Sakuracon 2013 - Luna Haruna and Eir Aoi Press Conference

Luna Haruna and Eir Aoi spoke to assembled members of the press at Sakuracon 2013, many of whom happily snapped away with their cameras as the two singers answered questions.


Q: Last nights concert started with the opening theme to the Madoka Magica anime series, why did you decide to start with that theme, and would you continue to do any collaborations in the future.

Eir Aoi (E.A.): We decided to start with that theme because both ClariS (the original performers of the song) and I come from the same place in Japan, and I hope to do collaborations in the future with them.

Luna Haruna (L.H.): I really like collaborations, theres a big differeince when singing by yourself and singing with different artists, its very stimlulating and i learned a lot, it really eneggizes and inspires me

Q: Each artist has their own routine or idiosyncracies during recording. What sort of things engage or inspire you before going into the recording studio

E.A.: I pump a lot of iron! (laughs) The abs are really important to sing, I work out a lot, then I sleep, drink lots of water, try to imagine the world the song is trying to depict in my mind, then I work out and then go record the song.

L.H.: Songs are a good medium of expression, I like to look at the lyrics and imagine the world that is trying to create. I really like anime so I think I have a pretty good imagination, I really try and dial into that when I go into recording a song.

Q: How did you feel performing in America for the first time?

E.A.: I felt really nervous, but in Seattle there are really passionate fans. It allowed us to have a lot of fun, the fun outweighed the nervousness which was really great.

L.H.: I was really nervous. With my first overseas concert, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the fans are very warm and it didn't feel like an overseas concert. I'm very happy that I came to Seattle.

Q: How would you describe your evolution as an artist from singing from such a young age, and how has your prescence in the anime world changed you?

E.A: Before my initial debut I always thought about the pitch of my voice, but after I did more live performances I saw it as a method of expression. I really think it comes down to communication, I try to get closer to the audience and communicate and entertain them.

L.H.: I always liked anime songs since I was really small, I would get a really happy feeling inside. When I sing in front of people and see that people are happy it makes me happy. Whenever I sing, and I can see I'm putting smiles in other people's hearts, it makes me want to become better, just witnessing the communication with the fans, I want to improve. It also helps you realize how wonderful the meaning of song and music is, and how it gives people dreams and inspires.

Q: This question is for Eir Aoi. You've had two top 10 singles already so early in your career, what does that feel like?

E.A.: I did not expect that to happen. I was very surprised. It's a surreal feeling, seeing my songs on the top 10 charts. I realized that the only reason that this could have happened is that there are a lot of fans that support me.

Q: Luna, can you describe working with Yuki Kajiura for your debut single?

L.H.: I'm a big fan of Gundam Seed (which Kajiura worked on). I like the worlds that she creats with her music, and when I was able to work with her I had a very unreal feeling. After listening to the track that she had created, I almost felt like I was being immersed in her world, and to be a part of that world is very very exciting.

Q: What do you like to do when you relax? What are your favourite hobbies?

E.A.: Games! (laughs) I have an Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, DS, I love all the consoles, but the one genre I like to play is online games as well. Mainly FPS games (oohs and ahhs from the crowd), like Left 4 Dead, Gears of War, Call of Duty.

L.H.: I'm a little bit of an otaku, I like to watch anime, and I like to go to live events and walk around in Akihabara. I like to take the first train out to get to the events early. Anime means everything to me.

Q: Is there any particular anime that you would like to be involved in or any direction that you would like your music to take?

E.A.: Since kindergarden, I've been supported and inspired by anime. I am really happy to be able to work on these anime songs, so I think I would like to continue the pursuit of working together with anime, and I also want to work really hard to have as many people overseas hear my music.

L.H.: I would like to continue my pursuit of working on anime songs, I feel it is a representation of Japanese culture, and anime really syncronizes people and the fun and intrigue really connects with one another.

Q: Are there any Japanese or American artists that you would like to collaborate with?

