Friday, 25 September 2015

Screw Vif Interview (2015.08.13) Part 1 of 2

Part 1 | 2

Second concept mini album released by brand new Screw, 'kakusei' (awakening).
The thing that Screw, which woke up from a deep slumber, wants to portray...

After becoming a 4-piece band, Screw made a fresh start. In 'konsui' (deep slumber), their first in the consecutive concept mini album series which was released in April this year, they portrayed their real mental state, "the path they have been walking on". And now, they're releasing 'kakusei'. This mini album, with 'white and light' as the cover theme, is imbued with their resolution to wake up from a deep slumber, to be reborn into their new selves. In this interview, they will talk about their upcoming 'konsuisei kakuseishou' tour and their thoughts and feelings about the future.

I want to awaken myself as a vocalist of the band (Byou).

Q: What have you been busy with since our interview for 'konsui'?
Jin: We made 'kakusei' while going on event tour 'ZEAL LINK TOUR 2015'. We had quite a tight schedule.
Byou: Rather than spending time at home composing songs, we did it (composing song) concurrently with the event tour.

Q: A few days ago you gave Tokyo Nagoya Osaka 'kakusei' pre-release live performances. You performed the songs in 'kakusei' even earlier than its release.
Byou: We were really worried before we did it. But we got nice feedbacks, so I'm glad we did it. The setlist was made of the songs in regular version of 'kakusei' in order + our fun songs.
Kazuki: This was the first time we perform our songs before they were released, but it was fun. (Until then) our fans had only watched the PV or listen to the preview of the chorus, so maybe they didn't know what song it was until the chorus came. That's what I thought when performing (laughs).

Q: The difficulty was high (laughs). But I think, being able to listen to the songs live without any preconception is a valuable opportunity.
Byou: Whether it's an advantage since you can feel it first, or it's a disadvantage since you'll lose the excitement for our tour.. that depends on the person (laughs). But I want them to feel that we're the kind of band which will keep trying new things.

Q: Is your mini album 'kakusei' is the opposite of 'konsui'?
Kazuki: No, it's the continuation of it. I thought of making (the two mini albums) so that they feel like one album. But, even though the end result looks like a full album, I think it's better to interpret them as two separate things. It's because 'the deep slumber' (konsui) is over that there is an 'awakening' (kakusei). In this mini album, there is a song composed by Jin which he had made since 'konsui', but I wrote new songs while thinking about my own interpretation of 'awakening', or things that might be connected to it. And that's why, my playing method and melody is different now.

Q: There are things you could do because it's 'kakumei'.
Kazuki: That's right. I think, after we were done with 'konsui', it was easy for me to compose songs with this keyword. Because I made 'REMEMBER ME' for 'konsui', I could make 'RAY OF LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS'.
Jin: When we were making 'konsui', I couldn't grasp how 'kakumei' would turn out. We started making 'kakumei' after we finished with 'konsui', but I've been wondering about the meaning of 'kakumei' since we were making 'konsui'. I just felt my way. But in the end, I think I could compose songs with a lot of positive feelings in it, like 'waking up'. After finishing 'konsui', I thought about (what kind of songs to make) for 'kakumei'. Until now I had been composing songs with our live performances as priority in mind, so I thought of changing my method. The 3 songs that I composed for this mini album ( 'OVER THE HORIZON', 'ANAESTHESIA', 'NO PAIN NO GAIN' (included in regular version only)) all had a story to them. Of course, I also thought about our live performances (while composing them), but I wanted to include future and hope in the story, so I composed them while thinking about the future.
Manabu: For me, the theme 'awakening' (kakusei) made me think about how I want to play the guitar. I thought about the role of a guitar player in a twin guitar band. I've been incorporating the things I want to do in my guitar play since 'konsui'.

Q: In 'konsui', you had a longish guitar solo with Kazuki-san in the song 'ANITYA'. Was there anything the guitarists try for this mini album?
Manabu: The guitar solo for 'OVER THE HORIZON'. Although it's not like we just followed up from 'ANITYA', for the time being we want to keep the twin guitar (solo).
Kazuki: Since 'konsui' and 'kakusei' are connected, I want to do same thing in both of them. And since we have two guitarists, we talked about doing the both of us doing guitar solos as well. (Guitar solos) are where the guitarists can take the spotlight, and it's more interesting (to do it together) than alone.

