Translated by pretty pretty GANG
GANG PARADE Becoming 9 members the first “LAST” full album.
GANG PARADE released their new album “LAST GANG PARADE” on 1/8.
This piece is the first album with 9 members formation. Starting with the emotional number full of WACK-ism “LAST”, several songs written by the members are in a compilation. At NATALIE Music as a celebration of the new release crowned with a meaningful title, we carry out an interview with all members. We heard about the core of thoughts and feelings related to the lyrics and songs.
Data/Text: Tanaka Kazuhiro
Photos: Gotou Michito
Profound meaning title “LAST GANG PARADE”
- This time I would like to make several questions about the first full album with 9 members formation “LAST GANG PARADE”. First, it's release was announced at Zepp Tokyo live on September. The scene of audience being noisy about the meaningful title left an impression. (See: GANG PARADE, last day of the enchanted by stoicism 9 members's “REBUILD TOUR”).
Yumeno Yua: The title “LAST GANG PARADE”, Watanabe (Junnosuke/WACK's president)-san decided it for us. Not only the fans were taken by this title's impact but we were too. I got anxious at night thinking “We weren't informed of anything but, will GANPARE end?”, to the point I asked our manages “What is the meaning of this!??”. But, to “LAST” there's not just the “end” meaning, I was also hinted there was the meaning of “continuing”, so I want to believe that is the meaning of it.
Coco Partin Coco: What will we do? If it's the last of this formation………
Kamiya Saki: Because WACK has the power of words, if you say negative things they might become true?
Yui Ga Dockson: That'll be bad!
- There was also a “LAST” baton in the past given by Watanabe-san. On 2019/11 was announced the “LAST ALBUM” of BILLIE IDLE, his joint project with NIGO-san, from there the group's situation changed drastically.
Coco: Indeed when GANG PARADE released “Barely Last” (2016 album), the flow changed.
Terashima Yuuka: True! It was the timing we (former SiS Terashima, Coco, Dockson) joined.
Dockson: But it changed in a good way.
Yua: Even considering previous experiences, it should be a good turning point to GANPARE (GANG PARADE's nickname).
“LAST” the song with the power to tense one's body
- From now please let us hear about the songs in the album. From the first song “LAST”.
Kamiya: You feel a lot of things with this song, like impact, passion and weight. Even now with a history of several representative songs starting with “Plastic 2 Mercy”, I had no doubt that “LAST” would too become a new representative song of GANG PARADE.
Tsukino Usagi: Because it's a good song, I thought “I don't want to lose to this song”. When I sing my body becomes tense.
- I felt in this song lyrics and sound something like a strong “WACK-ism”.
Kamiya: Quite so, all members think that as well. Personally I even feel the history of before WACK was created.
- Until now Watanabe-san and Matsukuma-san produces the songs of several groups besides GANPARE but, this song is like the essence of famous songs until now were condensed.
Coco: Depending on the listener they might think “It feels like they stuffed together previous songs” but, making this song belong to GANPARE is something only we can do. Even if it's put together like “It's an homage to songs from other WACK artists”, only we can cross over this opinion. I want to color this song in GANPARE colors trough lives.
- The second song “GANG 2” is from a single but, it leaves an impression it increases the meaning if you listen to it after “LAST”.
Haruna: It's me and Tsuki (Tsukino's nickname)'s debut song. “GANG 2” has a magnificent feeling, like a big river flowing from a waterfall like DON.
- Since the debut on 2018/4 you performed with the tour as center but, how was the response?
Yua: The audience sings the sing along part after the chorus ends. In that moment I feel a sense of unity, as everyone is coming closer to GANPARE.
Can GP Maika: This song is always the one I perform with a stout heart the most. Even when we perform in battle lives where a lot of idols perform, it's a song I can have a feeling we won't be defeated, having the confidence to say “Current GANPARE is like this!”.
