despite the cruelty on the part of people, they are trying to save humanity and their city from evil monsters, hoping that someday they themselves will become people. In the same period, Mana 's attraction to vampires manifested itself, which he associated with beauty, madness, despair and mystery. Often at night he watched horror and films about bloodsuckers.
At school , Mana was a restless child who quickly lost interest in everything. The only subjects he liked were sports and drawing. He loved to draw, he was especially successful in fantastic scenes, for which he received prizes at competitions more than once. He was also not indifferent to modeling. But it was not creation that gave him special pleasure, but destruction - he believed that the destruction of something that has a form is also a kind of art. However, shyness caused him many problems. He hated music lessons because the children were forced to sing in front of the whole class. He also hated being like everyone else. High School Mana joined an art lovers club, where he was the only member. In high school, he didn't play baseball like the rest of the boys because he was shy and uncomfortable when he was in the batter's position with the eyes of the entire stadium on him. Instead, he started playing handball because he wanted to play the most unpopular sport, not football or baseball like everyone else. When all classmates wore the same backpacks, which he thought was disgusting, Mana bought another backpack. This is how his non-conformism was born, which later became the leitmotif of his life and work.
This became noticeable in his musical tastes. At first, young Mana listened to what was popular, including pop girl bands and Japanese boy bands like the Johnnies. He tried to dance like them, and even dreamed of becoming a member of such a group. Fate decreed otherwise: when he was in the seventh grade, heavy metal came into fashion, so he soon became a convinced metalhead. Osaka Performance Mötley Crüe changed his life forever. It was his first rock concert. At the sight of the provocatively dressed musicians and the crowd of costumed cosplayers, Mana felt ashamed of his unremarkable appearance. On this day, he decided to reject the standards and continue to "live in a world of debauchery." He began to experiment with his mother's makeup and turned his room into a makeshift concert hall: upholstered the walls with black tarpaulin, painted skeletons on it and hung a spotlight. Parents did not share his passion for rock music. They could only be horrified at what his room had become; however, the boy managed to convince them to buy him a guitar and a drum set like Tommy Lee . Alas, they bought him an acoustic guitar - Mana never played it. In the end, he bought himself an electric guitar and played drums all day long. He was ready to put together a group.
His first project was a band playing covers of Mötley Crüe songs, but he soon changed to an even more rebellious sound. In high school, he learned about Sex Pistols and, realizing that shyness would not prevent him from performing, he formed a punk band that often used songs from the popular Japanese team THE STAR CLUB . They began to rent local clubs and give concerts. Many years later, in 2007, Mana convinced the members of his high school punk band, who had become successful businessmen, to get back together. Under the name Mana's Not Dead , they performed at the annual Dis Inferno show at Shibuya O-East. Yes, yes, everything was just like at school: punk hairstyles, makeup and homemade costumes. Their performance can be seen on Maru Music's Visual Kei DVD Magazine Vol.2. Since the group did not perform their own song, they had to ask permission from THE STAR CLUB to record this track.
Not only Mana a musician was born in school years, but also Mana a designer. To express the rebellious spirit that inspires him to this day, not only through music, but also outwardly, he created a full-fledged punk image: he grew his hair to his shoulders, dyed it bright red and pink, put on a mohawk, wore heavy boots with metal toes and biker jackets, which I finalized on my own - painted with a marker and sewed on rivets. He did not stop playing handball, and his team took to the field with punk-style hairstyles, proud that they were not like the rest of the athletes. And again parents Mana were not happy: as teachers, they would prefer that their son did not attract so much attention at school. They tried to convince him to dress "more calmly", but Mana did not give in to any persuasion and continued to open this new world of fashion for himself. He did not ignore his school uniform either - he sewed bright lining and pockets on his jackets. He collected catalogs from stores and imagined what the ideal shape would be. His love of drawing and fashion eventually led to his own brand of designer clothing, Moi-même-Moitié .
Male and female
After leaving school Mana had no idea what to do with his life. He was sure of one thing for sure - he did not want to become a simple clerk, a white collar. He eventually decided to move to Osaka where he enrolled in a music school and joined the punk band Girl'e as a guitarist. They released a couple of demos, one of which Mana even drew the cover for. Outside, he drew anime-style musicians, and inside he depicted Felix the Cat .
