NewsWireHouston’s Q&A session with Back-On band members (l-r):
Shu – Lead Guitar
Kenji03 – Vocals, Emcee, Guitar
Teeda – Emcee
Icchan – Drums
Gori – Bass Guitar
Q: Welcome back to the States, I know you’ve been to Anime Matsuri before. How does it feel to be back? Are you excited for anything particular this visit?
A: We remember the excitement from the first time, and this is even better. We’re much more excited this time. We love to visit other countries, and especially Texas.
Q: You guys are quite a big band, are there many challenges with that. Do you think it would be easier being a smaller band? What are your feelings?
A: We think it’s very good.
Q: With a big band, are there certain tasks assigned to each member? Do you go in a set order when you’re making music and then go on to the next person, or do you all just come together and mash up when you’re working?
A: First we create an image of what we want the music to be like, and then we start bouncing ideas off of each other until we create the sound we like.
Q: As far as the image that you’re trying to achieve, what is it? What sort of over all feel do you like your music to have for people? What are you trying to do with your sound?
A: When we’re creating the music, we usually visualize the exact same sorts of things, sometimes an image of something like a beautiful ocean, or a deep forest, and coincidentally we all think together that way. So, from there we create the music. Whatever comes up in our minds, that’s what we start with.
Q: So, the inspiration from your music, is it from a specific source, like the oceans and forests and things like that, or do you take it from the outside world or past experiences? Like people and movies and other things?
A: Especially movies. We watch movies together quite often, because we’ve been friends since high school, so we’ve kind of banded together, and when we watch movies together we start talking about what sorts of images we’ll use in our next projects.
Q: So, you guys mashed up with another band, Greeen, and you had a really successful single. Is there any chance of you guys mashing up with another big band like that in the future?
A: Not right now, no.
Q: You guys came from all different bands, so when you first got together, was it difficult for you guys to all move as one, or did you all come together seamlessly and start making music?
A: When we got together, we already had our own individual jobs, for example one is a leader, a drummer, one is a rapper, a guitarist, and one is into classical music, so since everyone had a different category to concentrate on and bring into the group, we seldom had any real trouble grouping or crashing together.
Q: When you guys are touring, are there any really big differences between touring in Japan, or America, or other countries?
A: We’re really grateful for the American fans, because even though we all listen to our music, the way we move our bodies the way we get into the rhythm is an absolute phenomenon, versus in Japan where we won’t do it as individuals. It has to be as a whole group, and then we all move, so here we’re really appreciative of the fans.
Q: As far as your fans go, do they sometimes make it difficult for you, or do they give you a kind of support and strength to do what you do?
A: No, our fans never give us a hard time.
Q: A lot of bands sometimes have awkward or even hilarious moments with their fans. What is your weirdest fan experience?
A: The last time we were in Texas, there was an American girl who was quite heavyset who ran up to Teeda and gave him a huge hug and a kiss, so he wasn’t feeling weird or anything, but was pretty stunned at what she’d done.
Q: When you guys are in the studio making an album, what are some things that are hard for you to do?
A: We really want to express our feelings through our music and connect, and we feel like that’s the hardest thing to do.
Q: Where would you guys like to take the band in the future? What are some goals you’ve set for yourselves?
A: Since a lot of American musicians are world famous, we move through many countries, but there are almost no world famous bands from Japan, and so that’s what we’d like to see, A Back-On World Tour.
Q: You guys have gotten very popular, and since you’ve started coming to the states and increasing your exposure to people who’ve never seen you before you’ve gotten even MORE popular. Is it hard to deal with that kind of fame, did you expect to get so big and blow up like you have?
A: We’ve been trying our hardest in the last couple of years, and this was our goal, so we’re very happy about this kind of rising fame.
Q: When you guys are in the studio, again, where do you begin when making a song. What is your starting point?
A: Usually one of us gets a sort of inspiration, and then we give the ideas to the rest of the band, and that’s how it goes.
Q: You all have a unique sort of style. Is that your own personal style, do you guys have any specific clothing preferences, or is it all just decided by a label and a stylist?
A: We’re all very casual, what you see is our own independent style.
A: Sometimes when we go into a store we will get recognized, but we got recognized a lot in middle school. Most of the people who recognize us in Japan will leave us alone, because we’re shy .
Q: What kind of image are you trying to give people, not through your music, but overall presentation?
A: We want to look undeniably cool, but still approachable. We try to stay in an area where if other people see us, it would be possible to imitate their style.