Even though your lifestyle changed after the COVID-19 pandemic, it didn't become a situation where you couldn't write songs, did it?
TAKUYA：I’ve been writing a lot. In fact, last year, I composed more music than ever before. I think that people who can no longer write songs have backgrounds, such as "I can't get anything new if I stay at home all the time" or "I don't know what the right answer is anymore”. So it is a very difficult thing...In my case, I think if I feel that I have nothing more to learn, I will not be able to compose. Although my work is based on music, I don't feel like I've "mastered music" at all, probably because I'm happy with entertaining and making people happy. I’m constantly learning doing my best each time. There are a lot of times when I think, "This song is great, but I can't compose this," or "I don't understand the structure of this piece". When I try to understand them, what I want to do naturally comes out, and I think I write songs to go with it.
Takuya Yamanaka (Vo/Gt)
Did you change what you wanted to say or convey through the songs? Including what you want to express next to "SUCK MY WORLD".
TAKUYA：Not much has changed. The reason why we expanded our music in that way was that we wanted to trace our respective roots. For example, some people recognize that Rock music began with Punk in the 60s and 70s but...You know, like “does anybody know that Rock has its roots in black music?” I feel that we need to get down to the roots of the music and move forward as a Rock band from there on. The result was the album "SUCK MY WORLD". So we're totally okay with the fact that it's been controversial, with people saying, "The old songs were better," and "Where are you going with this?" We accepted it all, and after that, I was planning to show ourselves as a “Rock band” in full display. To get into that mode, we made "SUCK MY WORLD" and had most of the songs ready for the next mode.
You were ready, weren't you?
TAKUYA：Yes. We were ready to get into the next mode. However, there was a time when I began to think that it would be difficult to release a new song since "SUCK MY WORLD" could not be performed live yet. And the momentum of Rock music was stagnating because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So once I thought, "I can't do what I originally wanted to do," but now I'm back to, "No, now is the time to do it, right?". Now is the time to play Rock music and make people think, "Rock bands are great". Since the beginning of this year, we've been recomposing with that tension.
Do you feel like "Rock bands are the best" or "this is the place to come back to"?
TAKUYA：I like HIP-HOP and when I listen to solo singers, I feel good melodies, but in my mind, "Rock bands are the best" all the time. I think what attracted me to Rock music was the fact that anything was allowed, including impulsively playing instruments and singing out loud as you can. I think that's something that can only be done with Rock music, and I think the beauty of people who are going in completely different directions coming together to confront a single thing is something that can't be achieved anywhere else. It's because I've never wavered in my belief that "Rock bands are the coolest" that I now feel a strong urge to revitalize this declining scene. I want to create a future in which rock music will be on the charts in a big way. If I imagine that future, I think I'll be able to play music with excitement all the time.
Shigenobu Suzuki (Gt)
When and how did you make the new song “Red Criminal”?
TAKUYA：We got together at the studio in August 2020. When I was talking with the members on the stairs in the studio, I came up with the idea of the "Red Criminal".
AKIRA：I think the production of "Red Criminal" was triggered by conversations between the members. We were like "Why don’t we put this kind of element?" "Yeah let’s try that now" "How about something like Arabian music like ah ~ ah ~ ah ~?".
TAKUYA：What we did when we were relaxed became like the seed of the song. From there we composed it smoothly.
MASAYA：When composing in the studio, first Takuya starts playing his guitar and we add rhythm to the image of Takuya’s phrases. I always compose simply without thinking like "I've been practicing these phrases lately so let's try this". The phrases sung from Takuya's mouth may differ from the drummer's thoughts, but Takuya's images are based on the rhythms he had previously input, so I believe I should be able to reproduce them.
Akirakani Akira (Ba/Cho)
I can imagine that the ideas came naturally when you composed in the studio because you were not able to perform live. This song has a lot of momentum. On the other hand, it's not just a song about giving in to impulses, it's also a song with many different elements in it.
SHIGENOBU：I used the seven-stringed guitar for the first time. There is a natural impulse in this song, but we are in a state of growth from our fifth album "SUCK MY WORLD", so this song is not simply a return to our roots.
Personally, I feel impressed by this part "There are always In the world Something we can’t protect". The song works well enough without this part, but I thought that there was definitely something you wanted to say in it.
TAKUYA：This part was affected by the TV anime "SCARLET NEXUS" ("Red Criminal" is the theme song of the TV anime "SCARLET NEXUS"). In the lyrics, I wrote about the conflict between the two main characters, and I strongly felt that I could not express the conflict without this part. The same was true for the composition of the song. When we composed in the studio and then recomposed it on the desktop, I thought this part was not necessary. However, I reminded myself that the fact that we composed it impulsively in the studio, meant that this part was necessary. Therefore, I think the result was a good match between the emotional part of the TV animation "SCARLET NEXUS" and the impulse of this song. Akira pointed out this part, he said: "You wouldn't normally say this, would you?".
AKIRA：(bows his head in assent)
Masaya Nakanishi (Dr)
TAKUYA：However, I think this part expresses an important feeling I received from the TV anime "Scarlet Nexus". There was a scene in this anime that shocked me, so I decided to write lyrics about that scene. I kept what was created in conjunction with the animation and tried to include a few words at the end that would stick in everyone's mind.
Since this is the first new song in a year and two months, I think many fans are thinking, "How am I supposed to take this song?" For example, is it a point in a larger story like "SUCK MY WORLD" or just a new song?
TAKUYA：This song doesn't have to be as difficult as "SUCK MY WORLD". As I mentioned earlier, I'm working on the next album with the idea of making it an album that conveys the beauty of a Rock band. "Rock bands are the best!" " "I love Rock bands!" "Rock bands are necessary in this world!" If that's what everyone thinks, I think it's enough. As for this song, I think the easiest to understand is the explanation that a Rock band has raised a flag. I would like to demonstrate the persuasive power that I have sharpened in "SUCK MY WORLD".