Concerts (from Kenshi Yonezu's LINE Blog)
It's been about 2 months since I released my album to the world. The peak of summer has passed, and I hear you can see snow bugs now in the north. When I open my iPhone schedule app, the original postponed date of my concert is displayed in a faint gray, like an unselectable choice. I planned to go to Hokkaido on the coming 11th and 12th, but rather than busily preparing for that, I'm spacing out in my room.
Due to the novel coronavirus, my live tour in progress couldn't continue and had to be canceled. The new tour where I planned to perform my new songs, too, is in stasis without even estimated dates. The last time I didn't do a live tour alongside an album release might have been diorama. And at that time, I was doubtful about doing concerts in itself, feeling no need to go out of my way to reconstruct what I had already released in recorded form. My interests were narrow, and I had no doubts that burying myself in a cozy little lifestyle was the greatest kind of happiness.
Once I later realized I couldn't keep up that kind of life, I began to half-force myself to lift my heavy legs and escape those indulgent, isolated days, a major part of the process being concerts. At first, I was disappointed in the limits of my body, and for many days it felt like dancing on a bed of nails in front of a mirror. But as I did it for years, my potential gradually expanded, and I became able to answer the hopes of those who came to those venues to listen to my music. I still feel some imperfection and pain, but I could call it nothing other than a happy time, those things included.
Thinking back on the months of being unable to go out freely in quarantine, I realize I hardly drank during that time. Drinking into the night with friends in a cramped room was the one thing in particular I could say I spent my free time doing, but merely having the opportunity of freely going out taken away weakened even that desire, and I found myself thinking "If that goes away, well, it is how it is." Now that it's relatively more possible than before to go out, some of us have returned to drinking, but I wonder what would've happened if that state had continued for longer.
In my early 20's, I probably would've said that I wouldn't mind if concerts ceased to be a thing I did. It's because I told myself things like that and let various opportunities slip by that I isolated myself in my room, and was convinced the desktop in front of me was the place my music was to be played. Now, I feel deeply disappointed that I can't do my live tour. I'm realizing the hard way that those moments, where the recorded sounds on my album are rebuilt into something entirely different, influence even the sounds that come from my desktop, and have in fact caused major changes in my work.
Ultimately, I'm still making music in front of a screen in a tiny room. But what makes it clearly different from before is the fear I feel about letting go of the new interest I've obtained with "it is how it is." Even if it's something I feel is important, even if I recognize it has value, if opportunities to continue it keep being taken from me, I can lose sight of it more easily than I think. When faced with something important on the verge of disappearing due to a change in my daily habits, perhaps drinking and doing concerts have vastly different weights in my mind, but I have no idea where the boundary line is.
Somewhere within me, I feel as if STRAY SHEEP still isn't done. I still can't decide whether making the next thing while still dragging that feeling along would be sincere to the music or not, but I'd like to believe there must be things I can only create in this moment.