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Ai's Frienger interview in excite music

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Posted: Apr 13, 2006 10:52 am Reply with quote
Happy Days Happy Days
Joined: 07 Oct 2005 Posts: 94 Location: hong kong
the photos are awesome!! i love it so much!!
the layout is full of summer looks very natural..
i feel very comfortable when seeing the pics..
hahaaaa* enjoy it! Love

more pics and read the interviews:

update: horizon180 has translated the article, scroll down to read it! Do remember to show your appreciation by leaving a comment! Nod
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 11:34 am Reply with quote
金魚花火 金魚花火
Joined: 17 Feb 2006 Posts: 152
Pretty! I want an outfit like that. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 2:01 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 469 Location: Canada
thank Rubii
^__^ such a nice outfit ai-chan
I love your style
time for summer wear, yeah
show time Boogie

Anyone want the interview clips ^__^
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 11:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2005 Posts: 1975 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the links.... she looks really pretty in those clothes.... she makes anything look pretty...
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 11:43 pm Reply with quote
大好きだよ。 大好きだよ。
Joined: 07 Dec 2005 Posts: 227
Haha, i saw the interview btu don't knwo what they're saying~~ But she looks really good in the summer clothes. Japan is the most fashionable country in Asian n mayeb the world. Nod
Posted: Apr 14, 2006 4:25 am Reply with quote
Planetarium Planetarium
Joined: 11 Nov 2005 Posts: 655 Location: Finrando
Thank's rubii for sharing. I love the photos they are full of that guarented ai-chin cuteness.
Oh and thank's yangirl for sharing those interview clips. They have Such a good fashion sense in japan Boogie
Posted: Apr 14, 2006 6:44 am Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Oct 2005 Posts: 495 Location: Manchester, UK
working on a translation of the interview... will post here soon again.


EDIT: ok, here goes...

Page 1: (link)
Excite: It's been approximately 4 months since the release of "LOVE COOK" last year in December, in 2006, it's already the season of blooming cherry-blossoms, in this time, have you taken it a little slow at all?

Ai: Eh? What have I been doing I wonder? (laughs) I guess it feels like I've been busy with recordings.

Excite: On hearing that "Frienger" was you first single for the year, to be honest, I was a little surprised thinking, "first for THIS year?" (laughs). It's been playing in the commercials (re: Toshiba CM) for a long time now, I just couldn't think of it as a first for this year.

Ai: That's true isn't it. The CM deal came after the decision to release "Frienger" as a single, but actual recording only starded sometime in January.

Excite: By the way, what does the title "Frienger" mean?

Ai: In short, the meaning is of a mixture of "Friend" and "Ranger" (lit: friend + squadron), who is a "Strong Friend" or a "Friend who can/will Fight for you".

Excite: I see. When we talk of Otsuka-san, we know you've got a lot songs stocked up. How long ago did you write this song?

Ai: 2 years ago. I don't think I wrote it the year that I debuted.

Excite: Do you remember what you were feeling when you wrote it?

Ai: Truth be told, I don't really remeber... However, I doubt that there was a special reason behind the song. I think that like always, it just "Po!!" and appeared.

Excite: Back in those days, you were concentrating on arranging your own music weren't you. Is the music you made back then very different from what you do now?

Ai: That's true isn't it. Recently, I've been making them in a more intellectual way. How should I put it: there's been an "inventive" atmosphere in which I'm making music. The plain style has been added on to by the selective picking and arranging; there's been a much more electronic feeling. But this time, when it was decided that this will be released as a single, in order to make it a more outdoors song, we went back to the studio and recorded it with a band.

Excite: Oh is that so. I'm guessing that there must have also been a rushing feeling to want to finish it and make it best suited for a spring release. It's also been a while since you last released an up-tempo song, the last one being back in May last year with "SMILY/Biidama". What kind of things did you concentrate on when recording this song?

