Interview & Press Conference with LiN CLOVER

interview - 04.17.2007 08:00

JaME met LiN CLOVER in Seattle for an interview on the eve of their US Debut. We were also able to attend their Press Conference.

JaME caught up with LiN CLOVER on April 6th, the day before their US debut performance. We were lucky enough to get a few minutes of their time for an exclusive interview.

Welcome to the US! We’re so happy you could come and play for us here at Sakura-Con. Could you introduce yourselves for us?

Ren: Ren, Bassist
YuRi: YuRi, Vocalist
Nao: Nao, Guitarist

What is the meaning behind the name LiN CLOVER? Why did you choose this name?

YuRi: LiN CLOVER is a character we came up with; she embodies us. (Later on, the band expanded upon this answer, saying that LiN CLOVER is a girl who faced many hardships, such as losing her parents in a war, and despite these hardships, she perservered. Each individual member of the band has their own feelings, and they put them in to their performance. By using their own feelings and putting them in their music, it all becomes one and forms a strong balance. So, like LiN CLOVER, the band members have a strong determination for playing their part in the band. Like a clover, it's balanced. The band are the parents of LiN CLOVER.)

Ren and Nao, you were already working together when you met YuRi. What was it about her that intrigued you both, and made you want to work with her?

Nao: First we heard her demo tape, and once we had heard it, we pretty much knew right away that she was what we were looking for.
YuRi: On my demo tape were auditions for many things. They heard it and decided I was the one.

YuRi, you have an amazing vocal range. Does it come naturally to you, or do you do vocal training to gain that range?

YuRi: Thank you. I don’t think my voice is so good, but I really try hard, and I push myself, by myself, to make it stronger. I use my own power to try and improve.

Ren and Nao, you both worked as supporting musicians for other artists. How does the writing process differ between helping write other artists’ songs, and writing for yourselves?

Nao: When we’re working support, we have to listen to the other person, and then we answer, and then we mold ourselves to that person’s vision. With LiN CLOVER, we all put in our own input, and it becomes something new. We’re not having to listen to anyone else.

Which artists have each of you found to have an influence on your music?

YuRi: A band called Mew, from Denmark. We play their CD before our lives and we feel they represent us very well. And when we make our music, we’re influenced by Mew.

What is the collaboration process for your music? Who writes the music, and who writes the lyrics, or is the whole process a group effort?

Nao: YuRi does all the lyrics. As far as the music, we all arrange our own patterns and put it together.

If you weren’t in the music industry, what would you be doing now?

YuRi: I want to be the person who cleans up in movie theaters. (Laughter)
Ren: I’ve never even thought about it. I can’t imagine anything else.
Nao: Kindergarten teacher

Sakura-Con is the first of three performances in the US, what are your hopes and expectations for this tour?

YuRi: We had never thought about playing outside of Japan before, but now that we have the chance, we are very excited, and we want to give the raw power of LiN CLOVER to the foreign audience.

Are you nervous about performing in front of US fans for the first time?

YuRi: Yes.

What are you most excited about seeing in the US?

YuRi: As far as tourist attractions? I want to go on roller coasters.
Ren: I just want to walk around in the US
Nao: I want to drink delicious American alcohol. (laughter)

You’re playing here at Sakura-Con, where many of the musical guests have an anime tie-in. Currently, you do not have an anime tie-in. Would you ever consider doing music for an anime?

YuRi: Of course, we’d like to.

What style of anime would you choose to do a theme for?

YuRi: We’d like to do something a little different, like the Power Puff Girls. (laughter)

We understand that there are no plans to release your back catalog in the U.S. Why did you make this decision? Are the CDs still available in Japan?

Nao: They’re all sold out now, they’re out of print. If we were to release them again, we would like to re-record them, and change the songs a little to match our current standards.

We’ve heard about your compilation CD, “slumber”. How were the songs selected to be on the CD?

YuRi: We chose the most recent songs, and the ones we play the most often at our live shows.

Do you have future plans to perform in Europe or other foreign countries?

YuRi: We want to go to Europe..

What other plans do you have for LiN CLOVER’s future?

YuRi: We’re working on new songs now, and we’d like to release something soon. The last album we released, “Nut”, didn’t have wide distribution. We’d like to have wider distribution in Japan for our next album, so more people can hear it. We’ll probably produce more songs this time.

Please give a final message for your US fans.

YuRi: Even if you haven’t met us, thank you for supporting us. When you do meet us, we’ll do our best to give you our raw power. Thank you very much. Please keep us in mind.
Nao: We’re really looking forward to tomorrow.

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We caught up with LiN CLOVER again on the 8th, at their press conference, after they had had a chance to perform. We were able to ask a few more questions at that time.


How do you feel about yesterday’s performance?

YuRi: We were really excited. We received more power from the audience yesterday than we usually do in Japan.

What was it like to perform in front of a US audience?

YuRi: It was very wonderful. Yesterday’s live was longer than what we usually play. But, even though it was longer, it seemed really short to us.
Nao: It doesn’t matter, even if I wasn’t playing guitar, being on stage was such a great experience that when I got off stage, I really wanted to get closer to the fans, and be with them and touch them. That’s the effect they had on me.
Ren: When we were there on stage, and when the fans were there, we had a really great synergy with the fans. It was wonderful, excellent. It was really, really fun, and the energy from the crowd was fantastic. It elevated the whole live for us.

Would you play at a convention again?

YuRi: In America? Yes, of course, anywhere.

How are US audiences and Japanese audiences different?

Nao: When we play live houses in Japan, they’re very small venues. When Japanese people go to lives, they go to listen. They’re only there to listen. They don’t jump up and down or get excited so much. But, in America, all the fans get in to the music and jump up and down and scream…they shook the building. At the same time the band is moving, the crowd is moving, and it gave us a lot of energy and made our live that much better.

There were an estimated 3,500 people at the concert yesterday. Is that the biggest audience you’ve ever played for as LiN CLOVER?

YuRi: Yes.

How do you feel about playing to such a big crowd?

YuRi: Before we got on stage, we had a lot of worries and we were really nervous, but once we got on stage and saw the crowd, we thought “Ah, they WANT us to sing, they want us to play.” The more we gave, the more the fans liked it, and it gave us a lot of confidence. We really enjoyed it!

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JaME would like to thank LiN CLOVER for taking time out of their busy schedule for us. We would also like to thank JapanFiles.com and Sakura-Con for their assistance.
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