Zy 38: Ryutaro Arimura (Plastic Tree)

interview - 18.02.2008 23:00

After a decade...what's comin' next?

Plastic Tree performed their first one-man live at Budokan in September 2007, commemorating the 10th anniversary of their debut. (Their live DVD, ZERO, is on sale now.) Following that, they did a world tour followed by a domestic tour. On December 30th they performed their annual live at C.C.Lemon Hall and also appeared in a New Year's Eve live event, leaving them little time for breaks throughout 2007. We can also look forward to seeing them in the "stylish wave ILLUSION'08 vol.1-2" event on January 20th 2008. In this interview, we asked vocalist Ryutarou Arimura, as representative of the band, about 2007 and the prospects for 2008.

First of all, let's look back over 2007, the 10th anniversary of your debut. You did the Budokan live on September 8th. When was this live officially determined?

Ryutaro: It was March 5th.

In some ways 2007 started for you there, didn't it?

Ryutaro: I think so. Well, it was our 10th anniversary actually, but in the first half of the year we were not in the mood to commemorate it. It was a time when we were soul searching as a band, so it was quite a hard time.

What do you mean?

Ryutaro: How can I say...it was like our very existence was being tested. No so much to others, but more to ourselves. And that covered just about everything, including the songs we had made for the album Nega to Posi, our art work, music videos and the Budokan live. I think we were doing the most we possibly could do as a band.

So rather than "Congratulations on your 10th anniversary," you felt like it was more of a time when you were asked about your values as a band.

Ryutaro: Actually I think the first time that I heard the word "Congratulations" ringing in my ears was the day of the Budokan live.

So until that point you were working hard weren't you?

Ryutaro: Well, I had been making songs and had released them, but I wasn't the same. It was a time when I thought about various things like, "Why do I write songs for this band?" or "Why are we Plastic Tree?". In the first half of the year, I think our schedule was fairly normal. However, emotionally, I think that was a very busy time for me.

So you even thought about why you do this band? You said in a live concert at Budokan that "Plastic Tree is a tree that never withers." (laugh) I think that statement had a deep meaning.

Ryutaro: Ah, I said that. (laugh) That is my hope. And I thought that we wanted to leave something that would help shape our releases or lives in 2007.

So you were really thinking about the band and its existence. Did you get any answers?

Ryutaro: Yes. I felt it at the Budokan live, a real sense of responsibility. And I was simply happy. I was so happy that a band like us could stand on such a big stage.

And after the Budokan live you did a world tour and a domestic tour, and it seemed like you just kept going. You didn't take a break at all, which was better, right?

Ryutaro: Well, I had a little time to write songs after the Budokan live.

Was it during an off time when you were actually making songs?

Ryutaro: Yeah, I wrote songs! I accumulate songs. I think now is the time, after the Budokan live, when we will all search for and think about Plastic Tree.

You had your 2nd overseas live in November. How did you feel about that?

Ryutaro: This time, Taiwan was the most impressive for me. As for Europe, it simply takes a long time to get there. But Taiwan and Korea, which I have never been to before, are really close to Japan. I have also received many fan letters from Taiwan. So I felt strongly that I could finally go there even though it's so close.

Well, I think that your music is connecting you to many places around the world.

Ryutaro: Now I think there is a meaning to what I am starting to see in this world. Well, this year I often looked at my past, my present, and my future like this. Oh and when I went back on business to a live house that I used to work at in Chiba, I started talking to the manager; it had been such a long time. Now I think I have had many chances in 2007 to do things like that, to go back over things. It was like I was drunk and in a time-machine. (laugh)

Was it like a journey to search for yourself?

Ryutaro: Well I suppose so, me searching for me. (laugh)

For the rest of the interview, please refer to Zy 38.

© 2007 Zy.connection Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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