A deeper look into the mind of Eve.
In this interview, Eve reveals the process of creating his music and the videos that accompany them, as well as other interesting insights into his personality.
nitrotaku has translated this interview so that fellow English-speaking fans don’t miss out on a rare opportunity to learn more about Eve.
This translation may contain errors. If you believe this to be the case, please Contact Us.
Interviewer: Shiba Tomonori (Twitter)
Eve is soon set to release his new album “Otogi” (“Fairy Tale”). He began his journey into music through posting covers of vocaloid songs on video-sharing sites. It was the release of his album “Bunka” (“Culture”) in December of 2017 that launched his name into widespread conversation.
As his first work as a songwriter, aspects of Eve’s unique style lead to the delicate inner nature of “Bunka,” creating a world in which reality and illusion mirror one another. In 2018, Eve completed his first one-man tour titled “Merienda,” performing in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo.
His animated music videos play a major role in attracting potential listeners. “Otogi” is the latest result of Eve’s continuous efforts. I asked this incredible talent, born from net-culture, just what is at the core of his words.
- It’s been a year since the release of “Bunka” (Eve’s 4th album, released in 2017). What kinds of changes have you made as an artist since then?
When I was making “Bunka,” I was so desperate to figure out what message I would send that I didn’t think about sharing it with anyone. I entered with the mindset of creating something temporary, and when I eventually began to write, I just wrote about my own feelings and thoughts. I didn’t want to tell anyone that I had made an album. And so, everyone who’s touched the album, including the MV, has interpreted it differently. For example, I often hear things like “this song cheered me up” or “I felt like such-and-such.” This was something I completely did not expect.Eve
- How do you feel about the response you’ve received?
I had written those songs for myself, but I feel like I have impacted the people who tell me those things.Eve
- I think your live show was a great experience. How did you feel about them after they were over?
I was glad I that I did the concerts. Most of my action is through the internet, and it’s based on posting songs that people can listen to at home. So, initially, I didn’t do live shows very often. But when I performed at Shinkiba STUDIO COAST (“Eve One-Man Tour [Merienda]” Additional Performance), I thought, “there are so many people here.” I’m used to seeing numbers on a screen, but when it’s just that, you start to think “is this really true?” But when I took the stage, there were so many people, and they gave such a huge reaction that I actually felt their presence. That was a big event. Before I perform I get insanely anxious, but I feel relieved after every show, and I want to keep doing live events in the future.Eve
- I was so impressed while listening to “Otogi.” For example, the symbolism in “We’re Still Underground,” in which you use the words “kimi” (“you are”) and “bokura” (“we are”). It seems to echo the identity of your album “Bunka,” but also touches on the experience of sharing your music with others. I think this motif is a big part of this new album.
Absolutely. The words “you” and “we” are interspersed throughout the album, and each person who listens has their own interpretation of it. I think that’s really interesting. When I was writing the lyrics, I feel like I didn’t explain what the music was or wasn’t about. The previous album was written the same way. However, when people listened, and empathized with my words, I had thoughts like “everyone feels this way” and “I’m finally able to share my music with everyone.” That was such an amazing feeling, that I had something I could share with someone.Eve
“We’re Still Underground”
- Did these experiences influence the creation of your album “Otogi?”
No…actually, before releasing “Bunka,” there were demos of “Tokyo Ghetto” and “Outsider.” I started making the song “Last Dance” around December of 2017, or January of 2018. At the time, I hadn’t had these experiences yet, so the album contains my feelings from those days. The songs took around half a year to make, because the music videos were animated. So, when the songs were released, I felt as if my children were finally being released into the world.Eve
- I see… So this album is an extension of your feelings from “Bunka.”
That’s right. I think “Bunka” and “Otogi” are inseparable. That’s why, when I asked Mah to draw the album cover, I asked for one with a similar composition as the cover of “Bunka.” However, during the songs “We’re Still Underground” and “Kimi ni Sekai” (“Your World”), which were made later, my state of mind was different. I tried to arrange the order the songs so that these final two songs feel connected.Eve
- The album starts with an instrumental called “slumber” and ends with an instrumental called “dawn.” In other words, the contents of the album occur from dusk to daybreak. What was the intention behind this?
