Name: JessJess
Home Country: Malaysia

Social Media —
Twitter: @jesshoisang
Instagram: @jesshoisang


A | Your 9kumi Origin Story

How did you first come across ALICE NINE.?

Back when I was a university student, I was accompanying a friend on her usual visit to Kinokuniya bookshop, visiting the Japanese section where she was checking out the Visual Kei magazines (Arena 37, Neo Genesis etc). I wasn’t exposed to Visual Kei at that point, but after a few visits, I started to notice this one particular band that got featured a lot on the magazine covers.

Saw that their name was ‘ALICE NINE.’, and one random night, got curious and started googling them. The rest is history~

What was your initial impression of the band, and/or of the individual members?

I think I was very curious of the look they depicted when they were featured on the magazine covers. That time, they were promoting ‘Rainbows’, so it was more like a cool, punkish-streetwear type of styling they had, which really incited my curiosity. And! I remember thinking, ‘Man, this boy’s reaaaaaally pretty looking!’. Said boy was Show-san, lmao~

What turned you into a fan? Was it a song, a release, an experience of some kind…?

Okay, kinda’ a funny story here, and this may not even make me a legit fan in the beginning, lols. When I started googling them, the first song of theirs that I YouTubed/listened to was ‘Rainbows’, and I remember thinking that the music seemed too ‘hard’ for me (yes yes, this is ironic since it turns out ‘Rainbows’ is really one of their more mainstream sounding, pop rock style music, lol. Which I absolutely love now btw).

Then I stumbled upon a translation page, where they translated the members’ Ameblo posts (remember them?!), and I read a few, and I think it was one of Saga’s posts that I found SO funny and silly, and it really shocked me because it never dawned on me that these bunch of cool, badass-looking Japanese band members were actually so witty in real life! I guess I found this ‘gap’ so endearing and somehow, this just made me want to support them and be a fan.

B | The Way You Hear ALICE NINE.

What about ALICE NINE.’s sound do you like or admire most?

I think one thing I love about them is that they obviously do not shy away from experimenting with their music style. From their Visual Kei trademark screamo’ songs, to the techno, dance infused tracks from their ‘Supernova’ album, to a literal dance song with its own choreography with ‘Castle of the Nine’, and beautiful, emotional ballads like Waterfall and Envy….these boys really have done it all.

What are some things that give ALICE NINE. a certain je ne sais quoi (a very particular, unique quality)?

They are literal Rockstars who are also unbelievably humble. Am lucky enough to have friends that have spent time with them up-close as fans and also as staff, and the fact that until this day, I have only heard good things about them makes me SO proud to be their fan! Plus, as I’m also lucky to had the chance to meet them in person a few times, the fact that they ooze rockstar- qualities but are totally approachable just speak volumes of what type of band and even people they are. They also refer to themselves as a ‘Japanese 2.5D Band’ on their IG account, which just reinforces this, haha.

What are some of your favourite songs?

Oh man, I really don’t think I can do justice for this question but on top of my head now: Q, Solar Eclipse, Rumwolf, the Gemini Trilogy, After Dark, Roar, from KURAYAMI, Fuurin, Mugen –electric eden-, Shadowplay, Testament (this list really can go on waaaay longer, but I will stop for now, lol).

Is there a release that you really connect to in particular, or that you have a very strong personal memory about?

I think it would be the Gemini album for me. I was lucky enough to attend their Budokan live back in 2011, and towards the end, they started playing the ‘Gemini-0-Eternal’ mv, which I thought was one of the most beautiful songs and mvs I’ve ever seen, and I got literal GOOSEBUMPS right there! And later it was revealed there will be a new album release too, so that was a pretty amazing moment to be part of.

Is there a song that you associate a really good memory to? Please share that good memory with us!

Same as the previous question, lol. But another good and also funny memory I have relating to this song, was when I was in my office and somehow my male colleague asked about Alice Nine and wanted to see how their music was like. I decided to show him the ‘Gemini-0-Eternal’ mv and the convo went something like this;

*Me at colleague’s table, playing the ‘Gemini-0-Eternal’ mv on YouTube on his laptop*

Me: So yea, this is one of their recent songs and mv, and it’s actually the 1 st part of a song trilogy, but I think you’d be able to enjoy this 1 st part loads already!