Ai: The biggest worry with "Frienger" was to make it different, and then there was the melody. Usually I do the melodies in my own voice but this time the entire theme is of a more boyish-chic. but the lyrics are still girly... they're always girly though (laughs). But this time I especially tried hard to make it sound cuter. Even my own vocals I tried singing in a little more cutely. But in that, for the harmonies, I would end up making the girly voice too much like mine or end up overdoing the cuteness. The trick was to strike the balance and for that we ended up using male voices for the harmonies.

Excite: Ah, I see. Indeed, there isn't that "I want to kiss you more" or "a homemade o-musubi lunch" or an overly "make you smile" feeling to it, is there... Even though the "Rangers" are not so apparent in the title, it does have a sort of "Strong" feeling to it.

Ai: That's right. If I had done the harmonies in my voice, then I think the feeling of the song would have been slightly sweeter.

Page 2: (link)

Excite: This time too there's a CD+DVD version, on the DVD, there is the music video to the song. I hear you went to Taiwan to shoot the video?

Ai: Yes. In Taiwan, there are a lot of scooters, so the concept of having that was born and we went and shot it there.

Excite: You're riding a scooter on the CD Jacket as well aren't you.

Ai: It's too cool. It's too fashionable. It's like, I will try my best to use all my power and abilities and do my best. The song too has a similar feel. I was thinking that the scooter is so cool, and that's how it ended up being on the CD Jacket (laughs).

Excite: In the music video, are there any scenes of you riding the scooter?

Ai: Yes there are.

Excite: In Taiwan, where there's lots of heavy traffic... what was it like riding a scooter in Taiwan?

Ai: It was the first time riding a bike for me. Thinking back on it, the handle is really heavy. Everyone kept saying "ride slowly"... but if you ride slowly, it starts to stall and when that happened, I got overly scared, and that's why I sped up a little... having said that, I didn't really go that much faster (laughs). I very slowly let the speed go up. During shooting, to make sure that I didn't loose rythem, alongside me, the staff was moving along too. Because they were on either side, I couldn't really see anything except what was in front of me. From both sides I kept hearing "!$%"$^%$", I had to keep yelling out "Did you say something?" (laughs). And then I couldn't understand them at all so it kind of made me scared. When you're driving, and you hear voices everywhere, it's scary isn't it?

Excite: In hind sight, when you try to visualise that day, Perhaps you could call them pleasent, coulld you not?

Ai: I suppose you could say that (laughs).

Excite: Next up is in regards to B-side song "Amai Kimochi Maru Kajiri", if you compare that to "Frienger", at once you feel that it's got a womanly touch.

Ai: That song has a specific "meeting-parting" feeling. Compared to "Frienger", I wrote this it with a little more womanly feeling. If you hear it just after hearing "Frienger", you won't go "Oh?", there's a nice feeling of wanting to hear it.

Excite: Somehow, this is just what I think though, if you hear the 2 songs together, you feel like when time swiftly passed on, the boy who was your "Frienger" was the one towards whom the feelings of love grew and that's what the "sweet feelings" relates to, perhaps. (Translator's Note: Amai Kimochi Maru Kajiri ~ Try Out All The Sweet Feelings)

Ai: Hahahahaha. I see!

Excite: I take it then that such a hidden meaning...

Ai: ...doesn't exist (laughs).

Excite: I see, so it was indeed just my imagination running wild (laughs). So when was it then that you wrote "Amai Kimochi Maru Kajiri"?

Ai: It's a song that I wrote specially as a coupling B-side, it was quite recent I suppose, I only wrote it this year.

Page 3: (link)

Excite: So does that mean that it doesn't matter which one is the title track and which is the coupling track?

Ai: Yes that's right. There isn't a very big difference. It's just that this time, "Frienger" was the best and obvious choice as a spring pop song. It had a kind of "being pushed from the back", "I want the world to explode with a bang and expand" feeling. On the other hand, "Amai Kimochi Maru Kajiri" from the very beginning had a more of a "I want to write a little more of these small feelings" meaning to it. That's why it's like always sitting on a chair, while the world around you keeps on moving. And so when compared to "Frienger" especially, it's not the kind of song that explodes with a bang, is it.

