[INTERVIEW] Japanese band, Frederic, excited to perform in Singapore for the first time and eat Laksa
Japanese indie band, Frederic, is best known to non-Japanese for their song, oddloop, which has been played in several UNIQLO stores all over the world. The song can also be heard in Uniqlo’s web CM “FLEECE For FUN”! Now, they’re headed to Singapore for the Space Shower Retsuden Asia Tour 2017 powered in MCIP concert, which takes place at the Milian tomorrow night!
Frederic is a three-piece band from Kobe with twin brothers Kenji (Vo/Gt) and Kouji Mihara (Ba/Cho), and Kenji’s classmate Ryuji Akagashira (Gt), and is known for their “repertoire of unforgettable music” born out of a unique sense of humour and wide musical background. Expressing their lyrics as “addictive”, Frederic has proven to be a band to be reckoned with in the ever-changing Japanese music scene.
We recently sat down with them for an interview before tomorrow night’s show, and they really do seem to be excited about performing in front of a Singaporean crowd for the first time.
- Which of you is Frederic? (What is the origin of your band name?)
Koji Mihara: We got it from Leo Lionni’s children’s book “Frederick”. The story goes that while all the other mice were gathering food to prepare for winter, Frederick was always deep in thought and never did anything. All the other mice thought that he was lazy, 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, so we named ourselves Frederic.
- The song oddloop was used as a tie-up track for Uniqlo’s Fleece CM. Some of our readers may have chanced upon the song while they were at a Uniqlo, or through watching the commercial. To these people (who’ve only heard oddloop), how would you introduce yourselves and describe your music?
Kenji Mihara: We make music that we hope music lovers will continue to listen to ten or even twenty years later. The guitar phrases in “Oddloop”, the rhythmic lyrics “Odottenaiyoru wo shiranai”, and the repetitive chorus, stay in your head. We try to come up with creative ways to make our songs memorable.
- Your first major full album, Frederhythm, was released in October last year. Was there anything you did this time in your approach to recording the album, which was different from when you were recording your previous singles?
Kenji Mihara: The title “Frederhythm” combines the words “Frederic” and “rhythm”.
Our single “Only Wonder” was a straightforward expression of our band’s individuality, and building on that we wanted to make this album even more Frederic-like, so the album contains a lot of the type of music and rhythms that we love.
- While going through your music videos, we noticed that quite a number of them — oddloop, Tomei-ningen, OWARASE NIGHT — features 2 girls performing ridiculous dances with a straight-serious face on. Which oddly enough seems to visually convey the tones in your music very well — can you tell us about how that came about?
Kenji Mihara: We work a lot with a great director called Smith, and he was the one who thought of it. As a band, we place a lot of emphasis on not just thinking of new ideas for the band itself, but also using our music to inspire other creators. You usually expect the dancers to have bright or lively expressions while dancing in a regular music video, so being expressionless while dancing in this case created a dissonance, drawing people to the video instead.
- Is this your first time coming to Singapore? Do you have any plans to visit any particular spots in Singapore when you’re here?
Ryuji Akagashira: This will be our first time in Singapore and I would like to try laksa. Laksa-flavoured cup noodles are really delicious so I’d like to try the real thing.
- Finally, a message for everyone who’ll be coming to Space Shower Retsuden Asia Tour 2017, please! What can they look forward to from Frederic?
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.
Space Shower TV is a dedicated music channel in Japan that covers a wide range of music genres. SPACE SHOWER RETSUDEN started out in 2001 as a platform for indie musicians to showcase their music. Spurred on by the support of fans, the event is now viewed as a rite of passage for many new artistes.
Ticket sales are now available via Sistic. General Admission tickets cost S$58, while the VIP tickets cost S$88. The VIP tickets include:
– Special high five session with all four bands
– Exclusive autographed poster signed by all four bands
– Entry into VIP area right in front of the stage for concert
– Priority entry