WHEN YOU WRITE LYRICS, YOU USUALLY WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR LIFE. WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE ARE YOU TRYING TO BRING ACROSS TO THE FANS? Not only to the fans. My dream is to share what I feel from this world with as many people as possible. And I will be happy if I can make all the people on earth happy. And I know our lives are eternal and there is some kind of eternal light in everybody. And it’s easy to say that, but it’s very difficult to really show it. And so my dream is to make everybody realize how beautiful they are. Because then I can be happy. I can feel I have some… it wasn’t meaningless of my birth…. that I was born into this world if I can do something, you know. WHEN YOU CAME UP WITH THE SONG ARRANGEMENTS – YOU WORKED WITH LARS RATZ AND MICHAEL EHRE (EDITOR’S NOTE: BASSIST AND DRUMMER OF THE GERMAN METAL BAND METALIUM) AGAIN – WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST DIFFICULT WHEN YOU WERE WRITING THE SONGS? Most difficult… difficult… most difficult?! This QUESTION is difficult, because I myself don’t know what the most difficult part was. In a way the most difficult part is inside of me. For example, I left Armageddon Music to make the CD, which is really what I wish as my ideals. But it was very risky to leave everything which I had before. But the fight is in me. If you give in to give up your ideals or if you keep on going for your ideals even if it is risky. And so I always followed my ideals. And when I tried to follow my ideals, of course there were lots of hurdles. And this is for me the most difficult part to get over. IS THERE SOMETHING LIKE A “BEST MOMENT” FOR YOU TO COME UP WITH GOOD LYRICS THAT LITERALLY POUR FROM YOUR HEART? WHEN IS THE BEST “STATE OF MIND” FOR YOU TO WRITE LYRICS? I don’t know. YOU JUST WRITE? THEY JUST FLOW OUT OF YOU? Sometimes in a very, very bad situation I really can write a very good one. Because I feel really terribly bad, and there is no way to feel fine. There is nothing I can do, and then the final thing I can do is to write something which I have inside and pouring out everything. Yeah, very good things come out and I read it. And then I can be happy: “Oh, yes! This is why I had to have this situation. Now I made it into something. I made something out of this bad experience!” Then I understand: “Yeah, it’s good!” But sometimes also I can write a good song when I’m happy. And to write a song is… in a way it’s very stressing, because I am writing but I feel like somebody else is writing. Because no matter how strong you try to write good lyrics: when it doesn’t come, it doesn’t come. But even if you don’t try, when it comes it comes. So it’s like, you cannot do anything, but when the right moment comes – even if you don’t know when – it comes very natural. So… I don’t know when I can write a good song. When the right moment comes I will write. YOU PUT A COVER-VERSION OF FRANK SINATRA’S “MY WAY” WITH JAPANESE LYRICS ON THE ALBUM. COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN IN HOW FAR THE LYRICS APPLY TO YOU AND YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? Actually, “My way” is very famous and popular in Japan, and it was translated into Japanese a long time ago. And so this time I sang it in Japanese but it’s not me who wrote the Japanese version. This was already popular as it is. And when I heard this song I knew that already. But two years ago when my mom sent me the video program from the Japanese TV show there was again a singer singing this song, and I listened to it again, and I realized: “Oh, the meaning of the lyrics totally fit my experience!” Like, it’s a song about somebody who is leaving somewhere, and this person is looking back at the days and there was love and tears. But all of it are very good memories for this person, because he is leaving. And he says like: I will just follow my way, because I believe in music and I have music. This person is probably a singer, and he is believing in music. So he leaves. And he decides he will walk on this way because he believes in it. And he says: “I tell you: Don’t hesitate to walk on as your heart tells you!” And I believe we all know our possibility deep in our heart. We hear something deep in our heart, and so I also followed my heart. And I also wanted to say: Please follow your heart! So everything fits to the lyrics. And so that’s why I covered it, and I like it really. I AGREE. THAT’S ACTUALLY ONE OF YOUR OUTSTANDING TRADEMARKS AS AN ARTIST: THAT YOU’VE ALWAYS FOLLOWED YOUR HEART – OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN’T BE HERE IN HAMBURG RIGHT NOW. RIGHT BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU DECIDED TO MOVE BACK TO JAPAN. WOULD YOU SAY THE EUROPEAN MISSION IS COMPLETED IN A WAY? I felt so. Again my heart, kind of the voice says: Yes, now you have done what you can do! And really, that’s why I thought: Then I will go back. Can I really go back? Yeah, you have finished! Because