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Interview: Sparking Conversation with Stereo Dive Foundation

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Dec 27, 2022 8:00 PM
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STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (SDF), known for iconic anime themes such as "Daisy" from Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary), made a special appearance at the Tensura Special Event at Anime NYC 2022. While we were there, we had the special opportunity to interview R.O.N from SDF and hear his new single, "SPARKLES," featured as an insert song in the Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken: Guren no Kizuna-hen movie.


How are you feeling after yesterday's live performance at the Tensura Special Event?

I feel comfortable because I'm used to performing live with a band. However, because this was my first solo concert, I was responsible for all musical aspects, including sound adjustments on the back end as well as the actual performance. It was a challenge because this was a completely new format for me.

So, this is the first time, even within Japan?

I haven't done this format in Japan either. I went live for the first time yesterday, so I'm very relieved right now.

Would you consider performing again in this format in the future?

Yeah, I'd like to perform in this format because it's quite convenient. I don't need a mic or sound check and can go live at the venue straightaway. I almost feel like a DJ in the sense that I control the music, and the setlist itself contributed to having this almost DJ-like format.

During the Tensura concert, you started off with your song "#02," which helped to build up the hype. Why did you choose the songs you did for this performance when you were selecting your setlist?

"#02" is a good opener track. I also wanted to decorate the concert with Tensura songs.

I noticed you played "SPARKLES," the new insert song that you'll include in the movie, but also "Genesis" and "Daisy," which I believe are two of your most popular anisongs, so I think hearing them was a real treat for the fans.

Oh, there was also a song that was actually created as a collaboration between Rimuru and Stereo Dive Foundation, namely "Indigo & Tangerine."

Yeah, it was really cool, being able to hear the voice actress of Rimuru singing the song! During the concert, you mentioned that you were doing a collaboration with Rimuru and it was then that I recognized, "Oh, it's the voice actress of Rimuru!"

Editor's Note: The instrumental version of the song mentioned here, "Indigo & Tangerine - Rimuru ver.," is available in SDF's single, "STORYSEEKER."

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION "STORYSEEKER" Music Video

Going back to the Tensura movie insert song, what did you enjoy most about composing "SPARKLES," and what makes it unique from your other anime songs?

I've written a few songs for Tensura, but for "SPARKLES," I really tried to match my emotions to the music and the anime.

I believe you did mention that this song includes themes that are very deeply personal to you, such as moving forward after loss. I remember MindaRyn was saying she was so moved by your song during the scene in the movie that she started crying, so I think that's a very powerful theme to include.

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION "SPARKLES" Insert Song

It's also quite different from some of your other music, which tends to include more of a technology aspect in the melodies as well as the music videos. Going forward, are you going to start exploring more of these personal themes, rather than themes that were more prevalent in the past?

I believe it would depend on the situation and the client's request, as well as the best model of success for the song sound—one that's synergistic in success and producing what's best, such as defining the animation, the meaning of the title, and how I can contribute to truly generate the best outcome.

Yeah, sounds like a real collaborative effort with everyone else on the anime team to make the best anisong.


So, going back to one of STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION's first contributions to an anime, which was the ending theme of Kyoukai no Kanata, "Daisy." The ending animation sequence for that song has a lot of the same visual themes as your own music video, such as the continuous walking scenes and the birds flying in the background. How much influence do you have on the artistic direction of the anime sequences, for both openings and endings?

In general, they are parallel tracks, so there is no crossover. It's possible that one did certain motifs before the other, and the latter showed respect by incorporating elements.

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION "Daisy" Music Video

Many of your songs have an addictive beat that is easy to dance to. For example, in Dimension W, Kyouma is freestyling to your song "Genesis," and in Tensura Season 2, "STORYSEEKER," Rimuru is rhythmically bouncing to the beat of the song. Do you enjoy dancing, or is this something you consider when creating these songs?

I don't dance, but I consider thematic contribution to be an essential component of any song. If it's a sad song, I'm going to pour my heart into it. If the song is meant to get you going, to get you excited, I'll do my best to spark that excitement.

Definitely! I feel like many of your songs tend to be very upbeat and exciting, so hearing "SPARKLES" was a bit different for me because it was full of emotion, and you could really hear that coming through in the song.

You could feel the same feeling with "Daisy" too.

That too. I think that really stood out from all your other anime songs like "Renegade," "Genesis," "ALPHA," or "OMEGA." Those songs tended to be a lot more upbeat, even though the content of the anime didn't always match that feeling. But with "Daisy," it was a completely different experience.

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION "Genesis" Music Video

You also did the ending theme for Muv-Luv Alternative, "TRISTAR," entirely in English. Do you hope to put out more fully English songs in the future to increase your reach with your Western audience?

I felt that having the lyrics in English allowed me to give my all to "TRISTAR," so it was more of an experiment to gauge audience reception.

You also released a Japanese version of "TRISTAR," so will you continue to release Japanese versions if you continue to release fully English songs?

I believe that having lyrics in both languages would be the best solution going forward.

I think giving the audience a choice as to what songs they can hear is a good strategy. That's just my opinion though!

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION "TRISTAR" Music Video

In a previous interview, you mentioned that you used to live in Los Angeles and in Frankfurt when you were younger. Do you feel that living overseas has had any impact on your style of music, and if so, in what ways?

Definitely. As a very impressionable child, I grew up in a multicultural, non-Japanese environment and was exposed to far more than the average Japanese child. As a result, I captured more nuances in my surroundings.

When I was in elementary school in Germany, the first time I wrote music in the form of a score, I felt that Europe had left a permanent impression on me because of the atmosphere, ambiance, and street scenery. I was greatly inspired by the whole European environment, and perhaps absorbing all of that contributed to the start of my composer career.


Thank you to STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION for this insightful interview! It was a wonderful experience attending the Tensura Special Event at Anime NYC 2022 and being able to hear "SPARKLES," as well as the special version of "Indigo & Tangerine" featuring Rimuru (Miho Okasaki). We look forward to hearing more of SDF's songs in future anime and hope to see them around at more conventions!

After the interview, we were also given the opportunity to attend SDF's debut performance in the United States at the Mercury Lounge in New York. At the concert, SDF performed an extended version of his setlist from the Tensura Special Event, including the songs "ALPHA" and "OMEGA" from Yuukoku no Moriarty (Moriarty the Patriot) and "TRISTAR" from Muv-Luv Alternative.

STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION official site: https://stereodivefoundation.jp/
STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION Twitter: @RON_SDF
STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION Instagram: @ron_sdf
STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION YouTube: @STEREO_DIVE_FOUNDATION

Dec 28, 2022 6:27 AM
#2

Offline
Oct 2015
783
That's awesome! Interesting interview... I remember when I was in high school listening to Diasy on repeat, on my way home. When I saw that they were doing a concert outside of the states I was ever so jealous. Maybe they will do a one off closer to where I live one day. One can only hope.

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