Milky - Guitar/Vocals
Birthday: December 20
Birthplace: Shizuoka, Japan
Blood type: B
Ritusko (Marilyn) - Guitar/Vocals
Birthday: July 21
Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
Blood type: A
Hello! Hello! song sample
Goodbye and Kiss Me
Goodbye and Kiss me (2006)
My Lover - Sukidayo Darling (2006)
Electric candy (2006)
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Denki Candy Interview
But if you thought Denki Candy had come to an end forever, think again. Busy though they may be with their current projects, somewhere on the j-pop horizon the two plan to work together again. Until then, enjoy the fruits of their separate talents as Milky Way and Shonen Knife.
On March 23, 2009 Milky and Ritsuko (Marilyn) from Denki Candy were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of Denki Candy.
First off let me thank you again Ritsuko for your October interview as part of Shonen Knife.
Thank you for the nice interview. I enjoyed it very much.
Ritsuko, as a performer you actually go by more than one name. Can you explain?
Ritsuko is another name of Marilyn. They are one and the same person. I am Marilyn in Denki Candy and Ritsuko in Shonen Knife. My true name (given by my parents) is Ritsuko.
I have called myself Marilyn as a stage name ever since I started music activities in Keihan Girl and later Denki Candy. Why haven't I used the long-used stage name in Shonen Knife? Because Marilyn is not a Japanese name, while Shonen Knife is a Japanese band famous abroad. I thought the Japanese name "Ritsuko" would be better than the western name because Shonen Knife is targeting western people as well as Japanese audiences.
Milky can you tell us about your new solo project, Milky Way?
Milky: Denki Candy stopped performing live in October last year because Marilyn became an official member of Shonen Knife and became so busy. So I began my solo activity as "Milky Way". The name "Milky Way" means that Milky will walk her own way (as Marilyn walks her own way).
Tell us about the songs on your new project. Who wrote the music and lyrics?
Milky: I released the first single "Ramune Sentimental" on November 12, 2008. It is not a CD release but a release on mp3 i-tunes. "Ramune Sentimental" is a coined word I made. "Ramune" is a Japanese word for a lemon soda product. "Sentimental" is an English word meaning some sort of sad feelings or bittersweet memories. From the word "Ramune" Japanese speakers will recall the product "Ramune" that they used to drink when they were children. So the product name matches well with the sentimental feeling.
Furthermore, soda foam disappears as time passes. When I watch the soda foam disappearing, I feel sad. "Ramune Sentimental" means the feeling we have for something nice that ends as time passes.
I wrote the song, and Marilyn made the music.
Tell us about making the video for it.
Milky: The video was photographed on an island in the Seto Inland Sea. Our (my and Marilyn's) grandparents live on the island in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The island is so beautiful with the surrounding sea and mountain. It is our second hometown.
It was a hot, sunny summer day when it was photographed. The sea and the mountain were so beautiful.
How would you describe the sound and feel of your solo work?
Milky: It is a ballad song of a medium tempo. This song features the theme of "bittersweet" feelings
What are your plans for the rest of 2009?
Milky: I want to have a lot of live performances around Tokyo and Osaka. And I want to release an album within the year.
(For more info checkout Milky's MySpace page.)
Let's travel back in time to explore both of your musical pasts. Milky, can you tell us a little about your hometown in Shizuoka Prefecture?
Milky: My hometown is Iwata City, Shizuoka. It is a comfortable town, not far away from the Tokyo megalopolis, but not so near to it that it would sacrifice its natural beauty. I lived there for 18 years before I came to Osaka to attend college. Shizuoka is famous for Mt. Fuji and tea.
What was your family life like?
Milky: My family is father, mother, an elder sister and an elder brother. All of my family loves music as well as singing songs. We often go for karaoke.
What kind of kid were you at school?
Milky: I was an active, positive student. I did activities in student council in my high school days. Also I worked as a captain of a sports team (dodge-ball). So I enjoyed my school days. I especially liked chatting with my classmates.
How did you first get into music?
Milky: I liked singing ever since I was a child. As I grew up and began to take notice of society and its various activities I became more interested in music.
In 2004 you went to Osaka to attend college. What did you plan on studying?
Milky: I majored in English at college. At first I wanted to become an interpreter. But as I changed, my future vision switched to wanting to be a musician more than an interpreter, so I became less hardworking in college. But as far as my attendance record was concerned, I was a good student, so I graduated from the college successfully.
At the time did you think music would become such an important part of your life?
Milky: No, I never imagined it at all.
From there you famously hooked up with Ritsuko to form Denki Candy. How often had you seen your cousin before then?
Milky: I used to meet her at family reunions with our relatives almost every year, say at the Obon holidays and New Year holidays. But I had not talked with her so much in those days.
Can you tell us the story of starting Denki Candy?
Milky: Soon after I started living in the house of Marilyn's family in Osaka (for attending college in Osaka) I went for karaoke with Marilyn. Marilyn appreciated my singing voice at that time and she chose me as a partner for music activities.
