Asian Kung-Fu Generation's interviews

The Memories -2003-

Asian Kung-Fu Generation

The MemoriesChronology and retrospective of the last 10 years 2003, memorable year, the year of our debut. Discussion around the memories of that year (2003): meeting with the president and department director of a label, starting with the headlining concert (One Man Live), then with the metting of the band Straightener during a tour.

The MemoriesMajor debut !? Did you get ripped off ?

Takahiro YamadaThat year, ma very first thought regarding this retrospective, is our first headlining concert.

Kiyoshi Ijichi In any case, that year was also the numerous concerts we have performed.

Takahiro YamadaThe first time I saw this chronology, I forgot we had performed that much.

Kita KensukeTo be honest with you, our debuts in 2003 also was about a lot of casual jobs up to the end of March.

Takahiro YamadaThat's right. But, when our headlining concert's date had been scheduled, we were under a huge stress. The kind of stress which forced us to quit our casual jobs. I remember when we were getting close to the headlining concert's date (smile). We were a little anxious but at that time, we had no money (smile).

Kiyoshi IjichiGraduated from university, I got hired in a company but to do music professionaly speaking, I had to quit. But casual jobs had to be done anyway. At the end of the day, We thought we could do casual jobs and to rehearse at the same time because we weren't that busy. Also, even with all these concerts, we had a few nights left where we could rehearse in a local studio (Machistudio) and others to earn money. This way, we had no reason to stop our casual jobs. We thought we could continue to live that way. Finally, by republishing and doing promotion, we suddenly ended up being very busy.

Takahiro Yamada That's right, we ended up being more and more busy and I had to stop my job and I even hadn't the possibility to attend to my leaving party (smile). To follow my schedule, I made plans to get replaced by my workmates.

Kita Kensuke We even went to meetings without Yama-chan and because he couldn't attend to his own leaving party, it shows how much we were busy.

Kiyoshi Ijichi Before we knew the headlining concert's date, we had lunch with Ki-oon staff. We were wondering if it was a goo thing to work with them because they looked severe. We had the feeling we got ripped off (laugh).

Takahiro YamadaHo yes, there was that lunch with the current president and the department director at that time.

Kiyoshi Ijichi Yes yes, the department director of that time, mister Shiroi. He then became the artistic director of Ajikan for all the time.

Takahiro Yamada And this restaurant was a bar in a basement.

Kiyoshi Ijichi Haaa, that was fishy. The president and director face too (smile)

Takahiro Yamada That was fishy, an extortion atmosphere. In any case, we couldn't know in what we were going to get involve after this meeting.

Kiyoshi Ijichi It was after a concert, wasn't it ? Where was it already?

Takahiro Yamada Huuuum, maybe it was after the cyclone in Shibuya ?

Kiyoshi Ijichi Ho yes ! That was in 2002 after the cyclone in Shibuya.

Takahiro Yamada When we wanted to go inside, they said "come with us this way", and we ended up in the basement bar in no time. And they gave us their Ki-oon profesional cards.

Kita Kensuke And I, having total faith into Gotchi and Yama-chan, I followed them without thinking and try to understand too much. I think that is why I couldn't imagine that meeting was going to be the beginning of our career.

Takahiro Yamada Yes and me neither, I didn't have the feeling, neither the sensation that it was about or headling concert. "This is it ! Yeah ! ", that, I never felt it, at any time.

Kensuke Kita Even Ki-oon collaborators had serious faces, they weren't smiling at all.

Takahiro Yamada They came to talk about the concert they saw, to speak with us and to decide if from now until a month, we could sign an agreement.

Kita Kensuke In that bar, I don't remember only having a professional discussion, it was after the show (laugh)

Takahiro Yamada I think I remember that Ki-oon president, M.Nakayama who is from Yokohama, while listening to us, got enthusiastic. Then, I also remember they liked so much Houkai Amplifier, and that Ki-oon co-workers had difficulties to class us, what type of artist we were, from which movement.

Kensuke Kita Fundamentally , it's just like when we meet with an adult for the first time, we never forget. That was the same for our meeting with Mister Ogawa (our former manager, before our headlining concert), without the fishy look.

