Revo was interviewed on the June 2010 issue of NEWTYPE (korean edition), matching with the opening event of the Korean official fanclub (Salon de Horizon Korea), the release of Ido e itaru Mori e itaru Ido, and the release of many Korea-licensed Sound Horizon albums.

In that interview, Revo was asked many interesting things about his work, and he stated that the bonus track of Seisen no Iberia actually does exist, even if nobody has been able to solve the riddle.

A million thanks to HIS MASK, who translated the article!

“A fantasy band that sings stories”

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A new horizon of Music

Sound Horizon (SH) is a group which has a musicality totally different from J-POP. They call themselves by the name Fantasy Band (‘Gensou Gakudan’), call their albums ‘Horizons’ and refer to their concerts as an imaginary country called ‘The Moving Kingdom Sound Horizon Kingdom (SHK)’. In this imaginary kingdom, Revo ―the main member― is called ‘His Majesty’ and the fans are called ‘Laurants‘, meaning the populace. This unique performance spreads as a legend to make more Laurants (fans). Though SH is unfamiliar because it doesn’t belong to J-POP nor anime songs, and it is fascinating for the same reason.

SH’s music, which doesn’t belong to a special genre, could be expressed as ‘story music (STORY CD)’. Literally, its main aim is to deliver ‘stories’. Each album, called Horizon, has different stories yet they all connect with each other to form a single weltanschauung. Usually it has a fantasy world as the background, deals with human dramas and the two faces of human kinds, such as death and destiny, the history of the world and legends about Gods, and has original characters who lead the story. Thanks to the characters who are unrealistic like the main characters of a cartoon and have strong personalities, the concerts of SH have many spectacular things to see. Not only do the vocals appear on stage dressed up as characters, but also the various performances are just like a musical, so the performance itself is ‘a stage of a fantasy world’.

As guest members, vocals familiar to fans of anime songs, such as KAORI, who has sung songs such as tsubasa, dream scape of the animation ‘Tsubasa Chronicles’ under the name FictionJunction KAORI and owns a strong voice, and Haruka Shimotsuki, who sung Toumei Shelter, the ending theme of the animation Rozen Maiden, and popular seiyuus such as Hikaru Midorikawa, Yuichi Nakamura, Norio Wakamoto and Minami Kuribayashi have participated.

Individually, Revo has worked on animations or game OSTs such as GUNSLINGER GIRL and Leviathan. Especially in Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido, the single which came out after 2 years, has many new attempts such as having VOCALOID ‘Miku Hatsune’ participating as a vocal.


Meeting ‘His Majesty’ of Sound Horizon!

The most fascinating thing of SH is the addictive and unique melody created under the very fingertips of Revo. To deliver stories effectively, sound creator Revo produces diverse melodies that cross genres like rock, pop, jazz and classical music. He, who is called ‘His Majesty’ by his fans and gets infinite love from them, is in charge almost everything of SH-composing the songs, writing the lyrics and playing the instruments and so on. In other words, he is the center core of SH! We met Revo who had come to Korea for the inauguration ceremony of the official Korean fan club.

NT.― I heard it was the first overseas trip of SH. Have you been to Korea personally before?

Revo.― No, I haven’t. Though Korea is geographically close to Japan, surprisingly there were many points about it that I didn’t know about. For example, the impression of people walking on the streets, the fact that only a few Koreans had dyed their hair unlike young Japanese. Also I learned about the traffic jam in Korea.

NT.― You said that you had often eaten Korean foods even in Japan. What was the most impressive dish you have eaten in Korea?

Revo.― Nowadays a lot of Korean dishes are sold in Japan that it is even sold in convenience stores, so I eat them often. Since I like spicy foods, I enjoy kimchi (Vegetables, usually cabbages or radishes, pickled in Korean style. Usually has red pepper powder as an ingredient), but this is a side dish rather than a dish…. As for pot stew and bibimbob (Rice mixed in a bowl with various ingredients such as vegetables, minced meat, and Korean hot pepper paste), I eat it a lot even in Japan. In Korea, what was it, a royal cuisine? I ate a hanjungshik (A course meal that has almost all of the courses on the table at the same time) that had lots of side dishes. It was delicious.

NT.― What made you release albums & establish the first overseas official fan club in Korea?

Revo.― Not for 1~2 years ago, but for about 5 years I have known the existence of Korean fans. I knew them mainly through the internet. There were less Korean fans than now, but there were Korean fans who cheered for SH though no albums had been released in Korea. So I granted a Korean record company’s request to release albums and established the fan club.

NT.― When did you start composing?

Revo.― I started to compose music a long time ago. Come to think about it, I’ve been working under the name SH for about 10 years now. At first I started with music with no lyrics like BGMs from movies or games. With melodies that seemed to make images in one’s mind, I started with a feeling like ‘making a scene from a story into music’. I’ve started telling stories by lyrics about 8 years ago.

NT.― The name ‘Sound Horizon’ seems special. What is the meaning of it?

