Kyoto’s first “Progressive Pop” that dyes the heartfelt with sound.
A soft sound that gently entwines played in a technical instrumental way, in addition to the female vocals that is transient as relaxing floating around. Musical roots with a high degree of difficult that lead to progressive rock, post-rock, and even math rock, to reach our very own “Pop”, Uchu Conbini was sublimated in a flexible sense that has passed through J-POP. The fact that these 3 members that came from Kyoto with an average of 21 years of age created their own sound that combines friendliness and grandeur just as the band name evokes. I asked about their first national release.
“When speaking “after affirmation”, it means that the 3 members dyed their own sound to each of their listeners.”
*Firstly, how did the band name “Uchu Conbini” came into origin?
Emi-choco: Well, we applied the meaning as a type of music grandeur as space, and yet as familiar as relation to a convenience store.
Daijirou: At first, the concept we had was “let’s do magnificent music!” however in the end, the 3 of us really like pop music. So we combined the two of them as a concept.
*Under that concept, the 3 of you gathered?
Daijirou: Before I was in a band with the same name, at that time we were more strongly colored as rock. After the band disbanded, I thought “I want to do music that will make a wide range of people want to listen”. I invited Emi-choco, and then with the two of us, that is what made Uchu Conbini is currently.
Nasuo: It was 1 year ago that I joined as a support member, I was officially made as a member around a few months ago. I thought it was my eagerness to perform my favourite music live together, but rather it was my heart’s desire that has been granted.
*Is your current style of music like this from the beginning?
Daijirou: At first, we were trying to be an instrumental band but since me including the two them love singers, we talked about “wanting to include some guest vocals”. And then it was at that time when we couldn’t find anyone who will do, I asked Emi-choco realizing that she has a great voice “Why don’t you sing?” I persuaded her in a sushi restaurant and received a decision. (laughs)
*So you persuaded her in a sushi restaurant. (laughs)
Daijirou: From there on, we did songs with vocals also continuing doing instrumentals and that’s how we are shaped right now. To me, I don’t think that the concept in the beginning has changed but since Emi-choco began to sing, the songs with vocals has increased.
*Did Emi-choco resist from singing?
Emi-choco: Since it was my first time to be on vocals, I actually resisted at first. I wasn’t confident with my voice, I didn’t want to sing in front of people. However when I was trying, I practiced by myself on “I wonder how can I sound good?” and I gradually enjoyed it. I was happy to receive a lot of impressions from the listeners, I’m happily doing it right now.
*When you were doing it, you were gradually enjoying it?
Emi-choco: It was my first time doing the vocals and bass at the same time, so I practiced very much. I think it’s good that emotion is transmitted more directly than the instruments. Ever since I began to sing, the feeling of “want to convey” became even greater.
Daijirou: Because of our feelings of wanting to let a lot of people listen to us, we are also aware of its easiness to listen. Such factor might have been gradually coming out.
Nasuo: Compared to before, the ratio of instrumentals have clearly reduced.
*Were instrumental and post rock music originally became your roots of music?
Emi-choco: It was around when I was in junior high I started listening to music. I was listening to different kinds of music such as post rock at that time. However in a period of time, I was heading to extreme (music), like going into Mr. Big live concerts (laughs). At my freshmen year in high school, I started playing the bass, I focused on listening J-POP & J-ROCK.
Nasuo: At first, I always listen to J-ROCK, but when I was in my 3rd year of middle school, I came across Dream Theater. It was after that I got addicted and started listening to progressive music. Even now, Daijirou let me listens to various kinds of music. Little by little, it’s changing.
*Is Daijirou the one who listens (to music) deeply?
Daijirou: Personally, I think it’s pretty jumbled up, I’m listening to all kinds, like old progressive-like bands such as Hella and tera melos, also the latest math rock. It’s those kind of roots I have, I also like to listen to J-POP or something POP-like and I feel they are expressed by fitting it in a form that’s easy for the listeners in Japan to listen. That is what I wanted to do in a band.
*Are the lyrics intentionally abstract? Or rather is it to let the listener feel their imaginations run about?
Daijirou: I don’t think we are writing it too directly. And also, in the end, we are conscious to finish every song in a positive form. Rather than on the lyrics, it is that we are conscious about when we are writing our songs. Also things such as the 2nd half of the outro, the proactive sense of sequences, and chord progressions, we are more focused on them when we are writing our songs.
*And it is because of that when I listen to your songs, there were a lot of times that I’ve been able to feel the light.
Daijirou: I think that is exactly the case. I think it’s the image of being able to feel the light.
Emi-choco: I’m also conscious of such case that I put them in pretext on my basslines.
Nasuo: My impression when I listened to it was “Ahh it’s so beautiful”.
