At least you'll never be a vegetable

Even artichokes have hearts.

Nikkan SPA Interview
NEWS was recently on the cover of Nikkan SPA along with an interview regarding Shige’s new book coming out next month. A portion of the interview was posted online, so I’m sharing a translation of that.

In 2003 a group of elite Johnny’s Jrs were gathered to debut as the mascots of the Volleyball World Cup. Then in 2011, NEWS continued their activities with 4 members. Additionally, they’re receiving attention not just as a group, but also individually, expanding their activities beyond just those of an idol, as a novelist, newscaster, regular on a highly-rated variety show, and costume producer. As they approach the 15th anniversary of their debut in 2018, even greater things are expected from them, what is their outlook for the future?

Kato’s 5th novel ‘Tuberose de Matteru’ will go on sale shortly. First, We’ll ask for their honest thoughts.

T     Shige, congratulations on your 5th book!
K     The other day, when I went to a bookshop, in the literature corner I saw that they had a shelf labeled ‘Kato Shigeaki’ and I honestly felt happy. In a place that’s completely unrelated to Johnny’s, you’ve grabbed your own place, I was really moved by your hard work.
M     Since we’ve been working together this whole time, I, of course, knew the circumstances, but usually Shige doesn’t show us when he’s writing.
T     That’s true, I’ve never seen [him writing]. It’s loud on set, so it must be hard to come up with ideas?
S     Yeah, it’s impossible. (laughing)
K     The only thing we really see is him marking up manuscripts with red ink in the plane on the way home after concerts.
S     Since this novel was being serialized during the tour last year, that might be what I was marking.
M     But since he’s become a novelist, recently Shige’s started pretending to read books. (laughing)
S     I’m not pretending!
T     When we’re going places, other people put on headphones and listen to music but Shige’s always reading a book.
M     But once we take off, by the time the seatbelt sign light's turned off he’s usually fallen asleep with the book still open.
T     Yeah. I thought, ‘Ah, that book’s basically a blanket’. (laughing)
S     That was just an accident!
K     But the 5th book, that’s amazing. I’ve seen the moment the novelist known as ‘Kato Shigeaki’ was born up close, so it’s even more moving.
M     Eh, What was it like?
K     Before Shige became a novelist, when we were eating with a person from the agency, Shige said ‘I want to try writing a novel.’
S     I really just said it without thinking. I think it’s something that everyone who likes books says at least once. (laughing)
K     And then, that person from the agency said to Shige, ‘Then, write something in a month and a half’. I think that was the draft of his debut work, ‘Pink and Grey’. But for a long time Shige’s always liked reading and writing, whether a serialization or blog or whatever, I’ve known that he likes putting together sentences so I completely understood when I heard him say that he wanted to write a novel.


Similarly to how Kato is a novelist, Koyama works as a newscaster for ‘news every.’, Tegoshi appears on variety shows like ‘Sekai no Hate made ItteQ!’, and Masuda produces NEWS’ costumes for concerts and other occasions, you give off the impression of doing a variety of solo work outside of the group. Was there any big impetus for this?
M   Rather than one person having done something, once we realized it we all had reached the natural conclusion of doing what we like. For example, Tegoshi’s a sportscaster for a soccer program, but he’s always liked soccer.
S     I think that at first, everyone was just being a so-called ‘idol’, but once you pass 30 gradually the time you spend on yourself increases and your individuality comes out. When I think of it now, I think that our individuality has blossomed.

NEWS fanclub Newsletter #23
Here's a translation of the cross talk section of the latest FC newsletter that came out in early November.

NEWS Cross talk

The usual photo shoots came in handy when acting as a model.

S       Koyama started filming for ‘Juyo Sankonin Tantei’, right?
T       What kind of role is it?
M       Wow, Tegoshi’s leading [the conversation]. (laughing)
K       There’s the three of us, Tamamori, Furukawa Yuki-kun and me, and Tamamori is always the first person to discover some kind of incident. So, when it seems like he’ll become a suspect I try to figure out and resolve the situation. I’m a ‘mystery nerd’.
T       Tamamori..! We joined the agency at the same time. What’s it like on set?
K       At first he seemed cool, but once you actually talk to him, you realize that he has a mischievous and cute part to him. Tamamori’s blood type is B.
T       Ah, Same as me?
K       Yeah, since Tegoshi’s also B, I’m used to handling B’s. (laughing)
T       Hahaha, ‘handling’!
K       It doesn’t feel strange, or rather it’s easy to be around each other.
M       Koyama, you’re playing a model?
S       So, that means there’ll be scenes with you acting as a model? How is that?
K       What do you mean ‘how is that’?
S       How do you act like a model? Wasn’t it difficult?
K       The movements I usually do when doing photo shoots came in handy I think.
M      Try and walk like a model.
T        Try and walk from over there!
K       Ehh, Like this? (Koyama stands from his seat and from a short distance away walks back dashingly)
S       …The cameraman didn’t film it at all. (laughing)
M       They weren’t following Koyama at all. (laughing)
T        (Bursts out laughing)
M       …Well, it wasn’t preserved in a picture, (laughing) but he’s properly acting as a model, so everyone, please look forward to it.
K       ….Definitely. (laughing)
S       You’re filming early in the morning a lot right. What time are you waking up?
K       Usually around 5:30 am.
TSM   Ehhh!
K       But I’ve gotten pretty used to it.
M       You’re working hard.
T        You’re really working. (laughing)
K       Thanks. That’s all for me! (laughing)

I want to take proper care of my throat and make it through the play.

