[This is part two of natalie’s Power Push interview on Perfume. Click here to read part one.]
“Won’t it be meaningless for us to go?” we consulted Nakata-san
—And in the midst of this tour, it’s also decided that you will perform in ULTRA KOREA. I think that the genre of Perfume is dance music, but you have not yet participated in this kind of event before, right?
N (Nocchi) : Yes, that’s right. I thought of wanting to appear in “WIRE” and the likes before, but there haven’t been any chances until now. So this time, we feel like challenging to do entirely new things. Before, we were thought of as unique idols who appear in rock festivals, but now I want it to be like, “ah, there’s more to them, they (referring to Perfume here) appeared in something more.”
—And since this time it’s a dance music festival, what the audience would be looking for would be a little different from before.
A (A-Chan): Meaning that this is really a new kind of event for us. We’ve never appeared in such an event before so everyone’s getting cold feet. Our staff has also been giving us advice like it would be better if you just keep the music flowing non-stop, or you should also change the arrangement in such a way that the audience could get into it easily; things like that. But we’re don’t know much either so we talked among ourselves, saying that since we’re not familiar with the event and we can’t really make the proper judgement, why don’t we ask Nakata-san? We even thought that if we change the arrangement the way the staff told us to, it would be too different from our usual style. “Won’t it be meaningless for us to go? If that’s the case, then maybe it would be better for Nakata-san to appear instead?” we thought.
A: And so, we consulted Nakata-san. His advice went like, “It’s a stage performance this time too, so you should just go for it without losing your identity; just do things while keeping your own style. But remember that this is also a club event; if the music stops in the early stages, the audience won’t get fired up. So maybe it would be best if you do one big performance, hitting the audience with one great shot.” Upon hearing that, I felt that he was telling us that it’s okay for us to go. I was enlightened then, like I can now see the path. We were extremely nervous before, but now we feel very excited about it.
“Since when were you three this hardcore?”
—And then you will have your second world tour in July. You have finally reached Europe.
K (Kashiyuka): I was really troubled at first during the Asia tour, but there are many people there who love Japan and surprisingly, can understand Japanese. I felt so relieved and we were able to do almost everything in Japanese. You see, when we landed in the other countries, we greeted them using their own language. Surprisingly, that backfired as our feelings weren’t conveyed; the greeting in Japanese was more understood by the majority (laughs). However, we think that the same can’t be said for Europe; and while that makes it exciting, it’s also what makes it worrying.
—There seems to be a big difference in impression between how Perfume is as the Japanese see them, and how Perfume is as the Europeans and Americans see them.
K: We’re not sure if there are many idols there. I think that three girls who sing and dance without playing instruments at all would be a rare act there. I’m curious to see how we’ll be received.
—It’s a fairly tough schedule you have for this tour, having only a gap of one day for each country before flying again and finishing everything within six days.
N: Yes, it is. Well you understand, the expenses are a little [too high]… (laughs) That’s the only reason. But we really wanted to do something like this since way before.
A: Even our rocker friends said the same thing. “Isn’t this schedule like a rock band’s?” “Since when were you three this hardcore?” (laughs) Artists who tour around the world also told us that our schedule wouldn’t lose to theirs even. To think that we’re doing the same thing as they are makes me very happy. I really like this “hardcore” image of ours.
—I know what you mean (laughs). And in passing, is there any other matter you’re excited about besides the live?
K: I want to eat a galette (laughs). I’m pretty positive that the staff are looking forward to enjoying the beer they have there.
N: Kashiyuka here said something to the lines of, “aww, if Germany was our last stop, we could have drunk beer there,” I think (laughs). Germany is our first stop, you see.
K: I did, I did (laughs)! The tour only spans for a week so besides the live, we won’t have time for any other activities like sightseeing. So we ended up looking forward to the food.
—Now that you have successfully finished you Asia tour, have you learned any trick or secret to overseas performances?
K: “If we try to convey [our feelings and thoughts], it will be conveyed.”
—Ohhh. Very nice words.
K: During the first tour, Singapore was, compared to other countries, the one where Japanese got through the least. So we tried to insert English words in the middle of our sentences, and Nocchi then, turned completely into Ru Oshiba [a comedian speaks uses a lot of English words in his Japanese] (laughs). But even with that kind of English, our feelings were properly conveyed. So I thought that the desire to convey your thoughts is important too (laughs).
