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  • [English] world's end girlfriend × KASHIWA Daisuke interview dialogue (Part 1) | BLOOM -Blooming hope by music-

PEOPLE

2021.07.16

[English] world's end girlfriend × KASHIWA Daisuke interview dialogue (Part 1) | BLOOM -Blooming hope by music-

Flower art: Takuto Aikabe (ahi.) Photo: Ikuru Tanaka (ahi.) Interview / Composition: Rika Shimizu (FREEZINE)
KASHIWA Daisuke Costume courtesy of Miku Ishioka (algorithm)

Various thoughts put into the whole body in 52 minutes.

FREEZINE editorial department (hereinafter, FREEZINE):
When Daisuke KASHIWA (hereinafter, KASHIWA) released his 9th album "program music III" from world ’s end girlfriend (hereinafter, weg)’s label "Virgin Babylon Records" in December 2020, we got an approach from weg to interview you (KASHIWA) but you didn't want to talk about your work by words and proposed a dialogue project with weg instead.
So here we are!

KASHIWA: When the album was released, weg asked me "How about doing an interview?" but I didn't feel comfortable explaining the album only in words. I did have a lot of thoughts... I made the album with a lot of various thoughts and feelings, especially living under this coronavirus situation. So I asked weg how about we do an interview dialogue instead.

FREEZINE: We named "BLOOM-Bloom hope by music-" as today’s theme. I think it’s suitable for this dialogue between you two. Also we asked Mr, Takuto Aikabe, flower artist of "ahi." to create flower art that is inspired by the music of weg and Kashiwa. Then we asked Mr. Ikuru Tanaka, a photographer of "ahi." to hold a photo session using ruins as a background.

KASHIWA: I want to make eye-catching images that are interesting, too. I knew weg would come with black-color clothes, so I thought it would be interesting if I wear a white outfit. I was just working with Ms. Miku Ishioka of "algorithm". A costume she made was fantastic, so I asked her to lent it to me but she said “I’ll make one for you!” and it came out amazingly.
Also I told to Mr. Aikabe to make an image of weg with red flowers and I with blue, that would make the contrast of us more vivid. I also talked about the shapes; weg is a lump with impact, and I am like a flowing one. I am very happy and grateful with the colors and shapes that he created to express our individuality.

weg: Shooting in ruins was the main premise. I knew if put some flowers in ruins, it wouldn’t be anything terrible. So I leave flowers to Mr. Aikabe completely and concentrate on choosing the specific places in the ruins. The best spots for this shooting.

FREEZINE: It’s a really wonderful work. Light and shadow, despair and hope, it’s like symbolized antinomy. By the way, I would like to ask you about the theme of this interview dialogue "BLOOM-Blooming Hope by Music".

KASHIWA: I’m wondering what “Hope” is... First of all, the main reason that I wanted to do this interview dialogue is because of my gratitude. Since I started my music carrier, weg has been always been by my side, close but also different to myself. There are so many artists in the world, but I still find myself coming back to weg’s music. Also, my family, colleagues, fellow musicians, fans. All those people’s influences made me what I am today. When I re-recognized those many benefits, I wondered what I can do. I thought maybe if I give to the younger generation who are working hard now. That’s the giving back that I can do as a species.
Hope, strong impression, ambition or regret ... I want to deliver energy. I want to connect to the next generation. I also titled the song "sons" because of those thoughts. This is what I think in the current Coronavirus situation. This is what I want to put into words the most. Of course, this also includes my private feelings.

FREEZINE: Looking back through your new album, do you think the album is filled with those your current thoughts?

KASHIWA: I’m not sure about the answer yet. I only hope people that listen the album feel free to express themselves. There is no need to be conventional; do whatever you like and create your own world.

FREEZINE: What do you think as the label representative, weg?

LAST WALTZ | world's end girlfriend | Virgin Babylon Records

weg: Honestly, I'm not very interested in the question “does my music make hope come true?” or if I give hope to someone. By showing my work and activities that I believe are the best, doing freely and as hard as I can, listeners think they can also do freely whatever they want and think the best. It doesn't matter if it’s a musician or my own child. I’m happy with it.

FREEZINE: I think Mr. KASHIWA inherits that thoughts.

weg: I think I have seen someone like that and become what I am now. so I guess I have inherited it in turn too.

FREEZINE: Kashiwa's new album is just one track and it’s over 51 minutes. That is already free and unconventional. What are your thoughts on that?

KASHIWA: For example, the knowledge and technology of developers of computers, DAW software, and plug-ins is amazing. However, I feel that it is often used in a relatively negative direction, perhaps because of omissions or comfort. I’m the same, but I also wanted to take it further it out to respect for the developers. Our environment becomes more and more convenient and that can be an excuse for laziness, but I think the original purpose is to use it for more positive and interesting things. If there is an environment that you can use it for making hundreds of tracks and a song over hours long, then I would like to use for that.

FREEZINE: It's amazing to think in that level. I think you have an engineer's temperament.

KASHIWA: Yes, it’s like you own a great car but only drive for shopping at a supermarket. How far can this machine go with this power? I want to push the limits a little. Computers are also evolving, and you can do things that were difficult to do in the past. Isn't it a waste to not use it? I feel sorry for my computer (laughs)
We are unconditionally impressed by the overwhelming time and scale of the Sagrada Familia. I think that feeling is universal. I like that kind of thing.

Talking about own life philosophy and music philosophy for the first time in their 17 years’relationship.

FREEZINE: You and weg have known each other for 17 years. Is there anything you would like to ask weg on this occasion?

KASHIWA: Well, I'm trying not to ask music matters, but one thing I’d like to know is the mental strength of weg. He is always very stable without being swayed by the environment or the times, and that's what makes him reliable. I would like to hear if there is something like a knack.

weg: Basically, I don't think humans are good. Rather, I think they’re useless.

FREEZINE: Does it mean you don't trust people?

weg: I don't say I don’t trust. I think to believe or to be betrayed, it's human. There are some parts of inside me that likes human beings that are deader than a doornail but beautiful. Since I was a kid, every time I look through the history of humans and the paths that people have taken, I feel that’s right to think like that.

KASHIWA: I see. I believe in mankind being fundamentally good, so I think basically everyone is a good person and can understand each other. But there are various thoughts and values that I sometimes I bump into or pass through. When it comes to me as information that I cannot process, it often affects my mood. So I just realize it's important not to expect things from people. It's been 17 years since I met weg, but you haven't changed at all since I met.

FREEZINE: That's amazing.

KASHIWA: It's reliable and I am thankful. I'm the type of person that depends on other people’s emotions, so I want some of that from you.

weg: But that's one of the fascinating parts of yourself as a human being. For example, your instability and meticulousness are strengths to make your music blight and also become weaknesses. In terms of expression, both weaknesses and strengths can be good and bad. That's how you make something into an art work. Whether it's out of the ordinary or unstable, that's fine.

KASHIWA: Thank you.

weg: There are a lot of musicians who have some problems, but it would be great if they could be made it into a music work. Some are fascinated and saved by it, and new music is born by it.

KASHIWA: I heard a story like this for the first time. I've been involved as a musician and taking care of my work on your label for years and years, but I haven't heard any personal thoughts about me from weg.

weg: I won't say unless I asked. I’m wondering, when you try to express very emotionally, you have to be overwhelmingly precise, and you also want to do various music styles theoretically. It's very distinctive and fun, but also some parts are lost at the same time.
The same thing can be said to myself and other musicians. Maybe what I want and lose in expression is two sides of the same coin.

KASHIWA: Does that mean that it also leads to individuality?

weg: It makes unique and attractive.

From the opportunity to first meet to the motive for making music.

FREEZINE: By the way, how do you meet in the first?

weg: First time, perhaps a gig in Fukuoka?

KASHIWA: That's right. Before I started solo, I was in a band who played in Fukuoka. We had the opportunity to play the same gig with weg. I was his fan, so I sent him an email before the event! I think I was still around 24 or 25 years old.

FREEZINE: How did you get along from there?

weg: We drank together sometimes when I went to Fukuoka for gigs.

KASHIWA: Yes. After my band broke up I decided to be a solo artist and bought a Mac, made a song with Logic. Then I asked weg to listen to it.

weg: That's why I’m still connected after that. I thought the song was very interesting.

FREEZINE: Do you remember the song you listened to?

KASHIWA: "april. # 02". That become my first album "april. # 02”. I sent the demo version of it to weg. I got a reply "I have nothing to say anymore." I thought, "Oh my god, I was abandoned!!" (laughs)

weg: Did I say that? … Well, thinking back now, the music was almost completed and I knew there was some influenced by myself. But I put in vivid vocals and saxophones in my own long length songs, aiming to break the parts that I program strictly. But his demo didn't have that kind of part, and it was just a long length song which was programmed strictly. So, if he wanted to go in that direction, it wouldn't be interesting unless he pursued one more step.
If I gave advice, he becomes closer to weg and that's not good for him, so I didn't have anything to say, maybe I thought like that.

KASHIWA: I see. That was sort of on purpose. I think those vocals saxophones and instruments play the role of a “bridge”. I had only played one instrument in the band and I was longing for and fascinated by the coolness of programming and digital editing. I wanted to bring it to the front. It's a begging for something that doesn't exist.
After that, I asked weg about his musical philosophy over drinks. I won't give you any specific details, but ... what weg told me and what I drew in my head were synchronized and I felt the vector of expression was close each other. Though I hadn't started solo activities yet at that time, I was somewhere between happiness and regret.

