Otakon 2013: Chiaki Ishikawa Exclusive Interview
Location: Otakon 2013, Baltimore, MD, USA
Date: August 9, 2013
Miki: Hello! Its nice to meet you.
Ishikawa: Nice to meet you.
Miki: Thank you for meeting with me. It’s an honor to talk to you.
Miki: How have you enjoyed your time in America so far?
Ishikawa: I’ve only been here for two days. I’ve sppent most of my time walking around the Harbor. And sleeping. (laughs)
Miki: Jet lag?
Ishikawa: Because of my schedule, it seemed to work out for the best and I was able to avoid the jet lag.
Miki: I saw that you performed in America before, and I was wondering – are there any differences between performing in Japan and performing in America?
Ishikawa: There’s no real difference. Since I’m an artist that doesn’t do lives much, I do “together lives” with others in Japan more often so I don’t see any.
Miki: Most fans in America have become familiar with your work as a member of See-Saw. How did you meet Kajiura Yuki-san?
Ishikawa: I get asked about her a lot. It’s surprising to me that everyone knows about her. My older sister was in the same band as Kajiura Yuki. The vocals left the band, I became a support member, and this is how you see me now. When there wasn’t even See-Saw yet, I sang songs – Kajiura-san’s songs – covered them when I first entered the band.
Miki: You said that you started by singing Kajiura-san’s words, and now you’re writing your own songs. Which do you like more: performing or songwriting?
Ishikawa: I enjoy making and recording more than performance right now.
Miki: Did you imagine when starting See-Saw that you would be where you are today?
Ishikawa: No. It might have been better that I didn’t have these visions in order to be where I am today.
Miki: What projects are you working on now?
Ishikawa: It’s been 8 years now since going away from See-Saw, and right now I’m more interested in bringing up new artists, girls from 21-25, and bringing them into anime music. I’m more of a director or producer now, creating an “Ishikawa Chiaki brand,” you could say.
Miki: With this shift in your work, do you think you’ll ever work with Kajiura-san again?
Ishikawa: Kajiura-san is also a producer now, bringing up artists in her projects. We do still keep in contact sometimes. As you see, we couldn’t work much together because we can’t spend much time together.
Miki: Finally, I noticed that See-Saw took a break in the late nineties. What did you do for work during that time?
Ishikawa: Did that happen? (laughs, thoughtful) Oh, yes it did! Before the era of See-Saw in anime, right?
Ishikawa: Since the worlds in our music were very distinct at that time, heading in many directions, we worked on our own music independently and got lots of feedback. Then Kajiura-san started doing anime soundtracks, and that was the return of See-Saw.
Miki: Thank you again, very much, for talking with me. It was a great honor.
Ishikawa: Thank you.