(最近考完JLPT後, 認真幫搞英文. 有錯誤歡迎跟我說, 因為我英文有點破破的. 自法國雜誌ZOOM JAPAN-海外粉絲的英文翻譯版本,翻成中文)
"日本製"的Asian Kung-Fu Generation亞細亞功夫世代&搖滾樂
在歐洲巡迴演唱前夕, Asian Kung-Fu Generation亞細亞功夫世代與Zoom Japan進行了一次獨家採訪.
日本樂團Asian Kung-Fu Generation亞細亞功夫世代來到了歐洲進行他們的第一次海外巡迴演唱. アジカン(Ajikan, 在日本他們的粉絲們這樣稱呼他們). 因為數首熱門的動漫歌曲, 像是火影忍者(NARUTO)、鋼之鍊金術師(鋼の錬金術師), 而讓他們在全世界打開知名度. 而且4位成員的樂團組合方式讓我們聯想到威瑟樂團(Weezer)或披頭四(The Beatles). アジカン他們的音樂跟所謂的日本流行偶像團體是完全八竿子打不著關係的. 在這個充滿著豐富想像力的日本群島上, 他們知道如何將各種聲響結合成一種原創風格的音樂. 他們成立於1996年, 至今, アジカン創作了超過140首的歌曲, 並且成為日本廣受歌迷喜愛的樂團. 他們的插畫式專輯封面充滿意境, 讓人聯想到宮崎駿動畫裡頭的女主角, 或者是ヨーコ・ツノ(Yoko Tsuno)的美好重現. 從2011年3月11日海嘯大災難之後, 在Asian Kung-Fu Generation亞細亞功夫世代的搖滾樂身後, 藏著一個已超越音樂世界的完臻理念. 在311福島核災發生後, 樂團的主唱(兼吉他/詞曲)後藤正文, 決定創辦免費雜誌, The Future Times, 且身為總編輯長的後藤, 他撰寫了多篇關於災後環境議題的報導. 在他們發行第7張專輯"ランドマーク(Landmark)"的2012這一年, アジカン與坂本龍一策劃在東京舉辦第一次反核的音樂祭No Nukes. 後藤正文表示:"主要的目的並不是抗爭,而是讓年輕人了解這個必要的議題". 就如同他們的優質歌曲Marching Band(軍樂隊)般, アジカン似乎想帶領日本新一代的年輕人走向更美好的世界. 當然, 不需要理解日本語也能好好得享受他們的音樂!!
Q: 這是你們的第一次歐洲巡迴演唱, 對於聽眾們有什麼任何的期待嗎?
後藤正文(主唱): 不曉得耶, 我希望大家不要角色扮演前來就好!(笑) 除此之外, 我們在演唱會上的穿著打扮也會像現在差不多. 日本有些華麗的視覺系在歐洲非常受歡迎, 團員甚至還化妝. 他們是"偶像"啊! 但我們是樸素簡單的!
喜多建介(吉他): 沒錯! 還有啊, 我們是歐吉桑, 是老頭子了! (再笑)
後藤正文: 17年前, 我們在橫濱的關東學院大學認識並組成樂團, 從那之後我們4個人就沒有分開過了, 也就是說我們4個人超過一半的人生幾乎都處在一起! 最初剛成立的那4年期間裡, 我們常舉辦一些小型的現場演唱. 之後, 我們在大學裡表演, 同時我們決定要好好得作下去!(樂團) 我們開始在東京大量舉辦現場表演的次數, 然後我們被一些派對邀請演出. 在2003那年, 唱片公司Ki/oon Records與我們接洽簽合約, 為了要重新發行專輯"崩壊アンプリファー", 那是我們地下時期時所發行的重要作品(註記: 地下時期是由Under Flower Records所發行此張專輯). 那真的是很出乎意料的發展. 於是我們簽下了合約, 把原本的工作辭了, 因為我們已經是唱片公司的員工了.
後藤正文: 有的, 那真是很不容易, 因為我們並不是很清楚該怎麼做. 地下時期所有的一切都要靠自己製作. 像是我用麥克風直接在網路上表演, 推銷我們自己的音樂.
喜多建介: 我也不知道該怎麼做, 我甚至親自熨燙我們的週邊T-shirt.
後藤正文: 所有的花費都很貴, 像是停車費、瓦斯費. 我們常在表演、販賣週邊之後破產, 因為常常也沒賺錢還自己倒貼.
Q: 你們有些歌曲被動畫拿來當作主題曲, 你們喜歡這些動畫嗎?
