Kenshi Yonezu‘s just lately launched new music, “KICK BACK,” was created because the opening theme of the TV anime sequence Chainsaw Man. Yonezu wrote the music and lyrics himself, and Daiki Tsuneta (King Gnu, millennium parade) joined him to work on its association.
“KICK BACK” has taken the charts by storm. The music debuted at No. 1 on the Oct. 19-dated Billboard Japan Hot 100, and is creating waves all over the world, having develop into the primary music by a Japanese artist to make it into Spotify’s High 50 Global every day music rating.
Chainsaw Man, primarily based on a comic book by Tatsuki Fujimoto, is the story of Denji, a Satan Hunter, who enters a contract with a Chainsaw Satan that allows him to show into “Chainsaw Man” to battle devils and Fiends. Half 1, the “Public Security Arc,” was revealed in Weekly Shonen Leap beginning in 2019, and Shonen Leap+ started publishing Half 2, the “College Arc,” in July 2022. The anime adaptation has drawn an excessive amount of curiosity as a result of it was produced by MAPPA, which can be liable for Jujutsu Kaisen, Yuri!!! on Ice, and Assault on Titan, and since the ending themes of every of its 12 episodes had been written by totally different artists, similar to Vaundy, Zutomayo, and Aimer.
Within the interview under with Billboard Japan, Kenshi Yonezu discusses the artistic course of behind “KICK BACK.”
What was your preliminary response once they requested you to put in writing the opening theme to Chainsaw Man?
Yonezu: I’d all the time wished to put in writing it. Once I learn the comedian, I’d typically take into consideration what sort of theme I’d write for it in the event that they made an anime adaptation. When it was truly determined that I’d be the one creating the theme for the present, I used to be overjoyed. I’d been serious about what sort of music I’d write earlier than anybody had even introduced up the opportunity of my truly writing it.
What do you want about Chainsaw Man?
Yonezu: Within the comedian, demons are always hurting folks in grotesque methods. The world it depicts is a really critical one, however the central character, Denji, is, how ought to I say this…simply an fool. Denji’s presence turns this unfavourable surroundings and critical story right into a comedy. That makes it actually enjoyable. It’s a couple of man with no schooling working actually diligently and severely and simply making a complete mess of issues. I’d by no means seen something like that earlier than, and it’s simply pleasant.
You stated that even earlier than you had been approached, you’d been serious about what sort of music you’d create. What had been your first concepts?
Yonezu: First, I wished to go together with drum and bass. There’s nonetheless a little bit of that in “KICK BACK,” however throughout the demo stage it was loopy drums with lengthy synth phrases, true drum and bass model.
How did you begin truly going about writing the music?
Yonezu: I began by assembly the director and the folks on the anime manufacturing finish. I keep in mind the director asking that I “make the music like a curler coaster.” A lot of transitions, with dramatic adjustments between components, so it felt like totally different songs. A music with huge variations between the highs and lows. He wished a music that will fling you round, and earlier than you knew it the music would have ended. At first, it felt like he was speaking about one thing actually tough, however after I thought of it extra, I noticed that the phrase he used, tencho, could possibly be used to consult with each a change of key and in addition to a change within the tone of the music. I didn’t know which one he was asking for, so I made a decision to do each.
Chainsaw Man may be checked out from every kind of various instructions. Which features of it did you attempt to categorical by way of music?
Yonezu: The factor that jumps out at you first about Chainsaw Man is its grotesqueness. Denji rips aside every kind of issues and kills devils in gory methods, and people blood-spattered depictions stand out. Since I used to be writing the opening theme, I assumed it could be good to make a music that unfolds Chainsaw Man and supplies an outline of the story.
Additionally, Chainsaw Man‘s story is one among betrayal after betrayal, and on the coronary heart of this story you might have this entire fool, Denji. It always skates the road, teetering on the sting of utterly breaking down with this actually pop sensibility. It’s a very thrilling comedian, so I assumed it could be nice to precise that really feel within the music.
“KICK BACK” has a line, “Doryoku, Mirai, A Stunning Star” (“Arduous Work, Future, A Stunning Star”) that’s from the Morning Musume. Track, “So Da! We’re ALIVE.” What gave you that concept?
Yonezu: Pure instinct. I don’t know why, however I simply wished to do it. I had my coronary heart set on utilizing that line it doesn’t matter what.
The music got here out within the 12 months 2000. Did you take heed to it again when it was new?
