Alice Nine
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Alice Nine
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Arwen

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Alice Nine, who has just changed recording label to Universal Music, is releasing their new single [Daybreak] at March 20th, which is the beginning of their 3 consecutive months of single releases.
Having invited Mr. Hiraide Satoru, the person known to be the producer for many of UVERworld’s songs, [Daybreak] turned into a number that combines the taste of dance music with fresh band groove. Containing a part of the lyric, “Chizu wo sutete, kakageta Daybreak” (“Throwing away the map, and sailed away Daybreak”), it was finished as a song filled with the strong impression of Alice Nine’s new start. This time, all the members will tell us the process leading to this work, starting from last year’s tour that followed the album [“9”] (released February 2012).

In 2012, we showed a performance that said, “This is Alice Nine’s live.”
— First of all, I’d like to turn back for a moment and look at your activity in 2012. That time, during the interview of [“9”] album, Shou-san said, “We’ve finally finished an album that speaks [This is Alice Nine].” Did that reaction become even stronger during the tour last year?
Shou (vo): Yes, that’s right. For an entire year, we did 3 series of lives, including the countdown live at Yoyogi (Second Gymnasium), that were comprised of [“9”]. [“9”] was an album that we’ve fully packed with Alice Nine’s extensively ranged elements, from heavy metal songs to acoustic kind of songs, even to pop. But through the lives, I wonder if we managed to properly present our individuality.
Hiroto (G): As expected, tours and lives are a band’s number one axis, the production of an album is also aiming for that. Among that, we were greatly able to play with [This is Alice Nine’s live] kind of feeling. According to the setlist that we arranged for [“9”], we managed to get the songs’ position so far.
Tora (G): I think we were able to do a band-like activity. I felt happy to be able to bring along this album and to do lives for a whole year, and during the lives the songs were steadily brought up. I thought I wanted to continue treasuring our songs that way.
Saga (B): From the time we performed for the first time in Budoukan, 2011, I think our foundation for lives has hardened. To think about it even further, wasn’t it a year that soaked deep into our bodies? We were also able to show many different new songs from the album. I think that changing the arrangement of the setlist would give it different impressions.
Nao (Dr): I was a little worried during the production of the album, that “In terms of playing, there are lots of difficult songs”, however, in the end there was no problem (lol). In my mind I was able to consider the ideal type of a drummer, what kind of influence he has in a band, and what he should do to create a better atmosphere for the other members to play along.

I’d like to create something hot that gives out the feeling of ‘You’ve changed’, but in a good way.
— And then, you’re rushing into these 3 consecutive months single releases in March, April and May…
Shou: Yes. We couldn’t release anything last year although we wanted to, so this is like a revenge for that (lol).
— (lol). [“9”] was a compilation for Alice Nine, an album which I thought was like an compilation. For that reason, I’ve come to the consideration that the question “what kind of song will they release next?” has become important. But when I listened to the new single [Daybreak], I was met with the feeling that you are heading toward a thoroughly new place.
Shou: I’m really happy that it gave you that kind of feeling. From the artist’s side they are thinking “This is something new”, but there are also a number of people who listened to it but didn’t get that new feeling. This time there was also the change of our recording label. The A&R ((Artist & Repertoire)) from Universal told us that “I’d like to create something hot that makes people feel ‘You’ve changed’, but in a good way”, and so with that feeling we made our effort. I think it would be great if we could convey that to all listeners as well.
— [Daybreak] is Tora’s creation, what kind of image did you have the first moment you began writing it?
Tora: While I was writing it, I thought of the theme where I wanted to distinguish the high-and-low difference between A-melo and the hook. I thought about drawing out Shou-kun’s qualities. Even while singing the high notes, it doesn’t sound like Shou-kun is singing high notes.
— Because he could let out the high notes easily?
Tora: That’s right. If I boldly lower the A-melo, I wonder if the hook won’t sound higher. When he’s singing the seemingly difficult high-pitched phrases, won’t he sound sexy? Well, the singer himself might have had it tight, but I was thinking “will this sound-range be okay?” while I was writing this song. Because I myself can’t sing high-pitched songs (lol). In terms of arrangements, when the producer (Hiraide Satoru) entered, there were lots of changes made. It doesn’t mean that I was thinking about “showing a new side of me” from the beginning, rather that it’s a song that was arranged as I normally brought it into a discussion.
— Anyway, the rhythm approach for this song is really fresh. You’ve put EDM ((Electronic Dance Music)) taste in it.
Nao: That’s because we’ve put in some loops. The drums part itself is actually simple as usual, but I’ve picked up the takes where I could firmly feel the groove. It’s because I think it’s a part of the root that we should never forget as a band.
Saga: Hiraide-san is originally a drummer, that’s why the parts that he requested were very fresh.
Hiroto: Yes. A band is said to be a world of members, whether they are good or bad, in that meaning the five of us could complete everything we’re working on. But this time, with the new producer, it felt like we had six members. It’s like Perry ((Commander Matthew C. Perry)) who just landed on a foreign island. I think we were able to have lots of creative sharing, from the pre-production stage to the final sound after the mastering process.
— You have uploaded the PV which you shot in a desert-like place. Was this taken early in the morning?
Shou: It was actually shot during the day (lol). It was at a sand dune kind of place at Nakatajima, Shizuoka, in the morning it was minus 5oC, you know. In that kind of situation, we were wearing spring clothes.
Saga: My body was there on the spot, but my soul was flying home (lol).
Shou: Why did we have [Daybreak] as the song’s title!, Saga-kun said, over and over again. Wouldn’t it be better if it was [Burning night], he added.
Saga: We would’ve been able to shoot the PV in a club if the title had been [Burning night] (lol).

