The Yellow Monkey’s pre-album single “Kanashiki Asian Boy”, was released on 02/21!!
Interview: Yoshiyuki Oono, Photography: Morita Isoda
(From Rockin’ f, 03/1994)
The pre-album single “Kanashiki Asian Boy” and its coupling track “Sekirara Go! Go! Go!” are both tracks from the new album, right?
(Lovin) I was thinking of “Kanashiki Asian Boy” as a single from the beginning. I’ve had this sense for some time that our singles should be songs that would work well in a TV commercial for lipstick…You can think that the single should be track that most embodies the band’s style, but I think it’s alright to be more superficial than that. So we picked “Kanashiki Asian Boy”. It has an important theme to it though.
You were saying that story is an important part of the upcoming album, so how were you able to pick a single track out of that then?
(Lovin) I’m singing about important things in “Kanashiki Asian Boy”, even though it is a part of the album. And I think it will get its message across even to today’s type of guys. It’s me singing about things that I think about sometimes, as I borrow the spirit of a certain soldier. The frustration of a girl you like being out of your league, and that sort of thing. And I think that the chorus would work well in a lipstick commercial.
Why did you choose “Sekirara Go! Go! Go!” as the coupling song?
(Lovin) I actually wanted to make the single just an A-side, thinking that it was better to just push a single song. But I put “Sekirara Go! Go! Go” on there, thinking it would be giving people a taste of the “other side of The Yellow Monkey”. And I liked the way both songs looked together in the title, it’s very The Yellow Monkey.
Do the strings play a particularly important role in “Kanashiki Asian Boy”?
(Lovin) They’re crucial! (Laughs) They make it just like a lipstick commercial. It has the feeling of something like “Spring Asian Girl, from Kose”. They could even change the lyrics to that, for all I care (Laughs).
You’d go that far? (Laughs)
(Lovin) I feel that The Yellow Monkey has to be seen out there in the world, after all. I’d do that, because I feel like it would be fine as long as the image that I was trying to convey still came across.
Has this song already been picked up for a cosmetics commercial?
(Lovin) No, it absolutely hasn’t! (Laughs) Though I’d still like it to be. I think that the things that The Yellow Monkey is trying to convey are mostly represented within these two songs. “Kanashiki Asian Boy” in particular has a title that matches the band name well, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to make it the single. For “Sekirara”, up until this point I’d been writing most of the lyrics in the western vertical style. But this album doesn’t have all that much English in the lyrics at all. I thought it needed the magic that comes from the wording being in Japanese as much as possible. For example, the title of our 11/1993 concert at Nakano Sun Plaza featured the phrase “arijigoku ni aimashou” (“Let’s meet in an ant lion larva’s pit”) (a lyric from “Sekirara”). But at first that lyric was something in English. Changing it into Japanese really tightened up the song. I guess I prefer Japanese after all when it comes to the way it’s used.
A big spacial difference can be felt between these two songs, is that a sound production thing that applies to the album as a whole as well?
(Lovin) There wasn’t much dubbing done on this album, no real finishing touches, and the arrangements are simple ones. I thought about putting all that in, and I could have crammed a bunch of stuff in there, and made it really over the top. But I didn’t want it to be what people would think when they saw the word “Sekirara” (“Nudity”) in a song title. If I’m trying to express something as being red, I might as well just show it as being red. I think that’s part of the reason as to why there’s a big spacial difference between those two songs. I didn’t want to be particularly fussy about them, even though there was a time not so long ago where I would have felt differently.
“Jaguar Hard Pain” is going to be released in March, but what kind of album is it?
(Lovin) I decided back when I was writing “Silk Scarf ni Boushi no Madam” (A song that appeared on the previous album, “Experience Movie”) that a man who went off to war named Jaguar was going to be the story’s main character. And well, I guess it has the feeling of being The Yellow Monkey’s version of “Ziggy Stardust”. And because there are parts of us that are very much Japanese male, we’re able to see parts of this guy named Jaguar naturally within ourselves. Everyone can find Jaguar living within them, if they try.