GRANRODEO is no stranger to the anisong scene. In fact, you could consider them veterans, a powerhouse, a driving force if you will, that has been conjuring up musical mastery for nearly 15 years with their songs featuring in anime’s such as Kuroko no Basket, Nanatsu no Taizai, and more recently, Bungou Stray Dogs.
Now, with the release of single Setsuna no Ai and most recent album FAB LOVE, we had the opportunity to chat with them on how they created such songs. Find out how the unit maintains their relationship and the love that shaped their recent releases.
GRANRODEO will celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2020, how have both of you changed as people in that period of time?
KISHOW: I managed to stop smoking.
e-ZUKA: As people, I feel like we both matured.
As a two-man unit there needs to be chemistry, what do you feel is the secret to your chemistry?
KISHOW: It is approximately 60% relationship.
e-ZUKA: It’s about maintaining a reasonable distance. Not interfering too much with each other.
How does your most recent album, “FAB LOVE”, compare to past releases? Has anything changed? Has anything stayed the same?
KISHOW: As we obviously intended to release the ultimate masterpiece, we changed our approach in order to take the best path towards it.
e-ZUKA: We have a wide variety of songs on this album compared to our past works, but with this release, I think the contrast is a lot clearer.
Setsuna no Ai comes from the new album FAB LOVE and is also featured in anime “Bungo Stray Dogs”. Unlike previous Bungo Stray Dog songs, this one is a lot darker in sound, why is that? Can you also tell us about what is happening in the music video?
KISHOW: It’s about the fact that love takes on many different forms.
e-ZUKA: We wanted to differentiate it from our previous two songs [that were featured in Bungo Stray Dog]. Concerning the story, we just leave it open to everyone’s interpretation.
It’s been almost two years since you went on a national tour, I’m sure the fans in Japan have been waiting for this! How do you guys feel about the tour?
KISHOW: I’m really excited about it from the bottom of my heart. I really want to meet our Japanese fans as soon as possible!
e-ZUKA: I can’t wait for it. I’m dying to get on tour quickly!
What is your favorite thing about being on stage?
KISHOW: To sing in front of everyone.
e-ZUKA: To see the faces of everyone enjoying the show, and the feeling of becoming one with everyone.
Between all this, KISHOW is not only a vocalist but also a voice actor as well, how do you manage your time between such activities? How does band life compare to your life as a voice actor?
KISHOW: Juggling between voice acting and GRANDRODEO’s activities is just like flicking a switch. The office and the record company are doing a great job managing my time schedule. After all, if you take a step back and look at it, aren’t voice acting and singing connected?
Typically with your anisongs, they’re high-energy and catchy. Because of this, we guess it’s quite hard to overcome previous releases. How are you able to make each new song stand out on its own?
KISHOW: We are constantly motivated by the intention of creating each work a masterpiece, in that way, each song stands out in its own way.
e-ZUKA: We are always listening to new music, we study them and do our best to introduce a fresh feeling to our compositions.
When writing lyrics for anime, do you always get inspired by the story of the anime itself, or are the lyrics also based on your personal experiences? How do you express it to its fullest extent?
KISHOW: The melody is the most important part of it. Also, a lot of it depends on the general feeling.
When writing anisongs, there are certain things you need to include and think about, one of these is the 90-second limit. You need to be able to hook the listeners in such a short amount of time. Is it a restriction, challenge, or something else? What is your view on this?
KISHOW: We just have to deal with it, nothing more, nothing less.
e-ZUKA: It’s a real challenge, just like the feeling of beating a video game. Creating a 90-second story is actually very exciting.
Anime is bigger than ever now with it spreading to the western side of the world and into the mainstream market. As Japanese music goes hand in hand with anime, have you consider pushing for a more global market now that this is the case?
KISHOW: It would be fantastic if it comes consequentially, but it is not something we are intentionally aiming for.
e-ZUKA: Of course!
Has there been western artists that influenced you, would you mind naming a few notable ones? In what way have these artists influenced you?
KISHOW: Music from abroad is influencing us in many various ways, it would be very difficult to pick a particular artist.
e-ZUKA: The very cheesy and cool attitude of KISS on stage definitely influenced me.
Please leave a message for your fans all across the globe!
KISHOW: I love you all. Please love us too.
e-ZUKA: As the 2020 Olympics will take place in Tokyo, please do not miss a chance to come to see us live at the same time!
We would like to extend our gratitude to GRANRODEO for participating in this interview. You can buy both Setsuna no Ai and FAB LOVE right this moment in all good online stores, so go get it!
Setsuna no Ai
Buy at CDJapan
Buy at CDJapan
Buy at CDJapan