Colleague: Ahh, cools! Thanks thanks.

*Watches the mv together. Notices colleague is bopping his head along to the music, indicating he enjoys it. Midway through the mv;

Colleague: Wow, so they actually did CGI to do this mv, is it?



Me: Huh?

Colleague: I mean, they probably used CGI or some sort of animation for the mv right? Because they can’t possibly look like THIS in real life…

Me:….Uhh, no, no CGI involved, this is just a normal mv and that’s really them in person ^^;

Colleague: O_O

Still one of my most favourite memories, lol. Shout-out to Brian! Miss you loads buddy, gotta’ catch-up soon.

Create a 3-song single (or playlist if you prefer). Why did you put those 3 songs together?

Gemini Trilogy, lols! But okay okay, if I had to really pick 3 songs, to just show how diverse their music are: Yami Ni Chiru Sakura, Beautiful Name, and After Dark. OR, -Kowloon- Nine Heads Rodeo Show, Castle of the Nine, and 革命開花-Revolutionary Blooming-. I think these 3 songs really have very different and distinct styles, and it’ll be a cool way to introduce their music to a first time listener.

Have you ever had the chance to attend a live (either in person or via livestream in real-time)? What was your experience like? Please tell us about the first time, or some very memorable moments.

My first Alice Nine live was in 2010 in Shinagawa, which I attended with 1 of my besties. It was such an eye-opening experience, especially since it became our first time ever getting to headbang + mosh in a concert, but all the fans were still so sweet and even bowed down to apologise in case they had accidentally hit any of us before, lol. And I remember being in awe because the boys looked EXACTLY like they did in magazines and their mvs, woah!

For their Budokan live, the Bass and Drum solo by Saga and Nao also stood out for me a lot! And throughout the lives I attended, I got to witness so many ShouPon (my ultimate OTP!) moments, and one particular moment was when they performed in my country Malaysia, and actually kissed (on the lips!) on stage! Until now, all of us fans that were present believe some of the media actually caught that moment and had not released it for our viewing, booooo! Lol~ I also witnessed a funny moment when Tora couldn’t move because he got ‘stuck’ while trying to open his jacket, but luckily a staff member managed to free him just as they were about to perform the next song.

Also, in 2012 when they performed for JRock Evolution Jakarta, I got to meet them in person and had a short convo with them one-by-one, and finally got a group picture with them! Probably one of my most favourite and cherished moments, moreover I will always remember what Hiroto actually asked me during that moment, which I shall keep a secret, haha.

Speaking of lives, are there some live-only versions or arrangements of their songs that you love in particular?

Okay, although it’s not exactly a live, but real talk, the one thing am truly disappointed is that we probably won’t get a second part/continuation of their ‘Secret Live Sessions’ that they did for their Alice Nine Untitled Vandal(ism) Finale, ‘Grace the Beautiful Day’ DVD. The arrangement they did for ‘Kiss Twice, Kiss Me Deadly’, like hello?? Pure genius, which probably got every fan hot and bothered?! Lol. I would be ecstatic if they decided to do a 2 nd part of this. Maybe later waaaaaaay in the future…..?

And the lives they did in recent years where they had a live orchestra with them was pure *chef’s kiss*.

When you listen to the songs without distraction, how do you experience them? Do you get mental images, colours, sensations, emotions…?

I don’t really visualise anything, but their songs manage to tap into my emotions somehow, even though I don’t actually understand Japanese. The way Show can simply make me cry just by his vocals alone is insane. And their guitar, bass and drum solos can really hype you up like crazy. All these 5 points, when they play together, is able to create pure magic for me.

Let’s talk lyrics: if you understand them in Japanese or have read translations, what are some of your favourite song lyrics? Do you have any favourite lines or imagery in the ALICE NINE. discography?