後藤正文: 老實說, 我們不是很在行, 而且我們的年紀來說也不太容易熱衷. 動畫歌曲我們主要的靈感來源是參考宮崎駿的動畫. 我們製作了一些歌曲, 他們從中拿來當作動畫主題曲. 當然, 那對打開我們知名度的幫助很大. 我喜歡NARUTO火影忍者的忍者角色. 忍者是很特別的. 他們就像是日本版的間諜-詹姆士龐德!
Q: 你們Asian Kung-Fu Generation亞細亞功夫世代名稱讓人想到Asia. 那應該是相當具有原創性的吧?
後藤正文: 是的, 不過, 那並不代表我們不聽西洋音樂, 但重點我們是亞洲人. 也可以說是我們會在亞洲創作好音樂, 那並沒有甚麼不同的. 但是如果我們創作像美國樂團歌曲的話, 或許會變成美國人聽,但亞洲人不聽我們的音樂. 我聽滿多韓國樂團, 當然還有傳統音樂像是印度甘美朗. 將這些元素放入日本搖滾樂的旋律裡就成為獨樹一格的風格了. 如果歐洲聽眾喜歡的話, 那我們真的很高興!
Q: 樂團的專輯封面是由原創性極高-中村祐介的插畫所呈現出來. 你們認識很久了嗎?
後藤正文: 他可以說是我們アジカン的一份子. 當我們發行地下時期的專輯時就認識他了. 到現在為止已經合作超過10年了. 其實呢, 我們是因為一張明信片而認識他. 他的風格非常"日本",當下我認為這或許會是一個很不錯的方式, 藉著插畫來呈現我們的音樂形象. 那真的很不錯!
你們在2003年舉辦了結合日本樂團和歐洲樂團的Nano Mugen音樂祭, 像是威瑟樂團Weezer在2012年也參予了演出.
後藤正文: 一點也沒錯. 一開始, 我認為在2個舞台上像派對般熱鬧演出是很有趣的. 最初是在新宿的一個live house表演, 然後沒想到後來竟然增加到一日有12,000名觀眾前來觀賞. 但是我們的理念並沒有改變. 就是讓新生代樂團在小舞台演出, 同時邀請知名樂團在主舞台演出.
Q: 2011年3月的福島核災不只重創了日本也震撼了全世界. 你在核災爆發那段期間做了甚麼事?
後藤正文: 地震發生時, 我們正在東京排練. 那真的是前所未見的恐怖地震. 而且我當時根本不覺得會發生核災, 日本的技術不該被質疑, 我們對於媒體傳達出來的訊息也深信不疑. 當福島核廠開始爆炸時, 我剛好回去了老家靜岡一趟. 而且我還邀請其他的團員來靜岡. 我真的非常生氣. 我們甚至無法取得核能測量器, 我們不知道究竟發生了甚麼事.
喜多建介: 我被困在橫濱. 日本人口將近1億3千萬左右, 那真的是很危險. 但是我們被禁止搬離. 真的是無法置信.
Q: 2011年7月, 後藤成為了總編輯長和採訪撰稿人. 他發行了第一次的The Future Times. 其他的團員是如何看待這件事?
後藤正文: 當然沒有任何問題. 我們都是成年人了, 不用特別賦予理由! 開始做像這樣的事情應該是很正常的. 如果我們無法理解發生了甚麼事, 那才是可恥的. 特別在發生了這樣的災難後. 如果我的孩子問我:"爸爸,你覺得核能怎樣啊?"對此, 我真的不知道該如何回答他. 有些音樂人不會在商業場合上表現自己的立場, 也不想危害到自己的代言或廠商的贊助.但我們アジカン, 我們一點也不在意. 我們不是商人. 即使我們今天活了下來, 即使我們被停止贊助或沒拿到酬勞之類的, 我們還是會一直創作音樂下去.而且我們也會一直反對核能. 你難道不知道在福島發生了甚麼重大災難嗎!
喜多建介: 同感, 我在東京參加了我人生的第一次反核遊行. 我在那兒遇見了很多音樂人朋友. 那是一場反對重啟核能廠的遊行.
Q: 順道一提, 你們アジカン和坂本龍一-反核音樂祭的創辦人,在No Nukes音樂祭上的舞台使用了很多太陽能發電的效果. 你們的歌迷對於此有甚麼看法?
後藤正文: 現場一樣有很多的聽眾們, 而且即使不是音樂雜誌, 我們的歌迷還是會問我們關於The Future Times的事情. 策劃反核音樂祭並沒有和我們的音樂衝突, 相反的, 我們從中獲得了更多正面的力量. 而且我們將太陽能使用在器材和燈光的發電上, 我們知道太陽能發電那是未來必須作的. 說到這間公司Eco live system, 在美國的faire Live Design International展上, 他們的技術獲得了"Best new product of the year 2011"獎項! 那真是令人振奮, 而且很多提倡綠色環保的日本音樂人或藝術家都對他們的產品都很有興趣.