I am… it’s not really finished, I think life is something like a book, and there are many chapters. And I had also some chapters in Japan before I came here. And after I came here another chapter started. And somehow with finishing this album I felt like: This chapter in Hamburg is finished. And so now I have to find the next chapter. And I felt, the next chapter seems like to start in Japan again. And so I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But I will go back and find out, and when the next chapter becomes more open… You know what I mean? At this moment I don’t have the next chapter. But when the next chapter goes on, when I have some material in my life, maybe then I can really put something out of from this next chapter. And the reason I came here, I tell you, I really didn’t come here to be famous, I really didn’t come here to have any success, so I don’t have no interest in that. I just wanted to, yeah, say something. And I feel like I said everything I can say at this moment, in this second album and also in the first album. So I have totally nothing inside to say anymore at this moment. SO, THE ALBUM “LIFE” IS TO BE REGARDED AS SOMETHING LIKE A TESTAMENT, LIKE YOUR LAST WILL TO THE EUROPEAN FANS? HOW ARE YOU GONNA MOVE ON FROM HERE? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP? I don’t know how I’m going to move. I didn’t know anything when I left Japan. That’s life! So we have to find out. And when I say: Please follow your heart! I myself have to always follow my heart. And when I decided to go back I also felt a bit sad. I felt like: “Oh, maybe I wouldn’t have any chance to go on a European tour again. Oh, that’s schade!” So, in a way there is a risk. But when my heart says, the next chapter will happen in Japan, all I can do is just follow my heart. And when the right moment comes I wish I can have a chance to come back here to release the next CD or to go on tour. And also, when I go back to Japan, I know there are a lot of friends and musicians. Actually, one problem I had in here to go on tour was: I didn’t have a band! And to bring all the members from Japan costs too much. And so, actually, I really tried. But I used up all the money for producing this CD and promotion. And so, to go on tour financially it seems like impossible at this moment. So, I myself have to find the way, I have to fight to go on, and I feel: maybe if I go back to Japan I can make the band again. And maybe (for the) first (time) I can do the show in Japan. Because after I came here and I released a CD as SAEKO, before that I played several show in Japan, but as a singer of FAIRY MIRROR, which was the band I was playing in. But as SAEKO I have never played in Japan. I have played several times in Europe but I have never played in Japan. So maybe it’s also good to play in my home with my friends, and maybe after that I can come back. But, you know, as a statement I put the sentence in my advertisement, like: “Everybody fights in this reality for their own ideals!” So, I really want to go on tour, but I have to fight in this reality to make it come true. So, I myself am not sure if I can do it or not – even if I want to. But I will try and I will fight… But anyway, all I can do now is just to follow my heart and start the next chapter. HAS THAT BEEN THE MAIN REASON FOR YOUR DECISION – THAT YOU WENT OUT OF MONEY AND THAT YOU’RE NOT ABLE TO TOUR HERE? DID I UNDERSTAND THAT RIGHT? I need money, simply. And I don’t have it! And I really used up all the money to make this CD, because I left the label. And actually, the pressing, the promotion, everything I paid. So I really don’t have to go on anymore. If I can compromise I didn’t have to do it this way. But I never compromise. I really want to make the music which is from my heart, that’s why I cannot compromise. And that’s why I have to pay myself, because I don’t want to risk any other’s money. So, as long as I pay I can risk. And I can write what I want. And so Lars is helping me as in supporting the distribution and things. So, as a label he is helping me a lot, but I’m also paying for the producing. So I just used up all the money. And this is the sad thing, like at this moment I’m still very new in Europe, and so people don’t know about me. And so, if I really want to go on tour at least I need some demand, you know? If there is no one who is waiting for me – even if I really want to go on tour, it’s hard to get a chance. And I don’t have the band, so… I struggled, I struggled. I really tried hard, but in the end I felt like: “Oh, maybe it seems like it doesn’t work at this moment!” It doesn’t mean it will never work. I think, when the right moment comes, it should work. But just for a moment it doesn’t seem so, because I know: when we are doing the right thing, just naturally it happens. Like, for example, when Mariko played the bass, it happened so natural. She didn’t mean to play, but in the end it happened. And now I was maybe trying to go a different way from