Huwie Ishizaki will release a new single “Flowers” on November 24th (Tuesday). The song written as the theme song of the movie “Underdog” depicts men who burn their lives in boxing, and has human-like lyrics and solid sound that closely fits the world view of the movie titled “Underdog”. Is outstanding. Why could he write such a stoic and heart-wrenching song? He talked about himself as an artist, “not completed at all,” focusing on the episode of the song he wrote during the self-restraint period.
-I was very excited to see the music video “Underdog ver.” Of “Flowers” and the video and song of the movie “Underdog” matched perfectly. Can you tell us the reason why you accepted the theme song of this movie, which has a strong impression because you saw the notice this time?
Ishizaki: Originally, I liked the work of director Takeshi. I was watching the movie “100 Yen Love” when my friend Creap Hype was in charge of the theme song. Even when I watched the recent “Naked Director”, I found that I liked the world view created by Director Takeshi, so I thought it was a thankful story and decided to do it immediately.
-Speaking of Mr. Ishizaki, you have worked on many tie-up songs so far, but when you make the theme song, do you look at the already completed work and write the song?
Ishizaki: In this case, I was asked to send an offline video on the way. Instead of the movie version, I got the version of the drama that will be distributed on ABEMA first after the movie was released, and I also got the script and wrote it.
-You also read the script.
Ishizaki: Well, I got the script first.
-How did you make the song?
Ishizaki: First of all, I went to the site and made a greeting with Moriyama Mirai and the director for the first time. At that time, it was impressive that the director was talking about “I want to make a work in which the hero who can not usually be exposed to the sun wants to be exposed only on the last ring”. So I thought it was a very clear and easy-to-understand message. Thanks to the director’s words, “somehow it’s such a song” was born in my head. After that, I did not just stick to the movie, but to make it as my own work, where should I put my point of view in order to complete it.
-Which of the main cast members, Mirai Moriyama, Takumi Kitamura, and Ryo Katsuji, isn’t it?
Ishizaki: I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t from anyone’s point of view. The most conscious thing is that I’m the type who often uses the first person called “I”, but this time I was trying to make it a song of “us” from the beginning. Because the movie itself depicts something like a battle between three parties, centered on Mr. Moriyama. Besides, when I was making and packing this song, I was in the period of self-restraint. At that time, there were only friends who were doing music, friends who were doing local shops, and everyone who was fighting at the last minute in a very bad situation, and I was worried about that and said “Is it okay?” “?” It was also the time when everyone was living with the same kind of anxiety, so by making it “our song” rather than our own song, including that, we can do it together as much as possible. I wanted to make a song that I could run.
-During the period of self-restraint, was it inspired by the work “Underdog”, or was it also inspired?
Ishizaki: That was a mess. A video or a story. During the period of self-restraint, I think that there was a time when the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 made me think that the artists were wondering whether it was good or bad to express. However, I thought the situation was a little similar to that time. Still, I thought we had to make a song, or something like that kind of spiritual battle, and the story of the movie matched. That’s why I got a lot of power from the video.
-Where do you usually make the feeling that drives you to write such songs?
Ishizaki: Basically, I get it from people. I don’t really get anything from the scenery or images to input, and usually I get a lot of encounters with people or get inspiration from that person, and at that time I can make the most songs. So this time, I couldn’t meet people, so I thought it was dangerous for me. As always, when I was allowed to appear in a movie, a song was born suddenly after the shooting was over. I can go to places I’ve never experienced before, make something with people I’ve never met, or make songs when something inspires me. So it was hard this time, but I feel that the video helped me.
-Conversely, wouldn’t the song be created during the self-restraint period without “Underdog”?
Ishizaki: I wasn’t born. I was writing this song and another song, and I felt like I was working on it, but I thought it was quite a pinch.
-“Flowers” is a song that starts with the lyrics “We bloom on the street”. When did this phrase come about?
Ishizaki: I was looking for hints other than videos and scripts. When I was wondering if there was something in my life like going back and forth between a house and a supermarket during the self-restraint period, I happened to see a crack in the concrete near the house and flowers blooming from there. .. When I found it, I thought, “Oh, I was able to do it.” If I don’t put what I see into the work, I feel like it won’t be my song. Looking at the flower, I felt like I could see the goal.
-I had the impression that Mr. Ishizaki’s songs so far had a human touch, but also warmth and gorgeousness, but this time it was difficult to drive myself into such a stoic world view. Isn’t it?
Ishizaki: Right now, when I’m writing a song, I’m more conscious of stripping it off rather than inflating it. I think it’s going to be very clear, or something like that. When I received the offer for this work, I decided to make such a stoic thing from the beginning.
December 3, 2019 @ Akasaka BLITZ Photo: Yuri Suzuki
-I think “Underdog” is a movie that makes you feel like you’re obsessed with living, but I think artists are also obsessed with songwriting and live stages. Isn’t Mr. Ishizaki also obsessed with that?
Ishizaki: That’s right … Somehow, the type of pompon song that is basically born from me is gone.
-Ah, compared to before?
Ishizaki: That’s right. When I first made my debut, words were born like spring water, but to be honest, the momentum in that sense has disappeared. After all, I have to do something that moves my heart before I make a song. I’m already writing songs from there. Nowadays, each one is difficult to deliver.
