SuG vocalist Takeru started his solo project “Uwakimono”. His first EP “I Kuru U” came into shape as he cheated with the likes of Tom-H`ck, Yuyoyuppe, Tamurapan, 0.8 Shoogeki and Plus-Tech Squeeze Box. Takeru talks about the new EP, which features music completely different from that of SuG.
■It was very extreme, the nutrients.
■So it’s not possible with just one of them.
▲"I Kyou U" [Limited Edition]
―――I felt that it was a very edgy album. Being the first time in a while to come back to the music scene, did you not want to aim for the popular stuff?
▲"I Kyou U" Regular Edition
Takeru: It’s okay. I’m an Uwakimono (translation: cheater), so I can’t get married anyway. It can’t become the “real girl”. A mistress is a mistress.
―――That’s clever! Lol.
Takeru: Even though cheaters often get highlighted in news and get treated as scandal, the fact that there are many movies and novels based on this theme, I think everyone loves it. But you can’t let everyone know that you’re cheating. I wanted to do something thorny in this project.
―――Since it’s different from the real girl, SuG, you wanted do something different.
Takeru: With SuG, I tend to go for the more catchy stuff, but Uwakimono’s songs are not as crowd-pleasing during the chorus. But it’s addictive and it sets you coming back for more. It’s not the kind of song you hear on TV for a second and immediately catches your attention, but it grows on you as you repeatedly listen to it. A lot of coupling songs for SuG are actually like that too; however, title tracks for singles need to catch your attention immediately. That’s why we don’t shoot music videos for those kinds of songs. But that’s what I can do with Uwakimono.
―――You’re okay with going underground.
Takeru: I’ve always wanted to be somewhere in between: between underground and over-ground. It’s like you’ve got a foot in both.
―――Why did you feel like you wanted to do that?
Takeru: That’s just how I am. It’s like, I like TV, but I also like looking at pictures of dead people. It was very extreme, the nutrients. So it’s not possible with just one of them. I’m too lowbrow to be underground, but at the same time, I’m too dark to be mainstream. So that’s why it feels best to be right in the middle.
―――Uwakimono leans a bit towards the undergroud.
Takeru: Just a little. Between a scale of 1 to 10, SuG is around a 7, leaning towards the mainstream. On the contrary, Uwakimono is around a 3, leaning towards the underground. It gets neutralized in SuG. With SuG, 50% comes from me and the other 50% comes from the other 4 members. That’s the image. I’d like to try both extreme some day though: 0% and 100%.
―――From here on, we’d like for you to tell us a little about the new work from Uwakimono. First of all, what’s the concept behind the music video for “I Kuru U”?
Takeru: The concept was to create a meaningless video. With SuG, I usually think about the entire album when creating a video, so there’s meaning behind it. This time, I though it could be meaningless. All I want is for it too look visually interesting. I’ve seen comments from people who watched the video saying, “It’s very cool, but I don’t know what message the video is trying to convey”. Since there was no message intended behind the video, I consider that to be an accurate assessment of it.
―――There was no message behind it?
Takeru: No. I think about this creating clothes too. For example, a logo could be beautiful, but there’s no meaning to it. It’s either beautiful, or it’s not. SuG’s music carries a strong message. On the contrary, with this band… when you start digging, all that comes out is negativity. There’s no message behind it. With “I Kuru U” (I狂U) I just wanted to pursue aestheticism through the way the title looks. I felt that this particular combination of letters was really beautiful, so I wanted to see what happens when I try to translate that to a video.
―――The video was inspired by the letters “I狂U”?
Takeru: Yes. The title was what came first in this song. For example, there’s a scene in this video where a black “shishiodoshi” (water-filled bamboo tube which clacks against a stone when emptied; device for scaring birds from gardens) appears. With SuG, there would be a setting behind that scene and it would connect to the next scene. But with Uwakimono, the black shishiodoshi is pouring milk and a girl is drinking it. That’s it. There’s no connection anywhere.
―――It’s kind of like a random compilation of things you thought would be cool or beautiful for “I Kuru U”.
Takeru: That’s why the scenes fragmentary. I watched a kabuki play last year, and there’s that influence there too.
Takeru: Yes. I was imagining things like a silver shishimai (a lion) coming out, or a monk coming out wearing hip-hop clothes while playing a sax. This time, although there’s no sax, the monk appears as a DJ.
―――Did you feel any sympathy watching kabuki?
Takeru: No. It’s would be a lie to say that it’s something that I possessed. There’s not much chance to experience it even when living in Japan. It’s at the level where you’ve kind of seen it on TV. But I thought that was “real”, in terms of expression. It would be fake if I come out in Japanese clothes. That’s just cosplay. But even if you were wearing a rock-style outfit, there could be times when you would enter a Japanese restaurant and there would be a Japanese-style folding screen. That’s real. That is Japan. That feeling is reflected in the video. It’s not real for me to watch kabuki and present that as it is. The ratio of “wa” (Japanese-ness) is just right when you don’t overdo it. That’s more real for me.
―――That's very interesting! That’s why the “wa” in the video doesn’t feel unnatural.
Takeru: That is more real. There are people who overdo it: A person wearing Japanese clothes in front of a Japanese background singing in Japanese scales. That’s not real. It’s just acting.
―――There is absolutely no young person walking the streets in Japanese clothes.
Takeru: Exactly. That’s why this kind of approach is far more real. That’s the real Tokyo that I want to express in Uwakimono. With that said though, there is no essence of “wa” in the next work (lol). But since this was the first, I consciously made it easy to understand. That’s why the artist picture features us standing in front of a golden folding screen with our hairs slicked back. It feels like Japan, or “wa”. That’s how we surprise people at first, and then we would switch the picture. The image for this one is Tokyo.
―――What is the image of SuG?
Takeru: There is more fantasy with SuG. It’s like a dark Disney Land. Our new song that we’re making right now is like that. I’d like SuG to be like Batman.
To be continued in [Interview] Takeru Talks About Uwakimono’s New EP Part 2
Coverage / Text: Sachie Tojo
Uwakimono Special Website
SuG Official Website