Friday, 2 October 2015

A9 come back Vif Music special personal interview: Show (2015.09.29)

Special Interview: Nao | Saga | Tora | Hiroto | Show

Last in the personal interview series is the vocalist, Show. After 'Alice Nine 11th Anniversary Live [Re:Birth ~hishou~] was over, A9 reflected on themselves objectively and embark on a tour to spread their latest mini album, 'ginga no oto'. In this interview, while Show talks about the back story of the live performance with various feelings, you will be able to feel the tremendous love and good faith he feels towards the other members, staff, fans, and everyone concerned with A9. Moreover, you will also see the conclusion of that issue and A9's homework (?)

Reaffirming myself as part of A9

Q: You have embarked on your tour and gave 2 performances for your FC members. But, first tell us what you felt about your live performance on August 23rd.
Show: Until now we conveyed to our fans that we had come back through music and videos and give some kind of relief for them. But as expected, a band's essence lies in live performances, so I'm relieved that we could show the 5 of us on stage as A9, and all of us were happy that we were able to do that. I could see that the fans really cherish us, and on that live performance I could feel it through my skin. 

Q: How did you feel when the curtains fell and you could see the audience?
Show: 11 years ago, when the 5 of us first appeared on stage, the performance also started with curtain fall on a middle tempo song. That time, the 5 of us were having ups and downs, with our previous bands disbanding and all, so it was like the moment we came back for our old fans. Of course the scale is different this time, but I felt a bit of deja vu of that starting moment. Also, on our live performance at Shibuya AX around one year after our inception, we performed a full song while hidden behind a curtain, so only our silhouettes were visible. We did this kind of things here and there on important occasions, and that synergy really came to me.

Q: Saga-san said that this kind of start makes him embarrassed, and he's more energetic when you come out on stage normally. What do you think about it, Show-san?
Show: This kind of theatrical show is the strong point of a band like us. Saga-kun is the kind of person who gambles on more basic aspects. Which is better, will depend on the situation. Our manager who supported our going independent, also had a hand in proposing that start. I think that start could convey our feelings that we really cherished the moment we came back to our fans.

Q: Did you feel that you had completely come back with that live performance?
Show: Content-wise, it was like the first day of our tour, and so technically there were still some parts which still felt like 'first-time', so I had no intention like "I'm glad!! We've come back!!" I was overwhelmed with gratitude that we could finally start, but since there are fans waiting for us in each regions, we ended the performance with the feeling that we still have to grow more.

Q: Despite not being your latest songs, I got the impression that songs like 'Daybreak' and 'Heart of Gold' was made for that day.
Show: We had similar situation when we made 'Daybreak'.

Q: It was your first single after changing label.
Show: Yes. There are several turning points in the band, so obviously there would be some parts which overlap. The 'Supernova Symphonia' tour that we had last year was the longest one in the history of this band, so the songs performed during that tour still felt fresh, and they grew during the tour. We were also surprised with the sense of unity, like we didn't know it was so anthem-like.

Q: Your solo session was a DJ time and you did that only at Toyosu Pit. How do you feel, doing it for the first time?
Show: When talking about what to do on my solo session, there were also ideas like singing solo with piano accompaniment, but I (decided) to do the thing that I like. But that kind of performance needs visuals and also there are problems regarding equipments so I thought I should limit the performance to Toyosu Pit only. I'm really happy that people got to see it.

Q: Tora-san made the video for you. Did you leave everything to him?
Show: That's right. 2 days before the performance, the VJ whom I thought of requesting (to make the video) was unable to. When I thought, this is bad, Tora said, "How about I do it?" I really love him.

Q: (laughs)
Show: I was really happy.

Q: On your live performance yesterday (September 13th), during your MC before Spiegel, you said that you felt that the audience had some hesitation during your Toyosu Pit performance. Did you feel that often?
Show: Outside Japan, people are like, let's just dance to it, so we don't feel any hesitation from them. But a lot of fans in Japan decide (what to do on a song) by looking at the people around them. But since everyone there also listened to the songs for the first time, they couldn't decide on what to do even if they looked around. It's both the good and bad aspect of (giving) life performances in Japan. And since we accepted it, I thought maybe it would be better if we're the one giving ideas on what to do. I just want them to enjoy the songs.

Q: Hiroto-san said that you're already getting better responses than you did at Toyosu Pit. Do you also feel that?
Show: After the live performance at Toyosu Pit, it's not like we suddenly could grasp a good balance among the 5 of us. But since we've been here for 11 years, we quickly went in that direction. I think our band is stronger now.

Q: I see.
Show: Personally, I usually listen to songs with a lot of "Uoooogh" (growls and screams) so I didn't really have this sense of singing properly. Somewhere in my mind I have this thinking, that it's uncool to care about the interval or rhythm and so on. At Toyosu Pit, that roughness was also there. But, looking at things objectively, in A9 songs there are many delicate melodies, so of course delicateness is needed. In this tour, as I'm putting effort in perfecting my pitch, I could better immerse myself in the songs, and feel that I can release myself (in the songs). While reaffirming myself as part of A9, like a cogwheel, my gear started spinning, and I hope it will keep bringing the band forward.