Q: In 'konsui', the concept was expressed more through lyrics than through the music. What about 'kakumei'?
Byou: This time, I feel 'awakening' in the songs themselves, especially in Kazuki's. I feel that the song was born out of that word. And that's why we could understand each other's feelings, and it was easy for me to put words (on the songs). It's like we shared the same wavelength, so I could write  (lyric) with confidence. Even though it's not the lead song, when it's put in important position like 1st or 2nd, people can feel 'kakumei' even if they just listen to those songs. There are many method for composing songs, but for me the one that suits me most is to have the title first, then create a suitable sound for it, then put words into it. I think it's the most consistent (way to do it), and the finished songs flows into me easily.

Q: So it was easier for you to convey (through lyric).
Byou: That's right. There was no need to puzzle over things, no need to make dirty things clean or clean things dirty. Because I put a straightforward title, I could write the lyric straightforwardly. Before this we've had many complicated songs, and that in itself is interesting, but it was difficult to put words into it. We don't really have that kind of songs in this mini album. So, even though we were on a tour, we could finish it in time (laughs).

Q: That's good (laughs). When I read the lyrics, I saw the word 'jibun' (I, myself) here and there. You didn't really do that until now.
Byou: For 'konsui', I wrote from the point of view of the band, and wrote the feelings of the band. For 'kakusei', I wanted to awaken myself as the vocalist of this band, so naturally the word 'jibun' (I, myself) came out a lot. In this album, I could face my weakness properly. If I don't do that, I wouldn't be born anew, so I defeated the me who kept running away.

Q: Looks like there was some pain in making this mini album.
Byou: But I was fed up with the past me, so I thought I should be born anew. The title is 'kakusei' (awakening), so I thought I should first improve myself. I had mostly been in a positive mood during the making of 'kakusei'. Because of that, I couldn't write dark words easily, so on the contrary it was difficult (laughs).

We had a clash of opinions (Kazuki)

Q: The 1st song 'FASCIST' is a good curtain opener.
Kazuki: It's like a SE song, and we couldn't find anywhere else to put this song beside as the first. We also started our pre-release live performances with this song.
Jin: The recording for the double bass (drums) in the latter half of this song was difficult. I can do it on live performances since I would get an adrenaline rush, but during the recording it was quite severe.

Q: On the lyric, there is a line which says "Come step into the fire". Is it connected to the fire that is there in the MV?
Byou: All the fire depicted in this song is a symbol of 'awakening' (kakusei). It's like our burning hearts became a fire.

Q: In this album, just like 'Anitya' in 'konsui', the lead song 'OVER THE HORIZON' was also produced by Okano Hajime-san.
Manabu: For this mini album, I had Okano-san showed me how he did it. I had a few questions about the songs that Okano-san made which I have listened, like "How did you do this?" And in the studio he taught me, "This is how I did it". And I was like "This is the sound that I used to hear!" I was so lucky.

Q: Did it get incorporated in this mini album?
Manabu: Yeah, here and there. I want to use it in our future songs too.
Kazuki: He used it quite often in 'OVER THE HORIZON', and in other songs too.

Q: You seem to really like it (laughs). How about you, Kazuki-san?
Kazuki: I feel that we had more clash of opinions here than our first meeting.
Byou: Maybe it's because it was the second time (working with Okano-san) that we didn't hold back. (For Anitya) we weren't like thet. But, in making something, that kind of exchange is important. I feel that we could properly talk to each other (about the song). Rather than just to entrust it completely (to him), we did it together.

Q: In which parts did you have clash of opinions?
Byou: The effect in A melody and B melody of 'OVER THE HORIZON'. Usually we don't put any effects in our lead songs. But, with Okano-san's suggestion we tried putting some. And I don't know whether it's good or bad, but it stood out and gave me this unusual feeling.
Kazuki: I'm the type who doesn't use effect. Because I'm worried that the effect will overwhelm the lyric. But in the end, we settled on the final sound. Regarding the guitar, I was only told "to play like a melody guitar after the vocal", and as for the rest I could do as I find good. This was during the demo stage, before the pre-production, after Jin had a heated discussion with Okano-san. Since the song selecting process Okano-san had been giving us clear advices.

Q: When Screw works together with Okano-san in song making, the resulting chemistry is different.
Jin: That's right. People can accept our works more easily because of him. 

Jump to: Part 1 | 2

Translated by Val. Original interview here

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