Other than music, what type of things do you do to have fun and relax?
Milky: I like yoga now. When I practice yoga, I can be relaxed.
Can you give us a peak at the romantic life of Milky? What is your idea of a romantic date?
Milky: I want to go to a place where the starlit sky and night view is beautiful.
What traits do you look for in someone you would date?
Milky: A reliable man, because I find myself less reliable.
Any thoughts on marriage or kids in the future?
Milky: I dream to marry in the future. I like children, so I want to have a boy and a girl.
Ritsuko, can you tell us what it was like growing up in Osaka?
Ritsuko: Osaka is an interesting town. First, the people are interesting (funny?). The food is delicious. The language is unique. It is very near to the historical towns of Kyoto and Nara, as well as to the modern town of Kobe with a somewhat exotic atmosphere. So we have access to both the new and old.
It is also closer than Tokyo to the rest of Asia. I love Osaka.
Is it true you grew up with five siblings?
Ritsuko: It is true. I was not happy at all with that fact when I was a child. For example, when my friends would get gifts and presents for their own sake, I had to share them with my brothers. But now I am happy that I have a lot of brothers.
Did you have a favorite class in school?
Ritsuko: English. But at university I majored in household science, especially in nutrition science. It may have something to do with my passion for cooking and eating.
When did you first get into music?
Ritsuko: Soon after I became a university student.
Did you always think music would be such an important part of your life?
Ritsuko: Not at all.
Tell us the story of forming the group Keihan Girl.
Ritsuko: Through e-mails I got to know Yukarin, with whom I formed the girls band "Keihan Girl." Yukarin was a fan of the band (known as "Kira-kira Sniper") that I was playing in with my university friends when I was a student in Kyoto.
Why did the two of you eventually split up?
Ritsuko: Yukarin was a high school student when we formed the band. She wanted to leave the band at the time she graduated from high school. She didn't want to become a professional musician.
Do you remember the first songs you and Milky performed together?
Ritsuko: Of course I remember it. It was Goodbye and Kiss Me. I think it is one of the best songs we have made.
Tell us about the first demo Denki Candy recorded.
Ritsuko: I recall I taped it with a hard disk recorder at home in May 2004. It contained two songs, Goodbye and Kiss Me and Looking for You. I made 100 copies and all of them sold out.
In 2004 Denki Candy began recording and getting some airplay on Japanese radio. What memories stand out from those early days together?
Ritsuko: Because our recordings were made at home, the sound quality was bad. But I think the music quality was good, so our songs were broadcasted, including on a program from a radio station in Toronto, Canada.
In August of 2006 the group released their first mini-album, Electric Candy. Tell us about the music and what it was like recording the CD.
Ritsuko: By that time I had experienced recording many times so I got used to it, and I finished the recording of our first mini-album immediately. But for Milky it was her first-ever recording. So it is no wonder that she struggled with it much of the time.
The recording was made in a studio in Tokyo. We stayed in a hotel in Tokyo for one week. We were really on the "same boat" eating the same meals, sleeping in the same room, watching the same TV programs and doing the same things for one full week.
How do the two of you write music?
Ritsuko: Words are always for Milky to make, whereas composition and arrangement are for me.
In 2007 you come out with your first full album, Denki Shock. How big a moment was that for both of you?
Ritsuko: It was a very, very important product to us. We were very, very happy!!! The album was and still is the best masterpiece from us two.
What song from the album are you most pleased with?
Ritsuko: For me, it is Hello! Hello! on the second track. This music features the theme of "the dream not being over". I hope that the listeners of this music are encouraged, that their dreams are still alive.
Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
Ritsuko: It is the seventh piece, Merariinyo. It rocks!
Can you tell us about some of your most memorable performances?
Ritsuko: It was the sponsorship event "DENKI SHOCK PARTY" held on October 25th of last year. It was held just before our activities were stopping and a lot of fans -- more than we expected -- gathered from various places, really from across the country.
Can you tell us a little about the romantic life of Ritsuko?
Ritsuko: I want to go out to eat a delicious dinner together. You know I am from Osaka, the hometown for delicious dishes!
Are you a believer in "love at first sight" or do you think love is something that takes more time and effort to develop?
Ritsuko: I am the "latter" type. I don't fall in love at first sight.
Any thoughts about marriage or children in the future?
Ritsuko: I do not want to marry now. But I want to have a child someday.
Let's end with the big question for all Denki Candy fans. While you are both busy with Shonen Knife and Milky Way, is there any chance the two of you will perform and even record music together again in the future?
Ritsuko: Yes, we will.
Well that's music to our ears. So do you have a final message to all your fans?
Milky is doing her solo work at "Milky Way". Marilyn is doing her best as a member of Shonen Knife. Please watch each of us in our activities.
For more info checkout Denki Candy's official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments