fhána Interview - You Asked and They Answered!

About fhána

Aphoto_fhana_8thSG_main
You might know them as the masterminds behind some of our favorites anime openings and endings. We were extremely impressed when we first listened to Uchoten Kazoku ending theme, then we sang along their Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz! and Comet Lucifer opening themes, and now we are crazily in love with their most recent song “If We Could Weave Rainbows” which is featured as the opening theme for the winter 2016 anime series Haruchika: Haruta and Chika Enjoy Their Youth.

We are so excited to announce that the four members of fhána, one of the hottest J-pop bands, answered the questions posted by their fans here at Honey’s Anime.

For more information: http://fhana.jp/
fhana-satou-prof

Junichi Sato

composition and synthesizers

fhana-towana

towana

vocals

fhana-kevin-prof

kevin mitsunaga

composition and samplers

fhana-yuxuki

yuxuki waga

composition and guitars

Earlier this year we asked our readers to ask fhána themselves for an exclusive interview with the band members. We compiled 10 questions from fans around the world, and each member of fhána responded to all of them!

Read below what Sato, yuxuki, kevin and towana have to say about their creative process, performing live, band dynamics and of course about their favorite anime series and upcoming projects.

ABOUT MUSIC INSPIRATION and CREATION

Q1

Hwaaa thanks for this opportunity.
I'm sure it's really appreciated by all of us ! (❁´▽`❁)*✲

When you're composing songs, is there anything in particular you look to get inspired? Like for example, feelings or a scenery?

σ(≧ε≦σ) ♡ from Canada

fhana-satou-prof
"The moment the idea of the song pops up can be when I look at the piano, I think carefully as my fingers start playing, reflexively. And by the piece I’m playing, I pick up fragments from it, and brush it up. Another way could be when I’m relaxing in an onsen, while I’m traveling in a bullet train, or it could be while I’m talking with the other fhána members through Skype, there’re lots of ways.

When I’m trying to be inspired, I try to find it through ordinary life, paying more attention to everything that happens around me. I give myself opportunities to think about songs I’ll make in the future. By letting myself think about the songs very often, I think that my personal memories and the fragments will cause a chemical reaction, solidifying the idea of a song.

This doesn’t only apply to music, but making something is mostly about the concept, or the theme. Finding the concept takes a huge amount of time, and once the concept of a song is found, half of it’s done.

This is why creating a song for an anime was easier than others. The theme of the song is there for me to work on, which makes life easier. People say “Limitation is the mother of innovation” and I think this is spot on.

In the case of original songs for an album, it is really hard to decide the melody of the song, and takes a lot of time. If I compose a melody by how I feel in that moment, I won’t be able to control the song, so for any song, I create a theme, and I compose based on that theme. Once I’ve got into the song, and the idea for the theme is complete, then I solidify all the ideas into a song"

fhana-yuxuki
"Music affects me quite a lot, and all sorts of music affects me, from the music that I listen everyday to songs that are unfamiliar to me. Anything, such as my ordinary life affects me quite a lot, everything is a seed which could blossom into ideas to make music"

fhana-kevin-prof
"Visible things inspire me quite often. It could be landscapes or videos. Even when I’m composing, beautiful landscapes pop up in my head"

fhana-towana
"When I’m singing, I tend to imagine the protagonist in the lyrics. I think about his/her emotions, or I imagine a situation in a town or the sky"


Q2

Awesome opportunity and thank you so much for taking the time!
My question is, when composing do you write the lyrics first or the notes, or does it vary from song to song?

Ryo-Ohki from USA

fhana-satou-prof
“I always start from the notes. I always request the lyrics after I finish writing the notes. But I decide the theme, or the title before I start composing the notes. Because the theme gives me a direction, if I don’t have the theme, I get confused, not knowing where the music will go or what to do next”


Q3

I'm always surprised by fhána's creativity!
Have you ever faced a creative block? Do you have any advice for people who are experiencing a creative block?

Eris from USA

fhana-satou-prof
“First of all, if I can’t create something because I’ve faced a creative block, I shouldn’t be creating for my job. As what we are doing is a job, we have to create something out of the time that we are given and in a certain quality. My personal emotions towards what I’ve made doesn't matter. But that doesn’t mean that I can hand in rubbish. This is why creators need a basic strength, not relying on his/her mood.