as it should be. And sometimes we have to go through detours to reach somewhere. So I just felt like: maybe I’m just going this way, just straight (forms an imaginary wall with her hands), and there is a big wall. It’s like: here is a wall, and I want to go beyond this wall. And I’m going from the front. But this wall is too hard to break, and I’m hitting, and hitting, and hitting – and I’m so tired, and I’m exhausted. And it seems like it doesn’t work anymore. But if I walk sideways, maybe I will find the cut in the wall, so I can get through. So it’s like that. Even if I go a bit different way now, as long as I see the same light, it’s just like a detour. And before I came here, in Japan once I got this very serious mental break-down. So I myself know how dangerous it is if you just keep on going. So sometimes you have to see in a wider way and see more possibilities. So life is full of a lot of different possibilities. DO YOU THINK IT’S ESSENTIAL TO STAY INDEPENDENT, TO BE ON YOUR OWN, TO BE KIND OF DETACHED FROM EVERYTHING, IN ORDER TO FIND YOUR WAY? No, I don’t think I’m detached. NO, I MEANT THAT YOU’RE ABLE TO CUT ANY TIES FROM ANYBODY IN ORDER TO STAY TRULY INDEPENDENT? KIND OF HARD TO EXPLAIN… I don’t cut any line, even if I go back to Japan, I will keep in touch with them. YES, BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO START TOTALLY ANEW AGAIN. YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT A LOT OF WORK AND EFFORT IN FINDING NEW CONTACTS, OR RATHER REFRESH THE OLD CONTACTS, TO GO ON TOUR, TO DISTRIBUTE THE ALBUM… THIS WOULD MEAN STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN. All I have to do is just to follow my heart. SOUNDS SO EASY… It’s not that easy. It’s not that easy to follow my heart. But I know if I don’t follow my heart I will have another mental break-down. I know that. And I have to follow it, otherwise I cannot live. I’VE GOT SO MUCH RESPECT FOR THAT ATTITUDE. I KNOW SO FEW PEOPLE WHO WOULD DARE WHAT YOU HAVE DARED, FOR EXAMPLE STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN, WHERE YOU JUST SEEM TO GET ESTABLISHED HERE… THE NEW ALBUM “LIFE” NEVERTHELESS IS COMING OUT IN APRIL, BUT YOU DECIDED TO GO BACK IN LATE MARCH, WHICH IS A WEEK BEFORE THE ALBUM IS GETTING RELEASED. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ALBUM GOES THROUGH THE ROOF, IF IT JUST EXPLODES AND YOU GET REALLY NICE TOUR OFFERS? WOULD THAT LEAD YOU AWAY FROM THE DECISION TO MOVE BACK TO JAPAN OR HAVE YOU ALREADY MADE UP YOUR MIND? When my heart says, it’s time to go back to Japan, I have to go back to Japan. But when the CD sells well, of course then it can give me more chance to go on tour. Then I’m very happy. If the CD doesn’t sell, no matter how I try, it’s gonna be very hard to get enough chances. And no one wants to support me to go on tour. You know, what I mean? (long pause) Because from Japan, too, we can come to do the tour, if… (pause) But I can not probably do that. I will not be able to have a chance if my CD doesn’t sell. But when it sells – of course I’m not doing this for money, I never do it – but in this reality, when my CD sells a lot, and if somebody wants to hear my concert, and if there are more people that say: “Yeah, we want to see the SAEKO-show!” And then there are probably more people which offer me, like booking agencies that offer me chances. But if the CD doesn’t sell, and if no one wants to see my tour – yes, I can call a lot of tour agencies: “I want to go on tour, I want to go on tour!” Probably I will not get any chance. It’s not like, I don’t want to go on tour. I want to go on tour. But to make it, there are some things that should happen. And I did everything I can do. I used up all the money. Actually, I spent the money which I got from my grand-pa’s heritage. It was so much. And I used all the money. And to come here I broke up with my fiancé, I really wanted to marry. And so, I gave up my love, I gave up my money. And now I don’t know what I can give up to make it. I really don’t have. And all I can give up now is only my life. But if I give up my life, I cannot go on tour. I have no idea what I can give up anymore. And I know, if I go on like this, I will have another mental break-down. And if I got a mental break-down I cannot go on tour. And all I have to do now is just to, yeah, maybe see somebody. AND I RECKON PEOPLE IN JAPAN WILL REMEMBER YOU FROM FAIRY MIRROR, THAT’S THE POSITIVE THING. AND YOU ALSO HAVE MARIKO AND SATOKO, THE MUSICIANS YOU’VE PLAYED WITH BEFORE. I HONESTLY WISH YOU THE BEST FOR THE FUTURE… Just… I don’t know how I can tell this. Like, I don’t know what… For example for you to understand.. MAKES PERFECT SENSE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING – YOU GAVE EVERYTHING YOU HAD TO GIVE. I just wish if I can make anybody really happy, or I really wanted to make… You know, the world is so beautiful and I see the light in everybody and I really wanted to make everybody happy. You know, when I see the world, the