Scans credit to cookiesmon
The colour of Tegomasu
Tegomasu's new single, their fifth and which will be released on 16 Feb (Thu), is a cover of male duo Sasuke's famous song, Aoi Bench. They talk to us about creating the song with their 'colour' and harmony, their school days, and flee~ting memories of graduation.
Covering Aoi Bench with a Tegomasu-like arrangement
---Coming after NEWS's activities, this release has been a long time coming.
Tegoshi: Being NEWS and Tegomasu is enjoyable in its own way. It's really great that I've been allowed to do both.
Masuda: I've been looking forward to it. It is nice to be once again able to use songs and words to leave something behind in people's hearts.
---And this is Tegomasu's first cover.
T: Our first!
M: An offer came, asking if we would like to cover the song. And we replied, yes, we want to!
---Any parts of the song or the arrangement that are unique to Tegomasu?
T: The music arrangement is different, and falsettos have been included so the singing style is completely different. I think it gives a very good feeling.
M: I think when each of us sang the new arrangement in turn, we had already injected Tegomasu's colour into the song. I had listened to the original when it was released, and I thought it would be good if I could sing the song while recalling what I felt then, while allowing our colour to seep into the song.
---The harmony's wonderful. During the recording process, did each of you listen deeply to each other's recording?
M: Yup. Other than the way we project our voices and the feelings conveyed, we also think about "how should I harmonise?". The actual can also turn out differently from what we thought it would be, so we try out different approaches and have fun at it too.
T: Yes, because Massu recorded first. When I am harmonising I try to blend, and when it's my solo I'll project myself. Just like with NEWS, I'll listen to the main melody, and blend my singing in based on the rhythm and the way the other person sang. We have probably done a lot of listening to each other's while we sing, and we consciously try to blend our voices, and this basically creates our harmony.
---The coupling song Sotsugyou Album has a simple music arrangement.
T: I like Sotsugyou Album a lot too! It's difficult to sing because the instruments used are so few, but that what makes it cool too!
M: It's wonderful! When I was listening to it, I was thinking I wanted all graduating students to sing this song.
---Which aspects of the song, like the lyrics etc, left an impression on you?
M: I really like the story of this song, which is about a person being reminded of his graduation from 10 years back as he reads his graduation album.
T: It's really forward-looking. When you're a student, you hardly think about the future, don't you? Because you're really enjoying your student days, that's why you don't think about the future. Especially in elementary, junior high and senior high school, you're having fun making friends and all, and I think the song portrays that youthful spirit.
---Anyway, do you remember what you wrote in your graduation album?
T: Eh-... what did I write? Probably, soccer player?
M: When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a soccer player too. But when I was in my fifth year, I started thinking differently, so I definitely didn't write that in my graduation album (laugh).
---Any particular memories related to graduation or to the uniform button?
(T/N: Apparently in Japanese schools there is a tradition at graduation where girls approach the boys they like for the buttons on their uniforms as keepsakes. The second button on the gakuran is the most sought after as it is closest to the boy's heart. The number of girls asking a boy for his buttons is also said to be an indicator of the boy's popularity with the girls.)
T: No~ no one ever came to ask for my button~! (cries)
---Did you have school uniforms?
T: In junior high I had a gakuran-style uniform, and a blazer-style uniform in senior high. I had to go overseas for work after my senior high school graduation ceremony. It was like graduation and then 'bye bye' and there was nothing left.
(T/N: Left is the gakuran-style uniform, right the blazer-style uniform)
M: I probably didn't give away my button? I couldn't attend my junior high graduation ceremony because of work, and I went home immediately after my senior high graduation ceremony. So even though probably everyone wanted my button, it was like (acts cool) "my button? that's a little... (acts to reject request)". But my uniform's blazer-style, so there're only 2 buttons on the jacket (laugh).
---If it was a gakuran there would have been a war for the buttons!
M: (embarrassed) No, no!
T: Oh yeah! There's no button on the blazer so the requests don't come!
M: There are 2 buttons.
T: But if you're talking about giving away buttons, doesn't that bring up the image of the gakuran?
M: Yeah, because of the button near the heart.
T: The so-called "second button".
M: With the blazer it becomes the button near the navel!