Although I don’t understand Japanese, I have read enough lyrics translations to know just what a phenomenal writer Show is. I think each song he does has at least one line that kinda’ makes you stop and think a little bit harder, which is really an amazing talent of his. The lyrics to Sleepwalker (the imagery at the mention of nestling close to the guitar was so vivid and melancholic), Fuurin (such a beautifully sad song, and the last line really left such a lasting impression, “The frigid wish melted in the sound of the wind chime”) and Testament (the mention of the ‘corpse’ gets me every time ^^) are some of my favourites.

C | The Way You See ALICE NINE.

What about ALICE NINE.’s visual aesthetic do you like or admire most?

I think with ALICE NINE., with each new release, they ALWAYS manage to be visually pleasing, that each new photo reveal just thrills me like mad. After being their fan for 14 years already, they never fail to get me excited, with every new look. The benchmark they set is really so high, that I can’t help but compare their look and styling to every other artiste I’m a fan of too.

Do you have a favourite visual, look, or release era? What did you like most about it?

Oh gosh, there are really too many favourites! The Rainbows era is one of them for sure, I think it’s a chic look that suits the band well within the VK industry. Then their XII Anniversary “No Name” live, which was held on my birthday date in 2016, where they had a throwback, nostalgic Visual Kei look that made everyone think they actually released an ‘old’ pic when the official concert images came out, haha. Sadly, they weren’t much live photos released from this concert, but I still remember how GOOD they looked during the live. Especially Show, man, the pants he wore was really flattering that day (don’t ask me why I can remember this detail so distinctively, lol).

Another look that will stay with me was their 14 th Anniversary “Alice in Castle” live, where they each sported such different looks that made them look like princes in their own way! It also felt very ‘high-fashion’, which suits them very well, and until now am quite miffed no fashion brand has discovered these boys because they would KILL it on the runway and as models, for sure!

What are some of your favourite MVs?

There’s quite a number: Ruri No Ame, Mirrorball, Rainbows, Sleepwalker, Gemini-0-Eternal, Gemini-I-The Void, Seven, Shadowplay, Testament, CYAN, After Dark……so many!

Let’s talk cover art: what are some of your favourite single or album covers in their discography? Is there one that takes the #1 spot?

Oohh so many favourites yet again! Alpha, Rainbows (again, lol), Senkou, Vandalize, and the A9 15 th Anniversary Best Album (FC version)… I just think these cover visuals were so striking in their own way and managed to leave an impact on me.

Do you have a favourite photoshoot from a magazine, for instance? Which one, and why?

Another hard question to justify, because dear God, Show honestly has set the benchmark so high! But what sticks out in my memory right now: The Alice Nine 5 th ‘THE BOOK’ (the concepts that Show did for each of the members in this photobook was AMAZING! I wish we could get another photobook like this again); that Rock and Read 086 issue during their ‘Revolutionary Blooming’ era with that black leather-ish ensemble, where Show’s lips was somewhat blood- smeared and Hiroto had thigh leather bands on the cover, which my aunty had helped buy when she was in Japan, haha. The tour pamphlet for their XII Anniversary “No Name” live where they had super cool shots of them in their old-school Visual Kei look and attire, plus ‘FLASH LIGHT from the past’ where they had each member wear a current vs debut era outfit, are some of my most favourites too!

Out of all the goods that ALICE NINE. have released over the years, do you have any favourites? These could be goods that you’ve actually bought or goods that you’ve simply admired from afar.

First, I would like to state that ALICE NINE. has no doubt released some the BEST merchandise designs across all music genres, forreals’! They truly set such a high standard & benchmark, & I can’t stress how amazing Hiroto & Nao have been, being the heads of the merchandising team XD

I absolute adore all their concert pamphlets, which are basically like mini photobooks, haha, & all their lil’ handbags, totebags, towels…

I have too many faves but my top 3 are the The Nine Label handbag, Hiroto’s large birthday live acrylic standee, & one of my most prized posessions now, is their Puerta Del Sol Midnight Galaxy pendant & necklace (special shout-out to Mishroomie for helping me keep it safe for over 8 months till’ we met again in Tokyo! ^^).

D | ALICE NINE.’s Impact and Influence

Has ALICE NINE. ever inspired you to try, do, or make something? Tell us about the point of inspiration and what you did as a result.

