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The Genesis of YONCE’s Band Hedigan’s: Interview Part 1

2024.4.19

#MUSIC

YONCE, also known as Yosuke Kawakishi of Suchmos, spearheaded the formation of “Hedigan’s” alongside his longtime friends. At their inaugural live performance last October, both myself and NiEW editor-in-chief Kashiwai were deeply moved, as highlighted in the live review.

Following Suchmos’ announcement of a hiatus in February 2021, YONCE has only made sporadic appearances on notable platforms, including the “Kiyoshiro Imawano Rock’n’Roll FOREVER” showcase at FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL ’21, STUTS’ “Mirage Collective,” and in an adidas advertisement. Why did he opt for this particular moment to launch Hedigan’s? What vision did he have for the band’s return to the stage and its resonance in music? We present an interview with YONCE and his high school friend and catalyst for Hedigan’s formation, Take Ouchi (Dr), split into two parts.

Our hearts were profoundly stirred because Hedigan’s earnestly engages with the core allure of “music” and “bands.”

“We came together as five, gave it a shot, and instantly knew: ‘This is the one.'” – (YONCE)

-How did Hedigan’s start? It all started when YONCE gathered the members to participate in The Street Sliders’ tribute album “On The Street Again -Tribute & Origin-” (to be released on March 22, 2023), right?

YONCE (Vo, Gt): Yes, that’s right. When I got that offer, I thought I wanted to work with people who have been in “bands”. Ouchi is the one who I thought had the aesthetics of “bandmanship,” so I asked him to join me at a Thai restaurant. I asked him to play the drums, and we discussed who else would be good, and we came up with Honmura (Takuma) (Ba) and the Kurita brothers (Shoji Kurita (Gt) and Yusuke (Key)).

– “Bandmanship” is something that I think is as important as the heart in Hedigan’s, so I would like to ask you to put it into a few more words.

Ouchi (Dr.): I think it means that there is no such thing as wanting so-called commercial success or wanting to “achieve something through music,” good or bad. I have been neither big nor small in my activities (Ouchi is in seven other bands in addition to Hedigan’s). I think one of the reasons for inviting me was that I have been playing at live houses for more than a decade, like the one I was in with OLD JOE (a band Ouchi and Yonce formed when they were in high school, which disbanded in 2015 but will hold a one-man show on June 1 this year). YONCE: Yes, yes.

YONCE: Yes, yes.

OUCHI: It doesn’t matter where you are or what your status is, you play the music you like with your friends. When we gathered the members for this project, we chose people who are all great players, but more than that, we chose people who we could be friends with for a long time. The Kurita brothers have been friends of mine since we played together in OLD JOE. Motomura-kun was an acquaintance of mine, and when I saw him playing as support for Gateballers and Kaneko Ayano, I felt a strong sense of bandmanship.

Hedigan’s, the new band led by Yosuke Kawakishi, also known as YONCE from Suchmos. The members include Yosuke Kawakishi (Suchmos / Vocals, Guitar), Shoji Kurita (Glider, Merchant / Guitar), Yusuke Kurita (Glider / Keyboard), Takuma Motomura (Yuran-sen / Bass), and Take Ouchi (Glimpse Group, AKOGARE, Burgundy, LAIKA DAY DREAM, The9Oz / Drums). The five-piece group officially launched with the release of their first digital single, “LOVE (XL),” from F.C.L.S. in 2023.

-The band actually went into the studio and recorded “Ai no Itade ga hitobanju” (from “On The Street Again -Tribute & Origin-“), which was a great response to the song. What was the point of that response?

What was the point of that response? https://open.spotify.com/intl-ja/track/7xZiOPJ8AJAruSzvkesK0E

YONCE: It all comes down to the fact that it was cool, and after the five of us tried it out together, we came up with something that we thought “this is it. I thought it would be different if we just ended up doing covers, and I wanted to make it a regular practice to write and release our own songs. I thought that a band would be the best way to do it, so we decided to do it.

Ouchi: I had the feeling that “it was OK to do it so naturally (as a band). We had prepared a day for sound check and a day for recording, but the one we recorded on the day of sound check was the best, so we just went with that and recorded it. To put it a little exaggeratedly, it was like delivering a practice recording.

YONCE: In a serious situation, it would be easy to say, “Well, let’s go over this one more time,” but we were able to do it without that atmosphere, and it was actually good. This is also a part of the EP (“2000JPY”), but I think the band’s roughness, which is not overworked, is what makes it so tasty.

-I think it is important for Hedigan’s music not to be too bleached, not to erase the human energy, and not to be too clean like the products on the market. When you started recording The Street Sliders, did you have a desire to be in a band, or what kind of band did you think you wanted to be in after Suchmos’ hiatus? Could you tell us about your change of mind?

YONCE: Before we got together for the Street Sliders, I was quite passive in my stance toward music, even before the band, and looking back over the past three years since Suchmos’ hiatus, I have not released any works on my own initiative, but rather have taken up invitations to join bands. I did my best each time, but I did not approach music with the mindset of creating something new for the sake of it.

I was more interested in the stability of my mind. I was interested, or perhaps I wanted to be interested. So, as I have mentioned from time to time, I tried helping out in agriculture, dipping my toe into traditional crafts, and other things. I am still doing that. I have a mentor in the rice paddies at, and I think that spending time with him has helped me to re-focus my mind on music. The timing of the recording of The Street Sliders was very good for my personal flow.

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