As part of the Cyber Animation Festival organized by ADN, the artists Hiroaki "TOMMY" Tominaga (HT), Coda, Jin Hashimoto (JH), members of the group JO ☆ STARS, as well as Daisuke Hasagawa (DH) were interviewed and revealed a little more about them.
For today's interview, I have the artists Tominaga "TOMMY" Hiroaki, Jin Hashimoto and Coda. Together they form the JO ☆ STARS group. Finally, Daisuke Hasegawa (DH waves at the audience). To begin with, I present their profiles to you.
- Tominaga "TOMMY" Hiroaki: he sings the 1st opening of the "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" anime, which is called "Sono chi no Sadame". He also sings the opening of the anime "Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS", commercial songs, he sings a lot of songs. He is also a member of the group "Betchin '".
- Jin Hashimoto: He is a singer and vocal trainer. He sings the opening of the "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" anime in season 3, "Stand Proud". And also, he sings the opening of the anime "Megaman NT Warrior" "Rockman no theme ~ Kaze wo Tsukinuke te ~". We can also hear you on endings of the Tokusatsu series, you are also active in the "Earth, Wind & Fire" cover group named"Earth, Wind & Fighters" or in the group "Betchin '". You are also a vocal trainer for famous singers.
- Coda: You are singer, songwriter and guitarist, interpreter of the opening of season 2 of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" which is called "Bloody Stream" as well as that of season 5 "Fighting Gold". You are known for the 9th ending of the anime "Naruto" which is called "No Regret Life".
- Finally the guitarist, singer and composer Daisuke Hasegawa. You sing the opening of season 4 of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" which is called "Great Days". You also sang the ending of the anime "Gundam G no reconquista". You have participated in drama and film soundtracks in many styles.
The animated "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" brings together a lot of fans, not only in Japan but also in other countries. Openings music is part of this fan craze. Did you feel that there are a lot of foreign fans?
HT: I am present on social networks. On Twitter for example, I have foreign followers, some are Asian, others come from America. I feel there are people all over the world who love JoJo and encourage me.
Jin, what about you?
JH: JO ☆ STARS does live streams on the internet and we often see comments from foreigners. It gives the feeling of being really followed.
What does Coda think?
Coda: Yes I share that feeling. When we look at Twitter in particular, the reactions are enormous, I think. Especially since season 5 began. For example, in Italy there was a lot of enthusiasm among fans from Southern Europe.
Among Italian fans in particular?
Coda: In Italy and France too. In Portugal, Spain ... This is the case across different countries.
It really is. I have a friend who has a tattoo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure that says "Ora ora ora ora!" (laughs) JoJo fans stretch beyond borders. Finally, Daisuke Hasewaga, how are you feeling?
DH: Once I did a live with JO ☆ STARS in Phoenix in the United States. This time, fans from all over the world were waiting for us. It was on this occasion that I felt the presence of the international fans the most. 10 minutes before we went on stage, they started shouting "Jojo! JoJo!", That communicated their emotion to us.
Coda: I told myself that they were going to eat us! (laughs)
Have you ever been to France? Are there any places you would like to see? Things you would like to do? First, Tommy?
HT: I went to France about 8 years ago. It was a private trip. I went to Paris.
So what did you think of Paris?
HT: Obviously, there were beautiful landscapes and good food. It really is Paris. Around the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, there are no tall buildings. I think it's a pretty, well-appointed city.
I hope you will still have a great time in France.
JH: Yeah, I have a salsa band called "Orquesta de la Luz". We had a European tour. It was on this occasion that I came to France. The tour schedule was busy, we were often in a hurry. In the car, I was woken up by my companions and they told me "It's the Arc de Triomphe!", "It's the Eiffel Tower!". I especially remember rubbing my sleepy eyes. It was really like that. I could not take the time to visit this beautiful city.
I hope that next time you will have time ... And you Coda?
Coda: As far as I'm concerned, I've never been to France before. I would like to go there eh ... It's a great classic. I saw France mostly through photos and videos, but I would really like to see these landscapes with my own eyes.
