FLOW, a five member J-rock band founded in the late 90s by Keigo and Takeshi Asakawa, is beloved by anime fans for their catchy, high-energy songs used in popular anime shows. For the second year in a row, FLOW performed at FanimeCon’s Music Fest; their concert was held on the second day of the convention, this time drawing a full house, unlike their Day One concert last year. Although R&B singer Yuya Matsushita, the first act of the Music Fest, was a big attraction, the crowd stayed to watch FLOW, who delivered a spirited performance that included fan favorites from anime shows like Naruto, Eureka 7, and Code Geass to tracks from their latest album MICROCOSM -- and even a cover of a song used in the Kenshin anime.
APA took the opportunity to speak with FLOW once again the day after their concert.
Interview with FLOW: Yasutaro Goto (bass), Takashi Asakawa (Takei/guitar), Keigo Hayashi (vocals), Hiroshi Iwasaki (drums), and Koshi Asakawa (vocals)
May 28, 2011
Interviewed by William Hong
Translated from Japanese into English by Ryu Takahashi
APA: What are your biggest inspirations as musicians?
Koshi: That's a tough question [laughs]. We get asked this all the time, but it's always hard to answer.
Takei: It comes all over the place, whether it's from music, film, the weather, or daily life. It really varies. Whatever music we're listening to at the moment affects the music we make. There have definitely been changes depending on the different genres we go through.
APA: Is there a particular place you like to be when you create songs and write music?
Koshi: When I'm at home is the only time I can write lyrics. I like to write in the living room in front of the computer.
APA: Typically how long does it take to create an album?
Koshi: It's an ongoing process, but if only considering the recording aspect, it's usually around three months.
APA: What is your favorite FLOW music video?
Takei: "Word of the Voice." Budweiser Voice (Laughs).
Koshi: "Dream Express."
APA: What albums do you listen to in your free time?
Koshi: The Roots.
Takei: Friendly Fires. I bought one of their CDs while I was in Chicago. I also bought some electronic DJ and punk band CD I can't remember right now
[laughs]. I bought a lot of CDs while I was in Chicago.
Iwasaki: Method of Mayhem. It was their first release in 10 years.
Keigo: Daniel Powter. I listen to him in the car often.
Goto: It's the only album I've been listening to this entire trip.
APA: What are your favorite bands?
Takei: Linkin Park.
Koshi: Linkin Park.
Keigo: Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Iwasaki: Motley Crue.
APA: Is there a place anywhere in the world you'd like to perform?
APA: What do you like most about being in America?
Keigo: Everything is spread out! [laughs]. You can see the sky. The houses are big and there's a lot of green here.
APA: How would compare your American fans to your Japanese fans?
Takei: There is a huge difference [laughs]. We can visually see that they're having fun here in America. Of course, it's the same in Japan, but here I think it's more visible and obvious that people are having fun. They're more energetic.
Koshi: I feel there's no boundary in music, regardless of what kind of language it is, and we felt that at the concert last night.
APA: What is the strangest gift you've received from a fan?
Takei: We get a lot of junk food for some reason. We don't understand why. (Laughs)
APA: Do you eat the food?
Takei: If I'm hungry. [laughs]
Gots: We've gotten curry flavored bath oil. [laughs]
Keigo: Beer, too!
Koshi: We've also gotten curry flavored tooth paste, too.
APA: How has the tsunami affected FLOW personally and professionally?
Keigo: We weren't directly affected by the tsunami because we're all based in Tokyo, but being able to feel the earthquake from as far as Tokyo was very frightening. It was something we never experienced before.
Koshi: Everything was canceled that month, so all our performances were canceled, too.
APA: Are you working on your next album?
Koshi: We're going into recording once we get back to Japan.
Fanime 2011: Overview and Cosplay Slideshow
Fanime 2011: Interview with Haruko Momoi
Fanime 2011: Interview with Seiji Mizushima