SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN’s line-up showers its fans with inspiration!

If you haven’t caught up on it, SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN ASIA TOUR 2017 will be premiering its first Singapore concert at Millian Singapore on 16th March 2017. Tickets are still available at Sistic and Peatix.

That aside, J-Network is proud to present interviews with each one of the bands that are coming to Singapore: THE ORAL CIGARETTES, Frederic, Kyuso Nekokami and 04 Limited Sazabys

THE ORAL CIGARETTES

THE ORAL CIGARETTES

Q: How do you feel about your music reaching out to beyond Japan?

A: It’s one of our dreams to hold a solo concert overseas one day, so we’re really happy.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your music?

A: We get inspiration through a lot of works, such as movies, novels, art, and of course music.

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Q: Are there any artistes who you are inspired by?

A: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Q: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with for future works?

A: Fall Out Boy

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Q: What inspired your band’s name?

A: We basically decided on the name based on how it sounded.

Q: As an indie band, what difficulties have you faced before being able to reach this point?

A: Having to balance music with school.

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Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring artistes?

A: Do your best, because it’s not about when you start, but having the conviction to persevere.

Q: Do you guys have anything you like to do in your free time?

A: Stuff like watching movies, or going on walks in search of inspiration for our music.

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Q: What was it like doing a song for an anime? (Noragami Aragoto) What was your creative process in creating the song?

A: The anime’s world view and that of the band’s overlapped quite a bit, so it was a lot of fun working on the song. In order to understand what the author was trying to convey through the show, we watched the anime and read the manga over and over while making the song.

Q: How do you feel about your progress as a band, and where do you want to go from here? (What are your goals for the future?)

A: We aim to create music that many people outside the scene can empathise with and share, and to perform that music for them.

Q: Can we get a special message for your fans here in Singapore?

A: SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN (JAPAN TOUR) was a milestone in the growth of THE ORAL CIGARETTES, and I think that this Asia Tour will be an important milestone in our expansion overseas as well. Please look forward to it.

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Frederic

FREDERIC

Q: How do you feel about your music reaching out to beyond Japan?

A:Koji Mihara: It makes us really happy. We want to befriend many people through music and hope to continue for a long time.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your music?

A: Koji Mihara: I visit museums, or read books or watch movies on my days off.

Q: Are there any artistes whom you are inspired by?

Kenji Mihara: Tama

Koji Mihara: Björk

Ryuji Akagashira: Tokyo Jihen 

_TK88129.jpgQ: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with for future works?

A: Ryuji Akagashira: Daft Punk

Q: What inspired your band’s name?

A: Koji Mihara: According to the story ”Frederick” by Leo Lionni, while all the other mice were gathering food in preparation for winter, Frederick was always deep in thought and never did anything. All the others thought that he was a lazy mouse, but when the deep of winter came and food ran out, Frederick warmed the hearts of the other mice by telling them stories. In the same way, we hope to warm people’s hearts and spread happiness through our music.

Q: As an indie band, what difficulties have you faced before being able to reach this point?

A: Kenji Mihara: Troubling over how to communicate with the people around us through our songs so that they can enjoy themselves, and how to let people have fun at our shows.

 _TK88321.jpgQ: Do you have any advice for aspiring artistes?

A: Kenji Mihara: In Japan, there are many ways to debut and just as many ways to make it big. For example, you could become a big hit even if performing or singing isn’t your strong suit, as long as you have a strong personality. However, all musicians, famous or not, want to leave some sort of legacy or be remembered for their music ten, twenty years down the road. There are also many who are able to have a fresh beginning when they think back on how they felt when they first started out. Never forget that feeling of “wanting to be something” and “wanting to leave something behind”.

Q: Do you guys have anything you like to do in your free time?

A: Kenji Mihara: I think that overall it’s important to experience different things, so I try to get out as much as possible to follow up on things of interest or try out whatever happens to pop into my mind, as long as it’s within reason.

