BURNOUT SYNDROMES First Live in Singapore 2023 [Interview]
Having only performed in Singapore virtually via the AFA 2020 Online Event, BURNOUT SYNDROMES graced our shores last week (13th October) for their first-ever one-man live in Singapore! The rock trio was formed in 2005 and consists of guitarist and vocalist Kazuumi Kumagai, bassist Taiyu Ishikawa, and drummer Takuya Hirose. Arguably most famous for their work on Haikyuu, the trio often incorporate different parts of Japan’s pop culture into their music. For example,
The trio showcased their talent and experience in performing, as they brought the audience on a breathtaking journey through some of Japan’s most famous pop culture. The concert rightfully began with the original rendition of Good Morning World, before the trio closed the encore portion of the concert with the newer remaster of the song – Good Morning New World. Throughout the concert, Kazuumi-san and Taiyu-san showcased their massive ability to command a stage presence, often stealing the show from one another with their respective solos and dances. Additionally, the group also showed a lot of genuine effort in their interactions with the audience, speaking in clear English and also bringing up local snacks and cuisine that they would like to try. The highlight of the concert for us was definitely the dance interaction that Taiyu-san taught to the audience. The dance was inspired by the Konami cheat code and the entire venue performed the dance number to perfection. Finally, the concert ended with Ocean and Good Morning New World, where the audience sang along with the trio, culminating in a perfect harmony between the band and their fans.
Having had the opportunity to attend their concert, we can unbiasedly say that their fans and us will eagerly await their return to our sunny island, so that they can once again delight us with their wonderful rock pieces and breathtaking performances!
In addition to the concert, J-Experience did get an exclusive opportunity from Sony to interview the trio before the concert! Below are the translated answers provided by the band to our questions. Enjoy!
How are you guys feeling in the midst of your [Good Morning [New] WORLD TOUR 2023]?
This is our second one-man live overseas after South Korea, so it really feels like our first live concert. Having performed at many Anime festivals in the past, being able to do one-man live shows is a real blessing.
So, we just rehearsed for this concert with a fresh feeling, similar to the feeling we experienced during our first solo show when we were just starting out as a band.
Since your first song for TV Anime “Haikyu!!”, looking back, how do you think your music career has evolved since then?
Since we are a three-piece band, I feel that we are always lacking in musical instruments and sounds. So, the three of us have been thinking about how to fill in the gaps, and looking at how far we have come, I think that we have been evolving for a long time to meet these challenges and to get to where we are now. I also think that this is the reason why many audiences enjoy our music outside of Japan.
What motivates you to continue your current activities – fans, passion or other factors?
Ishikawa: Good food everywhere we go.
Hirose: Since last year, I have had the opportunity to visit many foreign countries, and I have been really empowered by the comments from all over the world whenever we announce a live concert and uploaded photos after the concert on our social media, such as “please come to my country too” or “if today’s live was really good, please come again”. These comments have really encouraged me to continue performing and creating music.
Kumagai: I am very happy that the audience is happy, and I feel that they are really listening to me far across the ocean, which motivates me a lot, but above all, I feel like I am improving myself. Of course it is good to perform live in Japan, but to go on a plane for hours, to spend so much time, and to somehow make it a success, I can see myself evolving, and I enjoy it even being under the pressure that I can’t mess up.
Your songs “BLIZZARD” and “Ginsekai” for TV Anime “Mashiro no oto” have “shamisen-essence” included in it, looking back, how did BURNOUT SYNDROMES come out with these 2 songs, anything interesting or challenging?
Since “Mashiro no Oto（Those Snow White Notes）” itself was an animation about the shamisen, I thought it would be most respectful of the animation to include shamisen sounds, so I used the shamisen (in the song).
During the song creation process, after we were done creating a song, the team would discuss about it, and some people said they wanted more rock music. So, we wrote two more songs, “BLIZZARD” and “Ginsekai”. I was happy that they ended up using both songs.
One of the things I think that is unique to BOS is the inclusion of the shamisen, even though we are a rock band. I think it is a characteristic of BOS that we are not afraid of doing things that people might pause and say, “Is that really rock music?” As a result, “BLIZZARD” is very popular at our shows all over the world, and it has become a good hook for us, where the audience would notice the uniqueness of the shamisen song.
BURNOUT SYNDROMES collaborated with ASCA to digitally release your new song – “KUNOICHI”. Please share with us anything interesting during the collaboration (Single Concept/ Single Cover Jacket)
The song “Kunoichi” that I collaborated with ASCA is a song that we wrote together with ASCA for an anime festival called “Anime Friends” in Brazil, where we were going to perform with her. I wrote this song in the hope that it would be accepted by people in Brazil, so I chose the theme of “kunoichi,” or female ninja and male ninja. As for the sound, as you mentioned earlier, I knew that like “BLIZZARD” having the catchy shamisen sound would be very good for people overseas, so I added the sound of the koto – another Japanese instrument – and the shamisen, as well as electronic keyboards and other electronic instruments to put in a Japanese tone, or rather a Japanese melody. I hope that “Kunoichi” will be welcomed by people overseas together with “BLIZZARD”.
What relaxing activities do you do in your free time?
Ishikawa: What do I do … I go to the jacuzzi and read books.
Hirose: On the plane I watch a lot of anime, I really like anime. And when I get to our destination, I like to roam and walk around the city by myself to enjoy the cityscapes and be active.
Kumagai: Meditation, only meditation. I do it everywhere, walking even on the plane.
Is there anything you would like to try in Singapore? (food/ place)
We want to see the Merlion but it’s under construction right now right? We will definitely come back and see it the next time. Other than that, we have been recommended coffee. Singapore is well known for coffee too so would like to have some good coffee. Last night, we also had good Singaporean food, and we really enjoyed Bah Kut Teh. We also want to try Kaya Toast.
Special Thanks to Sony Music Entertainment for the interview opportunity