Seiji learns that beautiful women can be a lot like centipedes: more scared of him than he is of them.
Our writer Seiji Nakazawa has aspired to be a career musician for his entire life. While he has achieved a great level of success and even wrapped up a tour in the UK this year, he is still far from the dream.
However, he knows that sitting on his butt won’t get him there, so he is willing to risk it all, and even abuse his press credentials with SoraNews24 by giving auditions thinly veiled as “interviews.”
This time his opportunistic target is none other than star of Japanese film and TV, Yumi Adachi. Like many Japanese men growing up through the 90s, Seiji couldn’t help but have a crush on the comely star.
Even now, while perusing her Instagram posts, she still looks stunning, but this time it wasn’t her looks that caught Seiji’s eye, but her T-shirt.
The shirt read “Not Wonk,” the name of an indie rock band who got their big break at 2018’s Fuji Rock festival. This meant that Adachi was an indie rock band fan, and as the theory goes, any indie rock band fan also dreams of being in their own band.
Therefore, according to Seiji’s logic, any wannabe indie rock band member, wouldn’t hesitate at the chance to team up with one of the greatest living guitarists. And so, a rising force swelled within Seiji and the ghost of Yngwie Malmsteen once again possessed him.
▼ With Yngwie in the pilot seat of his soul, Seiji headed over to the interview venue at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Seiji lunged into the Sony building, but there was an awkward feeling wherever he went. It wasn’t just the Ghost of Spider-Man Past lingering in the lobby either. Everyone was treating our Grammy-nominee-possessed reporter like he was some kind of weirdo.
The reason for the interview was to promote the Japanese release of Zombieland: Double Tap in which Adachi provides the dubbed voice of Madison, played on-screen by Zoey Deutch.
Seiji waited in the interview room and went over his notes, none of which were about Adachi and mostly contained excerpts from Malmsteen’s feature in the February ’83 issue of Guitar Player magazine.
When she finally entered, she looked visibly tense. It was a reaction our mild-mannered reporter didn’t often see and he couldn’t quite grasp why he was seeing it this time.
▼ “It must be the sunglasses,” Seiji thought to himself.
As a part of the Yngwie rockstar persona, Seiji was wearing deeply tinted glasses. It’s an accessory seldom used by celebrity interviewers, however, and was probably making her nervous.
Things were off to a rocky start, and Seiji knew his first question would have to be very delicately handled in order to win her over.
Seiji: “Is this the first time you’ve been interviewed by someone in sunglasses?”
Adachi: “Probably the first.”
Seiji: “I see. It’s probably quite surprising. Everyone is scared their first time. There’s no need to worry…. Right. I’d like to move on to some questions about the movie.”
Adachi: “Uh, okay.”
Everything was working beautifully so far. Seiji successfully calmed her fears about his glasses and he quickly had her believing he was a real interviewer rather than some desperate musician. The notebook really helped sell the illusion.
Seiji: “Are you similar to the character you play in the movie, Madison, or are you different?
Adachi: “I think we’re the opposite. Madison is a woman with a a lot of enthusiasm, and that’s something I don’t have. I’m usually a really calm person, so I really had to dig deep to find that same energy in me.”
Seiji: “You sounded very natural.”
Adachi: “I’m glad to hear that!”
Adachi’s reaction to Seiji’s compliment was stronger than he expected and she beamed a smile right at him, nearly knocking him out of his seat.
The force of her smile sent him hurtling back in time to his teenage years, sitting in a darkened room, watching her on TV, and dreaming of someday meeting her. He was then slammed back into the reality where he was talking with his dream girl at that very moment, and he better not screw it up.
▼ “She’s so pretty….”
Adachi: “Madison is very pure in a way. She says things without thinking, even if it’s a little strange or hurtful. It was a challenge to play that part, because you have to deliver lines as if they came straight out of your mouth without any forethought.”
Seiji: “You don’t usually talk like that?”
Adachi: “[laughing] I guess not. [laughing] I’m very calculated. [laughing]”
Seiji was becoming completely smitten and slowly reverting into a fumbling teenager. As a result he could begin to feel the spirit of Yngwie Malmsteen float away. This was no way for a rock god to act, melting at the sight of a beautiful woman.
Seiji had to act fast and let the Malmsteen loose before she completely destroyed his confidence.
But it was too soon. He hadn’t earned enough of her trust to ask her to join a band with him.
“She was wearing an indie rock shirt,” teen Seiji called out from within. “Indie rock fans aren’t even into Yngwie Malmsteen. That guy’s neoclassical-metal, and she’s just gonna laugh at you.”
Indecisiveness nearly tore our interviewer apart when suddenly his arm began to slowly lift, as if by the firm, steady, tremelo picking grip of Malmsteen himself. His legs filled with raw power and his left knee instantly snapped into a mighty Malmsteen lunge.
Finally, a voice tinged with a Swedish accent whispered in his ears, “Less talk… more rock.”
That was the last thing Seiji remembered before breaking into the Malmsteen’s classic “Far Beyond the Sun.”
When he came to, his hands felt sore but looking up, he could see the delighted face of his teenage crush smiling back at him.
He must have done well because Adachi looked ecstatic. She was clearly impressed with his rocking, and her reaction alone was a sight Seiji would never forget.
Seiji thought that perhaps the early musical attack was effective and ended up rocking her socks off before she could brace herself. Either way, he couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. This was the time to close the deal.
Seiji: “Won’t you form a band with me?”
Adachi: “No, I won’t.”
Seiji politely thanked Yumi Adachi for a wonderful interview and left the room in a bit of a traumatized daze. Unlike other celebrities, Adachi had a special place in his heart, making this refusal hit a little closer to home.
As Seiji walked through the cold, unforgiving halls of Sony, he tired to remember the good times he and Yumi had together.
And he thought a little while about what could have been.
▼ The entire interview and audition can be seen in this video as well.
In the end, it was just not meant to be. Seiji sat in his car feeling rather blue, when suddenly he could hear Yngwie Malmsteen’s voice emanate from his car stereo.
Malmsteen’s voice comforted our interviewer: “Hey, don’t take it so hard. She said it herself during the interview, that she’s not the impulsive type. She probably thought about all the work and hardships that go into being in a band and got scared. It’s not an easy thing to do, and people tell me ‘no’ because of that all the time.”
“Really?” asked Seiji.
“No. Not really. I’m Yngwie Malmsteen.”
“Did Andrew W.K. ever call you back?”