A special collaboration talk between HISASHI (guitarist of GLAY) and Sawamura Sayako (drummer of Negoto) was held on Natalie to commemorate the release of GLAY’S 52nd single. Here is the final part of the translation of this talk. You can read the first part here and the second part here.
Interview/Article: Nakano Akiko
Photos: Sasamori Kenichi
– GLAY has expanded its horizons through many projects in this 20th anniversary year.
HISASHI: We put great importance on anniversary years, since it’s a time to create stronger bonds with fans. I also feel that good things happen when you continue as a band for 10, 20 years. We’ve been able to stand on the same stage as musicians we look up to, such as Himuro Kyosuke, and collaborate with EXILE. When you play music seriously, many people see us and we have new encounters; the band’s possibilities are expanded. In our days, we got so excited when total opposites Aerosmith and Run-DMC collaborated for “Walk This Way.” I want to show younger generations such stimulating collaborations that I’ve experienced. I want to keep collaborating with younger artists as well.
Sawamura: That is so great to hear. It’s presumptuous, but I think younger generations will be motivated with hope that they can collaborate with GLAY as well after this collaboration.
HISASHI: We’re often asked, “How can I work with GLAY?” I feel that if one keeps working as a professional in a certain field, it’ll eventually become reality.
Sawamura: I see. What is your secret on continuing a band for a long time?
HISASHI: I think in GLAY’s case, one of the secrets is how close we are. We still go out drinking together to this day. We start meetings whether it be during make-up time or while we’re on the go. Like, “I want this to be the title for our next tour,” or “Let’s play a song like this then.” Our concert’s staging ideas often appear during random chats. GLAY’s like a “school festival” band, like how we get ready for live shows the day before the festival. We’re sort of a continuation of that. We held a concert at Tokyo Dome, and when we couldn’t find a venue larger than that, we decided to make our own stage in Makuhari and holding a live show with 200,000 guests. There’s a reason why people don’t do this, though; it was definitely a difficult process (laugh). But in our case, we always want an amusing product that everyone will enjoy, so we were having fun during the 200,000-person show too.
Sawamura: I see.
HISASHI: I guess you do have to think of when the band gets tired, though. We were burnt out by the end of 1999, and there was a possibility of us breaking up. The late 1990s was a time when CDs made huge sales, but music itself was a simple fad. We felt such situations to be unnatural. But we felt that if we broke up, we wouldn’t be able to improve this situation, so we decided as a band to just do amusing things and have fun. Since then, we’ve become “a band that doesn’t break up.”
Sawamura: Also, GLAY is loved by such a wide age range.
HISASHI: There are people to come to our live shows with their sons/daughters and grandsons/granddaughters, too. A fan that had been listening to GLAY since birth told us that he/she is now able to come to a concert by him/herself. Those are the times when I feel the weight of 20 years.
Sawamura: I wonder what’ll happen in Negoto’s case… So many things happen in life. We once talked about all having children, and having these children form a band.
HISASHI: That’s cool!
Sawamura: But it’s been five years since we debuted, and the four of us are feeling the fun and excitement of creating music right now, so I think it’ll still be awhile until those dreams become reality (laugh).
HISASHI: It takes awhile until you can grasp the right pace.
Sawamura: There were times when we were only thinking of more mainstream songs that can hype the crowd at festivals and live shows, rather than making songs that we truly want to create.
HISASHI: These five years have especially been a great time of change. But there are truly so many amazing bands these days, including Negoto. I feel a sense of crisis from all the younger bands’ talents when watching concerts; it’s a good thing to have such energy.
Sawamura: I see.
HISASHI: But there are times when you’re demanded for speediness, like having a live show at Budokan after merely one year of debuting; I think you should be careful of such things. Some things aren’t clear until you do it for a long time. There are going to be times when you’ll be demanded for things that go against what you and your band want to do. During those times, it’s best to believe in your band members and continue together; there’ll be something good waiting.
– This is a rare opportunity, so if you have any questions for each other…
HISASHI: What do you do on your off-days during tours?
Sawamura: I go out alone on my off-days. I sometimes take the train to go further. Out of the places I’ve been to recently, Kurashiki was very nice.
HISASHI: That’s nice. I used to rent a car and go all over the place, but I haven’t done that lately.
Sawamura: I see. What do you do on your off-days?
HISASHI: During winter and early spring, I go snowboarding with the band members or friends.
Sawamura: Oh, I heard that on snowboarding trips, you watch YouTube videos in the hotel at night.
HISASHI: Who told you that?!
Sawamura: Nagai-san (laugh). (Nagai Toshimitsu is GLAY’s support drummer.) He sent me a message, “We’re all watching Negoto right now.”
HISASHI: Yeah! We have “YouTube competitions” a lot. We show each other videos of cool bands, or just videos we enjoy in general. My favorite pastime is drinking and watching YouTube with everyone.
Sawamura: That sounds fun, sort of like high school kids (laugh). Here’s my question… May I ask what type of women you like? I’m sure people want to know.
HISASHI: If I answer this, it’s going on Natalie right?!
Sawamura: Yes (laugh).
HISASHI: You asked me so straightly; I can’t answer with manga/anime characters! Recently, I’ve been interested in Yamamoto Mizuki-san. I watched “Aoi Honoo” and she acted the part of “Morinaga Tonko” so perfectly; it was remarkable.
Sawamura: I see. The members of GLAY don’t really talk about their ideal female types on interviews much, do they?
HISASHI: That’s true. It’s not a taboo or anything, but we don’t really get asked about our favorite foods or ideal female types since we first debuted (laugh). Interviewers usually don’t ask these questions anymore, so this question was fresh.