Last week’s interview to Revo on the 17th edition of Lisani! not only has shed some light over the future of Sound Horizon, but has also allowed us to know more about Revo’s personal thoughts on his career. Some of the things he says might break the heart of many long-running Laurants, but this 10-page long interview will definitely give you a better insight on the next 10 years of Sound Horizon.
To make it easier for you all, we have condensed the interview in 10 quotes that sketch Revo’s future plans for Sound Horizon and Linked Horizon.
* All quotes belong to Defade’s translation of the inteview.
«[about The Assorted Horizons] This is only the first part out of many, there’ll be a second and a third part.»
Before you get too excited, you should know that further on in the interview Revo states that “the next release won’t be some kind of The Assorted Horizons II, but rather something completely new”. 8th Story, perhaps?
«Trying to fit footage from different concert halls and different times into the same “candy box” is extremely difficult.»
When talking about the production of The Assorted Horizons, Revo states that putting footage from very different stages of Sound Horizon was a challenge.
“everything is different – from the visual effects, the scale, and the musicians themselves, so it’s a delicate task to find a good balance. I’d like to think that I managed to be quite careful about it.”
«I’m frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t able to realize my ideal.»
If you read live reports from Revo’s Halloween Party, you will already know that during an MC Revo mentioned he felt frustrated. Now, he gives us a more thorough explaination.
“As an artist, I put a lot of value into my ideals, and I’ve worked really hard to realize them…I can’t really do anything about the fact that I failed, but I still feel quite conflicted. This is how far I wanted to get, and if possible, I don’t want to settle for anything less. Because I was frustrated, I kept asking myself, “Couldn’t I have done better?”, but it turns out that I really couldn’t have.”
This definitely is a big surprise for most of us. Although Revo’s wording can sound ambiguous, he is stating his disappointment on Sound Horizon not reaching further and growing bigger during these 10 years.
«I’m sure it would’ve been better if I just specialized in one aspect, but it’s precisely because I was trying to do many things at the once that I’ve come up with my current artistic vision and style.»
Revo says one of the reasons why he didn’t reach his ideals with Sound Horizon is the fact that he tried to do more than he probably should have. About this attitude of “forcing” oneself, he says:
“As for why I failed…it’s not a coincidence – it’s because I was trying too hard to ‘force it’. This sort of ‘forced feeling’ is something that’s frowned upon in industry. “We’re not here for fun and games, so you better put out something complete if you’re going to have an audience”, they’ll say. I guess the criticism is deserved….but to be honest, the Laurants seem to be very accepting. Maybe they appreciate my attitude of setting a goal for myself and pursuing my ideals. On the other hand, if I just stayed in my comfort zone and kept producing works that are at my current level, maybe they’ll complain that “This isn’t the Revo I know…”…whatever it is, I just felt extremely frustrated at myself that day.”
«“Kouhaku” is a completely different animal. Whether you appear on “Kouhaku” during New Year’s Eve or not makes a world’s difference.»
When asked about his appearance in last year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen (Music show/competition held every year on New Year’s Eve), he makes a really interesting point about it and how it contributes to the expansion of Linked Horizon and his work.
“This is an opportunity for people who didn’t know a thing about us to discover LH. […] This is something to be happy about, because LH – along with its catchy name – is a project made for this purpose. […] I might experience some culture shock (laughs) when I hear people running their mouths off with misunderstandings at first, but I suppose that’s what it means to be popular.”
«In the next 10 years, I suppose I’ll dedicate my hard work towards actually delivering music that reaches a wider audience.»
Revo is determined to making his music more approachable and opening his gates wide. This does not only apply to Linked Horizon but also Sound Horizon. Now that Linked Horizon has paved the way for Sound Horizon into a more mainstream audience, he is hoping that will allow Sound Horizon to grow in the same way.
«Maybe there will be more ‘story music’ not just in Japan – but all across the world.»
Revo’s popularity has allowed ‘Story Music’ to become a thing, a proper genre acknowledged by the audience. He still thinks this isn’t enough, and hopes it will continue to expand – Luckily outside of Japan as well.
“If people living outside Japan like this sort of music, then by all means, spread it to the rest of the world. That’s something I’m counting on. But it’s by no means an easy task. Since this isn’t a genre of music that’s widely accepted, it requires a lot of mental preparedness on the part of both the creator and the listener to take their first steps in this genre.”
«I want to make “catchy” music»
Are you scared yet? Well, let’s put some context into it. What Revo means is that, despite his hopes of reaching goals as a creator, a part of him wants the approval of the general audience.
“I want to make “catchy” music, but it’s hard to gain a widespread audience with just “catchy” music, and it’s easy to fall into the same pattern over and over again – I don’t think that’s interesting for anyone involved. On the other hand, pursuing something that won’t bore me means setting the limit higher and higher for myself. It’s definitely no walk in the park, and even the audience won’t be able to appreciate your works on a casual level…but I’m going to try to lower the initial hurdle for getting into SH”.
«If you have to read a long and complicated manual before you even listen to the music itself, I don’t think anyone would want to approach it.»
According to Revo, many of Sound Horizon’s past releases are hard to approach and it takes a big effort from the listener to get into it. His current goal is already explicit in Halloween to Yoru no Monogatari, where the lead song Asa Made Halloween gives out a catchy and easy-listening impression, but the single as a whole is a completely different story. He wants to make it easier for fans to get into Sound Horizon, and surprise them (or even trick them) with a completely different approach once they’re inside.
«Maybe people are looking forward to other secret footages, but I won’t be publishing anything like that in the future.»
I guess that means we should stop hoping for any Revive Tour footage to be released… Oh well!
«There quite a few ‘traditions’ in our lives that are the result of past experiences, but to be honest, I don’t want to be so unwelcoming and selective.»
As it has been mentioned above, one of Revo’s goals for the future is to make Sound Horizon more accessible. This undoubtedly leads to a discussion over the cult-like following that the band has. Revo is aware of that, and he wants to try hard not to let that stop new fans from joining.
“I’ll try my hardest to change the current scene where people are tempted to say, “What, you don’t even know that?” People forget easily that everyone started out as a beginner. It is true that the accumulated weight of our 10 years’ worth of history is extremely valuable, but maybe it’s not a bad idea to remember how we were as beginners to commemorate this occasion.”
But don’t be scared, the National Anthem will still be sung at the end of every concert.
“That alone is something I hope the newcomers will be able to accept – or at least put up with. This song has no religious meaning, and it’s no song of worship. It simply represents a time that belongs to “all participants”. Isn’t it good enough that everyone’s simply joining each other in song? When they sing, they seek to convey that they’re “right here, right now”. Though it’s a song that was made as a national anthem, it’s purely a song that belongs to everybody, I really want to use this opportunity to make it clear.”
If you want to read the whole interview, you can do it on Defade’s blog. Definitely worth reading!