The feeling of being there at a concert, twin vocals, and fan-interaction. That is FLOW’s “MAX!!!”
TAKE: That’s right. We gave a theme of “MAX” to each and every song. For example, with “On my way”, it’s “MAX speed”. There was that sort of background theme for each song. We thought, since it’s the tenth anniversary, it would be great if we could embody that by making ten songs, and giving each one a MAX theme, wouldn’t it?
GOT’S: At first, we intended to decide on ten songs, but we started to feel that “we want to do more on this theme”, so in the end, it became 14 songs.
TAKE: As we were going, “that one, that one”, the number of songs increased. (laughs) In the middle of it, we had an encounter with Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, and we ended up making a single for “HERO: Song of Hope” and “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA”, so [we thought], “let’s just throw them all in!”
GOT’S: “That’s also ‘MAX’, so why not?” (laughs) I think that, over the past ten years, FLOW has had a variety of different songs. I think a band that’s this different might be rare, and I believe this is a good album that contains all of what we’ve done up to now, what we want to do now, and what new things we’d like to do in the future. I’m satisfied with it.
IWASAKI: After “Charging in THE MAX!!!”, which was all about ‘playing through five albums’, we also did “Cover THE MAX!!!”, where we did only cover songs, and going from there into making this album, in my mind, I think it was incredibly good timing. If you think of ten years as a cycle, I think we’ve probably made one full revolution. So we thought, if so, then next, we’ll go up by one, and start out running the second lap. Rather than making an awesome album to commemorate our tenth anniversary, it’s an album that we’ve made with the image of having shifted into offense, looking towards our next step.
KEIGO: We’ve come to adopt the words “FLOW THE MAX!!!” as our slogan for the entire year, and I think we’ve been able to carry our tenth year in a good direction. Since it’s a slogan we adopted in order to celebrate ten years with everyone, there was no weird sort of pressure, and we were able to make good on that potential, so maybe it’s connected to that result? To the question, “what sort of band is FLOW”, which we’ve been asked many times, right now, we can bring out this, FLOW THE MAX!!!. While it’s basically us having fun, each song has its own emotional expression, and I think this is an album where that really shows.
KOHSHI: It has this overly-ambitious title of FLOW THE MAX!!!, but on the contrary, we made it effortlessly. MICROCOSM and BLACK & WHITE were albums where we wanted to convey a message, so we seriously put our backs into it, but FLOW THE MAX!!! has a truly relaxed feel to it, and while it may not be that “flexibility triumphs over strength”1, I think it was good how we were able to make it by just cutting loose. Though if it gets a good response, we might think, “maybe not making an effort is the way to go.” (laughs)
KEIGO: Part of it’s that we grew up taking in all that sort of thing; and now we’re around 35 years old, and it’s a special year, being our tenth anniversary, so with there being various things in our private lives, as well, I think that probably naturally comes right out.
TAKE: It’s an unchanging theme, but there aren’t many people pushing it forward. I’d be happy if we could act as a mouthpiece for it.
TAKE: But for our 11th year, we’ll have to go with something above MAX. …If you have a catchy word for it, please let us know. (laughs)
KEIGO: We’re taking suggestions. (laughs) Like, “How about FLOW THE [BLANK] for the 11th year onwards?” (laughs)
“I always sing it at karaoke; in my mind, it’s my best one. I was truly glad to have the privilege of covering it this time.” (KOHSHI)