Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Perfume is no meaning to sing?

A~chan (Ayaka Nishiwaki, 20) of the popular techno pop group Perfume is creating a stir for criticizing their producer Yasutaka Nakata in a magazine interview. In spite of them being at the peak of their popularity, the girls asked fans not to desert them in a concert at Yoyogi, Tokyo on May 10, 2009, causing the fans to wonder what is going on. The new album to be released shortly may be the cause for all this.


The Perfume interview was published in the July 2009 issue of the Rocking on Japan magazine. The magazine started by pointing out that the new album, Triangle, which comes out on July 8th, doesn't have as much of the three girls' singing as before, and that it is produced more in the dance music style. Not only that, but the singing is compounded with bold effects, making it hard to figure out who's singing.

Lyrics, composition and arrangement are all handled by the producer, Nakata. After the three girls sing their respective parts, Nakata cuts and pastes the vocals and applies effects on them to create the completed track.

In the interview, the three of them admit that at times they feel that it is too much to bear that Perfume has to be this way.

A~chan says that sometimes it is almost painful and that she wants to run away from it all.

There are times when she just wants to have fun, but their daily schedules are decided for them, and they can't decide much of anything for themselves. The other two agree, but Nocchi (Ayano Oomoto, 20) says

"[Although I feel the same] I try not to think about things like that"

To which A~chan replies "But your ignoring it ticks me off."

Nocchi answers "Really." with a smile.

Regarding the new album, they talk about how grateful they are to Nakata for still supplying them with songs and not giving up on them.


Kashiyuka (Yuka Kashino, 20) says that she is happy that listeners can now also enjoy instrumental tracks, and notices that they've come closer to Nakata's techno unit, capsule. Toshiko Koshijima is the vocalist for capsule, but most of their songs are purely instrumental. However, A~chan disagrees with Kashiyuka's opinion, saying

"I wouldn't like it if all songs turned into Speed of Sound [an instrumental track on the new album]"


"You kind of wonder if there's a point to our singing. Capsule is OK as they are, because they aren't a live concert act, and besides Koshijima is so cute and pretty she looks great by just bouncing around a bit. [...] But Perfume is different. If it becomes all about the sound, that would be scary. You know, if Perfume was only thought of as the raw material. But I want to believe that's not the case."

People commented this interview in blogs and message boards thusly:

"This Yasutaka-model humanoid robot you call "A~chan" has finally become self-aware."
"Can *you* write songs? Try making a CD yourself!"
"Are they trying to say *they* made Yasutaka famous?"

Perfume's agency refuted the claims by saying

"If you read the full interview, you'll realize that A~chan was not criticizing the producer nor did she have any dissatisfaction with the new album. Please try to avoid misunderstandings based on only excerpts of the interview."


Translation credit

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