The true colors of the “close shadow”?!

SIAM SHADE will carry out a country-wide campaign during the New Year holidays in which only those who bought the album SIAM SHADE II can take part. Also, the contents of the campaign surprise even the fellow band-members themselves.

Following CHACK, KAZUMA & DAITA from the previous issue, this time we have the trio CHACK, NATIN & JUNJI. KAZUMA, who happened to be present, and the mysterious “Onlooker D” also burst in(?) in this second part of the explosive discussion!

interview & text by Kazumi Kanoh (加納一美)

――This time we change the style a bit. Firstly, I would like for you to talk about the theme: “the human nature of the members as seen during the recording”.

NATIN: I got to understand their nature veeery well during this recording!

CHACK: I didn't watch the other members' recording process at all!! But I know generally what it's like.

――I think that while recording, your dedication and seriousness towards music will reveal sides of you that you don't normally show.

CHACK: But because we've been together for such a long time, we pretty much know everything about each other.

NATIN: I'm pretty sure that there weren't any things that you don't normally see.

JUNJI: That's because we are always ourselves. It's the same while recording.

CHACK: NATIN and DAITA have known each other since elementary school. I have known NATIN and DAITA since junior high school and KAZUMA since senior high school. I don't know JUNJI all that well though. (laughs)

NATIN: Lately, I finally memorized JUNJI's name. (laughs)
JUNJI is like this when recording the bass: hitting sticks together and telling me the rhythm and I play according to that. CHACK is like this: while I'm playing as hard as I can, he goes: “Remember Heidi and Peter running across a meadow! Express that feeling with your bass!!” He's just talking nonsense like that.

CHACK: I think that was during the song called “Ookina ki no shita de”.

JUNJI: No, I think it was “DREAMLESS WORLD”.

CHACK: (downhearted) You may be right.

NATIN: And Mr. “I play by my own rules” KAZUMA won't come (to the studio) for the bass recording.

CHACK: After all, a vocalist has the task of polishing the lyrics up until the very last minute.

NATIN: Anyway, I happened to witness something. He once came to the studio's lobby and was lying on the sofa, writing lyrics. I thought, “Oh, working hard I see,” but when I looked closer, he was asleep. He was holding a pencil and drawing something that looked like a worm. (laughs)

CHACK: No, that happens when you can't come up with lyrics. (as if defending himself) If the mental image doesn't well up, you will start drawing worms no matter what. I draw elephants however. I'm serious! And DAITA is just like an A-type that he is. However, I discovered something unexpected. He has a weird point, he empties a case of Lipovitan D Super in one day!

NATIN: He was drinking it like it was juice. (laughs)

JUNJI: And the next day he was like: “Damn! I couldn't sleep yesterday.” (laughs) Of course you couldn't!

CHACK: That was weird. I was really disappointed that KAZUMA had sushi the day that I had off.

KAZUMA (special participation): There just happened to be only a few people present that day. (laughs)

CHACK: The minute I wasn't there, they had sushi!!

NATIN: Lucky devil! That's the first time I've heard of it!

CHACK: That I couldn't accept. What else? Because KAZUMA is the way he is, he decided things quickly, “This'll do, this'll do.” I think that JUNJI — being JUNJI — also finished quickly.

JUNJI: And even after I had finished, I went to the studio everyday to listen to the other members' playing.

CHACK: He came there to eat. (laughs)

NATIN: The drums were mostly recorded in one take. I was also playing together while we recorded the drums. This happened when we were recording “TIME'S”. Because the song was just newly finished, I messed up the chord progression and JUNJI, while drumming, shouted: “NATIN, that's wrong!” That was picked up by a microphone and that take was rejected. The drumming was really great on that take though. (wry smile) Because of that, JUNJI got really mad and hit the drums hard with his sticks. And because of that, the people outside the booth got mad: “Stop banging so hard, it's too loud!” (laughs)

JUNJI: But because I was shouting angrily, NATIN thought that I was hyped-up and really got into swing. (laughs)

NATIN: I thought that, “Now this is a groove!”

――This is slipping away from “human nature” and turning into an exposé competition. (laughs)

CHACK: And that's how the recording went on. I personally worked while complaining. I may seem cheerful, but actually, on the inside I am a “fiery man”!

NATIN: I know because it shows right on your face.

CHACK: Because I'm a moody person, when I'm mad I complain to everybody. ...All well and good, it turned into a good record.

――(laughs) So you were strict even with yourself.

CHACK: When recording you're not trying to just feel good, but you're pushing yourself hard. So when things don't go the way you'd like, you get angry. I think that it's a good thing to push yourself until you are satisfied. If you don't do that much, it's just yourself who's going to regret it later.

――I believe that there were hard times, this being your first full album.

CHACK: When it come to lyrics and music, it was tough.

――NATIN and JUNJI, what do you think are the differences between the lyrics of CHACK and the lyrics of KAZUMA?

JUNJI: I can see that CHACK creates words from his private life. With KAZUMA it's a bit different. For example, he could go walk around the city and write lyrics about that.

――Are there many lyrics where you are the protagonist?

CHACK: KAZUMA has many “dreamy” lyrics.

Onlooker D: He's a dreamer you see. (laughs)

――So is CHACK more of a realist?

CHACK: As for me, for the time being, I've written many lyrics about love. I do think that the style we use words is getting very different for each one. I definitely can't write lyrics like the ones KAZUMA writes, and I think it's the same for him too. Since we are both vocalists and we both have our own worlds of lyrics, the way we use a word is greatly different.
I'd say that the lyrics of rock bands can be divided into three big themes: chasing dreams, complaints against society and love. Then there's other stuff like your own irritation. For this album KAZUMA wrote the dream-chasing lyrics and I consciously avoided those and instead wrote lyrics about love, as seen from many angles. Although KAZUMA is handsome, there must be times when he fawns over a girl. There are lyrics that make such a thing come to mind. As for me, I'm more like: “Follow me”...... Sorry. (laughs)

NATIN: I don't write lyrics but I think it must be tough.

――And you don't write lyrics either, JUNJI?

JUNJI: No, I don't. If I had to choose, I think I prefer sea fishing over a fish pond. (laughs)

――What are you talking about?? (laughs)

CHACK: As a vocalist, I think that you need a lot of different experiences. Like new encounters.

NATIN: “Shokkenran'you” (Also called abuse of authority) (1)

JUNJI: What does that mean?

CHACK: It means no need for meal tickets. That you can eat and pay in cash instead of meal tickets.

――(laughs) I believe that much else also happened while you were recording.

CHACK: I met Amuro Namie.

――You mentioned that before. (laughs)

CHACK: Did I? (laughs) Then, let me tell you about the recording of a TV show called “Shibuya-kei Uraringo”, where I went with JUNJI. (2)

JUNJI: We went to see that show which is hosted by Imada Kōji and Higashino. We were shouting together with the audience.

CHACK: “Shibuya-kei Uraringo”! Lately the two of us are into shows where you shout.

NATIN: That reminds me, I received a phone call from EI (the drummer that preceded JUNJI).

――There's a name I haven't heard in a while. (laughs)

CHACK: That'll make the news!

NATIN: I thought it was going to be something like words of encouragement, but instead it was: “Would you return to me my snare that you have.” (laughs)


NATIN: So, about the recording. (laughs)

CHACK: “SIAM SHADE” means “close shadow”.

――Oh... (laughs) Were there any other things that you noticed?

CHACK: I remember looking at the band members and thinking: “They are musicians after all”. Until now we were just friends playing together, but for this album we went to the studio one by one, and there were times that made me think that I really am supporting myself with music. I was glad that the staff members supported us, though we were getting self-centered while recording. Seeing the band members working like that made them seem really cool. I guess you could call it a different side of our usually fooling-around selves. That was actually the first time I thought that we are really musicians. We hadn't even recorded in a big studio before. But this time was totally different, being in a big studio, surrounded by a great number of staff members. It was quite moving.

NATIN: I thought that all of us really are musicians after all. Being surrounded by lots of staff members, it made you guys look cool. It was quite moving.

JUNJI: On the contrary, everyone seemed like musicians to me.

NATIN: You steal all the good parts! And then?

JUNJI: And, seeing a different side of everyone – it was quite touching.

NATIN: Everyone feels things differently after all.

――... So, basically sea fishing is the thing you say?

JUNJI: Yes. But as I'm quite new to fishing, whereas you would normally bait the hook and then pull the fish up as it eats the bait, I catch fish from their eyes. (This day, JUNJI had actually caught a fish from its eye at a fish pond)

NATIN: That's right. Usually “the float” is floating, but JUNJI's float is underwater. That's why the recording...... Damn, I can't connect them! (laughs)

――Do the five of you often get together to have fun?

NATIN: We do sometimes have a drink or eat something after interviews or filming. But on our days off we don't call each other and get together.

CHACK: A while ago, after a radio show (All Night Nippon), I was going to invite DAITA to a drinking party early in the morning. I called him but he was asleep.

Onlooker D: Huh? You called me? Did I answer?

