Monday, 19 November 2012

AFA 2012: T.M.R (Interview)


To tell the truth, neither Emi nor I was very psyched up about this interview – it was the morning and we’d both slept late and neither of us knew much about T.M.R – though I WAS extremely familiar with the songs he’d done for Gundam SEED and Destiny and did love them. Still didn’t know much about T.M.R himself.

Anyway, we entered the hotel waiting area armed with questions and trying to gear up for the interview, before we were informed that due to time constraints, each media rep would only be allowed one question.

And that T.M.R’s team would have to scan our questions for propriety.

And that THEY would be the ones choosing which question we would ask out of the list we’d submitted.

And that they just had to pick the most redundant question out of all the ones we had – the one about food. Singapore’s food, specifically, which kind of sort of I suppose is relevant, considering the fact that this was his first time in Singapore, but when everyone else is asking deep, meaningful questions about his career and whatnot, WE had to be stuck with the stupid, banal-


So, I felt like an idiot asking it, but there you go.


IMAGE SOURCE: project harata 

Q: Regarding singing and acting, what different types of challenges and satisfaction do you derive from each?
TMR: Well, I guess the feeling of wanting to convey something to people is the same for both singing and acting. For example, when it comes to singing, rather than focusing too much on the melody, I try to put more emphasis on the expression and delivery of the message contained, as if I were storytelling to the audience. I don’t really see that much of a difference between the two in that respect.


Q: Concerning TMHR, can you tell us how this collaboration came about?
TMR: Last year, there was a major earthquake in Japan. I wanted to cheer Japan, the people of Japan, up through entertainment. At that time, I came across a commercial originating from Lisbon, a city which had also suffered from an earthquake before, and I really liked the power and energy in it, so I tweeted about it, and the people who produced that commercial came and approached me, proposing a collaboration.

Q: This is the fourth consecutive year you have organized the INAZUMA Rock Festival – what is the main objective of holding this event?
TMR: The town I grew up in, partially because it was next to the very famous city, Kyoto, is not very widely known even amongst the Japanese. INAZUMA started off from my wish to cheer up the people from my hometown. It’s in the Shiga prefecture, so I feel like a kind of ambassador, making my hometown more well-known to my country.


Q: Did you personally select the artists featured in the INAZUMA Rock Festival?
TMR: Yes, I did. I featured Korean artists for the first time this year, and I hope to be able to introduce more artists from all around Asia.

Q: Please tell us your favourite anime from this Autumn’s lineup.
TMR: Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai was produced by a company in my neighbouring Kyoto, called Kyoto Animation, which also produced the hit anime K-On. The setting of K-On is in a high school in the Shiga prefecture, my hometown, so I really want to support this company.


Q: Can you share with us your thoughts and feeling regarding your participation in AFA 2012?
TMR: I’ve been to many events in the West, however it hasn’t been  very often that I’m approached by someone this close to home, so I’m very happy that I was asked to participate and able to deepen my relations within Asia. Hopefully I can spread my music to more people who enjoy it.

Q: As this is your first time in Singapore, and Singapore is quite famous for its food, has there been anything you’ve tried so far that’s struck your fancy?
TMR:  It’s really my first time here and I haven’t had much time to try much yet, but my friends who have been here before highly recommended chilli crab to me, so I really want to try that. Yesterday, I had chicken rice and fish head curry, which were very delicious. (“Sugoi oishikatta desu.”) Though I thought the curry was a a bit too hot. (laughs)


Q: As an artist and in general an entertainer, you have not only achieved success in music but has also become known to be very humourous as if you were a professional comedian. What is the secret to maintaining such a long, varied career?
TMR: First of all, I don’t limit myself to just one thing, and I feel that one’s own limit is not something decided by oneself but something taught to one by others, so I like to try out all the things that others would like to see me do. That leads to many new experiences, meetings and opportunities.

Q: How are you going to adapt your performances to suit not just Japan but also the Asian market?
TMR: I feel like this live show tonight is my Asian debut, so I don’t want to pretend to be a veteran performer in the Asian market, so I want to start from building up my relations within Asia.


Q: Do you have any specific plans regarding how you would like to expand your scope around Asia?
TMR: (laughs) I haven’t really thought about anything too specific, but I would like to start off from building my relations in Singapore, especially through this live, so I hope each of you will help to create opportunities for me. (laughs) Before, a CD release would have been the way to go, but now the internet has made my music available all over the world, so I hope to establish more connections through the internet and gain as many experiences and opportunities as possible.

Q: As the ambassador of Anime Mirai, so what do you want to advocate the most and what have you learnt from anime?
TMR: First of all, I think that many people learn about Japanese culture largely through anime, so I wish to bring to people more high-quality anime so that our culture is spread more widely around the world. I do this by supporting the anime creators through Anime Mirai. My next step, however, is the spread the knowledge, the know-how of the creators to Asia, so that Japan is more connected to the other countries through the creative industry.



I have to say that Nishikawa Takanori himself – he didn’t really make very much of an impression. Didn’t give off a “star” vibe at all, really. Maybe it was just too early in the morning – I noticed he seemed to wake up and interact more with the interviewers as the interview progressed.

He did have epic boots though, and a generally stylish outfit, which he said he put together himself. When asked if he felt hot wearing boots in the stifling Singaporean heat, he merely replied, “It’s cold in my hotel room.” Ah, the wonders of air-conditioning.

While I felt he was rather stiff during the interview, directly after, right about when people were starting to file out, he did respond in quite a friendly manner to some of our (“our”, meaning some of us female interviewers) comments about the epicness of his boots.

All in all, he didn’t leave a very deep impression.

Until we saw his concert

THEN it was like BAM. His years of experience really showed – his stage presence was EXPLOSIVE. I could feel my intestines thumping along with the bass throughout it was that intense. Starstruck, in an instant.

-Transcription/Translation/Commentary by Seren
-Layout/Pictures/Posting by Emi
-Picture credits to Emi

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