Koji Mihara: I’m addicted to Western dramas lately and tend to binge-watch them. (eg. “The Walking Dead”, “Prison Break”)

Ryuji Akagashira: I laze around at home or watch “Terrace House” on Netflix.

Q: What was it like doing a song for a commercial? (UNIQLO’s FLEECE for FUN commercial)

A: Koji Mihara: We were really happy because the theme fit Uniqlo’s web CM as well as “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches”. We’d also like to do a lot more collaborations in the future.

 _TK93740.jpgQ: How do you feel about your progress as a band, and where do you want to go from here? (What are your goals for the future?)

A: Kenji Mihara: I think we went through a lot of hardship from the time we formed the band to our entering our current agency. Of course, it hasn’t been a bed of roses since our debut either, but thanks to the support of the staff and our friends and family, we’re able to do what we love and make music for a living. Our previous tour was actually based on the theme of “progress”. I think that we’re definitely growing as a band, and we hope to be even bigger, to have more TV appearances and perform at overseas festivals. We want to become a group that everyone knows of.

Q: Can we get a special message for your fans here in Singapore?

A: Kenji Mihara: We’d be really glad if people could take an interest in Japanese music with its many unique characteristics through our show. The best thing about Frederic is our performances, and we’re confident that we’ll be able to move you with our show more than our music videos, so please do come watch us.

 

Kyuso Nekokami

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Q: How do you feel about your music reaching out to beyond Japan?

A: [Seiya] We are really happy about it and I look forward to how our music is received overseas.

[Yokota] I am really happy. We look forward to finding out how our music, which is influenced by anime music and frank lyrics, is received overseas.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your music?

A: [Seiya] We get inspiration from our daily lives, observing people, the news as well as other bands’ live performances.

Q: Are there any artistes who you are inspired by?

A: [Seiya] Ginnan BOYZ, Artic Monkeys, the telephones, The Mirraz.

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Q: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with for future works?

A: [Seiya] We don’t do well with collaborations…but we’ll do so if asked!!

[Yokota] I’d love to collaborate with Akira Toriyama. I would love for him to design our CD cover.

Q: We heard that your band’s name is inspired by the game Final Fantasy X-2. Seems like you’re video game fans! What other video games do you like?

A: [Okazawa] Recently, I’ve been playing the Ace Attorney series as well as Pokemon GO.

[Sogo] I bought a PS4 recently so whenever I’m at home, I’m usually playing games. When I’m outside, I’ll walk around with my Nintendo 3DS and play Pokemon, or I’ll play games on my iPhone.

[Yokota] Seiya (Vo) and Sogo (Dr), in particular, are really into Final Fantasy. I don’t really play games so I can’t say I know much, but Seiya did mention once that he respects Sogo because he managed to defeat a boss that was especially difficult to beat.

[Takuro] I think I’m someone who plays a lot of games. I probably played the most during the time of the Super Famicom console, Playstation, Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable. After that, I got hooked on playing simulation games like Taiko Risshiden, Civilization and The Sims series on the computer. Since I’m not home a lot nowadays, I only play games once in a while on my smartphone. If I could, I’d love to play a bit more.

Q: As an indie band, what difficulties have you faced before being able to reach this point?

A: [Yokota] It would have to be doing what we want and selling our music. Though it’s inevitable that trends change along with time, there will come a day when our music isn’t up to date anymore. But we do hope that people listen to our music and that we continue to sell as we try to keep up with the times while still maintaining our band’s essence.

 _TK87403Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring artistes?

A: [Yokota] It’s better to stop thinking that sales figures determine everything. Just keep making music according to your own style. Also, if you have time on your free day, do go out to get some inspiration for your music.

Q: Do you guys have anything you like to do in your free time?

A: [Seiya] I cook.

[Okazawa] I would either be at the chiropractic clinic or at the music store.

[Sogo] As we usually travel all over the country for our tours, I like to be relaxing at home on my off days.

[Yokota] I spend my off days moving around a lot. I like vintage clothes so you can find me at my favourite vintage shops or visiting other musicians’ concerts. I also spend my time meeting up with friends for meals or drinks. Basically, you won’t find me in the house on my off day.

