Rod Janois (May 2024)

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Published May 29, 2024
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An interview with the co-composer of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood musical, Rod Janois, published on JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia News on May 29, 2024.[1]


Tell us about yourself. What are some other projects you’ve worked on?

My name is Rod Janois, and I am a songwriter and performer. My musical career started quite a long time ago, more than twenty years ago. I have been composing for a large number of well-known French music artists. I even composed for the world-famous artist Céline Dion. During this time, I met Dove Attia in 2002, who was looking for songs for his upcoming show "The Sun King" (Le Roi Soleil). I co-wrote two songs, which included the multi-broadcasted single "Tant qu'on rêve encore".

I joined up with Dove Attia again for the musical "Mozart the Rock Opera" (Mozart, l'opéra rock), where I co-wrote eleven songs (including L'Assasymphonie), and was responsible for all the vocal recordings as well as the choirs.

In 2012, Dove Attia called me for his musical "1789: Lovers of the Bastille" (1789: Les Amants de la Bastille). I co-wrote all the songs. This time, the producer Dove also chose me for the role of Camille Desmoulins. I was recognized by large audiences because of the single "Ça ira mon amour".

In 2016, we collaborated on a new musical "The Legend of King Arthur" (La Légende du roi Arthur) where I co-wrote songs.

Recently in 2023, I composed with Dove for the new musical "Molière, the Urban Opera" (Molière, l'opéra urbain).

How did you become involved in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood musical?

Dove Attia called me to create the music of the two new TOHO Co., Ltd productions: "LUPIN" and "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure". Since we had collaborated a lot on his musical projects in France, he offered me to join, and I said yes immediately.

Do you speak Japanese? How did you communicate with the staff for JoJo and LUPIN?

I don't speak Japanese. We communicated most of the time in English and sometimes with a translator.

It was my first time working with Japanese people, and it was a magical experience. I discovered people who are very attentive, professional, and kind. We had the opportunity to go to Japan for the premieres. We did both the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood musical and the musical about Arsène Lupin simultaneously. It was an experience I hope to repeat. And I believe, without getting ahead of myself, that JoJo had real success, and we will likely continue this adventure. It was fantastic collaborating with the Japanese.

Can you explain your role in the musical?

It was a collaborative effort with Dove Attia. We organize seminars where we lock ourselves in a studio and write songs. We try to create the strongest and most identifiable melodies that fit the characters and sometimes the scenes. Sometimes we work individually at home, exchanging ideas via email, leveraging technology. But it's all done collaboratively. We worked together on the music, melodies, and musical production. I then recorded the demo vocals for the song in English.

For this project, I only participated in the musical creation. The lyrics and the script for the show were written by Japanese writers, which is much better to describe JoJo's universe accurately.

How much did you know about JoJo prior to working on the musical?

To be honest, I didn't know anything about JoJo. So I started discovering it on Netflix! Many seasons are available on French Netflix--I immediately delved into the first season, Phantom Blood, because the musical universe closely follows the anime and manga. And I got hooked.

I haven't watched many seasons yet because I know we're almost at season 11 or 12 now. But, yes, it sparked my interest in the entire JoJo universe, and I'm discovering that there are many fans worldwide, many merchandise items, and some incredible games and videos. I also bought and read the manga after.

Who was your favorite character in the musical?

I find all the characters very interesting, but I have to say that I like Dio's complexity. He has this demonic spirit, but sometimes he shows flashes of humanity towards JoJo or other characters, which I find quite intriguing.

But it's very, very difficult to choose because JoJo's character is magnificent, as is his father's complexity. I also like Speedwagon and the rap music style we created for him.

What was your favorite track in the musical and why?

I love all our songs but I especially love the energy and beauty of the song "Youth with Dio". This song is a spectacular end of ACT 1 when the house catches on fire. A powerful duet between JoJo and Dio.

I love the rock energy and slightly decadent vibe of the scene when Dio raises his zombie army. I also really like the completely crazy, jazzy, and slightly retro song Zeppeli sings with beautiful choreography in the aquatic area.

I enjoy the rap when Speedwagon intervenes each time, and I love Erina's sweet voice on two or three beautiful ballads. I also like the father's song when Dio and JoJo are at the table, and Dio pretends to have good manners. I love all the songs.

What was it like composing for a manga/anime series? Did you face any challenges?

It was very exciting for me because it was the first time I'd worked on adapting a manga. In any creation and project, there are moments of doubt and difficulties. It's not always easy to closely match the characters. And we were working across countries, meaning we had to deal with the time difference, sometimes having Zoom meetings to discuss musical directions. Sometimes we had creative freedom, and other times we had precise guidelines for specific scenes requiring specific songs. So, sometimes it worked right away, and sometimes we had to change parts of certain songs, but overall, it flowed quite well.

We also had to respect the universe of JoJo and the references we had in the musical. Each character in JoJo has their own musical nuance. It was important to be modern and not disappoint the fans.

But I think the challenge was a success because Mr. Hirohiko Araki himself said that he loved the music and that it illustrated his characters perfectly!

What other manga/anime series would you like to adapt into a musical?

Of course, I'd love to adapt other parts of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure! This collaboration on the first part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure introduced me to a very interesting universe. The show had immense success, with sold-out performances almost every night in Tokyo and on tour. So, I hope, fingers crossed, that there will be more musical and stage adventures, and it would be an immense honor for me.

But I'm also dreaming of working on a project for Studio Ghibli....

What inspired your musical creations?

To create the JoJo musical, I drew inspiration from the world of rock and pop, and specifically from jazz big band for the Zeppeli song, for example. There were also bands like Linkin Park, Muse, Jamiroquai, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.

We sometimes had specific directives regarding musical style: sometimes aiming for power ballads with big voices, and other times focusing more on a rock sound. For example, Dio's character required a more cynical, dark, and rock theme due to the character's evil nature. JoJo needed something more spirited, sometimes rock but more tempered. I won't go through all the roles, but there was also Speedwagon's character, which required rap. But we still had quite a bit of freedom in choosing how it sounded. Really, it was a continuous exchange of ideas.

What do you think about an international release for the musical?

I would love an international release and would be thrilled to see this show in France. The community in France is large, and the Japanese manga universe is very popular. I would love it.

Are you currently working on any other projects you can talk about?

Yes, I am working on several future projects. I'm working on an album for myself since I am also a performer in France. I have an album coming out next year with some concert dates. I'm also working on new shows in Asia, but I can't say too much yet. And I dream of returning to Japan soon. I loved that country.

Lastly, do you have a message for JoJo fans around the world?

Thank you for being fans because it's thanks to you that this universe exists. I'd also like to thank all the fans around the world for their beautiful messages I receive on social media, which makes me very happy. And especially thanks to those who sold out all the shows in Japan!

I'm very proud to have taken part in this first musical adaptation of JoJo in Japan. Please express your desire for a musical sequel to Phantom Blood. It would be incredible! Thank you for your support!


  1. Vish (May 29, 2024), "Exclusive Interview with Phantom Blood Musical Co-Composer, Rod Janois", JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia.

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