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  Tsunku♂ special radio interview with Momoclo's producer Hyadain (translation)  
  Hello!Project Written by Emon & Kuno , updated: 17:36, 4-Dec 2013  
  "Hyadain's Garupopu!" featuring special guest Tsunku♂ (2013.10.18)

"Hyadain's Garupopu!" is a 45-minute radio show which airs on NHK-FM. The host, Hayadain, is perhaps best known for his work as a producer for Momoiro Clover Z. His Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenichi_Maeyamada

Note: The parts in the recording which were full of noise are marked with {???}. Couldn't figure them out!

Hyadain: Good evening, everyone. Hyadain's Garupopu (Girl pop). I'm the host of the show, Hyadain. This is the show where I, Hyadain, would talk enthusiastically about the new generation of idol groups and girl pop. OK, the first episode just aired the other day. And we got a lot of e-mails. Thank you. This is from Inonon-san, 16 years old in Wakayama. Thank you! "I've been a huge fan of Hyadain-san since 8th grade." I'm glad to hear it... 8th grade, I see. "I listened to the first episode and really enjoyed the songs of various artists and the inside stories. I felt uplifted. It made me realize once again how amazing the power of song is. Keep up the great work. You have my support." I'm glad! Because it's a FM broadcast on NHK, you can listen to it in various places from Hokkaido to Okinawa. I'll make this show as exciting as the last one. Today's guest is Tsunku-san, you know. Wow! I'm already rapt with joy, really looking forward to it... Let's do it! So, this is the second episode, and the first guest of the show is Tsunku-san. The two of us have each selected some of Morning Musume's songs to play. So, I'd like you to enjoy the show till 10:45.

(Jingle: Hyadain's Garupopu!)

Hyadain: It's my pleasure to introduce you to the first guest of the show, Tsunku-san!

Tsunku: Yee-ha! Tsunku's here.

Hyadain: Nice to meet you.

Tsunku: Nice to meet you, too.

Hyadain: I can't believe you really came all this way.

Tsunku: Well, I was told that you were starting a radio show, and I'm the first guest. Since you invited me, I'm happy to be here, but...

Hyadain: Thank you very much.

Tsunku: ...but you know, you're working too much.

Hyadain: Same to you! I would rather hear that from anyone but you...

Tsunku: Another radio job?

Hyadain: I want to work as much as I can while I'm needed... really.

Tsunku: (laugh) I know how you feel.

Hyadain: You can call that Osakan greed.

Tsunku: (laugh) Yeah.

Hyadain: But there's also the prolific side of you that I respect. I really feel... It's thanks to you, Tsunku-san. I couldn't have written idol songs without you. I'm just thrilled that a founder like you really came here. Thank you.

Tsunku: OK. So praise me. (laugh) I came here to be praised today.

Hyadain: I will! You know, that Morning Musume photobook...

Tsunku: Yeah, you did.

Hyadain: I contributed to it because I really love them. I'll praise you to the skies today. So first, let's listen to the song I selected. Personally, I think this song has revolutionized idol music.

Tsunku: That's sure some praise!

Hyadain: The sound with an authentic band - "Memory Seishun no Hikari (Memory - The light of youth)." I was really shocked by this song when I first listened to it.

Tsunku: Shocked how? You mean the atmosphere?

Hyadain: First of all, its sound. And yes, the atmosphere. Making good use of the members' potential... or, more like using it to the best effect. There were a lot of good singers among the early members... Of course, same with the current members, though. Getting the most out of those singing talents, and the New York sound... Simply amazing.

Tsunku: Well, the musicians we got at the time were first-class. They could do whatever we wanted. They were like, "How about this?" with slapping fingers. The recording had that kind of atmosphere. Well, the drumbeats are unexpectedly restrained, kind of. It might vary from person to person but... not like, "Wham wham wham!" It's more like, "Tum tum tum..."

Hyadain: It was quite straight.

Tsunku: Quite square*. But I think because of that, it would sound more like rock.

{*Note: According to the musical glossary on the net, the word is used when the sound of a drum/guitar is too strict and mechanical to the rhythm. Maybe it's used only in the Japanese music industry...}

Hyadain: Right. It's not exactly an R&B song. The atmosphere of the song is kind of jazzy, but also rock-ish. I really think it's an amazing song. Let's listen to it. Morning Musume's "Memory Seishun no Hikari."

Hyadain: We just played Morning Musume's "Memory Seishun no Hikari." Ah! This song is so perfect!

Tsunku: The engineers over there were... Uh, you know, we had recorded the singing part beforehand, and took it to New York from Japan. Japanese have the feeling of Wabi-sabi.
Like, in Kyoto-style dishes, you put a bit of salt and one drop of soy sauce... and put a small amount of Mirin (cooking rice wine) in it as a hidden flavor. Even when recording a song, we always have this Wabi-sabi feeling. But the New-York-class engineers are different. It was like they just throw on tons of Ajinomoto*!

{*Note: It's the product name (also the company's name) of their monosodium glutamate seasoning.}

Hyadain: (laugh) Like, a strong flavor... KA-BOOM!

Tsunku: Hell yeah! That "Paaaan" reverb before the chorus. They turn the Fade level all the way up, as if they're going to fill a whole bar with it, then kick the Gated Reverb all of a sudden.

Hyadain: It's really rugged and tough. Absolutely cool!

Tsunku: I was worried, but soon realized that those sound effects really were the key. Those "Paaaan" reverbs. They don't hold back, they just go all out. That was something I really admired.

Hyadain: That instance of Iida-san's "Aah!" voice in the middle of the line. Really a cool effect.
The Morning Musume songs you produced at that time had an element of black music, and those were really hard-core. So, what was in your mind back then?

Tsunku: Around the time when "Summer Night Town" and "Daite Hold on Me" were released, people were talking about something like the Spice Girls. What I pictured in my mind was light pop or dance music. Then Utada Hikaru made a big hit with the hard-core R&B flavor... Well, the word R&B was just getting popular back then. So I was inspired by her, like, "Dammit! I won't lose! Let's get on a plane and go on a four-day and two-night trip to New York!"

Hyadain: (laugh) It takes at least eight hours to get there.

Tsunku: Right. We had to sleep on the plane and make the recording over there with our pants on fire, then sleep on the plane back again.

Hyadain: That's one hellish schedule! But thanks to that, we now have the song, "Memory Seishun no Hikari." I think it's the greatest song in idol history--no, in J-pop history. Well, conversation touched on the subject just now, Tsunku-san, you must have been listening to all different kinds of music until now. Is there any song which is your original starting point of all the idol production you've done?

Tsunku: Mmm... It's not a particular song. I've listened to lots of Japanese songs. Like, the ones that aired on the show "The Best Ten*", and songs on cable broadcast at my dad's shop. The shop was in the shopping mall where there was piped-in music all the time. That cable broadcast played Western music at certain times of the day, and Japanese music in another time slot. I was listening to them all the time. The Western songs they played were... I knew neither who were singing nor the titles, just listening to the music. Also, I like songs from the 50's and 60's. I guess it's the influence of my dad, American Graffiti, and those oldies. I liked them a lot, but the songs that made me feel most excited were... It was around when I was in high school, the ones they played in a disco, those standard songs!

{*Note: The Best Ten is an old music show which aired in Japan from 1978 to 1989.}

Hyadain: Yes. disco.

Tsunku: Chic, Kool & the Gang and... etc.

Hyadain: I really love them.

Tsunku: Earth, Wind & Fire. They were like my textbook.

Hyadain: In short, the regulars on Soul Train. right?

Tsunku: Yeah... (
Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" being played) Ah! Only the intro is enough to make me pumped up!

Hyadain: This song, "September"...

Tsunku: You wanna get out on the dance floor even if you're eating something, you know!

Hyadain: I know! I know! The BPM of the first half of the song is totally different from the last half.

Tsunku: Yeah! It gets faster and faster. Completely different.

Hyadain: If you listen to the song once again you'll go like, "Huh? Was it this slow?" This song is another timeless masterpiece. So dance music has had a strong influence on you?

Tsunku: Yeah, I liked it. When I was in high school, there was the Eurobeat boom. It's what's now called Parapara. Anyway, it's called Eurobeat back then, everybody was dancing with the same choreography, like this... And at that time Michael Fortunati and...

Hyadain: Jason Donovan.

