I'm happy that we can be an existence which colours the person's life. And That's one of the reasons I'm glad we're still here.
Q: Nao-san, what do you think of your current environment, where you have to bear all responsibilities?
Nao: By changing our environment to one where we create everything by ourselves, more possibilities are born. With that, we ourselves really look forward to our future and are really excited.
We've been giving a lot of announcements lately, but in the future it looks like we will be able to give more out-of-the-box announcements. And since we can create freely, our excitement just keeps increasing. It's as if we go back to our feelings when we were still teenagers starting a band, full of excitement and pitter-patter.
Q: It was surprising when Show-san appeared in 'Phoenix' PV with a mask.
Show: On the contrary, I guess it's more enjoyable when people are surprised, like "Eh?"
Q: Did you receive a lot of reactions?
Show: We got some. We also got some pleasant surprises. As this band has been around for over 10 years, there are people who supported us in the beginning, but because of change in environment and all they went away, and now they came back. Of course, there are also people who only come to know us recently, and people who start following us at various points of time. And because of the news of our coming back, the people who at one point went away also came back. And actually, we also got message like, "It's like a friend who had grown apart came back". In this way, there were more and more people anticipating our comeback. And since our feeling to answer that anticipation also had grown stronger, now we're like "Let's ask ourselves the value of A9, once again".
Q: 10 years is quite a long time.
Show: We received a letter from someone who had been our fans since middle school, saying "I got married". That's how long it is. I'm happy that we can be an existence which colours the person's life. And That's one of the reasons I'm glad we're still here.
On top of showing our "We went independent because we feel the possibility to leap forward" attitude, we also had to do original things. And when we thought of that, one of the ideas which came out was crowd funding.
Q: Your upcoming mini album, 'ginga no oto' will only be available at your live venues.
Show: The CD version will be on sale from August 23rd on our "Alice Nine 11th Anniversary Live [Re:Birth ~hishou~]" onwards, at our nationwide tour live venues.
We made 'ginga no oto' using crowd funding system. For the people participating in the crowd funding, we will distribute high quality audio files even earlier than the CD release date.
I'm thinking of applying this (audio file) distribution for our future releases as well. There are people looking for A9 music all over the world. And in order to not discriminate against them, I think audio file distribution is the most suitable method. Of course, we will also respond to people who want the CD version. But this time, through limited sale at live venues, we wanted people who really like A9's music to get it there, and that's why we decided to do it.
Q: Crowd funding system is also quite new.
Show: Rather than showing similar activities to the one we did when we still belonged to a company, we wanted to show this mental attitude that "We went independent because we feel the possibility to leap forward", and along with that, we also had to do original things. And when we thought of that, one of the ideas which came out was crowd funding. In the future, we want to propose a lot of things, without being confined by various restrictions.
Q: I'm looking forward to your nation-wide tour which will take place after your comeback live performance. Before that, you had made the 'Phoenix' PV public. What kind of reactions did you get?
Show: The moment we announced 'Phoenix', people were really happy. They're also waiting eagerly for the 5 of us returning to the stage on August 23rd. We really felt that a lot of people are waiting eagerly to meet us at live performances.
In 'Phoenix', we wanted to show that we hadn't thrown away the last 10 years, but rather we traced back to this past 10 years and the us 10 years from now.
Q: On the road to your comeback, first you released the PV for 'Phoenix'. As expected, this song is the most suitable in delivering your feelings as the first step.
Show: That's right. Saga-kun was the one composing this song. The director who made the PV for 'Phoenix' also helped with a lot of visuals, as if pushing for our comeback from behind. Its music included, 'Phoenix' had taken the perfect shape as signal of out comeback, which we had promised. And in that sense also, 'Phoenix' is a work which holds a lot of meaning for us.
Q: Saga-san, what did you think of when making 'Phoenix'?
Saga: We had always been in a major record company, so I always considered the listeners when composing songs. But since we changed our environment and went independent from our label, now there's nothing restricting us in this environment. Of course, now it's still important to think about the listeners when composing songs. But in current times, it's also important to present songs in which the band's identity can be seen, like "What does this band want to do and express?" I made 'Phoenix' while having this excitement of "How would people react when we bring this song to the world?"
Q: Now is indeed the time when people assert what they want to do.
Saga: That's right. Now there is no barrier between indies and major, and music has become more fragmented, unlike the old times when people shared the same kind of music. And that's why, I think we should be thorough in what we want to do. If people support our musicianship then it's good, but if they don't then so be it. We came to a clear decision regarding our feelings. And we compose songs with that kind of feelings.
Q: Nao-san, how do you find 'Phoenix'?
Nao: We decided to make this song as our 'announcement song' since we wanted to surprise our fans. "With the PV that uses projection mapping, the costume with Japanese patterns which reminds people of our early year, and Show-kun' mask, what will happen from now on?" We wanted to excite our fans in that way. We ourselves also made 'Phoenix' into a song filled with Alice Nine's future and determination.
Q: What about you, Tora-san?
Tora: I think Phoenix is a song that reminds people about our past a little, but also gives a feel of something new. Rather, by including elements from our early years, we can show our progress clearly, and we can give our fans excitement, like "This is how Alice Nine is going to move forward".
Q: When focusing on your future, did you feel that projecting your past is also an important element?
Tora: I think so. All of us think that, our present is there because of our past. We wanted to show that we hadn't thrown away the last 10 years, but rather we traced back to this past 10 years and the us 10 years from now. And the one which turns that feeling into a concrete shape is 'Phoenix'.
Translated by Val