A band that can’t keep progressing forward will die
— But of course, choosing [Daybreak] as the title, it must have a strong meaning. In the lyrics, I straightly caught the intention of [From this point on we’re cutting off to a new start].
Shou: That’s true. There’s a certain power in this song, that’s why I thought I’d write real lyrics. Without pretention, I wanted to convey a message about our current condition to everyone who listens to this song. I believe a band that can’t keep progressing forward will die. This song contains the determination to keep going and push ourselves ahead from now on.
Hiroto: Yes.
Shou: I think mannerism is our number one enemy. For example, during a tour, I say to the members, “Every time, let’s create a scene that will rouse our tension.” It’s not good to go on without constant motivation.
Saga: That becomes a pressure, in a good sense. Whether or not we do well, if we have that last-minute preparation, we can concentrate better during a live.
— Because music itself is always changing, right.
Saga: But it’s not that I’m thinking to change by force. The world is progressing rapidly that, when I thought a song would never change, the next thing I knew the band had grown old. Bands like AC/DC are very rare, I think.
— In AC/DC’s case, their fans around the world hope they won’t change, huh.
Saga: Also because we’re not that kind of a band. It is, going an activity = searching for new things.
— Don’t you consider your listeners’ reactions?
Shou: Well first of all, I think it’s best to be a band that gives out the confidence of “If I go to their live, I’ll receive a joyful feeling as a present”. In terms of songs, we work hard just to make people want to first check or listen to the releases when they are out. That’s all there is, really.
Saga: Because it isn’t about whether or not we can do new things. There’s no meaning in not making people want to listen to it. In my mind I keep thinking, “Because I’m making new stuff, people will not like it.”
Shou: Sometimes there are things that aren’t supposed to change. However, I think it doesn’t make sense to keep on living without at least updating your spirit.
Hiroto: We have more fun that way, right. It’s because it isn’t interesting to keep doing the same thing.
— The members’ completely different personalities are also Alice Nine’s strong point. Your two guitarists, even from their appearances are very different…
Hiroto: We’re different, indeed (lol).
Saga: (Looking at Tora) Since he’s here barefooted and wearing his sunglasses.
Shou: He’s hiding his eyes and exposing his feet (lol).
Tora: … I guess my character today is dark, huh (lol).

