this is an interview translation of their newest album :D
Interview script released by オリ★スタ (Ori-suta), October 25 edition, on sale October 15
Q: Now everything about your new project has become clear. Your new album will be released as a set with “FEATURE MUSIC FILM”, a 77-minute DVD that includes all of the album’s songs. I found the idea of fusing together your music with film something very new.
Murakami: Thank you very much.
Q: The seven of you haven’t acted together since your stage show at Osaka’s Shochiku theater (in 2006) but did you have fun during filming?
Yokoyama: We did have fun. We were all playing games together between shoots.
Q: Unlike the things people see in variety and music shows, there were plenty of scenes where you all showed more cool and serious expressions.
Yokoyama: When I saw the finished product, I was surprised. I thought, “they were filming so much”. I didn’t know how many scenes I wasn’t in until I saw the end product. I felt like there were a lot more scenes where we were together with the other members than I had imagined while reading the script.
Nishikido: Filming was fun, but I particularly enjoyed the time we had in between filming. Usually when I’m out filming a drama, it’s like I’m on my own because the other members aren’t there. I’m quite lonely a lot of the time (laughs). But this time I was always with the others during breaks.
Yokoyama: We even went out to eat steak during one break eh.
Maruyama: Oh yeah, we did.
Yokoyama: I think this might’ve been the first time I was able to see how much each of us had matured while we were working together. I remember the first stage show we did together, and because Okura only had variety show experience, he was trying to stick his ear mike onto his chest. But of course it wouldn’t stick so he was panicking (laughs). That had such a big impact on me, I can still picture that scene clearly in my head.
Okura: Ohh, will you stop it (laughs).
Yokoyama: And now I’ve seen how much you’ve changed after being in so many dramas.
Q: In the past, Yasuda-san and Okura-san said they had wanted to do a movie as a group. Is this project a fulfillment of that request?
Murakami: No, the staff had suggested all of it.
Yokoyama: Of course, I do think there would’ve been some parts they had thought of after hearing our comments. While we were rehearsing for our New Year’s Eve concert last year, the staff were telling me, “wouldn’t it be great if you get the chance to make a new album and a concert tour next year”.
Q: So, you already knew that you’d be having a second New Year’s Eve concert around that time?
Yokoyama: We found out about it during our concert tour at the end of last year. Some people at our agency suggested it might be easier to schedule in a New Year’s countdown concert if we planned our tour to end around then.
Q: When did you shoot this movie?
Yasuda: Around May to July.
Q: And the album was recorded around the same time?
Nishikido: No, that was quite a while afterwards.
Yokoyama: But the staff would talk about the album’s songs a lot during filming. Things like, “we’ve asked these people to write the songs”.
Q: So you didn’t go through a process like you did for last year’s album “PUZZLE”, where you chose songs from a long list of choices?
Nishikido: The staff were directing us and saying, “this song is like that so go along with it”.
Murakami: But for our solo songs we did get to choose our favourite one from a list of a few choices. Except for those who wrote their own songs.
Q: Having listened to your album, and your recent singles, I felt they were all high quality, “musically competitive” songs. Especially “LIFE～目の前の向こうへ～”, which was your first single as a band.
Nishikido: I’d been talking about this for ages. I’ve been saying I wanted to release a single as a band and perform on music shows.
Yasuda: I’d always thought it would be cool to show people that Kanjani8 can do a lot of things other than the style they had seen up to now. I think that having various musical skills is what makes us strong.
Nishikido: For our singles up to now, it was all about the performance. Of course, performance is a very important thing and it’s not that I’m suggesting we won’t do it in the future. I just wanted to show as many people as possible that we can do something different. It’s not even a new challenge for us, we’ve done it before during concerts, it’s just that we’ve never done it on TV.
Q: The ballad song “願い (Negai, Wish)”, where you all sing in unison, is an example where I felt betrayed in a good way. I got the sense that you’ve been putting a lot of work into harmonies.
Shibutani: We made these songs knowing they’d have video footage playing alongside it. I think we were constantly imagining that whoever was singing would have their shots running at the same time. There was a lot to take into consideration when figuring out how to sing your part. I found the way that we developed this as something new and interesting.
Q: Yasuda-san, Okura-san, where did the song “って!!!!!!! (tte!!!!!!!)” (available in regular edition only) come from?
Okura: When I was out drinking with Yasu and…it came out from the flow of things. Yasu asked me, “So?”…so I did my best.
Yasuda: At the start, Okura wrote out the first draft of the lyrics, then one of us would edit it and send it to the other via email. I’d change some words or add some in.
Q: “って!!!!!!! (tte!!!!!!!)” was the most Kanjani8-like song to me. Especially because it has seven exclamation marks.
Yasuda: We wanted to make a song unlike any other. We thought that if you were going to sing a rock medley, it would sound something like this.
Yokoyama: “Rock medley” sounds embarrassing. I think Johnny’s are the only people who would call it something like that (laughs). I swear musicians like Mr. Children wouldn’t say, “for out next rock medley…”.
Okura: (laughs) Yeah, well, at least it shows that Johnny’s encompasses a variety of genres, right.
trans credits to momoedgewood :)