Asian Kung-Fu Generation's interviews

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Asian Kung-Fu Generation

OriconMy first impression was: "This is a solid album with a good sense of speed." In your last album "Fanclub", there were a lot of complex arrangements but, the feeling of this album is quite different.

Masafumi GotohIf you try to do something difficult by difficult means, the balance all falls apart. When you are performing a lot and and you feel brand new (have catharsis) it's ok. But, once that's gone, it all kinda falls apart.

Kensuke KitaA while back, we thought that our band sounded its best when it was a more 'pop' sound.

Takahiro YamadaInside "pop music" we do a lot of different things... Although, something that's important for us now that it wasn't before is that when people hear the music, we don't want them to think like "Those guys are doing some pretty difficult stuff."

Kiyoshi IjichiSimple songs, yet good songs are harder to make anyway, so this had been our challenge this time.

Masafumi GotohWe wanted to give the songs that extra sparkle. As you get older, you tend to like softer sounds but, for the guitar 'kids' in ourselves we took the song to a little higher lever and made it stronger. (laugh)

OriconSo in your 'teens' you were all about the faster songs?

Masafumi GotohThat's right. You know, when people are around 19, it's when they are most selfish. We were like: "I don't listen to hougaku (traditional Japanese music), so why should I care about it?" (laughs). But at the same time, I listened to THEE MICHELLE GUN ELEPHANT, Sunny Day Service, eastern youth and so on... And I thought: "Wouldn't it be great to be considered a part of these bands"?

Kensuke KitaEveryone kept telling us: "Hey! there's some pretty cool hougaku out there too, man!" (laughs)

OriconYour lyrics seem to have changed a lot, too. Things that encourage the audience to get up and 'do something', like in "Atarashii Sekai", you say "so let's fly off, to a new world where our hearts can dance." There's also a lot about committing yourself to social problems.

Masafumi GotohYeah, what you said is a little complicated... Whether the song is political or not, I write by my vision of the world and society. As you get older, your views are going to change of course and as you watch the news and learn more, your comprehension of things get better. I think we Japanese people have a big responsibility to help poorer countries to build and grow food and so on... Damn, I'm getting a little too obscure here...

OriconSo you're singing about the things that have been concerning you directly?

Masafumi GotohYeah, a little bit. There's also the fact that we are finally grown up's. There's the sense of "Who am I?" and I think it's important to spend some time thinking about this. I've been thinking, though, that taking a new unknown route might give me a better result in the end.

OriconAre you sad now that you are "finally grown up's?"

Masafumi GotohHmmm... That's hard to say. As long as we are continuing to play in our band, there will always be a sense of youth but, there aren't as many of those moments that really take a hold of you right?

Kensuke KitaIt's true! (laugh)

Masafumi GotohThere's that feeling of impatience but, if you don't give it your all for things you can only do today, you'll probably regret it later.

OriconI think the album really captures that. So your band now is really close then?

Kensuke KitaI think a huge part of this is the quality of the music you're playing. If you have good music, the condition of the band as a whole is also good. That's something I think it will never change.

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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