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

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Here's another interview I translated a while ago. You can see how shoddy my Japanese is with this one because there are a few lines I just didn't get. I decided to highlight them in red rather than guess. 

 

^ETA: hiroki kindly helped me out with the lines I was missing, so I've filled in those parts in highlighted in red. Thank you! <3

 

Original article: http://2youmag.com/2youmag_old/interview/2014/no41/pot.html

 

--

 

A melodic punk band with Japanese lyrics coming out of Osaka, POT will release their first full album “ARCO IRIS” on TRUST RECORDS. TRUST RECORDS has signed a number of Nagoya bands such as BACK LIFT, THREE LIGHTS DOWN KINGS, ENTH, EVERLONG and more, but they are the only band from Osaka. This new release could be considered a compilation of five years of work, and it has twelve songs that show off the band’s distinctive triple vocal approach and plenty of variety. Disproving the idea that “TRUST = Nagoya”, POT have come from the west to take over the scene!

 

 

Q: How was POT formed?

 

Yoppy: Originally, me and Oda were in a band together, and Makoto and Yoshikun were in a different band. Then when both of our bands broke up the manager of the venue Kyobashi ism said “Guys, wouldn’t it be great if you started playing together?”. We weren’t really interested at first, though.

 

Makoto: We knew of each other since both of our bands played at ism, but we weren’t really friends. I casually thought "I'll offer support for them", but when we entered the studio we decided to do a live. That's how we formed the band.

 

Yoppy: At the time, I was starting another band, so I thought it would just be Oda going off to work with them, but in the end that band fizzled out as well and we ended up doing it together.

 

 

Q: So you weren’t enthusiastically going “Let’s start a band!” when you got together…

 

Makoto: It does sort of seem like we were forced into it. (laughs)

 

Oda: That’s why we didn’t really talk about what kind of band we wanted to become either.

 

Yoppy: It was only when Yoshikun said that he wanted to be the vocalist that we said “Doesn’t that seem a little off?” (laughs) But we never really discussed musicianship, we just jumped right into making original songs. Well, I guess that’s because the music we were listening to was similar.

 

 

Q: What kind of bands make up your musical roots?

 

Yoppy: MONGOL800. I think we all like them.

 

Makoto: The band that got me interested in making music was 175R. I listened to “Happy Life” a lot. I think before that it was probably Yuzu?

 

Yoshikun: Yeah, that’s right. I was listening to Yuzu and 19 (ジューク).

 

Oda: Yeah, it was 19 (ジューク) for me too.

 

 

Q: I see. So the reason POT has three vocalists is just because you all wanted to sing, then. (laughs)

 

Yoppy: That’s right. (laughs) Since in our former band Oda and I used to do twin vocals and Yoshikun used to sing in his band as well, when we started POT we didn’t really think about who would be the main vocalist and it just spontaneously ended up with all of us singing. So we weren’t really aiming at having a triple vocal band, it just became this way naturally.

 

 

Q: What kind of band is POT, in your eyes?

 

Makoto: I think it’s a free band.

 

Yoppy: A band where we’re free to do what we like to do…saying something like that is boring, isn’t it? (laughs) You see that kind of answer a lot in interviews. (laughs) Maybe I should change my answer. (they all laugh)

 

Oda: Some older musicians have told us that we’re an “omnibus-like” band.

 

Yoppy: I was really happy to hear that. The musical style of "POT" is entirely different, and with 3 people singing during the same song there isn't any sense of "unity"*. Since one of our senpai told us that we’re an omnibus-like band I’ve become especially conscious of that.

(*Meaning that there is a varied sound they can only achieve with three vocalists. I think what he's getting at is that because they switch between vocalists and combine their voices in different ways over the course of each track their songs don't get monotonous.)

 

 

Q: It’s kind of like the way The Beatles worked, then. You bring together songs from each member and you each sing them.

 

Yoppy: That’s it. The Beatles, that’s us. (laughs)

 

 

Q: We know that your first full album “ARCO IRIS” will be released by TRUST RECORDS, but how did you end up with them?

 

Makoto: We played a lot of shows with bands like BACK LIFT, MISTY, ENTH and EVERLONG. But we’d never really talked to the owner Watatani-san much.

 

Yoppy: We just sort of said amongst ourselves that we wanted to join TRUST, and it was just like we were suddenly pushed in. (laughs)

 

 

Q: So you asked them directly?

 

Yoppy: Yeah, we totally did. But us selfishly, or should I say stubbornly, going “Please let us join your label” and them deciding by going “Well, I guess you can” looks pretty bad. In the end, I wanted it to be the reverse with them asking us (laughs).

 

Makoto: We had meetings for about a half a year. (laughs)

 

Yoppy: Yeah, and in the end TRUST said “Do you want release something with us?”

 

 

Q: So in the end they asked you (laughs).

 

Yoppy: Yeah, and we were like “Well, since you asked, we’ll take you up on it.” (they all laugh)

 

Makoto: And yet, we were so happy. (laughs)

 

 

Q: From your view outside of Nagoya, what kind of label is TRUST RECORDS?

 

Yoppy: It really does have a completely Nagoya image, doesn’t it. I would almost say that it’s like their Nagoya colours are so strong that it’s like “Aren’t all Nagoya bands on TRUST?”. That’s why I thought it would be interesting to have a band from Osaka on the label.

 

 

Q: This album really seems like a compilation of everything you’ve done up till now. I also thought it’s kind of rare these days to debut with a full-length release.

 

Makoto: Yeah, all the TRUST bands seem to lead off with a mini-album. But we wanted to release all our existing songs in this album and make a fresh start. That’s why it’s packed with everything we’ve released so far. And this is the first time we’ve really gotten a CD pressed. Now it’s easy to get something pressed, but some people told me they were really grateful that we’ve finally released something with nationwide distribution. I was so moved by that. This time, we were even deeply involved with the details of the jacket, so we’ve put a lot of strong feelings into the package.

 

Yoppy: I really don’t want people to listen to it on random. I hope they’ll listen to the songs in order at least once. That’s the voice of my heart calling out to you. (laughs)

 

 

Q: It seems like there are new meetings ahead of you.

 

Yoppy: The reason we make CDs is to get people to come to the venues. If people think the CD is good, I hope they’ll come and get the 3D experience at one of our lives.

 

Oda: Over the past five years POT has created a staggering amount of songs, but we chose the ones on this album out of all of those, so please enjoy listening to them.

 

Yoshikun: There are some people we used to meet up with at the live houses all the time that we haven’t been able to see recently. I hope this CD will give us a chance to see them again. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people in regions that we haven’t been able to visit yet.

 

Yoppy: Huh? Are you crying? (they all laugh)

 

--

 

POT:

 

Yoshikun (Vocals and guitar), Yoppy (Vocals and bass), Oda (Vocals and guitar), Makoto (Drums)

 

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