Tegoshi & Masuda Cross Talk
T: If the two of us were to talk about a highlight of “NEWS 15th Anniversary LIVE 2018 ‘Strawberry’”, it would be how we sang Tegomass’ “Aoi Bench” for the first time in a long while.
T: Because we’ve always seen NEWS and Tegomass separately, we’ve never sang Tegomass at NEWS’ concerts. (TL note: They’re forgetting all the songs they did in 6-nin concerts…) This time it was because of how we thought Tegomass is part of NEWS’ history, so we included it as a special. It felt really good to sing it after so long. And it was just as the sun was setting.
M: I feel like it was already dark though.
T: Hmm? Or was it because we used red lighting. (Editor note: The red came from fans’ penlights.) The cheers from the fans said everything, they were so excited the moment the intro came on and that made me really happy.
M: Because it was an anniversary concert, we thought it’d be nice if we could include as many surprises as we could. It was so for the Tegomass’ song, and also for the costumes. I feel we’ve managed to make this a concert one where everyone could feel NEWS has turned 15, and where they could properly see how the current NEWS is, after coming through the past 15 years.
T: In the special video, “Our Starting Points”, Massu went to the Tokyo Dome, didn’t you?
M: Yeah. I like the Tokyo Dome, and it was a starting point for me. But I’ve been saying that I like the Tokyo Dome so much, I’d hate for people to think, “Massu, you don’t like this venue as much, do you?” when we have concerts at other venues. (laugh) Tokyo Dome is obviously a place where I have a lot of memories, and one that’s very important to me, but the other venues are as important.
T: Tokyo Dome was probably also a very important venue to Johnny-san too, for his Farewell Ceremony to be held there. And I felt, all over again, how it is a really important venue to the Johnny’s agency as well.
M: Yeah. Where did you go again?
T: I went to where we took the CD sleeve photos for “Hoshi wo Mezashite”. I went there because the song’s really important to me… but people are really creatures with terrible memories, aren’t we. (laugh)
M: Ahaha. We had that photo taken while we were walking, didn’t we?
T: Yeah we were walking, we were. But the place where we took the photo changed too.
M: If we’re to talk about what we’ve been up to recently, it’d be how the filming for “Voice 110 Kinkyu Shireishitsu” has ended for me.
T: Of course I know that. I see the poster when I go to NTV.
M: I’m still in the state where I feel like I’ve just finished a race. Like, I feel like a bit of an empty shell now. Getting to be part of this drama was a really big thing .
T: For me, I was really happy how singing “Kurenai” on “THE MUSIC DAY” created the chance for ToshI-san to appear on “Tegomass no Radio”. I managed to have a session with a musician I really love, and it was almost like a dream to have the three of us sing a Tegomass song together.
M: And ToshI-san sent us a demo of him singing “Time Machine”.
T: Yeah. He chose the song too.
M: The audio was really good. While we get to sing the songs of other artistes, it isn’t often that someone else sings ours.
T: That might be true.
M: It might have been the first time someone else sang one of Tegomass’ “songs that are good for listening”.
M: That’s why I was really happy.
Koyama & Kato Cross Talk
K: Have you already watched the DVD/Bluray for “NEWS 15th Anniversary LIVE 2018 ‘Strawberry’”?
S: Yeah. But I mean, we’d know what it’s about since we’re the ones appearing in it (laugh).
K: True (laugh). It was a concert that I appeared in, with a certain sense of resolution. I watched while paying attention to the kinds of expressions and performances I was making. As the emotion of wanting to convey how I felt came over stronger, it was a concert that felt really different from the others.
S: How did you find it when you watched it again?
K: There were the fans who gave me my place of existence, and me, performing in front of them while smiling. I felt painfully thankful for this relationship we share, and felt that it was a really wonderful atmosphere.
S: Unlike the usual NEWS concerts that’re very elaborate, this was a concert where we managed to release energy and a feeling of unity really strongly. It was an important concert that marked a chapter, but I felt that it could also be an introductory concert to people who’ve yet to discover NEWS. That’s why I hope this could be a chance for more people to view the concert. Not forgetting how this was an outdoor concert.
