supercell Exclusive Interview [1st Ever English Interview!]

supercell Exclusive Interview [1st Ever English Interview!]

Independent music group, supercell has taken the Japanese otaku community by storm! In March 2009, their popularity had caught the attention of record label Sony Music Japan earning them their first commercial album titled after themselves, supercell. In July of the same year, their new single Kimi no Shiranai was chosen as the ending theme song for the hit ghost anime series, Bakemonogatari.

In tracing their history further back, the group was started by independent music composer under the alias ryo. He is probably most well known for his music videos including Black Rock Shooter, which utilizes Yamaha's voice synthesizer program, Hatsune Miku. The video has received over one million views on the popular Japanese video site, Nico Nico Douga. The song’s influence has led to an anime adaptation that is set to air on Japanese televisions in April 2010.

The group now consisting of nine main members, has been shrouded in mystery as none of the members have made public appearances. Learn a bit more about what the group’s leader and composer ryo, and vocal singer nagi had to say about themselves and their current and past works in our exclusive first English interview!



T-ONO: How did you decide to use the name supercell?


ryo: It comes from how the illustrators and musicians involved coming together and growing into one large entity, like a supercell.



T-ONO: How and why did you get started composing music?


ryo: I started when my parents first bought me a synthesizer when I was in middle school.



T-ONO: Have your parents always been supportive of your musical work?


ryo: They weren't especially supportive, but I asked them to buy me one if I passed my high school entrance exam.



T-ONO: Tell me about the creation process of your songs.


ryo: It depends on each song, but usually I would play the piano and take notes of the chord progression, then I would put the lyrics on top of it. Usually the electric piano is the only instrument I would use when composing.

曲によってバラバラなのですが、だいたいピアノを弾きながらコード進行をメモして、歌詞を当てていくようなやり方です。作曲の段階で使用する機材は 電子ピアノくらいです。


T-ONO: Which of your songs was the most difficult to compose? Which was your favorite?


ryo: Well, actually none of them are difficult. It’s nothing complicated. I’m sorry… I don’t have a favorite song yet, but I do like the song “Line”. I’ve been wanting to compose a song like this.

どの曲もあまり難しいということはないんですよね。特別難しいことはしていないので。すみません……一番好きな曲というのは今のところないのです が、「ライン」という曲がまあまあ好きです。こういう曲調が作ってみたかった、というのが理由です。


Thumbnail imageT-ONO: How did it feel to have your first major debut single, Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari used as an ending theme song for an anime series?


ryo: We were actually offered to do the theme song initially, so I’m glad that the music reached out to a lot of people.



T-ONO: With so many illustrators in the group, how was the cover for the album decided?


ryo: The illustrations are basically done by Shirow Miwa, redjuice (Shiru), and huke, and all of the artwork and designs are handled by wooser. From my side, I would only tell them the image of the song in a word or two besides actually having them listen to the piece.

基本的にイラストは三輪士郎、redjuice(しる)、huke、の3名で構成されています。またアートワーク、デザインはwooser(宇佐) が全てを執り行っています。自分のほうからは楽曲を聴いてもらった上でイメージを一言伝える程度しかしていません。


Thumbnail imageT-ONO: The theme song for CENCOROLL deviated from your past works, with a techno vibe to it. Could you talk about your inspirations for the song?


ryo: I asked Mr. Uki, the director of CENCOROLL, what kind of music he likes. Then he told me that he likes house /techno-like music, so I tried to meet his request.

センコロール監督である宇木監督と打ち合わせをしている時に、どんな曲が好きですか?とたずねたのですが、4つ打ちの曲が好き、との事でしたのでリ クエストに応えてみた感じです。製作面ではサイドチェインコンプを使ってみたかったので使ってみた、という感じです(笑。


T-ONO: The lyrics to “LOVE & ROLL” are rather playful, is there a story behind the lyrics? How did you come up with them?

またこの「LOVE & ROLL」の歌詞のアイディアはどこから来ているのでしょうか?

ryo: It’s about a couple going to a club, where the girl can’t be quite honest and the boy is a bit clumsy.



T-ONO: How did nagi come to join the group?


nagi: I really liked ryo’s music, and we’d been talking about how we should work together and collaborate someday, then the Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari offer came up. It was really good timing. We even finished the song on my birthday, so I felt it was kind of fateful.

ryoさんの曲が大好きで、前々から二人で何か作品をつくりたいという話はしてたんです。丁度その時期に「君の知らない物語」のお話をいただい たので、是非参加したい、と。タイミングがすごく良かったです。音源のマスターアップの日が自分の誕生日と一緒だったり、ちょっと運命を感じました。


T-ONO: You have a very beautiful voice, how did you start singing? Did you have any formal training?

とても素敵な声をお持ちですが、歌はいつから始めたのですか?またボーカル・トレーニングを受けていたり、元々音楽を勉強なさっていたの ですか?

nagi: I always liked singing since I was little, but I’ve never had professional voice training or studied music. We had an electric organ at the house, so I self-taught myself.

歌は小さい頃から好きで、よく歌っていました。ボーカルの専門的なトレーニングや音楽の勉強をしたことはないです。家に電子オルガンがあったので、 独学で弾いたり、自由に音楽をやってました


Thumbnail imageT-ONO: Are you currently working on any current or future projects?


ryo: we’ll be releasing our second single, Sayonara Memories in February.

Unfortunately at this point I won’t be able to tell you our plan after that, but we’ll have many activities coming up, so please stay tuned!

とりあえず2月の2枚目のシングル「さよならメモリーズ」を出します。その後の予定は現時点ではまだ言えないのですが、色々進展がありますので興味 あるかたはお楽しみに!


T-ONO: Were there any particular inspirations for your new song, Sayonara Memories?


ryo: February is the theme for the song. In Japan, this is the graduation season, so I tried to express those farewells, the anxiety for the future, as well as hope for the future.

「2月」をテーマにしています。日本では卒業シーズンにあたるのですが、そんな別れや将来への不安、同じくらいの期待などを感じる季節をテーマ に 楽曲を制作しました。


T-ONO: Any possibility of reusing Hatsune Miku in any future projects?


ryo: Of course, whenever I get a chance. I’m still currently using it in various ways.



T-ONO: Finally, a message for your oversea fans!


ryo: Hello, my name is ryo, and I’m the composer for supercell. I would be very happy if you like any of our illustrations, music, designs, or the website. I’ve never imagined receiving an interview request from overseas, and I’m actually very surprised. It would be absolutely great if our creation leaps over the language barrier!

Thank you very much for reading, and for all your support!

はじめまして、supercellで音楽を作っているryoと申します。イラスト、音楽、デザイン、ウェブ、何か気に入ってもらえているとしたらと ても嬉しいです。まさか海外から取材が来るとは全く思っていなかったのでびっくりしています。自分たちの作るモノが言葉を飛び越えて伝わってくれたら最高 です!最後まで読んでくれてどうもありがとうございました!

Special thanks to Ryu Takahashi from Sony Music Japan for providing the translations.
Translation edits provided by Tomoaki Hirai.


Album Covers Copyright supercell/Sony Music Japan.
CENCOROLL Image Copyright Atsuya Uki/Aniplex.

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 November 2015 23:53
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