[Exclusive] Interview with FHÁNA

Upper Left - Yuxuki Waga, Upper Right - Towana, Lower Left - Kevin Mitsunaga, Lover Right - Junichi Sato

Fhána performed as the last act for Comic Fiesta 2016 Day 1, they brought energy and sure enough the crowd was lit throughout the performance. We hope to see more of Fhána in Malaysia in the coming year! Support Fhána by purchasing their music on official digital music platforms and check out their official YouTube channel as well.

Get to know Fhána, here’s an introduction from the group itself.
Jun'ichi Satō who leads the group, and does some of the compositions, and additionally plays the keyboard in the group. He also takes part in the chorus of the music. He shares that his also involved with compositions for other music as well. The vocalist of the group is Towana. Kevin Mitsunaga oversees the sound production of the group and uses a sampler to coordinate the music for Fhána. Yuxuki Waga is the guitarist for the group.

(Answers were translated from Japanese to English)
Q : How did the name “Fhána” came about?
Jun'ichi Satō : Before we were formed, the male members of Fhána were in separate bands at that time. We got to know each other through a social networking site and wanted to get to know each other. We liked each other’s music and aside from music we were fans of anime and games so there were multiple overlapping interests between us. We all like the anime “Clannad” (Clannad is an anime known to tug at heartstrings), and thought why not make music that would trigger the same kind of reaction from the public and decides to make music together.
For the name of the group, since we were fans of “Clannad” we went and check the origins of the name. It derives from Irish Gaelic word “Clannad” which means for family. We thought it was cool and wanted to find a similar word with the same nuance, that will be a nice name for the band. In the Gaelic dialect, Fhána means a slope. For us, it has a deep meaning because when you climb up a slope, it’s always a struggle to climb but you’re constantly heading to the top. Also in Clannad, the two main characters met at the bottom of a slope. Putting all of it together, we decided to call the band Fhána.

Q : Last year, Fhána made their first concert debut in the US at the Anime Weekend Atlanta, what was the most memorable moment from that event?

Towana : The event was held in the US, we were surprised that a lot of fans were speaking Japanese. It was a pleasant surprise.
There are lots of cosplayers in the US as well. It was funny because there were many cosplayers at the hotel area and when we look out of our window, we saw about 20 Luffy(s) *character from anime/manga One Piece* walking around. There was this 70-year old man cosplaying as Hatsune Miku, this particular cosplayer walked up to us and gave us some illustrations of Hatsune Miku drawn by him. It was a really cute style of drawing.
When we performed at Anime Weekend Atlanta, we were in the middle slot. In Japan, the culture is that if you performed last, you will be called for an encore but it was surprising because in US even though we performed in the middle, the crowds wanted an encore. It was again a pleasant surprise.

Q : If you could pick one song that embodies the group Fhána to new listeners, which would it be?
Towana : We have a song called “Stardust Interlude” that we would recommend to new listeners and get a feel of what Fhána is like.
Yuxuki Waga : I would recommend “ 虹を編めたら”.

Q : What would you like the Malaysian fans to experience from the upcoming performance at CF2016?
Jun'ichi Satō : Of course everybody have their own personal preference and free to like any type of music but it would be great if they would be able to take away positive energy from Fhána’s music, especially from the upcoming performance.
Kevin Mitsunaga : We would also like to see if people would be moved by our music and hopefully that would happened.

Q : How do you feel about performing in Malaysia for the first time?
Fhána : The food is good! Mee goreng and satay. Comic Fiesta in Malaysia is one of the biggest and last year there were 45 thousand attendees and that put a new perspective to things.
Towana : In Japan right now is very cold, the moment we landed, it was such a warm a country and saw a Christmas tree.

Q : When performing aboard, do you prepare differently compared to when you’re in Japan?Towana : It’s essentially the same thing in preparation but when performing in different countries, there will be language barriers. How do I want to express my song? I would have to pour it in to our performance and put more effort. The fans are also different compared to Japan, we would have to see the crowed reaction and tweak accordingly. In that sense, it’s different.