Cut Magazine (2009.07): Part 1
Extract from Cut Magazine No. 248
■ First, I want to say that I went to the second Budokan concert last Friday (29/5). Your “first experience” at the Budokan, how did you feel about that?
F: The second day was much easier. It was too hot on the first day and I was exhausted. I hadn’t felt that way for a long time!
■ (Were you) surprised that the Budokan felt so much like a small box?
F: Yeah. It reminded me of Himuro-san’s* expression “Live House Budokan”, so that’s what he meant! (laugh) Perhaps I was so tired because we were surrounded 360° on four sides, there was not a moment for me to take a break (laugh). In a normal stage, if we turn away from the lights, with our backs to the audience, we can take a breather and rest a bit. But when you’re surrounded 360°, whichever way you turn, even towards the back of the stage, you just can’t feel relaxed. That first day had taken more out of me than I expected.
■ I see, but you got used to it on the second day?
F: Yes. The acoustics were more stable as well. As long as we had good control over the overall sound quality, I‘d feel more relaxed too and the rest would go smoothly.
■ This time there were a lot of video clips on “The Fukuyama History”, you could have used that time to rest. But what impressed me most was that Fukuyama-san stayed on stage all that time, watching those videos of yourself with the audience. The clips were hilarious! But why didn’t you go backstage with the other band members?
F: I never intended to go backstage from the very start. I wanted to see the audience’s response. I’m a neurotic among neurotics. From the parts where they laugh, their reactions, their enthusiasm, the way they applaud etc., I could more or less get a grip on the nature of the audience that day and their character. As the videos were being played, I was there listening throughout “Oh, I get the feeling that it’s this type of audience today.”
But of course, my main concern was whether they could accept (me as shown in the videos). The audience style for the day, I’d find out as soon as I can.
■ So what was the audience of that (my) day like?
F: The audience on Day 2, in terms of a woman, she is a very beautiful one. (laugh)
At first sight, she seemed a bit hard to handle, but when we got to know each other, she’d do everything I say , with a touch of sex appeal too (laugh).
■ Indeed, people who usually sit so calmly in the official seats, all appeared very excited.
F: Thank goodness we gave out lots of different things to show you all. (laugh)
■ Talking about that, that Amuse audition clip was incredible. Why wait until now, to show something as precious as this and which has been kept private for so long?
F: Because this is our first concert coming into the debut 20th anniversary year, and the first concert at Budokan, plus we used the slogan “Love♥Fukuyama Exhibition” 「愛♥福山博」…….., we thought we’d let you all have a look (laugh). It’s fine, I’m not against disclosing it. It’s like, when would you feel you can fart in front of your date? Isn’t that what happens? (laugh)
■ I see (laugh)
F: If you’ve never farted in front of your partner, can you really call that a relationship? It’s a bit like that. (laugh) How much of your unspeakables can your partner take? That’s the thing.
■ The actual audition clips were arranged like a TV show, that was very amusing.
F: It was just dreadful to watch, honestly. But I’m glad they made it into such a comical piece. During the rehearsals, the audition clip was shown in its original state without extra effects. Just like that, it wasn’t so bad that we’d get cries of “Heh~~~~”, but I was surprised it was still quite presentable. As I said (in the concert) it was shown “for you to laugh at”, so to achieve that impact we had to plan carefully, otherwise it won’t be funny at all.
In the end, we decided we’d simply make it look like an entertainment show. I’m relieved that it was so well-received.
■ It’s true we can mentally follow Fukuyama-san’s tracks this way, and using such a straightforward and comical manner, we are sure to remember it.
F: Well, everybody’s got things that they don’t want to talk about; or feel ashamed of; or don’t want to show others. Song-writing is basically an extension of this thing called “shame”. I sometimes want to know, how much of this “shame” can other people relate to ?
■ Nevertheless, the way (the audition) was shown, was surely not a cover to hide your own embarassment, was it?
■ I didn’t get the impression at all, that you wanted to use laughter to conceal any shameful things from your past. On the contrary, I felt you chose that method of presentation because you wanted to bring everyone closer (to you) through their laughter.
F: I’ve said it in my concerts before, from the very start I have never felt that I was full of talent or had a promising future. Nobody would have thought that I could still be in the music industry after 20 years, least of all myself.
■ Yes, yes.
F: So what reasons could there be? I want to uncover my own history too and see with my own eyes objectively. And that’s why we have those videos (laugh). In a nutshell, I think that Amuse, who took in Fukuyama Masaharu when he was 18, and the fans who’ve cheered for me back then, are simply incredible. Especially the fans! The saying that “The customer is King”** is absolutely right. That was what Minami Haruo-san*** said.
■ You called the Budokan “a sacred place” during the MC.
■ So why did you wait until now, to present your (gifts) to the King in this sacred place?
F: We never had the right opportunity. That’s why, from a positive point of view, that fact that we can have a fun and playful time, while standing in a sacred place like the Budokan, is truly wonderful.
■ I see. I guess at a time when you are working hard to advance forward, it must be your dream to be able to come to the Budokan.
■ But now you’re able to have fun at your sacred place, the Budokan, already. Don’t you feel a bit scared instead?
F: Yeah…….. In that sense, I rely a lot on the goodwill of my audience. It’s more of a mutual trust relationship, I guess. The fans who come to my concerts are the people I trust the most. If someone asked me to do the same things in front of a TV camera, I’d definitely NG, I’ll never agree to it. It’s not that I don’t trust the TV media, the key point is - without anyone in front of me, I wouldn’t choose this way of communication. To communicate, I’d rather have a target to look at before I can do it. For example, if I had done something wrong, I could immediately say “Oh sorry, I had misunderstood just now. I apologise.” (laugh)
■ But I saw you recently in “Hey! Hey! Hey! (Music Champ)” and “Music Lovers”. Relative to other artists, Fukuyama-san also has your own special niche in such situations.
F: (laugh) No…..I’d still feel embarrassed when I need to speak on TV.
~To be Continued ~
Translated from Fukuyama Honne (Articles 6495 & 6505) with reference to the original article
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)