Tsunku: Yeah, disco songs were like that in those days. I loved them.

Hyadain: I see, disco music plus Kayoukyoku (Japanese Showa-era pop) which you were listning to on cable broadcast. I think Tsunku-san's melody has been strongly influenced by Kayoukyoku.

Tsunku: Also, Eurobeat. European pop... Cyclic chord pop songs? I like those, too.

Hyadain: But you don't use a lot of cyclic chord in your songs, do you?

Tsunku: Don't I?

Hyadain: Especially, your recent EDM ones. You know, most EDM is a row of cyclic chords if you listen carefully. However, you're making EDM but don't use cyclic chords. That's what I find very fresh.

Tsunku: Now that you mention it, I like stay*. Even if I want to go with a certain chord, I'd purposely try not to. Well, going any further is top secret. Otherwise, they might steal it! (laugh)

{*Note: The meaning is unclear, but he probably meant he liked to go with the idea of using one chord at a time.}

Hyadain: Let's just leave it at that. (laugh) Now it's your turn to introduce the song you chose.

Tsunku: OK, so... among all the disco-style music I've made, this song is classic, actually. I thought there wouldn't be anyone who could make a song like this in Japan at the time because it had some kind of originality. I recall it was a Morning Musume B-side. Here we go, "Inspiration!"

Hyadain: Now we listened to "Inspiration!" I really love this song!

Tsunku: The melody of the verse is pretty good, a little funky and oriental, but suddenly it becomes major when the chorus part comes. You wouldn't know how the intro is like from the chorus.

Hyadain: It suddenly approaches J-pop at the chorus part. The sounds of the drum and brass band are SOOOO good!

Tsunku: When we did the recording of the song--and the same goes for "Memory Seishun" which we played earlier--the performance of Pro Tools was not that good. They used Yonpachi*... digital Yonpachi as well as Pro Tools in every recording studio. If you put in a lot of vocal tracks, the computer got slower and slower in those days. I remember the singing part was recorded in Pro Tools but the brass sound was not programming, it was a live performance.

{*Note: An abbreviation for 48kHz music trackers. It was named after the popular tracker at the time, SONY PCM3348 (SansanYonpachi)}

Hyadain: I thought so!

Tsunku: So, some of the sounds are off pitch, but THAT'S WHY it is so great! Off-key with a strange tone but...

Hyadain: That's what we call live feelings, raw feelings. It's something that gives energy to the music. I really like this one and... "Dance Suru no da!"

Tsunku: Good choice, that's Dance Man's sound.

Hyadain: It is... Oh, I didn't know [the arranger of "Inspiration!"] was Suzuki-san.

Tsunku: Yeah, it's [Suzuki] Shunsuke*.

{*Note: He's been an arranger of H!P for many years. His recent works are "The Matenrō Show (Skyscraper Show)", "Waratte! You (Smile! You)" and such.}

Hyadain: The way you pay homage to black music, that's so cool.

Tsunku: I really love it.

Hyadain: But it was the B-side of "Renai Revolution 21"? What a waste!

Tsunku: Because you know, (laugh) at the time we ran out of songs so quickly. We had no choice but use even the songs written for a single as a B-side.

Hyadain: I see, I remember they were released at a crazy pace back then. Let's continue. Next up is my selection. Yes, "Resonant Blue."

Tsunku: Ah, good choice!

Hyadain: This is a song from so-called Platinum era of Morning Musume.

Tsunku: Right. I've written ALL different kinds of songs, dance music, something like "Shabondama (Soap Bubbles)" and umm... Tarari...rarira...(singing the tune of the song) What was that? "Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago (Unstoppable Tears After School)."

Hyadain: That was a remarkable song.

Tsunku: After trying various kinds of songs, and thinking one way or another, I returned to the starting point. Like, "There is nothing more exiting than disco music!" It's dance music!" Going back to the root of myself, that's how I wrote this song, "Resonant Blue." But I was wondering if the arranger could take my point...

Hyadain: Oh, that was it.

Tsunku: This is another example that doesn't depend on chord combination, like, "Go all the way with one-note*!"

{*Note: Another bit of unknown industry jargon}

Hyadain: Let's listen to it. Morning Musume's "Resonant Blue."

