BROS#83 “Hi, this is Fukuyama” (2009.07) Part 2
Actually, I’ve been thinking about things “related to my age” in these past few years. For example when a lyricist or a singer gets older, they can no longer stay on the same step as the immature kid from before. I am no exception. As a music fan, I’ve been listening to songs from different genre and age all this time, and this is the conclusion I’ve come to.
Performing, and that includes song-writing, is really a form of “self-inquiry”. As long as they’re not too out of the ordinary, once they reach a certain stage, most grown-ups will start to use self-questioning and answering as a way to derive their own conclusions. And there is a tendency, I think, for them to come up with ethical messages like “to live for others, not just yourself” or “to cherish life” etc.
That’s of course very important. After all, as a member of society, it’s great to have adults earnestly thinking about doing the right things. It’s because of this, that Japan is a reassuring place (to live in).
But from the standpoint of an entertainer, I also need to consider the crazy things that people do (I’d done) and the consequences that have built up like silt through time. Although we did want to be serious, but before we could achieve that quality, the stupid decisions we made; the times we hurt people or got hurt from being too emotional; the aggressive thoughts we had; the times we’ve been so useless………
To bring out these woes of life is also a type of culture in music. Even in love stories, you have abnormal love, why would anyone fall into that kind of love? The complexities and the weaknesses etc. in the state of mind at that time…….And if it revives some of your own memories, you’ll be able to relate to the story and may even be moved to tears, right? I think it’s our mission (as a performer and song-writer) to caress that part (of people) which has been hidden away and perhaps subconsciously suppressed.
If we look at it from that angle, I believe performers will need to ask themselves a couple of things. How should I present these “improper” actions? How many “skeletons in the closet” could we open up? Of course, it’s probably better to view them in a different light. But from an entertainment point of view, I think people would need to be exposed to such (realities). The inner souls of the characters that I want to write about, should not be restricted to “ethical messages” alone.
And here is where the “age-related” issue comes in. To performers and composers, “related to age” should not mean “coming to the right and proper conclusion for that age”. On the contrary, it should focus on “reflecting the truth, after appropriate deliberation and struggle, that comes with that age”.
This is beginning to sound overly long and serious. But it’s because of this belief that you are now able to see in “Zankyo”, the reality as it should be told by 40-year olds. Nothing is fixed, even at my age. It’s not at all “fuwaku” (「不惑」double meaning -”past 40″ / “following the right course”) nor have I suddenly become a romantic after I’ve reached 40 (laugh). I just wanted to tell it truthfully as I have experienced it. I’m using these skeletons in the focus of my oncoming work, not as a member of society, but as Fukuyama the performer. There’s nothing wrong about maintaining that feeling of rawness……. or songs about despair…..etc. Although the lyrics present no solutions, I would rather offer to you what is currently closest to my “real inner feelings”, than simply to write happy-go-lucky songs.
I’m drinking my single malt whisky as I ponder on these issues. Try and imagine me like that, while you’re listening to “Zankyo”.
Oh yes! Yes! I’ve been saved! By vintage single malt whisky. Completely healed! At the present rate, one bottle of vintage single malt will last about 2 weeks. And I’m slowly moving away from dark chocolate as an appetizer. Drinking single malt, while watching my “Fukuyama’s Best Parts” from the World Fighting Championships downloaded on my hard drive. This is totally a man’s world. (BTW) I watched the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton on WOWOW two days ago, it was great…..
OK, the Arena Tour is still on. We’ve prepared for you, plenty of older songs that you all wanted to hear, and the new songs which we hope you’ll find exciting. This is the largest ever concert tour we have had so far, whether for the audience or for Team Fukuyama.
Even though I’m super busy every day, I still want to say thank you once again to all of you who have supported and waited for me. The Fukuyama 20th anniversary year has just started. Let’s all look forward to it together!
Extract from Bros Magazine [どうも福山です] 2009.07
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