On the evening of 22nd July 2016, the sounds of excited fans cheering could be heard at the Marina Square Mall during the flumpool “WHAT ABOUT EGGS?” ~Singapore Special~ Open Press Conference.
flumpool, one of the biggest rock bands in Japan, is made of 4 members: Ryuta Yamamura (Vocals/Guitar), Kazuki Sakai (Guitar), Genki Amakawa (Bass), and Seiji Ogura (Drums). Some of their biggest achievements include a million downloads within the first 10 days of their first single “Hana ni nare” (JP:花になれ), in January 2007, and releasing other chart-topping singles and albums, including this year’s recent “Yoru wa Nemurerukai?” (JP:夜は眠れるかい？), featured in the anime “AJIN” (JP:亜人).
This year in March, they released “EGG”, their first original full album in nearly three and a half years. Singapore would be their last stop in their 7th Tour, “WHAT ABOUT EGGS?”, which had 22 shows in 14 different cities.
Before J-Network and other media asked their questions, there was a short segment where the band introduced themselves and they were asked about their recent tour.
MC: What was your favorite impression of Singapore two years ago and what are you looking forward to this time in Singapore?
Ryuta: It was really fun to be in Singapore previously. We haven’t had the time to sightsee since we just touched down today, so we can’t really tell what really changed in the 2 years. But we wanna try… chilli crab?
MC: Anything else?
Kazuki: Maybe… The casino? (The audience laughs) No! No! No casino!
Genki: USS… Why not we try going there again?
Band: Ohhh… Haha.
Genki: Yeah, 2 years ago, we went and really enjoyed ourselves. Transformer. Transformer. Let’s try the new ride. (Referring to the Transformers 4D ride)
MC: So, WAKUWAKU JAPAN will be airing “For Roots” Japan Live 2015 on 27 August 2016 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m…
Ryuta: Anyway, what is this? (Says it in Japanese then says it in English, pointing at a person in the front)
MC: So, there’s a fan in front of us who has a “For Roots” floor mat…
(After some talking to the fan) MC: The fan got it from the concert last year.
Ryuta: (Getting excited) Eh?! Sugoi (Japanese for amazing), you went to Japan for it? Thank you! So did anyone else come for “For Roots” in Japan?
(Several hands go up)
Ryuta: Thank you! Thank you! Oh, some of you are Japanese. Who came from Singapore?
(One hand goes up)
Ryuta: (Exclaims) Only one?!
Ryuta: Singapore! (Makes a somewhat disappointed gesture, while still maintaining a smile)
MC: Back to some more questions: So, what songs would you recommend from EGG, your most recently released album?
Ryuta: The song I would recommend for Singaporeans to listen to is an EDM-based song, called World beats. We are pumped for the live performance for this song which will include swinging towels, and we hope the fans would join us in swinging the towels with us in tomorrow’s concert.
MC: Is there anything else?
MC: Do you know DILEMMA?
Kazuki: Do you? Seems like only the Japanese are answering. (The crowd laughs)
Singaporean fans: Yes! (Even louder than before)
Band: Ah yes! Thank you!
MC: So why do you like this song?
Kazuki: Oh, the feeling is just great. It’s just the best. There’s nothing else to it, to me.
MC: Since this will be the last stop in your tour, were there any significant moments in the tour of almost 20 different shows that include Japan and Taiwan?
Ryuta: Not really in the live tour itself (referring to the concerts), but during the tour, we ate a lot. So we put on weight. We don’t know how, but we just started jogging. In some places, during my jog, in one of the cities, there were 2 fans, both female, who saw me and screaming at me to sign things. I tried to stop them, saying “thank you” but I ended up being chased. (The audience laughs after the MC translates the story).
Ryuta: So, I was sprinting, right? And the 2 girls were chasing me, right? So, to the passer-by, I look like a robber. (The audience laughs again)
Ryuta: I actually hope to jog again in Singapore, so please don’t chase after me while I am here. (More laughing)
Ryuta: It was interesting though… It was a long trip, so it’s hard to think about it.
MC: All right then, what can we expect from the concert tomorrow then?
Ryuta: Well, when we came to Singapore 2 years ago, it was a very special experience. So, we hope to bring that sort of experience again. A lot of things had changed when we wrote the album, EGG. It’s a new and plentiful rock feeling that has a lot of meaning to it, compared to our previous album 3 and a half years ago. So, since this is the last stop after over 20 places, we really look forward to the spirit of the Singapore audience.
MC: So, this is only the first half of 2016, what are your goals for the latter half of 2016?
Ryuta: Well, we have a lot of live events planned, but they haven’t really come out. We can’t really say for other places, but most of them will be in Japan. We hope some of our fans here and in the other parts of Asia can even come to Japan and support us there. It will be great.
MC: So, now we will move on to the questions from the media…
Media: After the end of the live, what plans do you have after the live tomorrow?
Kazuki: Casino? (Audience laughs) Casino? Oh, wait… No casino. I didn’t bring my wallet.
Ryuta: What places would the audience recommend?
Audience: Zoo! Singapore Flyer! Geylang Serai!
Ryuta: “Geylang Serai”. What is that?
MC: It’s a place to eat.
Ryuta: Ah, “Geylang Serai”.
Audience: Gardens By The Bay! Marina Bay Sands!
J-Network: Is there any artiste you want to collaborate with for a song in the future?
Ryuta: Oh, it can be anyone? (MC replies yes) So, we actually listened to Singaporean music recently, so… “The Sam Willows”. They’re great. (The audience cheers)
Media: As someone new to J-Pop, what would you recommend listening to?
Kazuki: Wouldn’t we be changing the trends then if we recommend our songs?
Ryuta: Well, the song we would all like is probably AJIN’s Yoru wa Nemurerukai?, (JP:夜は眠れるかい？)
MC: So, has everyone heard of or watched the anime “AJIN”?
Ryuta: Oh, sugoi!
J-Network: You’ve done a lot of songs from anime to drama, which series is your favourite?
Ryuta: From then till now? There’s Ajin… What else? Oh, Believer’s High (JP:ビリーバーズ・ハイ Birībāzu Hai) from Captain Earth. There’s a lot of other amazing anime actually…
After the press conference, flumpool proceeded to play a live acoustic version of AJIN’s Yoru wa Nemurerukai? (JP:夜は眠れるかい？) Following a stellar performance and the cheering of fans and bystanders, they followed with a presentation of awards to winners of a StarHub giveaway contest, which awarded 5 winners with autographed discs of their album EGG and 5 pairs of VIP tickets to 5 pairs of contestants.
J-Network would like to wish flumpool all the best in their future endeavors and thank them for their fantastic live performance in Singapore.
All photos by Tab