Oreo Reona (Gacharic Spin)
Interview by Todd Nelson
October 27, 2021
Oreo Reona is the keyboard player for the band Gacharic Spin. We discussed with her the band’s new self-titled album release, recent music videos, and their current lineup – generation 5.0.
Congratulations on the upcoming album, the songs revealed so far have been received with much enthusiasm overseas. The band chose to self-title this release, can you share with us the reasoning for that?
Oreo: Thank you. The reason we chose to self-title this release, this lineup being generation 5.0 Gacharic spin, we wanted to say that this is pretty much the best generation of Gacharic Spin . So that is why we chose to self-title, because we have confidence.
This is also the first self-produced album for Gacharic Spin, what caused the band to go that route for this release, and what were the benefits and challenges of being self-produced?
Oreo: The reason that we went the self-producing route in early 2020 and split with the producer that was here, was because we wanted to pursue a more band centric style of making music, giving us a bit more freedom per se. That was the main reason for our decision.
As for challenges, there are so many options when it comes to producing music, we were faced with many decisions. These specific decisions were hard to make, and somebody else was no longer making them for us, and there were a lot of things that we could have done. For example, “maybe it’s better to go this route?”, just things we had to contemplate a bit more. As for the benefits, we were able to do it in a free way, resulting in being able to put a lot more emotion into making the actual music.
Well, the results are certainly excellent, so the right decisions were made.
Oreo: Thank you, I agree.
Two MVs have been released so far, “MindSet” and “I Wish I”, both of which have created a lot of buzz. What input did the band have behind the concepts for these two videos?
Oreo: For “MindSet”, we had a good amount of input pertaining to how we wanted to shoot it. Of course, there was a director and KOGA who were I guess the brains you could say. They were the ones who planned everything out. When it came to the concept of “MindSet”, it was about breaking something, or I guess really breaking a seal on the inside. That was the meaning of the instruments that we decided to break. There was a positive and negative for how people would see the new music video of us breaking instruments, but we decided to go forward with it anyways.
With “I Wish I”, we wanted to make it a bit more performance centric. Featuring us performing on our instruments. In addition, KOGA wanted to include certain specific scenes. In those scenes for instance, when we were wearing the white shirts, the colors that were appearing in front of us, are to represent the muddiness on the inside – feelings that you would experience. That was KOGA’s idea mainly, and she and the director were having a word. They had to work it out because she wanted some things in there and the director had differing opinions. Eventually, they kind of ran with each other and that’s how “I Wish I” was made.
Both, “I Wish I” and “MindSet” are about ways to express the feelings on the inside in a bit of a different way.
In “MindSet”, whose idea was it for you to trash your instruments , how fun was it, and which member enjoyed doing it the most?
Oreo: It was KOGA’s idea to trash the instruments. In the beginning. I was kind of against breaking the instruments, but as I was in the process of doing it and afterwards, I had a heightened sense of enjoyment – kind of like a fever. (laughs)
So pretty much everybody was enjoying trashing the instruments, but maybe Hana was the one who enjoyed it the most when she was trashing the drum set.
I can definitely see that.
The “I Wish I” MV was quite surprising in both sight and sound. The song starts as a ballad before diving into straight in your face rock. I read somewhere that part of this song was quite old and perhaps used as the band’s intro music at one time? How did this track come about?
Oreo: The intro was made by Hana and KOGA, around the time when I was going to either be in the band or not, so that’s about maybe 10 or so years ago. That intro part I guess was not used that much, maybe sometimes during concerts. TOMO-ZO had been wanting to use it in a song. That’s basically, how the song came about being as it is.
As mentioned in the previous question the visuals are surprising as well, in particular KOGA appearing in nude profile. It is very daring; can you tell us how this idea came about and what the meaning or theme is behind it?
Oreo: This idea also came from KOGA. During the song itself, most of the lyrics are bit negative and a lot of the visuals in there do represent negative things, such as the muddying feelings. So, we wanted to put in there the visual representation of somebody who has a clean slate – pure. We wanted to show that contrast between muddied feelings and all of the negative things with something pure. In the beginning, her pose was also kind of like the image of a baby.
Yes, in the fetal position, I was wondering if that was to signify rebirth or some theme along those lines.
Oreo: Yes, that is why that position was chosen.
On this album the sound feels more stripped down and every instrument seems to stand out on equal footing and balance at the forefront. Was this a conscious decision while making the album?
Oreo: In the past most of our songs were backed with synths and computer-generated sounds, certain background noise that would assist in the song. For instance, if there were little intro parts or like little sounds that you could not replicate with instruments, usually they would have been incorporated within our songs. Recently we’ve decided to kind of tone that down a little bit, because we have confidence in our instrument playing abilities, to bring that a bit more to the forefront, so we’ve been slowly shifting in that direction.
As a follow-up to the previous question, for a large portion of the album the keyboards have the sound of a traditional piano vs. the mostly synth sound on prior releases. When creating songs how do you decide what sound to use on keys? In other words when you’re playing on keyboard how do you decide what kind of sound you want to get out of it?
Oreo: It might simply be that I was in the mood to play more traditional, more towards the traditional piano side. (laughs)
When it came to this album, because it was self-titled, I thought to myself what is the play style of Oreo Reona? . As I was really contemplating that, I looked back on my childhood. When I was very young, I was playing the piano, classical piano. So, I guess perhaps those thoughts might have brought that to the table and decided to use that as the self-titled album pianist.
I was surprised to hear Angie singing in Spanish on “Mirai Ronsou”, it sounds great! Is there a story behind that decision?
Oreo: Originally in “Mirai Ronsou”, the part where there is Spanish was originally English rap. There’s been a lot of English rap in past Gacharic Spin songs and we wanted to change it up a little bit. Angelina 1/3 is part Japanese, Spanish and Filipino. So, at a meeting it was decided, since Angie is part Spanish, why not do some Spanish instead?
We know that you have said you want to tour in Mexico someday, so some fans were joking that maybe it was your idea to help that cause.
Oreo: (laughs) I do want to go to Mexico, but the idea was not mine. Although I definitely will go someday.
With this release, in addition to Angie and Hana, you provide vocals on many of the songs, it pleased many longtime fans of the band. As a group, how does the band decide which member sings the various parts?
Oreo: So, there would be parts of the songs sound wise I guess you could say, that was more fitting with one particular person, and other times it would depend on the actual lyrics and who it would be most suited to singing.
It has been awesome seeing Angie grow as an artist from when she first became a member to the role she has now. You can tell how much hard work she has put in improving her craft. Has this surprised the other members, or is it something you saw was always there?
Oreo: If she didn’t have this potential, I don’t believe that she could have become a member in the first place but. I was surprised at how quickly she adapted. High speed.
I was even going to say it was apparent from when we first saw her at Anime Matsuri in 2019 to when we saw her just a few months later at the band’s anniversary show. Really impressive how fast it was.
Oreo: (nodding) and from the Nakano Sun Plaza show in 2019 up to the making of the “MindSet” music video; very, very quick in learning. From here on she’ll be quick too.
So, being on the same subject of Angie, I understand she’s written some of the lyrics as well on this album?
Oreo: The lyrics were pretty balanced in who wrote them, but there were definitely songs that were mainly Angie’s lyrics.
Even though she is currently on maternity leave, I understand that yuri has still been involved and contributed with the making of the album?
Oreo: This album includes some songs that were made previously, and yuri did help in making of some of those and wrote some of the lyrics as well, such as “Days”.
When it came to the actual recording, did Hana perform on some of the drum tracks in addition to her guitar parts?
Oreo: So, when it came to the recording of the album, of course Hana had her guitar parts and all of those were by her, all of the drumming was done solely by Hana as well. On the back of the album, it says the drums were by Hana.
This may be answered a little bit from the anniversary show that was performed recently, but which of the new songs are you most looking forward to playing live?
Oreo: We’ve actually been playing a good amount of them at our live concerts, but the one I love performing the most is “1GAME”.
This next one is more of a fun question. What are your favorite performances on the album by the other members?
Oreo: For KOGA, it would be the bass intro on “Mirai Ronsou”.
For Hana It would be her singing on “Days”.
For Angie it would be the bridge part in “I Wish I”. It’s not exactly singing, but like where she speaks normally in a kind of monotone, more negative voice, in the background of the song. Also, when it comes to “forever 9teen”, Angie and I talked a lot when it came to bringing out her voice for that song, so I really enjoy that as well.
Finally, for TOMO-ZO it would be her guitar solo at the very end of “Magic Umbrella Girl”. (making guitar sound effect, laughing)
The TOMO-ZO songs are always good. I always look forward to hearing them on each album.
Oreo: That is true this time also. It is especially good.
As a follow on to that question, Oreo, what’s your personal favorite part on the album?
Oreo: The 4th song on the album, “Nanimono nimo Narenakatta Bokutachi” , when it came to making that song, I played the piano solo. I played on a grand piano for the recording. The entire song is on a grand piano. I really enjoyed the experience; it was definitely a great one.
One of the GachattoTV episodes the band discusses the creation of this album, and from watching it becomes very clear that the band put their soul into making it. Is there a message you would like to tell your overseas fans for when they listen to it?
Oreo: This fifth generation of Gacharic Spin, 5.0, is going to be the last generation. We have that much confidence that we’ll be going forward with this generation. I want everybody to hear just what the 5th generation is like, and I want everybody to know that more will come.
I also see that the “MindSet” and “I Wish I” music videos had a very, very great impact on overseas fans, and really look forward to putting out more. It would be great if everybody could spread the word. I’ve pretty much seen all of the reaction videos for those two music videos that there are. I really like them.
Yeah, it’s been really cool seeing how those two have taken off in terms of number of viewers, long time followers of the band have been very happy to see that too.
Oreo: I really feel the momentum that the band currently has, and we plan to keep it going forward.
I want to thank you so much for your time and I hope to see the band play again overseas once this pandemic craziness ends, whenever that is.
Oreo: Yeah, who knows when it’s gonna end. The feeling is the same, we look forward to seeing our overseas fans again. We plan on going to America hopefully as soon as possible. Hopefully by then I’ll know a bit more English.
Gacharic Spin Website – http://www.gacharicspin.com/
Gacharic Spin Twitter – https://twitter.com/Gachapin_info
Gacharic Spin YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/gacharicspinch
GachatoTV – https://www.youtube.com/user/GacharicSpin
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