Sphere released their 10th Anniversary Album on the 8th of May titled 10s.
After a year and a half to recharge themselves, Sphere returned in February with a concert at Maihama Amphitheatre titled LAWSON presents Sphere 10th Anniversary Live 2019 Ignition. With the title of Ignition, they start their engines going into their 10th year.
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For this album, all 4 members contributed lyrics to the lead song titled Music Power→!!!! as well as working with JAM Project for a new song Hagane no Victress with JAM Project. There’s also songs focusing on each individual member with CITRUS*FLAG, My Sweet Words, SPOTLIGHT and Partage. Natalie also interviewed members of this group during in after a year and a half break, and asking the members of Sphere about their new songs and themselves going forward.
This is the first of five parts in an interview translated from Natalie.
We wanted to say we’re releasing an Album…but we couldn’t
Here at Natalie, we’ve interview the 4 of you separately during your rest period. And all of you said you didn’t feel like your batteries have been recharged.
Ayahi Takagaki: That’s because we were making this album. We began talks in making this album last February, we met up each month to discuss songs as well. The recording, jacket filming and music video were all done too. We kept it all a secret until February 16th’s Choco Matsuri event.
Minako Kotobuki: Therefore it felt like we wanted to say…but we just couldn’t.
Takagaki: But right now, we don’t need to hide anything about the album, so it felt like we’ve been unshackled. (laughs)
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The day after Choco Matsuri you restarted your singing career with the Live, and it was very exciting!
Kotobuki: Opening the live with our debut song Future Stream made it felt very emotional. Yet I felt quite nervous for the first time singing it.
Haruka Tomatsu: Yup yup.
Kotobuki: I was the one who started singing first but, messing up the lyrics there made me feel “what’s the point of recharging our batteries for 1.5 years?!”
Aki Toyosaki: You’d think “was there a battery leak?”
Kotobuki: Yes, the pressure was insane. That’s why I felt at ease when our voices merged together in the 1st chorus. During the live, and even before that we could hear the crowd’s voice so it felt like they were welcoming us back that gave us that spark back.
Tomatsu: It also feels like the morale of the fans got recharged during the break. Everyone was smiling, cheering “welcome back”, and there were some who were just in tears. Seeing all of that raised our morale too or…of course before we began we felt that “we will definitely make them enjoy today!” Unlike any other live so far, we didn’t just enjoy ourselves but all sorts of emotions welled up.
Toyosaki: For this live, we kept out fans waiting long enough and it’s our big return but, this what was also import was that this was the beginning of our 10th Anniversary. Therefore, we made the setlist feel like “The Best” version and “Sphere going forward.”
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Takagaki: Only the four of us standing on the stage.
Toyosaki: After our Budokan in 2010, we’ve always did Sphere lives with a back band. We tried to emulate ourselves when we first debuted this time. I’m sure many fans felt nostalgic when seeing that, being able to compare the Sphere of now to the Sphere back then. At the same time we were doing our best to show the Future of Sphere through this live too.
The present and future of Sphere spun by the words of 5 people.
You debuted the lead song of the album, Music Power→!!!! there. You mentioned during the MC that the song was written by the 4 of you, with rino, who have written most of Sphere’s songs until now.
Takagaki: When we were making our 10th anniversary album, we thought “let’s make a song with rino, the 5 of us.” She’s made so many songs for us that has become treasured by the fans.
Toyosaki: Therefore “rino will make the melody and we’ll add words to it.”
Ayahi: Once we did that, rino added lyrics to the top chorus. After that, we added the A and B melo with lyrics written by Kotobuki, Takagaki, Tomatsu and then Toyosaki in that order. And then rino added lyrics to the chorus, and we added lyrics to the second A and B melo in that order like a relay. With the D melo, we each added one word to thank our fans.
The theme of the lyrics has two parts. First involves the Sphere since debut until your recharge and the second is about Sphere post recharge, or in a sense, the Sphere going forward?
Kotobuki, Takagaki: Yes!
Tomatsu: He gets it.
Toyosaki: I’m glad.
And as Takagaki said, Kotobuki is the top batter for the lyrics.
Kotobuki: Yes. The top chorus has rino mentioning “a new story”, so I was worried on which parts of our 10 years to start with. I felt that “to run through” felt the strongest. Using that as a base I wrote 3 patterns and passed to Ayahi.
Takagaki: I’m very indecisive so I didn’t stick to one. So I stuck to 3 patterns like Mina-chan (Kotobuki) but I felt “if I continue, I’d finish the lyrics for the whole song so someone stop me…” and immediately threw it to Haru-chan (Tomatsu)…
Tomatsu: I kept her in check. It’s my first time writing lyrics so it was difficult to limit the amount of words with all the things I wanted to express. I only had two patterns for the 1st B melo so it felt unfinished. But thoroughly thinking through, regardless if I’m good at selecting words or not I used words which I felt familiar to. It naturally gave way to lyrics and I passed the baton on to Aki chan.
Toyosaki: I wrote thinking “will it get through?” If you could say what we were worried about before going for our recharge was the word we would use to disseminate information to our fans. Using “Recharge” instead of “cessation of activities”, going forward we want to think about Sphere while we work on our other activities. But dissemination information depends on how you choose the words to begin with.
Takagaki: if you say “cessation”, people might think “break up?”
Toyosaki: Yes. And for the song, I personally wanted to end the song with a sense of haziness so I added “~perhaps” to the end of the words to give it some uneasiness. This song has a musical sense to it, so if you look only at the melody line, there’s an emotional feeing that can’t go through. So you can see that it’s hazy at the beginning but it clears up in the second half. And at the start you have Haru-chan beginning it with gusto.