K: Yeah! That’s true.
S: Our first concert as 4 was also held outdoors. A concert where we don’t try to act cool unnaturally, and just let ourselves be drenched in perspiration is nice too.
K: I’m sure everyone who was there that day prayed for the skies to clear up for us (laugh).
S: There’s a scene when we wear past costumes too. For example, try considering what Masuda was thinking of when he made the costumes… how these aspects are half visible and half hidden is also one of the elements that made the concert fun. And fans who understand all these will definitely appreciate how this concert was filled with the emotions of many people.
K: It was nostalgic for us too.
S: Also, having been around for so long means the younger fans didn’t know about our older songs at the time of release. I mean, a 15-year-old wouldn’t know “NEWS Nippon”. But that’s precisely why it means even more for us to perform “NEWS Nippon” now. It’s like us trying to yell out, “This is where we started~” to them.
K: Yeah. Recent updates wise, I did a programme on Tokyo MX, “Koyama Keiichiro no Kenja no Border 30”.
S: I wanted to watch it but didn’t manage to get it recorded~
K: Shige asked a lot of questions about the recording, like “Who’s guesting?” “You’re MC-ing alone?” “Will there be an announcer with you?” (laug
S: Yeah. I asked for so many details so I was disappointed when I missed the broadcast. (laugh) I wanted to watch the kind of work Koyama was doing alone. We never know how that might be end up being related to NEWS’ concert MC in the future.
K: Because we’re the ones moving the MC along (laugh). I check out Shige’s “Typewriters ~Monogaki no sekai~” too.
S: That’s like a programme I do as my hobby (laugh). We’re given relatively a lot of freedom in the programme so I get to do it really relaxed.
K: And when it comes to the two of us, it’s got to be “NEWS na Futari”.
S: Thank you for always reading the script in detail and taking control of things.
K: We’re good fits for our roles in that programme, so things go smoothly.
S: Don’t you feel like the atmosphere of the programme has changed recently? Koyama started going for location shoots on societal issues too…
K: Yeah stepping up to it.
S: Yeah I look forward to what’s to come.
K: Everyone, please look forward to it too!
K: As one of our “starting points”, they’d like us to talk about the time when our member colours were decided.
S: When we were six, we wanted to make costumes that were different for each of us, so we had them made in different colours, and those colours ended up our member colours. Because there wasn’t this culture of member colours back then. Koyama was orange back then. It was going to be either pastel or neutral colours, so it was like, “Orange then…”
K: It was like a tangerine shade.
M: I’ve always liked yellow.
S: Tegoshi went, “Pink for me~♪”
T: I did? I don’t remember anything about this at all (laugh)
S: For me, everyone was telling me, “Green suits Shige.” And we were saying to leave black out.
M: Yeah. We said we won’t use black and white.
S: If I’d known this was going to stick with me for life, I’d have wanted to think it over properly. (laugh)
M: What colour do you really like?
S: I’d probably have wanted blue.
M: True that you feel like a blue.
T: I like red.
K: If I could choose a colour now, I’d choose black.
S: We said no black. Though there’s a jet black in King & Prince.
T: Jet black!?
S: Colours like champagne gold and pearl white would be interesting too.
M: If it were pearl white, there’d be just this one person who’s super shiny, won’t it (laugh)
T: I’ll be matte black then.
K: Matte black’s nice.
S: Isn’t it better to have a shinier one? Like enamel black or something.
T: Ah~ that’s shiny.
K: When did I become purple again?
M: You were orange when I first started making costumes.
K: Yeah I was orange when we were six.
S: The first time was probably the costumes for “Koi no ABO” during the (2012) concert at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium. That was purple, wasn’t it?
M: Eh, weren’t the first ones the weeeek costumes (for the “Pacific” tour in 2007), where I was wearing these yellow jerseys?
S: Right! Those!
