This is the first time that we’ve had such a strong opinion about a song
--You’ve just finished your new single “Spending all my time.”
A-chan: This time we thought about the songs we wanted to offer at the music festivals. We thought that “Spending all my time” was just perfect for the summer festivals, so we should show it off at a live first. We figured we’d go on TV without singing for once.
--Really? When I first heard the title “Spending all my time,” I thought that the lyrics would be athletically passionate lyrics. So... yeah.
A: “Spending all my time” doesn’t really say anything but “loving you forever.” (laugh) Maybe Nakata (Yasutaka) was thinking of the whole world when he gave us this song, but as a fan of Perfume I was like “Huh?” Even for the “JPN” tour we said “Let’s give the world Japanese music, without changing from Japanese!” We thought that if we challenged the world like this that our Japanese fans would be happy and think, “If Perfume is doing it this way, then I will too.” But then it was like “We’ll do this song all in English!” (laugh) But we really understand that Nakata was going for a specific idea with this A-side. Of course, we always love the songs that Nakata writes for us, and we truly believe that he gives us the best music, so the feeling was a little like “As the gods command, so shall we do!”
--So then, did you discuss this song amongst yourselves?
N: We did. We didn’t think we could all do the English lyrics at first. We don’t understand the meaning of English lyrics, so we wanted to sing in Japanese.
K: This is the first time that we’ve had such a strong opinion about a song.
A: We’re fans of Nakata, and we’re fans of Perfume, so to suddenly move in that direction made us sad. I can’t imagine singing that song in front of a camera. But I think it’s a song that will climax a live. So we decided to show it to an audience and first introduce it during the summer music festivals.
--I see. So that’s why you never sang it on TV.
A: The music video also turned out to be something that I just couldn’t imagine. It was developed like there’s a “Perfume method.”
N: Tanaka Yuusuke*, the director of the music video for our previous music video, “Spring of Life,” didn’t add anything to the song with the images; he just gave the audience the song.
K: I think that Tanaka thought of an interesting setting [for this music video], and also showed a new side of us. Three girls with mysterious abilities, locked up in some facility. They can’t get out, and keep repeating the same things over and over.
--It seems to have a lot in common with “Spring of Life,” where you were dressed as androids.
N: It does!
K: I think Tanaka secretly thinks that the three of us project this image.
N: Even we haven’t seen something like those three girls.
A: We were like “This is another facet of us?!”
K: The things you see at first disappear when you look for them again, even though A-chan doesn’t change, you find that the things behind her have disappeared. That took some very fine cuts.
I think this song has drawn out a new aspect of Perfume
--The CD jacket picture with the three of your in your sailor outfits is very fresh.
N: It’s like the man that locked them up in that room put those clothes on them.
K: It’s the clothes you can imagine him thinking that girls would wear.
N: It’s really trendy, isn’t it? (laugh)
K: The color and stuff are insanely cute.
N: When I see the video, the little Japanese that’s there is so well used that it makes me want to cry every time.
A: When we sing in Japanese, our voices are very characteristic and people always know it’s us when we sing. Japanese people’s calm demeanor doesn’t invite excess tears, but I like it.
N: I’ll bet that no one - Japanese or non-Japanese - can understand any of it but “loving you.” (laugh)
A: The lyrics are katakana English, so it’s not directed at people overseas, and even Japanese people can’t understand it. (laugh)
N: I feel like this is how killer words get added to the Japanese language.
--This is a song that’ll really increase the level of fun at a live.
A: I think it’ll really be the climax! I had no feelings about the song until now, and the festivals totally changed my opinion. This was the representative song of the summer festival that we did this year, even though setlist-wise, nothing had really changed. But we’d wanted to improve over our performances from last year, even if only a little, and in that way I think this song has drawn out a new aspect of Perfume, so the festivals were very fun.
K: The people who came to our lives before this release would all dance together at the climax, during the two times the hook would appear.
N: I love it when they jump!
--Your B-sides for this single as “Point” and “Hurly Burly.” The CMs that they tie into are already on air.
