We wanted to make it clear that we are genuine in our pursuit of making good music and that we don’t feel that it’s something we’re forced into doing.
OKMUSIC: It’s been two and a half years since you’ve released a full album, right? I think we can really feel your growth with this one
It has, over time, become a work I’m quite proud of. Despite our own ideals and criticisms coming up more each year, with us living with COVID-19, I gained more self discipline at the same time. I was able to look once again at my life path and reconfirm that I’m walking the right one.
The members who are able to produce the music themselves, write their own lyrics and make parts up themselves have definitely increased. During the pandemic our members found themselves producing their own music and getting very into it, down into the nitty gritty. We’ve made a lot of songs that you can really feel that the members were involved in the process.
OKMUSIC: I see. Actually, I was surprised with the amount of contribution the members put into the songs, with producing and lyric writing.
The first song “Welcome to my Hell” is a song that was mainly influenced by Jean. We haven’t really had a song about our world or anything, so it’s new for me too. Actually, I like really dark things like this, and you’re really going to feel Jean’s world from it!
Putting things from my very own world into SUPER★DRAGON was a suggestion that I received from the staff, they said that’ll definitely bring something interesting to the table. I reached out to Geek Kids Club (T/N: This is a small group of musicians that Jean is involved with) for some help. Up until now, we’ve released albums and singles that show our feelings but we were always, most of the time, fixated on making lyrics that were straight to the point. We are now deciding to shift towards creating works with a more fairy tale-like feel. We wanted to go with a darker theme: The nine members being trapped in a circus show, in which those boys, enraptured with the small taste of emotion, are instilled with the confidence of Super Dragon, and come to understand greatness. We figured that with this kind of theme, we could do something we hadn’t been able to until now. Starting from that kind of song, we were able to see what we could do with the rest of the album. I approached the name of the first song with the intent to meet our current fans expectations and leave an impact on new listeners.
OKMUSIC: It’s a fantasy world that’s having a countdown to Hell, isn’t that right? You’re making way for a song like this, when your public image is mostly attributed to being a heavy rock one.
Actually, from the start I always thought to myself, “I really want to try EDM.” Because Supdra’s concept is being a “mixture” group, I thought we were able to try this out sometime. However, we thought doing just an EDM song was a bit too usual, so for the second track: Pioneer(Keep It Real) we made it with Korean track maker NAMELESS aka NL who we met with. We ended up with the finished product by working together and saying “oh I really like the sound of that.” About the lyrics, we went for the notion that “you’re a pioneer.” That’s the kind of vibes that we put into it.
OKMUSIC: Let’s drift to a somewhat romantic mood, there’s lyrics like “the dragon’s tail” and “Go Super Dragon”, it can also be seen in your other songs that you guys use “Dragon” and “SUPER DRAGON” a lot in your lyrics. There’s a feeling that your group has become stronger than ever.
Well, that’s just about right. During the Coronavirus pandemic, we were able to take a chance to get a good look at our music again. Gradually, we were able to have concerts with an audience and at that time all of the members came to reaffirm, “We really love SUPER★DRAGON, huh?”
OKMUSIC: Surely the song “Purple Moon” is depicting a concert, right?
This is our song about us and BLUE, it’s a track that Hyoma picked out, actually. Adding onto that, in our sphere, there’s Tomoya and Jean who’re always taking initiative with writing lyrics. I think I’ve somehow suddenly spoken out about the production side of things.
We wanted a song with a “mixture that’s catchy” that also wouldn’t be so wishy-washy. At that time, we received so many demos but through those we picked one that stuck out. It’s a song with lyrics about our feelings towards BLUE, so isn’t it a good song for one to enter Supdra in on?
OKMUSIC: Speaking of which, “The chosen ones, BLUE” and then in response to that you guys say, “We are RED” is in the lyrics, so you guys are the RED?
Well, I have no idea.
Well, it comes from mixing the red and the blue, which is fitting the song’s theme overall, right? Since a while back, our fans have been waving around blue lightsticks. When we see that, it’s the time where we can feel our fans the most, so that’s why we called our fans “BLUE”.