後藤正文: 有的, 像是, 我們想把雜誌The Future Times翻譯成英文. 柘植義春, 是The Future Times的插畫作者, 也是我們從開始創辦雜誌的一份子, 他是個很棒的插畫家, 擁有自己的設計事業. 我很開心得知儘管或許海外粉絲不知道雜誌內容是甚麼, 但是能對The Future Times的雜誌設計感到興趣.
後藤正文: 很不幸的, 我們每天都要排練, 除非是最後一天在德國才有可能. 如果我有空閒的時間, 我想要寫一篇關於可再利用能源的文章在The Future Times上面, 這正是德國人的專業領域. 至於法國, 我希望到時候不要有太多的"strikes"! 就我所知, 對此法國人肯定很想好好教教日本人.(笑)
文字蒐集和整理: A. D-T
合作協力者: Kiefer Vudjan, 網站www.akfgfragments.com的管理者
©Zoom Japon - www.akfgfragments.com all right reserved.
Ajikan or the rock made in Japan.
On the eve of their European tour, Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Ajikan) gave an exclusive interview to Zoom Japon.
If you have never heard Japanese rock, it is time to begin! The band Asian Kung-Fu Generation is coming in Europe for their first tour. Ajikan, as their fans call them, make them known in the world thanks to songs take back in anime very popular such as Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist. Yet the four members of the band remind us the band Weezer or The Beatles. The music itself has nothing to do with J-pop "idols" bands. It carries us beyond of it, on this little archipelago with its abounding imagination who knows how to mix up every sonorities to create an original sound. Founded in 1996, Ajikan composed more than 140 songs and appear among the more popular band in Japan. Their albums sleeve's illustrations are also poetics works which remind the MIYAZAKI Hayao heroine or the grace of a revisited Yoko Tsuno. Behind the aspect purely rock of Asian Kung-Fu Generation, is hiding a full-fledged concept turned towards Asia that is going beyond the musical world since the 11th March 2011. After the Fukushioma disaster, the singer and leader of the band, Masafumi Gotoh, improvised himself as editor-in-chief of a free magazine, The Future Times, in which he writes most of the reportages. While assuring the release of a seventh album in 2012, Landmark, Ajikan has also initiated the first anti-nuclear festival No Nukes at Tokyo alongside SAKAMOTO Ryûichi. "The purpose is to not do militancy, but to make the young people think about essential questions" said Masafumi Gotoh. Like the very beautiful song Marching Band, the band seems more than ever going along with the young Japanese generation toward a better world. Needless to say that there is no need to understand Japanese to enjoy it!
Q: It is your first European tour, how do you imagine the public?
Masafumi Gotoh, vocal: I don't know, I hope everybody won't come in cosplay! (laughing) Otherwise, we will have to be dressed like this too! It is true that Japanese bands known in Europe have a very extravagant look, men are wearing make-up. They are "idols". But us, we are very simple!
Kita Kensuke, guitar: Yes and furthermore, we are ojisan, old men! (laughing)
Q: Can you tell us how everything began?
Masafumi Gotoh: We met each other at the university at Yokohama, 17 years ago, and we never split up, that is to say half of our life spent together! At the beginning, we made some little concerts in front of almost anyone for 4 years. Then, we have done with university and at this moment, we decided to commit ourselves deeply. We raised the number of concerts performed at Tokyo, then we were invited to play at parties. In 2003, Ki/oon Records contacted us for releasing again the album Hookai Amplifier that was previously released on an indies records (Editor's note: Under Flower Records) It was an exceptional circumstance. So we signed, stopped our jobs, because we were also working as employee in companies and we became freeters, part-time employees
Q: Your indies era started from 1999 to 2003. Did you have some difficulties to produce yourselves?
Masafumi Gotoh: Yes, it wasn't easy, because we didn't really know how to do so. Everything was handmade. I had a Mac and I did the promotion on the Web.
Kensuke Kita: Because I didn't know how to use all of this, I did the ironing of the T-shirts.
Masafumi Gotoh: Everything was expensive, the parking for the car, gas. We were always broke after the shows or the sells, without loss or profit!
Q: Some of your songs were used as opening for some animes, do you enjoy yourself mangas?
Masafumi Gotoh: Honestly, we aren't good at it and with our ages, it is difficult to be on it. Our references turn mostly around MIYAZAKI Hayao. We composed first those songs and then they were taken back for animes'opening. It helps us a lot of course to make ourselves known. I like the ninja's character that is Naruto. Ninjas are unique. They are the Japanese equivalent of James Bond!