Revo.― Literally, Sound means ‘music’ or ‘having music’. Think of Horizon as a ‘world’. It is a ‘limitless horizon’ of the world you are viewing. This world spreads even beyond view, but first we express the world that we can see by using sound. Since the horizon changes if the place where the person listening to the sound is located changes, it isn’t an absolute territory. That also means that if you look at various horizons, you can see various worlds or even the whole world. In the same context, we call our albums horizons, which mean ‘one story’ or ‘one world’. I thought ‘horizon’ would be easier to acknowledge as a keyword, rather than a story of SH.

NT.― SH is an unusual form of band that many guest musicians participate in with you in the center of it. Sometimes the vocals are changed in each album, and many seiyuus participate, too. Do you have a special standard for choosing members?

Revo.― It’s easy to make people gather. However, it requires producing skills not to make people gather, but to put the right people in the right places. A standard for choosing members exists, but it’s quite hard to explain. Each member has his or her own standard that made me hooked on him or her.

NT.― The story-like lyrics with languages and histories from diverse countries are impressive. Where do you get the materials for your songs?

Revo.― There is no special way; it comes to the mind at various moments. Sometimes it comes naturally, for example I imagine drama when I see something, like a building, made out of the efforts and thoughts of people. Actually I almost never have been inspired by listening to good music.

NT.― The album jacket illustrations of YOKOYAN plays a big role in SH’s world view. How are the jacket illustrations and character designs made?

Revo.― I request the illustrations after I give some information about the album. Sometimes I give only vague information to YOKOYAN, but usually I give detailed information, like what character appears in the album, that their characteristics are like this and so I want for their hair lengths and colors to be like that.

NT.― SH’s music has strong individuality. Did any other works influence your works?

Revo.― There are lots of music I enjoy but, as I said before, I haven’t been influenced by other music. If I compose after I listen to music, it becomes similar to the one I listened to just before so I don’t use that method. Personally I listen to music of various genres and enjoy rock music. I like the music of Led Zeppelin, Beatles and Joe Hisaishi. Among movie actors I like Johnny Depp, and among historical figures I like people such as Napoleon and Da Vinci, though I have never met them.

NT.― What songs or albums do you suggest for ‘NEWTYPE’ readers?

Revo.― I would be glad if they listened to all of the songs, but, well, listening to the new songs would be the best. ‘Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido (Idoido)’, which is going to be released in Japan, is also going to be released in Korea. I would be happy if they listened to it.

NT.― You finally release a maxi single after 2 years. Please introduce ‘IdoIdo’ which is going to be released in Japan.

Revo.― If I talk about the story right now, then the delight of the listeners will decrease. So please understand the story by listening to the song. Since it is a prologue to an album yet to be released, the story of ‘Idid’ doesn’t finish in the single. Look forward to how the stories will be connected.

NT.― Tell us about your recent schedules and what you’re planning to do in Korea later on.

Revo.― June 19th is my birthday, so I am going to hold a birthday live event in Japan. In between the rehearsals I made some time to come to Korea for the Korean fan club. It’s my first time in Korea, and it’s also my first time meeting you, Korean fans. This is only the start. Since I am thinking of having various events in the future, I will be thankful if you would look forward to them.

NT.― Last, please give a message to the readers of NT.

Revo.― <NEWTYPE> is a magazine which gives information about various animes. Though SH doesn’t belong to the animation genre, I heard people say ‘Where does SH belong?’ many times even in Japan because of the stories with weltanschauung and the illustrations. Some people think that it’s an anisong in a broad sense, but some people don’t. Personally I don’t care where it belongs (laugh), but for various reasons, such as the fact that many seiyuus participate, I think SH’s music would be easy to accept for people who like animations. I want to make people know that this form of music exists.

I’m curious, His Majesty!

NT.― You speak various languages. How many languages do you speak exactly, His Majesty?

Revo.― There are not many languages I am good at, but there are several languages I can read. Currently I am studying Korean, and I’m able to do simple conversations. Among the words I’ve learned recently, I like 맛있어요 (masisseoyo, ‘It’s delicious’) the best (laugh). It’s a good word.

NT.― Among all the horizons that have been released, which one is your favorite?

Revo.― I cannot decide.

NT.― What’s the most impressive episode with Laurants or the most impressive present from them?

Revo.― There are so many episodes. All kinds of presents are appreciated, but I’m the happiest when I get presents which has bright ideas and many people participating in it, such as writing messages in handkerchiefs and connecting them.

NT.― What do you do on holidays?

Revo.― I read books, watch movies, or just plainly walk on the street….

NT.― What kind of books do you usually read? Do you have an animation or cartoon you like?

Revo.― About half of what I read I read to study. Many of the books are related to history and culture, I read books on architecture if I want to study it…whether I understand the book is a different matter, though (laugh). I read books of diverse fields. I don’t really watch animations but I do read comic magazines like sometimes.

NT.― Is there a special reason Jimang always plays characters who have beards?

Revo.― It’s not like that I always insist beards, but don’t they suit Jimang, since he’s middle-aged?

NT.― Does the secret track of Seisen no Iberia really exist? Couldn’t you give us a hint?

Revo.― It exists. However, I cannot give you a hint. Solve it on your own, please.