Translated by Miki Takeshita
LiSA Interview: "I Want to Believe in the Power of Music"
Written by Akihito Usui
LiSA made her debut in 2010. She performed as Yui, the second vocal of the band "Girls Dead Monster" from Anime "Angel Beats!". Since then, she continues to sing for popular animes like "Fate/Zero" or "Sword Art Online(ソードアートオンライン)". Rising Hope, her latest single, is an opening theme for the new April anime "The irregular at magic high school(魔法科高校の劣等生)". She talked to us about her enthusiasm toward this song, and her concerts inside Japan and overseas.
I'll be Strong for Those Believing in Me
What is the theme for your 5th single CD "Rising Hope", coming in 7/5/2014?
In this song, I would like to express the belief in one-self: since my loved ones believe in me, I would like to believe in myself as well; and for the sake of these loved ones, I would like to grow stronger.
What is "being strong" to you?
In the anime "The irregular at magic high school", Tatsuya Shiba(司波達也) is looked down by his peers for his lack of ability in Magic. However, his younger sister Miyuki Shiba(司波深雪) never gives up on him. Tatsuya keeps on trying to be strong for his dear sister, and he also tells Miyuki that he wants to see her doing her best. Miyuki tries to keep up in shape for his brother as well. I have expressed the feelings of "trying to be strong for others" in this song.
That's tied up with your own experiences, isn't it?
Surely, yes. I tried to look for elements in this anime that I can connect with based on my own experiences. There are times when I get upset of myself before the stage. Sometimes I cannot believe in myself while singing. But I know that my loved ones always believe in me, they never doubt that I would succeed.
When I released the CD "Love letter(ラブレター)", I felt the expectation towards me as well. I don't want to betray them. I'd rather keep myself strong for all those believing in me. I guess that's the part that is highly linked between this song and the Anime.
"The Anime and the Song have Perfectly Linked!"
Where do you feel "yourself" in this song?
I had never written any tie-up songs for anime before. I have written more songs to recreate the setting and atmosphere of the animes. However, when I released a non-tie-up single CD "best day, best way(2013)" and worked on the opening theme of original animae "träumerei", I felt that I was doing my work very freely. "What happens if LiSA sings for animations?" I really tried hard to answer this question.
"The anime and song have perfectly linked" for this case. What I have always desired to express through music had totally corresponded to the theme of this opening song; and I was able to write down the lyrics as if I had experienced it on my own.
Mr. Tomoya Tabuchi(田淵智也) had helped me with the lyrics of "Rising Hope". He is also the one who has always worked with me on music, the very person that has created "LiSA". He is also a keen reader of the original novel "The irregular at magic high school". Those facts might be the reason why this song links so perfectly with this animation.
"I Know that I'm Greedy"
Why do the songs differ between LiSA visual cover and Anime cover ver.?
The Anime cover ver. with the main heroine Miyuki on the center includes songs based on her character. She is usually modest but can get emotional about her brother. To show the both sides of her, I have arranged the passionate "Rising Hope" and "Poker face(ポーカーフェイス)" for the first two songs and then the gentle "You and Sky After Rain(雨上がりの空とキミ)" as the third.
The LiSA visual ver. has the theme of expressing LiSA herself with the image of "Rock and Pops", so I have chosen the first two songs to show my "Rock" part, and then "Footprint Compass(アシアトコンパス)" as the third for my "Pops" part.
So you have used the Anime ver. to express the works, and LiSA visual ver. to express yourself.
Right! I wanted to make the Anime ver. for all the "The irregular at magic high school" fans, a CD that they can feel the Anime's essence. LiSA visual ver. is for all those who think "LiSA's taste is the Pops!" I'd be glad if they think this CD is expressing LiSA successfully.
By having two different versions, you can offer more perspectives for the listeners to understand both the anime and LiSA.
Yes! Since I've got this chance to work for an anime, I'd like to contribute for the anime itself; but on other hand, I want to do "what I want to do". This might be a very greedy mindset... But if it weren't for the tie-up with the Anime, it would just be "my music", while the opposite situation would only be "the Anime music" as well. This package has turned out to be in good balance I think.
