And news for the day: Interview translation from Black Heaven booklet scans~
Please forgive my many mistakes!
As a guitarist, producer and arranger, Korenaga Koichi is active in recordings and lives all throughout the music industry. In recent years, he hasn't just contributed to Japan's rock and pop scene, but also managed the soundtrack of the anime "Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040", extending the width of his activities by planning music and film collaborations and such.
If you go back through the history of his performances, he hasn't had much free time; 1980 was the year he was noticed by the industry as a young elite guitarist. He didn't just have talent, and his performances, broadening the images and spaces of notes, invited discussion. He went through many performances, traveling around the country as the recording and tour support guitarist of Rebecca, from '84 till their breakup in '91. After Rebecca's breakup, he formed Baby's Breath, and has been energetically continuing his music activity in bands, and other...assorted stuff. The artists whose singles and albums he's worked on as producer and arranger include Kuroyume, Kinniku Shoujo Tai, Fujie Masayoshi, Nakayama Miho, and Orita Yuuji. Also, the artists he's performed with in recordings include T.M. Revolution, Hamasaki Ayumi, Fukuyama Masaji, Kudou Shizuka, and TRF. And furthermore, he began performing in lives and tours for Rebecca, and has since performed with ASKA, Watanabe Miri, Ozaki Ami, Matsui Tsunematsu, Takahashi Katsunori, Katsuragi Tetsuya, Utsunomiya Takashi, and so on; he is currently supporting artists who perform at the very head of Japan's music scene.
1. Noticing anime
As a matter of fact, I had an interest in anime soundtracks before they became popular. But the beginning of it all was when my wife visited her hometown of San Francisco, about five years ago. There were these 16- to 18-year-old boys in the neighborhood - they normally listened to Dreamtheater and slash metal, basically American boys - but this time when we went there, I asked them what sort of souvenir would be all right. They wanted the Akira poster, and said as much. So I felt like Japanese anime was permeating overseas as a pretty cool thing. From the beginning I had an interest in a collaboration of images and music as entertainment art, but Japan wasn't into that sort of thing. There weren't a lot of movies, and even in TV there wasn't any way to establish something like Inoue Band's "Kizudarake no tenshi" or "Taiyou ni hoero!" But even so, Tobishima Ryouji, whose solo tour I performed in lately, says something similar; the power of Tomita Kunji's music in Tezuka Osamu's "Jungle taitei" influences us, both when we watch it as children and now. Furthermore, my liking of SF (=I like [??]!) increased, so I aimed right at doing anime soundtrack work.
2. Doing work like soundtracks
When it came to making soundtracks in their entirety, I started out the same way with Supervisor [??] in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040. In order to make my compositions follow the type of instrumental pieces, it was enjoyable work that demanded a different sort of creativity than what I used as an artist producer. Because my personal method of creating songs is one of "creating a form that reminds one of a visual abstract image", it was actually simple to do soundtrack work that joined together with images. What's more......as for the general composition being different, with the pictures being the main subject, the music always had an emphasis of "minus 1", but as a matter of fact that work was different; it's interesting since I can attack my work without reservation, regarding the subject matter. This time, Hayashi-shi tagged just two works, so I think I didn't just attack work with good meanings. I created feelings like "Let's stir up the image team with notes!" (laugh)
3. Concerning composition
I was involved in my method of composition, of course, but as for fortifying the images of the music, it was particularly important to work out the details of the coloring quickly in a business meeting. The coloring, that is, the search for tone color, was what demanded the most time, but once that was decided, what happened afterwards gave little objection. As for the "sound lines", that was because I could take care of them while getting the feel of the instruments. In diffusing the power, for work without reciprocal incentive, wouldn't that make it the kind of work you wouldn't want to do? Therefore, I wanted to do the meeting quickly, and I wanted to try making "club tunes" style of music, something that I'd done before..
4. Music highlight 1: "Pure rhythm"
For this anime, the nucleus of the theme was '70s to '80s British hard rock. My previous work, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, being a tale of the near future, had a particular consciousness of "digi-rock", but while I logically used Pro.tools with free editing capability in the previous work's experience, I was particular about creating "pure rhythm" this time. Track 2 in particular, "Blue Mountain Side", is my personal recommendation. In addition, there wasn't anything particularly "future"-oriented I did with the hard rock stuff, but my resolution for just that song was to be conscious of Led Zeppelin's "Black Mountain Side" and "Kashmir" (hence the similar song titles). I picked Japan's boasted drummer Aoyama Jun-san for Bonzo (John Bonham, Led Zeppelin's legendary drummer), with the kanji I tried making myself, and I hope the drums certainly served as the center of it all and drew attention to the group.
