Mari - Guitar/Vocal
Hometown: Chiba Prefecture
Yayoi - Bass/Chorus
Hometown: Toyama Prefecture
Mizue - Drums/Chorus
Hometown: Tottori Prefecture
Bloody Mohawk (2001)
Pregnant Fantasy (2004)
Six Mix Girls (2008)
Sex on the Beach (2010)
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"About three years ago, I had a show in Asagiri, near Mt. Fuji in Japan. And then a guy fell in love with TsuShiMaMiRe. And half a year later, he was looking for the theme song of Power Puff Girls in his job. And he asked us." - Mari
That song, Hyper Sweet Power, would help to bring a larger audience to the curiously named group TsuShiMaMiRe. These three woman play a fast faced, hard rocking style of music full of fun -- perfect for the spunky anime show.
Having already released several albums over the years and performed in the U.S., TsuShiMaMiRe have just released their latest album, "Sex on the Beach", with another U.S. tour coming in November.So come checkout the group who says "TsuShiMaMiRe has so much energy and so much passion, and we are gonna make a new world together with everyone."
On October 6, 2010 Mari from TsuShiMaMiRe was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of TsuShiMaMiRe.
Tell us the story of how the band formed back in your college days.
Mari: Okay. We formed in 1999. We were in the same university, "Chiba University"!! Mari and Mizue were sophomores. Yayoi was a freshman. We joined the same rock band club. And I was just a singer. But I wanted to make original songs. So I needed to play the guitar for making my original songs. But I didn't like guitar... until then.
One day, my friend invited me to the live show of "Blankey Jet City." http://bjc.wilddisk.com/ They are all male, three piece rock band. Guitar and vocals, bassist, drums... What a simple style! Their sound was so tight and so cool! And Kenichi Asai's (vocals and guitar) lyrics were so interesting. And the riff of his guitar was amazing!!!
This was the first time that I could understand each sound (vocals, guitar, bass, drums) very much. I used to understand only vocals. I wasn't able to catch the sounds of musical instruments. But they were very different! So I was moved very much. I wanted to be such a great vocalist and guitarist!! And I decided to make a new band like them! Moreover, I thought that only girls were good.
So I asked Mizue and Yayoi. Mizue is already a good drum player. And she is my good friend! And Yayoi had something great aura. All were my intuitions. And we practiced every day. It was so much fun!!! And I came to like guitar gradually.
At first we try to cover Blankey Jet City. We covered their songs, over 20 songs!!! Yayoi and Mizue also love BJC very much. It was lucky for me. And then, maybe two years later... we started to make original songs!!!
How would you describe your musical style?
Mmm... We are TsuShiMaMiRe. Do you know the meaning of our band name? "Tsushi" is a part of Yayoi's family name "TsuShiMa". "Ma" is from "Mari". "Mi" is from "Mizue". And "MaMiRe" means "Mix together" in Japanese. So our music style is just TsuShiMaMiRe's Style. We never change the band members.
Oh, I don't even know if we are a rock band or not. But when we went on our first U.S. tour, every audience said to us "You guys are ROCK!". It made us so exciting! "Oh, we are a ROCK band! We didn't know!" :) U.S. people tell us our music style!! And sometimes our friends said to us, "You guys are PUNK". I don't know "PUNK" style. And sometimes writer said to us "You guys are mixture".
TsuShiMaMiRe has so much energy and so much passion, and we are gonna make a new world together with everyone. That's all, what do you think?
Did you all have the same taste in music?
Sometimes same, sometimes different. So it is good to mix together...
Tell us about writing and recording your first demo single "Hamburger Set".
Wow. Do you know "Hamburger Set"? Amazing... You are a big fan!! Thanks.
It was our first recording in our lives! We gathered in our club's room in midnight because everyone uses it in day time! And our club's senior recorded it. It was so much fun but very difficult for us. I remember I felt nervous very much. And I remember we were all sleepy!!! haha!
You came out with "Bloody Mohawk" later in 2001. How happy were you with the final versions of your songs at that time?
It was also a recording in our club's room. We felt happy at that time, of course. 2001, my voice has some trouble, suffering from "vocal cord nodule". So I couldn't sing in a best condition. It was regrettable but I also thought it was a very special voice. And Bloody Mohawk sounds so cool. So we love it. Do you like it?
In 2004 you joined up with Audrey Benton's groups to perform in the US. Can you tell how you got picked to join them?
I sent our CDs, "Bloody Mohawk" and "Hamburger Set", to Audrey. And she came to our show in Tokyo. She loved TsuShiMaMiRe music! And we talked with her. And we decided to release a new CD from Benten and go on a tour in the US.
What memories of performing overseas stand out the most?
