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A continuation of last weeks interview!
Their new release, touring, their best & worse memories over the years & even their strongest temptations – read about them here!

Read Part 1 here


PART 2



You remastered all the songs that were initially released as singles for this album, right? How was the remastering process? Was there anything that was particularly difficult? 

CHISA: Well, when it comes to remastering, it’s not like we redo the whole thing. So I guess it’s not really difficult for the band members.

RIKITO: It’s difficult for the person who does the editing.

SHOGO: We asked them to adjust the other songs to match RESISTED TEMPTATION. So they worked to change them to fit with the current sound.

RIKITO: The people who do the work generally understand us.

CHISA: We worked with an overseas engineer only for COME BACK TO YOU. Other than that, ACME has always worked with the same engineer, and they do almost all of our mixing and remastering so they understand us. 

I see. We would like to also ask you about the album jacket. It looks very cool! It also looks like there are many hidden meanings, feelings and hints in it. Can you tell us a little about this jacket? Like, how was the designing process and what is the story behind it?

HAL: I told the designer my keywords from the lyrics and asked them to try something with those. And from that, they came up with this and it was perfect (laugh). The keywords were dark, wings, clock, and eighties and they came up with that (laughs). 

SHOGO: For the first time in ACME, we’ve been told that our jacket is cool (laughs). The first time ever. 

Next, we would like to ask you about some of the online events and projects you have been doing. You have been doing YouTube live every week since the start of the pandemic for around 2 years. However, recently you started doing a radio program (ACMESTATION) instead. Why did you decide to switch from YouTube to radio?

ACME: Because we started doing the radio.

HAL: Because we have limited time to gather together, like finding the time when all band members are free to meet. But we definitely do the radio broadcast every week.

CHISA: We’ve appeared as guests on radio shows many times before but this is the first time probably for all of us to host one. So after we decided to do that, our schedules also changed. We centered our schedules around the day we record for the radio because it will definitely be broadcasted on Sundays so we definitely have to record it (laughs). We recorded a lot of them before going to America, and we even recorded one while we were there. 

I see. So how did you decide on doing a radio show?

CHISA: Well, we wanted new people to listen to it, too. We decided to do something a little different from our usual activities and deliver our songs to new people so we chose the radio. We felt like radio was the best option for us. 

HAL: And we can always go back to YouTube.

Right, you did one recently for Halloween. You did a Halloween Special, didn’t you?

ACME: We did, we did. 

RIKITO: Yes, so it’s not like we won’t do YouTube ever again.

CHISA: We can do the YouTube live with just us, the members. But with radio, we get to interact with a lot of different people, and by doing that, I wonder if we can reach people who don’t usually listen to ACME. It’s a radio channel in Chiba, and that’s also why we decided to do a live show in Chiba for the first time.  

Oh, that’s great! We also want to ask you about the YouTube Halloween special live you did recently.  You all cosplayed different characters (CHISA as Giorno Giovanna, SHOGO as Loid Forger, RIKITO as the Undertaker and HAL as Rengoku), right? Later SHOGO shared another picture of him in Anya cosplay this time. Was there any specific reason why you chose to do Loid over Anya on YouTube?

SHOGO: Actually, I was told to do Anya for my other thing. After I was told to do it, we decided to do one as ACME as well. I thought it would be interesting to do the Spy x Family by myself, then chose to cosplay as the father (laughs).

HAL: Your other thing? Is it okay to not create the scene?

SHOGO: Which scene?

HAL: The one who plays in RORSCHACH INC. isn’t SHOGO himself, but his friend that looks exactly like him (laughs).

SHOGO: (laughs) I don’t know how to say this, but it started to get annoying to set that scene.

How did everyone else choose their characters?

RIKITO: I consulted with our make-up artist and received recommendations for several candidates, and I chose one among them.

Who were the other options?

RIKITO: I don’t know the characters’ names. In fact, I learned about the Undertaker for the first time then. To be honest, I don’t know much about anime. I know a lot about Slam Dunk though.

Why didn’t you do a character from Slam Dunk?

