Whilst this year has hit pause on many things in our lives, it hasn’t slowed down the formidable musical force that is STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (SDF).
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with frontman RON and talk a little about his activity this year, including the release of his sixth single, ALPHA, the ending theme song for the anime “Moriarty the Patriot”! Find out what makes this song so special that it already garnered over 1.3 million views on YouTube.
Since the last time we spoke, a lot has happened. How has the current pandemic influenced your music-making process?
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, I was already the kind of artist who composed music at home, so it didn’t change much in terms of composition. However, when it comes to exchanging music files for collaboration endeavors, I had to learn a lot of things to work efficiently. I hope to carry this experience with me onto future work.
Are there any opportunities that have opened up because of the pandemic? That normally might not have happened?
As previously mentioned, my way of working hasn’t been directly impacted by the coronavirus. Actually, I have received even more work than previously, so I am thankful in that respect.
For your fan collaboration song “Session”, what was the biggest challenge in putting the track together?
The biggest challenge was actually something I’m very grateful for, in that we actually received so many audio samples that it became a lot of work to go through and organize them all.
What was your overall impression of the “Session” project?
Everyone had a lot of fun, much more than I could imagine, so I am really happy about it.
Did you receive any interesting or strange recordings?
Yes, I received a frog’s croak, among other things. I thought it was very interesting to feel the personality of each recording.
Let’s talk about your latest single “ALPHA”, the ending theme song for anime “Moriarty the Patriot”! How did you approach the composition and arrangement this time?
I tried to use samples that are in keeping with the time period of the anime. I composed the song with a modern feeling while adding old school sounds that express the worldview and atmosphere of Moriarty.
How did you want your listeners to feel after listening to “ALPHA”? And what message did you want to convey?
During the briefing for the direction and music, in terms of lyrics, we had this image of “Bond of the three brothers”, so I tried to incorporate that kind of theme and express it through relevant words in the lyrics, and I also wanted to allude to it in all areas of the track.
I was very conscious the whole time of emphasizing the bond that is shared between a group of close friends who are sharing a secret—the internal drive to achieve a goal. I wanted to get that across strongly.
We know you lived overseas and your English is really good! Is there any difference in the way you convey your feelings through Japanese as opposed to English?
With Japanese, I think that people who use Japanese try to avoid speaking frankly. But with English, I feel that the way of speaking and expressing things is much more direct.
Japanese really shines when it comes to expressing things that are delicate, but I feel like when it comes to lyrics, the sound of English better matches what I’m trying to do in a lot of cases.
For “ALPHA”, we can definitely hear the classic SDF sound, but something makes it stand out. What would you say makes “ALPHA” unique compared to your other SDF work?
Those samples that I previously described, and that I was able to make it feel really stylish too.
SDF has a lot of variety in its music, like sound effects and different instruments. Is there any sound or genre you’ve been pursuing but not being able to produce yet?
When it comes to making tie-in songs for anime, and so on, I try to make songs that build the enthusiasm for that particular piece of work. But in the future, if I have the chance, I hope to create songs using a lot of different techniques that really brings out the essence of the work it’s based on.
You’ve also started a YouTube channel recently! What can fans expect from it?
Eventually, I’d love to upload live videos and such. I would be really happy if we were able to use the channel and upload a lot of SDF work, including older music videos and songs so that many people can enjoy them.
Despite not being able to perform in Germany this year, we did hear that you postpone your appearance for next year instead! As overseas fans, we’re really happy to hear that. Are there any other types of overseas activities you would like to try in the future?
I would like to try making music with people from overseas.
And, not just collaborating online, but sitting in front of the same computer and working on something together seems like it would be really fun!
Before we end this interview, we’re curious about one of your merchandise! Please tell us behind the unusual choice of including drip coffee.
I drink coffee almost every morning, so when I was speaking to the person in charge of merchandise, they said “Hey, we have some interesting ideas” and they proposed coffee.
They gave me quite a few samples but I still haven’t tried them out since I also want to keep them!
Thank you RON for your time! You can check out the single ALPHA, or any of STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION’s other works on streaming services right now.