Excite: Since there is a difference in feelings behind the songs, was this difference there between when you wrote them and when you sing them?

Ai: Yeah. They're two different things aren't they... writing and singing are two different jobs, so I suppose writing the songs and singing them is just as different.

Excite: Is that so? Then does that mean that there is one that you like doing more?

Ai: If anything, singing to me is just one of the ingredients. When making a song, the vocals are just as important as the guitar or the base. That's why, I'd have to say that writing the song to me is like the all important start of it all. Since the vocals are something that are just done for a perticular song and for that song alone, I don't think that singing is everything.

Excite: Do you involve yourself in the mixing of those ingredients, or do you just go there once its all done?

Ai: Me? I'm always there (laughs). Always, until I'm told "Why are you here?" I'm there during the mastering, yes.

Excite: Do you stand there making requests with the musicians?

Ai: To be precise, I'm always more of a nuisance really (laughs). Until I can say that it's "Really Good!", I don't let them finish. In the end I don't like it when I'm not satisfied. I'm always like, "let's go back and see what we can do". However the recording musicians say, "Are you working with Otsuka Ai today? Good Luck!" or "She's likely to disagree with you, you know." (laughs)

Excite: Is that so? (laughs) So everyone in the band knows that you make difficult requests?

Ai: They'll say "She's scary like a demon" (laughs). Such a silly thing to think isn't it.

Excite: Is it just the musicians?

Ai: No, even the engineer. I'll say "do it until you cry". Of course to a certain degree, I leave it to them. The whole mood is important I think. For eg. "Kurege Wagyuu Joushi Tanyaki 680Yen". At the time of mixing, if I ask them, "Can you pause that for a bit?", they'll say "Did you make a mistake?" to which if I say "Yes I did", they'll be like, "OK". (laughs).

Excite: Ahahahaa (laughs). That might be the most difficult to do, right?

Ai: Yes, I'm always tormenting everyone. (laughs)

Page 4: (link)

Excite: Moving on, with the release of "Frienger", you will be preparing for the start of the "Love [99] Cook Tour 2006"? Although the main focus of the tour will be the album "Love COOK", but will you be treating the audiences to an enjoyable live performance?

Ai: If it's possible, I'd like them to want to hear LOVE COOK. But for the fans who'll be coming to a live for the first time, and listening to me there, those listening to me for the first time, I think most importantly, I'd like them to have shared the same feelings as me by the end of the show.

Excite: Last year in the tour you sang while playing the piano. Do you pan to do that again this time around?

Ai: Last year playing the piano and singing live in concert was a first for me, but thankfully it was very well appreciated by the audiences. If it's possible, I think I'd like to do that again.

Excite: You really are very good at singing and playing the piano. When you do them together like that, do you feel nervous?

Ai: Always (laughs). Ever since before, everytime I'd go to a piano recital and sit down on the chair, I'd forget all the pieces. I would always forget things like whether the first note was "ミ" or "ミ♭" (*) And no matter what I did I wouldn't be able to remember and so with a 50-50 chance I'd press down on the keyboard, and more often than not, I'd press the wrong one (laughs).

Excite: That always happens doesn't it (laughs). But no matter how nervous you say you get, performing live is so different from releasing a CD.

Ai: Exactly, there you're directly performing the song. In the same room as the people who paid money and bought tickets to see you. It's only for a few hours but, it's like, "you want to give them an enjoyable performance" (laughs). It's like enjoying a few hours with people I didn't know at all until today. That experience is so incredibly personal I think, being able to do that in one's lifetime, is so valuable.

Excite: Even when making music, everyone can't have that with everyone, right?

Ai: Exactly, the people who come to live, eventhough they are complete strangers, they clap for you, scream out and encourage you, when I get that, I too want to do my all and give them the best performance I can.

Excite: We're all looking forward to it. Finally, do have any messages for the readers of Excite Music?