- The casual pop tune “Message” was written by Yamamachi-san. What feelings did you put into the lyrics when you wrote it?
Yamamachi Miki: Singing about people who are wondering if they should go to GANPARE live for the first time, the lyrics are like an explanation for these people like “GANG PARADE is such group” “You can enjoy the lives like this”. There are a lot of friendly people among asobinin (GANPARE fan's nickname), before one knows the comrade circle expands. But because I feel you need courage to jump in a suddenly formed community, it's a lyrics towards this person, saying “Asobinin will welcome new fans so it's all OK”.
Kamiya: If I was a fan going to a live for the first time, if this song was performed, I would feel really relieved. Feels like the floor's mood will become mild.
“HERETIC” with the image of WACK's inside circumstances
- Kamiya-san was in charge of lyrics for “HERETIC”.
Kamiya: “HERETIC” means “heretic” but, even in a first look it's perfect for me (laughs). Because since the demo stage I felt it was a sound that could be used in a Chinese or Korean love drama, I thought I wanted to write lyrics adding the love factor but, it was quite difficult. When I wasn't quite able to write the lyrics I was demanded by our manager “Write the lyrics!” so, suddenly thought “Let's try to make the manager the theme for it” (laughs). So, I think it's a song about Watanabe-san, WACK employees, interns, etc.
Tsukino: Knowing that a different image comes to mind if you read the lyrics (laughs).
Kamiya: If you read it also applies to love, I think you can feel empathy with this direction but, in the end the models were Watanabe-san and employees (laughs). The 2nd A-melody “I can't comprehend that person's heart, projecting evening in the morning” it's the feelings about when a drinking party continued until late at night (laughs).
Tsukino: To use this situation in the lyrics is amazing.
Dockson: It's a song that applies to both Saki-chan and Watanabe-san too.
Kamiya: Like “Conflicts increase up and down”? (laughs) Because we sing this different sections with a peculiarity like “Lai le” (coupling song of single “GANG 2” released on 2018/5), this song is indeed a heresy.
- Could you see the singing direction before the lyrics were decided?
Terashima: Because the singing since the temporary stage was also peculiar, everyone thought “So we'll sing like that”. That's why it was hard to think about the lyrics.
Tsukino: It was the recording that took the longest.
Terashima: While singing we didn't know until where we could go, everyone went out of control.
Coco: Because we gradually heat up (laughs). I think it's a great hearing impact. The song I wrote unintentionally on twitter “I couldn't control laughing inside the train listening to a certain song” was this song.
Yamamachi: We sing love with the Korean pronounce “enjon” but, only on the part before last chorus it becomes the Japanese pronounce “aijou”, the singing being the usual just there is also a hook.
Looking back at happenings occurred in 2018
- Next, a version of “BREAKING THE ROAD” with the current formation, this single was released on February 2018 before Tsukino-san and Haruna-san joined. Here I think we should look back at the happenings that made this period of 2018 to be one of formation changes.
Haruna: Around that time I applied to the audition, but it was a timing I still didn't know what would happen.
- GANPARE itself was in it's period of rental trade between Kamiya-san and Aya-san.
Kamiya: It was exactly the period I was making preparations to come back from BiS to GANPARE.
Coco: “BREAKING THE ROAD” is a single released with the formation with Aya but, we actually performed it on stage with Aya about 10 times only.
Yamamachi: Officially we were in activities with Aya in the formation but, in intervals we would talk with Saki-chan, practice together.
Terashima: Honestly speaking, it feels like “A time I don't really understand” (laughs). It's a song we released with a formation with Aya but, we were also doing the preparations for this lineup.
Kamiya: From that time I thought about what's the meaning of the lyrics. The phrase “Even if the form is different WE ARE THE ONE the things we see are the same!!” was stuck ever since revealed in the music video before. I thought it meant a farewell to Aya, but also captured that from my perspective the situation would change after returning from rental trade with BiS to GANPARE, so it meant I would be part of it again.
