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[Interview Translation] NOA (2YOU MAGAZINE - 2014)

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Not my interview, I just translated from here:



My Japanese sucks, so I marked anything that might be way off with a *.




A band that has performed at festivals like FUJI ROCK, COMIN’ KOBE, SSMC and embarked on large-scale tours, Osaka’s NOA is certainly a young, first-rate band that has shown growth and one that THE NINTH APOLLO can be proud of, and now they’ve released a four-track single that could be called their defining work “3days of April / Sekai no owari to yoake mae”. This is their first release in a year, and it clearly presents the two pillars of the band: the melodic punk with English lyrics from Nishiura Shunsuke and Japanese rock from Tsumoto Aki, which coexist in this work. We hope you can appreciate this release; four songs packed with the essence of the current NOA.



Q: This is your first release in a year, what were you up to during that time?


Aki: We were playing a lot of concerts. The year went by in the blink of an eye.


Nishiura: Before we noticed, 2013 was over. (laughs)



Q: Your previous release “picture diary” was your first to feature Japanese lyrics. What were the reactions to that like?


Aki: I think it went over pretty well. I was a little nervous about that though. (laughs)


Nishiura: It was a spontaneous decision to start using Japanese lyrics. Aki just said that he wanted to try singing in Japanese. I think Aki has given NOA an even greater range of possibilities by doing that.



Q: So NOA has two pillars now, Aki-kun singing in Japanese and Nishiura-kun singing in English?


Aki: It’s not something we were aiming for, this is more a result of us each just making music we like. We want to do different things. But I’m starting to think that that’s a good thing. We don’t want to be a band that people get tired of listening to, so we’re not going to fight the urge to do different things.



Q: So, is it safe to say that instead of a starting the band with a clear genre or theme in mind, NOA was formed by the members bringing together the types of music they liked?


Aki: We did start this band with a plan, but it was never really like “Let’s do this kind of music”.


Nishiura: Even now, I don’t think we’ve really decided on one particular genre.



Q: Of course. When did you start working on this new single?


Nishiura: Sometime around last summer.


Aki: Right after we finished our “picture diary” tour, we started thinking about the next move. We’d decided that we were going to make a single next, but since we were doing too many lives we didn’t really get a chance to work on it until the tour was over.



Q: On this single you can really see the different colours of the band - the melodic punk side and the guitar rock side - coexisting.


Aki: Yes, I guess it came out that way.


Nishiura: Yes, but we didn’t really have a concept in mind. It feels more like Aki and I both just did what we wanted and it came out this way.



Q: Aki-kun and Nishiura-kun’s songs clearly have a different colour, but the way that NOA can contain both of them is interesting, isn’t it?


Aki: I’m happy you feel that way. I started wanting to try to make music in Japanese, so this single is half Japanese, but I think it really reflects the current NOA well.



Q: So, how do you approach each other’s music?


Aki: How do we…?


Nishiura: We don’t really interfere with each other’s work. I guess you could say that we respect the creator’s intention.


Aki: Yeah, we don’t interfere with each other.


Nishiura: Aki’s songs are Aki’s songs. It’s the same with mine.


Aki: Regardless of whose song we use, if the three of us play it, it becomes NOA.



Q; So maybe it’s like the way The Beatles worked? Like how even if each member would bring in songs that were completely different, they would bring them into existence together?


Aki: That, that’s cool, isn’t it? (laughs) From now on, we’re going to describe ourselves like that. (laughs)



Q: In your mind, what kind of band is NOA?


Aki: We’re by no means a cheerful band, we’re not really a band will get people in high spirits or make them smile, but I want NOA to be a band that respects the individual feelings of people who listen to our music, and one that helps people see things in a deeper light.*



Q: So, let’s come back to this again, what kind of work is this single to you?


Aki: Since I think it’s natural to think that our most recent work is the best, naturally, this new single is our best yet.


Nishiura: Personally, I think that this work is an important foothold for our next step. I think it’s easy to see where the band is headed by listening to it.



Q: Does the band have a specific outlook?


Aki: I can’t really pinpoint one. We’ll do what we like to do, and then I want a variety of other people to give us their impressions.*


Nishiura: NOA has two pillars, but I think it’s when those two pillars finally meet somewhere that we’ll really be able to see where we’re headed.  



Q: I really feel that you can see your individual colours clearly in this work. I’m excited to see how those two colours will mix.


Nishiura: Since they’re so clearly divided on this single, we’re also excited to see how we can bring them together.



Q: Lastly, please leave a message for your listeners.


Yuu: I want people to listen to this single during their everyday lives. It’s not really for special times, so if people listen to it during their daily routine I’d be happy.*


Nishiura: There are different ways of listening to it depending on the person, so I’d be really happy if a lot of different people listened to it.


Aki: I don't think there's any point in saying “Listen to it this way!”, I’d be happy if everyone listened to it freely. Please give it a try.




3days of April



世界の終わりと夜明け前 / Sekai no owari to yoake mae



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