people are fighting and people cannot understand, and everybody is in a way afraid of something. And I just wanted to make even one person feel like: Yes – it seems like ok! Like, it seems like there is nothing we can believe in when we live. But if I can make like even one person feel like: Oh…! It seems like I don’t need to be afraid. It seems like life is going on somehow, no matter how many things I loose. It seems like the road is going on. I don’t need to worry so much. Fine! I’m fine as I am. I’m accepted as I am. Fine… Like, I don’t know. Because I just really wanted to make even one person feel this way. That’s why I gave up those things. And living in Hamburg was really for me kind of lonely. Of course I liked this city, but still… My (boy-) friend in Japan and a totally different culture, if you live alone in a totally different culture… And actually, when I left Japan, like I said, I wanted to marry my boyfriend. But I thought, if I marry him I will not be able to tell this to anybody. But I had to tell this to somebody. I thought, I cannot die without making somebody happy. So before marrying with anybody I had to finish something. And so I said good-bye to him. But when I said good-bye to him I secretly decided: I will never love anyone else – because I love him best! And until I finish I will just love him forever. And if I don’t finish it, maybe I cannot come back. Just concentrate on finishing; just concentrate on telling this to somebody. But I told him: please forget me! Cause I had no idea if I can really finish it or not. That means, when you are trying to make the album you are decided to stay alone. So in a way this is all very lonely. So, the reason I did everything was just because I imagined if one person gets this something I want to say, I will be very happy. And I don’t need anything. But I gave up everything and now I don’t know what I can give up anymore, because I don’t have anything. But I’m very happy, because I finished what I can do. I really can say, I can not make anything better than this. This is my best. If I am more talented, maybe I am able to make something better. But as SAEKO – as it is, as I am – at this moment I swear: this is my BEST I can do. And if I finish the best thing I can do without any compromise, all I can wish is: I hope this reaches somebody. And wait the chance comes and see some people really on tour. …. (LONG PAUSE)… “STEP BY STEP” – THAT’S ACTUALLY THE PHRASE I REMEMBER FROM YOU. SO THERE YOU GO – AT LEAST WITH ONE PERSON YOU SUCCEEDED ALREADY. And somehow I always had the feeling: if I don’t finish this, I mean, if I don’t make anyone happy, I will never be able to be free from the voice I hear. I don’t know what voice I’m hearing, something like the Lord or something like the universe itself. I feel it’s talking to me. And it always told me: you have to tell this to somebody, you have to tell this. And I was not able to escape from this 24 hours. And to be free from this, all I can do was just to finish the task which I had. And, you know, when I finished the second album, yes, this voice which was always telling me, like: you have to tell this, you have to tell this – it talked to me and said, like: yes, you have finished! You’ve talked everything; you expressed everything you had to. So, like, your part you have achieved. And so, after that: “Feel free, and just see. I’m gonna help you!” So it’s going to be the next chapter. But of course, life is made up of several chapters. So, I think, the next story will happen – of course it will have some pain, and some happiness again and probably there will be a next task maybe – I don’t know. But, you know; now I can go back to Japan, because I feel like I really said everything that I had to. But I’m still sad, because… I don’t know how to say that in words, that’s why I’m singing. And even the booklet is also for me another way of expression. Somehow I cannot say very well in words, but by lyrics and music and this booklet, I think I did my best to explain. So, I hope, it will reach some people. I THINK, I CAN PREDICT THAT IT WILL REACH MORE THAN ONE PERSON AND THAT IT WILL TOUCH SOME PEOPLE’S MINDS AND HEARTS. (PAUSE) QUITE AN INTENSE INTERVIEW HERE… I hope my English is fine enough. This is also… I’M ALMOST CRYING HERE, GODDAMMIT…!! Sometimes I feel like I can talk better if this is in Japanese, still there are some kind of language barriers. And so I hope I was good enough to express what I’m thinking or feeling. I WISH YOU JUST THE VERY BEST FOR YOUR NEXT CHAPTERS, BECAUSE THERE WILL BE MORE CHAPTERS TO COME. IS THERE ANYHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY TO THE FANS, ONE LAST MESSAGE FROM HERE FOR NOW? I will be very happy if there is anybody who wants to share something with me, because it will free me!! I need somebody to make my dream come true. Yeah… Thank you anyway, thank you for listening to this… that’s all! THANK YOU…!
RECORDED AT TORNADO STUDIOS IN HAMBURG ON FEBRUARY 26TH, 2006