- The March stage was the last stage with BiS to Kamiya-san, but also on the same day Pour Lui graduation stage was held at Ryogoku Kokugikan. That day Aya appeared the most. (Reference: Bis, the last free live with current lineup at Odaiba “BiS songs weren't a curse, they were magic” / “In my life BiS is the number one disgrace, and pride” Pour Lui graduation from BiS and the start of new formation).
Kamiya: Aya wore my outfit for the Ryogoku's stage, so it was really short (laughs).
Everyone: Hahaha (laughs).
- After this period since the end of the rental trade, did Kamiya-san thought about any other meaning of the rental trade?
Kamiya: In a bad way I think before I was blinded. Because I had strong feelings before the trade that “GANG PARADE is mine”. When I returned, this ownership disappeared in a good way. That's certainly because I saw GANPARE with Aya during the trade, so I could observe objectively what kind of GANPARE everyone wanted to make, I thought “This GANPARE is also good”.
- At “REBUILD TOUR”, it gave the impression the team power of the 9 got stronger.
Yamamachi: Indeed if we think about that tour as our own growth, there was a huge meaning.
- Coco-san ended up hurting her leg in summer 2018, there was a period you had to perform in a fixated spot for a while. I think it was a difficult time but, we could see the members supporting themselves mutually.
Coco: Because there's a lot to burden our legs the movements were restrained, more than anything I don't like standing still so I was impatient, it was difficult. I was troubled because it was a situation nothing else could be done but restriction, but it was easy to see the faces of the audience, the members would come closer so we could properly show we were performing as 9 and that was good. They made me sit down when the train moved (laughs).
Terashima: I was surprised that even if we took her to priority seats people wouldn't really get up. I whispered “Coco, pretend your leg hurts, it'll be safer if you sit”.
Coco: You can't say such thing (laughs).
Terashima: But from my perspective it was really worrisome. Coco standing up in a moving train with her leg hurting like that. If someone stepped on you it would be the end!
Dockson: Unexpectedly people don't hand over it easily. I think if there's someone looking like they need to sit you should approach them. If they refuse you return swiftly. You need courage to be gentle huh.
The dissatisfaction and cynicism towards modern society
- Terashima-san was in charge of “Jealousy Marionnette” lyrics, it's a style like a poem with deep prudence.
Tsukino: Yuyu-san is good with metaphors. The parts she expresses hazy feelings I have within, there are times I nod unintentionally.
Terashima: If you think about your place there are things you can't say directly. I wrote the lyrics thinking that if it was a place of expression, then it would be ok to say things you can't normally say to one's face.
- Specifically what kind of things came to mind?
Terashima: I wrote lyrics speaking with sarcasm towards the world. There're a lot of people in the world living captured by society, they complain but in fact there're very few people who act on it. I wrote feeling it would be ok to move by yourself a little, instead of just complaining.
Dockson: Yuyu is really good with sarcasm. I think that if the other party doesn't understand the sarcasm there isn't any meaning in saying it but, Yuyu is good at sarcasm that makes understandable that it's sarcasm.
Terashima: Aren't you saying sarcasm too much?
Coco: But I understand. There are a lot of times I say something intended as sarcasm but it's taken as blunt but, Yuyu is good with sarcasm.
Terashima: Is that praise?
Dockson: There are things that trouble Yuyu herself, because I know she doesn't think of herself as someone incredibly capable, I think it's cute even she lines up things with sarcasm.
Kamiya: It feels like this song resembles Yuyu's aura.
Terashima: I'm someone who can't hold things back, the cynicism towards others (laughs). For example, there are times I think “Even if it isn't ill intended, this person has no consideration”. The talk about priority seats in the train is the same. Even if there's something that makes you irritated, perhaps you do this same thing before you know it. They aren't such capable humans, cynicism comes to mind thinking such things. But I also feels this is a warning to myself.
