PATi PATi 2008.08 (Interview)

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Translated by uchihamel

PATi PATi 2008.08 05.jpg

YUI, while still in the midst of her tour, released an all new single SUMMER SONG. As the title indicates, it is a light springy pop tune about ‘summer’. The sound is one which makes one feel like stretching, coupled with a sense of liberation as well. The wide sound range allows the pure emotions to be expressed through the lively melody, which brings out the anticipation of summer. The continuation Laugh away is a song about youth, and also about the budding romance in spring, which develops in summer. We talked with YUI about her summer experiences, as well as her tour of which the first half has been completed.

I wrote this as I recollected the scenes I’ve seen during summer

It’s such a straightforward title isn’t it
YUI: Well, as it’s ‘the summer song’ I think the feelings of the song would be able to be expressed easily through this, plus surprisingly no one has ever used this title ‘SUMMER SONG’, so it was like “I’ll take it then!” and decided on the title of this song. This song was completed about 3 years ago, and I thought if it was possible it would be best to release it during summer, but somehow the timing did not match.

So this means that it’s like a wish come true right? The sound, melody and lyrics are a perfect match.
YUI: Singing this song makes me feel good, and as it is a high (key) melody, adding a lower tone in the chorus made it into an interesting sound I think.

And in terms of the lyrics, it is a continuation of Laugh away isn’t it?
YUI: Yup. Spring’s Laugh away was full of emotions, and I thought it would be great to release a song in summer along the theme of ‘using summer as a chance to create some unforgettable memories’… As Laugh away was written based on a guy’s point of view, I thought it would be good to write about SUMMER SONG from the point of view of a girl. ‘Speaking of summer, it would be the fireworks’ or ‘I loved to go to the sea’ etc. While recollecting the scenes I’ve seen during summer I wrote the lyrics. The girl pictured in Laugh away was a shy one, and had an image of a shy smile. As such, I made such an image of her into the main character, and pondered about the kind of scenes she might be in as I wrote this song.

So do you mean to say that when it becomes the liberating summer, this shy girl becomes a little more open? YUI: When summer comes, naturally everyone’s in high spirits and it becomes easier to express oneself more directly. That’s the feeling summer gives me, and I always anticipate summer.

We can especially feel YUI-ness in the parts like the anticipation towards summer and the comparison with daily life.
It is all contained in this phrase ‘Hekomu mainichi torimodosu hibi kimi ni atte waraiatte hajimaru yo natsu yasumi’. YUI: As it is with life, there are definitely days whereby you’ll feel down. But when you randomly see someone’s smile or hear someone’s words, those might make you get back your spirit, plus you will feel like you’re now able to recover back the time lost when you were down. Hence, I wrote this phrase here.

The part ‘Suna ni kaita mirai nante ate ni dekinai’ is rather impressionable too.
YUI: Even if you write your dreams down on the sand, when the waves come, it’s like “ahh it’s gone!” While this kind of image came into my mind, I thought that this was neither a dream which will disappear easily nor a random thought. I wanted to include the feeling of “I want to walk on with my own two feet” as well as the intention of “I want to get through with my own ability”.

The thinking “the future is what one creates” has already become a central part of you hasn’t it?
YUI: I wanted to paint an image of ‘longing to go to the sea’, but not only that. If that central part exists, then I think both would be able to come alive.

There is definitely a multiplier effect in action here. The expression “makka na buruu da” (it’s a deep red-blue) is a totally new phrase. What kinds of emotions are contained within this?
YUI: The meaning of ‘both equally coexists’. For instance, I have the impression that youth is something filled with passion and sometimes bittersweet. So it’s like both the ‘sweet’ parts and ‘bitter’ parts exist at the same time. To explain it in the form of scenery, it would be like when the evening sun is setting yet partial blue skies are still remaining… It’s not totally red, nor totally blue, but both colours are equally deep and mixed within each other.

It surely is a bold attempt at expression. The choice of such words certainly signifies taking a new step into the future doesn’t it.
YUI: I made the vague thoughts which came into my mind into words. It was like “I’m really into this!”

It’s totally unromantic right?
PATi PATi 2008.08 02.jpg

I see. By the way, what was summer holidays like for you when you were a student?
YUI: I looked forward to summer holidays and I remember that I was really free. Around the period right before summer holidays or slightly into summer holidays, there would be a “Cleaning competition” held at the beach near my house. And everyone would take part in making the beach cleaner. Then, before returning home, everyone gets a small packet of juice. I remember that I was happy receiving that. After the “Cleaning competition”, it will really start to become seriously hot, and enter the heat of summer. Therefore, every time I think about summer I will recall about this.