He still played punk, but compared to school, his appearance has changed dramatically. On the live recording of Girl'e , we see Mana in a women's dress and make-up, her hair falling down her back, several strands of braids, decorated with small bows. Such a sharp change in image was the result of changes in his character. As a child, he could not stand "girly" things, and as a teenager, he called himself a macho who hates this world. Despite all this, after school he discovered the feminine in himself, or, as he himself said, realized that a woman lives inside him. All this led Mana to the idea that the human soul not only exists in this world, it permeates time with an endless chain of rebirths - this is exactly what he said in an interview with Da Vinchi magazine in 1999, comparing himself with the heroine of the science fiction novel by Virginia Woolf "Orlando ". In this "historical biography", the heroine's soul changes gender over the centuries. Based on his own experience, Mana came to the conclusion that gender is a category invented by mankind that can be neglected. It is worth noting that he always liked women's clothing, because it is much more diverse and interesting than men's. To emphasize his feminine side, the musician began to wear dresses both on stage and in everyday life, and chose the name 9 as his stage name.0005 Serina .
Mana realized that punk was no longer his forte and began searching for a sound that would better suit his new personality. He took some classical music cassettes with him to Osaka and suddenly found himself only listening to them. He especially liked the pretentious works by Johann Sebastian Bach . He began to take an interest in the occult and collect horror films. He was fascinated by the frightening mysterious soundtracks, especially those written by The Goblin for the films of the cult Italian director Dario Argento . Mana formed a new band whose style was inspired by similar soundtracks and heavy metal; in addition to the electric guitar and bass, the musicians used an electric organ. The band released a demo, but did not particularly interest the listeners and as a result broke up.
Meanwhile, at the music school, his nonconformity and desire to stand out created problems. He was practically not interested in musical theory, it was much more important to learn how to write music that would reflect his thoughts. Mana did not accept the music standards imposed by the school. For a while he held on, but then he dropped everything and left for Tokyo, hoping to become a professional musician. There he met the same young man who despised conventions, who dreamed of a musical career. His name was Közi .
Mana came to Tokyo with long green hair and very quickly realized that with such an appearance he had little chance of finding a normal job. Fortunately, there was a karaoke bar not far from his house, where they took him anyway. There was a stage, which made it look like a tiny club. The visitors were mostly young musicians who came to sing songs of Western stars or their own. Almost all the staff also played in bands. And one of those musicians was a guy named Közi from Niigata. In his own words, he was then "completely ordinary", so the appearance of Mana shocked him. Despite this, they became friends. It turned out that they lived next door, and Közi became a frequent visitor to Mana , where he never ceased to be amazed by the collection of horror films.
Some time later Mana and Közi offered to help Matenrou , the group of their friend Kenichi . Közi became the second guitarist and Mana the bassist. Then he no longer used the name Serina , taking a new one - Mana , which was written with two hieroglyphs -魔, which means "evil spirit", and 名, "name". But they were just temporary members, so when Matenrou disbanded six months later, the friends decided to form their own group. Mana has already thought of the sound and images. In addition, he decided that theatrical elements should become an integral part of the performances. His goal was to combine the melodies of beauty and sadness, the tempo of rock music and pleasant vocals into a single whole. He did not like the traditional division of musicians into lead and rhythm guitarists playing in unison during the choruses. He wanted to bring in an element of the classics and revive the medieval European two-guitar system, in which two guitarists play different melodies, which, intertwined, form a common part. However, the most important thing for him was to create a new, unique sound that would not fit any definition.
Often, when discussing music and the band, Mana and Közi did not bypass very deep topics: what is time, does fate exist and can it be changed, and, most importantly, what does it mean to be human. What lies hidden in the depths of the human soul? They discussed such issues almost more passionately than music, often arguing all night long. Thanks to such disputes, they gradually built the concept of their group, the question “What is a person?” became the central theme of their work. Mana came up with the name - Malice Mizer , consisting of the French words "malice", which means "malice", and "misère" - "tragedy", because everyone has a dark side, and tragedy in life can happen in any moment. With the help of music Mana wanted to tell what the tragedy hides. For him, it became a mission that he had to fulfill. He claimed that he despised himself until he became a musician, and now he feels that he has finally found the meaning of existence. 9 became the bassist in the group0005 Yu~ki , a former member of ZE:RO , whom Mana and Közi met while performing with Matenrou . Tetsu , ex- NERVOUS , became vocalist and drummer for Gaz , formerly of DATURA , who was soon replaced by Kami of Kneuklid Romance . So, in August 1992, the group Malice Mizer was born.
Although Mana was the band's leader and main songwriter, the musicians considered themselves independent of each other. Each had their own unique character, goals and ideas, but they worked together to turn Malice Mizer into a work of art. When they got together, they could spend hours discussing the dynamics of each song and how best to connect their parts. A lot of time was spent on creating a harmonious sound, especially on the transitions between the lines of the two guitars. Mana still refused to study music theory because he found the standard song development to be very boring and did not want to use the same techniques that other bands had used before him. Instead, he composed music purely on a whim, based on his own emotions. So he writes today: first he comes up with a story, and then he selects the sounds that would fit it. He picked up a melody on guitar or keyboards, having no idea what chords he was using. He did not know how the composition would develop further. Mana did not try to fit them into a certain structure, just let the fantasy fly; the main thing is that the sounds correspond to the idea. As a result, rhythm and tonality often changed in his songs, which made them completely unpredictable.