Yonezu: Sure. It was the music of my era, so I listened to it lots after I was in elementary college. Throughout the refrain of “So Da! We’re ALIVE,” they sing “Shiawase ni naritai” (“I need to be completely happy”). The way in which they sing it’s like “Shi—yawase.” That basically jumped out at me after I was a child. As a substitute of saying it “shiawase,” they pronounced it “shiyawase.” Typically when my pals and I had been enjoying, we’d simply sing that half at one another, and it actually made a robust impression. Once I began engaged on the opening theme to Chainsaw Man, I remembered that. As soon as these two issues linked, the remainder flowed sooner. I listened to the Morning Musume. music once more and I used to be like “It’s gotta be this.” If I used to be going to put in writing the opening theme for Chainsaw Man, I needed to pattern this, there have been no two methods about it.
The refrain has lyrics like “fill it up with happiness” and “fill it up with luck.” Would you say that “happiness” is a key phrase?
Yonezu: Denji was born in simply dire circumstances, and I believe when individuals are confronted with that form of misfortune, they cease serious about specifics. It’s extra like “I simply need to be completely happy.” They don’t suppose so far as “Nicely then, what ought to I do to develop into completely happy?” That’s why I felt I wanted to go together with easy phrases like “happiness” and “luck.”
You and Daiki Tsuneta labored collectively on the association of the music. You two have lengthy been shut pals, however what led you to engaged on this music collectively?
Yonezu: As soon as, when Daiki and I had been consuming collectively, we obtained to speaking about Chainsaw Man, and we had been like “It’s superior! What an amazing comedian!” At some point, after they approached me to put in writing the opening theme, I went consuming with Daiki once more, and I stated, “Hey, come to think about it, I’m doing the music for Chainsaw Man. Do you need to do it collectively?” It was a very informal course of that result in the collaboration.
What essence did Tsuneta add to the music?
Yonezu: I used to be actually impressed with him but once more. My demo took a stoic drum and bass strategy, however he gave it an additional increase by including a tough, hoodlum-like really feel.
KICK BACK is already creating fairly a stir in Japan and abroad. What are your emotions on reactions to it, together with its exercise within the charts?
Yonezu: I’m completely happy to see it. Above all else, I believe Chainsaw Man is great. The opening animation, particularly — I’d say it’s the perfect of any anime I’ve ever seen.
I’m positive that there are folks abroad who’ve realized the title “Kenshi Yonezu” because of this. You, as an artist, have been extremely influenced by younger grownup comedian and animation tradition. I believe one of many notable options about fashionable Japanese popular culture is having musicians such as you writing the theme songs for anime. What do you suppose you’ve taken from younger grownup comedian and animation tradition? What features of that tradition do you keep it up in your self and your work?
Yonezu: I’d initially wished to be a comic book creator. It’s not a lot a case of comics influencing a musician as somebody who wished to be a comic book artist however ended up being a musician as a substitute. So, inside me, I nonetheless have that baby, that pre-teen, that wished to be a comic book creator. I drew comics since I used to be little, however then I switched to music, so I’ve by no means actually skilled failure in my comedian aspirations. If I’d actually tried to develop into a comic book creator, I’d have had every kind of various experiences. Perhaps I’d have introduced my creations in to an editor, who would level out issues and points, and I’d suppose, “I suppose I simply don’t have any expertise relating to comics.” However I’ve by no means skilled that, so there’s nonetheless part of me that thinks that perhaps I am a comic book creator — that perhaps I’d be higher at comics than at music. I don’t really feel like a musician that was influenced by comics, however extra like somebody who has saved writing music as if he had been writing comics. So the 2 are tied up actually tightly collectively.
You drew the Chainsaw Man illustration on the art work of the only. What that means or concepts went into it?
Yonezu: The primary model had three figures on it — Denji, Aki Hayakawa, and Energy. However after I seemed on the completed model, I assumed, “No, that’s not proper.” So then I made a decision to go together with a film poster-like visible, which is what led to the ultimate jacket illustration. The composition, with the arm, was influenced by the poster for Parasite. On the Parasite poster, there are these legs jutting into the poster from the facet. I just like the disturbing really feel that creates. Once I utilized that sense of disquiet, that cool tone, and that feeling of miserableness to Chainsaw Man, the jacket illustration is what got here out.
What are your emotions on the model Tatsuki Fujimoto makes use of in Chainsaw Man?
Yonezu: There are parts of the story that basically evoke sympathy. Partly as a result of we’re across the identical age, I really feel like we’ve seen comparable issues in our lives. He has a tremendous creativeness, and the creative capability to carry all of it to life. He creates issues that solely he might. I believe he’s a uncommon genius.
–This interview Tomonori Shiba first appeared on Billboard Japan.