We’d be happy to be the topic
—A Perfume performing in the center of techno, Germany, has been many of your fans’ dream for you since before. Which is to say that even if they’re staying in Japan, unable to watch, they would be praying for the success of this tour. I think that maybe they would also be worried about how you will be received there. As Perfume, do you have any special motivation or fighting spirit for this in you?
A: First, one of the very reasons why we want to expand overseas is because we want people to see how cool Japanese music is. This started with us thinking that we want others to see that with Nakata-san’s music and our performances, combined with state-of-the-art technology and techniques, we could provide this kind of splendid entertainment. We want them to see that these kinds of acts are happening in Japan right now. We want them to know and to love what we have.
A: When the Asia tour was decided, things like “going all-over the world would be tough” or “we’re touring Asia because we’re touring for the Asians” were said to us. We were thinking that, “yeah, they have a point, we’re touring Asia first because even they don’t know about us yet” during that time but when we arrived, a lot more people than we expected turned up and they were all very passionate, shouting things like “We’ve been waiting for you! You’ve finally come!” In all of the stages we performed in, you could feel the overflowing desire of the people to enjoy that one and only night we were there. Until that moment, I never really understood what it means to go out to the world. But now, I know that there are people waiting for us so I now think that we should strike out more and more to the world.
A: To perform in the center of techno is one our biggest goals. On top of that, we’ve been hearing people say stuff like “people in this country listen to your songs too” and the like; we’ve also been receiving fan letters and watching uploaded videos of people trying to cover our dances. Now that we know they’ve been waiting for us, we now feel that it’s finally the time for us to go to them. Also, since we now actually know that more and more people are supporting us in places we didn’t even think of, we can feel that a lot more people now are telling us to go for it; so now more than ever, there’s an “ahhh we absolutely have to give our all” kind of feeling. We’re thinking now that it would be great if people there would talk about us, like, “Ah, these girls are interesting. Ohhh, so they’re called Perfume…” or, “You know, there’s this interesting act the other day. A group called Perfume.” We’d be happy to be the topic.
Perfume is more aggressive now than ever before
—Let me ask one last question. It has been a year since you released your first single under a new label and go full throttle in your advance to the world; an entirely historical year even for Perfume, in my opinion. During that span of time, do you feel that you yourselves have changed too?
K: We now talk to our staff more than ever and there’s a feeling of wanting to be proactive or assertive in producing our own plans. We ourselves proposed the battle tour in a meeting, and we want to do things that way even more. I feel that now, we are asking for more and more from our label and agency. Though our thoughts end with a “we want to try that, but how do we do it,” kind of feeling, we make sure to express if we want to do something, and just ask. Like, “we don’t have any concrete plans on how to do this, so please kindly tell us how.”
N: I don’t really feel that I’ve changed that much though (laughs). But we certainly do experience a lot what Kashiyuka has just said. I think that we’ve become a lot more greedy compared to how we were before. Beyond all our activities we can now see what they call ‘the world’, and we start to ponder once more who and what “Perfume” is.
Perfume Live Information
Perfume WORLD TOUR 2nd
July 3, 2013 – GLORIA, Cologne, Germany
July 5, 2013 – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, England
July 7, 2013 – Le Bataclan, Paris, France
Zutto Suki Dattanjakee~Sasurai no Menkata PERFUME FES!!
May 29, 2013 – Zepp Diver City TOKYO, Tokyo
May 30, 2013 – Zepp Diver City TOKYO, Tokyo
Performers: Perfume / Kazuyoshi Saito
June 4, 2013 – Zepp Nagoya, Aichi
June 5, 2013 – Zepp Nagoya, Aichi
Performers: Perfume / Tamio Okuda
June 16, 2013 – Zepp Namba, Osaka
June 17, 2013 – Zepp Namba, Osaka
Performers: Perfume / MAXIMUM THE HORMONE
Amuse 35th Anniversary BBQ in Tsumagoi ~Bokura no Beat wo Kurae KORA!~
July 13, 2013 – Tsumagoi, Shizuoka
Performers: PORNOGRAFFITTI / Perfume / ONE OK ROCK / NICO Touches the Walls / flumpool / WEAVER / Yuu Takahashi / MIHIRO～Mairo～ / MONOBRIGHT / Emi Tawata / Hemenway / Rihwa / HaKU
July 14, 2013 – Tsumagoi, Shizuoka
Performers: PORNOGRAFFITTI / FLOW / Perfume / ONE OK ROCK / flumpool / WEAVER / Yuu Takahashi / MIHIRO～Mairo～ / MONOBRIGHT / Emi Tawata / Hemenway / Rihwa / HaKU
Perfume – Magic of Love