CHACK: You did! You seemed like a poor riser, so I said in a harmless tone: “Were you sleeping? I'm sorry.” And then I hung up. I also thought of calling KAZUMA, but he wasn't home!! He wouldn't answer the phone! If he's not home at 6 am, I wonder what he's normally doing!

――(laughs) What do you talk about when all of you are together?

NATIN: Rubbish!

CHACK: It's nonsense really! Like imitating a friend.

NATIN: We can laugh endlessly at the same thing.

CHACK: When it comes to such nonsense, KAZUMA talks a lot. He's talking with NATIN all the time.

NATIN: It's because I don't hate that kind of thing.

CHACK: Lately I can't keep up with them. (laughs)

――That's awful, making jokes about the people around you. Fans must pay attention or... (laughs)

CHACK: You'll become joke material right away! (laughs)

――What are your hobbies lately?

JUNJI: I lately lost one hobby (bikes) because of myself.....

NATIN: I was also about to make it my hobby...... But bikes are now forbidden while in the band.

CHACK: Lately, I would like to listen to CDs in the car, so I'm planning to buy a Corvette.

NATIN: I saw one at Daikuma. (laughs) (3)

CHACK: No, for real. But after I buy one, I'm thinking of writing “CHACK No. 1” on the hood with big letters. I don't want to drive it like a usual Corvette. First and foremost, it would be my promotional car.

NATIN: I think that's a good idea. Usually driving such a car would seem snobbish, since they look cool and are expensive. But daring to write “CHACK No. 1” on it, that's great. I can't wait to see it.

――....What would KAZUMA's hobby be?

CHACK: Gambling. After that, I don't know what he does in secret. But I suspect that that is his hobby.

NATIN: Could it be something like shopping?

CHACK: No, it's not something pretty like that.

NATIN: But the clothes that KAZUMA wears make you think, “Why are they so cheap?” He himself says: “I'm a good shopper.” You have to visit several places looking carefully in order to find cheap stuff. So I suspect that his hobby is actually window shopping.

NATIN: But you can't talk about hobbies without mentioning DAITA.

――What are DAITA's hobbies?

CHACK: Anime.

NATIN: He also goes to mountains, seas and hot springs by himself. He has many hobbies.

CHACK: But anime is the biggest. Because he has a handsome face and he's in SIAM SHADE, it is forgiven, but when he's at home all he does is watch anime and play Famicom!! He's watching shows like “Sailor Moon”!!

NATIN: It's true! While in junior high school, DAITA was the basket ball club's captain and when I skipped practice he would get mad. But as soon as the practice ended he would quickly run home to watch “Saint Seiya”. Usually after club activities you would visit a convenience store, buy some ice cream and eat it in the park while chatting, right?

CHACK: That's true. He chooses his hobby anime over socializing. Lately he even watches “Sailor Moon” after SIAM SHADE's band practice.

Onlooker D: No I don't!!

JUNJI: DAITA also watches pro wrestling.

――That seems a bit more normal. (laughs)

JUNJI: I might have the least hobbies. And after moving, I don't have many friends either.

CHACK: Let's recruit friends. Gotta publish this in the rock press.

JUNJI: Please be my friend!

NATIN: That would help me out too. He's always calling me. On that score it's good to be a fan. For example, if your hobby is seeing SIAM SHADE live, though it'll cost some money, you'll see places.

CHACK: But SIAM SHADE doesn't have that many groupies.

NATIN: And people don't recognize us at all either.

CHACK: When we're recording a radio show or such, usually about 20-30 people will show up, but they won't chase us that further.

NATIN: That's very polite, but a little sad I guess....

JUNJI: Recruiting friends and groupies. (laughs)

――How about making groupie stamps like the stamps in radio gymnastics? (laughs)

CHACK: That's a good idea! Let's do that in “Monkey Science” (SIAM SHADE FC) (4)
The prize will be an invitation to the Meguro LIVE STATION concert!! I just decided it.

JUNJI: SIAM SHADE's “Oka-suta” project. (5)


CHACK: We'll do it!

(For details see “Monkey Science” FC)

(1) ショッケンランヨウ - a pun of 職権乱用 (abuse of authority) and 食券いらんよう (don't need meal tickets)
(2) 渋谷系ウラリンゴ translates to Shibuya-style secret-apple (?)
(3) ダイクマ (Daikuma) - a discount store
(4) おさるの科学 - "Monkey Science" or "Monkey's Science", SIAM SHADE's fan club
(5) おかスタ (Oka-suta) - short for 追っかけスタンプ (Okkake stamp), "groupie stamp"

Fool's Mate magazine #171 (January 1996). Scans by morgianasama