LiSA's Heart in the Music Video
In the music video, you are dressed as green and white(color of the school uniform from the animation) during the "Rocky" tune, and red and pink when wearing the waitress costume. Overall, it seems to be a colorful video expressing many aspects of yourself. Is this somehow related to the animation?
I tried to show what would happen if I turned into a witch in the real world at the waitress' scenes. The rocky parts are showing "LiSA in the Magic High School". I'm so happy to hear that many of my fans are trying on my fashions and clothing, so I tried to wear costumes from the animation.
There are many emotional scenes with you singing passionately, dressing as a waitress, or being tucked inside the room. I guess you are trying to show different aspects of yourself.
That might be true. There are many aspects of me inside myself; I'm sometimes dressed in colors, but other times I have to behave "correctly" according to rules. Perhaps somehow this music video has reflected my inner feelings?
Oh, you have found out something new. There is a scene where you are moving where the 'you' inside mirror has stood still; is it a way to show the frustrations inside your mind?
I have wanted to showcase the gap between my heart and the real life by having myself stopped inside the mirror.
Creating "Rising Hope" with Others
Your next live tour begins from Akasaka BLITZ on 21th of June. Many of your fans are waiting for the "Rising Hope" on live I guess. How are you going to sing it in the show?
It has a strong message and it can also be used as a climax of the live. I think this tune can be used in many ways. Its effect would depend when I sing it, so I'd better think how I want the live to be first.
At least I can say that the live ver. could completely be different from the tune being heard in Anime or CD. Live performance are "completed" by the efforts of many people, so I'd like to adopt and complete the song there. I'm really looking forward to that.
Were you thinking of that since the tie-up was settled and when you started writing the lyrics?
Yeah. In particular, the second verse is not in the animation. Therefore I created it into "2 step beats(the beats are repeated)", so that the audiences can shout "come on!" at the live house. Many of my wishes are written into the second verse.
The second verse surely makes us shout or swing our arms.
I can't agree more! "Rising Hope" is quite a difficult song, but I feel content of myself when I managed to sing it perfectly. If I got to shout "come on!" in the right timing, that would make me feel great. I hope the audiences would enjoy in such way too.
People turn silent when coming home after roaring at successful live performance.
Oh, really. I know those in love with animations are always passionate to participate till the very end. They think of themselves as a part of the stage, so that's maybe why. The power inside them are infinite.
Believe in Power of Music, and Challenge Overseas
How were the fans at Anime Festival Asia held at Singapore on 2013?
The power of those fans were just amazing. So were the fans at Taiwan as well. My songs often include calls and responses, making me consider about the set list. But after all these, the most important fact is whether the audiences can enjoy, even though they cannot understand Japanese or haven't heard the song before.
If they could simply enjoy the live from their heart, then there's no border between Japan and other foreign countries. The audiences are completely the same in the sense to try to understand what the musicians or creators are trying to tell.
Do you want to have more opportunities outside Japan?
Yes. I like going overseas personally; and I find joy in creating stages where words aren't needed. That's a challenge for me at the same time. I believe in the power of music. Even if there weren't any stage sets or pretty costumes, I want to believe that there is something I could convey through my music. To see if I can really do this, I would not hesitate to go beyond Japan.
There are many comments saying "I want LiSA to come to our country!"
I'm really glad to hear that. It's one moment where we get really happy when the culture that we are proud of is being accepted in foreign countries. It makes us so fulfilled when we have fans overseas recreating our works by their languages, or learning Japanese. So, I'll keep on believing in the power of music and creating my own music.
Could you please give a word to your fans both in Japan and overseas?
I can say that this song "Rising Hope" is really hot. You'd like it more if you listen to its full version. Come and complete this song with me at the live. And yes, to my fans overseas. I'm not sure if I can go to your country very soon, but please stay there with your enthusiasm because I'm really looking forward to visiting places where my fans are waiting for me. Thanks!
LiSA Official Site: http://www.lxixsxa.com/
LiSA Twitter: https://twitter.com/LiSA_OLiVE
LiSA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lxixsxa.jp
LiSA iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/artist/lisa/id573943518