2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Japan Nite, an annual showcase bringing artists from all corners of Japan to Austin. An SXSW fixture since 1996, this showcase has featured big-name Japanese acts such as Bonnie Pink, The Pillows and Chatmonchy, along with dozens of artists hailing from across many genres.
One of the artists performing at the 20th anniversary of Japan Nite is the female rock trio TsuShiMaMire. Selective Hearing had the opportunity to chat with TsuShiMaMire’s Vocalist/Guitarist Mari about Japan Nite, touring and their goals for the future.
SH: Who are your biggest musical influences that helped create your music style?
Mari: There’s a Japanese 3-piece rock band, “Blankey Jet City.” They have a song called “Dance Hall on 3104th street.” (http://youtu.be/Ec9JPhVNYS0) The tight performance and exciting lyrics are awesome. When we formed TsuShiMaMiRe, we wanted to become the female Blankey Jet City.
SH: How do you balance the Japanese style of music with other influences from around the world?
Mari:I don’t think about the Japanese style. But, since the melody of a song and guitar riff come from what I’ve cultivated in my life, that’s where you’ll find the Japanese spirit. And I write the lyrics in Japanese because I want to value the sound of Japanese and the fun of words. I always want to absorb a lot of cool music from around the world. Recently I have listened to the UK band The Pop Group a lot because they’re cool.
SH: Do you have anything special planned for the Japan Nite anniversary tour?
Mari: It’s been 5 years since TsuShiMaMiRe’s last American tour. We’re going to do our best live show to excite all the fans who come to see us. I want to have a live show where everyone will dance non-stop!
SH: You’re a band that reaches Japanese fans and worldwide fans. How does each of those fans react to your music? Where do you feel most accepted?
Mari: The reactions are the same in Japan and worldwide. But Japanese people are shy, and there are many American people who shout and dance to the max. Everyone tells us that TsuShiMaMiRe’s live shows give them power and that they want to come again. I believe we are most accepting that the 3 of us enjoy our music on the stage.
SH: You have toured the United States several times. What countries do you want to perform in next?
Mari:I want to tour Europe! I want to drink New Castle Brown Ale in the UK and Guinness Beer in Ireland. I want to go to Asia and Mexico, too. I hope we will be invited to perform in many countries!
SH: You have been in a band for a long time now. How much longer can TsuShiMaMiRe continue? What keeps you going?
Mari: The goal is to stay as a 3-piece Rock band until we’re 80 years old! The reason we can keep going is that the members are like family. And because there is a lot of music and world we still don’t know, we still want to create more new music. Also, another goal is to have a live show at the famous venue in Japan, “Nippon Budoukan,” which holds 10,000 people, so we want to keep going until we can achieve this goal.
See you guys in March!
TsuShiMaMiRe will tour America in March 2015 as part of Japan Nite. Tour dates at: http://tsushimamire.com/live.html
We would like to thank RESONANCE Media and TsuShiMaMiRe for this interview. Check out TsuShiMaMiRe’s latest release Mamire chronicling tracks from the group’s 16-year career.