5. Music highlight 2: "Seasonal" sounds
I did hard-disc recording with the Pro.tools I mentioned before, so because I could record in high-quality even at my house, I was able to introduce "seasonal" sounds that weren't lacking "purity". For example, with Tracks 7 and 8, "Though I Have to Leave Soon", I gave them the temporary title "Okusan hokkori" (laugh); it was something I created to catch the atsmophere of "chance" floating about unexpectedly when I came home and went in the kitchen. Even such a person as the protagonist Yamada Oji would be a person of that extreme, wouldn't he? I myself usually think about the "upper-class" people, but even someone like me sometimes takes a bit of an unexpected rest when coming home; it's something I didn't just do then (laugh). Actually, when it comes to my guitar that I put in this soundtrack, more than half of it was recorded at my house, so the best feelings I learned from each place were that of "seasonal" sounds, which I was able to put in.
6. Music highlight 3: Variation
Of course the rest of this soundtrack has variety. There's also a stream of club music that I created in private, and so on, as well as situations where I acted as DJ in making sound sources. For example, when it comes to Track 12, "That's What I Mean (dub ver.)" (or club ver.), I planned to make something provocative, in the fashion of England's [??] Boat Movement. For the other half, my recommendation is Track 13, "Layla's Theme 2", which is of course Layla's theme. With the drums and bass calm, it became quite the ecchi sort of piece, so personally the point is high for this too!
7. The protagonist of the anime "Kacho Ouji" - concerning Yamada Oji
When it comes to the protagonist Yamada Oji, his real age is actually very close to mine. When I say he's sympathetic, he's got significance, I mean that especially in the first episode, I couldn't talk without tears (laugh)! When I asked about how he was created, I felt that I could try smiling at the show, but my heart was in pain when he said, "Why did my wife throw away my guitar!!", honestly. Even for me, having it thrown away in the morning, with the trash (laugh). But then, with the arrangement he made with his wife, it got to be all right even if it was thrown away, because there wasn't much tension in the place with over 3,000 people (laugh). Even so, as a guitarist too, ah, it was happy......(laugh).
8. Concerning the guitar parts
Because I was conscious of "pure rhythm" this time, I entrusted all the rhythm section of Mecken and Aoyama-san to the care of Oda Tooru, while I did the keyboard, guitar and rap. However, I recorded the guitar parts this time while keeping Oji's character particularly in mind. If that was always the case, then it was a method of "When this is Oji's guitar, in a good studio, dropping all the illumination......I can't do just that!" (laugh). He's not that kind of person, is he? The character of the guitar he plays is completely that of a person who makes music, but there's also a sense of humor. Personally, as a guy who doesn't find jokes funny, I didn't want to make a band or anything (laugh)!
9. The image of the Flying V
For the sound of Oji's Flying V, my management of it being to use Michael [??]'s Wow pedal, and since that actually made it a bit peculiar, was to imitate that. (Uh, yeah.) But what I used was the same Les Paul Custom as John Sikes, and I used the [??] amp, as a combination. The Flying V is a guitar whose sweet tone (=tone color) captivates me. When the moment came for I myself to use it, I thought, "It's sexy, but it seems to misunderstand what you want from it", so it's a guitar that faces toward you, and has that sort of image (laugh).
10. Activity from here on
From here, I'll be producing the young powerhouses Oshio Satoru-kun and TALUI-kun, and I've got plans to work with Suzuki Shigeru-san, Mori Tatsuo-san and friends in November of '99. I'll be balancing out some drummers in lives, and at the end of the year I'll be doing Tobishima Ryouji's solo tour, and otherwise I've got a few producing jobs......so I'm doing various things. And when I go to Tokyo, almost every month, I'll be doing drums'n'bass and beat stuff at Pit Inn in Roppongi, working with the bands Outa'n Mecken, FURU-KORE and such balancing lives with house club-style beats. So if you're interested, please come see it. Till now I've been doing the music for "??", so I think I'll probably be doing its soundtrack too. What's more, I'll be singing (laugh).
Because this story powerfully puts out splendid colors, being the story of the conflict in the protagonist's heart, I made dark songs in the soundtrack also (like track 3 "Hate!") that seemed to make I myself think "You're tricking me!?" (laugh). But I'm thinking that there's also a rebirth to being happy, which is the more important part. Therefore, with such a significance, it's all right to be happy even if it's just a little, so please be happy. That's it (laugh)!
@ niney: They talk with Yuki about this article http://kasakoblog.exblog.jp/18220333/ The writer says that now its spend much more money than in the old days to make music in Japan yet its quality is much lower. (that's what I got a from a few lines of google translate that i read) look like kore chan and Yuki dont agree with that and I 100% understand them.
Ohh, I only just saw this, haha. This is an awesome thread and I approve greatly of Ninetales making it.
Koichi is a badass guitarist from what I've been shown, so consider me a part-time fangirl. I've also been trying to convince my IRL friends to convert to Koichi-ism but let's just call that a work in progress.
Of course, having said that, nothing will be able to compare to Jr.'s goatee in my eyes...