FREEZINE: Can you tell that musical philosophy that common with weg in words now?

KASHIWA: It’s something shouldn’t be put into words ...

weg: Definitely

KASHIWA: The world I imagined couldn't be expressed within the band. But weg has already expressed it in his own way by himself. It’s a complicated feeling. I have longing and regret. I agonize myself every day with feelings of love and hate.

FREEZINE: It's amazing to feel that you frustrated.

KASHIWA: To be honest, it's mostly frustrating. I was so frustrated that I was rampaging.

weg: Yeah. I heard that from you when I was in Fukuoka. You were crying and slammed the car door (laughs)

KASHIWA: Yes, I remember.

weg: I thought it was amazing. I don't have that sense of feeling and wondered what it's like. I think that's why he’s interesting and it’s his interesting point.

KASHIWA:well it was not the level that I could reach even I tried as hard as I could. it was totally irresistible. Compared nowadays, DTMs and home recording equipment ability at that time was very limited. Mechanism as a methodology was more important than song or song composition. It was more difficult for me than a university exam. But weg did it so easily and made albums. I was overwhelmed by a sense of failure to weg. I was terribly frustrated at that time. I listened to his 2nd and 3rd album again and again, probably I ‘m the No,1 person who listen most to those albums in Japan at that time. Seriously I always listen those albums.

FREEZINE: How did you study after that?

KASHIWA: At one moment, it suddenly cleared out. It’s like everything is connected, I was able to understand various things instantly. After that, I was able to make more and more songs just by program them. It was quick.

FREEZINE: That’s interesting. Changing the topic, I have something on my mind. There are moments when you have an overwhelming feeling like "this is the one!", for some music or musicians, including when you were young. I asked you to put it into words earlier. It's certainly difficult to put into words, but I want you to try to express it.

weg: When I come across a movie, music, novel that I really like, I know I’m really excited with it but I don’t know why I like it. I don’t know why I cry…that’s sits well with my feelings.

KASHIWA: In my case, I really like it, but I would like to it do better. Sorry to be rude.

weg: Wow, I never thought of it that way.

KASHIWA: That's why I always feel I’m creating what I want to hear. It’s self-sufficiency music.
There is various music in the world, but there is no one that matches 100% with the world within my brain. So I decided to make by myself and chase it.

FREEZINE: ... Isn't it a bit similar to views of romantic love? “I don't know why I like you, but I feel like I'm in love” and “I would definitely do this”.

KASHIWA: My view on love ... I don't know.

weg: On love, it doesn't matter whether the other person likes or dislikes you, whether you are together or not. It is best to live the way the person wants to live and be happy. That's what love and affection is for me. I feel a little bit the same for music, so if the music was born and existed in the best condition as itself, it doesn't have to be my own work.

FREEZINE: I see. What does KASHIWA think about love?

KASHIWA: I'm not sure. I don't really understand love or affection.
But from what weg said, I think weg has a very bird's-eye view and is very objective. I'm subjective and even I believe that people are fundamentally good but I am an individualist. Perhaps I don't like people coming into my territory.

FREEZINE: Whether it's music or people, if you find it’s good one, and you feel it “just good”, that means “love” to you. Is it correct that your way of feeling” love”?

KASHIWA: It's difficult to answer because I've never thought that way.
Of course I do have a lot of my favorite music but my perfect music is...

FREEZINE: That's the point.

KASHIWA: Yes. But weg's 3rd album ("Dream's end come true") is the supreme work for me. It's in a totally different class. I fell in love with progressive rock when I was a high school student. Then I was influenced by noise and contemporary music. The 3rd album contains all of tgat. It’s a great album. But I still want to pursue the possibilities beyond that great album. I want to make it for myself-satisfaction with my own hands. Yes, probably my case is self-satisfaction.

FREEZINE: That's the motivation for creation. What motivated you to compose, weg?

weg: It was pure play at the beginning, but now it's like a faith. Since I was a kid, I loved creating my own God. I admit I regarded music as a God and devoted myself. Well, maybe it’s just me who feels good to just throw myself away and make music. I also devote myself to work toward for the best music. But the best music doesn't have to be my music. I'm just a small little part of the big stream of music.

FREEZINE: I see.

weg: The stream of music whether conscious or unconscious, it's something that various musicians have done so far, trying to make good music and pursuit in a limited life time, the music continues to the next generation, and the flow is connected.

There is a huge tree called music, it has a big deep root, and a millions of branches at the end, What I’m doing is a small corner of this tiny branch and I’m taking care of it. If I make an insanely good branch there, then someone will make another insanely good branch and eventually the flowers will bloom. Basically like that.

