Interview by Nhu Nguyen
July 17, 2016
When the word ‘perfume’ comes up, the first thought many people may have is of their favorite fragrance or the song by Britney Spears. But for J-Pop fans, Perfume is the name of one of the hottest pop acts in Japan. The group has released five albums, performed around the world (including SXSW), and in 2015, celebrated their 15th anniversary – and none of the group’s three members have hit 30 yet.
This summer, the group is returning to the states on the COSMIC EXPLORER tour, titled after their most recent album from which they’ll be performing off of. The U.S. leg of the tour has five stops, starting in Los Angeles and ending in New York, from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4. We had the pleasure of briefly speaking with the members, a-chan, KASHIYUKA, and NOCCHi, via Skype on touring, dancing, and having fun.
As you do more international touring, how have each of you changed as performers?
a-chan: I became stronger. Touring in foreign countries is full of unexpected things and accidents, but by all three of us overcoming all those accidents together, we’ve became stronger and manly.
NOCCHi: We’re starting to find out that as we tour around internationally, the songs people like at home and abroad are different. Because of that it’s been more fun putting the set list together now.
KASHIYUKA: By touring in foreign countries, we’ve learned that when we want to communicate with the audience, we can overcome the language barrier. Especially when we’re outside of Japan, when we have fun on stage, that gets communicated to the fans. So I think it’s important that we make sure to have fun on stage.
Do you feel like you have to push yourself to feel more natural on a foreign stage?
KASHIYUKA: It’s not just being natural, but being more expressive, like how I want to express certain songs.
The choreography for “FLASH” included some martial arts and tai-chi moves — what special training did you have to do to perform the routine?
NOCCHi: When we first learned the routine, we just learned it like any other choreography. Then we went to the shoot with it. But when we started filming – like you said it has martial arts – it’s not a typical dance, so right away I got muscle aches.
a-chan: It’s probably not something you want to do in heels! [laugh]
As a foreign fan, the first thing that struck me with Perfume is that, while there are a lot of digital elements in your music and stage production, the group’s presence is very approachable and friendly. When I attended your first L.A. show, everyone danced a lot, but we also laughed a lot at your emcees! Why is it important to bring fun elements to Perfume?
a-chan: It’s our natural self to make people laugh. Being too cool has never been our style from the start and we’ve always wanted to have some fun elements in the show. We’re actually taking English lessons right now, but we might keep speaking in Japanese and be funny. [laugh]
Aug 26 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA Tickets
Aug 28 Warfield San Francisco, CA Tickets
Aug 31 Vic Theater Chicago, IL Tickets
Sep 03 Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom New York, NY Tickets
Sep 04 Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom New York, NY Tickets