Interview: Music Unit GARNiDELiA [2/2]

Interview: Music Unit GARNiDELiA [2/2]

The music unit GARNiDELiA has released many anime tie-in songs since their major debut last year. This time, we talked with the artists about their tie-in song “MIRAI” for the upcoming TV anime Gunslinger Stratos, which is set to start broadcasting from April. We also inquired about what comes next for the duo.

Part 1 of the interview can be read here.

[GARNiDELiA Profile]
The duo unit consists of female vocalist MARiA and composer toku. MARiA, who started musical activities at the age of thirteen, is a talented vocalist. She has sung solos for anime theme songs, and performed live as a guest vocalist for other artists. toku on the other hand, has arranged music for a great number of artists including LiSA, and has great experience with sound production. GARNiDELiA was formed in 2010, and in March 2014, they made their major debut with the new opening theme song, “ambiguous”, for the anime, Kill la Kill. After that, they were also responsible for the opening theme songs for The Irregular at Magic High School, Gundam Reconguista in G, and four other cool anime series. Subsequently, on January 21, 2015, GARNiDELiA’s first major album was released.

Tie-in with TV Anime Starting in April, Gunslinger Stratos

──Please tell us about your impressions for the Gunslinger Stratos tie-in piece.

MARiA: Originally, I sang a song for the Gunslinger Stratos game, and from that connection, GARNiDELiA was asked to create a song for the anime version. The game is super popular, and one time when I sang at a game event, the fans were really enthusiastic and I felt their love for Gunslinger Stratos. I think that there are many people who are greatly looking forward to the animated adaptation. The work has elements of a romantic comedy, so I think that it will be an interesting anime. I hope that our song meets expectations.

toku: “MIRAI” is GARNiDELiA’s first ballad. We created music with lyrics and a viewpoint that reflect the story’s image.

──Your first ballad.

M: It is our first time to release one as a single, but before our debut, we often made ballads. I feel like the opportunity to get to know us before our anime tie-ins has come at last. For those who have listened to our singles up to now, I think that they’ll feel like we’re a new GARNiDELiA, and I greatly look forward to their response.

t: MARiA kept saying, “I want to do a ballad.”

M: Yeah. “The essence of GARNiDELiA is here” - is what I want people to feel [when they listen to our ballads].

──What differences are there between the music for the game version and the anime version?

M: People are in charge of what music plays while they play the game. I matched my singing style to the intense and violent attitude of the game. This time, since it was the ending song for the anime version, our latest work looks at the story between the male protagonist and a girl to create a soft ballad full of love. I think the style is quite different from the game version.

t: In the game, our song is just one fragment among many stages. As for anime, the opening and ending songs act as banner for 10+ episodes. And because of that, while making the song, we had to keep in mind how to cover all of those stories.

Jacket image for first major full album Linkage Ring First Edition released Jan. 21, 2015

──How long did it take to produce this one?

M: We proposed several songs and we produced the one that the director picked. I read the entire script and wrote lyrics about feelings I had when I put myself in the story. [The director] liked it and we immediately began production. Since I had already been involved with Gunslinger Stratos, it was easier to create this work.

──MARiA, where do you come up with lyrics?

M: I write them at home. I’m the type who has to say “Okay, I’m gonna write!” otherwise it doesn’t happen. At home, I’m glued to the computer for 3 or 4 hours.

t: Once she starts writing, it begins to flow.

M: Once I’ve decided the theme and concentrate on writing, it goes fairly quickly. Until then, I need to read books and other material and watch movies to get inspiration. Also, I read Naruto. (Laughs) I’ve learned a lot from Naruto quotes. I actually have a collection of Naruto quotes!

──When you’re writing lyrics, do you prioritize words or sound?

M: I am conscious about both of them, but since I am the singer, I choose sounds that give a good feeling when sung, and words that don’t conflict with the story.

