Friday, 23 October 2015

SCREW OKMusic Vol. 420 Interview (2015.08.20)

A clear passion which brings about a change in mentality

'kakusei', a concept mini album which is in series with 'konsui' which was released in April. 
What did SCREW grasp by going back to the origin of while having clearly evolved?
An introduction to an important work which will connect them to an ideal future.

Q: When you released 'konsui', you were still exploring what kind of work 'kakusei' would be. When did you first get the complete picture of it?
Byou: We had this flow of death and rebirth in mind, so somehow or other we already had the image for it. However, I really grasped the concept of 'kakusei' (awakening) for the first time around the time I started writing the lyrics. Really, it's a mystery as to whether it's really an 'awakening' (kakusei), but my inner self was awakened and I could feel that I have become more positive.
Kazuki: Regarding song-making, I simply thought about what I wanted to do with the current SCREW. Be it playing method, or sound aspect, there were challenges and new things, but I also had the image of going back to our origin. Now we only have 2 people in strings section, so I thought songs with prominent guitar riffs would be good. Maybe because the title is 'kakusei' that I can say that it was relatively easy to work with.
Jin: To be honest I composed songs while still not grasping clearly the concept of 'kakusei'. But when I think about it now, unconsciously I had included the elements of 'life' in it. I think I had this image of 'piercing through the future'. When I listened to the song that I composed again, there are a lot of positive feels to it.

Q: What do you think of 'konsui' now?
Manabu: Compared to 'kakusei', although this might sound bad, but the songs are blurred.. or more like, they're not really alive inside us. It's difficult to understand.
Byou: It feels like a blue flame. I think in the lyrics there are a lot of parts which are like, it's burning but there's a cold feeling to it. But, in 'kakusei' it's a bright red flame. It's like, it's really burning. 
Kazuki: I think, it's only because I had composed 'REMEMBER ME' in 'konsui' that I could complete the 3 songs that I composed for 'kakusei'. I think, I had challenged myself.. like both are linked works but are also opposite of each other.

Q: What kind of feeling was it?
Kazuki: I understand Byou's feeling that it's like a blue flame and red flame, since it's not like they're divided like black and white.
Jin: In 'konsui' there are also songs which wouldn't feel out of place if we had put them in 'kakusei', and also I have the impression that you can combine the two mini albums and make them into an album. For example, 'OVER THE HORIZON' was also there for songs selection in 'konsui'. That time, we exchanged words with Okano Hajime-san, our producer, to decide which to include in 'konsui' between that and 'ANITYA'.

Q: Maybe because it's in 'kakusei' that it brings a fresh air to it.
Kazuki: In a good way, I think that this song is the only one which feels like it has a different way of awakening to it. And in that sense, I guess it feels refreshing.
Byou: I wrote the lyric for this song last. And I thought of writing something really positive. If it were the usual me, I would've dirtied this kind of catchy song. But this time, I thought, maybe this can be something like a song to cheer myself. When I saw the words that I had written again, it was a bit embarrassing, but I think, it's because of this song, that there is 'kakusei'.

Q: The mini album opens with 'FASCIST', a song with dark and industrial, and also strong feel to it.
Kazuki: Since quite a while back, Byou had been telling me to make something dark and industrial, that would be good for a first song in our live performances. That time I didn't really get it, but when I tried it this time, our images overlapped.
Byou: I could really feel 'awakening' (kakusei) from 'FASCIST' and 'BREAK AWAY' even during the demo stage. Therefore, the lyrics were also influenced by the songs, and both have 'firm' feel to them. 'FASCIST' is a song that the 4 of us made, and we had this feeling of wanting to still keep taking control of things when we made it. We wanted to be someone who can stir up the world, something that we had forgotten a little lately. To sum 'BREAK AWAY' in one word, it would be 'breaking out from the shell', I guess (laughs). We wanted to break away from this shell called 'konsui' and crawl forward.

Q: Regarding new elements, I was fascinated by the grand scale of the last song in the mini album, 'RAY OF LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS'.
Kazuki: 'REMEMBER ME' had piano and acoustic guitar, so for this song I had the image of blending the band sounds with orchestra.
Jin: The song has retro elements in some places, which create good atmosphere, and there is also this impression of blending Japanese and Western elements. It's like I'm being taken away to some magical world. It's a song which really feels surreal.
Byou: The tentative title was 'RAY'. From there I associated it with 'light' and 'sun', and I thought 'sunflower' was a good image. It's different, and in a sense, it has a light feeling. But, I'm not like a character who shines under the sun, and if you ask me, I'm the kind of character who's burnt out and worn out by the sun called ideals. But, when night falls the moon shines. The moon is a symbol for our fans. There is still a light that shines for someone like me who had dried up completely. And I think that is perfect to end 'kakusei'. Lately, anyway I want to sing ballad songs in our live performances. I can concentrate only to the songs, and I think that's what vocalists are originally. I want to sing wholeheartedly while feeling the lyrics that I had written.

Q: Such a big change in your mental state. Soon you will embark on a tour, and I guess you will change the way you give your performances.
Byou: We had performed the new songs in pre-release live performances, and I came to really understand the difference between 'kakusei' and 'konsui'. 'kakusei' is... unrefined, I guess. Like, it's full of passion, and so human. This time we will give a performance centred around the 12 songs of 'konsui' and 'kakusei'. I'm really looking forward to it.

Translated by Val. Original interview here

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