Hyadain: We just listened to "Resonant Blue." Tsunku-san's lyrics around that time were so... Don't take this the wrong way... I mean, the level of girly-ness is very high.

Tsunku: Well, I guess you're right, but... same goes for you, do people around you say something to you?

Hyadain: I do write girl's songs but... How should I put it? Most of them are funny and nonsensical lyrics, or member-introduction songs and such, so they're not all that of a girl's point of view. It's not that they express something like girl's sadness or happiness, but your songs around that time... How do you see things from a girl's point of view and write lyrics like that?

Tsunku: I'm not really conscious of it... but I think my way of analyzing girls hasn't changed since my debut.

Hyadain: Around the time when "Love Machine" was released, there was this feeling of anarchy to your lyrics. Sometimes it was just a list of words... but after that, at the Resonant era...

Tsunku: If the members become adults, we could write a song about an adult love, right? When they're all junior-high-school kids, even if they sing that kind of love song, it wouldn't carry much conviction. Instead, having those young kids sing a song about something like social satire, from a little different perspective is much more fun, like "...have to get on the waiting list to be happy?" or "...I wanna get a job in the bright future" (singing the melody of "Love Machine") This works, right? But as members like Takahashi turn 20 they could sing a love song without hesitation. A song like, "Maybe I look like a loose woman... But how do you feel about me?" or "...still, I'm lonely. Sadness echos in my heart." Something like that, which represents those resonant sad feelings in her mind. But think about it. My viewpoint about those things hasn't changed since "Iiwake (Excuse)" of Sharam Q. Like, "I don't want another lonely night." (singing the tune of the song)

Hyadain: I see, your lyrics have been changing constantly along with the members all this time, depending on the age group of the main members at the time.

Tsunku: Exactly.

Hyadain: So, at that time, Takahashi Ai-san and Tanaka Reina-san were so...

Tsunku: Yeah, Niigaki got really good at singing, too. {???} And there was a member like Kamei who could dance well... She was good at singing, too. They were so powerful... Or rather, they had the torque to move themselves around. So taking advantage of those powers, including their dance, the power of their voices... there were the weighty feelings in their voices, so strong and bulky. I mean it's like riding on a car of 3000--no, 5000cc displacement. The current Morning is more like a 1300cc, but back then they were like, "Vroooom! Vroooom!"

Hyadain: I have the same impression.

Tsunku: With those things, I was thinking, what kind of performance can they do? When I finished the demo tape of this song, I played it at home at a slightly loud volume. It was when my wife just started to show her baby belly, and the twins inside got all excited while I was playing it! They started kicking all around inside her belly, "Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!" my wife was so...

Hyadain: That's your genes! So, this song must have been one of the watershed moments.

Tsunku: You're right. Songs like "Inspiration!" evolving, and songs like "Daite Hold on Me" evolving, they merged into one at some point, that was the "Resonant Blue." Then it's progressing further even more, splitting up where one line of the evolution is the current EDM and the other is the modern interpretation of those dance classics. I'd say these two patterns are the current special weapons of mine.

Hyadain: I think in a way, this song is one pinnacle of the evolution of what you think disco classics are, Tsunku-san. That's how I feel about it. Next up, let's see Tsunku-san's choice.

Tsunku: OK, since around here, the variety of so-called programming music. The lineup of members has all changed. With members like Sayashi joining, the average age of them really got younger. Like I said, now they were like a 1300cc car which could handle a sharp turn. So, thinking to myself, "How about an amusing dance song?", I tried daringly and wrote this song, "Pyoko Pyoko Ultra."

Hyadain: That was a bold decision, really!

Tsunku: It's like the chicks and... the adult members with the partial white feathers in their costumes who were about to graduate soon. They were almost like adult birds, ready to take off, but the rest of them were still young with all yellow feathers. That was the part of the drama.

Hyadain: The first song after all the new members joining was that! It surprised me. It was the song that made you steer in the direction of EDM.

Tsunku: That's right, another dance track with a playful tone, but I did it that way on purpose. As for the sounds... Maybe it didn't leave much of an impression, but they were really revamped at this point. It led up to the following songs like "Renai Hunter." But I think, looking back, if it hadn't been for this song, the arrangement tone of the following songs wouldn't be that way.