Being a fan of ALICE NINE. made me take a risk and decide to go on my first ever trip to Japan to see them in concert back in 2010! I was lucky enough to go with one of my best friends , and in the following years, it made me daring enough to make solo trips there too. Somehow they made my love for Japan grow, and it lead me to be the leader of a work exchange trip to Tokyo and Osaka in 2015, for nearly 2 months.

My favourite member, Hiroto, has really inspired me just by his sheer passion for music, and love for his members, fans and life itself. I also think he is a wonderful composer (all of them are actually), but his songs do hold a special place in my heart, that I even have a tattoo of ‘from KURAYAMI’ done as an ode to him and the band.

Have you ever recommended ALICE NINE.’s music to someone who was not already a fan? How did it go?

LOL I don’t know how but I managed to make a few close friends (who, like me, were not exposed to Visual Kei at all) become fans of them, but the fact that these boys are ‘kinda’ easy on the eyes *coughcough* definitely helped at first, and gradually their music pulled them in too.

I even got some of my colleagues go to their concert that was held in my country. I caught some of them playing their music the following days and weeks after the concert, to my pleasant surprise.

As a fan, do you keep to yourself, or do you interact with other fans? Have you made friends with other 9kumis? Have you ever participated in a fan project, whether to share information with other fans or to make something to give to the band?

Other than my close friends who became their fans too, I did manage to meet some other fans earlier on. After a few years passed, some seem to grew out of the fandom, and that’s okay, it happens. I then met some fans on Twitter just a few years ago, which am thankful for, because I love being able to interact and get excited with other ALICE NINE. fans on Twitter, where am currently most active on.

Have you ever sent a comment, message, or even been able to speak to one or more of the band members? What was the experience like and how did you decide what to say?

A question I submitted on J-Melo got picked for Alice Nine to answer, but I can’t seem to remember what was it already, lol. In the 2021 online fanmeeting, my question, “What song of yours do you think best represents ALICE NINE.” was also asked, but the boys really couldn’t think of what to answer and somewhat panicked, so they asked the fans to comment what they thought is the best song then, haha. I also got to meet Hiroto in person twice and talked to him for a bit, and both times were very special to me. Basically declared my undying love for him both times, and he was honestly super sweet about it 🙂

At this point in your life as an ALICE NINE. fan, what does the band mean to you?

Though there is truly so much I would like to tell them, I’d just like to simply say…..

Thank you.

Thank you for the amazing music that you have gifted us throughout all these years, & showing that music can always be experimented on, & can be enjoyed by all walks of life from all over the world.

Thank you for all the joyful & cherished memories you have blessed us with, from all the lives you have done all around the world, interviews you have participated in, and shows you have done.

Thank you for the moments that made us giggle and laugh gleefully from the Alice9 channel episodes, your tweets & interactions with each other & the fans.

Thank you, for simply being Hiroto, Show, Tora, Saga, & Nao, & for giving me SO much happiness during the last 14 years of my life, & for always reminding me each passing day, month & year, how lucky I am to be able to be your fan.

Thank you. I will always, truly love each & every one of you. Especially you, Hiroto. 🙂

I will keep suporting you, as a group & as individuals, as you embark in your own new chapter in life.

I hope you will all keep doing music, but no doubt, whatever path you decide to take next, I will be looking forward to it because the world still needs to know of the talented 5 guys that you are!

Keep On Rocking, #アリス九號. !

E | Freeform Section

If there is a question you wish we would have asked, or something else related to ALICE NINE. that you’d like to talk about, please feel free to write about it here.

Just wanted to share these 2 photos:

1 is the 1st group photo I had with ALICE NINE., during the JRock Evolution concert in Jakarta. Yet another funny memory for this photo – after I made it my profile pic on Facebook, one of my besties commented on it and thought this was photoshopped because, well, the boys looked TOO good? XD Shout-out to Sam Banana, I still laugh at that comment of yours until this day, lol.

2nd photo is just a lil’ ALICE NINE. corner I have in my room (not pictured are my other ALICE NINE. albums and magazines/books though, hehe). Getting to see this every day just makes me happy and contented.