Atsushi Kubo - Vocals
Yoshitaka Fujimoto - Bass
Tsubasa Ohta - Guitar
Love Lu Le Lo song sample
Love Lu Le Lo
LOVE LU LE LO
1. LOVE LU LE LO
2. Thank U bye bye Robin Hood
4. i + i
7. lovely dance
9. Good morning angel
10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
11. chu chu chu
14. double face
Royal straight flush no rush
2. i + i (new version)
3. lovely dance
4. out ape
6. Thank U bye bye Robin Hood
8. double face (live version)
1. moderate lights
2. double face
3. mother leaf
4. audio test
5. out ape
6. love letter
10. hosi to kimi
plastic dish no rush
1. Joy shone from her face !
5. i + i
8. mawaru fire mawaru
9. Circularity's animal
12. Spare the rod and spoil the child
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"They discovered afterward that "ar" is often used as an abbreviation of such words as "artificial reality," "Augmented Reality," "air life," and that makes them happy about having chosen this name." - ar
As a name for a Japanese band "ar" probably rises to the top as one of the most improbable we've come across. Composed of Atsushi Kubo on vocals, Yoshitaka Fujimoto on bass and Tsubasa Ohta on guitar, this group plays a laidback style of music with a distinctly melancholy mood. Their latest album "LOVE LU LE LO" was released last year through Thistime Records.
So if you're in the mood for some contemplative tunes come take a listen to the band with the inexplicable name and, should you find yourself in the Nagano area, be sure to check out Atsushi's club "9k jikan".On April 28, 2010 the members of ar were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of ar.
Can you tell us the story of how the band was formed?
Atsushi Kubo and Yoshitaka Fujimoto, the coworkers at a club with live music in Kobe, started out the band in 2003. Then, Tsubasa Ohta joined them in 2008.
Who came up with the name "ar" and what does it mean?
Atsushi and Yoshitaka chose this name by its sound and its looks. They discovered afterward that "ar" is often used as an abbreviation of such words as "artificial reality," "Augmented Reality," "air life," and that makes them happy about having chosen this name.
How would you describe your band's musical style?
It's Ukiyoe Fantasy Music!!
Tell us about writing and recording your first album. What memories stand out now?
It was a tough experience because we didn't know exactly how we should handle it. Everyday Atsushi delivered a cheeseburger to Yoshitaka who ate it half-asleep in bed. We managed the creation this way, then finally we completed the album.
How would you compare your music now to when you were first starting out?
We did a lot of live concerts and this influenced us to add more analog aspect to our music.
What type of places did you perform at those first few years together?
We used to use a PC to do live concerts. So, we used to perform at the places outside the club, such as in an art gallery and in a church.
Do you have a favorite place to play today?
We would like to play at the place with fresh air.
How did you hook up with Thistime Records?
The president of Thistime Records listened to our music at MySpace and he came to see our concert.
Love Lu Le Lo is one of our favorite songs of yours. Can you tell us more about the song?
Yoshitaka listed to the hymn tune at the friend's wedding and he liked the vow. Love Lu Le Lo is a song for the people who vow their love.
Tell us more about the interestingly titled song Thank U bye bye Robin Hood.
We find an intimacy with the ideas of Robin Hood and Goemon in Japan. We wish if they existed today.
If you could only pick or two songs to play for a new audience today, what would you pick, and why?
We would play Kumori day, the 15th song in the album. We would also like to play i+i, the 4th song because we would like everyone to feel love in their everyday life.
What performances have you done that you remember the most fondly?
We find the independent concert at a church at the end of year 2009 the most memorable.
Does the band have any rituals they do before a show?
Atsushi practices mediation. Yoshitaka just stays relaxed. Tsubasa changes the code of his guitar.
Tell us how you take an idea and turn it into a song. Do you have a process you do, or is each song different?
In most cases, we roughly decide a theme to work on. Atsushi works on the lyrics while Yoshitaka mainly works on the sound. We frequently check on the other's progress to make sure we are on the right track and share the status, then we continue to work on the rest. That makes the theme more concrete and detailed, strengthening the relationship of the lyrics and the sound.
Would you say you have a "philosophy of music" or "guiding theme" to your music?
Of course, we do. We hope that will be transmitted to our audience.
What other bands or artists have inspired you the most musically?
Hayao Miyazaki of the studio ghibli, Steve Reich, Kyu Sakamoto, Radiohead...
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
To create a new album. To stay in shape.
Let's learn more about everyone. Can you describe your hometowns and what it was like growing up there?
We love our home country Japan. We have all kinds of food here and they are all good. We grew up in the country which welcomes various cultures and we have enjoyed choosing the style that fits us. We don't wish much right now.
How did you each first get into music?
Yoshitaka: My friend recommended me to pursue it.
Tsubasa: My grandfather gave me a guitar.
What did your family and friends think of your musical careers?
They are very supportive and enjoy to see us play.
Tell us about what you did before forming the band.
Atsushi: Singing and playing.
Yoshitaka: I was a vocalist.
Tsubasa: I played in a hard rock group.
Do any of you have a side project that you want to tell us about?
Atsushi runs a café called "9k jikan" in Nagano prefecture. Yoshitaka works on arranging songs, including the music for contemporary dance and the exposition. Tsubasa plays a guitar for other musicians.
Outside of music what do you all do for fun and relaxation?
Atsushi: Onsen (hot spring).
Yoshitaka: Driving a car.
Tsubas: Playing a video game.
Anyone married? Kids? Any plans for marriage or kids in the future?
We are all single wishing to marry sometime in the future.
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
We wish that the Japanese music will be widely known in the world.
Do you have a final message to all your fans?We are very grateful for your support. Please stay tuned.
For more info checkout ar's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments