GLACIER is a five-member group from Okinawa, comprising of Makoto on vocals, Nao on lead guitar, Koujirou on rhythm guitar, Aki on bass, and Yuuki on drums. The band formed in July 2007 and made their major debut a year later on July 23rd. They have released a full album and six singles to date with their seventh single, 「愛の降る街」 (Ai no Furu Machi) which is the third installment of a 7-month digital release project, coming out on June 30th through JapanFiles and on iTunes.
The members of GLACIER took the time to sit down to answer our questions for an exclusive interview! We’d like to thank the band and JapanFiles for giving us this opportunity!
1. Could each member please introduce themselves?
Makoto: Haisai! I’m Prince of Okinawa, Makoto.
Nao: I’m Nao, the guitarist.
Kōjirō: I’m Kōjirō, on the guitar in GLACIER.
Aki: I’m Aki, on the bass.
Yūki: I’m Yūki on the drums in the band!!
2. You’re currently in the middle of a seven-consecutive-month digital single release campaign. Why did you decide on this strategy?
Aki: It’s a secret!
Kōjirō: Because we want our songs to reach all people all over the world through the network of music downloads.
Yūki: Because I want all of you to wait for our new songs with eager anticipation every month!
3. What meaning ties all these songs together?
Makoto: Each of the seven songs are meant to connect with the seasons.
Kōjirō: And they connect in with the style of Okinawan rock music, too.
Yūki: You can see the band’s future in them.
4. Your newest single “Ai no Furu Machi” comes out on June 30th. How is this single different from your previous releases “Hoshi no Shirushi” (May) and “The Dancing Branches” (April)?
Makoto: It’s a process of searching for the theme of GLACIER’s Kayōkyoku.
Kōjirō: We’ve incorporated shuffle rhythm in the song, which is rather unusual for us.
Aki: We also incorporated a wind instrument into ‘Ai no Furu Machi’ (literally translated: Lovefall Street), so you could might hear a hint of big band.
Yūki: The song shows a lot of our different tastes. It’ll be a killer tune in concerts.
5. Tell us about July’s single “Kariyushi”.
Makoto: “Kariyushi” is “celebration” in the Okinawan dialect. And a feeling of freedom that comes with summer.
Nao: It’s like a fiesta.
Kōjirō: As the Japanese word ‘celebration’ shows, it’s a very bright song.
Aki: The lyrics and music incorporate sounds, events and feelings from my childhood environment in Okinawa.
Yūki: We’ve played the song often, but we didn’t record it until now. We finally made the recording because we wanted many people to listen to it. We enjoyed finding the differences between the live-performance version and the studio-recorded version.
6. How do you feel about releasing all of these as digital singles instead of traditional CD singles?
Makoto: Digital downloads are very convenient, and it’s suitable for us at this present point in our evolution.
Kōjirō: I suppose that it’s interesting for listeners too, who can feel the time go by with the release schedule.
Aki: It’s the most convenient way to deliver our music to all our listeners at once.
Yūki: I’m thinking that it helps our overseas listeners the most.
7. The jacket art for each single is very unique. Who makes the jacket art for your singles? How do you decide on which elements to use in your covers?
Makoto: I have a designer friend. I asked him to take care of our Okinawa style.
Nao: We really leave everything to the designer, as long as the images respect Okinawa and our musical style.
Kōjirō: I’m glad, because have no sense of design (laughs).
Aki: We ask a designer to listen to the songs, and we tell him our image of the songs.
Yūki: And then we ask him to form an actual image to show all those thoughts.
8. What other artists give you inspiration?
Nao: Old Kayōkyoku songs or Okinawan music.
Kōjirō: I’m attracted to artists who have a style that belongs to them only.
Aki: I’m surprised a lot of times by different artists, so I can’t specify just one; but I often prefer the ones who love music with all their hearts.
Yūki: I like GACKT very much.