Q: The name of Asian Kung-Fu Generation evokes Asia. That's quite original right?
Masafumi Gotoh: Yes, it doesn't prevent us to listen to occidental music, but us, we consider ourselves as Asian. This is also a way to say that we can make good music in Asia, that there is no difference. But if we did the same song like an American band, this is probably the American that people will listen to and not us! I listen to quite a lot of Korean bands and also traditional music such as Indonesian gamelan. But to put Japanese melodies on rock music gives a particular style. If the European public like it, we will be really happy!
Q:The band reputation is conveyed by the very original NAKAMURA Yusuke's illustrations. Do you know him for long time?
Masafumi Gotoh: He is part of the Ajikan family. We have known him when we were still releasing indies albums. Now, we are working together for more than 10 years. Actually, we discovered him because of a post card. His style very Japanese made me immediately think that it could be an excellent way to spread our image including abroad. It was a good feeling!
Q: You have founded the Nano Mugen Festival in 2003 who welcome Asian and Eropean bands, such as Weezer who went play there in 2012.
Masafumi Gotoh: That is correct. At first, I thought it would be funny to do a party with 2 stages, at the beginning it was at Shinjuku in a live house, then it increased a lot with around 12000 spectators each days. But the idea remains the same. It is a about making young bands known on the small stage while inviting well known bands on the main stage.
Q: In March 2011, the Fukushima's disaster has shaken Japan but also the entier world. What were you doing this day?
Masafumi Gotoh: We were rehearsing at Tokyo. The ground has quaked in a unimaginable way. I did not think one second at the moment to the nuclear risk, the made in Japan technology couldn't be questionned, we were in complete confidence with what the media harped us on about. Me, I returned to Shizuoka and when the explosions have begun, I asked to the other members of the band to meet me there. I was really pissed off. We couldn't at least get Geiger counter, we didn't know what was exactly going on.
Kensuke Kita: I stayed locked tight at my place at Yokohama. It was a really a dangerous atmosphere for the 13 million inhabitant of the region. But something prevented us from moving. I think we couldn't believe it.
Q: In July 2011, GOTÔ became redactor-in-chief and journalist. He releases the first issue of The Future Times. How this initiative was seen by the other members of the band?
Masafumi Gotoh: Without any problem. We are adults endowed with reason! It is common to start doing things like this. If we don't understand to what is going on, it's the shame. Especially after such accident. Imagine that my kid asking me "Dad, what do you think of the nuclear?" and that I don't know what to answer to him. Artists who don't express themselves on that matter are in the business and don't want to compromise their sponsors. But us, Ajikan, we don't care about it. We are not here for doing business. Even is we live from this today, if ever we were stopped being pay, we will always keep making music. And we will keep to attack nuclear power. Have you seen what is going on at Fukushima!
Kensuke Kita: Me too, I went for the first time in my life to an anti-nuclear demonstration at Tokyo. I met there a lot of musician friends. It was when the Oi Nuclear power station reactors were rebooted last July, it was amazing and comforting too.
Q: By the way, you are with SAKAMOTO Ryûichi the originator of the first anti nuclear festival of Japan, the No Nukes Festival. Ajikan also performs more and more on stage supplied by solar energy. How do your public react?
Masafumi Gotoh: The public is still so numerous and all our fans ask us The Future Times, even if it is not a magazine on music. To organizing festivals under the anti-nuclear banner do not spoil at all our music, at the contrary, the energy is increased. And when we play with instruments and lights powered by solar energy, we are inevitably turn towards the future. Note that the company Eco live system, who has develloped this technology elected "Best new product of the year 2011" during the faire Live Design International at the US. It was very encouraging, and many Japanese artists are interested of this product. In Japan, to be green does not rhyme with being hippy or babacool!
Q: Do you have any other projects?
Masafumi Gotoh: Yes, for example we would like to translate The Future Times in English. Tsuge, the magazine's illustrator , also was a member of Ajikan in the very beginning, and had a career in design. There is no coincidence! I am glad to know that abroad fans are sensitive to the magazine's design even if they may not understand its content.
Q: Are you planning to do some tourism between your concerts in Europe?
Masafumi Gotoh: Unfortunately we will be performing every day except on the last on in Germany. If I find the time, I would like to write an article about renewable energy for The Future Times. It is a field in which German people are leaders. Regarding France, I hope there won't be too many strikes when we will be there! As far as I know, French people would certainly have a lot to teach to Japanese people in that matter. (laughing)
Words collected by A. D-T
with the collaboration of Kiefer Vudjan, administrator of www.akfgfragments.com website
©Zoom Japon - www.akfgfragments.com all right reserved.