*By singing and using instruments, isn’t the image of producing sounds close to painting a scenery?
Daijirou: I think that impression is indeed close in a sensible way. Every time I think of bringing up a song, and when we three combine our sounds, the song changes. And become that there were times we thought “We have created a ridiculously great song!”
*When the two add their sound in Daijirou’s original song, won’t the song be hugely corrupted?
Daijirou: When we play to combine our sound, these two will certainly add their own color, so I don’t think the song I wrote will not fall one-sided on my side. We all have a good sense of balance on our part. Right now, I think there are times that these two can make (sound) something that they can produce, so I’m quite satisfied.
*That is because Emi-choco and Nasuo both have their own original color as a player right?
Daijirou: I agree. Nasuo says that he himself doesn’t have much personality, but actually he has a great habit of strong drums. When he plays “Ahh it’s so Nasuo”. Even though he is playing the same song, to other people, it’s feels different. Also for example, even though Emi-choco’s fingering on her bass is not so much difficult, since it’s so melodious that you can always hear it. These two are definitely characteristic, they have strong habit as a player.
*Is Daijirou’s guitar also the same?
Daijirou: Well, yes. (laughs) It’s because I don’t play the guitar normally…
*You do tapping and arpeggio a lot right?
Daijirou: I do them on parts that might get stuck on the ears, I also do chords that backup the vocals in order to let it rise.
*In the 1st mini-album “Someru Oto wo Kakunin Shitara”, were there songs in it that were newly and technically challenging?
Daijirou: The 5th track “strings” uses an acoustic guitar, so it was recorded at the last minute, thankfully we made it in time. It’s also a challenge for me, the drums also it’s a song that challenges something new. Regarding the bass and vocals, I don’t have something to say, I don’t know myself. (laughs)
Emi-choco: At those times, I just wing it. (laughs) However, when I add my basslines, I match the ambience of the music played by both of them a lot. And so even though I’m not doing anything especially new to my bass (playing), Overall, I think I’m doing something new for the song.
*The 3rd track “tobira”, now with an MV, Emi-choco wrote the lyrics only by herself right?
Emi-choco: I wrote others too, but they were rejected. (laughs) Personally, I write up lyrics and save them for the future, but when Daijirou brings a song to us, it already has lyrics and melodies, I have only written lyrics in one song for Uchu Conbini.
*Usually when Daijirou writes the lyrics, is it already thought it out after a song is finished?
Daijirou: Yes, exactly. In that case, I also talk it out with Emi-choco. Regarding “tobira”, I created the song from Emi-choco’s lyrics. Matching the melody with the lyics, when the song was done, it blended so well. I call it “the one song miracle”.
*From here on, the pattern of Emi-choco writing the lyrics first, and then Daijirou making a song out it, is quite possible right?
Daijirou: I also feel it is. But for me, an ideal pattern is that Emi-choco writes a whole song.
*Not just the lyrics, but a whole song, so it’s ideal that Emi-choco writes it herself?
Daijirou: However, since Emi-choco doesn’t have much experience in making songs, if she intensively does that part, we are able to look at a new Uchu Conbini.
Emi-choco: (in a small voice) ….I’ll do my best.
All: Hahaha (laughs)
*It is your first national release right? To you, what has your work(performance) has done?
Nasuo: To me, It feels like a whole year.
Emi-choco: While introducing us as “Uchu Conbini is this kind of band”, I feel our work(performance) we have done is “from here on”.
Daijirou: I also intend to clearly present our musical direction in this present phase, and from here on will sharpen it, “violently bam bam!” kind of feeling. (laughs)
*Why are you mad?…
Daijirou: it’s a “Listen to current selves” kind of work (performance) we had done, but I also think “we won’t let it end at this rate” (laughs)
*We can still play! (laughs) How did you think up the title “Someru Oto wo Kakunin Shitara”?
Daijirou: We thought this up from the album as a whole. To each of the listeners, we want them to be dyed with our sound in which are feelings are mixed in. When speaking “after affirmation”, it means that the 3 members dyed their own sound to each of their listeners. As a definition, it is quite close to “Conviction”, but as word, in acknowledgement, “affirmation” is a more exact.
*Each of you, you were able to bring confidence into your works.
Emi-choco: We were really into it when we made this album, so I really want a lot of people to listen to it. The sound in our live is quite different, so please by all means come to our first recording event.
Nasuo: Uchu Conbini is also a live band, so please come to our live.
Daijirou: If I were to say something about Uchu Conbini, I say we are a monster of curiosity. I want people to think of that, so please by all means come to our live. If they come to our live, when they get dyed by our sound, they will be convinced.
Interview by : IMAI