First of all, creators need their own technique of coming up with ideas for composing, such as patterns. This will become their format, which will basically become the creator’s base. Once the creator has their own way of doing things, now they can try and stick to it, and maybe sometimes destroy the format, or modify it to some extent to make the compositions more challenging and interesting.

I suppose considering that I’m always not happy about what I make, I’m always facing a creative block. I often find the music that I composed unsatisfying, but after about a month, my opinion changes.
If I’m to create something as a hobby, or if I don’t have a time limit to think, I would probably think for a very long time. As time goes by, lots of bits and pieces will eventually combine to create a piece I will be proud of.

When you face a creative block and stop composing and playing music, you have to find a way to refresh, there is this phenomenon when you tend to get out of the creative block because the brain sorts all the information, refresh itself, so that all the fragments that has been left around will combine smoothly.
Unfortunately, we can’t spend much time on each creative block, so this is again where the format comes in to help us. I spend lots of time thinking up with the fragments, and combine them to make the song”

fhana-yuxuki
“There is a moment when I can’t feel proud of what I’m making, so then I step back from composing, and play, read, input lots of things, and hopefully find an opportunity to start creating something again. When I’m facing a creative block, I think that the worst thing I can do is to continue working, therefore I think that stepping back to refresh is the most important thing to do while facing a creative block”

fhana-kevin-prof
“Whatever I make, there are moments when I can’t agree with myself. Then, I always try to think about something I like or something beautiful. I sometimes re-watch some of the anime that I liked. Most of all, I think that going away from work is quite important”

fhana-towana
“Just go away from it. Don’t think too hard, because just trying to work it out won’t help”

ABOUT ANIME

Q4

This is so exciting, thank you fhána!
Also, if you guys had the chance to write and perform a new OP theme for any anime that you wish, which anime would that be?

Santiago from Argentina

fhana-satou-prof
“Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”

fhana-yuxuki
“ARIA”

fhana-kevin-prof
“ARIA, Planetes, and Dennou Coil”

fhana-towana
“ARIA”



Q5

Hello, I appreciate the time you guys are taking to answer our questions.
My question is, apart from the anime that you've performed theme songs for, what anime in particular do you enjoy watching when you have the chance?

Ian Williams from USA

fhana-satou-prof
“Royal Space Force: The wings of Honneamise, Naushika of the valley of the wind, Castle in the sky, Kiki’s delivery service, Porco Rosso, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Patlabor 2: The Movie, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, CLANNAD, Toradora!, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, and Subete ga f ni naru”

fhana-yuxuki
“ARIA, CLANNAD, THE IDOLM@STER”

fhana-kevin-prof
“ARIA, CLANNAD, Ghost in the shell, Eureka Seven, Planetes, Dennou Coil"

fhana-towana
“SHIROBAKO, ARIA"


ABOUT THE BAND DYNAMICS

Q6

Which artists are your inspiration to make music these days?

NualphaJPN from Canada

fhana-satou-prof
“Not what I’ve been listening to recently but my very first favorites are: Yellow Magic Orchestra, FLIPPER’S GUITAR, Kenji Ozawa, The Smashing Pumpkins, or from “Y’s” or Sorcerian, old game music from Nihon Falcom Corporation".

fhana-yuxuki
“The 1975, Yes, XTC, Broken Social Scene, Built to Spill”

fhana-kevin-prof
“Cornelius, Shuta Hasunuma, Miyauchi Yuri, Koshi Miura (Kuchiroro)"

fhana-towana
“Ringo Sheena"



Q7

Working in a team must be difficult,
especially when there are differences in opinions and ideas.
If disagreements happen among the members, how do you tackle a song?
How do you guys settle how the song it’s going to be?
Do you guys vote or what?