[Takuro] I won’t really get to rest if I plan out activities beforehand so I spend my off days spontaneously instead. I watch a few movies, look at furniture or even cook. It’s really a simple and normal life. 

Q: One of your more well-known works, ‘Phantom Vibration’ depicts people and their mobile phones. Could you share with us the inspiration behind it, and why you felt that you had to write the song?

A: [Seiya] When I started adding music to the iPhone ringtone, the idea that “the smartphone is now one of my organs,” sprung up. Takuro (Ba) thought of the idea.

[Yokota] In the beginning, it was Takuro’s (Ba) idea to work around the iPhone ringtone and while we were trying to make something instrumental out of it, Seiya (Vo) came up with the lyrics to ridicule people who are addicted to their phones (including ourselves) and it became a song that expressed the society’s unhealthy reliance on smartphones.

 _XYZ1380Q: How do you feel about your progress as a band, and where do you want to go from here? (What are your goals for the future?)

A: [Seiya] We become more serious about what we do and I think it’s starting to show as well. Our goal for now is to strive for the best with humility.

[Yokota] When we first formed, we sang about anger, envy and weakness but we now also have a growing number of songs with messages like “We will get through tough times,” “It’s ok to be that person,” or “I’m also the same as everyone else.” We’ll continue to make better melodies and experiment with a wider range of music so that a lot more people can take an interest in our music.

Q: Can we get a special message for your fans here in Singapore?

A: [Yokota] We are doing what only Japanese people can do through our lyrics and live performances, but we will do our very best to reach out to everyone who is coming so do come and enjoy our performance and Japanese culture.

 

04 Limited Sazabys

04 Limited Sazabys

Q: How do you feel about your music reaching out to beyond Japan?

A: It makes us really happy. We’re simply glad that our music is reaching a wider audience even though we’ve only been focusing on the local scene so far.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your music?

A: Japanese bands such as Hi-STANDARD and ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION. We’re also influenced by the punk scene in the American West Coast.

Q: Are there any artistes who you are inspired by?

A: The music of Hi-STANDARD became our band’s axis.

 _TEP5899.JPGQ: Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with for future works?

A: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and SMAP

Q: What inspired your band’s name?

A: There isn’t a particular meaning to our band’s name. For some reason or another GEN just thought that it would be good to have a long band name and wanted it to also include a number, which was how it was decided.

Q: As an indie band, what difficulties have you faced before being able to reach this point?

A: For a long time we weren’t really making any money and it was difficult to decide if we should still try to continue as a band.

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Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring artistes?

A: Hard work will get you further than talent.

Q: Do you guys have anything you like to do in your free time?

A: Taking the time to rest and recharge, or doing housework.

Q: On one hand, some of your music has a very sombre mood like ‘knife’, but some like ‘swim’ are very upbeat. How would you describe your ‘aesthetic’ as a band?

A: We originally started making music after being inspired by Japanese melodic punk, but we also listen to many other kinds of music. Since our second mini album “sonor,” we’ve also gotten better at playing other genres of music, so songs like “knife”, which embodies GEN’s inner darkness and emotion, and “Swim”, which is really positive, are both our band’s music style.

 _TPS9609.JPGQ: How do you feel about your progress as a band, and where do you want to go from here? 

A: There are many music genres, like guitar rock, or punk, but I’m starting to think that we might just be able to link it all together unite everyone under one label of “band scene”. In the music industry, the playing field for bands is getting smaller and smaller, which is why it would be great if everyone could come together as bands without being divided by different genres to turn the situation around. We’d like to be the mediators in this campaign and strengthen the band scene.

Q: Can we get a special message for your fans here in Singapore?

A: Even though we don’t speak the same language, there’s still the melody and groove so do come listen to our music for yourself.

 

J-Network is pleased to see all these wonderful bands coming to perform in Singapore. We hope you are as excited to catch our concert report as we are to report it!

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