RIKITO: It probably wouldn’t be that much fun to do a character from Slam Dunk.

CHISA: I think he probably wanted to be popular. 

RIKITO: True. I did that one because I wanted to be popular for sure (laughs).

CHISA: I’ve done the same cosplay once before, and I thought that I wanted to do it again. So once I got the chance, I thought it might be great to do it again this time (laughs).

HAL: I thought it would suit me (laughs). I find that character pretty similar to myself. If a live action was to be done for Demon Slayer, I would probably play the role of Rengoku.

I see. There is something I’m very curious about. After the YouTube live, you also took cheki, right? HAL was posing with a remote control (laughs). By any chance, was that a katana? (laughs)

HAL: It’s a katana. The closest thing to katana I could find there was a remote control (laughs). It’s amazing that you paid attention to that extent (laughs). I’ve been exposed (laughs).

Since we’re on the subject of anime, is there any anime or manga you’re crazy about currently? RIKITO, you already said you don’t watch much anime, but is there any drama series or something you watch?

RIKITO: I don’t watch TV (laughs). Lately, I don’t watch anything except for Major League baseball. 

CHISA: I’m watching CHAINSAW MAN these days.

It’s very popular, right?

CHISA: Right. Also, I recently started watching Kamen Rider: Black Sun.

HAL: Is it anime?

CHISA: Drama series. It’s available on Amazon Prime.

SHOGO: Lately it’s the new Urusei Yatsura. Also, I’ve been watching Evangelion. I have never seen the movies in the cinema so I’m watching them. Also, whenever I have nothing to watch I leave Rick and Morty on in the background. 

HAL: You don’t watch Bocchi the Rock? Where high school girls form a band together. I used to be in a band when I was a high school girl. 

ACME: (laughs)

HAL: So it reminds me of myself. 

RIKITO: You didn’t even go to highschool (laughs).

HAL: I remember that this was how it felt to start a band.

SHOGO: Also, the one with the uncle. Uncle from Another World. They keep redoing it so many times now. They start, then go back and start again. I’m getting a little sick of it. Also, Reincarnated as a Sword is interesting, too.

HAL: Also, there is an anime called Yama no Susume, and it feels like it was made just for me. It’s a story about school girls climbing mountains. It takes place in my hometown so they keep showing the places I know so I’m really interested in it. They also climb the mountains I have visited before, too. 

Going back to the Halloween Special Youtube Live show, during the Halloween Special, you also did a separate Instagram live simultaneously to YouTube. While you were showing videos of your concerts on YouTube, fans were able to watch your conversations among each other on Instagram. I thought it was an excellent idea.

ACME: You did?

I’m sure your fans were delighted. How did you decide on that?

RIKITO: CHISA just started it suddenly. To increase the number of listeners on YouTube.

CHISA: I think the band’s YouTube channel has around 18.000 subscribers. But I have around 40.000 followers on Instagram so I thought that more people would be notified there, and I wanted to let them know that we were doing a YouTube live show.

This year, you have also done amazing fundraiser projects for RIKITO and SHOGO’s birthdays: for SHOGO’s it was helping The Sloth Conservation Foundation to build a sloth crossing canopy bridge, and helping The United Nations World Food Programme’s FreeRice Project trivia for RIKITO’s birthday. Both of these projects were extremely successful! Not only has the Shogo-Gumi Sloth crossing been accomplished, but you also reached your goal to donate 1 million grains of rice for RIKITO’s birthday! Congratulations! How did you come up with these projects? 

SHOGO: The fans were the ones to organize them.

RIKITO: We are the ones who collaborate with them as opposed to starting the projects ourselves.

CHISA: I think we are really lucky that people who like ACME in the US happen to be wonderful people, and they created a great community. They also help ACME in a sense. They did a fan sponsored event in Texas. The fans wanted to rent a cafe and hold an event there, and we collaborated. It’s a little different from Japan in that we can do a lot of things with fans’ initiatives.

HAL: We did things we can’t normally do there. Like, we played a game with the fans where we were holding out our hands and trying to push each other down. We also did karaoke together.

