Bursting into prominence together with the hit anime “To aru Kagaku no Railgun” (とある科学の超電磁砲 – A Certain Scientific Railgun), fripSide has drawn an ever-growing crowd of fans to their music. A 2-person group consisting of producer-composer keyboardist-synthesiser Yaginuma Satoshi and vocalist Nanjo Yoshino, the second-generation unit mixes Eurobeat and Trance music together with angelic vocals to produce a captivating brand of electro-pop with catchy call-inducing beats to a world-wide audience.
More commonly linked together with the Railgun series, the duo has since moved to other projects, most recently for the anime Black Bullet and game Kadenz fermata//Akkord:fortissimo. They make their return to Singapore for their second appearance in this year’s Anime Festival Asia (Singapore).
Why is the name “fripSide” choosen for the name?
Satoshi Yaginuma : When the band was formed in 2002, we were wondering what should we call it. The words “flip side” refers to the “B side” of the records. The “A side” usually alludes to the titular songs for the records and albums whereas the “B side” contains songs where not much effort may be placed on them. Since i do not want to make any song with less effort, so all the songs have to be good.
As for the reason why we use the letter “r” in the word “flip”, it’s basically because the internet in Japan had become popular back in 2002, and if anyone were to search for the word “flip side”, a lot of the band’s name (from America) or any other company that appears.
Why is the “freakSide” choosen for the fan club name?
Yoshino Nanjo : When we were thinking of what would be the name for the fan club, we were thinking to have it with a name similar to fripSide. The only thing that came to mind was the word “freak” (laugh).
Satoshi Yaginuma : It’s not a name which has a real positive meaning to it (laugh). But our fans in Japan had also accept that name “We are freak”. Unfortunately, at the moment you can only join the fanclub using Japanese mobile numbers. Hopefully in the future, people from outside of Japan can join the club as well.
Are there any plans to do a solo concert overseas? Would Indonesia be a possible destination?
Satoshi Yaginuma : Currently, there’s no schedule or concrete plan yet. But we’re trying to make it happen next year.
Recently, you had just completed the Japan Tour for Infinite Synthesis 2, what are the most memorable things that had happend during the tour?
Yoshino Nanjo : This time we visited six cities and each city had a different atmosphere. For example, the audience at Osaka felt very spirited and cheerful, but the audience in Nagoya enjoyed the concert with a quieter, cooler atmosphere.
So for me every city was very memorable and enjoyable. Even the crowd for Singapore is also different from Japan, so I cannot wait to meet the everyone for this evening’s live.
Satoshi Yaginuma : I was impressed with the variety of delicious food in every city.
Yoshino Nanjo : Normally people would lose weight if they had toured for many concerts. But we are always looking for good food so we started to gain weight instead (laugh).
Satoshi Yaginuma : Yes, and definitely the alcohol of course. Tiger Beer oishi!
This is the second time you are performing in Singapore. Is there somewhere you want to visit this time?
Yoshino Nanjo : We had lots of free time after the rehearsal yesterday, so we visited a few places after that (laugh). The first time we visited Singapore in 2012, we had seen the big Merlion (Sentosa) in Singapore, however we did not get to go see the more famous Merlion (Merlion Park). I’m happy because this time we finally get to see that particular Merlion.
What are your favourite food in Singapore?
Yoshino Nanjo : Chicken rice, laksa, satay …
Satoshi Yaginuma : Yesterday, we ate lobster and shrimp which were huge. Two nights ago we went to a Chinese restaurant for a meal which was so expensive. Along with Tiger Beer of course! I drank more than 1 liter yesterday. (laugh)
Was there any message you wanted to convey in your new album Infinite Synthesis 2?
Satoshi Yaginuma : From the release of the previous album “Decade” for the 10 anniversary, we wanted at least to show our appreciation and to answer back to all the fans that had supported us along the way. We wrote our message to the fans into the main song “Infinite Synthesis” from the album, because of the strength sent to us from not only the Japanese fans, but along with the fans from all around the world that supported us.
The lyrics “kimi” or “you” inside the song is referring to all the individual fans that had supported us. Due to your support we are still able to continue after so long and what we can do for the fans is to continue to create, sing, and perform the best. That is the concept of our new album.
fripSide has came a very long way. Looking from the time you started till now, how far do you think you changed?
Satoshi Yaginuma : Before Nanjo joined, fripSide had a vocalist named Nao. During our Indies period, we were still amateurs and a lot of things and processes needed to be learnt to move forward to become professional. Along the process, I had gathered experience in producing, to be a creator and artist and became a professional, then came along Nanjo to join fripSide.
