The following is an interview I conducted on behalf of our partner site Nihongogo. They have kindly granted me permission to re-post the interview here.
BAND-MAID September 9, 2017 San Francisco, California USA
BAND-MAID are an all female Japanese rock band formed in 2013. They aim to defy expectations by contrasting their cute and submissive maid appearance with powerful rock music.
The members of BAND-MAID are:
- MIKU KOBATO – Vocals/Guitar
- SAIKI – Vocals
- KANAMI – Guitar
- AKANE – Drums
- MISA – Bass
Since their formation they have released 3 mini-albums, 1 full-length album and 3 singles. The most recent being July 2017’s Daydreaming/Choose me. They have also extensively toured Japan and in 2016 they made their overseas debut at Sakura-con in Seattle. Just before summer of the same year they made their European debut with an appearance at the MCM London COMIC CON.
BAND-MAID completed their 2016 by embarking on a world tour to support their third mini-album “Maid in Japan” taking them to Poland, France, Germany, Mexico and returning them to the UK for a second time.
This year they appeared at J-Pop Summit as one of the headlining acts performing at the main stage of the event. Nihongogo had an opportunity sit down with BAND-MAID in San Francisco on the first day of J-Pop Summit to discuss their second visit to America, their upcoming world tour and their music.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Please take a moment to introduce yourselves.
KOBATO: Welcome princesses and masters. I am vocalist/guitarist Kobato Miku.
SAIKI: I am SAIKI, vocals.
KANAMI: I am KANAMI, guitarist.
AKANE: I am AKANE, drums.
MISA: I am MISA, bass.
Have you had the time to tour San Francisco. What have your experiences been like so far?
KOBATO: We only had a little bit of time to wander around but we feel that San Francisco is a very multicultural place. The city itself is very fancy and beautiful and our time here has been fun so far.
This is your second appearance in America. What plans do you have to make this serving different from the one in Seattle?
KOBATO: This is our second time in America and we are really excited about being in San Francisco. We would like to know more about America and the princesses and masters here through our servings.
Now that you have some experience touring outside of Japan are you more comfortable performing overseas or is there still some nervousness when going out and performing in front of foreign fans?
(KOBATO answers the question after a quick conference with the other band members)
KOBATO: We get inspired by going outside of Japan to perform and there is not really a sense of nervousness. It is more a feeling of excitement about performing in front of our fans around the world.
As a follow up, how do you think you have been received abroad so far?
KOBATO: The masters and princesses outside of Japan are very passionate and straightforward. We can see that they are really fired up when they see us and that makes us happy.
You are embarking on another world tour in November. Which country or city are you looking forward to visiting for the first time or returning to?
KOBATO: So far we are confirmed to have performances in London, Paris, Spain and 3 cities in Germany. It will be our first time going to these places and we are looking forward to visiting each one.
What songs from your catalog would you recommend to those who are new to the world of BAND-MAID?
KOBATO: Hmmm… What songs would be good?
SAIKI: Um… Go to our YouTube page maybe?
KOBATO: Please go to our YouTube page and watch all our videos. (laughing)
Are there any artists you are currently listening to that you would recommend to others?
(SAIKI and KOBATO have a short discussion before answering)
SAIKI: This morning I was listening to Apple Music on shuffle that included David Bowie, One Republic and parts of the La La Land Soundtrack.
KOBATO: There are many artists we are listening to. (laughing)
Over the past few years there has been a resurgence of female rock bands or rock bands fronted by a woman who have made significant impacts in current Japanese music. What are your thoughts on this?
KOBATO: We are really happy about this resurgence and we hope to become one of the leading bands of this trend as it continues into the future.
Do you have a parting message for your fans?
KOBATO: Princesses and masters, thank you for enjoying our music and for your continued support of BAND-MAID.
BAND-MAID Official Site – http://bandmaid.tokyo/
BAND-MAID Twitter – https://twitter.com/bandmaid
BAND-MAID Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bandmaid.jp/
BAND-MAID Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/bandmaid