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Text Interviews » Anican Free Yuki Kajiura interview about “stone cold” single


This is the translation of the interview from 「FREE Anikan」 released on July 20, 2011 in Japan. Translation by ninetales

Interviewer: About the tune’s origin: were your impressions from it being attached to the anime “Sacred Seven” good?

Kajiura: Hmm, talking about doing the work itself is difficult. It’s absolutely “netabare” (laughs).
But, with my heart beating very fast, I felt myself “struggling”.
When they showed me everything in the creation with one or two story scenarios – about a boy who has a mysterious strength, but turns his back and doesn’t acknowledge that strength, while little by little his heart opens……I read through the words of his growth to adulthood.
It wasn’t in accordance with my thoughts, and it denied what seemed to be thoughts of tricking one’s companions; but, as a matter of fact, that person was possibly correct, not knowing who to believe in. With such a situation, the scale of the project changed, but I believed something like “We seem to be experienced in this every day.”

Interviewer: From there, how did you expand the image of the tune?

Kajiura: “Well, this is a story of a stone rolling along.” Like that. After all, he doesn’t know to struggle and change for the better, but he doesn’t struggle and from there he can’t escape. It’s a place where you’re always struggling in such a way as that. Therefore, seeming to roll along, I thought that I wanted to include that in the melody.
From there, I made the A-melody ‘pounding’, and it went until the continued ‘sabi’. When it was ready, it was a fast song. Even for the lyrics – because the concept of unwillingly being dragged into something but gradually beginning to roll along had been decided, it was quite fast.

Interviewer: In the making of this song, while you wrote it and decided who was going to sing where, was it “what you’d hoped to write”?

Kajiura: That’s right, it was. When I was creating the A-melody, in my head Kaori-chan was singing it, and I’d decided on Kaori-chan. Even if I work on the chorus melody, her coming to mind at the same time happened often. So I thought I wanted to make an octave harmony, and have Kaori-chan’s one octave come in below.
After, even though it’s Keiko-chan who does the lower harmony, (Kaori?) comes in somewhat high. It became the splendid heavy harmony of four voices. Therefore, I felt that it wasn’t a tune with an excess of growth.
If it piles up each voice one by one, seeming to feel like “therefore, it’s everything”, it seems rather machine-like in its slight build-up, but I thought of seeming to do such thickness from the beginning.

Interviewer: As for the tunes of FictionJunction (FJ below), are there many that are “what you’d hoped to write”?

Kajiura: Oh no, they’re never that. When it comes to the four utahime, their fields of specialty are beyond varied (laughs). Thus, someone can sing anywhere. Even if I created music of interest, someone (in FJ) could sing it, and that’s such a comfort.
For example, before the melody that seems to be the “stone`” melody folded up, it’s Kaori-chan’s field of speciality to sing and emphasize the beat.
There, when it comes to harmonizing, Keiko-chan is skilled.
In ‘breaking through’ a little and seeming to sing to the heavens, that’s absolutely Wakana-chan’s field of specialty, and high intervals of harmony and such are Kaida-san’s field of specialty.
Because we’re able to do such things, it all works out. Conversely, this time wasn’t done oppositely, and there’s no way to tell whether such a thing is correct.

Interviewer: In the recording stage of song-making, was there no difference in the image?

Kajiura: This time, there wasn’t. It was in accordance with me thinking, “I think if this person sings like this, that’s good.” But it’s a situation where even someone who “betrays” is good. It was what I’d decided on, thinking about it entirely. But this tune was unexpectedly a “constructive” tune, so in line with thinking about it entirely, I think it was pretty good.

Interviewer: Did you not think about seeming to remove the anticipation?

Kajiura: As for myself, I’m a person who doesn’t like betrayal very much. Or people who betray for the sake of betrayal. But if one thinks that people who’ve betrayed are cool, in this I didn’t think there was a necessity for betrayal.

Interviewer: From the time of the work, was there a similar image in the live too?

Kajiura: Honestly, I had plans to do it from the time of my work to the live. Like that, if we hadn’t done this time’s live (Yuki Kajiura LIVE Vol.#7), that would definitely have been betrayal (laughs).
However, I thought, “I think it’s dreadful.” Fast talking, no breath, “Kaori-chan, I wonder if you’ll die…” (laughs).
If we finished (singing in the live), first of all, we weren’t able to introduce the MC and it was pathetic, or so I thought.

Interviewer: As for the FJ single, even though there are two works before this, did you do photography for the PV?

Kajiura: This time, we did it too. It was photography in a realistic space, a little. Till now, I think it’s been PVs of everyone being life-sized, but this time there’s an artificial strangeness to it.

Interviewer: Regarding the scenes of your personal appearance, what were your impressions?

Kajiura: I always request for them “to be shortened”. FJ being Yuki Kajiura’s solo unit, my stomach gets in a knot about it, and I’m resolute that my picture shouldn’t be taken. But there’s a proposal for me to be (facing the people of the staff) a little more (laughs).

Interviewer: So about the PV, are there demands put out from Kajiura-san?

Kajiura: I’m tone-deaf on images, even when they’re explained to me, so I can say nothing definite. There was something like, “Till here we’ve been in a confined space, and I feel that I want us to spread out.”
Only in recording various PVs, when they take a picture of us not moving in spite of singing furiously, I’m greatly opposed to that. If there’s an image of proportioning the feelings of “singers appearing”, as for myself there’s nothing in any other, but – for example – if, where there’s an interval, the violin appears energetic, I want there to be an image of energy even if the violin isn’t shown.
If they sing and only the ‘singers’ cry, I want an image just of crying.

