In the Eyes of Others: Goofy Mori-san (2)
The New Fukuyama Masaharu, by Goofy Mori-san
~Published in BROS Fan Club Newsletter (2006.03) Issue 70 ~
From recording, to concerts and CMs etc, Goofy Mori-san has always been there with the multi-disciplinary creative talent, Fukuyama Masaharu. Having known Fukuyama for 14 years, what does Goof Mori-san think about the “new Fukuyama Masaharu”?
■ First, can you revisit with us the responsibilities of Goofy-san in Team Fukuyama?
G: That’s a very difficult question! (laugh) My title is Producer. I transform all the songs; concerts and other creations by Fukuyama into tangible form and present them out to you, through different media and circumstances. Say, if we have a magazine named “Fukuyama Masaharu”, with all sorts of articles and special features inside, then my role will be like the Chief Editor. I plan and assemble different things together in a holistic way, so it becomes a good read. And so, doing this and that, 14 years have passed.
■ Can you tell us how he’s doing in this recording?
G: I’m frequently being told off “Why is it progressing so slow!” That’s because Fukuyama Masaharu is not only a singer-songwriter. In terms of a restaurant, he is an owner-chef, he owns the restaurant and at the same time, he’s in charge of the kitchen, carefully selecting the materials and producing the wonderful dishes. He has to think about how the food is presented on the dish and how it is being placed on the table, as well. There is only a minimal core of staff involved in song writing* and concerts, so it’s going to take a long time.
This time, our owner-chef says he’s going to prepare all the ingredients himself, that means he’s going fishing to catch the main dish. And that is obviously going to take even longer. Our owner-chef has great hopes for the menu this time, it’s a cuisine filled with his affection and sincerity. I think you should understand what I mean.
■ That means he’s developing the ingredients like the basic sounds as well?
G: He started having this notion the year before last. This time he’s packed it all together (for this single). “Sound make” for the basic arrangement is built up by Fukuyama himself, then Inoue Akira-san with take over for the “Version Up” job. (i.e. Masha plays the instruments to compile the basic song arrangement, then Akira-san will work his magic on it.)
■ Why has Fukuyama-san’s mentality changed so?
G: All this time, I think people have held different views of what “Fukuyama Masaharu” is like. There have been misunderstandings and there are many who would generalize from what they assume. In these 15 years, I believe the fans’ understanding of this person is the closest to the real thing. Not to classify him as a singer, or an actor etc., but to see him as “Fukuyama Masaharu”. We were able to get this impression from their response in the concerts. And it is because of them that we are able to communicate messages out in the music we write now. Whether it sells or not, or whether it catches people’s attention, is not that important anymore. He simply needs to write the music he wants to sing out. And this way of thinking was instead able to lead him to express and sense “a new self”. I think this is a very healthy method of creativity.
■ You mentioned that Fukuyama-san put in a great deal of “his own colours” in this recording. What was he actually like in the recording studio?
G: He’s very focused. Concentrating hard on his work, with a packed schedule, not even asking to stop despite being tired out. It’s definitely not plain sailing for him, but he made up for his insufficiencies with his focus and endurance. I really marvel at him.
At this moment, he’s just started writing the lyrics, I have to be especially careful during this stage. For the melody, he’s got past experience and musical theory, so he could do it with a bit of design. But he needs to start from scratch for the lyrics, and it can only come from within himself, so I need to pay special attention. When he starts to write the lyrics, I will try my best to give him peace, in case I should disturb him and he can’t get it done. At this time when he’s so sensitive to words, excessive talk will give him pressure. And I don’t want to let him start worrying about the things round him.
■ It’s probably because he’s known Goofy-san and the Staff for 14 years, that he can do this for the recording.
G: When we were recording the old single “Calling”, I felt that Fukuyama Masaharu had improved a great deal. Compared to the single “It’s Only Love”, whatever was holding him back, seemed to have gone, it left a very strong impression with me. And this time, it’s going to be another “Brand-New” (breakthrough).
■ We’ll definitely look forward to it. Thank you very much for talking with us today.
G: “One final word, please look out for our owner-chef’s very own culinary work of art.”
~ The End ~
* The sound engineer helps out during the song-writing process, especially during refining and finetuning in the recording studio.
For a brief view into the interaction between Masha and Goofy-san:
We’re Bros Tour 1994 Live: Special Interview (Fukuyama Masaharu & Goofy Mori)
~published in BROS Fan Club Newsletter (1994.11) Issue 17
G: Goofy Mori-san F: Masha (25 years old)
■ In the concerts this time, we could see many people come with their children or as a couple.
F: There was a kid in the front row of the Okazaki (岡崎) show. He came with his mother and he sat right in front of the loudspeakers. So he had his hands over his ears from the start and in the end, he just slumped down in his chair, totally spent. I thought poor kid was having such a hard time, so I thought I’d go shake hands with him. But when I stretched out my hand, his mother grabbed it (laugh). I wasn’t even thinking of shaking hands with her….. And most of the men who came with their girlfriends were very cold. Although there were some boyfriends who seemed to have a pretty good impression of me, for most of them, you could tell from their faces that they were thinking “My Baby likes this guy. What’s so good about him?” (he used the word “Baby”)….well, there’s nothing I can do about it!
■ You spent a lot of travelling time on the bus in this tour.
F: Oh, I hate the bus!
G: The worst part about it was, every time the movie reaches its climax, it’s time to get off. (laugh)
F: That’s right! That’s right! It happened all the time (laugh)! We were watching “Die Hard” but we reached the hotel before it ended.
G: There was about 5 minutes left to it and the picture just stopped.
(Interviewer: Everyone must have been pretty mad.) (laugh)
F: “You have got to be kidding me! Go for a drive around the block!” So the driver kept driving around the hotel until it finished. The ending was so exciting! And I was so mad when it stopped in the middle. If we couldn’t finish it then, I think we’d all be going to rent it from the video shops to watch again.
■ So it’s not your habit to sleep while you’re on the bus?
F: I can’t sleep on the bus.
G: I don’t let myself sleep because I snore too loud.
F: You know, this guy …..(pointing to Goofy-san) is really crazy (laugh). If he were to fall asleep on the plane, he’ll find all the seats around him empty when he wakes up. Everyone would have run off.
~ The End ~
In this newsletter, it was reported that Masha went to the zoo many times during the (1994) Tour. He said he liked the animals in Kyoto best. Once, after he went to see the monkeys, he bumped into a mother and her child and he heard her say “We saw Fukuyama Masaharu” before they happily went home. Masha felt like he was taken as one of the animals.
The articles talked about how good the ramen in Sapporo’s Yamaoka House (山岡屋) tasted; how beautiful the sunset in Tōjinbō (東尋坊) was; and how they defeated pro snooker players when they went out to play….etc. It seemed like a really fun time to go on the Tour in a bus together with everyone, a bit like going on a school trip. But the Tour schedule was horrendous, and this was the time he started becoming a “no pants singer”.