I think it is our first tour in U.S. We played in Elysium, Austin Texas. So many people danced along with our music. So I thought our music is not wrong. We got big confidence.
Your latest album is entitled "Sex on the Beach". Can you tell us about the music?
"Sex on the Beach" is Mizue's favorite cocktail. After the show in the U.S., our audience gave us beers and "Sex on the Beach". Mizue didn't like beer. So she wanted some sweet cocktail. And we got to know "Sex on the Beach". It looks cute and sweet, but we can get drunk!!! So our music is also cute and sweet but very strong. And we wanna get everyone drunk by our music.
By the way I like Pabst Blue Ribbon and New Castle:)
You plan on doing another US tour starting on October 27. Can you tell us more?
Yes, our tour will go on until November 21st. Peelander-Z will tour with us. [Read our 2008 Peelander-Z Interview.] We'll join in their tour. They are amazing. Please check our Facebook for the dates.
Hyper Sweet Power is one of our favorite songs of yours. Can you tell us the story behind writing and recording it?
Thanks! About three years ago, I had a show in Asagiri, near Mt. Fuji in Japan. And then a guy fell in love with TsuShiMaMiRe. And half a year later, he was looking for the theme song of PowerPuff Girls in his job. And he asked us.
When we watched PPG, we fell in love with PPG. They are so cute, tough and rock like us!!! So we decided to make new songs for PPG. We tried to make this song which makes everybody feel happy.
Tea Time Ska does a great time showing the fun and variety of your sound. Can you tell us something about the song we probably don't know?
This song is a story of daddy, my boyfriend and me. One day, my boyfriend came to my home. But it was Sunday. My dad was also at home. And it was the first meeting with my dad and boyfriend. We felt very nervous. But we had to enjoy tea time. So this song has many parts.Nervous (I & my boyfriend & Daddy).
Jealousy (my father's feeling!!)... I sing with DEATH VOICE!
Happy (our happy tea time!!!).
About lyrics, I played with words, "Darling" and "Darjeeling tea." And my death voice always says kinds of "TEA". For example, "OOLONG", " Darjeeling" and "MARO", "JUKU", "NAMA", "KIKI", "Oh-I OCHA" (These are kinds of Japanese teas.). So every live show, I sing other tea names. It's so much fun. But my death voice is so noisy, so most people cannot understand! haha :)
What other song would pick for new fans to get to know your music?
Of course our new album "Sex on the Beach" is so cool. Momo daro (Maybe Peach) is based on a folk story of "Momo Taro" in Japan. "Momo" means peach in Japanese. Momo Taro was born from the big peach. When he grew up, he made a group with a dog, a monkey and a bird. And they had to fight with "Oni", a kind of devil in Japan. Is the devil really bad? From devil's position Momo Taro is bad.
Enemy is not necessarily an enemy. We have to understand many things from many different angles. So I sing Momo daro. The chorus is very fun. "Momo mo Sumomo mo Momo no Uchi" is Japanese tongue-twister. There is a fine line between seriousness and humor in the story, I think. Please enjoy!
Let's get to know everyone a little better. Can you tell us about your hometown and what it was like growing up there?
Mari: My hometown is Chiba Prefecture next to Tokyo. My grandfather was a farmer. And his rice is super delicious. And my hometown is near the Pacific Ocean.
Mizue's hometown is Tottori Prefecture, western part of Japan. She can play the "shamisen"; a three-stringed Japanese banjo. She was a Japan champion of "Yasugi-bushi" (her country's traditional song). So, she knows Japanese traditional music style very well!!!
Yayoi's hometown is Toyama Prefecture, middle and northern part of Japan. Her hometown is called a Japanese rockabilly birthplace. So her dance is so awesome! And her bass line can move everyone's heart!!!
Yayoi and Mizue lived near the Sea of Japan. The Sea of Japan is rough sea. On the other hand, Pacific Ocean where Mari lives near is calm.
How did you first get into music?
I love to sing songs very much. When I was young, I loved Japanese Pop songs. I love Karaoke. I love songs of a music textbook in school! Especially I love Warabe Uta(a traditional children's song).
How did you pick the guitar you play?
I picked up Fender Jaguar because I like the shape of it!
What do your family and friends think of your musical activities?
I was a teacher of elementary school. So, when I decided to retire from my job my parents felt so sad. But now they are our No.1 fans!!! Our family loves our music!!!
Outside of music what do you do for fun and relaxation?
I play basketball. And I love to walk around Tokyo.
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
Thank you for reading my message! I am a bad English speaker!!! Please teach me English!!!I am gonna tell you our ROCK MUSIC in the US tour!! So please come to our shows!!! Thanks!!!
For more info checkout TsuShiMaMiRe's official site and Facebook page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments