Rinko - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Birthday: Its a secret.
Birthplace: I rode a horse to Japan from the moon.
Blood type: Z
Yuzuru Takeda - Guitar
Birthday: January 4
Birthplace: Hokkaido, Japan
Blood type: O
Takashi Koyama - Drums
Birthday: February 8
Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
Blood type: O
Ikuhiro - Bass
Birthday: August 1
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Blood type: O
White Vertigo song sample
1 White Vertigo
4 Dear CHANGE
5 Love Song
7 Superb Space
10 Pale Wind
11 Pretty Sound
12 IN the LIGHT
Where to Buy
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"We are fans of many bands. We wanted to show that in our name so we took "mo" from the katakana pronunciation of Jim Morrison, Morrissey and Maureen Tucker combined with The Police." - Rinko
And that's how you get the name Molice, a four member rock band from Tokyo. With shades of GO!GO!7188 and an animated stage show to match, the group is about to embark on their first overseas tour to the UK on December 28.
The group's first album, "Doctor Ray" was released in 2008 and features catchy songs like Ms. Panic and Headphone. Fronted by Rinko on vocals, Yuzuru on guitar, Ikuhiro on bass and Takashi on drums, Molice gets our nod as one of the best new discoveries we've made in 2009. So come take a listen -- we're glad we did.On December 7, 2009 the members of Molice were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of Molice.
On December 28th you'll begin a three-stop tour of London. What are your thoughts about the upcoming event?
Rinko: I'm excited because the UK is similar to Japan since both are islands and I like many UK bands. They've influenced us.
Yuzuru: I'm very happy. I love the UK's music and culture.
Takashi: I'm nervous because this is the first time I've left Japan.
You'll be traveling as part of "The Big Jugs Experience" with the bands Moja and Royalinserts. How did you get hooked up with them?
Yuzuru: The Royalinserts contacted us through MySpace to perform in their T.B.J.E. Tokyo event. They invited us to go to London with Moja.
What do you hope to take away from the experience?
Yuzuru: This is our first step to the world! I hope our music will spread all over the world.
Let's learn the origins of the band. First, can each of you describe your hometown and what it was like growing up there?
Yuzuru: My hometown has three factories and a harbor. It's very industrial. We often played in junked cars.
Rinko: My hometown doesn't have oxygen. There's not much gravity so I could jump high and I imagined life on Earth.
Takashi: Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan. Many funny people lived near us.
How did you first get into music?
Rinko: I took piano lessons every day from when I was 3 years old for 15 years. Playing the guitar wasn't a choice. I didn't want to, but there wasn't a guitarist in my first band.
Yuzuru: My father had a guitar and loved movie soundtracks and that influenced me. The first song I learned was the theme to the Godfather.
Takashi: At a school festival in high school my classmates invited me to play drums. I liked listening to music, but I wasn't interested in playing. I slowly started to like it.
Who have been your greatest musical influences?
Rinko: Classical music especially Faria and rock and roll music, Little Richard.
Yuzuru: Movie soundtracks. In rock, The Beatles.
Takashi: My father listened to The Beatles.
Rinko: Molice's sound is influenced a lot by The Police, Doors, and Pixies.
What type of musical activities did you all do prior to forming Molice?
Rinko: Yuzuru and I were in a band called Chinachop.
Takashi: I was in many bands.
Can you tell us the story of forming the band in 2007?
Rinko: Yuzuru and I were in Chinachop for 5 years. When the band broke up, we had an idea of what we wanted in the next band. We would go down to a local club called Rubber Soul and look for new members. We found Ikuhiro (the bassist) and Takashi (the drummer) there.
Takashi: I was surprised when they (Rinko and Yuzuru) approached me suddenly and invited me to play in their band. I was excited.
Who came up with the name "Molice" and what does it mean?
Yuzuru: It was Rinko.
Rinko: We are fans of many bands. We wanted to show that in our name so we took "mo" from the katakana pronunciation of Jim Morrison, Morrissey and Maureen Tucker combined with The Police.
What did your family and friends think of your decision to become professional musician?
Yuzuru: Maybe, they were happy for me.
Rinko: They still don't know everything.
After less than a year together you got to perform at Japan's Summer Sonic. What are your lasting memories of that event?
