Koki Tanaka talks about KAT-TUN’s first world tour (interview translation)
What began on July 16 as “KAT-TUN LIVE TOUR 2010 PART 2: WORLD BIG TOUR” has taken KAT-TUN to their first overseas concert. Oricon Star caught up with Koki Tanaka (24) before the group’s Taiwan concerts.
— Oricon Star: Wow, that was erotic!
Tanaka: Eh, what was?
— Oricon Star: Your solo, Tanaka-san!
Tanaka: (laughs) My solo begins with “there’s a difference between sexy and eros”. Sexy is something that comes out from within, but eros speaks out through your actions, I think. Like shaking your hips or unbuttoning your shirt. So this time I thought I’d go with the idea of how much eros can I bring out.
— Oricon Star: So you’ve calculated things properly.
Tanaka: Well, I’m really just doing what I want, however I want to. I had wanted to do things bordering on the lines of acceptable, but then I realized there is no line, “I can do pretty much anything” (laughs). Overdoing things just a little is what works for KAT-TUN.
— Oricon Star: The other members had solos that really brought out their individuality, but as a group I felt you also showed real solidity.
Tanaka: We don’t do things like “let’s hold hands” or make sure we’re protecting each other’s back, but I think now is the time we have to stick together. I think that comes out naturally. Our grounding at concerts hasn’t changed. If one of us feels thankful to the crowd, we won’t say, “speak out, okay”. It’s more like we have to say, “I can’t hear you, you bastard!” That’s our lip service (laughs).
— Oricon Star: I’m sure that’s what the fans hope for as well. The way you got close to the crowd also stands out in my mind.
Tanaka: I think the things we did during the arena tour affected that. When we were rehearsing inside the dome stadium, we were worried about the distance. We were saying, “aren’t we far away (from the crowd)?”
— Oricon Star: Isn’t that strange. And you’ve performed in dome stadiums many times before.
Tanaka: I know. We usually hitch a ride on something while we perform in domes, but this time it just felt different. They prepared trams for us, but we told them we didn’t want them. Well, that was also because we were being fussy (laughs).
— Oricon Star: It was a surprise to see you riding a horse at the beginning of the encore song.
Tanaka: I practised. Four hours in total, but by the second day I could speed things up. Horse riding is fun. Our trainer said I was a really good rider. I remembered all of the horses’ names, and patted each of them on the neck and said things like “hello” and “thank you”. I got told that they get the message. That’s why I was at the front, I think. Horses work together in groups so if the horse at the front panics, then the rest begin to panic too. That’s why they said they needed the most capable person to ride at the front. Actually, we had already worked with horses when shooting the CD cover (“NO MORE PAIN”) as well.
— Oricon Star: Oh, I see.
Tanaka: It would’ve been a lot easier if we had been on mountain bikes or city bicycles for that cover shoot (laughs). But it’s good to make connections with the album. There’s a lot of meaning behind linking one thing onto the next.
— Oricon Star: Logically, this world tour will also…….
Tanaka: Yeah, we have to make it connect to the next thing. We’re planning on doing bigger things next year. I don’t know whether we’ll be able to do it, but I think it’s important to know you want to do it.
— Oricon Star: Do you have a strong desire to make it happen with the five of you?
Tanaka: Well, I think it would be the same whether it be five of us, or one of us, or two or three or four of us. If you fail, then that’s the end of that. There’s really no emphasis on the idea that we have to work because there’s five of us. Like, if I got told I had to do a KAT-TUN concert by myself, I’ll just work to make it happen. Mind you, if it were only me then you’d find out what things I have trouble with singing (laughs). But I promise I’d practice Nakamaru’s voice box parts and Taguchi’s solos.
— Oricon Star: That is real dedication.
Tanaka: Well, we started as KAT-TUN. We’re not NEWS or Kanjani8, we’re KAT-TUN. I’m willing to give my life for this.
— Oricon Star: You’ve still got your tour to finish, but it looks like you have nothing to worry about.
Tanaka: We do worry, honestly. But, we have to do it. We’re not here to see the crowd look unhappy. They’re excited about coming here and it’s our duty to make sure they have a good time. That’s all.