Young musicians were not at all ambitious, and major status was not their main goal. They played in clubs with barely a dozen people and just had fun seeing their world slowly taking shape. The five musicians did everything themselves: from making costumes, scenery and flyers to raising the curtain. A little later, they personally delivered their CDs to music stores. However, they didn't just want to perform like other bands. With the help of light and sound, they tried to create a real show, like a great movie. To do this, they put on exquisite costumes that fit perfectly into the stories told in the songs. The scenery was reminiscent of movie scenes; it could be vampire castles or battlefields from the First World War. The main task is to captivate the audience with a theatrical atmosphere, clearly demonstrating to them the concept of the group.
At first they were laughed at, but Malice Mizer did not pay attention to caustic remarks. Mana expected such a reaction and listened carefully to the opinion of the public, because he wanted to share his ideas with the whole world. He himself had little interest in pop music, but he wanted the group to become a bridge between the underground and popular culture. He wanted to reach out to those who may not have been aware of the existence of music outside the mainstream, or those who were afraid to show their true self. At Malice Mizer was often complained about. So once they showered the audience with gold dust, which was not washed off in any way. On another occasion, they miscalculated how far the fake blood could be sprayed, causing the first few rows to literally drown in blood.
Despite all this, the Malice Mizer gradually attracted more and more attention. In December 1992, just two months after their first show at the Meguro Rockmaykan where they sold demo Sans Logique , their first interview was published in SHOXX magazine. In July 1994, the first batch of their debut album Memoire , which they self-recorded on the indie label Midi:Nette created by Mana , was completely sold out at the pre-order stage. In honor of such success, the musicians decided to play a solo concert at Shinjuku Loft; Tickets for it sold out in the blink of an eye. The second batch of the album was hastily printed, after which several national tours took place - Cher de memoire and Cher de memoire II . In December, the third, expanded, part of the album Memoire DX was released, including the bonus track Baroque .
And just a couple of days after the release of Memoire DX , vocalist Tetsu left the band. He explained this by the fact that he was not satisfied with pantomime and dancing during performances. The musicians parted amicably: Tetsu , Mana , Közi and Yu~ki are still pals.
The search for a new vocalist who would share the views of the group took almost a year. Finally, a friend introduced them to Gackt , a former member of Cains:Feel . It seemed to be the perfect fit: he had new ideas, he wanted to collaborate with Malice Mizer and, unlike Tetsu , had nothing against makeup and dancing at concerts. Under his influence, the group underwent radical changes: the music became lighter and more romantic, elements of techno and French pop were added. The rosary and black gothic lace replaced the bright historical costumes. Each member of the group chose a color: Mana wore blue, Közi wore red, Yu~ki wore yellow, Kami wore purple, and Gackt wore white and black. The appearance changed following the main concept, one thing remained unchanged: Mana has always been a "girl" - a maid, a courtesan, a vamp or an innocent girl seduced by a vampire. His chiseled features and delicate physique suited this image perfectly - as soon as he put on a dress, the woman inside of him won the upper hand, and he began to move and act like a real girl. It was extremely rare that he chose unisex clothing - a uniform or a latex suit.
The group's popularity did not suffer from the forced break. On the contrary, tickets for the first concert after a long time at Shibuya O-West, held in October 1995, were completely sold out. At the same public performance, they "tested" the combination of the unique music of Malice Mizer with the soft charming vocals of Gackt 'a. More sold-out shows followed, including a performance at Shibuya O-West to mark the release of their second album, Voyage . And in 1997, Nippon Columbia, a major company, offered the musicians a contract. It was the start of a stellar career.
They flew to France to shoot a short promotional film for their debut major single Bel Air and also appeared regularly on television: they performed, gave interviews, participated in talk shows. Merveilles' first major album, , debuted at number two on the Oricon charts, and the eponymous concert at the Budokan, a 14,000-seat venue, sold out in a record two minutes. The performance itself was more like a performance: multi-tiered scenery, a magnificent light show and Mana on a scooter. During the final song, Gackt , spitting fake blood, soared under the dome of the hall, flapping huge black wings. Malice Mizer even had their own radio show, but Mana , who was still shy of strangers, didn't take part in it. Even then, he came up with a demeanor for himself: in public, he only silently smiled, preferring the music to speak for him. If he was asked a question at a TV show or concert, he would either whisper the answer in a bandmate's ear or use "Yes" and "No" cards, and sometimes express his opinion with music.