Interviewer: So you have a standard regarding PVs.

Kajiura: That’s right. I think, even for myself, that’s honestly a standard. The importance of taking pictures of me, parallel to the emotions precisely in a song, it’s no more than that.

Interviewer: Please tell us about also making the coupling song “Hitorigoto”.

Kajiura: I thought that anything was fine for the coupling (song) of “Stone…”, and so I made it fondly. From when it was finished, the chorus line was also finished, but if it was like “It’s not repeating this and also this,” the melody line that changed completely to good feelings was overlapping. However, if the chorus till here has complexity, and if one doesn’t use a person with a different voice quality, then it becomes sloppy. In short, if I don’t use the four people of FJ, it even becomes a somewhat difficult song.
Afterwards, I wanted to put in a soprano sax. If it seems to use four people in the order of the chorus, and if I want to record a soprano sax too, it’s a song that when finished joined together those two desires (laughs). As for the result, if it’s something JAZZY, it might offend the JAZZ people, but it became a JAZZY song just a little.
With it just being a song that didn’t use all of FJ, it had interest, but there was a problem that “I wonder if it’ll anger FJ?”

Interviewer: I think that such a thing as a soprano sax is pretty rare, so what’s your reason for using it?

Kajiura: Well, there’s a rhythm that’s put into the chorus, and in it the piano plays rapidly, so “Ah, soprano sax.” Sorry, but it’s me living ‘yamakan’ (laughs). But, the tenor (sax)’s too low, the flute’s too high – so to resound above the rapidity I couldn’t use anything but a soprano sax, or so I thought.
In the first place, I’ve grown to like the soprano sax, from ‘Barbie Boys’ (laughs).

Interviewer: What was your impression of such a tune, that you haven’t done till now?

Kajiura: It probably existed (at some point). I wonder if it’s a soundtrack-like work…
It’s simple, but it has a heavy melody, so it’s not something in a soundtrack. But, I wonder if it’s not even a soundtrack?
It’s got a line that’s completely different even from the chorus……it’s easy-listening.

Interviewer: I wonder if that’s because of the soprano sax, hmm?

Kajiura: It’s possible that it was from such a simple current (laughs).

Interviewer: Well, as for “Hitorigoto”, with you being the one who decided where the utahime would sing, how did you do that?

Kajiura: Being the decider, I had everyone sing a ‘temporary song’. Even I didn’t completely know what to do, so I had the four people sing the ‘temporary song’, with various constructions. And I decided that way.
Such a melody was more and more simple, and only the voice quality of the singing person fits. That being the case, I couldn’t read it.

Interviewer: It’s left in your hearing, so it’s certainly not the characteristic-like voice quality of a person.

Kajiura: It’s breath-like, it can only cure hearing that person’s voice, so is it not such a person? The quality of a voice is greatly characteristic-like.
However, with four people not being such a vocal, I didn’t think it’s possibly non-united, and when I had them sing, I thought, “I didn’t know how to work with them, when they sang such a song,” and I made myself study it greatly. I thought that I wouldn’t make them sing more.
It’s not betrayal, the anticipation of saying, “I wonder if this is their forte?”; but it was betrayal, thinking, “I’m not very good at this”, and the awesomely wonderful thing is to do it. When it comes to such times, I think, “I’ve underestimated that person” greatly in my heart, and skip scolding myself (laughs). Therefore, I feel, “I won’t create a place to have them show betrayal, even in lives.”

Interviewer: You’ve done a few stories about lives, and done the lives of Yuki Kajiura (YK below) on June 29th and July 10th, so did you face the same image as before?

Kajiura: I think the YK lives till now were jewelry-box-like, where we didn’t know what to come up with.
Since there can be 3-40 things from a soundtrack that holds over 20 songs, if we said, “Wow, I wonder what we should come up with,”……isn’t that what happened? (laughs). Thus, we selected things, saying “How about this?”, and I think that’s a live where we enjoy “songs such as these too”.
But, this time’s live was one where there were many customers saying, “I want to hear these songs.” It wasn’t just us continuing such releases.
In spite of that, saying that we didn’t want to perform the songs from the latest CD release, it’s “NO”. Therefore, I thought that there were a lot of people saying “Play these songs.”
So when we played those songs, thinking, “It’s still good,” not being dejected by “what we thought is actually wrong”, it was just the circumstances. Up till now, there certainly hasn’t been a reason for a good adjustment, but it was a place where we preferred enjoyableness (laughs).
We’ll try our best precisely.

Interviewer: I’d say there are people who were hearing the live for the first time. Including both the people who’ve heard it and the people who haven’t heard it, please give us a message regarding the latest single.

Kajiura: For FJ, I think it’s both an unusual and liberating song. It’s becoming a song that seems to continue to roll and also seems to advance forward. It ‘bursts open’ four people and the beat was effective, so I believe it’s a song that’s easy for everyone to sing. If, along with the work, you can love it, that’ll be wonderful.

Interviewer: It’s easy to sing, huh?

Kajiura: It’s splendid, a song that you can sing with energy. If you sing it to yourself, it “SHOULD!” be fun.
But the B-side might be a little difficult. They can always say, “Please make it so the next song can be sung even by one person,” but even this time I betray their anticipations.
And entangling it with English, it’s a chorus that’ll certainly stick in your head (laughs).

Text by Kiyomizu Kouji.