How about you Daisuke Hasegawa?
DH: I love the U2 group. There is a song called "Beautiful Days" and in the music video there are scenes shot in Charles de Gaulle airport. So I would like to go there once.
Hope you get the chance to go. JO ☆ STARS and Daisuke Hasegawa, how did you start to do concerts together?
DH: To follow up on what I was telling you about just before, we started by doing concerts in the United States. It was our debut together.
Was it the first all together?
DH: Yes, absolutely. In fact, did we do live in Japan?
Coda: We don't just do music events so I don't remember doing a long concert there all together.
DH: I did a live duet with Coda.
Coda: It was an event for season 5 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
DH: With JO ☆ STARS, my first concert was in the United States.
Coda: Actually it's quite rare.
DH: We mostly meet abroad. (laughs) I watched them on television, those three. I was watching the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime and there was an advertisement for the JO ☆ STARS concerts. When I saw that I was like "Wow, they're so cool!" And now we do shows together abroad.
Is this training mainly done abroad?
Coda: If there weren't any overseas invitations, we wouldn't all get together ...
HT: So I think tonight is a rare opportunity.
I think the French fans will be super happy to see you all. Then I have a few individual questions. TOMMY, the opening "Sono chi no Sadame" made an impression. Everyone remembers the passage "JoooooooooooooooooooooooooooJo". It's a song that sounds very powerful with your voice. How was the recording done?
HT: There was an audition for the main song of the new project. I was invited and I went to Master Tanaka. I received a CD and tried to sing over it. So the master said to me "Ah, can you sing like that?". He continued with: "From there, we will try together". It happened quickly. I was led by Master Tanaka but it was really hot.
That is to say?
HT: For example, once, I sang with all my strength but he said "Tommy! Hotter !! You can do more energetic !! It's not the right note! You didn't reach it! ! " That’s why it was hot.
TOMMY, you have an aura close to the universe of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. If you were a character in the anime, what genre would you choose? How would you like to try some extravagant dress style?
HT: While I'm already wearing this! (shows his coat) I did the design myself.
Did you do this yourself?
HT: I had an image in mind. As I'm singing the opening for season 1, I wanted something reminiscent of the end of the 19th century. And something a little gothic.
Indeed, you do stand out. It's quite different from what other members wear! It's awesome, I love it!
HT: I kind of wanted to express my respect for this work. It's an excellent work and I wanted to get closer to his universe. If I had to try on a character's outfit, I like red and it's my favorite color, so I would come close to Mohammed Abdul's style in season 3.
Thank you so much. Jin Hashimoto, you sing the opening of season 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure called "Stand Proud". In what state of mind did you approach the song?
JH: When I sang this song, I had an image of power. I thought about how to express this "power"; I tried to sing in several ways. It was at the end that I managed to place my voice. We had to try several versions.
So you didn't have that image in mind at the start?
JH: I searched all along. "Could it be that? Or that?" In the end, I said to myself, it was a journey.
Thank you for these explanations. Coda, you sing the opening of season 2 of JoJo, "Bloody Stream" as well as the opening of season 5 of JoJo, "Fighting Gold". You also wrote songs for season 4 like "Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town". Do you have a different approach to singing and songwriting?
Coda: First, I start by singing without thinking. I ask myself: "Why do they choose me?". Of course they often ask me for a singing style. When I sang "Bloody Stream" for the first time, I was asked to be more provocative. I was starting to wonder in this anime kitchen. ??? I started in season 4 by composing the track "Crazy Noisy Bizarre Town". The setting of season 4 becomes more ordinary than so far in season 3. It is the story of a high school student in a city in Japan. I was asked not to use a minor scale, they wanted a major scale to give a bright side. While composing this song, I was wondering "How can I put my own color in it?" I was necessarily thinking of a melody that was easy to remember. I realized that's what was needed and the lyrics came after. After that, the melody really came out of my body naturally.
Let's move on to Daisuke Hasegawa. How did you get started working on an opening for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
DH: I started by singing one of the soundtracks for season 4. In the story, you hear the song through the radio. It was the opportunity to be heard by the producer. This is how I started.
