Jam Interview – Kazuya Yoshii

This month we have a serious Kazuya Yoshii with us. Nippon Columbia Records, please release The Yellow Monkey’s new song “Jam” already!

We here at Ongaku to Hito support the release of their as of yet unreleased masterpiece

Interview: Tetsushi Ichikawa
Photography: Shinichi Ito

(From Ongaku to Hito, 02/1996)

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Well first of all…congratulations on getting number one on the Oricon charts with Four Seasons! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) Ha ha ha, thank you very much! (Laughs) I wondered what the first thing you were going to say today would be, but I didn’t think it would be that! (Laughs)

I have to show some manners, after all. As they say, “good manners, even between friends”.

(Yoshii) Thank you very much.

But getting number one isn’t exactly something to just brush off, right?

(Yoshii) Right, it’s not to be brushed off. The only thing that will make more proud is when I get older and have a grandchild.

Was the response from this album completely different than it was for Smile?

(Yoshii) …I was a bit greedy when Smile was released. My ambitions were a bit impure.

Like you thought “This should sell a fair bit” or something?

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(Yoshii) Yeah. And this time around it was more like “I’d be so happy if this got number one…but I’d be happy with anything in the top four!” (Laughs)

(Laughs) How’s the tour going this time around?

(Yoshii) Really well. Getting back home from England felt really great…though maybe that’s kind of a dumb way of putting it! (Laughs) Before it was very structured, and now much more loose…not having to be quite so worked up on stage.

In your last interview with us (11/1995), you talked about how lyrics about fellatio, etc. were kind of inevitable when you first awakened to the idea of actually singing. So that must mean the songs on Four Seasons are your favorite ones yet.

(Yoshii) Well…on the other hand, I think they’re pretty difficult ones. If I’m distracted at all, I can’t really convey them properly. If things don’t go right, I’ll end my career just known as this older guy trying to be young.

It’s true that this isn’t the time in your life to be doing those wriggly dances that you do on stage.

(Yoshii) (Laughs) That’s true, it’s not. They may look wriggly, but I have to put quite a bit of effort in to pull that off! (Laughs)

Being both swaggering and wriggly, it’s pretty strange! (Laughs) I think it’s turned into an attention getting thing, given everyone’s reactions. But I wonder what it’s like from your point of view.

(Yoshii) I think if things had been like this back when we debuted, I would have been a lot happier about it! (Laughs) But we made different music back then, after all. It was good stuff, but it was on a completely different level from where we’re at now.

If you just look at the numbers, are there are a lot of people who started listening to Yemon from Taiyou ga Moeteiru onward?

(Yoshii) There are, yeah.

I wonder if those new fans are quite a bit different from the people who’ve been around for awhile. How does it seem from your perspective?

(Yoshii) I think…they’re different. I guess I’d say they’re more simplistic, and fun people. I mean the new fans don’t know how we were before, so they hear Four Seasons and think we’re a straight-forward emphatic rock band. A lot of the guys at our concerts now have their arms in the air and are cheering right from the start. On the other hand, our older fans used to watch us perform very stoically, kind of like they were thinking “What the hell is this?”. The new fans are overwhelmingly younger people too. It really feels great to me that we’re getting noticed by young people though…(Laughs)

(Laughs) Right.

(Yoshii) I really wish that there would have been a band like The Yellow Monkey in Japan when I was 14 or 15! (Laughs)

Right. I’m not sure if it’s because of pride or something to be commended, but I’m not really getting what you’re saying.

(Yoshii) (Laughs) If I were being arrogant about this and thinking “We’re so popular now!” or whatever, we probably wouldn’t be at all by next year! (Laughs) It’d be pretty severe. I think I’d like to be with these young fans as they grow up though. Of course there are adults listening to us for the first time who don’t know much about rock…I read the surveys that we gave out at our concerts before, and people wrote in Masataka Fujishige and such for other artists that they like! (Laughs) Names of male singers that are popular on the charts right now…Anyway, if those are the kinds of artists that our fans also like, I’d like to help them grow.

