Looks like I made it in time with plenty to spare ^^ In honour of Nino's 23rd birthday, here's the next part of his 10,000 word interview from their Arashigoto photobook.
Previous parts to Nino's 10,000 word interview:
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV
Ninomiya Kazunari - 10,000 Word Interview
V. Arashi's Music, My Music
During the first two months after our debut, although my mindset had become more positive and enthusiastic, I had a bit of conflicting emotions with the music aspect. "Why can't we do things that way, even though it would clearly make things even better?" When we released our third single, I gradually began to understand: the music that I wanted to make was completely different from the direction that Arashi's music was heading. And the other members probably had more or less the same opinion in this aspect as well, because during our solo performances in our concerts, everyone would express a "let us do something that we like!" frame of mind.
To be honest, Arashi's music really has a lot of parts where we cannot develop freely according to our own will, but to be content with ourselves even under many different restrictions is also our style. "It's precisely because it's us that we can find pleasure in what we do" kind of feeling. That's probably very important too. If even we can't find the joy in what we do, then how can the fans do the same?
If you like the music, you can do as much or as little of it as you want. Take me for instance; I can compose music, sing my own solos during concerts, and I can go out by myself to sing too. Singing songs at the train station or on the street is also pretty interesting. And thinking as I sing, "If a girl hears me she'll probably stop in their tracks~", or "Even if it's a guy that hears he might also bear a good impression of me". I've also sung my solo song from our concert tour last summer twice on the street. I only made the decision to use it after seeing the reactions of people passing by.
Although I was singing my songs like that, I didn't reveal who I am at all. Because I would wear a hat and keep my head down as I sing. I began composing songs ever since the formation of Arashi, but I've never been recognized by anyone. Because I've always only looked at people's feet, I don't get nervous either. Compared to this, I care more about the fact that I'm doing something that I like, and that's the best of all.
But I never really thought about wanting those songs to be collected together and released as an album. Though I've done my own recordings, I don't want them to become merchandise. To those songs that have been brought to this world, they will only be happy once they are heard by other people, and I know that too. But right now, just seeing these songs come into being is already good enough for me.
During the production of DVDs for our concerts, I'm always requesting them, "Please don't include my solo in there", but it seems like that will not do. I don't like leaving marks behind. Because compared to being recorded down, I'd rather that memory be forever preserved in everyone's hearts... (laugh).
- [Arashi] Arashigoto - Ninomiya Kazunari - 10,000 Word Interview - Part V