You composed the opening "Uragirimono no Requiem". How did you feel when you heard this song for the first time?
DH: When I composed it for the first time .. in fact I had first listened to two other songs before for the opening of season 5. At the beginning there were two mockups during the development of the song. BO. It was me who sang on their demos. The first was very cool and the second just as cool. The third became "Uragirimono no Requiem". And when I heard for the first time, it struck me as really difficult. I wondered if I was up to it.
Did this difficulty worry you?
DH: They actually asked me, "Don't take a nice voice." But that's what I like to do. They wanted me to force my voice, to push my limits, even if some notes were not perfect.
You are able to sing many styles. What kind of song would you like to develop in the future?
DH: What kind of song would I like to develop? There are plenty of them I think. At JO ☆ STARS there are also many different voices. I would like to try metal. A Metal voice, type "Death". This is something that I have no control over. They are the ones who have many voices.
Coda: Me, I only have one type of voice.
Coda: Yeah, a style. It is Jin who has a wide range of voices.
JO ☆ STARS, are there types of songs you want to try?
HT: Me, I sing violent and sharp songs. I would like to open up to more derisory things. Sing songs just for fun, where you move your hands. That sounds good to me!
I would love to see that with Tommy! (laughs)
JH: For my part, I would like to sing with a high pitch in the style of "False" / falsetto. In my cover band Earth Wind & Fire, there are this type of songs but outside of this project, I rarely sing with my voice in the falsetto style.
Thank you for the clarification. What about you Coda?
Coda: Thinking of France, I say to myself “Maybe Bossa Nova?” or in the French pop genre? I tell myself that I have never done this kind of song. So why not give it a try? But it will surely be with the same voice / (laughs)
DH: I will want to hear Coda's voice on Bossa Nova!
Right after you are going to do a concert for us, but this time it's exclusively on the web. It must be quite different from your live shows on tour, how do you feel? Tommy?
HT: When there are spectators in the room, it really excites me, but there are surely more people behind the camera than I think. To these people, I would like to pass on, eye to eye, the "Jo" of "JoJo"! I would really like to create this closeness. It is with this state of mind that I will sing.
I have goose bumps. What about you Jin Hashimoto?
JH: Indeed, we always sing in front of our audience. It's worrying not to have this direct exchange, this feedback from the room. For me, the cameras will sort of become a part of the audience.
And how does Coda feel?
Coda: I think that thanks to this livestream we can establish a link between France and Japan. It's obviously better to do it live on site and play in front of our French fans. The current context being what it is, I immediately think of the positive of the situation. If it was not in this form, conversely there would be people who would not see the concert. In this sense the situation allows that. The more people we can reach, the happier it makes us. It is also a way to reach a new audience.
What about Daisuke Hasegawa?
DH: Personally, I like to watch concert videos. How to say ? For example, when you go to see Radiohead from afar, the stage seems small, right? In a way, home is bigger. So it will give greater proximity than in a normal concert. It's difficult at the moment with the coronavirus, but we keep the spirit positive. Like magic, we hope you have a good time and I think that's a good thing. So prepare your seats, and heat the place! Even via the internet, we will sing with all our strength!
For this festival organized by ADN, I think it's a joy for the French fans. Do you have a message for them?
HT: In France or around the world, we have comrades who adore JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. I want us all to have a good time together.
JH: Maybe you are all ready already? So, let's have fun now!
Coda: I thought it would be a good opportunity. I would really like to come and sing in France afterwards. I hope to meet you directly in the near future. Today I'm going to sing, hoping for that.
I think that's what the fans are waiting for. We would really like it to happen. Finally, Daisuke Hasegawa?
DH: Japan and France are quite far apart, but with the internet you can see us and listen to us in an instant. It's a great time. If we call back, shout in front of your screen! Sing with us! If we hear you, we can better assure. Let's sing together!
Thank you ! I let you prepare for the concert which is about to begin, I make a point of attending it. Thank you all for this interview, thank you!Translated by Nabu.