Did you go swimming in the sea?
YUI: I did. Other than that… probably fishing? It’s totally unromantic right? I tried fishing in the sea as well as at the stream. Oh, this reminds me, I had a really unforgettable incident once when I was really young. I was fishing at the sea at night and I caught an octopus! I was extremely shocked. And then, the kind couple who was fishing beside me told me that I shouldn’t touch it and helped me take it off the hook. Octopuses are really dangerous aren’t they. One could be infected by the bacteria. Surprisingly I don’t have any memories of catching any fish before. When I thought, “I’m onto to something huge!” I would jerk the rod upwards as though I’m hauling a ship up.

… Any romantic stories to tell then?
YUI: Ehh? Like using fireworks sparklers to draw a beautiful picture on the rocks of the breakwaters? Or how the stars were so beautiful and how the horizon could be seen…

So you really spent summer near the sea. It seems that SUMMER SONG is going to become the fixed song for every summer.
YUI: If that is so I would be really happy. I would be glad if this song is one that will make people think “summer is here” or “let’s head to the sea this year too”.

I would like to talk about the coupling Oh My God as well. The phrases such as “jinsei nante aimai da” and “byoudou nanka ja nai yo” illustrate a heart with many conflicting emotions.
YUI: But these are linked to the phrase “dakedo jinsei ni kitai shiteiru”. I thought it would be good to make this song with a part reflecting positivity. It’s a song with a tempo which is like taking a slow stroll, and the melody is comparatively relaxing. The lyrics talk about the fluctuations of emotions, the misgivings or the way people simply miss each other, and these thoughts were shaped into phrases. At a glance, the title Oh My God might prompt people to think that it is a negative song, but it is actually the opposite.

Whistling was also included in the song which is interesting. It gives a light feel to the song.
YUI: It has a relaxing feel to it doesn’t it? I always wanted to try making a song with whistling, but I never thought that it would be this song. Inserting a light chorus at the intro and outro was something new. And then there was this suggestion “how about inserting a whistle too?” And after trying it out, it turned out well so whistling was also included inside.

Was the whistling difficult?
YUI: We recorded that countless times. It was my first time recording with a mic, so the first attempt was kind of awkward. When you face the mic directly and whistle, the sound of your breath gets recorded as well, so we tried placing the mic sideways instead. While thinking of how to record a ‘clean’ sound, we tried a lot of methods.

The taste was actually pretty nice. But looking at the locusts, and staring at them… I cried.

And the 3rd track would be Laugh away ~YUI acoustic version~. During the album interview we talked about how you added the strings effect to the song in order to increase the feeling of the ‘blowing wind’. In this acoustic version, it exudes a different feel doesn’t it?
YUI: “Ahh, the wind still remains” was what I thought. There were new expressions in this version. I think it’s because of the strings which ran through the gaps between the notes. After removing the strings, a ‘space’ was created and in it a different ‘wind’ blows. I think it might be the ‘wind’ which the song itself naturally contains.

Having both Laugh away and its continuation SUMMER SONG in the same CD sure does leave people with deep impressions.
YUI: It would be very appreciated if people could listen from SUMMER SONG to the 3rd track Laugh away, then back to SUMMER SONG again.

I’ve listened to it over and over again. And your tour has already completed the first half (period of interview was in early June), what has particularly left an impression on you?
YUI: I have the impression that I’ve have been circling around many areas, and there’re really a lot of memories…

For example, how was the food in the different areas like?
YUI: One that was impressionable was when I was in Nagano, and I ate the local delicacy which was boiled locusts for the first time. Everyone was shoving it down like nobody’s business. “It’s something that easy to eat?” was what I thought as I popped it in casually. And after then, my tears couldn’t stop flowing. The taste was actually pretty nice. But looking at the locusts, and staring at them… I cried. Other examples would be Shizuoka’s kurohanpen etc. I went to Jigoku meguri while in Oita, Kumamoto castle in Kumamoto, and eating horse sashimi (basashi) etc.

During your MC, you talked about each area’s famous items and places, and the audience was really responsive. Was there anything in your lives which left an impression on you?
YUI: No matter in which venue, there were little kids who came to the concert along with their mothers. And there was a time when there was this little kid located right at the front, and halfway through, the kid covered his ears with both of his hands. I couldn’t help looking at the child while thinking ‘so cute!’ He came to the concert, but probably thought the sound was too loud for him… Such genuine feelings! That was way too cute. I am really happy seeing people turning up to support me with their entire family.

Surfing this summer!?
If it’s possible, I would love to go surfing. This winter I tried snowboarding and it was really fun. I heard that snowboarding is rather similar to surfing so I thought it might be worth a try. And returning with a super dark tan… I’ll also be able to gain muscles too right? Oh no what am I gonna do if I become all muscular… I wanted to try as I love the sea, yet I can’t swim so that is my worry.