Takahiro Yamada Ever since the band formation, Ken-chan is always ready when it comes about the band, however this time, he wasn't convinced at all.

Kensuke Kita Yes that's right, but when we met with the president of Ki-oon, it was right after the concert, I surely understand only the half of what was going on. But since it was strangers who invited us, I withdrawn like a shellfish. (laugh)

Kiyoshi Ijichi Ken-chan was staring a the floor for a very long time.

Kita Kensuke But, talking about Yokohama got me filled with enthusiasm (laugh). That year, the first thought crossing my mind is that with Yama-chan, we were impressed by the idea of doing our first headlining concert, it was on May at the Shelter. Following our headlining concert, there weren't new bands performing a headlining concerts anymore.

Takahiro Yamada Even if it was our headlining concert, the title of our concert wasn't displayed

Kita Kensuke Yes, at the Shelter, one can enter at anytime, day like night, it's a huge Live House. But we all agree to go there to play our headlining concert.

Kiyoshi Ijichi There was many other possibilities of Live House but Shelter was the best to us.

Kita Kensuke And then, we systematically started every tour playing at the Shelter.

Kiyoshi Ijichi Right after our headlining concert at the Shelter, it was the release of our very first album Kimi Tsunagi Five M.

Takahiro Yamada So, we had to play for the song Kimi Tsunagi.

Kensuke Kita At the end, there was a double encore and we decided to sing a song who had no name yet: No Name. I had the feeling that Yama-Chan cried a little. Our first headlining concert, he got overwhelmed by his feelings (laugh).

Takahiro Yamada It was still better than letting nothing appear (laugh). And I had a fear that room wasn't full.

Kita Kensuke Moreover tickets were sold on site, we were so happy.

Kiyoshi Ijichi I perfectly remember the concert on May 4th at Shibuya BOXX

Kita Kensuke Gotchi's tone was bad right ? At a point we were wondering if he would be able to produce a sound or not.

Kiyoshi Ijichi Yes surely, Gotchi, 2 days before the concert, became crazy from this. And yet, every days, he rested, protecting his throat. And was saying that for the next concert, he won't have voice anymore. And yet, this concert was very important and Mister Ogawa become agitated.

Kita Kensuke (Laugh) That concert became more and more emotional, he had to mute his feelings (laugh).

Takahiro Yamada When the concert was over, I think I remember we got scold by Mister Ogawa.

Kiyoshio Ijichi It was the first time we really got scold. Personaly, thinking about it, it was a very intense concert. Our first headlining concert deeply moved me. Thanks to this, I have the feeling we became a famous band.

Kita Kensuke Besides, in fall, we participated with the band Straightener at Nana Iro Electric Tour.

Kiyoshi Ijichi That was awesome, we took pictures with Straightener, it was at Shibuya right ?

Kita Kensuke Yes, inside the tunnel, outsite the tunnel etc.

Kiyoshi Ijichi Straightener, how many CD did they release ? They have always been on top. They were younger than us but we wanted to follow their path and succeed like them.

Kita Kensuke I thought : "Woa, Straighteners !!". We were together in the rooms of Shibuya, but never talk seriously with them at that time. In 2002, before our handlining concert, at Oomiya Heart concert, we finally talked together. Then on November, our first album Kimi Tsunagi Five M has been released. We did a lot of promotion for this first album, until summer. With the four of us, we traveled a lot.

Kiyoshi Ijichi I hated doing promotion (laugh). On December, we did a headlining concert at Liquidroom

Kita Kensuke That year, we did three headlining concerts, Shelter, Quattro and Liquidroom.

Kiyoshi Ijichi In 2003 this is how we remember about it and hold a lot of memories. That year had been a very important year.

ThanksThanks to Julien Ti for the translation.

About Asian Kung-Fu Generation

The simplicity and normal behaviour make Asian Kung-Fu Generation different from others Japanese bands. Their appearance on television is scarce and they are more concerned about their works than their image. Since the Fukushima's nuclear disaster, Asian Kung-Fu Generation is involved in favour of the definitive nuclear power stations shut down. Despite an agreement made with Ki/oon Records (Sony), the whole Asian Kung-Fu Generation's discography is financed by the band itself, allowing them to be musically independent towards the label.

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