OKMUSIC: Alright, so how about within the group, who’s the most ‘’RED’’ member?
‘Cuz he likes red
Just the other day he brought a red pencil case with him and when he opened it up, everything was red from mechanical pencils down to the ruler!
Wow, seriously!? That’s impressive!
He also has those red Air Jordans, right?
I’ve loved the color red since I was a kid. For now, “We are the RED” but if you think about it, it’s actually RED inside RED!
Our red ranger, haha.
OKMUSIC: Wow, what a surprising turn of events, haha. Speaking of surprising things, you have a collaboration with a very popular Thai duo, Anatomy Rabbit, with the song “love or like(Tokyo).” It’s a very romantic and oriental sounding song, I personally was the most surprised at you guys doing a song like this. I thought, “SUPER★DRAGON can do songs like this!?”
Well, I think it’s just like Supdra to have surprising songs like this, personally, I like “love or like(Tokyo).” It’s our first collaboration with a foreign artist so listeners who’re different from the current ones are able to listen to it. The MV was shot in Tokyo as well and I really like this kind of thing, so I hope you look forward to it.
Anatomy Rabbit actually also made a singing appearance, one day I would like to stand on stage together with them. Right now, isn’t there a resurgence of the Japanese city-pop genre from places like Thailand and other parts of Asia and Europe? We also did “Kimi wa 1000%” and “Darling” last year, which were covers of 1970 ~ 1980’s music. With this we aimed for, “the feeling to breach into overseas” kind of goal. When the MV was released, there was a surprising reaction from the fans.
OKMUSIC: Is that so? I also am someone who comes from the age of listening to “Kimi wa 1000%” in real time, and I really thought the way you sang the chorus was awesome!
Hahaha! Actually while recording, I really thought to myself, how should I pull this off? Of course, BLUE all reacted in this way, “Supdra are doing this kind of song?” and they were very suspicious. In the end I feel as though it was like a foreshadowing to “love or like(Tokyo).” Doing collabs with those from overseas, I think we are really able to establish ourselves. Also, in this album “Kimi wa 1000%” appears yet again but in a remixed form, remixed by French DJ Vantage. So we really wanted to express that very Japanese feeling by singing this kind of song(T/N: It’s a bit confusing but he’s referring to love or like(Tokyo) overall). However, when we first were sent the song, it was seriously SO difficult! Since it’s a song produced by Thai artists with their own uniqueness in music producing, when we gave it an attempt it kind of came out like a Japanese version many times. I kept singing in a very Japanese way and I had to go through a lot of trial and error.
Even if the concert is canceled again our volition won’t be dampened: The last piece is our “Voice”
OKMUSIC: For the first half of the album to be so strong and catchy, what about the latter half with that sudden change in vibe? “Bad Day” has a kind of cheering you guys on, bluesy type feel.
This song shows our members pretty well. We were thinking about what kind of performance we can put on by focusing on aspects of the choreography. Then making the dancer team, me and Reo, stand out was what we came up with.
It was a song that was greatly influenced by the vocal members, but also by us dancers. “Bad Day” is a song that makes us stand out, don’t you think our good points are being shown here really well? As we are Supdra, we know ourselves the best and we know what we do best.
For the first time, I helped with making the choreography. I thought really hard about what our really weak points are and how to divide up the roles, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s reactions.
We wanted something that looks kinda comical, so during the chorus we really hope BLUE will dance along with us to this song. I really want to hurry up and do this song live.
I think it’s really, really funny! Recently, we’re doing a lot of things that Supdra doesn’t usually do. We’re meticulously adding everyone’s ideas into it and I really hope you guys will enjoy what we have in store.
OKMUSIC: Moving on, 2U is a song that’s influenced by the UK’s drill genre. To have such a rowdy drill rap be delivered by you guys I thought, “wow! Incredible.”
Up until now we’ve had songs with the 3 of us rappers, but it was more of a hip hop kind of thing. Having the center stage for our own verses, hooks, and then passing on the baton to the next member was a simple format that we wanted to create. From the beginning, Tomoya suggested we follow a UK drill type beat with the notion, “wouldn’t that be good?” So from there we put that into it, and then each member made their own verses.