Despite their apparent success, tensions grew between Gackt and the rest of Malice Mizer . The vocalist dreamed of world fame, and the musicians felt that while major status had tangible benefits, they could no longer write their own music with the same freedom. Of course, they still wrote songs and drew sketches for their releases, but now they had to work with a huge number of completely different people, each of whom had his own vision of the world, which made it difficult for the group to take into account all the wishes at once. Gackt began to compose songs without prior discussion with the bandmates, which did not suit them. Toward the end of 1998, rumors appeared first that the vocalist had disappeared somewhere, and a little later that he was planning to perform solo. Malice Mizer was denied by everyone, but in January 1999 appeared on the cover of Fool's Mate without Gackt , while he himself shot for SHOXX. In an interview, he confirmed that he was temporarily taking a break from the group to focus on releasing his solo release Mizerable , and leaves the choice to Malice Mizer whether to invite him back or not. In addition, he created a personal fanclub. He never returned to the group, and the reasons for his departure are still being debated. In numerous interviews and autobiography of Jihaku , one of the reasons for his departure from Gackt is disagreements with management and bandmates. The same, in turn, assured that the vocalist disappeared completely unexpectedly and without any explanation, did not come to rehearsals, and the management published a press release in which they threatened to file for Gackt 'and in court for breaking the contract.
Tragedy and a New Beginning
While fans and the press were arguing about the reasons for the singer's departure, Malice Mizer suffered an even worse blow: on June 21, 1999, drummer Kami suddenly died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. He was only 25 years old. At the request of the family, the funeral ceremony was private, attended only by the immediate family. After himself, he left several new songs for the "new" Malice Mizer . These were his first self-composed compositions. A year later, the band included two of them in Shinwa , a set dedicated to the memory of the departed Kami . The musicians did not arrange a farewell ceremony for the fans, so as not to upset them even more. Instead, they wanted to share his work, thoughts, and feelings with the world in order to reassure fans. The set was released on February 1, the birthday of Kami . They never found a replacement for him. Since then Malice Mizer is only played with session drummers, and Kami is listed as "eternal blood relative" on all releases.
Many expected that after the loss of Gackt and Kami Malice Mizer would break up, but Mana managed to keep the band together. In September 1999, in order to take full control of everything, Malice Mizer returned to the leader's indie label Midi:Nette and started working on new material. Lyrics used to be written Tetsu or Gackt , but since the band still didn't have a vocalist, this duty was taken over by Mana and Közi . They left behind the romantic pop sound of the Gackt era and opted for a much more interesting mix of classic, gothic rock and metal. The group returned to their musical roots, boldly combining them with an exquisite goth mourning image. Mana created his iconic image, which to this day can be found casually on posters of Western goth clubs, designer clothes, and even on a Hungarian storybook: a shy gothic lolita in a short puffy dress, knee-high socks, giant platform shoes; a delicate pale face framed by jet-black curls.
In July 2000, after releasing two instrumental singles, Malice Mizer recorded Shiroi hada ni kuruu ai to kanashimi no rondo with a new soloist. It was Klaha , ex-member of Pride of Mind , whose deep operatic vocals were perfect for the band's new dark atmosphere. A month later, their fourth studio album Bara no seidou hit the shelves. On the day of 's release, Malice Mizer played their most memorable live ever. The two-day show at the Budokan wowed audiences with an artificial night sky with moon and stars, incredible pyrotechnics, and a choir of nuns. The stage was divided into three tiers, which symbolized the three singles that preceded the album, or the "altar": the view of the life-size Gothic cathedral that crowned the third tier was breathtaking. During the final song, the four musicians gathered on the balcony of the cathedral, while rose petals slowly fell from above. Seemed like Malice Mizer are back forever.
Alas, the revival was short-lived. In 2001, the group starred in the film Bara no Konrei and recorded three singles: Gardenia , which symbolized the beginning of a new day after a night spent in the "sanctuary", Beast of Blood , which tells the story of modern vampires, and Garnet . The musicians have begun work on a new album. But Malice Mizer found themselves in a difficult situation. Previously, the participants worked on the basis of the concept of “What is a person?”, but now they have become cramped within the same framework. As before, they continued to go to rehearsals and share their own opinions, but could not come to a common decision. Finally, they realized that it would be extremely difficult to find a compromise. Let everyone realize their plans outside the group and collect new material, and then one day they will meet again. And in December 2001, participants Malice Mizer went their separate ways.
Klaha pursued a solo career. Közi joined the gothic band Haruhiko Ash and Eve of Destiny and also began working solo. Yu~ki wrote a song for Közi and then retired from the world of music. Meanwhile, Mana promised to create "something new and shocking".
Sources: official websites and publications Malice Mizer , Moi dix Mois and Moi-même-Moitié , interviews with Fool's Mate, SHOXX, UV, Vicious, Da Vinchi, J-Rock Magazine, the Gothic & Lolita Bible, CD Japan, Orkus, JaME and many more. Special thanks to Yuu for the translation.