M: For that set, we said we could pick the kind of costumes we wanted, and everyone made different designs.
K: Right. When we became four, there were red and blue, and I decided to be purple because that’s red and blue added up.
S: Heh~ What if you added orange to red and blue (laugh)?
K: What will that colour become (laugh). But it’s also us who don’t want to be overly tied down to member colours. Like, it’s totally fine even if I wore green or yellow.
M: That’s right.
S: But above that, we’ve got colours for our albums and tours. Like how it was pink and blue for “WORLDISTA” this time, there’s a colour scheme for each tour and that’s important to us.
K: Yeah, I think I’d rather people focussed on that. We have the goods like uchiwas etc. made around those colours, and why we’ve never made member coloured penlights is also because we want them made in the colour(s) of that tour.
T: We think about how the lights from the audiences’ penlights will match the songs. The penlights are made with us thinking of how to include the fans’ penlights as part of the entire production.
S: “Starting point” is the theme of the special video included into the DVD/Bluray for “NEWS 15th Anniversary LIVE 2018 ‘Strawberry’”. Each of us went to the place that was our starting point and talked about it.
M: It’s totally worth watching seeing how it’s more than 2 hours in total. Though I haven’t managed to watch everyone’s yet.
T: If I watched everything, it means it’d be all over. So I left it alone on purpose. For some special day. I don’t want to go through your lives with such half-heartedness…
K: That’s fine, just watch! (laugh)
M: We made this special video because we felt this would be something the fans would be really happy about. Koyama was the one who brought this “starting point” up.
K: I said I wanted to do something like “Jounetsu Tairiku” (TL note: A long running documentary programme by MBS).
M: Yeah, he said he wanted to include something like that as the special video to the 15th anniversary concert, and had been saying that way before the concerts.
K: Because I thought it would be boring if we just did the usual.
M: Koyama had been talking about that from as far back as it had us thinking, “Aren’t you jumping too far ahead?” If we were to share some behind-the-scenes, during the first meeting, Koyama was saying he wanted to go overseas.
K: I did (laugh).
M: For me, watching performances overseas played a huge part in my interest in entertainment production, so I thought that was my starting point. That’s why I talked about “watching shows overseas”. ...well, there were our schedules to consider too, and all of us ended up filming it in Japan (laugh).
K: That’s right (laugh). After the 15th anniversary, it’ll be the 20th… is something we hear a lot, but for us, next year is a significant year where we hold the “S” concert after “N”, “E”, and “W”, so the four of us want to first concentrate on the “Story” concert. Because it’s the final work of the series of four works that we’ve made together with the fans. The 20th anniversary will follow that.
M: Making sure the “S” project goes well is the best way we can repay our fans. We want to spend a lot of time and make sure we do something great.
T: In 2018, we had the “Strawberry” concerts after our tour, so it was like having concerts throughout the entire year. As we only had a spring tour this year, there might be fans who feel sad, but we are moving bit by bit for the next “STORY”.
K: There’s already our promise to you to meet.
S: We already know there’s going to be a next one. It’s a rare case where we announced it in advance.
M: The four of us really discussed if we wanted to announce “STORY” at the end of “WORLDISTA”. At that time, we decided we won’t announce it at the end. After the concert ended, Shige and Tegoshi went ahead for dinner first, and after Koyama and the staff and I thought about it again after having the time to cool our heads off, we decided that it’s really better to announce it (laugh). When we called Shige and Tegoshi immediately, they went, “We’ll leave it to you guys~”
K: I’m glad we decided to announce it in the end.
M: Since then, we’ve been moving ahead while thinking of the time we’ll be seeing the fans next.
K: We’re collecting everyone’s “STORY” on our homepage now.
S: We’ll be creating it with the stories from everyone, and we’re currently in the preparation period.
T: We’ll probably be starting the production for the “STORY” album soon too. Just wait a bit more, and we’ll be able to spend time together again. And for that, please save up all your energy.
K: Please look forward to it!
Credits to yuxlala @ weibo for the scans! :)