Location: Anime Boston 2018
Interview Date: 3/31/2018
This interview took place the day after FLOW performed in-concert at Anime Boston. At the show, Takeshi Asakawa followed up Hiroshi Isawaki’s drum solo with a performance of Sweet Caroline. If you want to pander to the Boston crowd, that’s a good choice (he was wearing a Red Sox cap).
Due to all of the answers being filtered through the interpreter, it was difficult to be certain as to whom in the band was being quoted. That said, in general Kōshi Asakawa provided most of the answers. I’ll try to note if it was specifically someone else who was speaking.
The first question focused on their upcoming international tour.
“We really enjoy doing international concerts. It will be our fifth time in Brazil.” -FLOW
“The crowds in South and Latin America have a lot of energy.” -FLOW
“We’ve been all around the world. International fans show how they are feeling. The first time in America the fans were louder and more intense than we were expecting.” -FLOW
“Anime Friends invited us, and then did so again. We’re very excited to keep coming back.” (Editor’s Note: Their 2014 and 2015 Anime Friends performances are available on Youtube, and they are spectacular.)
When asked how they became involved with Dragon Ball Z they laughed:
“We got an offer!”
They also noted they really enjoyed the final Dragon Ball Super fight, and that they were big fans of Hironobu Kageyama’s original work. They added that they really enjoyed singing with him.
In terms of their working process:
“It depends on the project. If it’s something new, we get a rundown of the concept and build off it. For the older stuff, we’ll read the source material.” -FLOW
“We’ll make an outline first. Then the vocalists will add the lyrics.” -FLOW
As for their original music:
“FLOW songs are reflections of the band and how we are feeling.” -FLOW
I was curious as to whether FLOW were baseball fans. The collective response was “Not really.” Drummer Hiroshi Isawaki mentioned that he played baseball. FLOW also mentioned that they are good friends with a current Red Sox player.
They were asked about some of the weirder experiences of touring abroad.
“Fans will ask us questions in broken Japanese.” -FLOW
The funniest moment of this interview was when the Boston Bastard Brigade asked FLOW what three albums would they take with them if they were going to be stuck on a desert island. Some snippets
“I’d like to take healing music, like the sounds of the waves.” -Kohtaro Gotō
“Are you crazy? We will already have the sounds of the waves.” -FLOW
“Maybe Madonna.” -FLOW
“Which album from Madonna?” -BBB
“Not an album. Madonna.” -FLOW
When asked which artist they would most like to collaborate with:
“Madonna. We have no idea what that would sound like though.” -FLOW
FLOW was asked if there was any place in America they would most like to visit. They thought about that for a bit, before drummer Hiroshi Isawaki said he’d like to visit the Grand Canyon. The rest of the band agreed.
I asked about their most challenging experience during a show.
“We were doing a show and there was a blackout. It lasted for an hour and the audience remained the whole time. That was a great experience.” -FLOW
As for any traditions as they prepare for a show:
“We huddle together and shout ‘FLOW’.”
The final question was about their work on Naruto.
“We’ve done five Naruto songs. Every time we do a new song for Naturo, we have to outdo the last one. It’s hard to keep topping them.” -FLOW
Special thanks to FLOW for speaking with us. Thanks to Anime Boston for making this interview possible.