This is my first time writing lyrics for a Supdra song, so I tried my absolute best. I really had to think about what kind of things I wanted to convey. I don’t want to show myself with just the way I’m singing but also with lyrics that hold meaning to me. That’s how I wrote it up in the end.
If we’re talking about how we usually do songs, we can express the rap in our own way but this time, with this song, we’ve also written our own lyrics. We’re members of this group, Supdra, but we each have our own strong sense of individuality. How should I put this…? It’s a “It’s cool without being cool” kind of thing.
OKMUSIC: You guys have put out some really strong opinions this time. Tomoya’s part, “We live hard and fast with our short life”, actually makes it seem like this is a really positive song. Also with Jean’s part, “I’m a pseudo of myself”, I can really feel the feeling of salvation with those lyrics.
Our album title is “Force to forth” (To continue on strongly), why it has this title is because Supdra are carrying themselves forward and continuing on, and we want to convey that to those who are following us along. Speaking of which, the eighth song “Shut Up, Shout Out” is made by myself, Tomoya and Tsuyoshi and we made it together with Yocke at his house while giving each other feedback. Due to that, I think we were able to write lyrics that came across the way we wanted.
The song was originally called “So what?” and it actually appears in the lyrics. During a meeting, in the chorus there’s a part that goes “Shut up” “Shout Out” and we thought that fit the mood of the song way better, we thought ‘Hey! That’s it!” I think it’s an interesting predicament. How in the end it was just thought of unexpectedly.
If you were to put it into Japanese, it’d be “黙れ、叫べ”. From being able to have a live audience since last year, even if the concert is canceled again our volition won’t be dampened: The last piece is “Voice”. How we should get people riled up is, of course, a key point to those feelings. When you want to speak out, sometimes you don’t know what to say, and that’s what I thought I sort of wanted to say with this song and I want to share this from here on out during the tour.
When we were first making this song, we thought about the theme of the song and figured, “it’d be good to make something for BLUE to jump to.”
OKMUSIC: This is the first heavy rock song on the album but, by the way, who is doing that scream after the beatboxing in the latter half?
It’s me. While recording I thought “I’ll have a go at it” and then I kinda just did it. I’m doing both the beatboxing and the shouting out, but I think I’m gonna have to choose one of the two to do live for sure.
I also really like this song. I think at the climax of Supdra’s lives there’s always this kind of song in the lineup, so I’m thinking “I’m really excited to do this live…”
OKMUSIC: “How should I look at myself?” can be felt strongly within “2U” and “Shut up, Shout Out”. Continuing on, there is also X within Force to Forth, a song you released for your 6th anniversary of being a group. Of course, one would think it’d be the perfect climax for the album. But the very last song is Tweedia, what kind of meaning does this song hold?
Won’t your feelings change every time you listen to this song? In this album, there’s been many encounters. But I also think people may find themselves in the time where they say farewell, and someday they may even find it’s the time for them to stop listening to Supdra. However, after bouncing from one place to the next, there will be a moment in which you may hear our songs again, and we really want to make you feel that feeling of connection, we want that feeling to reach the world. After all, in the end, everything is always connected. It’s also pretty close to graduation season right now, so with this timing there are many people who are going through different stages in life and we hope this song can be the one to help push them through.
OKMUSIC: This is a song that holds a metaphor, even if you stop listening you’ll still be connected… It was a song shown in the previous concert tour and even then, you could feel these overwhelming emotions, huh.
The tour of F2F starts on March 24th and we’ll be performing this album during our tour. Recently, Supdra have often been doing drama type themes within the concert, but this time we’re choosing a more simple approach. There’s also places that we haven’t been to in around 2 years or so, we really want BLUE to feel our thanks. It’s important to us that from song to song, we give the best performance. We want you to be able to see Supdra’s full potential.
“Make it about us and BLUE” is the strongest intention that we had with this album, we hope you really listen to this album and are able to take it in fully. I hope everyone is excited for each concert.