Earphones’ 6th Single, Churata Churaha, is released on 3rd July. This song, chosen to be the theme song for the Anime Fight! Space Attendant Aoi is a swinging track sung entirely in a whisper voice. It is a song made to strike points in the brain to make it feel comfortable, akin to an ASMR.
In this interview translated from Natalie.mu, they sat with Rie Takahashi, Marika Kohno, Yuki Nagaku of Earphones and Endou. of Gesshoku Kaigi to discuss the concept of Churata Churaha and their upcoming 4th Anniversary Live Culture Club and their thoughts looking forward to their 5th year.
This interview is the first part of a series of 3.
We thought it would end after 1-cour
Congratulations on the 4th anniversary of your debut!
Kohno, Takahashi, Nagaku: Thank you very much!
Let’s be honest, did you expect to last four years?
Takahashi: No (immediate response)
Kohno, Nagaku: Ehh?? (laughs)
Takahashi: At this point, I feel like we will last at least until the 5th anniversary. We will, right?
Kohno, Nagaku: Yes!!
Takahashi: But when we were formed, I honestly thought we wouldn’t last more than 3 months.
Because it’s a 1-cour anime?
Takahashi: Yes. It’s a unit borne from the Seiyuu’s Life anime so I had an image that it would only last until the anime stops airing.
Nagaku: During our 3rd anniversary, I thought “this is going to end”. I felt that 3 was a great ending number. But at that time, the label asked us one by one personally if we wanted to continue.
Kohno: Ah, that’s true.
Nagaku: We spoke our mind, regardless of what each other said.
And if someone were to say otherwise…?
Nagaku: It gets your heart pumping, right? But here we are celebrating our 4th anniversary since all 3 of us had the same feeling about this. In a sense, ever since Earphones separated from Seiyuu’s Life, as the years go by it feels like we’re apart, but whenever a release happens, there’s a surprise factor as if “they’re coming again.”
Kohno: Whenever we’re recording, we would be playing a character. That character’s amplitude will become our own. At the same time, as Earphones is a unit that treasures words very much, it’s a feeling that hasn’t changed until now.
In our previous interview, Nagaku said: “Using the Earphones style as a base, including a surprise element to betray the audience.” I felt that’s true for this single as well.
Kohno: You said something great, Gakkyu!
Nagaku: Did I say something like that? Even we get betrayed too, or in a sense, we don’t know what the next song will be, but it’s always something beyond our imagination. Therefore it’s a challenge, and I think the producer and the creators involved with Earphones never think “it’s good as it is.” Everyone has this thinking of wanting to go beyond that next mountain, and if were that not there, Earphones would have ended a long time ago.
Takahashi, Kohno: That’s right.
Earphones ride on the wave of trends
Your 2nd album Some Dreams has a variety of songs that shows off your skill as a seiyuu. As to the new song on after that, our expectations were betrayed.
Takahashi: For Some Dreams, the producer and creators thoroughly investigated how to make songs that best express us as seiyuu through our voice, but, I didn’t expect them to study our voice types. However, I’m glad that they’re willing to go this far for us. Or in other words, we could tell how much care was taken to make something with our most treasured weapon in our arsenal (voice).
Nagaku: Churata Churaha was initially made to be the theme song for an anime all 3 of us are appearing in, Fight! Space Attendant Aoi. As the setting of this Anime set in space, you’d probably have an image along the lines of Galaxy Express 999, but as Rieri (Takahashi) said, it’s similar to an ultimate healing voice emanating through space. Also, while it may have a fluffy-pop feel to it, the more you listen to it, the more you’ll think “I’ll fall asleep hearing this”.
Will you fall asleep?
Nagaku: It feels comfortable (laughs)
Kohno: I felt that “the adorkable Earphones is riding on the trend?” (laughs)
Nagaku: It’s ASMR.
Kohno: Yes. I first learnt that ASMR is a popular trend thanks to singing Churata Churaha. And I was surprised to see it as a part of an Earphones song. All the more so since that Earphones have always walked down its own path.
Takahashi: That’s right!
Kohno: But following the trends is how you capture someone in this day and age. It also gives the image where one is preparing to go for their next trip, along the lines of “where shall we go next?”
Today we just so happen to have the composer of Churata Churaha, Gesshoku Kaigi’s Endou. along. Could you tell us about the creation process?
Endou.: First of all, as Gakkyu has mentioned, this is the theme song for Space Attendant Aoi. When we asked for the image of the anime from the producer, he said it would be akin to a retro space anime, with battles. So what kind of song would be perfect for this I thought, and I initially decided on a Shibuya style sound, something similar to Kahimi Karie.
When you said Shibuya style, the three members of Earphones were looking puzzled, as they did not grow up in that era to hear in real-time. Did you pass them some sample music to get an idea?
Endou.: On the creators’ end, we already had an underlying theme set, and it’s not like I want them to mimic it so we told them a rough image of what it will be. Then, with the sound direction confirmed, for the musical direction, Earphones have always said that they want to express themselves as a seiyuu would. So I told them “this time, what about focusing on singing in a whisper voice?” “There’s ASMR, the sensation that tickles your brain. It’s like attacking both ears”. With that strategy, it was the way to demonstrate their ability as a seiyuu.
Singing the whole song in whisper voice is one of the reasons why you’d think “they’re finally here.”
Endou.: In the beginning, we were planning only to do one part of the song in a whisper voice. But as you would expect from Earphones, they boldly claimed: “let’s do it entirely in a whisper voice.” And mind you, I was pleasantly surprised by the complete product.