From Sato Takeru photobook ‘ALTERNATIVE’
Takeru × Taka Cross Talk<5>
—Before he started ‘Rurouni Kenshin’, Takeru-san was so ready to do it that he said, ‘If my action was not good, I will quit my job as an actor.’ And you saw such Takeru-san in the shooting site. What else did you think?
Taka: Only Takeru kept doing his own action without stunt double, right? It’s not a matter of whether he is young or whether he is the lead actor. I think he’s really great. I don’t know the world of actors but Takeru has an idea that an actor who can’t do his action by himself is finished. Basically, Takeru is a little … perkier than I LOL.
Sato: No, no, no. I’m almost as perky as you, right? We’re the same in that point lol.
Taka: It depends on the way people take you. As for me, I sometimes express myself in an indirect way. But he is ‘rock’, you know. In my opinion, he is quite a rock and I have to follow his good example on the contrary. He said things like that decisively and exactly carried it out. It is not a matter of great or not. He is just awesome. It’s his spirit. So when I was watching him in the shooting site, I felt something beyond description. I felt like crying.
Sato: I haven’t seen either Rurouni Kenshin part 2 or part 3, but Taka has already seen both. Of course they were not complete works, though.
Taka: (feelingly) They were good…
Sato: Even the lead actor hasn’t seen them yet (lol).
Taka: They were great, really.
—Do you talk about your impression after seeing his work?
Taka: I talk quite a lot.
Sato: Yes, he does.
Taka: Shall I repeat it without change?
Taka: I thought it was perfect. Actually he didn’t put spirit into it for nothing. I know how busy he has been and about his private life, so my heart was really gripped by the gap, or … what should I say … as I am a performer myself. But I don’t know how hard to act that particular role will be because I am not an actor. I said to him, ‘Well, it was really a good film. You really did your best!’
Sato: I can’t say anything because at this point I’ve never seen the films. I want to see them. I envy you. I want to see them (lol). Come to think of it, I very well remember the time when it was decided that ONE OK ROCK should produce the theme song of Rurouni Kenshin 1.
Taka: I was terribly happy.
Sato: Before it was officially decided, at the stage where they were thinking of ONE OK ROCK for the theme song and deciding it would be OK, you were performing live in Okinawa, right?
Taka: Yeah, we were.
Sato: I was also in Okinawa to watch it. I don’t remember if it was before or after the live, but two of us went to eat out in a steak restaurant. You knew I was shooting ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ at that time, right?
Taka: I knew it.
Sato: And I told Taka that ONE OK ROCK was most likely to be chosen to produce its theme song.
Taka: I was so happy.
Sato: Yeah, happy. I was really happiest ever since I started this job.
Taka: Me, too. ‘The time has come! Moving with the flow, the new generation should take the throne!’ I thought. I was always talking about such things with Takeru. I may sound imprudent but I had an idea that ‘It makes no sense to let older generations keep on doing. Isn’t it the time we should make a big leap?’ Well, in fact, I didn’t say in such strong words. (lol)
Sato: Well, but it had such a nuance.
Taka: After all, though we are different in career, we have the same feelings. We’ve been doing our job, feeling, ‘Who will go if we don’t go now?’ So I was really serious and the moment the theme song was decided for us to do, I was super happy. I tell you what. I do it in a totally different way from usual one when I produce music for the work where Takeru appears. When I did it for Rurouni Kenshin 1, I was driven by a very strong feeling that I should definitely make it a good one. Of course all I can do is to make a song and provide it. But I wanted to show ONE OK ROCK was making ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ together, involving our fans. So I didn’t want to make it seem that we were just making the theme song. I watched the film many times, as well as spot movies, I thought a lot about what kind of song is the best for this movie. I also investigated about the sound further. There is work called ‘mix’ and I’d never asked more people to do that work before. Usually we have a certain engineer-san to make recordings and he does the mix after the recording. But we didn’t do that for this song. I transmitted the song to about four mixers at one time and decided which sound was the best. I worked on it very seriously, more seriously than ever before. Then they decided to let us produce music for the second film ‘Kyoto Inferno’. This made me feel that the film was mine. We were just one of those who were making the film, I felt. In short, in making a film, you need many different teams, such as the director, actors, cameramen, audio, lighting technicians, construction coordinators, and so on. And I felt we were among the members of those teams.
Sato: This is the first time I heard about mix. But I realized your eagerness. Taka himself said, ‘This is my best work ever’. To hear the song, ‘This is great!’ I myself thought. And we shared common view, ‘Yes! This is exactly the theme music!’
Taka: We did.
Sato: At your home, we two did.
Taka: At that time, I was so much convinced that it was the only song that I could give full marks among the songs I had made. And I was all the happier because it was the theme song for the film where Takeru played the lead.
Sato: I listened to the song for the first time at Taka’s home together with him.
Sato: As usual, in your room.
Taka: I played it, saying, ‘I’ve made an excellent song’. That song starts with the piano. OOR has just one or two songs that start with the piano. Besides, to those songs, piano part was added afterwards. Only that song was made by piano from the start to the end and then introduced the guitar, bass, and drums afterwards. Really good songs don’t take so much time to compose. They are made kind of quickly. When I was making songs with the members of OOR, we sometimes shared that kind of feelings, but when I was doing it alone, I had never felt it. In making songs with the members, we sometimes say, ‘Wow, this is terrific!’ but when alone, I had really never felt, ‘Wow, I’ve made something great!’ But this is the only song I felt so. So when Takeru called on me, I let him hear just a part of the song. Takeru has remembered that intro since then. I developed it further into that song at last. I let Takeru hear the song for the second film first, like the first one, earlier than the director, probably.
Sato: The theme song for the second film is also really good. I want everyone to hear it played in the film. It’s a really good song.
*To be continued. And the next part will be the last :)