interview - 09.01.2009 23:00

An interview with one of the most awaited Japanese metal bands in France.

JaME had the chance to meet with MAXIMUM THE HORMONE when they were in France for their first European tour. The band were as crazy as ever and eager to talk about their previous concerts and hopes for the tour.

Hello everyone. Would you please introduce yourselves to our readers?.

UE-CHANG: I’m the bassist, UE-CHANG,
DAISUKE-HAN: I’m the Jumping and Yelling Freak, DAISUKE-HAN,
NAO: I’m the drummer and older sister, NAO,
MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: I’m the singer and little brother, MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN.

What do you expect from this first European tour?

DAISUKE-HAN: We mix with different cultures now and with people who don’t understand what we’re singing. I’m very curious to see how the audience will react. I expect a lot from this and I hope there will be a direct exchange through which I can feel the audience's heart.

We learned that DAISUKE-HAN has a cyst on his vocal chords. How is the tour doing, knowing this? Aren’t you afraid of totally losing your voice?

DAISUKE-HAN: (Although his voice sounds very hoarse while he speaks) I have no problems during the tour because I've got these special bullets for my body. When I take them, it makes my voice perfect! I brought the bullets from Japan, so you see, everything is fine! (They exchange glances and start to giggle)

Would I dare to ask what kind of bullets these are?

NAO: Actually it’s... (DAISUKE-HAN interrupts NAO and shows us his buttocks, miming the action of inserting a suppository. Everyone bursts out laughing)
DAISUKE-HAN: This is how you put in a suppository! Do you understand?

Yes yes, don’t worry!

NAO: If you want he can put one in now for his voice! (Again, everyone laughs)

No thanks, it’s all right!

DAISUKE-HAN: Of course there are several meanings to everything I’ve just said, haha! (He bursts out laughing and it spreads to everyone)

Your last album is a tribute to headbanging and your fans never tire of seeing your crazy videos.

DAISUKE-HAN and NAO: Oh, thanks!

Will there be the same mix of musical styles in your next album? And when will it be released?

MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: Nothing planned! (He says it very quickly, which makes the band laugh)

Do you have any kind of message for your fans, other than to have fun?

NAO and DAISUKE-HAN: RYOKUN needs to answer!
MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: Of course, we’d like to have fun and let loose all the time but underneath it all, there are a lot of messages in our songs.

What are they?

NAO: Yes there are a lot!
MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: We talk about abortion for example... and non-violence.
NAO: Tibet’s liberation!
MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: We also like to talk about politics in our songs.
NAO: And bullying those who are different, especially at school. That’s important too!

We saw during your last tours that you like to do themed concerts such as everyone wears 3D glasses, only slim and bare-chested men can enter (where NAO checks their weight on a scale and sprays them with perfume), only women are allowed or everyone wears down jackets. Where do you get these ideas? Will there be something like that for your next European tour?

DAISUKE-HAN: Oh yes, I’d like to do a theme in Europe!
NAO: Me too! But it would be difficult to organize and too expensive.
MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: It costs a lot because the price is only 1¥ (around 0.008 Euros) for anyone in the audience who comes according to the rules. We did this because when we did concerts at large venues, some fans criticized us because the concert halls were too big. Then we had to do more intimate concerts in smaller places. When we made these more intimate concerts, fans were too crowded and were unhappy again. Whatever we do, fans are always unhappy! (Laughs) If we’re never happy, let’s just die then! But instead of doing that, let’s have fun and make our concerts crazy! It’s not profitable at all, economically speaking.

Surprisingly, during your concerts in Japan, the audience, who are usually so calm, completely let go. How do you make this happen?

MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: It’s not enough! We want even more of it!
NAO: I think that maybe we have a revealing impact on what sleeps inside every Japanese person. Often, the Japanese who come to our concerts are reserved and calm in their everyday life. At these concerts, they let themselves go. It comes partly from our music. Actually, they’re not only watching our concerts, they’re part of the group when they participate, responding to what we can tell them or just letting themselves go.

On your DVD, we often see you having fun and doing crazy things. Is it important for you to show yourselves that way?

MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: During concerts, we have girls shouting "Kyaaaaaaaaa, you have style on stage!" So yes it’s important to show ourselves differently, without artifice.

In the hidden bonuses of your latest DVD for example, or on your English official site, MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN really loves to show himself in a frightening way. Why's that?

(NAO bursts out laughing)
MAXIMUM THE RYOKUN: Indeed I enjoy surprising people and playing with my childish side.

NAO, you really love to beat on UE-CHANG. Is he a bit like your punching-bag?

(Everyone bursts out laughing)
Everyone together : (in French:) Exactly!
(They use this as an excuse to beat up UE-CHANG)

Well, speaking of UE-CHANG, you received a Doraemon helicopter for your birthday. Do you still play with it?

UE-CHANG: Yes, everyday!
DAISUKE-HAN: He even flies with it! (Laughs)

Where do you see yourselves in ten years?
NAO: If it’s possible, we’d like to keep doing lives, without changing who we are, even if I won’t be able to raise my legs as high as today, even if my hip keeps dislocating. I will headbang as much as I can! I’m counting on you also, the audience, to come see us and to have the physical training to keep with us at our concerts!

Do you have a last message to your fans?
DAISUKE-HAN: When I’m be sixty, I’ll still be working on my physical shape and I’ll be like Arnold Schwarzenegger! I’ll have the same body!
NAO: Je t'aime!

We’d like to thanks MAXIMUM THE HORMONE, Emiko for the translation and J-Music Live.
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