Interview by Todd Nelson
Translation by Cap Hayes
July 9, 2019
[top: yuri (drums), Hana (vocals and guitar), F-Chopper KOGA (bass), Angelina 1/3 (mic performer); bottom: Oreo Reona (keyboards), TOMO-ZO (guitar)]
Gacharic Spin is an all-female rock band known for their high energy, great technical skill, and entertaining stage theatrics. Formed in 2009, they returned to Houston, Texas, for their only U.S. stop on their 10th anniversary tour.
Congratulations on the band’s 10th year, it’s quite an accomplishment. Gacharic Spin has gone through many lineup changes during this time. What drives you to keep going?
F-Chopper KOGA: We’ve had member changes, which at times has caused some real challenges, but we pull our motivation from that adversity.
Hana: When things like that happen, you can see it as a problem, or you can view it as a chance to create something new. We’ve tried to make these things into opportunities.
The latest lineup features two new members: Angelina 1/3 and yuri. Angelina seems very energetic and enthusiastic. What about her stood out from the others who auditioned?
KOGA: We don’t have an exact reason. She showed a lot of confidence. That’s it.
Angelina: That’s all!? Unbelievable!
(They all laugh.)
(To Angie) You probably were expecting to hear that you are very talented and pretty, etc.
Angelina: I want to, I want to.
KOGA: Yes, we’re saying that too. (laughs)
After Mai’s departure, the band made a major lineup change. Hana moved to guitar and yuri then joined as the drummer. How did this idea come about?
Hana: When TOMO-ZO was ill last year, I filled in for her on guitar. Afterwards we thought it worked really well, and it seemed like people would accept that kind of a change. Since then, we felt if we could find a really good drummer, this would be a lineup we would want to try out.
We knew yuri from when she was in Lagoon, and she was familiar with us as well. So we had an audition with Yuri and decided to go in that direction.
Hana, what has the transition been like for you after playing drums for such a long time?
Hana: My focus has always been how to make the band a really great band, for the band to be cool and well received, so it was an easy decision to switch positions. I’ve played music from a very early age and like to get my hands on all sorts of instruments, I don’t care what it is, as long as I’m playing.
What has been the fan reaction to seeing the 5th generation?
KOGA: Everyone has been really receptive to it. Some people were really surprised and shocked, maybe some didn’t even hear about the changes until they saw us perform, but everyone has been very positive and supportive of the new lineup.
Gacharic Spin is known for your stage shows. What new things have you added with Angelina, and now with Hana away from the drum kit?
KOGA: For some songs, Hana and yuri will switch roles, with yuri on guitar and Hana on drums. We’ve also changed some of the lineups for the dances and we’ve changed some of the performance elements in general.
Oreo, how did the idea of the hamburger costume happen?
Oreo: I chose a hamburger because it was cute. I really like hamburgers. I wanted something big and round, so I was thinking either hamburger or takoyaki, I like hamburgers more. so…
Will a fajita costume be next? [Oreo loves fajitas.]
(They all laugh.)
Oreo: Fajitas or Tacos.
Your songs “WINNER”, “Stay Gold”, and the new release “Gyakkyou Hero” have the theme of not giving up and pursuing your dreams. The lyrics inspire fans. What do these songs mean personally to the band?
KOGA: We spend everyday playing together, and do a lot of other things together too, so we share all of our hardships. Everyone is saying “let’s do our best”, “let’s be great together and bring our best everyday”, but naturally sometimes one of us may be going through a hard time, so we use this to pull ourselves together and become better together.
Gacharic Spin – Gyakkyou Hero (MV)
In addition to “Gyakkyou Hero”, have you started writing new songs? Will the addition of Hana on guitar lead to some new things such as dual guitar solos?
KOGA: Yes everyone has started writing their own stuff.
Hana: In fact, we’ve already started performing some songs with dual guitar solos — “Stay Gold” is one of them.
Your 10th anniversary tour ends at Nakano Sunplaza. What does it mean to you to play there?
Oreo: When I was thirteen, I performed as a dancer in front of other people in Sunplaza, so this place had special meaning for me at a young age. I was part of a group from a dance school and was nervous at the time. Now I’m very excited to play on that same stage with the band.
There’s an upcoming Metallic Spin live in Hokkaido. Will there also be a lineup change for that band?
Hana: We’ve been told that the lineup for Metallic Spin’s show will be from generation two.
KOGA: To be clear Gacharic Spin and Metallic Spin are not related, so we can only tell you what we’ve heard…
Oreo: …Yes, we’re just letting you know what we’ve heard.
You’ve written Korean lyrics for “Lock On!!” and “setsunaku”. Is there a possibility you’ll ever perform an English version of one of your songs?
Oreo: In the past we’ve down an English version of “I’m Sexy” (Gacharic Spin’s take on Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”). We might start performing it again in the future.
How did the band decide which songs were chosen for the new album, Gacha 10 Best?
KOGA: The four existing members, based on our history together, we discussed which songs we wanted to select.
Oreo: We also picked songs based on what we thought we could perform live.
Was that because you added new members?
KOGA: Not due to the new members joining, but because we’re changing a lot of the lineup, and because we’re changing who is playing each instrument and who is performing certain things. We chose the songs we wanted to rearrange first.
The last time you came to Houston, you were able to visit NASA and try Whataburger. What special plans do you have this time?
Oreo: I want to try fajitas and Texas BBQ.
KOGA: Is Mexico far from here? We’d love to see Mexico if we have time. How far is it?
About a 6 to 7 hour drive.
KOGA: Since we don’t have that much time, we’ll try Mexican food here then!
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