What do you think these young fans would think if they were to listen to your older music?

(Yoshii) I think people in Osaka and Nagoya would be happy with our older music, but more rural areas probably wouldn’t take well to it. Maybe I should say they’d head for the hills.

Is that why you didn’t play Avant-garde de Ikou yo during this tour? (Laughs)

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(Yoshii) When we’re performing we’re sometimes just like “Eh it’s okay, let’s just play some of our old songs. One who knows little often repeats it!”. Heesey especially feels that way! (Laughs)

(Laughs) Hey now!

(Yoshii) We play Suck Of Life because we think it still gets the crowd the most excited…but when we actually play it, that doesn’t end up being the case! (Laughs)

Right, right. They didn’t really take to it well! (Laughs) If I’m being honest, but actually you’re not being discovered by people who necessarily love rock, but by people who just love popular music.

(Yoshii) Yeah, yeah.

And with people like that, one misstep and they’re gone one day. It’s just because you’re selling well now, there’s no guarantee for the future.

(Yoshii) I’m okay if those kinds of people end up leaving. Honestly, a lot of people who followed us to our first major label album left for the second! (Laughs) Depending on the person, girls who freak out over a band and guys who really grow to like them could definitely just lose interest in that band.

That’s true! (Laughs bitterly) To put it more plainly: Love Communication, Tsuioku no Mermaid and Taiyou ga Moeteiru represent the compact, colorful and pop-y side of Yemon, right? But you’re not really thinking whether a person who got into the band with those songs will continue listening if you continue along that same path. Because this album of yours has sold so well, I think you have to at least in part be aware of this next time.

(Yoshii) You know, I’ve thought about this more deeply: I’m a very jealous person, so I feel like next time I want to make an album that will make people who grew to like The Yellow Monkey and then stopped listening to us feel regret. Like we’re saying “Why’d you leave, huh?”, hehe. This is a particularly interesting example, but a lot of people became fans with Smile. I’m not too sure about the people who became fans with Four Seasons, since they just found us though! (Laughs) Anyway, when those people listened to Jaguar Hard Pain or our second album, there were a surprising number of people who said that they felt closer to us as a band, which really made me happy. With Four Seasons being out, I’d like to form more of those closer bonds with fans. I’d like to make an album with that kind of balance as the next one.

To be honest, a huge number of young fans started listening with Taiyou ga Moeteiru.

(Yoshii) Yeah, that’s definitely true.

There’s kind of a part of me that feels like I couldn’t trust in the fact that they’ll reach back into your catalog! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) Yeah, I know what you mean…but it was our job as a band to make them want to know about that stuff too. There are a lot of people who don’t, and wouldn’t know a single song of ours even though they’ve heard of us. The work we did up through Four Seasons was getting people to know who we were. So I was able to resolve within myself to finally stop caring about doing that.

When did you resolve to feel that way?

(Yoshii) After we finished the album. And it went to number one, so I even came up with a weird catchphrase: Oricon Number Ooone! (Laughs)


(Yoshii) Your average person doesn’t change so easily, after all. Especially older people within the industry and such. And since we were able to achieve this…well I think that our staff gave their all for us to be able to make this album too. Our concerts have an established reputation, but our albums haven’t always been so well regarded.


(Yoshii) That was me speaking very honestly! (Laughs) But since now we’ve gotten a number one album, I think we’ll be performing more freely. Yeah.

Today is proving to be an interview in which I can clearly see the path that led up to the moment at which you felt that you’ll be performing more freely! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) That sounded like scolding just now! (Laughs) Your tone is unusually kind, and it’s weirding me out! (Laughs)

I’m saying that we have completely the same intentions! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) Ha-ha-ha! We’re totally in sync!