──toku, what kind of impressions do you have about the lyrics that MARiA writes?

t: Basically, I listen to them and based on how I feel about them - good or bad - I give her feedback and consult with her. This stage happens close to when we are about to produce a song, so I understand that she picks words that have a good feeling when they’re sung. What I do is more or less check whether the song was made with words that will be conveyed to those listening more intently and even to those listening for the first time. So I leave that area up to her.

M: But at first it was very difficult. It has been 4 or 5 years since GARNiDELiA was formed. Before that, I didn’t write lyrics. It was only after joining GARNiDELiA that I wrote lyrics for songs. When the group was formed, I was around 18 years old, and toku made me work very hard. At the time, toku was like my mentor since he had experience working with singer-songwriter Angela Aki 1 and other writers.

t: In the end, you have to decide from which viewpoint the words come from - will you sing from your own perspective, or that of the protagonist? I think Japanese is beautiful, and I strive to maintain that charm when selecting lyrics.

M: The lyrics I wrote received a very harsh response, every time. It seemed like day after day I would cry while rewriting the lyrics.

t: She understands the process, so there isn’t a problem anymore.

M: I’ve improved!

**Second single grilletto. It’s also included on the Linkage Ring album.**

──As for composing and arranging music, how and when do you get inspired?

t: At first, I start the process with the piano or by humming and so on. And then eventually, I aim toward what MARiA can sing. However, for our typical melodies, I think of instances of like, “Here, she will want to take breath, but I don’t want her to.” (Laughs)

M: He’s really terrible. (Laughs)

t: Surprisingly, in this way by going back and forth, sometimes a new melody is created. Among those who love anime and anime songs, there are many who are critical about music. No matter how catchy of a sound you make, I really feel that they will not receive it well if you can’t clearly establish the essential melody line. I think that the best thing is for MARiA to express the parts that move listeners to tears or think the song is cool. That is something that I’m conscious of.

Once I finish the track and the demo is ready, I pass it along to MARiA, and she works on the lyrics. And with what I get back from her, we go back and forth many times. Lyrics are also a component of arranging, I think. Finally, we’re very particular about the sound; I work on the mixing at my home, and then work on it together with her. We do everything that we want to do with the current GARNiDELiA.

──It’s been about a year since your major debut. As your popularity increases, has your thinking changed in any way?

M: For this last year, we have been extremely busy. Moving forward, we must meet our fans’ expectations, and we also want to try new things. For example, this year, we’re expanding by releasing a ballad single, which we hadn’t done before. By throwing this curveball, we hope to surprise our fans in a good way.

──For 2015, is there anything you want to try?

M: I want to try acoustics. Our big image is that we have a digital sound, I think, but I want to try the opposite direction, too.

t: I think that many people know us by our singles. That’s why this time we have “MIRAI” to show “the other side of GARNiDELiA.” I wish that people will see us in person, on the Internet, and other places.

^1^ Angela Aki is a Japanese singer-songwriter. She was in charge of the song “Kiss Me Good-Bye” featured in the game Final Fantasy XII. Her father is Japanese, and her mother is an American of Italian descent.

GARNiDELiA’s Official Site
toku’s Official Twitter
MARiA’s Official Twitter
TV Anime Gunslinger Stratos Official Site


Win a Poster Signed by GARNiDELiA!

**From among those who click the “Suki” button for both this first article and the upcoming second article featuring TOM’s interview with GARNiDELiA, 3 people will be randomly selected to receive a poster signed by GARNiDELiA. Don’t miss out!**
*Deadline: April 8, 8PM (PDT)
Only winners will be contacted.

This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.

2nd Single Grilletto
2nd Single *Grilletto*
3rd Single ambiguous short ver.
3rd Single *ambiguous* short ver.
Linkage Ring Regular Edition album jacket
*Linkage Ring* Regular Edition album jacket
Linkage Ring First Edition album jacket
*Linkage Ring* First Edition album jacket
Linkage Ring First Edition album jacket
*Linkage Ring* First Edition album jacket
Linkage Ring album main artist photo
*Linkage Ring* album main artist photo
Win a Poster Signed by GARNiDELiA!
Win a Poster Signed by GARNiDELiA!

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