BiSH in the Corona Disaster, pausing to look for ways to reach fans outside of live performances (2020)
-How did you see BiSH after the Corona disaster, when you couldn’t perform live anymore?
Iida: I think it was another turning point. We couldn’t perform live, and we couldn’t meet the cleaners (BiSH fans). In such a situation, we became emotional and said, “We are going to deliver this song to each and every janitor,” and we did just that.
The members were to deliver their simple feelings to the janitors, and the janitors were to deliver their feelings to BiSH, and the album “Letters” presented this structure in an easy-to-understand way. Without this, I think it would not have been possible at the Tokyo Dome. I think we were one of the groups that got Corona on our side the most.
Nishizawa: I think it is time for the members to stop and think. Momoko-san’s second essay (“Kimi ga Yume ni de Dekite yo”) was crowdfunded by our company, and she wanted to communicate with her fans properly, so she said she would like to write an essay every week and send it to the crowdfunding supporters. Momoko wanted to write an essay every week and send it to the supporters of the crowdfunding campaign. Momoko’s opinion started that kind of communication.
Momoko-san read all of the hundreds of replies and comments that were sent to her, and I think it was a time when we thought a lot about how we could convey our feelings in a way other than through live performances. I think it was for their benefit.
-I did an interview with CINRA for “Letters,” and the interview itself was very emotional. They all talked about how they were saved by music.
Most interviews with so-called idol groups are basically about the situation, not about their creation. But for “Letters,” almost all of them wrote the lyrics, so I asked them about the thoughts they put into the songs. I remember it was very emotional ( See: A heart-wrenching letter from BiSH. The blank months we all talked about).
Iida: In the interview when you joined Corona Disaster, only Auni and Aina said that they were glad to be in Corona. Of course it was not good, but they said they would have died if things had continued as they were. We were separated, but both of us said the same thing.
We were so busy that we had lost track of things. Maybe it was good for Aina and Ayuni, who were especially busy, that they were able to sort it all out once and for all. If we had continued as we were, Aina, in particular, might have said, “I can’t do this anymore.
Announcing the breakup of the group at the height of its popularity (2021)
-The breakup announcement was made on December 24, 2021. Internally, the decision had already been made before that, but how did you two see this situation?
Iida: It was decided about two years before that.
Nishizawa: You said it was before Corona.
Iida: I think the members were in a very complicated situation. Some members were relieved to announce the dissolution of the group, while others kept saying that they were against it.
I think what we did after the announcement of the breakup was amazing: releasing 12 months in a row, touring all over Japan, and so on. I think he did a really good job. So I think they did a really good job, and I really appreciate their hard work. Everyone worked very hard.
Nishizawa: I was not surprised at the breakup itself, but I was surprised that they announced it at the peak of their career. Even though I knew it in my head, I felt that if the group had become this big, it would be impossible for them to break up with their aesthetics. I felt that they had done it after all.
Changes in each member over the past eight years. Expectations for the Tokyo Dome Live
-Looking back, how do you feel about the changes and growth of each member?
Iida: They have all become prettier and more able to speak. Like all young people, at first there was nothing to talk about. But now, each member has more than enough to say in an hour. It seems like we all still have things to say to each other.
Especially Rin Rin, Hashiyasume, and Ayuni, from last year to this year, they wanted to talk more. In other words, I think they have formed as human beings. I think they are becoming good adults.
-I think that the encounters with various people were also significant. As for Auni, she met Hisako Tabuchi at PEDRO, and by exposing herself, she became brighter, and I think the 2021 tour (“BiSH’S 5G are MAKiNG LOVE TOUR”) also had an influence. I also feel that I became more involved with bands, especially chichi, and my awareness of the principles and values of band members’ behavior gradually increased.
Nishizawa: Momoko and Rin Rin worked together on the book as my editor, and Momoko spontaneously wrote essays without me having to say anything, and Rin Rin started to show her creativity in the picture book “Shi (Momotaro),” and what I wanted to do and what I wanted to express became clear. I see that kind of change in both of them.
-Aina released her first solo album “THE END” in 2021, and I think her encounter with Seiji Kameda, who produced the album, was also significant. Then there was the unit “A_o” with Masaya Mifune of ROTH BART BARON, who worked on a commercial song for Pocari Sweat, and the creativity expanded outward.
Nishizawa: In that sense, only Mr. Hashiyasume has never changed. That is a good thing, though. You are really consistent.
Iida: The comedy has become more interesting, though.
-Lastly, what would you like to see at the Tokyo Dome concert? What kind of end do you expect from BiSH?
Iida: I would like it to be a grand finale. What we have done has been unusual, but we have become a group that can move people. I think it would be good to end the show with an emotional ending.
Nishizawa: I’ve never had a bad experience at any of BiSH’s live performances, no matter how big or small. Makuhari Messe was great, but Zepp and smaller live houses are all great. In that sense, I am sure that Tokyo Dome will be a great live show as well. The girls have always performed in their own way, or rather, in their true colors, so I think it would be great if they could perform as they are in a large venue as well. It would be great to see them in that way.
Iida: In that sense, I’m most looking forward to the comedy show. I want to see you make a big slip in front of about 50,000 people. Other than that, I’m fine if they just do their usual stuff. I want them to go all out in the comedy.