-Then, was it difficult to deliver, even though “Flowers” had a motif?
Ishizaki: Compared to the beginning, it was a difficult birth. I think that has changed a lot compared to when it first debuted.
-Isn’t it great to be able to see that objectively? It may be said by others.
Ishizaki: No, people around me have told me (laughs). I don’t give birth to songs, so I’m usually told to write songs. “That’s right ~” is a shame (laughs).
-(Laughs). Is it the type that the song comes out after being driven?
Ishizaki: Oh, that’s right. Personally, if you are driven in, miraculously good things will come out. So you really expect a miracle. But it’s like a lottery ticket (laughs). I’m living thinking that I can’t do it that way all the time and I have to find something.
-Some people always make songs and keep them in stock.
Ishizaki: I’m not that type at all. It used to be that way.
-Why did that change?
Ishizaki: I think it’s a very bird’s-eye view. It’s like another person looking at an artist named Huwie Ishizaki from a bird’s-eye view. It has a lot of good points, but it also has a bad side that you can’t sing … It’s really bad, that side (laughs). There are some bad things like that, so I’m always thinking about where to put something like balance.
-So, in the sense of obsession, it’s more like you have an obsession to complete a song when it’s born, rather than always having to write a song.
Ishizaki: Well, once you start writing a song, you’re obsessed with making something really good. However, at the stage before that, there is nothing in particular from everyday life.
-Are you clearly switching between yourself as an artist and yourself as a private artist?
Ishizaki: How is it? No, it’s not a type that can be switched very much. I think it’s a bad idea to switch it on and off. When the switch is pressed from around, it finally feels like it shines. Therefore, I think that such control will become one of the themes in the future music life.
-You can really see yourself objectively from a bird’s-eye view.
Ishizaki: That’s a good thing, but it’s very difficult, isn’t it? There were many moments when I thought it would be okay to be more selfish.
-When you hear the story, it feels like it hasn’t been completed yet. I was surprised because I saw it as a completed artist.
Ishizaki: It’s not completed at all. I mean, I don’t know what it means to go here and there (laughs).
-However, I think you have the image of Huwie Ishizaki’s song. So, this time, the lyrics of the chorus have a phrase that is not the word
Ishizaki: In the end, I didn’t know what to say, so I made that song. In the movie itself, there is a scene like “What are you trying to keep fighting for?” But that can never be expressed in one word. I wrote it with the hope that such feelings would come out.
-“Flowers” sounds very momentary, as the lyrics say, “If one day we can be proudly scattered in each way of blooming.” I feel like I’m half-baked, but what did you think about that?
Ishizaki: There is also a crap, but for me it’s more like a “breakup”. It’s not about ending it, it’s about going to a different place from here. It means “goodbye” to move on to the next phase. I wish I could write such a thing. I haven’t used the expression like bad end until now, but I started to think that it was. In the old days, I used to write songs with the ultimate in salvation and light, but without a strong bad end, I can’t finish it. I think that such a shocking ending and an insanely painful ending would be an expression that would lead to a breakup. That may have changed recently.
December 3, 2019 @ Akasaka BLITZ Photo: Yuri Suzuki
-It’s a breakup to continue. Is that also linked to this movie?
Ishizaki: That’s right … I think it would be good (laughs).
-It’s not released yet (laughs). This time, I thought that the sound making also had a sense of speed and rhythm that matched the boxing image, but is it too deep to hear the sound of the drums as if they were hitting a punching bag?
Ishizaki: I made this time with Tomi Yo, an arranger I’ve been working with since my debut, but I was able to watch the video at the same time, so that kind of sound reminds me of a boxing match. I think there is consciousness. Because both I and Toomi made it with that kind of common consciousness. I was worried about the sound of the drums. I’m mixing the sound of raw drums and the sound of drum machines, but I was conscious of making the expression of the song solid.
-The impression of the sound is completely different from the previous work “Parade”. It’s completely different depending on the theme.
Ishizaki: That’s right. When I’m going to do a tie-up, I just open all the drawers I can use and dig down to the point where I can put out something that “absolutely suits me best”. I don’t think it’s important to make it on my own, but I think it’s important to make it close to the work.
-Do you make your work with a lot of emotion?
Ishizaki: I wish I could make a song with a good balance. It’s not good again if you get close to it completely. It is necessary to find something like your own core, this time a motif like a flower growing from concrete.
-What kind of mode are you in now for your future activities?
Ishizaki: First of all, I’m thinking of finding it. It’s not a mode to make a song right away. So, in this kind of corona situation, I don’t know if it’s a place or a person who finds a place where I can do it and stimulates my heart, but it’s an adventure. The first step is to start from there.
-December 25th (Friday) at Shibuya WWW in Tokyo, LIVE Ishizaki Huwie “Tonight when the world is full of enemies” will be held. The title is the lyrics of “Flowers”. What kind of live do you want to do?
Ishizaki: It’s been a year since I’ve had a one-man live with an audience. That’s why all the fans are waiting so much, and on the other hand, I think there are still some people who are scared to go to see the live performance. In such a situation, I think that songs have the power to energize people who can’t produce anything else, and can only produce songs, so I hope to be able to energize everyone as much as possible.
Delivery date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020