Interview with An Cafe in Munich

interview - 03.19.2014 20:01

A few hours before their show in Munich, Germany, the five members of An Cafe sat down with us for a short interview.

After the release of their latest album Hikagyaku ZiprocK, released in Europe in December 2013, oshare-kei band An Cafe returned to Europe with their tour LIVE CAFE TOUR 2014 NYAPPY GO AROUND THE WORLD IV ~kawaii Cafekko AISHITERU~. A few hours before their live in Munich, Germany, JaME had the chance to sit down with the five members who answered questions about their new album, the past and their current tour.

What does the title Hikagyaku ZiprocK mean?

miku: "Hikagyaku" means “zip file” in Japanese. When you open a zip file, the contents can be different from the original. The title of the CD refers to opening this zip file and getting a different result. Every single person will have a different impression of this CD and so we chose the title Hikagyaku ZiprocK.

What kind of music can people who've never listened to An Cafe before expect from your latest releases?

miku: This album is like a toy box. If you open up the toy box you will get a special type of toy. For us this album is a kind of toy box full of variety.

When we listened to the album we thought of two questions we would like to ask about two specific songs. The first is about the intro of Inazuma no senritsu, which is very unique. Where did the idea of using this baroque sequence come from?

Teruki: We have a producer named Chiba Naoki, we always call him Naochu, who gave us a demo tape and said "Please let me do this, I have a good idea." And the result was this kind of intro.

Our second question is about the lyrics of O no saki ga ienai. These are very special because of the used alphabet in the lyrics. What can you tell us about that?

miku: For the song O no saki ga ienai you should know the Japanese word "oppai" (they all laugh). ABC […] KLM, when we reach the letter O I actually wanted to say the word "oppai" (breast in English) but no one supported my idea. Therefore I decided to just say "after O" and that's the O in O no saki ga ienai.

If you were to pick one song from your latest release to introduce An Cafe to new fans, which song would you choose?

miku: Hachimitsu+Lemon=?. When I listen to it I can imagine what our concerts are like.
Teruki: ROMAN ~Let's make precious love~. This song describes An Cafe perfectly.
takuya: I would also say ROMAN for the same reason as Teruki.
Yu-ki: Hachimitsu+Lemon=? because when I listen to this song in my house I can dance to it, as well as at our concerts.
kanon: Bee Myself Bee Yourself ~Jibun rashiku kimi rashiku umareta Story wa hajimattenda~. This song lets the listener dance.

During your last tour you visited Europe and South America. What are your favourite memories from that trip?

kanon: We visited a world heritage place in Mexico - some kind of pyramid. It was a very magical and mysterious moment for me and very very interesting too.

We can imagine…

Teruki: Last time we played in Russia in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The audience in Saint Petersburg was the smallest of the whole tour, but at the end of the concert the fans pulled out a huge flag with lots of Japanese messages on it. They showed it to us and we were all very moved.
miku: It was in a hotel, I think it was in Peru. We were told there was a restaurant where we could eat anything we wanted and as much as we wanted whenever we wanted. We ended up staying there for a long long time.
takuya: After the concert in Chile there were a lot of fans outside and we wanted to leave the venue but all the fans were knocking at the window of our van. That was very funny and exciting.
Yu-ki: In Mexico they cooked us a steak for the very first time. This was a very interesting moment (laughs).

Thinking back to the last European tour, is there anything you like to change or improve?

miku: I'm working to improve my live performances right now on this tour. On the last tour I was pretty nervous and there was also a big language barrier between the fans and me. I tried to communicate with the fans but I realized that, as a result of a language barrier, I had to make the fans happy with my performance. Without the language barrier you can enjoy communicating with the fans and make them very very happy. That's why I'm trying to improve right now.

Ganbatte kudasai!

An Cafe: "Ganbarimasu" (laughs).

What have been some of your favourite moments from your current Euro tour?

Teruki: In Poland we did a whole set list with an encore and after the encore the fans were so excited that they were calling for us again and again and again. We came on stage one more time and played an extra song which was not on the set list. All of the fans pulled out paper hearts. That was very very moving.

What is the most important thing to An Cafe?

Teruki: I would say that every single person connected to An Cafe, including the band members, the fans, the staff and the crew - everyone is smiling. That is the most important thing.

Do you ever change your personality, say during recording for a release, preparing for a tour or during your free time?

Teruki: Oh oh oh… (thinks)
miku: I am a completely different person on and off stage.
kanon: I don’t really change in my free time or when I’m working, but when I'm on stage I'm a completely different person.
Teruki: I don’t really change either. Though I suppose if I'm on stage I play as a different person.
takuya: I do not try to be an alluring person in the band. But in my mind I'm different because when I'm playing guitar, doing a concert or writing music I get really into it. So I can't say that I'm a different person.
miku: Yu-ki is a completely different person on stage and in our private life. But if he goes on stage he is off, which means that he turned off his PlayStation (the others laugh).
Yu-ki: Of course I'm on on stage!

It’s often said you have a special relationship with your European fans. What do these fans mean to you?

miku: Long, long ago Yu-ki got a Cafekko in Russia (in English).
(everyone laughs)
Yu-ki: He is lying! (in English)
miku: Special relationship…? Yu-ki have sex friends a lot (in English; laughing).
Yu-ki: No!!! (in English)
Teruki: At the beginning of our career we didn't realize that there were so many fans all over the world. One day our manager started to receive messages with concert offerings asking us if we would like to hold a concert or go on tour in a different country. But he didn't believe them because he always thought these were some kind of spam messages. After that we started becoming more aware of our overseas fans on the internet watching our PVs and dancing to them. This special relationship comes from the fact that we know that all the fans abroad, in Europe, have waited for us. They have waited for us for a long, long time.

Thank you very much for your time.

An Cafe: Thank you very much.

We wish you all the best for a great show tonight, a safe trip back home and for all your future plans.

An Cafe: Arigatou gozaimasu.

JaME would like to thank An Cafe, interpreter Midori and Gan-Shin Records for making this interview possible.
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