K       Next is Shige’s play, ‘Green Mile’. How is working with Baruto-san?
T        Eh, the Baruto-san that used to be a Sumo wrestler?
M       He’s appearing in the play?
S        Right right.
T        He’s from Estonia right.
S        You’re really knowledgeable. (laughing)
T        The play is running at the Globe Tokyo, right? There are performances outside of Tokyo too, right?
S        Yeah, 6 performances in Kyoto.
T        Nice nice. Can you relax some in Kyoto?
S        Seems unlikely. (laughing) I was looking forward to that too. But I’ve been wallowing in sadness since hearing that my schedule will be tight. (laughing)
M       This was originally made into a movie too, right? What country is it from?
S        America. And I’ll be playing a prison guard.
T        I see. …Shige, recently you’ve been acting a lot.
S        You say that, but then you’ve never been to see one of my plays. I’d like you to come soon.
T        I’ll go, I’ll go! I’m adjusting my schedule. I mean, I want to meet Baruto-san!
M       That’s your goal. (laughing)
S        His way of speaking is cute. (Does an impersonation)
TKM   Hahaha, cute!
K        Also, with a play, taking care of your health is important.
S        Yeah. This year especially, I’ve been having issues with my throat so I want to pay special attention and care to it.
T        Since it’s not good if you lose your voice. Well, I’ll bring a really spicy food as a refreshment ♪
K        Oh, good idea.
S        Hey!
M       I want to bring something other than food, how about a dehumidifier?
S        Hahaha, a dehumidifier not a humidifier? (laughing) Dehumidifying during an already dry time!
M       What’ll you do, Koyama? How about bringing a dry and crumbly snack?
T        Ah, good idea. Something that’ll completely dry up the mouth. (laughing)
S        You’re saying that, but I have faith that you’ll bring something nice. (laughing)

Message me with what souvenirs you want from overseas! (laughing)

S        And Massu’s ‘Netapare’. How is it, are there any comedians you like?
M       Hm, there’s a lot. (Massu lists comedian names one after the other)
K        It’s fun doing that program isn’t it? I laugh a lot just watching it on TV, so seeing it live must be even more fun.
M       Yeah, it’s interesting to see the comedians’ acts live, and getting to collaborate with them sometimes is fun too.
S        How do you feel doing it?  Do you get nervous?
M       I do. The atmosphere is amazing.
S        And it’s all so fast-paced, the speed of each joke.
K       It’s about one minute per joke.
S       But with collaborations you get to know the comedians don’t you?
M       Yeah. For example, recently I collaborated with ANZEN’s Miyazon-san and been able to get to know him.
T        Ah, speaking of, when I was filming for ‘Sekai no Hate made ItteQ!’, I was in the dressing room reading a TV magazine and by chance, there was a ‘Netapare’ article with a picture of Massu and Miyazon-san together. While I was looking at that I said ‘You appeared with our Masuda, didn’t you?’ and he replied “It appears so’. (laughing)
M       On set he always approaches me like it’s the first time. (laughing) But, having those kinds of exchanges is a unique experience to the program, and it’s good stimulous.
S       It’s also a good learning experience about comedy.
M       I see!
K       It’s true, Massu’s jokes haven’t been falling flat as much. (laughing) It feels like he’s become a specialist of the ‘pause’.  I was moved thinking that ‘That Massu has become this good at using the ‘pause’”.
M      What! I’ve never heard of a ‘pause’ specialist.
T       I don’t get it. He's definitely just randomly saying that. (laughing)
K       Huh, is that how it sounds?
S       Even if that’s true, it’d not something you want to hear. That “ He’s a ‘pause’ specialist’.” (laughing)
M       You, just making random comments! (laughing) Well, anyway I’m having fun doing the program. Last, is Tegoshi’s ’Soccer ★ Earth’.
T        I’ve been doing this program for 5 years already.
S        Certainly, and this year the number of broadcasts is increasing, right?
T        Yeah, it is! I’m happy.
K        Since it’s live there are a lot of times you’ve gone on air after concerts, it feels good, doesn’t it? (laughing)
S        I get that!
K        When I go home after a concert and turn on the TV to see Tegoshi working, it feels like the tiredness just goes away.
T        Why! (laughing) Certainly, [working] after a concert is physically tough I guess. At any rate, it’s like using up all my energy all at once. It’s tough to get pumped up all over again.
S       When I did live radio, it was the exact same situation, so I can really understand the difficulty. But, at that time   Tegoshi really teased me, so when I think that now, at last, I can get revenge it makes me happy. (laughing) When I think of it, I feel even better. (laughing)
M       Unlike you two, I don’t think it ‘feels good’ at all ♪
T        Thanks. (laughing) But, it’s a really fun program so I don’t feel tired at all. Since I love soccer and I basically get to talk freely about it.
K        It’s free talk, but it’s amazing because, in the end, it’s a properly done program.
M        What’s it like when you’re interviewing players? Are there things that you can’t ask?
T         Generally, no. But when you go to report on things overseas, it’s considered obvious for things to get delayed by about 2 hours after you’ve started reporting.  (laughing) In that sense, it’s difficult.
S        Oh really. Are you going to do overseas coverage again soon?
T        I don’t know yet, but I think I will.
K        I’m looking forward to the souvenirs!
T        I wonder what would be good. I’ll get the delicious kind of stuff for everyone that I always buy.
M       I’m fine with clothes.
T        Isn’t that dangerous? I mean, I’ll be the one picking the clothes? (laughing)
M       If it’s a large size then it’s fine. There are various kinds overseas right!
T        …Well, when it’s decided that I’ll be going abroad, everyone message me what you want before I leave! (laughing)
K       With that, this issue has been a report on everything going on with all the solo projects we’ve all been doing.

(no subject)

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