Well then, it’s true that you now have a number one album…but it’s not like you had no hit single to go with it. It’s very understandable to want a hit single to reinforce the support and popularity that you finally got from the hard work put in by your staff and the record company.

(Yoshii) Yep.

And so Taiyou ga Moeteiru was that single that would act as the catalyst for bringing in new fans.

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(Yoshii) Right, right. I guess…I think as a band we have to perform with the mindset of being false prophets! (Laughs) Those compact singles…soon enough we may not have a need for them any more. It might just be me who feels this way but…oddly enough, I haven’t really changed the way I think about our singles. I always thought of the “business card” that is our singles as being very expendable. Even I’ve always listened to them with this in mind. But singles lead up to the album, right? So I finally came around to feeling that we should dress our singles up a bit more, and use them to assert ourselves more as a band.

So in a way, you yourself have gotten used to writing singles as of these last three.

(Yoshii) Yep.

Some of your singles before those were maybe a bit too fanatical to use in a business card exchange! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) And they were printed on cheap paper too! (Laughs)

And that leads us into our topic for this month! (Laughs) Which would be your new song: Jam.

(Yoshii) Ha-ha, I’ve been waiting for this! (Laughs) It’s a song I’ve been working on ever since we were recording Four Seasons. The melody and music all came together, but the lyrics…Well, it’s natural to think “What should I do for the next single?”, ever since we released Taiyou ga Moeteiru. Worrying about things like “What am I going to do if it gets cut from the album”. But of course I want to put out something new…and so I thought about it a bit differently as “Well, what is it that I actually want to sing about right now?!” And well…the answer to that is that I didn’t particularly feel like singing anything that had to do with sexual love this time around.

To think that you of all people would abandon the subject of sexual love! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) I just didn’t want to sing about it this time, I’m sure there will be plenty of it on the next album! (Laughs) I’m a regular DJ on the radio show All Night Nippon now, and there are quite a few people who call in to talk about their problems. Most of them are pretty young people too. And when I wonder why young people these days talk so easily about wanting to kill themselves, I realize that I was the same way when I was in my teens. And of course there were songs that really saved me back then…that’s the story of Kazuya Yoshii. And because I like this kind of degenerate stuff to a certain extent, I wanted to write a song like All The Young Dudes. There was some talk of using Jam as an ending theme to a TV program, and they listened to it and liked it, but…all of our singles up until this point have been so compact! (Laughs) So I wondered if this one would work.

I wonder just what kind of impact All The Young Dudes had on you.

(Yoshii) You know, I’ve thought a lot about whether slower songs are just simple love songs, or whether they can also be songs meant to give people courage…I’ve talked about this a lot since we made our debut! (Laughs) And when you look at the lyrics to All The Young Dudes, you see lines like “Billy rapped all night about his suicide”. At first I thought there was no way something like that could give anyone courage…but before I knew it, it turned into a song that gave me a lot of it.

What part of you do you think was calling out for help back then?

(Yoshii) Well…probably the part that wanted to make a living off of music but couldn’t quite manage to, or the part where my private life wasn’t going too well either! (Laughs) I was worried about what kind of job and home I’d have in the future! (Laughs)

Ahh, my ears hurt so much I think they might start bleeding!

(Yoshii) (Laughs) And when I was able to sing about my feelings in a more straightforward way on Four Seasons, it felt really good for me. But of course there was a part of me that still wasn’t satisfied. So I wanted to write a song that delved more deeply into those feelings…and Jam ended up being that song.

I got a chance to secretly listen to it…because since your record company wants you to continue down the path you set with Taiyou ga Moeteiru, they haven’t announced this new single for release yet. It’s certainly a uniquely poignant ballad, did it require a lot of courage to write?

