Hachi - Vocalolegend

Dengeki Online, January 21st, 2010 (Original Article)

— So your PVs are all your own work too, but you started out drawing with a mouse...

Hachi: I didn't yet have a tablet or a scanner, so I figured I'd just use what I had. Well, I still don't have a tablet, but I can at least scan in drawings.

— Creating everything with a mouse must have taken a lot of time, right?

Hachi: Nah, it takes more now.

— Is that because you draw rough drafts and improve them through trial and error?

Hachi: No, I hardly ever draw rough versions. Drawing on top of something I've already drawn once? I'd hate that.

— Truly a genius.

Hachi: No, no, no. (laughs)

— Now, about your most popular work, "Close and Open, the Rakshasa and the Corpse." Users tend to wonder about the peculiar art and the deep significance of the lyrics.

Hachi: Everybody imagines all sorts of things. That people would read so deeply into it really surprises me. I just wrote that song with a theme of everyday life, but some people interpret it as being about the services of certain women at night.

— That's a long way off from everyday life. (laughs)

Hachi: But it makes me happy. Because it means people like it enough that they'd think so much about it.

— When you posted that song, did you expect to get so many views?

Hachi: No, I didn't think it'd get much publicity at all! In fact, I didn't think it'd get anywhere, much less a million... I couldn't have imagined it. I guess I was too busy thinking it'd be nice if it got 10,000. Not that it'd go so much further...

— Were you thinking of making it Japanese-style from the start?

Hachi: No, nothing of the sort. I still don't have any idea why I made it like that.

— When you're writing a song, how do you usually conceptualize it?

Hachi: This isn't just limited to when I'm writing songs, but I have a kind of diorama in my head. From there, I work on introducing the pictures and the music... which kinda feels like playing with dolls or something. When I think of a character, they begin going about their business in my head. What kind of personality will they have? How will they act? I try to imagine these things, then spontaneously come to discover that a situation like this will lead to a song like this. The melody and lyrics pretty much follow from there. After that, I just need to output it.

— So have you ever suddenly gotten a diorama forming while doing schoolwork?

Hachi: No, I can't think about anything else. (laughs) But yeah, that kind of playing on your own is pretty fun.

— On that topic, are there any songs that you've had to particularly contemplate?

Hachi: Qualia, definitely. I mean, the PV took tons of time to make, and while the melody of the chorus had been in my head since years ago, giving it form took some thought.

— You play in a band. What parts do you play?

Hachi: Bass and vocals.

— Though now deleted, you uploaded about 30 original songs you sang yourself.

Hachi: There were that many?

— Yes. So why did you delete them?

Hachi: I'd put a lot into them, but listening to them again, it seemed like I couldn't understand them anymore, and I felt really ashamed. So I figured it was my duty to just delete them all already. (laughs)

— And you began making songs sung by Hatsune Miku. Did you originally use Miku wanting female vocals?

Hachi: That was one reason, but the main one was that I had upgraded my PC. Until then, I'd been dealing with astoundingly terrible specs and could barely go on the internet, so I could hardly do anything. But when I got a new PC, all that changed, things were so much more agreeable. And feeling like I could do anything, I was introduced to digital music, figured I'd give it a shot, and bought Miku.

— What did you think of Hatsune Miku?

Hachi: I always thought my songs would've been more suited to female vocals, so finally being able to have them that way made me happy.

— Your songs get sung by a large variety of women. Have you listened to any of them?

Hachi: Yeah, I listen to them all the time.

— Any singers in particular you like?

Hachi: It's not a woman, but I liked Sekihan singing Mrs. Pumpkin's Ridiculous Dream. He really mixed things up, but it didn't really get in the way of the song.

— Would you want to write a song meant for human vocalists? And would you want anyone in particular to sing it?

Hachi: I have feelings that I want to sing, but Vocaloids don't have feelings at all. It may be a contradiction, but I really appreciate that they can express my own world views for me. So I really don't have any desire to sing now - I'm too addicted to Vocaloid! (laughs) But, still, people singing for me makes me really happy. I'm listening!

— So far, you've only put out Hatsune Miku songs, but have you thought about any other Vocaloids?

Hachi: I want to try using Megurine Luka. Her English is supposed to be pretty good, so I thought I might check out her English pronunciation.

— Any particular plans for her?

Hachi: No. I'm broke. (laughs)

— With such popular songs, you must have had people asking you to contribute to collaboration CDs. What was your first contribution to a major CD?

Hachi: That was EXIT TUNES's Supernova.

— When you were first talking about it, how did it feel?

Hachi: I was like, "really, me?" I felt that I stood alone, and thought that I maybe shouldn't go along. I didn't exactly have any "feelings" about it, though... Anyway, songmaking for me is like an extension of playing, so I figured it was fine. Even so, just like when I upload a song and have to pick out the thumbnail, I started to feel the tension rising. (laughs)

— Afterward, you contributed "Close and Open, the Rakshasa and the Corpse" to the same EXIT TUNES's "Vocalolegend." Did you feel the same way then?

Hachi: I had more or less the same feelings of excitement, but... well, not quite. (laughs)

— Both CDs were compilation albums with contributions from countless other Vocaloid producers. Do you listen to their songs?

Hachi: Oh, I definitely do. I really like Furukawa-P in particular. He just seems to have something other people don't.

— Is there anyone you secretly consider a rival?

Hachi: Well, I don't have any reason for rivalries, but when I first started uploading Vocaloid songs, I was really worried about wowaka, who popped up at around the same time. He gave me a different feeling than other people did, too.

— Worried that you were contemporaries? (laughs)

Hachi: Like you wouldn't believe! (laughs)

— Lastly, a word for the fans.

Hachi: Thanks for always listening. I'll keep putting out songs, so I'd just appreciate your encouragement.

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