 It sounds like fun. Do you plan to do those kinds of special events in Japan, as well?

CHISA: I think there is a difference in the styles. In Japan, a lot of people, including me, feel more comfortable when the customers and service providers are clearly separated. I think, probably, there are a lot of people in the US that want to try doing different things, and there might be times when some of it doesn’t work out well but for now we can count on them. In Japan, everyone’s a little shy so it is a bit difficult.

HAL: Also, people can’t do those things by themselves in Japan. Like, they can’t just rent a cafe and ask us to hold an event there. 

CHISA: There would be a lot of things to worry about. But I think being able to do different things in different countries is what makes it so interesting.

I see. Since we talked about sloths previously, what is your favorite animal? And why?

SHOGO: Sloths and dogs. Because they are cute (laughs).

Everyone can say dogs as they are kept as pets, but sloth is a bit surprising.

SHOGO: Sloths live at their own pace. I want to live like that, too, forever (laughs).

CHISA: I also like sloths. I think it might be because they are really rare. We don’t have a lot of them here, so when I see one every once in a while, I feel that they are really rare. I also like giraffes. I know about them in theory but when I actually see one, I feel like they are also strange. Also, elephants have really kind eyes but if you look closely I guess they are pretty scary, but since giraffes have long eyelashes, they just look kind (laughs).

RIKITO: Of course I like dogs, but I like bisons the best. 

HAL: Not fish?

RIKITO: Fish is different. Fish is fish. 

ACME: What are you talking about (laughs)? 

RIKITO: Fish is fish. So my answer is bison. Because they are cool. There aren’t many of them in Japan.

HAL: When I ate bison in the US, they didn’t taste good. You can eat their meat. 

RIKITO: I don’t mean as food (laughs).

HAL: Hippo. 

ACME: Not panda?

HAL: I keep it a secret but it’s actually hippos. Despite their looks, they are pretty strong. Their skin is also thick. Actually, they kill the most people. When I went to Ueno Zoo a long time ago, I was really surprised because they were bigger than I expected. And their poop was amazing, too. They scatter the poop as they turn their tails smoothly. So, I fell in love with that (laughs). I wanted to be that wild, too. The way they don’t care about anything is very cool.

(laughs) I see. Then, are there any animals you are scared of? 

HAL: Bears in the mountains (laughs). I don’t really hate them as animals but they are the last thing I want to see in the mountains. 

CHISA: It’s cockroaches for me. 

HAL: What would you do, for example, if you see one at home?

CHISA: I can’t do anything. I just look at it. But that’s why I live in a place where there are no cockroaches. I definitely wouldn’t want to live in a wooden house. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do if I see one at home.

HAL: You can’t even hit it with something?

CHISA: I can’t even hit them so I just wait for them to leave on their own.

Gokiburijet (Translator note: it’s a special spray against cockroaches) while screaming. That’s how I handle them.

HAL: While screaming (laughs).

CHISA: Yes. Also, talking about scary animals, there was a reason why I said earlier that giraffes had kind eyes but they were actually scary. When we all went to a fan trip, I was trying to take a pony to the race track holding it like this in front of the fans. At that time everybody was saying the pony was so cute but when I thought about it, it was pretty scary and it was snorting a lot (laughs). It was strong, and even though it was smaller compared to a horse, it still had a big face. If you think about it, it’s definitely stronger than me. I was really scared so I’m scared of ponies, too. It had bloodshot eyes, too (laughs). It wasn’t cute at all. I can’t handle them. I’m even scared of ponies. 

SHOGO: Monkeys and snakes. I can’t.

CHISA: You had a fight with them through the glass (laughs).

HAL: For some reason, when they see SHOGO, they act intimidating.

SHOGO: They did. It really was like that. I also start saying things like “hey you”, and they also get fired up which turns out so funny (laughs). I think it has happened 5 times in the past.

CHISA: Speaking of it, RIKITO is hated by the birds, too. 

RIKITO: Yes, birds hate me. Maybe it’s because I grilled them (laughs). Even seemingly quiet birds become violent.

