BUMP OF CHICKEN Special Interview Translation

Original: Oricon Style
Translator: Erin Grace

The release of BUMP OF CHICKEN’s 2 new singles in 2 consecutive weeks is certainly a special occasion.  Their long-loved music, which they’re continually making, is clearly distinct from today’s other short-lived selections.  The rock number “HAPPY,” with it’s full-throttle guitar, and “Mahou no Ryouri~Kimi kara Kimi he~,” endowed with fantastic breadth and featured on NHK’s “Minna no Uta.”  Although their styles are different, together they indicate wonderful work continuing on to a new horizon. 

Questioning what no one questions 

(Watch the video for "HAPPY" here!)

--Were the 2 consecutive weeks of releases decided on by request of the band?  
Fujiwara Motoo: It was.  We had the songs, and they said that they wanted them both to be released at this time, so we did it. (laugh)
 

--When did you make “HAPPY?”  
Fujiwara:  We’ve made plenty of new songs recently, but this is the oldest, written around fall before last. 
 

--It could be said that you’re taking the easy road to rock, but conversely there’s a fresh feeling there as well.  And when BUMP OF CHICKEN does something, it naturally becomes unique.  
Fujiwara:  I’ve always liked that style of guitar.  There was a feeling that it’s constructed from the guitar.  At first it was simpler glam rock, but as the band carried it forward, as we went on, it became denser.  This is the band’s forte.
 

--Did you write the lyrics with this motif in mind?  
Fujiwara:  I wrote it thinking of a pair of friends.  That was my idea.
 

--The chorus of “Happy Birthday” that enters in the hook of the song is also very impressive. 
Fujiwara:  Even if you don’t think birthdays are happy, everyone says “happy birthday” without questioning it.  Even I do it, it’s a set thing you remember.  I’m not complaining about things that become “set,” but I wonder why they’re that way.  I think it’s necessary to sing about such things.
 

--There’s a lot in common with the feeling of your last single, “R.I.P/Merry Christmas,” but this is a song with a foundational depth.  
Fujiwara:  How you feel when you listen to this song depends on the listener.  I think everyone listens in their own way.
 

Our idea was to explore what our 20s were about 

(Watch the video for "Mahou no Ryouri~Kimi kara Kimi he~" here!)

-- What was your idea when writing “Mahou no Ryouri~Kimi kara Kimi he~?” 
Fujiwara: I wrote this song at the end of my 20s, right before my birthday.  We said to ourselves, “There are things you can only write in your 20s, so let’s release this album while we’re still in our 20s.”  We weren’t quite on time, but our idea was to explore what our twenties were about.  Encountering one another, forming the band, writing songs, playing music all over the country, having fans come see us…  We thought about why it turned out like this, and about the people around us.  All of that is contained in this song.
 

--Even though you’re using personal motifs, it’s a universal song. 
Fujiwara:  I wrote this song thinking that I shouldn’t sing only about myself, but it’s my song about my things, and when it was televised on NHK’s “Minna no Uta,” I thought it was sort of embarrassing.  (laugh)  I got the question, “Did you write this for children?” but I didn’t write it for any one generation.  I wanted to write a song that could be listened to by children or adults.
 

--And you’re continuing to make songs now.

  Fujiwara:  I am.  It’s fun to go into the studio to make music.  You notice I say “make.”  But, of course, we don’t forget about the people listening to our music.  I want to take the music in my mind and bring it to completion, and at any rate, I want people to listen to it. 

Interview: Hasegawa Makoto