Memories: Liner Notes, Quotes etc
taken off my old Mr Children fansite:
“Even if you quit school, you should stay with the band.”
~ Sakurai, upon learning that Nakagawa was skipping school, bought him a can of hot lemonade from a vending machine at the schools’ cafeteria and persuaded him not to stop making music.
“From tomorrow, you should hold the guitar instead of the bat.”
~ Sakurai to Tahara, upon learning Tahara quit playing in a band and joined a baseball club.
On the verge of burning out
“I felt like I was carrying a burden somewhere.”
~ Suzuki commenting on the huge media interest and lack of privacy that followed ‘Atomic Heart’.
“Rock bands need a paid vacation.”
~ Sakurai after a secret live for 1,000 fans at Ebisu Garden Hall
On being reunited after a year’s vacation
“When we played together again, I was very nervous but excited.”
~ Sakurai, who then went on to write the beautifully inspiring piece “Owarinaki Tabi”
On writing songs
“He said he wants to sell 1 million units.”
~ Suzuki, on Sakurai’s intensity in composing songs
“There is a way of riding on waves, not only on big waves, but also small waves… to look at it to see how to catch it. It’s something similar to composing.”
~ Sakurai explaining the process involved in creating ‘Discovery’
Self Liner Notes on Shifuku no Oto (originally fetaured in the now defunct centigrade-j)
SELF LINER NOTES
‘Iwasete mitee mon da’
SAKURAI: This song is really catchy in the way it loops the chorus over and over. But at the same time doesn’t make a listener feel like that is happening. The 1st verse is very blues influenced while the melody in the 2nd verse is very Japanese. I did this on purpose and really like the resulting contrast. The big band sound to the song also really holds this song together, particularly the synthesizer and baritone sax.
SUZUKI: I’m guessing this song will be very hard to perform live. At the same time, it’s the kind of song that the fans could really get into. This is the first song in a long time that all of us have sung in. Well maybe shouting more than singing. (laughs) The recording was quite a scene! (laughs)
SAKURAI: At first I had imagined a bit of a peppier rock sound for this. But I really liked the “ethnic” sound we started creating and started adding some extra stuff like English lyrics and the “hitotsu ni naranakute iiyo” part of the chorus. The ethnic instrumentation along with the almost chaotic British style guitar really bring out the lyrics in this song.
NAKAGAWA: Every part of this song kept changing with every take. The result was a real challenge to understand what the “base” of this song was.
SAKURAI: I wrote this song quite a while back. By the time I became ill I had most of the lyrics finished. I just hope Kurumi can become one of the most popular names for baby girls this year (laughs). With the name – anything would have been ok as long as it was 3 syllables in hiragana. The main character in this song is basically singing to Kurumi but also at the same time singing to his past self, at the time he was together with her. As a result, I didn’t want to use a very real sounding name.
SUZUKI: The lyrics “cosmos no hanakotoba” refer to the naivete of young women, entering society. The naivete of young women – nice theme, eh? (laughs)
‘PINK ~ KIMYOU NA YUME’
SAKURAI: I had trouble writing the lyrics for this song. For some of the songs this time I would write lyrics after listening to the instrumentation the others came up with. The day I was writing happened to be very nice. I went up onto the roof and sat down to write in the nice weather. I realized though that the nice weather didn’t really fit the image of the song. Afterwards I went back inside where it was dark and thought of that sudden change between the beautiful outdoors and the dark indoors. There was my inspiration!
TAHARA: A lot of thought and effort went into the echo effect on the guitar! So listen closely!
‘CHI NO KUDA’
SAKURAI: I asked for an introduction that would allow the previous song to flow into this one. I asked (Producer) Kobayashi if we could get an intro that sounded like something from a funeral. The result was amazing. The melody this time also sounds very Japanese.
SUZUKI: I really like the the captivating, almost erotic sound here. The last piano line has real power.
‘KARAKAZE NO KAERIMICHI’
SAKURAI: This one has a bit of a nursery song feel to it. Rather than being about singing, it’s about telling a story. Jen (Suzuki) was the one who suggested adding the steel guitar. The idea was karakaze (dry wind) was associated with westerns, which are associated with steel guitar. I remember thinking it was a bit much at first.
SUZUKI: This is the oldest song on the album. After listening to it again along with all the new songs, the chorus really stood out for me. This contrast really reminded me what a powerful song this is.
SAKURAI: The “twelve colored heart” line in this song just happens to fit nicely with the fact this album has 12 songs. The 12 originally came from the fact that a keyboard is made out of 12 sounds.
SAKURAI: This is an odd song. After playing the demo tape for Kobayashi he said it made him feel lightheaded. The lyrics definitely carve a certain path through this madness. The music feels like some kind of journey from Sugar Ray to Bjork.
SUZUKI: But recording was great. I mean the demo tape started out making him light headed. It was all about pushing him even farther with the final product.
SAKURAI: The original instrumentation was a lot more laid back. A sort of country sound like Spitz’s ‘Umi wo Mi ni Ikou’. But when I added the lyrics there was a suggestion that it would be better to go all out with a big band type sound. Thinking back on it, I really wrote a lot into this song. And the way it is all over the place feels quite authentic. Usually I think and write more clearly than this. I would usually have connected things like youth crimes and war more clearly. This time though it feels like it all explodes out of the same song. It feels very real.
SAKURAI: We had decided that this song would come after “Tagatame” no matter what. This huge prayer to the world that is sung about in ‘Tagatame’ turns out to be quite personal if you listen to the two songs in succession. The vision is of how small one person is but how big their dreams can be. If these two concepts can be related to one another through these two songs, my goal is accomplished.