SHOGO: Even though he is talking in a normal voice, the birds are getting excited. 

RIKITO: I have a bad habit of being persistent (laughs). When I overdo it, the birds get mad at me (laughs). I thought they are similar to humans in that sense. 

Before we close this interview, we would like to ask a few questions to get to know you better. First, what do you appreciate the most about each other?

HAL: I’m impressed by CHISA’s amazing imagination skills. It’s like wow, you can think of it that way, too. He is able to think about things in a way I cannot. Also, because RIKITO is from Kansai, people might expect him to be the boke (funny man) whereas he’s surprisingly good at being the tsukkomi (straight man). If he gets too eager and tries to go for it, he usually fails though (laughs). Also, he has good communication skills. Also, thank you so much for coming with me to the mountains every once in a while, RIKITO (laughs).

CHISA: SHOGO knows a lot about good restaurants. No matter if we’re speaking on the radio or in an interview like this, he probably has his own ranking system and he would teach you the restaurants up to a certain rank, but wouldn’t teach you the ones above that rank (laughs). He probably thinks that some of the restaurants are too delicious to tell others about but he does tell the members about them (laughs). HAL opens us the way for new things.

RIKITO: It’s true. He is like a moodmaker. 

CHISA: Also, I can’t say by how many years but HAL and I are the oldest and the youngest in the band. Having someone around that is older than me in the band feels like having a role model around. I can see that if I live like this, I can still be in a band no matter how many years pass. After all, bandmen are usually worried about whether they can keep going the next year, or 5 years later, or for how many years. But, as expected, having a role model by your side gives you a great sense of security.

HAL: You get to realize it beforehand if things get too out of hand. Like, I keep talking about the same things every time (laughs).

CHISA: Also, RIKITO’s family. RIKITO has a wonderful family that is very supportive of ACME. 

RIKITO: For me, thank you for going to the hot springs with them and for getting along with my family. My family tends to come on a little too strong, so I want to thank the members for being friendly with them.

HAL: During RIKITO’s birthday event, too, we received LINE messages sent directly from his mother, saying she wanted to do this kind of surprise, and she sent a script for it (laughs).

RIKITO: Thank you for going along with it (laughs).

As for our last question, could you please tell us about your expectations for your upcoming tour and your new album?

HAL: I always do many different things like radio etc., but in the end, what I am best at is performing my music and writing good songs. The best way to enjoy those are of course the concerts. Even if you live far away, since we’re already coming close to you with this tour, please think about giving us a try. If you come, I’m sure you won’t regret it. If you think that our CDs, radio programmes etc., might be cool, then the concert definitely won’t disappoint you. That’s why if you believe it, and come to our concerts, I think you can make the best out of it (laughs).

CHISA: I agree. Until the album is made and released, it’s only made with the members’ and staff’s strength. After releasing it, we can meet the people who always support us, and show them our new song. Through doing radio programmes and interviews like this, I’m hoping that maybe we can also deliver our new work to the people we haven’t met yet. I am looking forward to that. 

RIKITO: What I want people to look forward to is, because the set lists change drastically from one region to another, I think each concert is born from that moment, so it becomes something special. So please look forward to that, and please try and come to visit us in different places.

HAL: I think there will also be a Q&A corner during the talk shows in the second part which I think is a good chance. If you have something on your mind, please ask us. There are sometimes questions in English. Or, people ask us to read things in English (laughs).

CHISA: Japan has opened its border now, too.

RIKITO: Right. We not only enjoy the concerts, but we also make time to share the fun with the band members. So please look forward to not only the concerts, but also the talk shows. 

SHOGO: I hope that local people from each region come to see us. The last time we went to Sendai, there wasn’t even a single local person (laughs). It was just people from Tokyo and from the cities closeby. I’m very grateful to them, but I’m hoping that locals will also come this time. I look forward to it, and I want to keep doing my best in the future, too.

Our interview ends here. Thank you very much for giving us so much time for this interview.

ACME: Thank you very much.

Interview: Gamze, Chris
Translation: Gamze
English Edit: Franzi

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