TarO&JirO first independent tour direct interview
at a beach somewhere
A certain day in August. TarO&JirO and Kyohei, who played the drums for all the three shows, have just finished their independent tour “Hankotsu is mightier than Genkotsu”. We interviewed them while they were relaxing at a certain beach on their day off.
(Interviewer: Shu-chan) First of all, T&J, please tell us your impressions about the tour.
(TarO) So we performed three gigs, one in Nagoya, one in Osaka and the last one in Tokyo. We did our best at every show, and I was like Tarzan during the performances. We also focused on choosing the songs to play, and we played old songs we used to play at our street performances, as well as our masterpieces we’ve released with the major label, and also we played five songs with our drummer Kyohei. So we had a variety of songs in our repertoire, and it all went well, I guess.
(JirO) I think this time we were like back to be just the two of us again after having experienced the activities in the major field. We’re just the two of us again, but in a different way. So we were cut loose like animals and purely enjoyed music. We were all so excited, like teenagers who just put a band together and off to their tour, it was pretty much like that.
– And how about Kyohei, who toured with you all the way? –
(Kyohei) Well, I really enjoyed being able again – you see, we were in the same band before – to play music with these two great guitarists. These three days slipped by so fast.
(T) I really enjoyed touring as the band of my dream.
(J) For me, it was like recapturing my youth again through this tour, the youth that I just wasted at my boring boys’ school.
-I see. So you’ve recaptured your youth by touring the three of you together after many years. How was the reaction and response of the audience at the three venues?-
(T) I got an impression that there were more fans who truly love our music, it was a little different from what I saw while we were with our major label. I could see there were many fans who truly love and enjoy our music at every venue. Everybody at the venues, including us, go so excited, and that was amazing.
(J) So we’re just the two of us again and managed it all by ourselves. We toured in Nagoya and Osaka without the whole promotional stuff, so I was a little worried if we could pack the venues. But once we started the tour, there were many fans waiting for our shows, and ,seeing the whole audience singing along and dancing to our music, once again I was encouraged by our fans.
-This time you achieved to have a drummer for each show of the tour, a thing you weren’t able to do while under your previous label, but how did you proceed from choosing the drummer to the actual show?-
(J) This time we needed a drummer who doesn’t cost (laugh)… I know, not to be rude, but… So, it had to be someone who we knew. Kyohei was playing drums in our band when I was a high school student, and though we hadn’t played together for a long time, when I first met Kyohei Ifelt something musically similar to us, and I’ve been thinking like we can do something together again in the future. So after seven years we asked him “hey, we’re going to tour this summer. Do you want to play drums with us?”, and he really worked on it actively. So we made it possible to have a drummer for all the three shows. I’m really thankful to him.
(T) More importantly, the feeling. I hate people who are particular about titles or labels. You don’t have to be a professional, whatever job you do, or whatever life you spend, it doesn’t matter, what I feel good is good. That’s why I invited him to the tour. We’re strongly connected with music.
-You played two new songs in this tour. The melodies are still stuck in my mind, and the lyrics of both of them are written in Japanese and sound quite cynical. Was there any specific reason for writing Japanese lyrics for both of these songs and for choosing them?-
(J) We don’t really like to make up a reason afterward, the tour was titled “Hankotsu is mightier than Genkotsu”, but we didn’t want to regulate our performance by following the title, so we played these two songs because they were complete at that timing. Also, the reason why we wrote them in Japanese is because I got the impression that this songs’ lyrics should be Japanese. Or maybe I wanted to write Japanese lyrics, ’cause recently we started a new band project “MunizO” and we’re writing all the lyrics in English for this project. So I felt like writing Japanese lyirics for TarO&JirO’s project as I pleased.
-A question for Kyohei: after touring with them, what kind of guys are TarO and JirO?-
(K) Well, after all I thought these two are genuinely living at one with their music and enjoying and loving music from the heart. They’re awesome.
-So, TarO&JirO, you are awesome~ you will certainly ask Kyohei again for the next occasion…-
(T) Actually, he cannot always play drums for us for personal reasons, but we’ll surely play together again when it’s possible.
-I think all the fans are looking forward to hear Kyohei’s drums again.
So, in conclusion, is there any funny story behind this tour?-
(T) Any idea?
(J) There were only funny things actually. By the way, I lost two kilograms in two days. We only traveled three cities though, but Kyohei made me drink every night and I lost my weight…
-Lastly, I think fans are wondering about TarO&JirO’s future vision and the release of new songs. Can you tell us about this?-
(T) For our future activities, as we already mentioned we want to focus on our new band “MunizO”, which is different from TarO&JirO. I want to kick it into gear including the activities in foreign countries. And also we’ll be performing and composing as TarO&JirO as always, and when possible we’ll invite Kyohei to play for us again.
(J) We are planning to release our new album, including the new songs we performed during this tour, and also planning o tour again after the release. So please keep your eyes on TarO&JirO.
-I see. TarO&JirO will continue their activities with enthusiasm, so I’m looking forward to their future successes!-
Photos: MiiNa, Rie Nishinaka