I didn’t think of the title “Otogi” (“Fairy Tale”) until after all the songs were completed. Just like with “Bunka,” my music videos were like fairy tales, with elements of reality interacting with the surreal. They were like something from a dream world, and made me feel like I was watching a dream. So, in the eleventh song, “dawn,” you wake up from the dream. As for what happens next, although I’m anxious to find out, I’m not sure. I myself feel like I have just risen from the dream that is this album.Eve
- Words like “kimi ni sekai” (“your world”), “mayoigo” (“lost child”), and “monogatari” (“story”) are often repeated in the lyrics. The overall theme is about a fictional world. Why is that?
This wasn’t just about this album. For a long time, whenever I’m feeling anxious or going through hard times, I’ve found myself encouraged and re-energized by listening to music. When I wanted to escape from reality, I would listen to music. Even the live concerts were surreal events for me. So, I thought that the album should also be like this. I hope that the album “Otogi” hits close to someone’s heart and supports that person.Eve
- However, in addition to that, it’s important to note that the world in “Otogi” is not completely a world of fantasy. While the title “Tokyo Ghetto” is symbolic, it depicts a mirrored world, one adjacent to the one we live in.
Definitely. It’s not a fantasy world. There are no swords or magic. The MV depicts the real world with surreal elements introduced. So, although I say to “escape from reality,” it’s not really a separate world. Even if someone awakens from their dream, I hope the feelings this album gives them supports them in the real world.Eve
- I think we should hear about the roots that cultivated Eve’s mindset. I heard the band BUMP OF CHICKEN was your first encounter with music.
The first CD I bought was the single “supernova/Karma” by BUMP OF CHICKEN. From then on, I was hooked. However, rather than listen to one artist exclusively, I would listen to many different artists. Then, a classmate’s friend introduced me to Hatsune Miku’s cover of “Melt,” and I began my search for VOCALOID songs.Eve
- Why did you begin posting yourself singing?
It started when I was at my friends house, in their recording room, and they asked me “why don’t you sing a little?” I had never played an instrument or sang, so I just did as my friend asked and recorded songs at their house. It was my first time uploading them to the internet, but there were quite a lot of reactions, so I was really happy. I didn’t know who was commenting, but I got a response. That was what triggered the beginning.Eve
- When I first started working online, I found it to be an exciting new environment. How was that experience for you?
In the VOCALOID scene, there’s not just Japanese rock bands, there’s different genres that I don’t usually listen to. Even the same song might have different genres depending on who’s covering it. I was just trying to do more and more interesting things, and before I realized it, here I am.Eve
- At first, you posted covers of songs, right? Why did you decide to write your own songs?
I began posting songs as just a hobby, and before I knew it, I was making albums with my Doujin and doing live concerts. Especially after my One-Man Live, a sense of incongruity has begun to grow. Through my voice and songs, rather than know my appearance, people have gotten to know my inner self. If you know my frame of mind, and you really like it, then I’m happy about that.Eve
- Earlier, you told me it takes about half a year to make one song. How did you compose and arrange the songs for “Otogi,” specifically?
I post the music myself as Eve, but my work actually involves a lot of people. With multiple people involved, the result doesn’t exactly match the idea it was born from. The music videos are especially important, because people look forward to those as much as the music. After the song demo is complete, I first decide which person I’ll ask to make the video. From there, after seeing the first drawings they create, I’ll change the song arrangement and lyrics. Then the video might change after listening to the song again.Eve
- There’s not only the arrangement, which is handled by Numa, but video creators such as Mah and Waboku also join in on the music production.
Exactly. Each music video is set somewhere in Tokyo. We went location hunting together, and when taking pictures, things like “ah, like this” were said. I feel like we’re a band. With such an exchange of ideas, I can’t anticipate what we’ll create. It’s really exciting and it’s a lot of fun.Eve
- I see. Nico Nico Douga or YouTube groups might be the bands of the present day. With lyrics and melody as the axis, instrument players and video creators come together to create a world.
I think my music videos are super important to my songs. They dig deeper. I want to cherish them more from now on. However, I think collaboration could easily change the spirit of my songs, so I try to only think about conveying to people the song in its best form.Eve
- Understood. By the way, what type of music have you listened to, and been inspired by recently?
Lately, I feel that I’ve been listening to my favorite songs at random. But I went to see Charlie Puth live at Makuhari Messe the other day, and it was great. I feel like music has been blending into my life. I think it’s a good thing. I also listen to Tom Misch, Billie Eilish, the band apart, and People In The Box.Eve
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