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(Yoshii) Hmm…I completely changed the way I write singles for this one…this is probably a bad way of putting it: The next single after Taiyou ga Moeteiru should be an upbeat sounding and cool song where when you listen to it, you just think “Ahh, this is so cool! It’s rock!”, right? At least that’s what you’d think in terms of selling, like we were talking about earlier. And if I’d gone with an upbeat song, people would have been like “Ahh, it’s so cool and exciting! They did it, it’s going to be a number one hit!” and we wouldn’t be in this position at all! (Laughs) But ultimately I want The Yellow Monkey to be a band that plays songs that convey real feelings…though that may be a jack of all trades way of thinking about it! (Laughs) And when I think about which one of those will leave a lasting impression and which one will make me feel good in the future, the direction we’re going in with this single is the only real choice. Regardless of whether it succeeds or fails.

Yemon has always been a band that believed in their own will over sales concerns…after all you’re the band who put out Jaguar Hard Pain, an album which ignored the era in which it came out completely! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) Yeah! (Laughs) And Silk Scarf ni Boushi no Madam would be right at home being sung on an old show like Golden Time no Ocha no Ma. Avant-garde de Ikou yo was our single back then, but I’ve wondered how things would have gone if Silk Scarf had come out as the next one…We may have lost some listeners, but I wonder if it would have deepened our connection with the ones that stuck around. But it would have definitely resulted in a different situation than the one we’re in now, and my awareness was much lower back then. So if I’m being honest, I think even if we’d put it out as a single, it wouldn’t have been well received. And I don’t want to write singles like that anymore! (Laughs) So I think where we’re at now is a very different place than we’d be if we’d released Silk Scarf as a single, but I think I want to release a version of that song that resounds better with your average person.

But if you’d done that, you’d have known beforehand that what came after wouldn’t work out. You might have thought “What’s this, Jaguar came back home from the war!?” instead! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) (Laughs)

I really like that song. It’s catchy in a sort of a way that sells, it’s somewhat plain, and the lyrics are pretty heavy. So it’s not like I can’t understand why the record company wouldn’t want to put out something like that. But I really do think it’s a great song.

(Yoshii) Rock bands release up-tempo single after up-tempo single, and then they realize that and back off of it to release more laid back songs. I got into that same pattern myself, but I really didn’t want Jam to be seen as that song. I wanted it to be seen as a rock song. I don’t want kids to think “Ahh, this is a slow song. It’s so boring”, so I tried my hardest to make that not the case! (Laughs) So I don’t want people to listen to it in a really solemn way, and be at the Budokan holding up lighters and swaying while we’re playing it! (Laughs)

(Laughs) Don’t light them, don’t light them!

(Yoshii) (Laughs) I wouldn’t be too happy if that’s the mood that it brought on.

It’s possible that Jam could have been an up-tempo song…because you understand how your “business cards” are made. So I’d like to praise you for for making the decision to present the song as you did.

(Yoshii) Thank you very much. I feel kind of awkward from getting so much praise today! (Laughs)

You’re not being honest with yourself. It’s kind of interesting that you made the second half of the lyrics so closely resemble something written by Inoue Yousui.

(Yoshii) Yeah (Laughs) You mean the news part during the ending, it does feel pretty similar. I was thinking about that as I was writing it! (Laughs)

The lyrics themselves are unusually straightforward, aren’t they? The chorus at the end with the “I miss you”‘s. Straightforward expressions like those from Four Seasons.

(Yoshii) Right, right.

And I’m honestly not sure if they’re hopeful or hopeless.

(Yoshii) Mwahaha

This kind of layered composition…on the surface it features the orthodox boldness of Four Seasons, but the actual content of what’s being sung is actually closer to songs you wrote in your early days, I think.

(Yoshii) I agree, how very perceptive of you! (Laughs)

The inflections are easy to understand, it’s almost like you finally managed to achieve your long standing desires.

(Yoshii) Right, it’s very…I’ve talked in a lot of different interviews about how how we flattened things out with Four Seasons. But I think our first step forward after flattening things out is Jam.

