“Until now my ideas had been fragmentary, and this is the first time they took shape.” (Sakakura)
--Was [“Mousou Taiin A”] fun to perform?
F: It was. We played it according to our interpretation of the song, without diluting the impact of the music.
S: There were a lot of songs that we’d already completed the lyrics for, so we placed a lot of importance on the feeling of the song. We unified our image of the songs as a band, then we put that together with the lyrics and recorded.
--What what your image for the mysterious ballad “Kimi Dake?”
S: We kept using the phrase “insane love.” A one-sided love. I’ve been in that position myself, so I understood what it was about. (laugh)
--I think this is an experience that people everywhere can relate to. And it’s also very beautiful song.
M: More than just beautiful, it’s a scary love song. I don’t have a philosophy about love that would fit in with a shoujo manga; I wrote a love song about the way love is, like a tightrope walk. Even when we were doing the arrangement and figuring out the instrumentation, we wanted the song to feel cold.
--From the beginning, Nico Touches the Walls has had a strong UK flavor, but this album also includes country elements with “Page 1,” some American flavors, some Arabian sounds, and there are all kinds of other styles to accent it. Were you specifically looking to break out of your style?
M: We weren’t really looking to break out of our style so much as it just happened before we noticed it. We recorded in the fervor that comes with the end of a live, and when we listened to it afterwards we realized that it was different from our previous work. We really felt like our songs and our band had come alive.
--“Matryoshka,” the song that Sakakura wrote, is a solid rock song that would sound great in a live.
S: Until now my ideas had been fragmentary, and this is the first time they took shape. I think it really suits the band.
“We want people to take strength from this album’s positive energy.” (Mitsumura)
M: It’s fashionable to to do songs with a connection to UK dance, and we’ve been doing it since before we went major, so we don’t feel like we don’t have to do it anymore. But Sakakura’s song is direct and strong, so we decided to give it direct lyrics, too.
--Mitsumura wrote “Yuujou Sanka” when he was a senior in high school, but it doesn’t feel out of place on the album.
M: If it weren’t for this song, we wouldn’t have “Matryoshka,” or “Rodeo” or “Mousou Taiin A.” I think this song is the root of them all. Even when we play it live, we have fun.
--The final song on the album is the title song, “Passenger.” What are you trying to convey with it?
M: From the very beginning, we wanted the title of this album to be a word that combined “passion” and “messenger.” It’s meant to convey our enthusiasm and feelings. I think that all of our thoughts and feelings about music are packed into this final song, leaving nothing out.
--I think this song is very direct in terms of the singing and music.
M: While doing our tour in the Budoukan last year, we made the resolution to “live within the music.” So I wanted to sing as though I really was living within the music. I want people to listen to our songs, but this past year I unconsciously tried to leave a part of myself in them.
F: I think Mitsumura made the lyrics very plain, and it’s easy to see in the lyrics the things we did and thought about over the past year. Since we so intimately understand it, it’s easy to perform.
S: When we did our final recording, we liked this song better than any of the others. We even like the lyrics best. When I listen to it on my headphones, there are parts that make me cry. It’s a personal song, which gives it universality.
--And you’ll be going on tour again starting in April.
M: We were able to create an album that focused all the energy from last year’s lives, so we want to do a tour to pick up the feedback energy from our fans. We want to thank everyone for giving us everything it took to create an album of this caliber. We want people to take strength from this album’s positive energy.