September 21st, 2011. The date is an important one for Acid Black Cherry and his fans. On this day, ABC embarked on an ambitious musical project. The singer, also the vocalist of the rock band Janne Da Arc, released the first single in a series of monthly singles, all leading up to his new album, "2012", on March 21st.
JpopAsia got a chance to speak to ABC about his latest musical work. Check out our exclusive interview below:
JPA: You’ve decided to release 5 singles in 5 months. That’s a new single every month! Why did you decide to do this?
ABC: With Acid Black Cherry reaching its 4th anniversary, I made them so the many styles of Acid Black Cherry can be heard while expressing a spectrum of 5 different types in 5 months in order to have Acid Black Cherry’s broad range of music be known.
JPA: All your singles include a cover song as the B-side track. Explain the reason why you choose the songs you cover. Do they hold some sort of special meaning to you?
ABC: I’m singing songs that I’d sing at a karaoke by myself, or songs I used to like when I was a kid. Even if they’re nostalgic melodies to me, for younger people nowadays these are songs they’ve never heard before, so I think it’d be great if I can have them know about the wonderfulness of Japanese pop songs.
JPA: Komuro Tetsuya is one of Japan’s leading producers. What was it like working with him on your single “CRISIS”?
ABC: It was because of this song (BELIEVE) that I knew about Watanabe Misato. I really loved it, and this was the first song of TK’s composition that I’ve experienced. I think things such as the key change here, is inventive. Although the arrangement was done by Mr. Komuro, I was very excited just because of that. It was difficult, but it was fun.
JPA: In your music video for “CRISIS” you wear a lot of different outfits. Which one was your favorite?
ABC: Otaku. Although it’s likely some people didn’t notice it because it only showed up in a flash.
JPA: “Chou” and “Black Cherry” are both written from a female’s perspective. Why did you decide to do this?
ABC: When I write lyrics from the female perspective, I think depending on what you do with the female perspective, a short phrase…let’s say if the phrase is “The lip that was bitten on”, it becomes more sensual.
Although it’ll be more sensual and lascivious, but also in a way it'll become non-cliché. If a man says it, won’t it become lewd for real? (laugh) Surely, I think there are refined eroticism and vulgar eroticism. Just depends on which way you go about it.
JPA: On December 10th, you let the first 40,000 people download your summer concert at Fuji Q Highland Conifer Forest. All 40,000 downloads were used in less than 24 hours. Were you surprised by the response?
ABC: YES I DID!
I was thinking I should’ve made it 80,000 downloads (laugh).
Well, it was 40,000 because it’s the 4th anniversary this year.
JPA: ABC is going on its first national tour in 2 years starting in May. How do you feel about going on such a big tour again?
ABC: I’m excited as if I’m going on a school trip.
JPA: Besides the release of your new album and your nationwide tour, what other plans do you have for 2012?
ABC: I want to make it a year where [I’d feel like] I’ve done lives, because more so than before, I want to play lives this year.
JPA: Your 15th single “Yes” is a coupling track to a song you wrote 10 years ago titled “Stop it love [Recreation Track]”. Why did you decide to go back to this song and write a coupling track for it?
ABC: During the period when “GAIA” (Janne Da Arc’s 3rd album, released in 2001 January) was being made, it was a song that was born from a radio show project where we would provide a song for a variety idol. I guess it was perhaps only played on the radio once. Since the staffs took a liking to it, this time it felt like it finally saw the light of day. Since most fans don’t know about it, I think it’d be great if it can become a good present.
JPA: You have 2 songs titled “Shoujo no Inori” and “Shoujo no Inori III”. Why did you skip from the original to the 3rd? What happened to “Shoujo no Inori II”? The lyrics to “Shoujo no Inori” and “Shoujo no Inori III” are quite sad and shocking. What was the inspiration behind those songs?
ABC: At first, I didn’t have the intention to write a continuation. When I wrote the lyrics to be used for the single, I was notified of the passing away of someone I’ve acquainted with since childhood days. There were too many coincidental overlaps with the lyric’s content and I became unable to continue writing it. I thought it shouldn’t be used at that time, and rewrote it. That’s why there wasn’t a II.
However, it’s also a fact I can’t get that reality out of my head no matter what. I don’t want only that point to be exaggerated, but if I don’t talk about it, I can’t explain why I decided to do a sequel.
I knew that girl since she was a young girl, and [she] was connected to “Shoujo no Inori” (translation: “The prayer of a young girl”). The lyrics are entirely fiction. The main character is the same as the one in “Shoujo no Inori”, although time has passed since then, she stayed as a “young girl”.
I think the reason for wanting to die varies by the person. Even if it’s something others think “Just because of something like that?”, it might be extremely heavy to the person themselves. Regarding that, rather than saying “You shouldn’t die”, I wanted to express “As long as you’re alive”.
JPA: Do you have a message for all your international fans?
ABC: Although I don’t feel much sense of reality about whether I really have overseas fans since it’s not like I’m selling CDs overseas if I’ve never done lives overseas; but I think it’d be great if I can have a world tour soon, so if you have even a bit of interest, please listen to Acid Black Cherry.
Special thanks to Acid Black Cherry and his management for the interview.