A: We decided that those two songs would be on the single, but they’d already been recorded once. “Point” especially underwent a huge change. The A-melody had a bit of a capsule “cafe music” atmosphere, and the hook was a little closer to that as well.
K: The lyrics other than those in the hook also underwent quite a lot of changes.
A: Because we’d recorded these songs before we decided to put them on the single, Nakata offered to spruce them up for us, since he wanted them to be as fresh as possible.
--You use the beat of a bass drum in ”Point.” The way the lyrics rode along that beat was also impressive.
A: They’re pretty words. Even as a 23-year old, I’m happy to be able to sing pure, straightforward lyrics like “Kiseki ga hajimaru point de” [“The point where miracles start”].
--What kind of position will this song occupy in your future concerts?
N: A refreshing place, like “VOICE?”
A: And “Zero Gravity?”
K: I think it’s put in the same kind of place as “Spice.” A stylish spot.
A: (taps a beat on the desk) But “Spice” has kind of a “dun dun dun” feeling, right? This song has more of a... (raises arms like a conductor) ...That kind of feeling.
K: Hahaha, it’s hard to convey in words. (laugh) I’d probably lock it in with slow, ballady songs.
We want to have these concerts precisely because we can do it this way
--And then there’s “Hurly Burly,” a party pop tune. Did you know of the phrase “hurly burly” (meaning “clamour”) before this?
N: I didn’t, I had to look it up!
K: When I learned the meaning, I thought, “Do we really want to call the song this?” (laugh)
A: It made me wonder if Nakata was busy, since he was making us sing this kind of “bursting open” sort of song. (laugh)
N: It’s cool to think of YUKI singing this song.
A: No, no, no. This is our song! (laugh)
N: It is?! (laugh)
A: (laugh) The style isn’t what we’re used to, but it was good. No matter how many times I hear it, I notice that despite the bright lyrics, the atmosphere of the song is a little lonely. That sense that everything isn’t just laid out neatly is very Nakata. This’ll definitely be a climactic song at the festivals, too.
--You’ve also decided on your first Asian tour, in which you’ll visit livehouses in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore this autumn.
N: We want to have these concerts precisely because we can do it this way; we think that interacting with our fans is good.
A: I’ll probably be like we’re meeting them for the first time. I think it’s glorious to have to go places I’ve never been because of work, and it’s even better that we’re doing this to perform concerts, which we love to do! We’re doing this to show people what kind of group Perfume is. And I’ll be happy if we make an impression on them... (said with some uncertainty)
--But aren’t introductions the strongest of Perfume’s strong points?
N: Really!? I guess so.
A: I like them. I’ll just be happy if the audience is happy and shouts “Yay!” (laugh) Well, I’m going to eat dumplings in Taiwan. And dim sum in Hong Kong...
K: Ah, talking about food. (laugh)
A: In Korea I’m going to eat topokki and dak galbi. In Singapore I’m going to take a picture of the Merlion.
N: Hahaha, how cliche.
K: I’m excited for the reaction of our audience. Even though it’s still in Asia, they’re still overseas for us. I’m excited to see their honest emotions come to the surface, and what reaction we’ll get from our introduction to them, and to what extent they know about us already.
--I think the reaction you get will change from country to country.
A: It was great to see the audience eating topokki and screaming their heads off when we had our Korean live last year. That feeling was so much fun. I wonder what kinds of feelings I’ll have in the other countries. I don’t think most people will understand the Japanese, but I want them to at least remember the greeting.
N: “From now on, I’ll try visiting other countries.”**
K: “During the breaks at work, or whenever I’m free, even when I’m on the move...”
N: “I notice that I was studying. I was only listening...”
A: “And I was surprised when I could suddenly speak the language.”
K: I love it when we copy the commercials. (laugh)
--I’ve asked a lot of questions today, but the upshot of it all is that you really want people to listen to “Spending all my time.”
A: That’s right. Also, we want more people to come to our lives!
*Tanaka Yuusuke also directed Sakanaction’s “Bach no Senritsu wo Yoru ni Kiita Sei Desu” video.
**These are expressions from a commercial advertising language study materials.