The Bonkurasu Brigade

Perfume – BOMB Magazine May 2008 issue Interview

BOMB is more famously known for their gravure idol content, but this time, BOMB’s cover doesn’t have any bikini-clad girl(s) on their cover. Instead, Perfume graced their covers, giving the magazine a temporary refreshing change.

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The following article/interview has been translated by Perfume City forumer taka02; all credits go to him!


Going to Tokyo was our goal, That was the first step to our dream.

— Let’s go back to eight years ago (laugh). Let’s start with how you got into Actors Hiroshima, which is affiliated to Amuse.

    A: I often worked as a model for a super market and so on since I was a child. I got into SPEED and often played SPEED with my friends (laugh). And I heard a new Actors School would be made and took an audition …
    K: As for me, my brother wanted to be in the show business, and my mother asked me if I also wanted to take the audition. I had nothing to do, so I thought it would be OK. I was an appendage of my brother at first (laugh).
    A: And when I entered the school, Kashiyuka was in the same class with me. We shook hands, didn’t we?
    K: I remember that (laugh). I was surprised at first that she was so outgoing. She was like “Nice to meet you!” (laugh)

— I see. And how about Nocchi?

    N: I was like A~chan. I always liked singing since I was small, and I wanted to be like SPEED, so I entered Actors School to be a singer. I played Hiroko (one of the members of SPEED), too (laugh).
    A: Nocchi was in a different class. We were in D class and Nocchi was in B class, a little higher up. Nocchi was really good at singing, and she was singing at the center, and everyone longed to be her.

— That is how three of them met in the spring of 2000. But A~chan, Kashiyuka, plus another member formed ‘ぱふゅ~む!(Pafyumu). However, that another member quit, and perplexed A~chan enlisted Nocchi into Pafyumu. It was in the summer of 2001.

    N: I had seen the former Perfume for about a year in Actors School. They were really cute and like idols, so I was really glad that I could join them. I found myself having said OK without thinking much at that time (laugh).
    K: ‘Found yourself'(laugh).

— Thus formed Perfume released two single songs locally in Hiroshima, while taking many lessons. They participated in local events and festivals and took their first step in their history.

    A: In those days, we worked really hard every time to make the event a good one. When someone’s microphone was not working, the other members covered for her or sang without a microphone …
    K: In everyday practice, we sometimes had an argument because of difference of opinions. It was not like a fight, but we were talking about high level things (laugh). Although we were still in a seventh or eighth grade.
    N: That sounds cool if told in that way (laugh).
    K: We were just struggling back then (laugh).

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— And just before they went into the ninth grade, in the spring of 2003, they went to Tokyo! Just to think of it, it must have required great determination for 14-year-old girls to leave their parents and go to Tokyo.

    N: We were just aiming for our dream, so we didn’t have any uncertainty or “We should decide now!” kind of things. So, it was like, if they told us to go to Tokyo, then we were going to do that.
    A: The president (Ohsato of Amuse) said, “Are you going to come or not?” (<-- Impersonating him a little), I was like, "Of course, we are going. What are you talking about, President!" (laugh). We were that enthusiastic and our will was strong.

— After coming to Tokyo, you changed the group name to ‘Perfume’ written in English. And you started to live in a Amuse’s dormitory. In the dormitory, besides the three of you, there were many promising girls of Amuse who came from all over the country …

    K: It was like everyday was a school trip (laugh). We often got together at night
    without being found by the dorm mother, and had a sweets party.
    N: We were always together, living in the same dormitory, going to the same school (laugh).

— And the BEE-HIVE project started with more than ten members of the dormitory. You went on a national tour in the summer of 2003!

    A: The lessons were strict. We had lessons everyday for about a month.
    K: But I thought that was usual, so it wasn’t painful.
    N: Everyone was older than I, and they were reliable. I could learn a lot from them. We wouldn’t be what we are now without that.

— You kept performing at small venues like in an event at Sun Street Kamedo, or a street live in Akihabara … Did you have hard times?

    K: High school girls once laughed at us, like “What, idols?” (laugh). But I don’t think those were painful days, and we had fun too. We were thinking those were the things we should do at that time.
    A: We handed out fliers and performed on the street, and it was usual that people didn’t take (fliers) and didn’t see (the performance). We learned it first when we were in Actors (School Hiroshima). Only our parents were watching (our stage). From the first stage, we were like “How many people can we make watch us?”
    K: In those days, we were seriously thinking about what we could do to bring in more audience.
    A: We talked a lot about how we should do things this way and that way after a live performance and while we were still excited. We talked too much and we were not listening to each other (laugh).

