Excite: So, it’s been about half a year since your last single release. The single after your first album “Rainbow,” “Hanabi Sky” (Released in June of 2009) came out while you were on a nation-wide tour which began this interval of releases.
Fukuhara: That’s right.
Excite: So, what did you do during that time? (Laugh)
Fukuhara: Like having a good time? Hahaha! Honestly, I was probably having fun with my music. This time for about a year and a half I got the time to do things I wanted, like carefully crafting music. I kept on trying to make an album as opposed to just a single.
Excite: So, how did you come up with “Mirai?”
Fukuhara: For “Mirai” the concept was based around that energized feeling you get when you have SOYJOY soy products, so when people listen to the song they’ll get a good sense of order and a similarly energized feel. When it came to the order, I created it to have a freeing feeling as opposed to a restrictive one. The lyrics were written for a friend of mine.
Excite: Really? What kind of friend?
Fukuhara: A close friend of mine that I’ve had since the first year of grade school. In April of this year she became a full on member of society but she isn’t working yet and her seniors are becoming angry with her; she is terribly worried. She is a friend that I have been relying on a great deal since I began this job, this time I’m the one who will be cheering her up with the lyrics of the song.
Excite: Have you included a “Don’t give up!” message for her?
Fukuhara: There is the message of “You can do it!” as well as “We can get through this together!” But we’ve been associated for such a long time, so I know the power she has and I wanted the image of “I’m worried right now, but I will certainly be laughing in the future” to be seen in the song. I wanted the “smile” in the lyrics to be this one (smiles). I feel like when I sneak a look of her face in the future she will definitely be smiling. These are the feelings I’ve put in the song.
Excite: By the way, did this woman find employment in Tokyo?
Fukuhara: No, in Hokkaido. Yesterday she called me weeping. It was like “Everything’s alright.” We have the sort of relationship where we come together and have these kinds of conversations night after night where we comfort each other.
Excite: This song was arranged and produced by Kameda Seiji, what kind of arrangement was he seeking for it?
Fukuhara: I left the basis of it to him. In regards to my live members, I wanted to give these people something that felt important. First off, I wanted people to be able to see their craft and music, so from there on I had much to sing about. When it comes to this song I wanted him not to fail in giving the song a positive and sparkling feel to it.
Excite: What type of impression did the arrangement leave you with?
Fukuhara: I have nothing but good things to say about it. It’s kind of genre-less, and even points that don’t have meaning have meaning (laughs). It’s terribly pleasant, but I don’t think it gives the impression that you could separate it into any one genre. (The quality) never drops, I feel like it just keeps reaching upwards, you know?
Excite: Roughly speaking, rock is rock, right? But when it comes to the base, Kameda’s amazing “singing” section is groove based.
Fukuhara: Yeah. When I listened to it I thought there is this rock portion but also there is a mellow B pop side to it at the same time. Through working together I have learned a great deal, in an emotional capacity as well as in my work.
Excite: What feelings do you have about the second song you wrote, “Moshikashite?”
Fukuhara: This song is for the girl who’s always murmuring about something. Singing to the person who broke up, singing to myself (laughs), it’s that kind of song. There isn't a clear distinction from me, it was just kind of dragged out of me.
Excite: Certainly because the protagonist of the song has a lingering affection.
Fukuhara: It’s like when she’s walking all by herself through the streets she used to walk through with her boyfriend it feels like you can relate to it. At times when you recall these situations and think “We used to walk here together” you get sad. It’s like, from the start it was difficult to carry on the relationship but even after breaking up you can later recognize that you truly liked each other. That’s the feeling she’s constantly murmuring when I sing.
Excite: The protagonist can then move on to her next love, right?
Fukuhara: I don’t think she can. There are people who think “I wonder if this person is the next one” however they end up realizing they aren’t right. And because of that they end up thinking about former boyfriends again.
Excite: The lyrics are “I wonder if 10 year pass very quickly?” but people’s feelings can change quickly in a matter of months. Moreover, we say women who can overwrite their love are skillful.
Fukuhara: You’re right, but I’m absolutely terrible at that.
Excite: Not just with love, the type where the thought of “Oh, it could have gone this way instead” always remains?
Fukuhara: No, I think it may just be with love. With that you can just fall asleep and forget about it, for love the girl is thoroughly hopeless (bitter smile). I’m the type that relates to this and am envious of the girls who says “Next, NEXT!” and are able to change. They’re so cool.
Excite: You could say then, I guess, that this is one of many clumsy love songs (laughs).
Fukuhara: Hahaha, just like “Nande Nakitaku Nacchaun Darou.”
Excite: This song (“Moshikashite”) was written with KEN of 2SOUL, what image did you use when making the sound?
Fukuhara: With the song 2SOUL and I did together, we really put our heart into it. While focusing on working on the album, we wrote the song thinking that it would turn out great if we tried rearranging the band. "In the same way, when we were writing "THANK YOU," KEN said that the band would surely want to play "Moshikashite," so we created a performance for the members at their request."
Excite: Would you say this album completely aimed for a band sound?
Fukuhara: Yes, I would. Being very particular over the musical performance was a big theme here.
Excite: In doing so, you wanted the sound to be more dynamic?
Fukuhara: Yes it’s dynamic, but also real and simplistic. I really love a natural (raw?) sound; I wanted “people” who are musical performers to be able to perfectly see this album.
Fukuhara: I wanted to make it consistent, the CD and the live. I put my heart into making this album, performing live music; therefore I want to have a feeling of oneness inside myself.