The pop-rock duo moumoon was one of the biggest guests for the Japan Expo Live House for this 15th edition.
MOUMOON, WHO ARE THEY?
moumoon is a pop-rock duo composed by singer and lyricist YUKA, and musician and composer Masaki Kousuke. The duo was created in 2005. “Flowers/pride”, their first single, was released under an independent label in 2006. In 2007, the group signs under a major label, Avex Trax, and releases their first mini-album, “love me?”. moumoon’s name is a portmanteau using french word “mou” (soft) and english word “moon”, whereas meaning “soft moon”. Ever since their debut under Avex Trax, the group enjoys a success story. In 2008, their first live concert “Harajuku ASTRO HALL” was held and sold out, as well as following concerts “Shibuya Duo Music Exchange” and “Akasaka BLITZ”. In May 2010, their 7th single “Sunshine Girl” reaches the 10th spot in the best weekly sales ranking. The song became a CM theme song, and then reaches the number one sport in Recochoku ranking in July 2010, dowloaded 1.3 million times. This song became their international break-through track. This July 2010, moumoon releases a mini-album that reaches again the 7th spot in best weekly sales ranking. The duo keep releasing big hits, and, in 2013, start performing outside of Japan. In September 2013, moumoon was a guest for Tokyo Crazy Kawaii festival in Paris, France, festival around japanese pop culture (sponsored by the japanese government), making it their first abroad trip. One month late, the group performs in Indonesia. In July 2014, the group comes back to France for a showcase on the J. E. Live House stage for the Japan Expo 15th edition.
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Shinbakasia team participated in a press conference where many medias were gathered. As a matter of making the interview clearer, we changed a little the questions order.
YUKA, can you tell us how you met Masaki?
YUKA: In high school, a friend lent me a demo tape that Masaki made, and when I listened to it, I found it really good. I really liked it. So I went to see Masaki to tell him I wanted to work with him.
What kind of memory do you keep from your previous and first trip to France, for Tokyo Crazy Kawaii?
YUKA : It was last september, so we remember very well! We had a very nice time in France. Masaki said he found the fans’ reactions, during the concert, really moving.
During your live at Tokyo Crazy Kawaii, you met the french audience for the first time. Now that you know them, did you work on your setlist to match the french audience’s tastes?
YUKA : For our concerts in France, we think a lot about this. It’s different from Japan, because we only can imagine what people could like. We only can imagine, because it’s only when we start performing there that we can see if the audience likes it or not. These moments, when we pick the songs and practice, are very nice.
Masaki : We practice a lot, months in advance.
You’re coming back to France for a showcase for Japan Expo. Are you thinking, in the future, to hold a solo concert in France?
YUKA : We didn’t decide anything yet, but it’s one of our dreams to hold a FULLMOON concert. Anyway, we already want to come back to France.
Generally speaking, songs are composed by Masaki and written by YUKA. Do you happen to do solo songs as well?
YUKA : Solo songs happen, but we overall do everything together.
Masaki : The first couple of years of moumoon, we were doing special sessions were YUKA or myself was at the piano or the guitar. The song “I Say You Say I Love You”, as an example, was written by YUKA alone.
Can you tell us what is your favorite moumoon song and why?
YUKA : For me, it’s the song that was on the demo tape my friend lent me and that afterwards became “Flowers”. It’s the first song we wrote together. This is why it’s my favorite.
Masaki : For me, it would be « Myself ».
YUKA : Masaki is an introvert who likes to write in a very minutious way. He does the arrangements, guitar, keyboards… he thinks a lot about every word, every sentence. It looks a bit like a scientist in the middle of an experiment. And “Myself” is this kind of song.
YUKA, are you influenced by occidental artists?
YUKA : Of course. When I was younger, I was influenced by alternative rock, like OASIS. It’s the first group I listened to and I loved the style.
« ICE CANDY » is called a « Summer Album ». Why?
YUKA : It’s a special selection of songs for summer. When you drive, when you go for a run… they’re song that will motivate you and put you in a good mood. They’re pop songs, light and positive songs. We gathered all these songs on one CD to say it’s the beginning of a fun and nice season.
YUKA, when you’re on stage and you start singing, you look very emotional. Why?
YUKA : I want to become a “beautiful person” and when I sing, I realize that I’m not. That I’m still far from being one and the road is long. As a woman, I want to be stronger. And when I realize I’m weak, it makes me cry. This is why I’m so emotional.
As you were able to see at Japan Expo, japanese culture is very popular abroad. A lot of people want to go to visit Japan, what kind of visit would you recommend them?
YUKA : I was born and grew up in Tokyo, a very big city with a lot of people, with a crowded and suffocating image. But there are a lot of nice places like Meiji-jingu close to Harajuku, that is a shrine so it’s a very quiet place to relax. It’s good that there are places where a lot happens, but it’s also good to have such quiet places like Meiji-jingu.
Masaki : I like Kyoto, it’s a city with a lot of temples.
YUKA : Masaki was born in Kanazawa, a city that has a very big history. And where sushis are delicious (laugh)
A finak word?
YUKA : We regularly hold FULLMOON LIVE concerts in Japan, and sometimes we stream them online, on USTREAM and Youtube. The next broadcasts are on August 19th and September 9th 2014.
Masaki : You can have an idea of what it looks like by watching our previous lives on Youtube.
I really spent a nice time during this little interview with the group, but I absolutely LOVED their live at JE Live House! I discovered the group at Tokyo Crazy Kawaii and I immediately got hooked. I can’t wait to see their next concert in France!