#47 – fhána

L-R: Sato Junichi, towana, kevin mitsunaga, yuxuki waga

L-R: Sato Junichi, towana, kevin mitsunaga, yuxuki waga


And now for something not quite related to seiyuu.

Da Vinci did something pretty similar to the 50 questions Seiyuu no Wa for the band fhána, except the number of questions have been halved and they’re directed at all 4 members. I have been a fan of theirs since the doujin days when they had no fixed vocalist and also keep up with the individual members’ own doujin circles, so it’s really quite nice to see that they’ve found some success since signing with Lantis. Their first album Outside of Melancholy just hit Oricon top 10 last week too!

I have separated out the 4 members’ features for reading ease. You can read the interviews in Japanese also – Part 1, Part 2.

1. Sato Junichi (chorus/keyboards)
2. yuxuki waga (guitar)
3. towana (vocals)
4. kevin mitsunaga (samples/programming)

Sato Junichi

01. Please tell us how you first got involved in music.
When I was a child I was gifted a Casiotone keyboard, on which I taught myself to play video game tunes by ear.

02. Which aspects of your instrument/role within the band do you focus on?
Rather than focusing on my own parts, my priority is to make sure that the band’s performance as a whole has good balance. Also, when it comes to my keyboard playing, I try to keep it rhythmical with a good, crisp backing sound. Closed voicing is also something I focus on. For chorus, there are things that I am particular about, especially since I myself have been a lead vocalist in the past. The emotional aspects, how my vocals fit in with the orchestra and towana’s vocals, and the recording process.

03. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio or stage.
This is just something that happened recently – we played an outdoors live during winter and it was so cold that my hands were numb and couldn’t move lol.

04. Are there any musicians you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
I want to be like Sakamoto Ryuichi-san and Ozawa Kenji-san etc. Apart from musicians, I also admire Miyazaki Hayao and Anno Hideaki.

05. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a musician?
Having to constantly move about…it’s a test of my stamina.

06. If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would be doing now?
No idea whether I’d be able to become one but…a film director.

07. If fhána could do a cover of any anisong, what would you pick?
Blue Water from Nadia of the Blue Water.

08. Recommend us your #1 song from your album Outside of Melancholy, and tell us about its key listening points.
I’d recommend all of the songs but if I had to pick just one then I’d go for white light. We put all our energy into the melody, the vocal and the performance.

09. What should we expect from your (first one-man) live on March 1st?
fhána’s history and future.

10. Please give some advice to people who are aiming to become musicians.
This is true in general, but it’s very difficult for a person to change themselves on their own. Hence, when things aren’t going well one should try out a change of environment instead. More specifically, try to mix with people who are at a ‘higher’ level, or people who have lots of energy. I believe that if you spend most of your time with people who are too similar to yourself or are at a level ‘lower’ than you are, you end up limiting your own growth.

11. Excluding shows that you’ve been involved with, name 3 anime that you like.
The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, CLANNAD, Wings of Honneamise.

12. Please tell us what TV programmes you often watch.
For older shows, Nippon Sengo Subculture-shi. Nowadays, Iwai Shunji’s MOVIE Lab. I tend to watch this type of NHK programming.

13. Tell us what your favourite books are.
There are so many so it’s hard to pick, but I’ll go for the original Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels.

14. Tell us what your favourite game is.
Nihon Falcom’s Ys II for the NEC PC-8801. I played it during my adolescent years and it had a huge influence on my subsequent creative activities.

15. Tell us what your favourite movie is.
The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi.

16. Tell us about your musical influences.
Yellow Magic Orchestra, Flipper’s Guitar, Koshiro Yuzo.

17. Name 3 of your favourite albums.
Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Complete Service, Ozawa Kenji’s Inu wa Hoeru ga Caravan wa Susumu, Smashing Pumpkins’ Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

18. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
Bump of Chicken’s Melody Flag, TM NETWORK’s Self Control.

19. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Narikura* in Takadanobaba, clothing stores in Omotesando, zakka shops.

*a tonkatsu restaurant

20. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Thai food, sushi, cocoa.

21.  Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
I bought Monster Hunter and Animal Crossing for my new Nintendo 3DS, games recommended by the other members. I really should start playing them soon…Also, I’ve always loved watching movies.

22. What type of girl do you like?
Someone whom I can respect.

23. Describe your impressions of the other members in one phrase.
towana – I used to think of her as a mysterious person, now I think of her as a strange person. She has gotten a lot livelier than before.
yuxuki – He’s always on time. Never misses deadlines. Loves games. His favourite anime and manga usually revolve around girls, things like im@s and K-ON!.
kevin – I used to think of him as a serious person, now I think of him as a flashy guy. Just joking, he really is a serious guy lol. He’s a mood maker.

24. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
I’d like to continue working on various fronts – the anime scene, the band scene, the major Jpop scene, the niche subculture music scene.

25. Please leave a message for your fans.
Thank you, for now and for many years to come.
—————————————————————–
yuxuki waga

01. Please tell us how you first got involved in music.
Music has been the source of my life since I was in school, so naturally…

02. What areas of your instrument/role in the band do you focus on?
I’m only part of the backing band but I do focus on bringing a good feeling to the arrangement and also aim for a gencre-crossover type of hybrid sound.

03. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio or stage.
Maybe when we’re playing live and my glasses and e-bow get knocked all over the place…someday, I’m going to end up stepping on them (wry laugh).

04. Are there any musicians you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
I don’t really think of any one as a rival or someone to aim for but when it comes to guitar playing, I really like sleepy.ab’s Yamauchi Kensuke.

05. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a musician?
I have to be constantly on the move while carrying heavy equipment, so I’d like to have inexhaustible energy reserves.

06. If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would be doing now?
At the very least, I don’t think I’d be doing any job that wasn’t related to music in some way.

07. If fhána could do a cover of any anisong, what would you pick?
Either M@STERPIECE from THE IDOLM@STER MOVIE Kagayaki no Mukougawa e! or Rainbow from ARIA The ANIMATION.

08. Recommend us your #1 song from your album Outside of Melancholy, and tell us about its key listening points.
white light. It sounds like a song that you’d hear playing during a movie’s end credits.

09. What should we expect from your (first one-man) live on March 1st?
I’d like it to be a live that bridges the road that we’ve travelled up until now, to our path in the future. Let’s have fun together.

10. Please give one word of advice to people who are aiming to become musicians.
Be persistent, be curious in the new and unknown, place importance in your interests. Also, be flexible.

11. Excluding shows that you’ve been involved with, name 3 anime that you like.
THE IDOLM@STER, ARIA, CLANNAD.

12. Please tell us what TV programmes you often watch.
Cooking programmes.

13. Tell us what your favourite books are.
ARIA.

14. Tell us what your favourite game is.
DARK SOULS.

15. Tell us what your favourite movie is.
THE IDOLM@STER MOVIE Kagayaki no Mukougawa e!

16. Tell us about your musical influences.
Too many to mention.

17. Name 3 of your favourite albums.
The Band’s Music from Big Pink, Radiohead’s In Rainbows, SUPERCAR’s Futurama.

18. Tell us what song(s) you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
Siam Shade’s 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou, UNISON SQUARE GARDEN’s Orion o Nazoru.

19. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
Narikura in Takadanobaba.

20. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Soup curry, Thai food, gyoza.

21.  Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
I bought a PS4 so I’m playing Minecraft earnestly.

22. What type of girl do you like?
I like girls with short hair or medium-length bobs.

23. Describe your impressions of the other members in one phrase.
Sato-san – Someone who I’ve learned a lot from and whom I can rely on. Also, he’s good at impressions.
towana – A friend with good vibes. I think I’ve been talking to her a lot more now than I used to.
kevin – A fun junior. He’s a really good guy.

24. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
A short-term goal would be to play a one-man live in my hometown of Hokkaido. Also, I’d like to visit Venice.

25. Please leave a message for your fans.
See you at our lives!
—————————————————————–
towana

01. Please tell us how you first got involved in music.
I started learning classical piano when I was 3 years old. Since then, music has been the most important thing in my life.

02. What areas of your instrument/role in the band do you focus on?
Singing honestly and directly, with strong emotion.

03. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio or stage.
I turned into an empty shell after the recording of white light, the last song on the album. I think it’s because the song is so powerful.

04. Are there any musicians you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
I have received the support of so many people, with each person being different and having their own strengths so I have much that I want to learn from them.

05. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a musician?
Body conditioning. I’m still exploring how.

06. If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would be doing now?
I’d be one of those onee-san types working in a library.

07. If fhána could do a cover of any anisong, what would you pick?
Rainbow from ARIA The Animation.

08. Recommend us your #1 song from your album Outside of Melancholy, and tell us what are the listening points.
Swinging City. I think I managed to get the feeling of “How fun this is!” across through my vocals.

09. What should we expect from your (first one-man) live on March 1st?
Since it’s a one-man live I think we’ll be able to try out some tricks. Also, look forward to fhána in a full-band formation ♪

10. Please give one word of advice to people who are aiming to become musicians.
My own days are still full of trials and errors…so let’s do our best together!

11. Excluding shows that you’ve been involved with, name 3 anime that you like.
My Neighbour Totoro, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, ARIA.

12. Please tell us what TV programmes you often watch.
Kanshou Manual Bi no Tsubo (NHK arts programme).

13. Tell us what your favourite books are.
Tokeizaka no Ie. It’s a children’s book, but it’s something I’ve loved since I was young.

14. Tell us what your favourite game is.
I prefer watching other people play rather than playing them myself. The one and only game I play is Animal Crossing!

15. Tell us what your favourite movie is.
The Disney movie Snow White.

16. Tell us about your musical influences.
There are so many people I’m influenced by…I can’t pick.

17. Name 3 of your favourite albums.
Spitz’s Indigo Chiheisen, Shiina Ringo’s Muzai Moratorium, YUKI’s joy.

18. Tell us what songs you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
Lately, I mostly sing anisong and idol songs!

19. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
I often go to clothing stores in Harajuku and Omotesando with the other members.

20. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Meat and strawberries. For drinks, I like tea and water.

21.  Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Looking at clothes in magazines and on the net! I try to come up with costumes that match my own preferences.

22. What type of guy do you like?
Someone whose sense of humour matches mine, someone gentle.

23. Describe your impressions of the other members in one phrase.
Satou-san – Leader! He’s everyone’s older brother.
Waga-kun – Amongst the members he’s the one I’ve known the longest, it’s a strange connection we have.
Kevin-kun – He’s a good guy but also scatter-brained.

24. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
I’d like fhána’s music to reach every corner in Japan, and across the world!

25. Please leave a message for your fans.
Please come and have fun at our tours and events!
—————————————————————–
kevin mitsunaga

01. Please tell us how you first got involved in music.
When I was in junior school I was invited by a friend to form a band and that’s how I got started in music. The reason I got interested in anime music was through CLANNAD, a game I played during my high school days.

02. What areas of your instrument/role in the band do you take most seriously?
I aim to leave an impression upon hearing just a little bit of the music, and to make an “abnormal”, distinct kind of sound.

03. Please tell us any horror stories or memorable tales from the recording studio or stage.
During a studio rehearsal I forgot the music data that absolutely should not have been forgotten. I genuinely panicked and became depressed.

04. Are there any musicians you see as rivals or as someone to aim for?
Artists I’m aiming for are Cornelius (Oyamada Keigo) and Pogo.

05. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced as a musician?
I’m having fun most of the time but it is a bit hard when the deadlines are near and I have to work through the night to get things done. After all, I’m the type of human who can’t function properly without enough sleep.

06. If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would be doing now?
I like making things using a computer so I’d probably be doing something related to that. Maybe a web designer etc.

07. If fhána could do a cover of any anisong, what would you pick?
There are too many songs I like so I’d love to put them all together on a covers album in the future – making that would be fun.

08. Recommend us your #1 song from your album Outside of Melancholy, and tell us about its key listening points.
It’s hard to choose just one song but I’ll say ARE YOU SLEEPING? ! It’s a song I composed in a shoegazer style, but I think it shows the depth of fhána’s sound and how we can make music that transcends genres.

09. What should we expect from your (first one-man) live on March 1st?
We’re surprisingly much more “Rock” than what you hear on our records! I’d like people to focus on our performance.

10. Please give one word of advice to people who are aiming to become musicians.
I had never originally thought of making a career out of music and only intended for it to be a hobby. But as I went along doing this thing I loved, I got to meet a lot of people and it is those encounters that have led to where I am now. If you stick at something you love, you’ll enjoy new encounters. And that, will be the key to opening up your future.

11. Excluding shows that you’ve been involved with, name 3 anime that you like.
CLANNAD, ARIA, Ghost in the Shell.

12. Please tell us what TV programmes you often watch.
I love NHK programmes that deal with the sciences.

13. Tell us what your favourite books are.
ARIA.

14. Tell us what your favourite game is.
Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers.

15. Tell us what your favourite movie is.
Gattaca.

16. Tell us about your musical influences.
When I heard Cornelius (Oyamada Keigo)’s SENSUOUS album, it opened my eyes to the world of sampling and electronic music.

17. Name 3 of your favourite albums.
Cornelius’s SENSUOUS, Shuta Hasunuma’s POP OOGA, WATER WATER CAMEL’s Airship (it’s just impossible to pick 3 lol)

18. Tell us what song(s) you often sing when you go to the karaoke.
Yamazaki Masayoshi’s One more time, One more chance.

19. Tell us about the stores you often go to.
I have been wandering around looking for popular ramen places.

20. Tell us what your favourite foods are.
Ramen (Hakata tonkotsu), anything with vinegar in it.

21.  Are there any hobbies that you’ve been obsessed with recently?
Miso soup with shaved kelp is what I’ve been obsessed with. Also, I’m getting into participating in crowd-funding in the development of new gadgets.

22. What type of girl do you like?
Someone who acts after taking into consideration the feelings of others. For appearance, I like girls whose faces resemble racoons*.

*LOL. Probably a reference to Uchoten Kazoku…I guess.

23. Describe your impressions of the other members in one phrase.
Sato-san – The reliable captain who steers SS fhána
yuxuki-san – The super emo-onii-san whose cooking is amazingly good
towana-san – The stylish onee-san who’s good with gadgets

24. What challenges would you like to take on within the next 10 years?
I’ve never been outside Japan so I’d like to visit many places overseas. Especially Venice.

25. Please leave a message for your fans.
Thank you for reading to the end. There are a lot more fun things to come so I’d be happy if you would continue to support us.
—————————————————————–
It’s nice to see that the band’s synergy extends to their tastes in anime, TV shows and games w. Especially ARIA! Please cover Rainbow for real!!

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3 thoughts on “#47 – fhána

  1. omo

    Wow, such…compatibility to their tastes and appeal.

    It’s too bad I can’t make it to their first live even though I will be in Japan then… Hope they build up their strength and tour a lot more so we can see them live!

    Reply

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