Coco: But when I realized Yuyu isn't always about sarcasm, she always says nice words. Even if other people do something bad she's a reassuring person saying things like “That person is just like that” to protect me.
Haruna Bad Chiiiin's almighty “Yorukuraimu”
- The song composed by Haruna-san “Yorukuraimu” has lyrics by Haruna-san and Yua-san.
Haruna: “Yorukuraimu” reads as “yorukuraimu”. It was Watanabe-san idea.
Coco: It's contents make you feel the four seasons, I was deeply moved by the title and song's excellence.
Yua: Because there was the temporary demo Haruna sang the 1st part and the chorus, I expanded the lyrics to mach Haruna's image.
- GANPARE not only has writers, there are also selection of composers.
Haruna: There is. At first when I came up with this melody, I tried to trust my feelings. The things that came suddenly. Because the lyrics I thought only of “shunkashuto, shikioriori”, first of all I recorded it, and lated I added the speech.
- Did you think of a courtesan's story from this short phrase?
Haruna: Yes. First I reminded of that. That thing the bamboo goes up and down.
Haruna: Yes. I thought of that “shishiotoshi”.
Coco: It's “shishiodoshi”.
- Did you search a lot of things about courtesans?
Haruna: Yes. I searched a lot of things, such as the first person “Akichi” being a way for courtesans to hide their dialect so people wouldn't know where they were from.
- It's a lyrics that make you think of a scenery but, it's unique for GANPARE.
Yua: Because Haruna made the theme about courtesans, I thought I should go with that theme so I also searched a lot of things. Because the pre-existent lyrics were “shunkashuto, shikioriori”, while adding the four seasons, I wanted to make a song about singing things of the past. Because the courtesans were firmly thighed to a contract with their companion, seems they would raise their valuable things, like their hair and fingers. I learned this is the etymology theory for the “pinky swear” when you promise something. The “itai” in “anata no soba ni itai (I want to be by your side)” I wrote in katakana on purpose, I wanted to express wanting to be together even if it's painful.
Haruna: I search about a lot of things but, I didn't search that much………
Yamamachi: Don't feel sad (laughs).
Yua: That's right. I wrote this lyric thanks to Haruna.
Coco: Members have participated in song contests since 2017 but, it's amazing to succeed with an advanced technique such as use talking parts in your first try.
Terashima: This song, I couldn't come up with something like that myself. It's amazing the sounds are exactly fit.
Dockson: The intervals are ingenious.
Haruna: I'm glad! I was a little embarrassed that everyone would sing to a song I composed but, now I'm happy.
- Looking forward the live performance.
Kamiya: Regarding the choreography while having the hand movement as a trait, I also added a few factors from vogue dance. Like TOKYO GEGEGAY-san. It's not firm like that but, it would be nice to show the hands moving like fluttering, and sexy floor dance.
Several characters born from a singing voice rich in variation
- Next is “Tadashii kotae ga mitsukaranakute” with a sound that makes you think of game songs.
Dockson: The lyrics I wrote were used. There really isn't a meaning to the lyrics but, I imagined a RPG story like Dragon Quest. The protagonist is enthusiastic and forms a party but, they encounter a really really strong enemy, no matter how many times they fight it's no good, they gradually fall into despair and decay, captured by the enemy, asking for assistance, it's such pitiful story.
- You said the lyrics don't have meaning but it seems to be a well thought world view.
Dockson: When I listen to a song, I'm the type to give more importance to the sound rather than the lyrics meaning. More than the lyrics merits and demerits I care about how the words fit. There was the lyrics to the demo song that Matsukuma-san wrote, it's weird to say it myself but the rhymes and use of words was really clever. That's why I left some phrases of the demo on purpose, I left the vowels of the previous lyrics and replaced for different words.
- The singing of each member also express their peculiarities.
