Interview by Jen Wang
September 11, 2014
In 2006, FLOW made their overseas debut at AnimeFEST. Their return to the Dallas convention brought them to a different location with fans, new and old, who still go wild at the first few notes of “GO!!!”. Despite being veterans of the con scene now, the band still had the enthusiasm of newcomers as they discussed anime, the baseball theme in their recent releases, and and of course, the surprises during their performance.
With Dragon Ball Z being such a well-known anime, how did you feel about covering “Cha-La Head-Cha-La”?
KEIGO: We grew up with Dragon Ball Z so we were happy. But there was a lot of pressure too. We wanted to put our own FLOW touch to the song.
What anime theme would you like to cover?
GOT’S: Attack on Titan, which we were able to play last night.
KEIGO: We’ve done different covers in the past for popular anime. We want to continue that in the future like we did last year.
KOHSHI: Saint Seiya. I sing it a lot in karaoke.
TAKE: We’ve done a lot already so I want to do an original song for others to cover.
How does the songwriting process differ when you are writing for an anime?
TAKE: There’s more freedom in writing original songs whereas we try to conform to the spirit and feeling of the anime.
Last night you told the audience that you do more than anime themes. What songs would you recommend to illustrate that?
GOT’S: FLOW THE MAX!!! and BLACK & WHITE are albums without any anime themes. They actually sold out here.
GOT’S: Thank you. Last night, we performed “Garden”, “BLACK & WHITE”, and “Ryuusei”. We were really excited to see people buy these albums and sing along to those songs, which made our performance more exciting.
What made you choose a baseball theme for both the video for “Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye” and your latest album cover?
KOHSHI: [laughs] We’re often asked this question.
KEIGO: So make sure you get this. We were simultaneously working on the single and the album. The designer for the album cover had an idea with us in suits playing baseball. That was the start of it all. We liked the theme and it bled through to the video. And we kept the motif during our tour.
How do you balance having two vocalists instead of just one?
KOHSHI: Our vocal qualities are different, and we sing in different keys too. We consider how both the technical aspects and our personalities fit the parts. We actually consider this to be our strong point; we like to use it as a weapon.
What’s something you were able to do in Dallas this time around that you didn’t get to do eight years ago?
IWASAKI: Coming to this hotel.
TAKE: Skydiving tomorrow!
IWASAKI: Last time our performance was well-received, and it was like that again.
TAKE: We were nervous eight years ago. Now we’re more confident although the fire alarm going off last night was a unique experience.
Indeed. The room literally shook. What were your reactions to that?
GOT’S: It was scary. This was the first time a room ever shook. The microphones in front of the amps had rotated all the way around.
TAKE: Dallas was moved.