Right. Incidentally, what do you think about the the Jam single still not having been announced for release? You must be so irritated.

(Yoshii) Yeah. I think there’s a part of me that’s still jealous of the overseas rock scene, particularly in England. I mean…English bands chart with medium tempo and slow rock songs! I have that child-like desire to be able to sell with songs like that.

But that desire can never be achieved if the single doesn’t first get released.

(Yoshii) Well that’s true! (Laughs) Yeah…I’d really like for them to release it. It’s really rough. Of course the people involved with the single are thinking it will all work out okay, but it seems the difficulty is with the way people other than them feel. And so I was thinking about starting a revolution over it through this interview! (Laughs)

It’s a very dear song to you.

(Yoshii) It really is.

This is unrelated, but with Jam it feels like expression of being at your wits’ end that you’ve been carrying with you since you were young. Maybe it was the main thing that you felt.

(Yoshii) I’m still carrying that feeling around with me now.

And what’s more, I have a hunch that it was a pretty strong feeling within you when you were younger…

(Yoshii) Ahh…yeah that’s probably true. You know I’ve thought so many times…about wanting to take myself back to a place of nothingness like that. Take my own tension within myself back to that. I think about wanting to take things back to when no one knew me, and when no one approved of me. I’d like to take my mental state back to how it was a long time ago, back after we had first just debuted.

It’s been a long time since you debuted, but of course that include the sense of being at your wits’ end from back then too.

(Yoshii) Yeah. But I mean…I’m big headed sometimes, I’m only human after all. Particularly when others fuss over me, that actually makes me feel really lonely. And people that I don’t even know being so kind to me when we’re touring around and such, sometimes kind of puts me in a bad mood.

This absolutely sounds like something you would say.

(Yoshii) Well, those are just examples. But since I’m not a particularly strong person to begin with, I can’t help but gradually get a little bit more irritable when I’m writing something! (Laughs)


(Yoshii) I have to put myself into more of a corner. I like to go in with the attitude of “Nobody’s paying attention to you, or even knows who you are!” If I don’t, I can’t get myself fired up. So that may be the best way for me to do things.

But it’s different from actually wishing for unhappiness.

(Yoshii) It’s definitely different from that. So…even though I want to be recognized, I still think “Don’t just acknowledge me that easily” and “Don’t do it in that way”.

Even though you’re bringing all the spectacle upon yourself.

(Yoshii) (Laughs) There’s definitely a part of me that takes pleasure in that.

I see. But of course you’ll still keep thinking “Recognize me you goddamn assholes!” to yourself until you’re recognized.

(Yoshii) Yeah, exactly. I feel like I really think “Why don’t you get it, you idiot?!” a lot more than others do! (Laughs) Whenever someone tells me that something is good, I involuntarily make a face and say to myself “You don’t have to actually SAY it!” (Laughs)

I wonder if those sort of self ups-and-downs are just part of your disposition.

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(Yoshii) They probably are. I was reading an interview with Naoto Takenaka the other day, and I was just thinking “Ah, I really kind of…understand how he feels!”. I’m not quite as shy, but I could really relate to him saying “I act during interviews because I’m too shy not to” and “I get too embarrassed when someone tells me I’m great during an interview, so I play dumb”! (Laughs) Even though I actually do want people to acknowledge me! (Laughs)

You could understand how he feels though.

(Yoshii) I’m saying these kinds of things in an interview right now, but I really do want to be successful, which is obvious. I’m saying this because I want to succeed, but…it’s not like people who want to succeed often speak ill of themselves! (Laughs)


(Yoshii) But in the long run, the process of success isn’t without its troubles.

It’s because you want to succeed that the next single is going to be Jam, even though “Ultra Super Taiyou ga Moeteiru” might seem like the better choice. You wanting to succeed doesn’t change, whichever way you go.

(Yoshii) Yeah.

In terms of Suguroku, it wouldn’t be relying on luck to be able to go three or five spaces forward, but maybe rather moving forward one space at a time?