KASHIWA: After all, we’re fundamentally different.

FREEZINE: Mr. KASHIWA is very human, isn't he? It’s like a hybrid of rational and madness.

KASHIWA: I am subjective person.

FREEZINE: Subjective? I think it's more human than that.

KASHIWA: You’re right, weg is a bit like an alien (laughs).

FREEZINE: I understand. He is a philosopher.

KASHIWA: Honestly, he is an elusive person even though I’ve known him after many years. A really mysterious person.

After the coronavirus related chaos, what we should do and what have we got.

FREEZINE: I would like to ask you both did COVID-19 change you and what kind of change is it?

weg: The world has obviously changed since COVID-19, so I think I'’ll do something new. I did a lot of things, including experimental ones.

FREEZINE: You did various trials, didn't you?

weg: In COVID-19, songs that have touched my heart suddenly lose their power, and some songs are still attractive. Regarding online live streaming, a song’s power has changed when I played the same way like before.
I decided to do new ways of expressions and new play for this the changed new world.

FREEZINE: It was really quick. I was surprised to see that you changed direction so quick.

weg: I wanted to do more earlier.

FREEZINE: It was early. Are you still planning what to do?

weg: Yes. I have some ideas that I am working on.

FREEZINE: I see. How about you,Mr. KASHIWA?

KASHIWA: Almost all my work has been postponed or cancelled. I think it was around April, about 80% of my work has gone. At the same time, the school of my sons were also closed. I was wondering what they will do. They got up early and started studying. They woke up 5 -6AM and studied every day. That inspire me to keep trying harder and more, as a father. I switched my mind to think that this spare time is a good opportunity and tried to create new song.

Of Couse I had anxiety but I managed to change my spare time to take advantage of the opportunity. I noticed the two sides of the world, or the good things that are hidden behind the bad things, and vice versa.

For example, I graduated from college in 2000 and entered the world of work. It was the middle of the employment ice age. Even after I graduated from the engineering department, many of us couldn't get a job. We had a strong doubt what would happen in the future. So I thought I should do what I like to do, so I took up music.
Something bad can happen to anyone at any time. If you can find some hidden things that will be a plus in that bad situation, then your life will be changed. That’s I want to tell my children.
It's easy just looking at the bad things and blame something and someone, but I believe that some possibilities are also hidden behind it. We are having a difficult time, but I want to stay positive and do my own personal best.

FREEZINE: I feel this is time to think again about what is important to oneself for everyone.

KASHIWA: True. It was the trigger for me to make a review, too. We’re in a difficult time, but I believe there are many things we can do. We can find hope anywhere and anytime if you want it. That’s also I wanted to tell.

FREEZINE: I see. Hope is always hidden behind despair. Is that also the theme you want people to feel from the new album?

KASHIWA: That's right. Almost all my work had been cancelled and that has made me worry about money but I could create this new album from it. I hope it would be the best if my new album makes positive impact like try something to the listeners.

FREEZINE: As a father, do provide a specific advice when you talk to your sons?

KASHIWA: I talk with them quite often about many things. You don't know about the future; more difficult things may happen. Especially in Japan, we don't know when a huge earthquake will happen again. So don't be so downcast, you have to find hope and be positive. I'ⅿ mentally weak, so maybe I'm telling it to myself.

FREEZINE: I see. So does it become a good milestone for you that you turned such thoughts into the album?

KASHIWA: That's right. It was one of the things I always wanted to do.
I've always had the desire to make songs that feel like watching a movie with just the sound. I am happy that I was finally able to put it on record as my work.

program music III | KASHIWA Daisuke | Virgin Babylon Records

(Continue to the Part 2)

PROFILE

world's end girlfriend

かつて多くの隠れキリシタン達が潜伏した長崎県の五島列島に生まれ、10歳より独自に音楽/作曲をはじめる。カンヌ映画祭に出品された是枝裕和監督作品「空気人形」の映画音楽を担当。クラシカルな楽曲からエレクトロニックな楽曲、ノイズからAKB48ドキュメンタリー映画音楽まで圧倒的美醜と振り幅で活動し続ける。2016年、アルバム「LAST WALTZ」をリリース。健全優良魑魅魍魎が集うVirgin Babylon Records代表取締役。

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KASHIWA Daisuke

Born in Hiroshima, currently lives in Tokyo.
Influenced by progressive rock music, he began composing music as a student.
He started his solo career as “KASHIWA Daisuke” in 2004, and has released 9 full-length albums by 2020.
In 2009, he performed at Berlin's "Berghain", and at Fusion Festival, one of the largest festivals in Germany. He also composed the music for Makoto Shinkai's film "The Garden of Words", accompanied foreign films and animations, and composed music for many dances and commercials.
In addition to his creative activities, he is also active as a mixing and mastering engineer.

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