Since Jon Chang is such a nice guy I got the chance to ask him a few specific TID-related questions (and a bit more) totally unexpectedly. :D
There's really not too much text, but I asked some stuff that I haven't seen answered anywhere else (+ I included some scanned pics and whatnot), and I actually managed to lose my original questions so I'll have to improvise that part. Sorry lol.
Alright, here goes (I'm the bold one ;)):
Regarding the TID front cover and the booklet - what's the meaning of those numbers/code above the band name and album title on the front, also above all song titles inside the booklet? [Note: the pic above this question is an example of what I'm asking about.]
The numbers regarding the song titles all regard quotes from the book Excession by Iain M Banks. If you pick it up you will be able to find deeper references to other things there ^o^
There's a Japanese sentence on the booklet which I identified as the ending line of End Of Evangelion ("気持ち悪い。"). Could you elaborate a little on why you put that particular line there? [Note: again, the pic above this question is an example of what I'm asking about.]
I quoted the End of Evangelion line because I was pretty sure that TiD would be the end of DA. I had a strong influence in my writing style from Eva and a strong influence in how to structure the material.
You said that you don't really like older DA lyrics too much anymore. Why exactly is that? [Note: The following three questions, this one included, were actually just one bigger question, but I divided them for an easier reading experience. Oh and I totally didn't ask them this way haha. This one wasn't even a question but more like just a mention.]
It's true, I'm not that fond of the older DA lyrics. There are some interesting passages but a lot of it was being dumb and young. Or at least that's how it appears to 35 year old me. 18 year old me felt all that stuff very strongly.
How do you write GridLink lyrics - more precisely, are they similar to your writing style on TID and are they still as influenced by Evangelion, or are you using a totally different approach?
GridLink reflects where I am at today. It is a bit more bitter. It talks a lot about war and the lack of identity in young people (myself included). Glomming onto ideas that are very idealistic, but when we get older we see these ideas were truly naive.
And what about Hayaino Daisuki?
HD on the other hand is ghost stories for the most part, which are a totally different writing process and a lot of fun to be creative with. I spend a lot of time looking at old paintings to get inspirations.
Something else that I'm interested in but I haven't seen answered anywhere else (kinda surprising) - what video games have been the most influential and inspirational for your work? [Note: At the time when I asked this, I think what I actually meant was what games inspired the lyrics the most, but this is pretty cool too lol.]
A game that has influenced my work? Well my gaming work, I really love Syndicate, Mercenaries and the Marathon series. Those made me want to go out and make video games. There are many games I enjoy: Armored Core, Metal Gear series, Final Fantasy, etc. I play Call of Duty 4 MP fairly often and I enjoyed Crysis quite a bit, though I wasn't a big fan of their MP...mostly the fact that I could never get it to work! LOL
Currently looking forward to MGS4, Mercs2, Little Big Planet, Killzone 2 and Resistance 2. And of course Black Powder Red Earth :-D I tend to have very high standards though...so it means if I enjoy even 1 of those games I just mentioned I am in good shape, LOL.
Well, that's it for the mini-interview, but here's a little more about Chang's current projects:
GridLink - a grindcore band that features Matsubara from Mortalized on guitar! Their first album titled "Amber Grey" is coming out on HydraHead the 20th in June (that's this month, by the way), and I'm really excited about that. Awesome and kinda technical thrashing.
Hayaino Daisuki - another grindcore band (or is it?), and this one features Matsubara too (hah)! This is actually, in essence, fast thrash metal influenced by ancient 80s thrash metal bands, and Sex Machineguns too, both in music and image. They released their first EP recently, "Head Banger's Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire", on HydraHead. Awesome in its cheesiness.
Echelon Software - a indie video game company. Obviously mister Chang likes to talk about video games, as a matter of fact, he has his own small independent video game company called Echelon Software. Their first FPS intended for online gaming is currently still in production, but from what I understood they hope to release it by X-mas this year. The game is called "Black Powder, Red Earth" and it has some awesomely original features. As an example, here's an excerpt from the site:
"Rather than building an elaborate 3D world space trapped on your platform of choice, BPRE uses framework already found on the Internet in social networking and e-commerce applications. Players, already used to creating and managing online identities on sites like Myspace and Face Book and buying products on sites like iTunes and Amazon, will be able to jump right in with little to no learning curve. Best of all, BPRE's commercial and social side is accessible from either from inside the game or from the outside via any Web-enabled device."
I don't know about any projects of Rob Marton, while Dave Witte seems to do his usual stuff (aka play in about 20 bands at once).
Here, I'll list some of Witte's current and former bands:
Burnt by the Sun
Black Army Jacket
East West Blast Test
Birds of Prey