Yuzuru: I can't forget the size of the stage and the size of the stadium. I shielded my eyes from the sun and squinted to see how far away the seats were.
Rinko: Summer Sonic had many stages and many bands played at the same time. It was very loud. Which bands? I don't know, but I saw Dinosaur Jr. in the audience.
Takashi: After our show, I had a bloody nose probably because I was so excited. It splashed on my snare drum.
In November of 2008 you released your first full album, "Doctor Ray." How big of a moment was that for the band?
Yuzuru: I thought, "Finally, we can show our music to the world with this CD."
Rinko: I was ready to make another CD.
Takashi: I thought it was the beginning of Molice's history.
Ms. Panic, the third track off the CD, has a great rocking feel to it. Can you tell us more about the song and how it was written and recorded?
Rinko: I like the beat of this song. I thought, "We need cool music with Tokyo sounds."
Yuzuru: The first time I listened to this song. I thought, "This song needs a noisy guitar sound like a 90s noisy US indie rock song."
Rinko: I am Ms. Panic.
The black and white video for Ms. Panic has a wonderfully quirky look and feel. Can you tell us about the concept behind its look?
Rinko: The director and I talked about the Ms. Panic promotion video for a long time. We wanted to connect many simple concepts.
Yuzuru: I thought black and white was the coolest style for this song.
Headphone has a powerful, flowing quality to it. Can you tell us more about the song?
Rinko: We need to use headphones in Tokyo because it's such a noisy place. I only want what I want, but a lot of information flows towards me. It's like breathing, but with no control. There's so much that I suffocate. Headphone regulates the information like an oxygen mask. That's what the lyrics are about.
The video for Headphone does a good job showing off the group's intensity. Tell us more about it
Rinko: Molice has many colors, not only B&W but colorful. I think Headphone's riffs and hooks are colorful.
Btw who is the guy turning the lights on and off lol?
Yuzuru: He's a great manager for us.
Rinko: Tom-chan. Elderly Tom-chan.
How do you come up with the ideas for your music and lyrics? Do you have a process you do, or is each song unique?
Rinko: I can make songs and lyrics any time and any place. It's always a different process.
Do you have songs that were the hardest or easiest to get right?
Rinko: Some songs are easy. Some songs are hard. My feelings change easily.
What is the atmosphere like while you are recording music?
Rinko: It's serious.
Yuzuru: It's exciting for me.
Takashi: I'm very focused.
How do you prepare to do a show? Do you have any rituals you do?
Rinko: We do what's necessary.
Yuzuru: I imagine being on stage and what I'll do.
Takashi: I try to relax, but not too much.
Do you have a favorite place to perform?
Yuzuru: Any place with an audience.
Takashi: Any place that lots of people have gathered.
What has been the most rewarding thing about being in Molice?
Rinko: That's a difficult question.
Yuzuru: I can play the guitar loudly and noisily.
Takashi: Being on stage and the energy I get to perform.
What has been the most challenging thing about life as a musician in Japan?
Rinko: "Noruma" (the fee that new bands have to pay in order to perform in most Japanese clubs). There's a lot of good music that nobody in Japan knows about.
What helps get you through the tough times?
Yuzuru: We believe in ourselves and our music.
Outside of music what do you all do for fun and relaxation?
Yuzuru: I read books and take walks.
Rinko: I go to a temple and pray for money.
Takashi: I drink alcohol.
Takashi: Anything! (after thinking) Whiskey.
Can we get a peak into the romantic side of the group? Where do you like to go on a romantic date?
Yuzuru: I'd have homemade sushi at my house by candlelight.
Takashi: I'd like to take a date to either the sea or the mountains.
Rinko: I'd go to the library because I wouldn't have to talk.
Anyone married? Kids?
All: It's a secret.
Anyone have a favorite manga, movie or TV show they especially love?
Takashi: Lupin the 3rd.
Yuzuru: Blade Runner, Godfather, Gundam.
Rinko: Amadeus, Dragonball, anything by Hayao Miyazaki.
What are the band's plans for next year?
Rinko: We'll release Catalystrock next and then we'll wait and see. We'd like to go to many other places in the USA, Europe, and Asia.
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
Yuzuru: We're happy you enjoy our music.
Takashi: I want all our fans to come see our shows.
Rinko: I like Earth people. Come see us Earthlings!
For more info checkout Molice'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