Ingo from Malaysia

fhana-satou-prof
“Eventually, I will decide. I do listen to other’s opinions for reference, but deciding something creative by the majority election is very stupid. This is a common belief, but if there are multiple opinions, an opinion between the 2 will be too weak, as it kills the characteristics of the 2 opinions, for example A and B, combining the 2 won’t be as strong as only 1 used to be, therefore we have to choose either A or B, or create a completely new idea C, after being inspired by A and B. If idea C is better than A and B, I would choose C. Eventually, someone has to take the responsibility to decide something, so I decide something. But obviously, I don’t force the members to my opinion, I do explain why I picked that idea. If it’s about deciding an event or an action, the majority election would be the most suitable.”

fhana-yuxuki
“The composer is different from each song, so we usually treasure the composer’s opinion. We decide together if there are 2 members saying, This has to be like this!”

fhana-kevin-prof
“We decide the song based on the opinion of the composer of the song, if I come up with an idea I propose it to the other members, which is why our opinions don’t clash and we don’fight often.”

fhana-towana
“We talk together to decide"


ABOUT LIVE SHOWS and WHILE PERFORMING

Q8

I love Wonder Stella, such an addictive song! towana-chan, kawaii desho!
This is a great opportunity to ask what I've always wanted to ask. Thanks!
When you play and sing a song made for an anime series, do you think about the anime while you're playing/singing the song, or are you thinking about something else? What images come to your head while performing these songs?

Guzniva from USA

fhana-satou-prof
“A song which is the main theme of an anime, still is fhána’s own original song, with it’s own story. So therefore, when we play the song, I think about the song itself, not the anime. During a live show, I usually enjoy the atmosphere and the harmony in the stadium, and this is basically what I think about. I could be sunk into the song being emotional, or think calm and think about what we can offer to the fans in front of us”
fhana-yuxuki
“I don’t really think about the anime, I think about the song, and enjoy the fact that we are playing together as a band”

fhana-kevin-prof
“When I’m composing the song, I only think about the anime, but when I’m playing the song, I only think about the fans in front of us, and nothing else”

fhana-towana
“I enjoy watching the reactions that the fans give us, and watching the other members playing their part while I sing"



Q9

I'm looking forward to going to fhána's live in Japan! Can't wait XD
Thank you for giving us a great opportunity to ask questions to fhána!
fhána is my favorite band and I really love their songs♡
I also want to hear about the live show in Atlanta (I went there and it was a great show!). What were your impressions about performing in a foreign country?

Kana from USA

fhana-satou-prof
“Both fans in Japan and Atlanta were very energetic, but the fans and staff in Atlanta were more kind and calm. Although the language and the culture are different, I felt that music and anime could be understood which made me happy”

fhana-yuxuki
“Thank you for coming to our show. It was our first live performance outside Japan, so I was worried whether the songs would be accepted, but in fact Atlanta’s atmosphere was the same as it is in Japan, perhaps better! I was very pleased about how Atlanta enjoyed our music, and as the local people and the audience were all very nice people, I would like to go again”

fhana-kevin-prof
“Thank you for coming to our first show in America. It was fascinating to see lots of passionate fans throughout the live, which I thought was very nice. It felt more of a festival instead of a show. I definitely want to go outside Japan for a show again”

fhana-towana
“I was worried about the difference in the language and culture, but the emotions that the audience gave us helped me a lot, and made me very happy. I found the greatness of music again. I certainly want to go to perform somewhere foreign again”



Q10

I love your Performance in Animelo!
Do you guys have any plans on doing live performances (or maybe a tour) any time soon? if so, where and when?

Daylighter

fhana-satou-prof
“On April 27th, we will release our second album What a Wonderful World Line. There will be a tour starring the new album. Unfortunately this tour will only be in Japan, but I hope we can go on a tour outside Japan”

fhana-yuxuki
“This year in May there will be 4 shows in 3 cities in Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka). This will be our second tour in Japan. As for performing abroad, we were invited to the Anime Convention in Atlanta last year, and we would love to continue trying shows outside Japan!”


honey's anime character
What a fun time we had interviewing fhána! We are looking forward to fhána’s new album scheduled to be released on April 27th. In the meantime let’s keep listening on repeat their hit songs.

Express your love for this adorable band in the comments below. Stay in tune with us for more upcoming interviews. Tell us, is there another band you would like to interview yourself? Anything is possible here at Honey’s Anime.

honey's anime character
fhána has so many kawaii fans all around the world. I think I should start composing music myself… Thank you very much Sato, yuxuki, kevin and beautiful towana for such a lovely interview, I feel inspired!


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