With a milestone-dotted two decades, thirteen genre-diverse albums, and a slew of phenomenal film scores to some of the highest-grossing animé films of all time, RADWIMPS has undoubtedly achieved what most bands their age could only dream of and they show no signs of stopping now.

With soaring melodies and introspective lyricism, the veteran Japanese rock band has managed to meticulously weave together some of the most tear-jerking, emotionally uplifting strings of music of the last ten years or so. They’ve also scored multiple films, starting with the 2016 Makoto Shinkai-directed hit Your Name, and their film scores have effortlessly taken hold of their listeners’ hearts and immensely contributed to catapulting the movies they’ve made music for into blockbuster status.

With their earliest days tracing back to the early 2000s, the band’s relationship with one another and with their fans has undoubtedly grown since their inception. “In our 20s, we played it cool, but when you get closer to your fans on the tour, you realize how much it means to them, that interaction. Little by little, we are growing,” shares frontman Yojiro Noda to Billboard Philippines with a laugh.

In the present, with the continued growth of their artistry as a band, the group has also recently been looking back to their past for inspiration as they march onwards into the future. “We had a lot of opportunities to work on more academic projects, including film scores, for the last seven, eight years. We learned a lot through those projects, but at the same time, we steered away from our rock band sound,” adds Noda. “As we head into our 20th anniversary, we have been talking about going back to our roots. So I’ve been wanting to go back into the studio with these guys and physically create music together.”

On the topic of creating music, when asked to describe the differences between composing music for a film compared to simply writing songs on their own, the band shared some insight into the creative process they have undergone ever since the first film they worked on with Shinkai.

Noda, who is also the group’s chief songwriter and lyricist, talks of a certain kind of motivation the band has found in collaborating with people when crafting music for films. “I think the most important thing is the connection between the creators. Doing something for yourself has a limit. You can work harder when you’re doing it for someone special. That’s the secret power of collaboration,” shares Noda. Nevertheless, he adds that he cherishes the experience of writing for both movies and simply for themselves. “Of course, there are good things about writing for your own band too. You’re free to do whatever. I want to savor both creative processes.”

On more technical aspects, lead guitarist Akira Kuwahara looks back on their first time creating music for a film with Your Name, citing challenges it posed to the group. “Technically, matching the music to [the] visual in milliseconds was difficult because [the] visual doesn’t always match the beat or arrangement of the music. That’s always hard but especially for Your Name because it was our first time working on a film score.”

However, these challenges have proven to be some that the group has masterfully hurdled over time and time again, especially after also having also created the score for the two Makoto Shinkai-directed films that followed Your NameWeathering With You in 2019 and Suzume in 2022. Along with this, the band has also crossed over into the live-action world with 2022’s The Last Ten Years, directed by Michihito Fujii and starring Nana Komatsu and Kentaro Sakaguchi. Notably for Suzume, the band worked closely together with renowned film and video game composer Kazuma Jinnouchi to craft the film’s soundtrack. When asked who else they would love to collaborate with in the future, the band answers that, while they cannot reveal anything yet, they have collaborations with “a few international artists” already in the works.

Other than collaborations, Kuwahara also sees the potential influence their 2024 world tour “The way you yawn, and the outcry of Peace” can have on them. “With the tour coming up, I think it will have a great influence on both our shows and songwriting. I can’t wait,” he states.

This tour that he speaks of is another indicator of the band not slowing down anytime soon.

Hot on the heels of a fully sold-out world tour in 2023, the band is headed into another rigorous trip around the earth starting this March. “We are currently preparing the setlist for the upcoming tour so we can’t say much about the show yet, but we promise to make it even better than the show from last year. Hope you look forward to it,” shared bassist Yusuke Takeda ahead of the tour.

“I don’t want our shows to be a routine. I want to go on stage feeling like it’s the first time everytime,” added Noda on their preparations. “It is our style to keep variables and be impromptu all over the show. The audience catches on to that and we treasure that special, one-and-only moment together. I hope this tour will be like that, too.”

The ongoing tour, which is set to head to Asia starting this April, will also see something special for the group’s loyal Filipino fans: the band’s long-awaited, already sold-out, first show in the Philippines this May 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. “It’s our first time in the Philippines. I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen there but I have been waiting for this tour for so long,” shares Noda when asked what their patiently waiting Filipino fans can expect. “Philippines! We are thrilled to be coming your way for the very first time, ” adds Takeda.

Get ready to cry your hearts out and sing along to RADWIMPS ahead of their first Manila show this May by listening to the soundtrack of Suzume below.