(Yoshii) That’s right. That way of doing things suits me better, I don’t really give a shit if others don’t do the same.

Ahh, there’s that vulgar self-assertion! (Laughs)

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(Yoshii) If no one’s done it up until now, then it’s fine by me! (Laughs) That’s my first and foremost condition. And…I think everyone else thinks it still feels like a single, but I don’t know that I particularly feel that way anymore. And it might be fine that I don’t. I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to be writing singles just to be consumed anymore. And also…the size of the jacket on CD singles is problematic.

Did you come with something to say about that particular topic?

(Yoshii) (Laughs) I’m not saying my opinion of them would change if the jackets were EP sized, but…(Laughs) I guess it’s because I used to put EP single jackets that I really liked up on my wall…but that probably shows my age! (Laughs)

(Laughs) But ever since the advent of CD singles, the jacket designs just haven’t been very memorable.

(Yoshii) Exactly!

And EP single jackets used to be so memorable. The difference is really huge.

(Yoshii) The same goes for album jackets too, honestly. And I don’t think I should really be forcing this way of thinking because…it doesn’t particularly fit the modern day. If you force that kind of thing on kids, they’ll just say “Shut up old man!” and that’s it! (Laughs) This may be a unique way of thinking about it, but it’s like coming up with a strategy at work of how to get something accepted: Thinking about it as something like “What’s the middle ground between what each of us likes?”

“Dad Rock” is popular right now. A lot of 70s inspired rock has started coming out lately, like Lenny Kravitz and such. And the bands that have inherited that sound have had very successful performances in Japan, and they’re talked about in the same way a new release from The Beatles or Queen would be. These bands are thought of as representatives of this “Dad Rock”, and from that perspective they’re covered by regular publications (Laughs) People may talk about Yemon in this same way because of a lot of those same aspects.

(Yoshii) Yeah, that’s true. We do have a lot of older women fans, after all! (Laughs) I think that rock aesthetics…at least for those of us who were growing up in the 70s, are kind of a silver bullet. But ultimately, that’s not the only thing we’re about as a band. We’re not just trying to bring those kind of nostalgic feelings to modern day, we still have to create something new as well.

In other words, you’re saying there’s nothing to worry about. Since you’re three years into your major label debut and your ages average out to around 30 years old, it only makes sense that you’d have western elements integrated into your sound and direction as a band.

(Yoshii) And that’s why I feel that these days in particular, that western music is making its way more and more into the Oricon charts. I think it would be great if it took number one, even if it’s someone who’s not particularly rock like Mariah Carey, or someone. As long as someone other than some of these lame Japanese bands got the number one spot! (Laughs)

But what would you do if that made it so that you guys couldn’t get that spot?! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) But that would at least get me more excited about it all. There’s no way to get competition other than to just fight it out.

And even though Jam’s future is undecided at the moment, in January it was selected as the ending theme song for a TV program.

(Yoshii) I guess NHK’s avant-garde after all! (Laughs)

I absolutely don’t think they understand the song, but… (Laughs)

(Yoshii) Oh come on now! (Laughs) You can’t just say stuff like that! (Laughs)

If I was the producer of a TV show, I wouldn’t use it.

(Yoshii) Ahh! (Laughs)

I mean if it was a news program, I’d get it. But as an ending for something more up-beat like a music program, it doesn’t fit no matter what way you look at it.

(Yoshii) They’re only going to play the first chorus (Laughs)

(Laughs) The second chorus just wouldn’t work, would it.

(Yoshii) (Laughs)

Of course you’ve been playing it quite a bit on your own radio program, right?

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(Yoshii) I have. And this is a weird thing to say, but I’d like for as many intelligent people as possible to hear it first. Intelligent people who listen to those types of radio programs, or read magazines like Ongaku to Hito. It’ll be no laughing matter if a bunch of gyaru tell me “This is for old people!” (Laughs)


(Yoshii) I’d probably get pissed and tell them to go sell their pubic hair or something! (Laughs)

I wonder if saying it was for old people would get a reaction though…you know it just might.