Dockson: Because I'm playing a lot of characters while singing, I want everyone to enjoy it. The “unhateful old man” character that appears in english parts of “RATESHOW” (coupling song of single “CAN'T STOP” released on 2018/9) appears once again.
Kamiya: The effective threatening feeling.
Coco: Other's include Tsuki's role of slightly arrogant princess, I did the role of her mother, the queen.
Terashima: There was the new character of “old man who puked” but, that wasn't used (laughs).
- I got curious about how what the recording scene. It's interesting that new characters are born according to the singing voice.
Coco: For example, I was in charge of the poetry of “Beyond the Mountain” (single released on 2017/7) but, to Matsukuma-san there was a picture of this poet so, I had the direction to “show that person again”.
Tsukino: I changed to the singing voice of “Lai le”, but now I was told to “do as always”.
Kamiya: In one song there are several ways to enjoy it. I would never think it would have so much variety (laughs).
Painful and ephemeral, but it becomes a warm feeling
- “CAN'T STOP” as a single has an unusual medium tune. With a heart-warming content, it's a song with great response in lives.
Tsukino: It really feels it's growing up with lives. When singing this song, the scenery we see from the stage is really beautiful. The feeling of the audience becoming one is amazing.
Dockson: The asobinin hold hands the same way members do.
Coco: But to suddenly hold hands with someone you don't know, it's a hard level. Just before the refrain when we hold hands, it's cute to see the audience restless wondering “what will we do?”. Even so there are a lot of people doing the lover's hold (laughs).
Terashima: I thought they were really holding hands! (laughs). Looking at the audience I unconsciously smile.
Kamiya: A new sense of unit was born different from the explosive “Plastic 2 Mercy”, it's a warm feeling.
- And so the last song of the album is “BOND” with lyrics written by Yua-san.
Yua: “BOND” feeling wise has a meaning of connection and bond. When I head the demo before writing the lyrics, I had the image of cold, freezing and winter but, in the lyrics I express the seasons with the cherry blossom flowers showing signs of spring. The period of meetings and farewells the path is painted in pink, it's easy to be cheerful but, if you feel sadness over the change of a situation, there's also excitement. Dreams and objectives, I believe each person has something they couldn't quite grasp so, the contents make you remember that.
Kamiya: It's exudes painful and fleeting feelings.
Tsukino: At recording everyone usually talks during the waiting time but, at this song it became painful so it was quiet.
Yua: I thought I wanted to write lyrics like a story, I aimed for it to make you think of a scenery. Just like in a book there are a lot of explanations, I want the audience to listen to it imagining the meanings of this song.
So people will think “GANPARE is good!”
-After the album release the event tour will participation of WACK artists will start on 1/10.
Maika: GANPARE will participate in 20 of the 23 lives, more than any other group. We'll get to go to a lot of places we haven't been to yet, we'll perform along BiSH who are in their momentum. I believe there'll be a lot of people who don't know GANPARE yet, more than we can think of so, I want to convey our qualities as much as possible, and ride the wave.
Yamamachi: WACK Slaves (nickname to fans of WACK artitsts), even if we go a lot of places on tour they go to several lives. I think there're a lot of people who have seen GANPARE several times but, I don't want them to think “GANPARE again?”, or “This song again?”. I want to face this tour by carrying changes to each and every live.
Coco: Because the other group performing will change every time, I want to tour with the intent of winning all the 20 stages by pouring my soul every time. Because the album songs will increase, we'll work so we'll show a GANPARE that exceeds everyone's expectations since the first live of 2019.
Haruna: If we'll do it I want to have a complete victory. I think there're a lot of people who don't know us yet, first we must have them know us. I want us to become an existence that people will want to introduce others like “GANPARE is good!” that you wouldn't think they just got to know us themselves.
*Shishiodoshi: Device for scaring birds (lit. scaredeer or scareboar) of gardens, consists in a water-filled bamboo that clacks against a rock when emptied.