Q: Tell us your most memorable moment at Toyosu Pit.
Show: Since I'm a vocalist, 'freesia no saku basho' was really... since I didn't turn back while singing it, I didn't know how the projected images turn out to be, but even as I faced the stage, I could see the colours of the lights emitted. We used a nature-like images, and there were times when I felt this illusion as if I was floating in the air, and it was really a good experience singing it. I sang the song as if I was high, so it was memorable. But during 'subete e'... I ended up crying a little.

Q: It was really special.
Show: Yeah. But for me personally, it was 'freesia no saku basho'.

Q: Between Show-san, Tora-san, Hiroto-san, and Saga x Nao drum session, you performed 'freesia no saku basho'. That was unexpected.
Show: Regarding this, there is something I want to say to Saga-kun publicly.

Q: Please do (laughs)
Show: You made me do a difficult solo session right before a ballad song, while you yourself had a lively one. Well, I like your way of doing things, but you think that is okay? (laughs)

Q: Indeed (laughs). Yours was the most difficult one (laughs).
Show: It was!! Plus, I was told (by Saga) "it's okay if it's not lively" (laughs).

Q: Eh? Even though it's a DJ time? (laughs)
Show: That's why I decided on chilling techno tracks, rather than energetic beats. And since it was really difficult, I'm saying this in public (laughs). But it was a session in which I could face the music earnestly, so it was a good thing.

What kind of meaning this existence called A9 has for everyone

Q: But, seeing your live performance yesterday, I felt that A9 are really multi-talented.
Show: That's right. Like Tora, he did everything by himself. He was made to do Rap and DJ, play bass and drums.. (laughs).

Q: He's amazing. In his interview, Tora-san said, "It's already old-fashioned if a guitarist only plays guitar. I like a band which can do everything better". He's really carrying out his words.
Show: I wonder why he doesn't have ego. Usually he's just silently watching us, and is like "This isn't enough, so I will do it." I want to interview his parents about how he grew up.

Q: (laughs). Tora-san also said, "If we have the skills, we can solve a lot of things related to the band". And, Hiroto-san also said, "We bear all responsibilities in everything that we create". 
Show: The more we do it, it's actually faster if we do things by ourselves (laughs). When we get involved with people who represent Japan, I can think "I'm glad we requested them (to do it)".  We are still amateur regarding video and design, but we're the one who knows about A9 the most. As we move forward while looking at the faces of the people who buy our works, we also think about what kind of meaning this existence called A9 has for everyone even more. And that we have to be consistent in our songs and goods-making.

Q: By the way, since Saga-san's interview, for this series we have been asking the members about A9's backstage being dirty. What do you think?
Show: I don't know about other bands.. but is ours dirty?
Manager: Leaving food and drinks just like that, it's horrible.
Show: Aah. I immediately tidy up after eating, but other members like to leave a bit of stuffs and just leave them like that (laughs). What the hell (laughs). There are food leftovers, and most of all, paper cups (laughs). They just leave half-empty cups laying around (laughs). That's right, the leftovers are horrible.

Q: And that is the biggest cause (laughs).
Show: And everyone does that. Why they leave things like that... I can't understand (laughs). Maybe they think it's a waste, and will drink later, but they forget... That kind of people.

Q: (laughs). Show-san, are you the type with a lot of belongings? Or less?
Show: I like an art director named Satou Kashiwa, and he says that if he feels that something is unnecessary he will throw them. At home, I also try my best to dispose things which I have no interest in. But, paper cups.. I also 'make' (use) 2-3 of them everyday (laughs). And so, A9's homework is to graduate from leaving leftovers.

Q: So we arrived to the conclusion that the cause is everyone's leftovers (laughs).
Show: Yeah. I think everyone is at fault. Hiroto-kun is a good boy who tidies up things, but until he realises (that it was dirty)... until his switch is on, he has blood type O personality.

Q: Hiroto-san says that he puts his things properly.
Show: But actually, he's the one with the most leftovers. But he has this "I want to be like this" inside him, so maybe sometimes his "proper, discipline" part and his true self got mixed.

Q: Well then, lastly, what kind of band does A9 aim to be in the future?
Show: I want us to make a song which everyone knows. And also, (I want everyone to know) about A9's world. Maybe the direction seems different but I think we can do both. And that's what we aim for. Also, I want us to once again bear the Japanese flag and perform at Budokan.

Q: Hiroto-san also said the same thing.
Show: I think it's better if one has their goals in concrete words. And it's obvious but it won't be possible only with the 5 of us, so we want everyone around us to lend their strength. And that's why we want to take important steps one by one, and aim for it together with everyone.

Translated by Val. Original interview here.

Also read: Nao | Saga | Tora | Hiroto | Show

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