The refreshing guitar riffs that start off Light Lag would seem to signify that DECO*27 is stepping onto a brand new stage.
Having already released two albums while also being a creator on the net, and given astounding performances not only on computer screens but on stages before real audiences, DECO*27 has now released his third album and first single, "Light Lag."
As he states, it's a song that "doesn't ride on the coattails of any song he's made before," a work that demonstrates his capability for further expansion. To accompany the release of the single, we talked with DECO*27.
— Please, give us your personal thoughts on your first single, Light Lag.
DECO*27: Even with all the music I've written thus far, it's still a new and different type of song from all of them. I like key changes, and I've often used them in other works, but the chorus in this song is rather unique, having four or five of them. At the end of the chorus it goes down, but the melody is a half-tone higher, so you hear it as if it keeps going higher and higher. I think I did a good job of utilizing that kind of technique. This is just a single preceding my third full album, but since the concept for the third album has a heavy emphasis on story, I paid close attention to story in Light Lag as well.
— So it's a work that puts worldview first and foremost. How do you go about establishing such a worldview?
DECO*27: The third album is themed around "a year in the life of a boy and girl starting to date, month by month" - Light Lag is the story of July. Sakura in the spring, rain in the, well, rainy season - those sorts of events are decided, and the two characters play their parts on the changing stages.
— So the characters are essentially just the boy and the girl.
DECO*27: Indeed. This time, I came up with everything - names, blood types, birthdays, common phrases, heights and weights - and told it all to Himemi Sakamoto-san so she could do the illustrations. The girl is, at least at a glance, an earnest type. The boy studies karate, but he was created as a quiet type. Also, there's a little joke in that his shoes are "DECODAS." (laughs)
— Your prior works have more often had lyrics direct and to the point, but I feel this song seems to stress the spectacle and the story.
DECO*27: Many people who've listened to my prior songs have said "Oh yeah, I've thought along those lines before, too!" But this time, it's not about that, it's about the feelings and actions that go along with "I wanna go to a fireworks display..." It makes for a different type of response than what I've gotten on previous works. Thinking back on the memories... it's just like that summer I went to see the fireworks.
— Tell us exactly how you got the idea to go with this kind of worldview.
DECO*27: It was a lot of stuff, but reading shoujo manga was one thing. I really do love them! Even at my age, some of the scenes still really get me. So I thought I'd make a new song that brought out those kinds of feelings in song format. Mostly I like to read stories that seem like they could happen in real life, like Yell For the Blue Sky, or Namida Usagi ~Seifuku no Kataomoi~.
— By the way, what kind of life do you live when you're working?
DECO*27: My rhythm is something like... sleep at about 7 in the morning, get up around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Does anyone out there tend to take walks as a break? I can't do that at all. If I did that, everything I'd saved up would fall out of my grasp. So even if it's rough, I seclude myself, and continue talking to myself like I'm crazy.
— Tell us about Himemi Sakamoto-san, who's in charge of establishing the visual department of this worldview.
DECO*27: After meeting up with Topi for the vocals and working with her on the album's worldview, I figured the illustrations would have to match. And just as I was wondering who could step up to the task of drawing illustrations that fit, I took a look on the illustration site Pixiv, and my eyes stopped on Himemi Sakamoto-san's art, and she soon got to it. Of course, her illustrations are superb, but it seems she'd even been listening to my songs as she drew, including Topi singing Ai tihink [sic] so,. And she drew for a book titled "Love-Minded Girl"... it really felt like fate.
— Tell us more about Topi-san's role as the vocalist.
DECO*27: You could say this song reawakened me to the magnificence of her voice; I certainly wasn't in the wrong to pick her. Her way of singing is rather feminine, but she can make her voice meek or more boyish, and I like that discrepancy.
— As for the biggest change, I suppose it would be not using Vocaloids.
DECO*27: When I made the album, I knew the worldview I had established couldn't be accomplished with Vocaloids. That being the case, I would show off the good points in humans. I wanted to use human singing well to imbue songs with the singer's emotion. You need to think about different things when making a song for a human or for a Vocaloid. Many people thus worry "Are you not going to use Vocaloid anymore?" I said nothing of the sort! (laughs) I recognize the quality of the songs I've made with Vocaloid in the past, so I'm actually very glad to see that kind of opinion out there.
— What are the different things to consider between Vocaloid and vocalist, exactly?
DECO*27: They both have their merits, so you need to be aware of what they are when you're working. With Vocaloid, you're generally going to remember the lyrics. So you can put in stimulating lyrics. With vocalists, you're generally going to remember the vocalist. You can also express human emotions more deeply, so you should write the lyrics and arrange it with that in mind.
— There's the chorus part in Light Lag, the drums and guitar building up before the chorus in Hourglass, and the dramatic bridge after that... those all left an impression on me. Are those kinds of parts put in there deliberately?
DECO*27: I want to make a song that makes you think "that was really nice" after you finish listening. Not just the chorus, not just the intro - I want listeners to feel the story from intro to outro, every little bit. So often, I have little rushes throughout the song, and make the melody and the lyrics swell toward the end.
— Where would you personally rank Light Lag?
DECO*27: As I said, it's a type of song I've truly never made before. For all my songs up to this point, if they were cool, they were cool. If they were cute, they were cute - you could draw broad lines to put them into. But with Light Lag, it's not on any of those old lines, and it's given way to a brand new direction. Maybe other lines will branch off from this type of song in the future? Or will other bold new lines make their appearance? Even I'm looking forward to seeing those questions answered.
— Lastly, DECO*27, you've been called a "creator in a new era" by many. What do you think about that kind of accusation?
DECO*27: I honestly don't get what that's meant to mean... (laughs) I think the time from working to release can be very short - what I made in the morning could be publicized by that very night. I suppose the "new era" they're talking about might involve there being a very small gap between my feelings when I made it and when I released it; the songs are still being listened to with my vigor fresh in them. And in that way, I feel like my listeners are always close by.