The Japanese rockers were still at their natural heights when I met up with Radwimp at a hotel near Hyde Park. The night before, they sold out their first UK gig in over seven years at London’s iconic Roundhouse. For the trio of lead singer/guitarist Yojiro Noda, guitarist Akira Kuwabara, and bassist Yusuke Takeda, the return after a long hiatus was even more gratifying. Because they originally planned this world tour in 2020. Then, of course, COVID-19 intervened and the band resumed activities. We realized that we had our feet on the ground.
Of course, RADWIMPS is also on a roll thanks to their third collaboration with visionary filmmaker Makoto Shinkai. Produced the soundtrack with composer Kazuma Jinnouchi. SuzumeA youth story animation directed by Shinkai, which was released in November and recorded the fourth highest box office revenue in the history of Japanese movies. Also serving as his 13th studio LP for Radwimps, this soundtrack his album recently won the trophy for Best Music at the prestigious Japanese Academy Film Awards.
Formed 22 years ago in the first year of high school, RADWIMPS is clearly a cohesive unit. But it’s Noda, the band’s songwriter and lead singer, who really takes the lead today. In extensive interviews, he spoke about the influence of Britpop legend Oasis, the thrill of finally being able to tour again, and the status of “weird rocker” that Radwimps proudly maintains. Told.
NME: You’re here in the UK, have you been particularly inspired by British bands?
Noda: “For me, Oasis and Radiohead are two of the biggest influences on us, especially Oasis. I gave you a [it was] How they moved people’s hearts and emotions with their melodies and chord progressions. ”
So what inspired you to play guitar by playing their songs?
“Exactly. You can sing most of the Oasis songs, for example, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, ‘Live Forever’, ‘Whatever’, ‘Slide Away’. I used to sing all the Oasis songs from that era. ”
I was planning to go on a world tour in 2020, but the new coronavirus broke out. How frustrating was it for you to be grounded like that?
“It was a big shock to us because we had been planning that tour for over a year and a half – maybe 2018? We talked many times. [was due to start], The new coronavirus happened and everything disappeared. It was really depressing.Like most artists, at that moment we didn’t know what to do. [felt]. Yes, it was really hard to get over it and move forward. ”
Do you really feel like you just got over it?
“Yeah. I was supposed to do this tour when I was 34. 1687147249 We are almost 38 years old. That’s a big difference for us. But yes, I am very honored and happy to be here. finally! “
Latest album, Makoto Shinkai’s soundtrack Suzume, was released in November. This is the third time you have worked with him. How did this collaboration come about?
“I think it was around March 2020. [Shinkai] First, he texted me the entire script. He just sent it to me and didn’t say anything like, ‘Would you make some music for me?’ he just wanted to know how i feel.So I texted him back [with] how i felt But when I first received the script, I knew I wanted to make music for it.
“That special time was when the COVID-19 pandemic was all over.” [off] And the world tour was also cancelled.so we just [stuck] I spent a lot of time at home and in the studio. It was a good time to focus on things other than touring, so I just started working on the theme song. Suzume”
So you didn’t have any visuals to complete?
“good, [with] Visually nothing in the last two games [either]. In the case of animation, it takes two and a half years to make. It’s hard work. So all you need to build is the script. [musical] creative form. ”
Why do you think working with director Makoto Shinkai is so successful? In a recent interview, he described you as “two wheels on the same bicycle”, an interesting analogy.
“Wow, I’m so happy to hear that. So he gave us the script at the beginning of making the animation, so he got some ideas from the music I made. And he, for example, [would] Recreate and rewrite the script as well. So we were going back and forth with ideas. It’s really a pure creation system and it takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it. ”
What are you most proud of in your 22 years as a band?
“Well, last night was actually one of the best moments. Playing in front of 3,000 people in the UK, a sold-out show. We didn’t expect it, in fact, we’re living the dream now with a European tour and a North American tour.It’s all far exceeded what we expected.”
The last question is a bit cheesy, but what do you want RADWIMPS to represent as a band?
“Maybe a weird band. [members] People who only knew songs from anime movies. But obviously [those] Not the only song we have.And we have this huge energy as a rock band [with] Solo and everything. And last night, I could feel the audience surprised and shocked by those songs. But we always want to create new styles and things. We don’t want to be a band that can be defined in one word. ”
Suzume is already out.