To be told that [Himitsu] is rather R&B-ish is gross
— The coupling song, [Himitsu] is also very interesting. You’ve put in some R&B-ish taste, right?
Shou: To be told it’s rather R&B-ish is gross. It’s like, “Isn’t this R&B!”
Saga: It’s as if it’s not the real thing. In what way it becomes the real thing, I have no idea. I’ve never thoroughly searched about R&B, nor have I grown up listening to it. But, speaking of Alice Nine, isn’t it good if it becomes an interesting song?
Shou: Because, even though the song has this kind of taste, the drums are raw, perfectly a rock band kind of beat. While maintaining the band’s roots, we’re absorbing the wonders of different genres… That’s our intention of creating this kind of song, so I think it will be worth to listen to.
Saga: There are lots of songs that are like, “The melody is ‘calm’, the track is R&B”. Rock bands just don’t do that very often.
— I see, of course that’s how it is.
Saga: Yes. But when we were producing [Himitsu], I had absolutely no imagination where Shou-kun was heading to when he was singing.
Shou: In a good meaning, Saga-kun can’t read the atmosphere. He said all of a sudden, “This song is a gospel”, and then he inserted poetry reading in it.
— Like that song you included in [“9”], [Hello, World].
Shou: I think I shouldn’t venture into new grounds by thinking there’s no such person, or that he’s not bound by any stereotypes. Since I also inserted rap parts into [Himitsu]. I received a written message from a person in Universal saying, “This sounds like SoulJa.”
Saga: I wanted to add more rap parts (lol).
— You had an acoustic guitar part in the intro, this is rather R&B mannered. During the live, I think that perhaps you’ll be playing the clean guitar…
Tora: That’s right (lol).
Hiroto: Acoustic guitar is Tora’s part.
Saga: Ah, you just totally left it to him (lol).
Tora: Although I actually hate it, acoustic guitar. But generally the left-side guitarist plays the acoustic guitar. It’s better to put the acoustic guitar stand on my right side. If the right-side guitarist plays acoustic guitar, the stand will be a hindrance for the vocalist’s position. … For the time being, I’ve given my explanation (lol).
— (lol). Alice Nine is a band in which being a guitarist is also worth doing. You use a number of irregular tunings, various playing styles are also required.
Tora: We do have lots of irregular tunings. I need at least 5 guitars for a live.
Hiroto: That is also fun.

In the next tour, I want to do lives that you wouldn’t want to miss
— I’ll also be looking forward for the single that is released April 17th, [SHADOWPLAY], and the single in May. I’m thinking how much these predictions would miss.
Shou: I’ll be happy to receive responses like, “For real?” when what we do exceeds expectation. As expected, I’m glad that we decided, “Let’s not set our music ((into one standard))” when we formed our band. Although there were times when it became difficult, not having a fixed foundation (lol).
Hiroto: Because, even though we’re doing activities as a major band, we’re still groping around.
Shou: When I read the previous interview, I said, “This is the start” when we were releasing the album.
Tora: Hahahahaha! (lol)
Saga: That’s right. We kept saying, “We’re starting from now on.”
Shou: As expected, we stopped saying it from around [GEMINI] (released February 2011).
— Is there any anxiety about, is it good for your musicianship to expanse widely?
Shou: Yes… I think there are times when it’s helpless but to perceive, “We’ve tried anyway.” But now our quality has increased generally, we’ve also gained more confidence in trying new things. It was awesome that we were able to produce [“9”]. Even now as I look back, I think that that album was a compilation of everything up to that point.
— From June, your nation-wide tour 「Alice Nine 9th Anniversary #1『World’s End Daybreak』」 will begin. It seems like a tour to confirm the results of your 3 consecutive months releases.
Saga: The coupling songs were made with the same feeling as the lead songs, so I’d also like to properly present them during the live. I want all 6 new songs to be the leading part.
Shou: It will be a tour full of things worth seeing, I want to do lives that you wouldn’t want to miss. I want to do lives that, when people who can’t come to the venue read the live reports, will think, “It would be awesome if I had come.” I said it already but, since we’re going to give you a present in the form of the best joyful feeling, I want you to come and enjoy our lives.

==============================

* Translation by me (and it took me a while to finish it!), so please be nice and credit me if you’re posting this elsewhere and/or translating it.
* Sorry for any mistake. Corrections are welcome.
* Now I’m really curious about Himitsu…
* Damn you Shou, don’t make me regret even more that I live miles away from Japan!
* Source: http://118.67.80.135/music/pp/alicenine03



Tora, his thoughts when writing [Daybreak]
— [Daybreak] is Tora’s creation, what kind of image did you have the first moment you began writing it?

Tora: While I was writing it, I thought of the theme, distinguishing the high-and-low difference between A-melo and the hook. I thought about drawing out Shou-kun’s qualities. Even while singing the high notes, it doesn’t sound like Shou-kun is singing high notes.

— Because he could let out the high notes easily?

Tora: That’s right. If I boldly lower the A-melo, I wonder if the hook won’t sound higher. When Shou is singing the seemingly difficult high-pitched phrases, won’t he sound sexy? Well, the singer himself might have had it tight, but I was thinking “will this sound-range be okay?” while I was writing this song. Because I myself can’t sing high-pitched songs (lol). In terms of arrangements, when the producer (Hiraide Satoru) entered, there were lots of changes made. It doesn’t mean that I was thinking about “showing a new side of me” from the beginning, rather that it’s a song that was arranged as I normally brought it into a discussion.

=================================

From: http://118.67.80.135/music/pp/alicenine03
(I will probably do the rest of the interview if no one else is working on it)



~~~Случайности не случайны~~~

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