Hyadain: It was really a turning point. Now let's listen to it, Morning Musume's "Pyoko Pyoko Ultra."

Hyadain: We just listened to Morning Musume's "Pyoko Pyoko Ultra." You often place your own voice in your songs as samplings, Tsunku-san. The other day, {???} I had an opportunity to see the data of "Momoiro Kataomoi" on another show. I was kind of surprised at how chock-full of them it was, really!

Tsunku: You saw that! The bare-ass secrets of mine!

Hyadain: I saw it! (laugh) It was really impressive, I could see all the data of the song.

Tsunku: Like reading a detailed description.

Hyadain: That's right! I felt like I was peeping at your naked self... But curiously, those voices were never something that bothered me. I mean, normally a lot of listeners don't much like the male voices in female idol songs, right? But your vocal parts have never bothered me even the slightest bit.

Tsunku: Well, I suppose you just got used to it, I dunno... I recall that the first song where I used the sampling of my voice in a big way was Taiyō to Ciscomoon's... daradaddarara...

Hyadain: That daradaddarara! "Gatamekira." That song had an impact. Speaking of "Pyoko Pyoko Ultra," with that full-of-playfulness atmosphere, it feels like it's quite different from the serious EDM you've been releasing recently, but I found the sound of it somehow related to the recent songs.

Tsunku: The instruments, sound tone and such... The intro and {???} composing the song. In short, it's cool, not just a childish song. That's an important point.

Hyadain: The voices of the new members are so young.

Tsunku: They tried their best.

Hyadain: They're getting very good at singing these days.

Tsunku: Since Sayashi and Oda joined...

Hyadain: Oda-san has a big presence.

Tsunku: Her voice carries well on the mic.

Hyadain: Right, very characteristic, I immediately notice her voice when watching them on TV. I see, listening to the song with you makes me discover all sorts of new things about it. Thank you. Next up, my turn, it's "Help Me!!" The impact of the dance shot version of this song... it was quite a sensation! It made some impact on even people in the world, not only in Japan.

Tsunku: There were quite a few view clicks.

Hyadain: That's what we call a formation dance. Filming with a fixed camera since it was a dance shot, all sorts of formation movements were really great, with that cool EDM sound! Plus, you didn't hold back on voice fixing, Auto-Tune, even though it's considered to be kind of taboo in idol songs.

Tsunku: K-pop songs did it a lot, though. Japanese didn't much like Auto-Tune. When you fix their voices even the slightest bit people would go like "Aargh! They did that again!" "They're fixing it a bit too much!" on the Internet. But we were like, "Let's do it once without worrying about the small stuff!" since around "One Two Three." And I had tried it out with a few songs in the albums, like Michishige's voices. So I didn't worry about it too much.

Hyadain: Michishige-san's voice carries well on Auto-Tune.

Tsunku: Her voice is often mistaken for being Auto-Tuned, even when it isn't. That's how her voice goes together with it.

Hyadain: There are people like that.

Tsunku: Making it double, her voice would already have an Auto-Tuned sound. But including the dancing, there seems to be no serious complaining about the voice fixing of "Help Me!!" at least in Japan...

Hyadain: An EDM song without a cyclic chord. I really found it original.

Tsunku: About cyclic chords... all you need is patience! That's the only answer.

Hyadain: Patience, eh?

Tsunku: Even if you really want to use it, endure it and try not to.

Hyadain: Now let's listen to it, Morning Musume's "Help Me!!"

Hyadain: We just listened to "Help Me!!" I'd like to hear about how you got the idea of that formation dance.

Tsunku: When members like Takahashi and Kamei were active in the group--the so-called Platinum era--their dancing had an impact because they had mature bodies, the bodies of adult women.

Hyadain: It was so powerful.

Tsunku: Yeah, it had some kind of power. But like I said, now the members became smaller, I mean, Sayashi is good at dancing, but her body is small... So uh... speaking of height, Takahashi was small, too... how could she be like that? (laugh)

Hyadain: How was Takahashi-san so dynamic?

Tsunku: Anyway, Sayashi's dancing would probably have an impact in another four or five years. She does have the skills, but the depth of it... I mean the amount of heat in her dancing is still low and light. So making best use of her skills, what we need here is not dancing powerfully, instead...

