[2019.07.10] Perfume: Coachella Special

An interview with the three members of Perfume immediately after their tour.
A vision of the future they have had through their worldwide activities.
They gave an interview after finishing their challenge.
What did the stage of their 4th overseas tour help them see and acquire?

Anan: How are you feeling after finishing the 4th overseas tour, that was mainly North America and Asia?

a-chan: This time, the most significant thing was that the first show we booked was Coachella . Our staff members in America advised us, “All of the artists appearing on Coachella plan their tours in America all at once.” So we decided to plan ours. For the tour, we made thorough preparations of our English abilities and the programs. Even though we performed at places we had never been, in front of audiences who had never been to our concerts, whenever seeing the reactions to our feelings from the audience, we were moved greatly.

KASHIYUKA: I’ve finally become able to communicate with the audience openly, and also I’m able to recognize the difference among the venues in atmosphere. And also, to my delight, there were many people in America who said flat out that they were fond of Perfume.

anan: Flat out?

KASHIYUKA: I mean, when we got in a taxi on an off day, we told the driver that we came to America to perform our music, and then, he replied, “That’s awesome! I’ll be your big fan!” It was a refreshing surprise to know he was able to look at anything without any preconceptions. And, we were able to reconfirm the power of social media including YouTube.

NOCCHi: Actually, we embraced the method of America and gave publicity to our tour through social media.

KASHIYUKA: In Japan, we precisely announced official information of our tour, but in America, it was required that the advertisement should appeal to the people instantly. The more we delivered information, the more we got reactions. We began to enjoy it before we knew it.

anan: It could be, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, right?

NOCCHi: Until then, we had had our tours overseas to spread the coolness of Japan, but we ended up learning it was really important to accept unfamiliar customs overseas.

a-chan : It was the first time for us to choose the songs to add to the setlist according to the number of views on YouTube. The priority for us was what we wanted to perform, but we were still unknown to the people in America, so, to fulfil the expectations of the audience was also important to recruit new fans.

anan: How do you think has your way of dealing with the fans overseas changed?

KASHIYUKA: To tell the truth, at first, I felt they were mysterious people for me. It was not until I went overseas that I got to know, “That’s true! We have our fans overseas!” The first thing I had to do was trust in the existence of our fans overseas.

a-chan : The doubt changed into a firm belief in the 2nd tour, and, out of a sense of obligation that was coming from our thought, “We must stage our live performance perfectly!”, we had to face new problems in the 3rd tour. So, we would not waste the 4th opportunity. We made up our mind, “We want to do something new. We want to leave something behind us.” So, it was Perfume who have changed.

KASHIYUKA: And it was an unexpected piece of luck that the venue for us to perform in became larger and larger. So, it is becoming easier and easier to convey what we want to express to the audience.

anan: This time, you brought your live performance to America while remaining almost in its original form, right?

KASHIYUKA: There are still physical limitations, but the performance at home at that time unexpectedly matched our intention that we should get rid of the fat from our live performance. That’s why we were able to perform in almost the same way in America.

NOCCHi: And one more thing that had changed. During our previous tours, we were really grateful that we could perform at home immediately after our overseas tour every time. I mean, we were not able to be relaxed during our tour overseas. But this time, because Coachella was the “away game” unprecedented in our history, we could feel extremely at home on the stage in San Jose and Los Angeles.

anan: That’s pleasant change. You mean Coachella was so tough for you, right?

KASHIYUKA: It was a truly mysterious one. But, to challenge something unknown, the three of us become extremely tough. (lol)

a-chan: Because what we could bring to Coachella was physically limited, we could not help depending on human power, so, everything was like a sink-or-swim gamble. But, because the live performance was our passion, the audience became larger and larger, and their passionate intensity finally grew to maximum. We kept dancing on the stage with strong emotions; “We are bringing out ‘The coolness of Japan’ to the world!”. After the 1st week of Coachella, we were really delighted when we learned we were selected as ‘Coachella 2019: The 16 Best Things We Saw’ on Rolling Stone magazine. We were proud of the Perfume team. One day in the future, we want to tell our children that Perfume, born in the Heisei era, boldly challenged to perform in a foreign country at a change of era from Heisei to Reiwa, and reaped the fruits of our all hard works.

anan: So, your challenge is continuing, right?

NOCCHi: I don’t feel fear in the overseas tour anymore. (lol) Next time, I’d like to go to Europe.

KASHIYUKA: I’ll try to convey perfectly the same things also to the audience overseas.

a-chan: And, we hope our fans overseas come to Japan to see us more. And also I hope for them to become aware of Japan more, to become fond of Japan more. Our thought never changes no matter where we go.

NOCCHi: “We got to the point where what should we show and what we should not show on the stage overseas.”

KASHIYUKA: “Coachella was full of people who were almost nude. (lol) So, we were standing out because we were wearing similar costumes.”

a-chan: “I was really happy because so many people spoke to us after our live performance.”

After experiencing Coachella,
we became able to feel at home
on the following stages overseas.
When you are talking with a person whose first language is different from Japanese, you may feel there is a gap when he or she is mumbling a few words in a foreign language. (lol) In America, I am a person of a mysterious language. So, during this tour, I forced myself to nod assertedly while somebody was speaking to me, say, “Uh-huh. I see. Yep.” more intensely than usual. And, when the conversation turned to video games or dramas and I felt the gap lessen, I thought it was a feeling common to the whole world. And one more thing, going out of your way to appear charming is very important. (lol)

I wish for everybody to become aware of Japan more,
to become fond of Japan more.
Our thought never changes wherever we go.
━━ a-chan
When I go shopping in Japan, I begin with, “Sumimasen. (Excuse me.)” But in America, I asked straight out, “I want sparkling water. Where can I find it?” I began speaking straight forward like a bit of a bully. (lol) When I became accustomed to it, then, I begin working on fitting my English to my own character. Maybe, almost the same with both of the others. While each of them was MC’ing by herself on the stage alone, I was listening to it and moved, like, “NOCCHi and Yuka-chan fighting on the International Stage”.

Since our hard work has become fruitful,
we could express what we want to express in the same way as we do in Japan.
Until our previous tour, I got tense in front of foreigners, so I became too eager not to make a mistake. Therefore, my voice got smaller and smaller, then, it became hard for the people I was talking to to hear, so, they were like, “What?” So, I ended up saying, “Oh, I’m sorry…” Actually, if you say something loudly, what you want to say is conveyed. So, I decided I would talk boldly when I’d be MC’ing alone on the stage. I was strongly encouraged when the audience read what I was going to say and responded to it, and when I felt my feelings were understood.

Translator: KOWCHAN9 (A NOCCHi addict, Mie, Japan)
Proofreader: Adthrawn@Adthrawn1138 (A KASHIYUKA lover, MD, USA)