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(Yoshii) Maybe it’s more for people who enjoy having a sermon given to them! (Laughs) In terms of the parts of the composition style that I’m particularly proud of: The melody is good, and it’s a very well put together song…there are plenty of things, even though it’s a Japanese song. But despite that, since we’re a band that’s always fought to get ahead, I feel like we can’t just call this a win. I felt, “Ahh, we’ve had these kinds of melodies before, but something is different here. We’ve somehow crossed the line with this one.” However, I think this song is different from the earnest messages I’ve sung about in the past, and songs about dead people, etc. I think it might be a new kind of slower rock ballad for us (Laughs)

You should sing it live.

(Yoshii) I want to, yeah…now that I think about it. If it gets released as a single, we’ll definitely be playing it a lot live. With perfect lighting and staging! (Laughs)

(Laughs) That doesn’t all need to be perfect.

(Yoshii) Yeah, okay fine! (Laughs) I am thinking about how it would be playing it at the Budokan though.

Oh I see, you’re thinking about having a mirror ball come down for it. How lame! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) No, we’re already using a mirror ball for when we play Period no Ame! (Laughs)

(Laughs) At this rate you might as well ask people to send in postcards asking for the single to be released!

(Yoshii) (Laughs) Like a petition? That’s not necessary, it’s not THAT problematic of a song! (Bursts out Laughing)

(Laughs) You’re being very blunt about it. But if you stir things up this much…and we’re going to print the lyrics here in this article…I think the readers will be able to imagine the song by perusing the lyrics and say “It’s definitely this type of song!”. Will you start a contest asking for demo tapes of what people think the song sounds like? You can call it something like the “Yours and My Jam Contest”! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) (Laughs) Please put a melody to these lyrics, or something like that.

It can be like “Music Life”, that music magazine from a long time ago. And please put on makeup so that you look like Steve Strange! (Laughs)

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(Yoshii) (Laughs) You know I just thought about this now…Let’s just say none of the trouble we’re talking about now happens, Jam gets released as a single and is used as the ending theme for Pop Jam as planned. Your average person wouldn’t think this, but the so-called core fan base of The Yellow Monkey from back in the day may just be disappointed by all of that, and let us know that they are! (Laughs)

(Laughs) So Jam’s orthodox melody might actually prove to make it a “problematic song” to old school fans of the band then.

(Yoshii) (Laughs) Exactly! But if it gets released sometime in the future despite these troubling details, I think people will praise us for the song. And as we established in this interview, I won’t like that! (Laughs) I wonder if there’s anything that can be done about that…(Laughs)

There’s just something special about Yemon to all those ladies, no matter what happens.

(Yoshii) I’d like for us to somehow become the kind of group with an attitude that only people with shady pasts really accept.

In order to help those people as well, would you consider going in the opposite direction and making this release a triple-threat by concocting some sort of a backstory for it to draw in more sympathy?

(Yoshii) (Laughs)

Something like: Actually during the recording of this song, Annie broke his foot. He was just pounding those drums even harder than usual! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) That reminds me of someone…(Laughs)

Or maybe: “The Kikuchi family home burned down during recording…”. Ahh, sorry, that was a bit an excessive analogy! (Laughs)

(Yoshii) (Laughs) Yeah, that was really awful!

But with the carefree direction this conversation has gone in, if this song doesn’t end up coming out it really will be no laughing matter.

(Yoshii) That’s right. I’m very confident in this song, and I’d hate to just throw it away like this. I hope everyone listens to it.

In the end, you just ended up sounding like you were plugging it on your radio program.

(Yoshii) (Laughs) How rude! (Laughs)

Ongaku to Hito 02-96 -Interview Photo 10