Neoclassical trio “sources” is unlike any other band in the Jrock scene right now. The instrumental band fuses classical music with genres spanning the spectrum from rock to pop. Now, newly signed to JPU Records the band sources prepares to take on an international audience.

On June 15, 2022, sources released dovetailing albums Ittouryoudan ( 一刀両断) and Tsumugu (つむぐ).

The albums have opposing yet complementary themes. The titular track of the album Ittouryoudan comes from a samurai proverb, meaning to cut something in two with one swift blow of the blade. The saying has become an idiom for decisiveness and knowing when to sever yourself from things that are holding you back. In contrast, its related album Tsumugu represents the strength in bringing things together.

Thanks to JPU Records, both albums are available to listeners worldwide. source’s indie albums KOCHI: Wind from the Orient and sunset have also been added, so be sure to check them out!

sources / 一刀両断【Music Video】

Without further ado, join JROCK NEWS as we get to know the members of the game-changing band sources.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today! Please introduce yourselves to our readers around the world.

Kagaya: Hi everyone! I’m Kagaya Ryotaro, I’m the leader and I play the violin. Nice to meet you!

Hidaka: I’m Hidaka Hayato and I play violin in sources. How do you do?

Notsu: Hi everyone that reads JROCK NEWS. I’m Notsu Hisanobu and I’m in charge of the piano parts of sources.

Meet the members of sources: Kagaya (lower center), Hidaka (right), and Notsu (left).

In your own words, how would you describe the music of sources?

Kagaya: It’s music that you can listen to, watch and enjoy. The color of each track will vary depending on the listener. I think this is what makes our music interesting.

Hidaka: Although the tracks don’t contain lyrics, I think that they can be understood easily, with emotions and scenes that can play out in the listener’s mind.

Notsu: The music is based on emotions, scenes, and messages, and incorporates many influences from classical music to rock and pop. From there I would like to think we create something that can be enjoyed not only by listening but also by watching it being performed.

「CLASH of TONE 」/ sources

What does the name “sources” mean to you?

Kagaya: It’s when the sources (the roots) of each member’s personalities come together and combine, a wide variety of music is born and it can develop into any form, with infinite possibilities.

The three of you met while studying at Tokyo’s acclaimed Toho Gakuen School of Music. How did you go from classmates to starting a band?

Kagaya: I had a dream where I could see myself in the world of pop music instead of classical, so I started inviting members to join a group and make it happen. There were changes in members but eventually, sources settled as the three of us you see today.

Hidaka: I was having dinner at Kagaya’s house with some classmates, and there was a lively conversation about starting a new band. So, I jumped in and said, “How about another violinist?!”. [Laughs]

Notsu: In the early days of the band I was not an official member, but supported the band by giving advice and helping with songwriting, etc. Sometime later the original pianist left and Kagaya offered me the chance to become an official member.

I understand you picked up your chosen instruments at age four. What drew you to your chosen instruments?

Kagaya: My mother showed me a violin in a shop window of a music store and said, “This is called a violin. Isn’t it cool?”. I replied, “Yeah! So cool!”. That night my mother told my father “Ryotaro wants to learn to play the violin”, and I started to play without understanding how.

Hidaka: My mother asked if I wanted to try playing the violin, so I started playing out of curiosity.

Notsu: My mother loved music. I was exposed to keyboards and similar instruments for as long as I can remember.

Do you play any other instruments?

Kagaya: I play the piano while composing. I also play a little of the erhu (Chinese violin), although it’s self-taught.

Hidaka: My parents had a small piano school, and I also studied piano as a minor in college, so I’ve played piano before but I can’t really play much at all. [Laughs]

Notsu: I’ve played the electone, pipe organ, euphonium, and drums in the past, although I can only play to a certain extent.

What hobbies do you enjoy, outside of classical music?

Kagaya: I like to take my dog for a walk, and I enjoy taking photos of people and scenery with my camera.

Hidaka: I enjoy fishing and I started to ride a motorbike in recent years. So, going on fishing trips on my motorbike is my recent hobby.

Notsu: Watching anime and movies and playing video games. I draw a lot of inspiration from these for the music I create.

What are some challenges you face as a classical trio, as opposed to a traditional pop or rock band?

Notsu: From a classical stance, it’s challenging to keep accurately feeling the groove of a piece when using elements not found in classical music, such as when improvising or when using 4, 8, 16 beats, etc. I also feel that pop and rock fans shy away from listening to our music because of their preconceptions upon seeing that we are a violin and piano instrumental unit.

Even though you are an instrumental band, your music packs such an emotional punch. How do you imbue such deep emotions into your composition, without lyrics?

Kagaya: Every piece of music from sources is composed with a scene, emotion, or message in mind. We discuss and brush up the image presented by the composer and then we all work together to convey that image more vividly to the audience. We then consider how to make the performance amplify the image of the track even further to the audience.

Congratulations on your recent signing to JPU Records, by the way. How does it feel to go from a Japanese audience to an international audience?

Kagaya: I’m so happy! I dream of performing overseas. I can’t help but look forward to meeting you all when the time comes.

Hidaka: I’m very happy, too. I would love to have more people from overseas listen to our music. As there are no lyrics, there’s no need to worry about a language barrier!

Notsu: I am truly grateful and pleased. I hope our music will be enjoyed by more people and reach beyond borders.

If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you want to play and why?

Kagaya: I would like to perform all over the world. I would like to use the many cultures, landscapes and people I come across in those countries as inspiration for future musical activities as well as an outlook on life.

Hidaka: I would like to perform in Europe! The home of the violin! I have never been abroad…

Notsu: There are so many places I would like to visit, but first I would like to tour around Europe. I’m especially interested in visiting Poland.

What are your goals or visions for the future of sources?

Kagaya: I would like to travel around the world to perform, meet many people, experience many things, expand my possibilities to the limit as the name “sources” implies, and deliver a lot of music and performances to everyone.

Hidaka: We haven’t been to all areas of Japan yet, so first of all, we want to do our best so that we can perform all over the country.

Notsu: While working towards the goal of playing overseas, we’ll continue aiming to create music that captivates audiences of all types of people.

Please leave a message for our readers.

Kagaya: Thank you for reading! We are looking forward to seeing you in the near future.

Hidaka: I would be so happy if you took the time to listen to our music. I am sure that you will be able to imagine many different views and emotions in your mind.

Notsu: Thank you for reading this interview with sources. We believe that you can feel the true essence of our music when you enjoy our live performance in person. I hope one day you can experience sources in full. Thank you for your support.

JROCK NEWS thanks JPU Records and sources for this interview.

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