E.A.: In Japan, its really humbling but I'd like to collaborate with Nana Mizuki and Shoko Nakagawa or Aya Hirano. I really like rock music, so if I had to pick an American artist to collaborate with I'd pick Linkin Park.

L.H.: I'd like to collaborate with Ali Project, and I'd also like to work with Gothic Lolita Bible, we did a fashion centered collaboration in the past, but I hope to do more of a musical collaboration in the future, because I just love the expression of gothloli, and I just hope we can express our feelings through this medium together in the future.

Q: You've both done songs for Sword Art Online and Fate/Zero, did you get a chance to read or look at some of the source material before recording your songs, or do you just go with the general feeling?

E.A.: A lot of the time its in the pre-anime phase, it hasn't been made yet. I try and imagine what expressions the characters would make as well as imagining the world looks like. Because I also write lyrics, so I want to really capture the feeling that these characters have, while they are going through these stories. I read it, I imagine it, and I try to use it to sort of inform my fans.

L.H.: Usually, my songs have been in the 2nd season, so I try to watch as much of the pre-existing anime as possible. I have a very otaku nature, so once I try and dive into something I just go for it and immerse myself in those worlds. I just love the characters, I imagine what the characters are trying to tell people. When I try to sing I try to capture the feeling that the characters are trying to tell people.

Q: Describe the feeling of being a fan of anime to become involved with anime via songs, has being a fan given you a different perspective on these songs?

E.A.: As a fan I didn't really thing about it, but as I began to work on the creative side of the spectrum, I really think about what I want to express, what kind of feedback I really want to inject into the medium as well. I really have to carefully choose every word in the lyrics because maybe sometimes the words can carry a different meaning, it will help express a certain emotion better than other words. It's a very difficult process, and again even with the song, maybe this section should be a lot softer because that's a better way to express a certain scene or emotion. A lot of times I actually talk to the director and say hey, you know maybe we should try it this way? It's been really fun and honestly I feel like anime has taught me another very important lesson.

L.H.: Each anime is a single world, and when people look into this world, it gives me a very happy feeling and again when I see my music and this anime footage linked together for the first time and I watch it, I feel like the gap between reality and the anime wold is being bridged. I really feel like dreams come true and people's thoughts are conveyed and expressed.

Q: Have either of you been recognized on the street in Akihabara? When you see fans, how do you react?

L.H.: If I'm going out to Akihabara for events I choose a much more plain wardrobe, if however someone did happen to recognize and approach me, I think we'd have a good time talking about anime, so I almost welcome it.

E.A.: There was one time in the past where I had to go to Akihabara to purchase this brand new game that came out, and my album came out on January 30th. So there was a really big poster advertising my cd, so I though it would be interesting if I just hung our around it, but no one recognized me. Then I bought a crepe and ate it in front of my image, but still no one recognized me. So I think I need to work harder in the future.

Q: Given your success with Sword Art Online and Fate/Zero, what type of anime series would you like to be involved in or contribute your voice to?

E.A.: Anything that has fighting in it, whether its games or anime like Dragonball Z or Sailor Moon, I like those projects with that kind of intensity in it.

Q: Would you have done Accel World?

E.A.: Yes! I'm also a big fan of Altima's music as well, so whenever I listen to the music from Accel World it really excites and energizes me.

L.H.: (In response to previous question) As long as it's an anime series, I'd be happy to be a part of it. If I'm able to contribute to any anime project it would be a dream come true.

Q: Are there any American or Western artists that have influenced your works?

E.A.: Slipknot, Evanescence, Marion Raven, maybe a bit of a minor band, Whitney Houston, which is my dad's influence, but I sung a lot of Whitney Houston at karaoke when I was younger. I also watched Eminem videos on the flight over to Seattle.

L.H.: I generally listen to a lot of anime songs, but for a change of pace I like to listen to U2, and when I was younger I listed to Britney Spears.


After the interview was over, the press were granted a short photo session with both singers. Thanks to Aniplex of America, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sakura-Con for giving us the opportunity to interview these lovely singers.