It is true that we like live performances. We don’t want to change that stance.
— Your hard work, while releasing CD’s under an indie label, paid off when you debuted under a major label in September of 2005!

    A: We debuted in Hiroshima, and debuted under an indie label … We debuted many times (laugh). So honestly, it didn’t sink in.
    N: Although I was relieved that I would be able to keep working as a singer, I had a fear of going into the major label scene. And it was an eccentric song called ‘Linear Motor Girl’ (laugh) I like the song now, but back then I thought I wanted to sing a more touching song and thought we wouldn’t be popular otherwise. So the world now is unbelievably cool that a song like ‘Polyrythm’ made its way into the chart!

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— Those are heavy words, what you just said. So ‘Polyrhythm’ was an epoch-making song for Perfume which made you what you are now?

    K: Yes, it was that CM, isn’t it? (Last year, they appeared in an NHK’s Joint Environment and Recycling Campaign commercial, and the song was also a hit.)
    N: Yes, that was it.
    A: We appeared in the commercial because Kaela Kimura played our song on her radio show and someone working for the commercial heard it and decided to use us … this chain of events, I think it was a miracle! If it hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be on the cover of Bomb magazine, and we wouldn’t be meeting people of Bomb. So, it was really a miracle.

— Have things been changing since then?

    A: We have increasingly many chances of appearing on TV. I often say on a show, “We are mostly active in live performances”, but to tell the truth, it was because we hadn’t had a chance to appear on TV and we ended up working that way (laugh). I am not lying when I say that I like live performances, so I want to keep performing in live performances and store events, and I don’t want to change that stance. Our dream of this year is big. It is a standing one-man live at Budokan!
    K: We still have half a year left in 2008, so we will pressure ourselves and work hard (laugh).
    A: We will keep standing on the edge of the cliff!
    K: We will be spoiled if we are in a warm place.
    N: We will be in the freezing cold (laugh).

— What are you thinking in terms of music? I think Perfume could come this far because of the merge with music produced by the sound producer Nakata Yasutaka of capsule. Do you have a desire to challenge a new genre of music?

    A: … Well, we have just gotten to the point where we got to like techno music. But we are on the level that we ‘like’ it, and we don’t know the depth of it beyond that. I don’t think it is good to go to the next step without learning anything. So I want to know techno to the full first. It may be hard but I want to try at least.
    N: If people think ‘techno = Perfume’ as a result, that will be wonderful.
    K: We will strive to be a synonym of techno!
    A: We must apologize for setting aside capsule (laugh).
    K: Well, of course, I know there is a god (capsule) above us (laugh). But like, us after them.

— And the Perfume’s long-awaited album ‘GAME’ will be released on April 16th.

    N: This is our first original album. It turned out so good that in every interview I have I say we are confident. It is cool! So I really want people to listen to it.
    K: A tour will start, after that. We are working hard to make it a good tour so that we will not regret at any venue. I want people to come and feel the fun of live performance that we think the most important. Really, anyone can find their own place if they come. You can go to the front and go wild, or take your time and enjoy the music at the back. Anything is OK.
    A: There will be a song you can savor, a song you get intoxicated, a song you can sing along, and there will be many … Well, if I say “They are good! They are good!” too much and people get disappointed when they hear them, I wouldn’t like it, so I am not going to say anything anymore (laugh).
    N: But maybe we can keep saying it and brain-wash them (laugh).
    K: Like, this song is fashionable, isn’t it?
    A: Well, we will keep working like this, so (laugh). Please support us.

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[(p.26) (In each members’ handwriting)]

I could wear a variety of clothes and they took many pictures of us. I had fun. The cameraman made me really laugh. Thank you very much. Gratitude!!
Perfume Nocchi

* Nocchi (Ayano Ohmoto)
… born on Sep. 20th, 1988 in Hiroshima. 163cm tall. Blood type A.

Well, thank you very much. The cover? … I am grateful.
But I am really happy.
Thank you very much.
During the photograph shoot, it was a fun time to spend, in a very cute studio, wearing outfits I don’t usually wear. The staff were all kind too, and I felt at home. Thank you very much, really.
A~chan

* A~chan (Ayaka Nishiwaki)
… born on Feb. 15th, 1989 in Hiroshima. 160cm tall. Blood type A.

It had been a long time since I last wore cute clothes. They shot our smiling faces and all that. I had much fun. I can’t wait to see how it will turn out. Thank you very much.
Kashiyuka of Perfume

* Kashiyuka (Kashino Yuka)
… born on Dec. 23rd, 1988 in Hiroshima. 161cm tall. Blood type A.

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