T: I wanted someone to say this to me (acts as a girl) "Senpai, is it ok if you let me have your button?"! I was waiting! (laugh)
Encouraging words of farewell from the duo, for everyone who's about to spread their wings towards the future
---Please leave a message for the students graduating this spring, and also for fans who'll be starting on a new phase in their lives.
T: I would like the students to enjoy their remaining school days. If there is a period in my life I'd like to return to, it would be my junior high and senior high school days. There's no chance of wearing school uniforms once out of school. For those starting on a new phase in their lives, they'll probably face many insecurities, but they can also enjoy the experience of having all these insecurities! I don't think failure is a bad thing, even if it happens you can take it as a learning experience and use that experience for the future, so I think it's better to challenge many things without fear.
M: Even now I am on good terms with friends I have made in school, from as far back as kindergarten and elementary school, and so I would like everyone to create good memories with their friends and to treasure those memories. Graduation is a step towards to the future, I'd like everyone to challenge a wide variety of things, and encounter many wonderful people and things. Congratulations on your graduation!
Related to the lyrics of Sotsugyou Album, what do you see when you look back at 10 years ago?
T: I was in the school soccer club, and I devoted myself to kicking a soccer ball around. I would wake up in the morning, put on my gakuran and take the train to school... Now that I think about it, I actually woke up at 6, 7 o'clock every morning then, that's quite amazing (laugh). Now I keep that kind of schedule only when I'm filming a drama. It was fun~, my youth! (grin)
M: I worked hard at club activities! I was in the basketball club, in my mind I had the image that girls would come into the sports hall and cheer the club members on, like (in a girly voice) "that senpai is cool♥", and I thought being in the basketball club = being popular with the girls. But from the time I joined the basketball club in my first year of junior high to the time I graduated... there was probably nothing! A pity~ (laugh). After club activities we would all buy tea or canned juice and walk home together, that was fun~.
What do you think you'll be like 10 years later?
T: 33 years old~. My personality definitely wouldn't have changed, but it'll be good if I had, through experience, become more mature by one or two levels. But I don't want to lose the youthful spirit, or rather the honesty that I have right now. Cosplay? Fufu (laugh). The fans would have aged 10 years too, so I'll still do it like I'm doing it now! (laugh)
M: 10 years later I'll be 34. I want to be cool! I want to have a physique like Higashiyama (Noriyuki)-san, so I should learn from his example and work out. My ideal is to become a disciplined and good adult.
What would you like the NEWS members to graduate from?
T: Nothing~! He's got no weird habits.
M: Wouldn't it be interesting if we said 'his black hair'? But it seems he might say "My hair's ok, isn't it?".
T: Oh yeah, that part of him that is easily influenced.
M: Yes, there's that!
M: Ah~ the uncle part of him (laugh).
T: Now, he's probably about 45 years old. The image he gives people is too 'indoor', I think it's better if he goes exercising or outdoors.
T: Ryo-kun, hmm~.
M: Hmm, what could it be.
T: Probably oversleeping! (laugh)
M: Fufufu (laugh). Is that so?
M: He doesn't screw the cap back on! And he'll leave the cap somewhere (laugh).
T: Ahaha (laugh).
T: He should graduate from always leaving his hair down!
M: Today I'm doing it I'm doing it! (shows off his styled hair)
T: I think it's very nice! The red colour is pretty too.
M: (Looks proud) It looks good?
T: Yup, red suits you!
M: Tegoshi... the soccer club! Ah that's no good, not interesting (laugh). Skulls!
T: Hahaha! (laugh)
Speech bubbles (top to bottom)
From Tegomasu, with love
Here, please have it
Hit a home run~
Whose flowers do you prefer?
Behind the scenes
The Tegomasu interview features a spring-inspired photoshoot with them holding flowers. Tegoshi (Yuya)-kun said with interest "These are tulips!". In the shot with them giving flowers to each other, they ad-libbed with gentle words: "Here, please have it~!" In the shot with them facing each other, while Tegoshi-kun gazed intently at Masuda (Takahisa)-kun, Masuda-kun's free exercise exploded everywhere (laugh), pinching Tegoshi-kun's tulips, swinging his bouquet around like a bat etc.