Ai: Yes. Until now, I've been the kind of person who was unable to say which songs I liked more, "songs that support you" or "happy songs". But, having released so many singles, and had so many experiences, for the first time, I've started thinking, "I want to help someone" or "I want to support someone by pushing on their backs". First of all, I find making songs that carry those feelings, incredibly refreshing. When stepping out the door, I want say a quick small "Fight!" to myself. It can add a little spice to life. A song that you can use to remind yourslf to "Fight!" everyday, and without being discouraged, carry on doing your best. that's the kind of song I hope "Frienger" will be for you.

Translated: horizon180
Translator's Notes: Some of the things she said were hard to translate directly so I've changed them into phrases more befitting English. I have however tried to keep the meaning intact.

(*) she uses the musical notation ミ or "mi", which is the 3rd musical note, and ミ♭which is "mi flat"



Last edited by horizon180 on Apr 16, 2006 6:39 pm; edited 8 times in total
Posted: Apr 14, 2006 8:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 469 Location: Canada
oh, thank for the translation horizon180 ^__^
I've to thank you first before reading the translation, haha
ai-chan got me crazy these days Laughing
Edit: Ok done with the reading
^_^ hehe, so we now hear from ai-chan that frienger=friend+ranger Boogie
I wonder how many songs ai-chan had wrote back then and have not released
for me, since I don't get what the b-side song's about (no translation available yet)
when hearing the 2 songs together it's like
haha, a beat up song, a day just started
let 'Dance & Fight' all day long
the b-side song goes with slower pace
like a well, I'm too tired now
let get a break, sit down and get some tea
save power to 'Dance & Fight' tomorrow
Posted: Apr 14, 2006 9:01 pm Reply with quote
クムリウタ クムリウタ
Joined: 07 Feb 2006 Posts: 362 Location: Vancouver, CA.
Thank you so much for the translations, horizon180!
Heh it was nice to read what she thought about the songs~ Meow The photos look so gorgeous. *___* I love this photoshoot. Meow
Posted: Apr 15, 2006 12:40 am Reply with quote
さくらんぼ さくらんぼ
Joined: 11 Jan 2006 Posts: 49
Oh!! Thx for ur linking .

It's very lovely interview of Ai-chan.

And All picture is so cute
Posted: Apr 15, 2006 12:57 am Reply with quote
フレンジャー フレンジャー
Joined: 27 Feb 2006 Posts: 844 Location: Canada
Oh geez, I love her style. She has a good track record when it comes to making my jaw drop and my eyes widen. The pictures are awesome and the interview's pretty interesting too (thanks horizon180 for that one). I had no idea that she wrote her own songs! Does she write all of her own songs or is this an exception?
Posted: Apr 15, 2006 1:15 am Reply with quote
甘えんぼ 甘えんぼ
Joined: 13 Dec 2005 Posts: 53 Location: Australia
Nice interview. Lovely photos. Lol.

Thanks for the find! Smile
Posted: Apr 15, 2006 1:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 13 May 2005 Posts: 469 Location: Canada
Jester wrote:
I had no idea that she wrote her own songs! Does she write all of her own songs or is this an exception?

Every song Ai-chan has sung to this point all written by her Boogie
Ai-chan's a cute talented artist you know
Posted: Apr 15, 2006 1:55 am Reply with quote
上塩タン焼680円 上塩タン焼680円
Joined: 23 May 2005 Posts: 351 Location: Singapore
thanks for the translation!
the site sure have some beautifully taken ai photos.
Now i understand on how Ai actually came up with the song Frienger.
And she thinks that scooter are fashionable, how cute of her! Nod
Posted: Apr 15, 2006 2:02 am Reply with quote
フレンジャー フレンジャー
Joined: 27 Feb 2006 Posts: 844 Location: Canada
yangirl wrote:
Every song Ai-chan has sung to this point all written by her Boogie
Ai-chan's a cute talented artist you know

Wow! That's so amazing! I have even more respect and adoration for Ai-chan now! I believe when artists write there own songs they sing them that much better because it's there ideas and there emotions that they poured into not only the way the song sounds but the lyrics as well. Thanks for the information yangirl.

Ai-chan's the best! Boogie <== I'm dancin' along with you yangirl
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