Hyadain: Dancing precisely.

Tsunku: Exactly. Like Tai Chi, the fun of the slow movements. For example, Michael Jackson's moonwalk is not an intense movement, but it has its own beauty, right? And another thing is the Chinese Thousand Hand Dance, a lot of girls in a line moving in sync. I was thinking the current members would express that kind of beauty. The girls who are good at dancing and the girls who aren't get together, if there is something they could do, what's that? If you look at only dancing skill, that group Max was far superior to the current Morning Musume members. Is there something the current members can do? Something different than just dancing. Thinking like that, I discussed about it with a choreography sensei. "It's not about just dancing!" like I said, "It's not about cyclic chord! We must stay*!"

Hyadain: I see, now there's talk that Morning Musume are becoming a hit again. I think it's a result of a mix of several factors... the EDM sound, formation dance and so on. With that multi-layered attraction to them, I really can't take my eyes off them. But among all these attractive things, I think one of the major factors of their success is their formation dance. So, it was originally your idea?

Tsunku: Yeah, I talked to the choreography sensei about what I wanted to do, like showing many kinds of things, such as clips on YouTube. Like, "This part, I want to do it like this", and she said, "Ok, I understand."

Hyadain: The sensei really did a great job this time.

Tsunku: It's quite a longstanding relationship. She's been working with me since around the time of [Kiiro 5's] "Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM (Boom Boom Boom in the Yellow Sky)."

Hyadain: Oh, I didn't know it was such a long time ago, since around the time when Heike Michiyo-san was still active.

Tsunku: When Matsuura debuted, we were working together. She refined the choreography I came up with, like that Matsuura's "Yeah Meccha!" dance.

Hyadain: That hand movements making a peace sign?

Tsunku: It's the same procedure as when we make a song, like first, we make a basic melody {???} and hand it over to... {???} How should I put it? There are technical terms of dance movements which are only used among dance instructors, like they say "Two eight." I don't know much about that stuff. So, I'll leave the details up to her, but "About this part and this part, I want them to look like that." That's how I discuss things with her.

Hyadain: It's the same as when we talk to an arranger about how to arrange a song.

Tsunku: Right.

Hyadain: Now I see you're producing the whole thing. I really think Morning Musume is getting more and more attractive these days, I can't take my eyes off them.

Tsunku: We owe much to the existence of Sayashi and Ishida who can really dance. They can meet almost all the requests I make. I'm really thankful for them.

Hyadain: And there's Oda-san who's really good at singing.

Tsunku: She can dance, and has that muscular voice, a very reliable member.

Hyadain: Personally, I think the existence of Suzuki-san is...

Tsunku: She has a nice voice, too.

Hyadain: Yes, having a member like her who has a good sense of humor is very important.

Tsunku: She has a sense of humor, eh? (laugh) I guess she might as well choose whether to get fatter or thinner, her current state is kind of halfway.

Hyadain: Maybe you're right, she has the choice of being more of a Puni-ko*, too. I hear she's quite popular in the world of Puni-ko lovers.

{*Note: Puni = An onomatopoeia when touching a chubby person's skin. XX-ko = A typical Japanese girl's name, like Hana-ko. (XX-ko names sound kind of old these days, though.) So, Puni-ko means chubby girls.}

Tsunku: I've heard the rumors.

Hyadain: Now, it's going to be the last song we introduce tonight. How time flies! Please introduce your last selection.

Tsunku: OK, this is our latest single, Morning Musume's "Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke (Selfish, Easy Going, Jokes of Love)," here we go.

Hyadain: Now we listened to Morning Musume's "Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke." Speaking of this song, that slap choreography at the chorus! That's...

Tsunku: Like I said in my commentary before... Originally, the choreography wasn't like that, but hearing the sounds of "Bam! Bam! Bam!" three times, I can't help but remember the slaps in "Highschool Lullaby*." "100% one-sided love" Tararaaaa (singing the tune of the song) and "Bam! Bam! Bam!" I was like "That's it! I'm gonna use it in my song!"

{*Note: It's the debut song of Imokin Trio, a Japanese male idol group from the Showa era, 1981. See the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jlk4zU6mt3E}

Hyadain: (laugh) You're good at sampling and paying homage to those old songs.