9. What message do you hope to convey to those who listen to your music?
Makoto: We’re currently in a consecutive month digital single release. I really want everyone to listen to the songs. And I want to share the process of this journey. Speaking of journeys, I think it’s like watching a train passing. Right now a train is passing by in the world of ‘Ai no Furu Machi’ (Lovefall Street). If you stay on it, it will keep going and stop at every station.
Nao: Feel our passion.
Kōjirō: Music will make world peace.
Aki: Each song has a story. I want you to listen to the songs, and I want to make you sometimes have bright feelings, sometimes think about your precious people, sometimes have bittersweet feelings. There are messages and stories on each song.
Yūki: Please keep your eyes on us because I want to bring you new sounds in the future.
10. What other music genres do you enjoy playing, privately or publicly?
Nao: Enya, Stray Cats, BEGIN and Akina Nakamori.
Kōjirō: Rock music.
11. What’s your favorite song to play live and why?
Makoto: New songs are always my favorite.
Nao: All songs. Because I love them all.
Kōjirō: ‘Ryūkyū Carmen’, because I like its arrangement.
Aki: It’s the song ‘Aoi Chura Shima’, coupled with the single ‘Nangoku Shōjo’. It’s a bright song, and all of us in the venue — the band and the audience — can be one in that moment.
Yūki: It’s ‘Kanasambana’. Because I think that we can easily become one with the song.
12. If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be and why?
Makoto: Everywhere. Across the seven seas.
Nao: Anywhere around the world.
Kōjirō: Athena’s temple. I like Greece.
Aki: Overseas performances, and of course, my home town Okinawa too. I want to spread Okinawan spirits to the world beyond Japan. And I want to show what I’ve cultivated with the band named GLACIER to my familiar people and fans who are supporting us.
Yūki: I want to play at all places. Because I want to feel I’ve done it all.
13. Tell us about some of your non-musical hobbies.
Makoto: I like taking trips on a local train.
Nao: Football, cooking and traveling.
Kōjirō: Remodeling a car.
Yūki: Darts, drinking and cars.
Aki: Sports, like baseball and so on. And I like trips alone by myself.
14. If you could pretend to become another one of the members for a day, who would you choose and why?
Makoto: Kōjirō. I want to play the guitar intensely like he does.
Nao: Makoto. I want to sing!
Kōjirō: Yūki… but I can’t tell you the reason (laughs).
Aki: Makoto, on vocal. I want to sing the songs of the band myself because I love them.
Yūki: I want to stay me. (laughs)
15. Since summer is fast approaching, could you tell us what you like most about the summer season?
Makoto: A feeling of freedom. It’ll make you free.
Nao: The outdoors.
Kōjirō: The sea. I like jumping into the sea.
Aki: Drinking, eating, sparklers and fireworks on the beach with my friends.
Yūki: I want to go to the beach.
16. Please give a message to your fans!
Makoto: Haisai. The train of GLACIER is running. Please wait at your local station. I’ll come to take you away.
Nao: Do or die. You do it when you want to do so.
Kōjirō: The guitar is everything in my life.
Aki: I make music with this band because of all of you. Thank you very much. Staying a musician means a lot of enjoyment, but some tough things too. However, I’ll do my best everyday to turn this band into the very best. Please keep supporting us in the future.
Yūki: I’ll do my best for future too, so I’m waiting for your support!!
GLACIER’s latest single, “Ai no Furu Machi” will be available for download:
1. 愛の降る街 (Ai no Furu Machi)
2. 愛の降る街 [Instrumental Version]
You can also download their April and May single releases, as well as “Kanasambana” which came out in November of 2009.
The Dancing Branches
1. The Dancing Branches
|Hoshi No Shirushi
1. Hoshi No Shirushi
For more information about the band, check out the following links:
GLACIER official website – http://glacier.syncl.jp
GLACIER official MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/glacierofficial
GLACIER official YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/glacierofficial