From that moment we stepped into the professional world, we shifted gears leading to the formation of a team of professional staff to major contracts with leading music labels.
I consider that the current version of fripSide is different from the previous one. For many fans however, the current fripSide is their fripSide since the begining. Though many years had passed, the valuable process of learning is something that should not be forgotten and fripSide’s “spirt” had never been changed, but the activities and scale for fripSide now is definitely different from 10 years ago.
fripSide’s tracks have a very fast tempo, did Nanjo find it hard to sing songs fripSide?
Yoshino Nanjo : It’s … difficult (laugh).
Satoshi Yaginuma : Actually if you look at the BPM (beats per minute), our songs are not too fast, probably around 135-140. Rock music is usually much faster. But our lyrics are more complex.
Yoshino Nanjo : The fans really enjoyed our music though. During the Japan tour, the band that accompanies us are also working hard as well. So when I see them working so hard, I definitely have to work hard as well to answer everyone’s expectation.
Where did you get the inspiration for fripSide’s promotional video?
Satoshi Yaginuma :For the song that are tie-ups with anime, we try balance the PV by incorporating elements of the anime with what we find interesting.
Satoshi had seldom played a guitar in a concert, is there a plan to play the guitar in front of an audience again?
Many of fripSide’s song are used as the theme song for the anime “To aru Kagaku no Railgun”, do you watch the anime too? If yes, what do you think of the anime?
Yoshino Nanjo : I’ve seen every episode of “To aru Kagaku no Railgun” and “To aru Kagaku no Railgun S”. It is an interest show from the 1st episode till the last. I also play the character of Maaya Awatsuki in the anime, but she rarely appears anyway. (laugh)
The anime initially portrays more of the daily life of the main characters, but as you get closer to the end of this show, it becomes tense and serious and the battle scenes are also very cool. As a fan of the show, I really enjoyed this anime.
Satoshi Yaginuma : fripSide’s song was played throughout the last episode (laugh)
Yoshino Nanjo : Yeah, it was definitely incredible, Haha.
Satoshi Yaginuma : 25mins, 4 songs! (laugh)
Nanjo is both a singer and seiyuu, so does Satoshi also want to try to become a seiyuu?
Satoshi Yaginuma : If there should be an offer? (laugh) But it’s just a joke, I will just focus as a sound creator alone.
What role does Nanjo play during the production of fripSide’s song?
Yoshino Nanjo : I’m just giving voice to songs that have been made by Sat-san. My voice is definitely one major role within fripSide’s music, so I’m more concerned with how to sing to bring out fripSide’s music instead of making my own music.
Sat and Nanjou have been together in fripSide for about 5 years, is there any message you want to convey to each other?
Yoshino Nanjo : Sato-san is often worried about his diet, but I think he is now quite ok. (Laugh)
Satoshi Yaginuma : In Japan there are a lot of people who are slim, but I feel much better after coming to Singapore, there are many people whose size that does not vary much from me. (laugh) I’m actually considered a bit chubbier in Japan.
Could it be the Tiger Beer?
Satoshi Yaginuma : mmm maybe… lets drink tonight! (laugh)
Nanjou’s have been very busy with her seiyuu work and other band’s activities on top of fripSide, so please do not work too hard till you might fall sick.
What are the future activities and plans for fripSide if you may share?
Satoshi Yaginuma : There are several, but I can not say at this time. Please wait for the time to come.
Last question, is there any message for your fans in Asia?
Yoshino Nanjo : Because our activities are usually centered in Japan, we are rarely able to go overseas. However, it is very fun and motivating to hear a lot of encouraging messages on our Twitter and Instagram, and also not forgetting meeting quite a number of fans who had came over to our concerts or events from abroad, to meet us during the hand shake sessions and the autograph sessions for our live.
I do hope there will more and more opportunities to meet all the fans during the events like this in the future.
Satoshi Yaginuma : Let’s do a World Tour! (laugh)
We are definitely looking forward to it!
Satoshi Yaginuma : This person is just too busy all the time hahaha (points at Nanjo) I’m always ready anytime! (laugh) The music that I create, digital J-Pop, is very unique type of music which can only be found in japan. I’m really delighted to hear a positive response from the overseas fans about the music that I have created. Coming to Japan from abroad to see our concerts is not easy, so I think it is better if we were to come visit you. Thank you very much.
That’s all we have for fripSide, stay tuned for more from Ani-Culture.net !
Photo Credits : SM