Tsunku: There are always fragments of memories of these old songs in my head. As expected, my kids and sisters always go like "Bam! Bam! Bam!" to each other every time I play this song at home. Though sometimes, they're like, "You can't hit others like that, you know..." (laugh)

Hyadain: (laugh) "No violence", eh? Like in this choreography, there are a lot of funny gimmicks in your songs. I think that's one of the reasons why Morning Musume is becoming a hit these days. All things considered, what do you think is the appeal of the current Morning Musume?

Tsunku: Well, gimmicks... "Love Machine" had a lot of gimmicks in it, too. I've done all sorts of things. When I look back now, I think it's just my imagination. The songs and members happened to fit with the demand of the times, by coincidence. I really think it's just timing. If I had written "Love Machine" a year before or a year after and gotten the timing of releasing wrong it wouldn't have sold a million copies. I might as well say the same to you, Hyadain. If it had been a different time you might not have been here.

Hyadain: You're right.

Tsunku: Of course, the same goes for myself. It worked out this way just because of the timing.

Hyadain: So, it's not that you're purposely aiming to make a smash hit or anything, you're just genuinely doing what you want to do at the time. It just happened to fit well with people's needs and you got support from them. That led to the re-evaluation of the group this time.

Tsunku: Right, but I'm always wondering if I should make the chorus part in my songs catchier... more chorus-ish...?

Hyadain: You know, since "One Two Three", the choruses in your songs don't sound like choruses.

Tsunku: You said it. I'm always have this sense of anxiety wondering if it's gonna work... or not. I tell myself that's what's good about it but... this is, like I said, patience.

Hyadain: How can you go about things like that? You amaze me... as a songwriter.

Tsunku: Scared, huh?

Hyadain: Of course I'm scared! It's impossible for me to do things like that. If the chorus doesn't sound like a chorus I'm so scared to release such a song.

Tsunku: The recording director also asked me where the chorus part was. The "Wagamama kinomama" part sounds like a chorus, but the "Maaketaku maketaku" part does, too, and also that "Aisaretai! Aaaaisaretai!" part...

Hyadain: To put it another way, you could say it's full of choruses.

Tsunku: Maybe so.

Hyadain: There was a Toshi-chan* song that was full of choruses in the old days. Like, "Dakishimete Tonight (Hold on to me tonight)." I see that's how you work there, when we listened to "Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke." Their newest song, "What is Love" is going to be aired first on NHK world's J-MELO. You can't take your eyes off them.

{*Note: Tahara Toshihiko is an old Kayoukyoku star from the Showa era. Dakishimete Tonight is his signature piece. See the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdBHp7_N3v0}

Tsunku: This is another song with shuffle beats. Kick-ass masterpiece!

Hyadain: Kick-ass masterpiece?

Tsunku: Really!

Hyadain: And how is the choreography...?

Tsunku: The choreography is kick-ass, too.

Hyadain: I see. When Tsunku-san says it's kick-ass, it's really gonna be kick-ass.

Tsunku: It's a very short song, but really cool. Like a comedy manzai with a sudden punch line, "Do it, then exit!"

Hyadain: "Do it, then exit!" (laugh)

Tsunku: Like how The Beatles did a gig.

Hyadain: That sounds good, I like it. I'm looking forward to it. OK, we've talked about various things to shed light on the secrets of Morning Musume from the perspective of its sounds. Thank you very much for coming tonight, Tsunku-san.


Hyadain: Hyadain's Garupopu! It's coming to an end. Really, that was a deep talk! Time does fly fast. Because it ended so quickly, it's not enough! Tsunku-san came all the way for the show, and this is the end? Already? What a waste. So everyone, good news here! Tsunku-san's going to be here next week*, too! Thank you! Clap, clap, clap... That's good up to here, two weeks in a row! Next week, we'll talk about Hello! Project, the new generation of the groups of idol girls. We talked solely about Morning Musume tonight, but next time it's about Hello Pro as a whole. You can hear stories of the wider world of the idol industry. Stay tuned!

{*Note: At this point, we are not planning to translate the "next episode" he mentioned. If someone were to upload the clip on YouTube, there's a possibility though. Send a message to the author, Emon, via his user page

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