We’ve tied it down with the best original, high-quality finishing touches
--This is a very dense album. What were your feelings as you started work on it?
Takuya: When we create an album, first we create several songs, then select out the best 30 or so and go from there. We only wanted to add cool songs to the package, but this time it was mostly songs written by the other band members that rose to the top. We had six songs come up in a day, and we worked the bad music into good music, and tied it all down with the best original, high-quality finishing touches.
--When you’re choosing music, what criteria do you select on?
T: The sixth sense - intuition. For example, the demo of “Isseki wo Tojiru Tokyo midnight sun” had the image of a woman singing in a church to pipe organ music, and then the drums come in. We all thought that it was a cool song, but we weren’t sure if it was a good song. And we were hurt, because we weren’t sure what to do with it. (laugh)
S: No, the rhythm was fresh and good, but we weren’t sure what we had before the rhythm came in. (laugh) But Takuya was passionate about making the song great, and we tuned into his certainty. We created a rough draft of that song, and the final draft was really good.
T: At first we wondered if it was no good. (laugh) No one was sure about it it until we settled on the lyrics and melody, but I was diligent about pushing with my intuition.
--So even though you, as the creator, could see that it was good, the other three couldn’t see it until it was done.
T: Exactly. After 6 years, I’ve noticed that gap. (laugh)
S: When we’re not sure what direction to head in, there’s the pressure from Takuya pushing us to reach the ideal of the song, and that’s part of what makes the band interesting.
We’ve surpassed our previous album, “LAST” - this album is our greatest masterpiece
--So what are your candid thoughts and stories concerning this album?
T: I really think that we’ve surpassed our previous album, “LAST.” The melody and lyrics work together, the lyrics are long on content, and it’s said that this is our greatest masterpiece.
S: When I was writing the singles “MONDO PIECE” and “NO.1” they were good songs individually, but we weren’t sure what they would add to the whole package as new songs, and we thought they might create a messy album. We’re in the middle of a tour right now, but if the fans like the album they’ll buy it and it’ll generate publicity. (laugh)
--Are you doing any of your songs from the album in the tour?
T: We are. But the setlist changes every time. Each day I’ll suddenly suggest a song we’ve never done.
S: We listened to our previous songs and practiced hard so that everyone would remember them.
T: We appreciate a skillfully done song.
S: Sometimes our fans can get impatient. (laugh)
(Interviewer: Wakamatsu Masako)