Here’s a translation of the short interview GACKT gave on the site rankingbox, posted there on February 24, 2014. He speaks a little more concretely about what was so hard in the composition of “P.S. I LOVE U,” and gives the first (that I know of) confirmation that the VISUALIVE probably won’t be until 2015. Otherwise, it is a lot of repetition from previous interviews on the subject.
The original Japanese article was written by Yuka SAITO.
A song filled with all one’s being. The ultimate love song.
This gift for the people I love, this is my legacy.
From the beginning, the concept of the song was “a letter”
—I’ve heard that it took a very long time to create your new single, “P.S. I LOVE U.”
Yeah, it was supposed to be finished sooner, but…. I got the idea around May of last year, while in the middle of the BEST OF THE BEST VOL. 1 M/W tour. Originally, I had this image of the story within the song, and I discussed it with my friends. If you made one video based on a letter you wrote on your deathbed, what would it turn out like? Then it was like that story gradually became a musical composition. But it ended up taking 8 months to make this one song. This is the longest it’s ever taken me to write something. To put it bluntly, it was rather mentally draining this time around. Not what the song was about or anything like that, it was just that I was pretty much constantly working on it. I publish a post to my blog magazine once every ten days, right? When I looked over the photos posted from that time, I noticed that they were all of me working on this song, and I thought, “this is too pathetic!” *Laughs*
—Well, you put yourself up to it all on your own, so…. *Laughs*
Oh, cut me some slack! *Laughs* But, what can I say, it’s true. I probably dug my own grave on this one. More than usual, that is. I had the concept that this was a letter from the very first stage. I mean, I had the image of the lyrics sheet being a letter. Since I was working in the confines of that premise, it was harder than usual to make the words fit the melody. But since the concept was so clear in my mind, I went ahead and recorded the instrumentals and the vocals, and even shot a music video. When I saw the finished product, I said, “No, this is all wrong. We can’t go through with this.”
—So you actually made the whole thing over?!
Yeah. Somehow, I managed to do it all over again.
—That means you had a very strong emotional attachment to this song, huh?
Of course. I have a great deal of affection for this song, so I went as far as to say that not releasing it at all would be better than putting it out as it was. Leave it unreleased, locked away in a vault. Even if there’s a vested interest in putting the record on the market, there’s no way to justify releasing a work you don’t fully believe in. So I talked it over with my staff, and in the end they said we could push back the release date to mid-March, but that didn’t sit right with me either. I had to put it out in time for Valentine’s Day, because this song is meant as a gift for some very special people.
The title was destined to be “P.S. I LOVE U”
—It ended up being a simple song, as if its sole purpose was to convey those feelings to those special people. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you take such a straightforward approach to your sound before.
Actually, the original composition was extremely complex. But you can ruin a song if you think of composing it in terms of addition. Rather, you have to think in terms of subtraction and multiplication [sic]. So I rearranged the piano part countless times, and finally got it to calm down to this point. The measures were longer originally too, unfolding in a dramatic crescendo. But that felt a bit cheap, so it turned into the simple composition it is now. Granted, I’m fully aware that a large part of this was my own ego as a composer. But I felt like, even if I stopped obsessing over it for a bit, I’d just end up more engrossed in writing it than ever before. Now I marvel at just how troublesome of a song I ended up creating.
—Yes, because in the end, this is the ultimate love song, one you breathed life into the second you started making it.
Yeah. If you’ve watched the music video I think you’ll get this, but frankly, my scenes are unnecessary. *Laughs* That’s how well-written the story is. There’s various things written in this letter, and I think anyone can make out what’s in the heroine’s heart, but whether she’s acting on her true feelings, or putting on a brave face, or doing it for the sake of her partner, well, maybe the interpretation will differ for each viewer. But regardless of what people may read into that letter, as long as they understand that the one, most important thing the heroine wanted to say was “P.S.: I love you,” then I’m satisfied. Those words were destined to be the song’s title, because the words “P.S.: I love you” contain all of the thoughts and feelings for the other person.
—Going just on the lyrics, it’s obvious the heroine left this letter for her partner before dying. But if we look at the song as the start of your next live concert tour, the VISUALIVE which you’ve declared will be the last, we can interpret the song as your testament and legacy.
That’s right, it’s my testament. But not just this song, all my songs together form my legacy. At last year’s BEST OF THE BEST VOL. 1 M/W tour, we played this video during the interlude that put together lyrics selected from various songs. When I saw it myself I realized once again that, in the end, all of them were my legacy. Now that I think of it, realizing that was probably what prompted me to try to write this song. Mm, well, the last VISUALIVE probably won’t be until next year, but in a sense I’ve already left quite an inheritance. *Laughs* I think I’ll just go as far as I can.