Before the show in Anaheim, JrockRevolution.com had the opportunity to chat with Antic Cafe about their world tour. An Cafe is:
Miku (VOX), Takuya (Guitar), Kanon (Bass), Yuuki (Keys) Teruki (Drums)
JRR: Is this your first time touring the US?
Miku: Yes, it’s our first time touring.
JRR: How long has it been since you’ve been on this tour?
Miku: Umm 14… Oh what am I saying, it’s been 24 days. So we’ve been touring for almost a month.
JRR: What do you think about the weather in Los Angeles?
Miku: I like it, not too hot not too cold. It’s very easy going I can just grab one jacket and head out. I like the weather.
JRR: Well in Japan, I’d imagine the cherry blossoms are in full bloom during this time of year but do you guys miss home at all? Like the food, etc.
Miku: Yeah I miss it a lot, I want to go home!
JRR: What specifically do you miss? I, personally, miss Japanese food…
Miku: Umm, not specifically food but I miss my dog Nyappy. I’m sad I can’t see him.
JRR: I’m going to change the topic to music; are there any American artists that have had an influence on you?
Teruki: (looking at Takuya) Seems like you’d have a lot!
Takuya: I listened to Linkin Park when I was in high school.
Teruki: Coincidentally, a Linkin Park song was playing while we were getting food yesterday. And we were like, "Wow, how long ago did this song come out?"
JRR: Oh, which song was it?
Teruki: It was from their first album that got them really popular. I think we’re all listening to American music in Japan without knowing it, well at least the popular stuff. In that sense, even if we don’t know whether the song is by an American artists/band, we’ve been hearing a lot of American music without knowing it.
JRR: And it’s naturally influenced your music?
Teruki: Well, it’s not like we directly listen for and have specific American artists that we respect but I think all popular music in Japan has a lot of influences.
JRR: Was there an artist, not specifically American, but any artists that you listened to when you were younger that have inspired you?
Miku: Hmm when I was younger… I listened to Wink (Japanese pop act).
Teruki: I started really liking music during my junior high years and Tetsuya Komuro’s music was very popular back then, so I’m sure that had an impact on me.
JRR: What can you say is the best part of your live performance that no other band has?
Miku: I’d say our power to make people happy. I don’t think anyone can beat our ability to put a smile on people’s faces!
JRR: Are there differences in the reactions between Japanese fans and American fans at your shows?
Miku: This is only a guess, but I’d say our fans overseas have a greater reaction… they want to show themselves more.
JRR: Were you aware that J-Rock was so popular overseas in America and in Europe, etc. before you went on tour?
Miku: I wasn’t too aware of that so I’m very surprised at the current situation!
JRR: Have you had some free time to go sight seeing or go shopping at all since you’ve arrived in Los Angeles?
Miku: We landed here yesterday afternoon so we’ve had a bit of free time until last night.
JRR: What sort of places did you go?
Miku: Macy’s store…? No, I went to the small discount shops across from the Macy’s and I’ve walked down this street (Beverly Blvd).
Teruki: I went out with Takuya and our staff last night to Guitar Center. There were some stores that were already closed in that area but we checked out the ones that were open.
JRR: Was it the Guitar Center in Hollywood?
Teruki: Yes, we took the bus out there.
JRR: Aren’t there a lot of guitar/music shops in that area?
Teruki: Yes there were! I was very surprised. Oh, and there were handprints of famous musicians outside of the Guitar Center.
Miku: Oh don’t they have B’z handprints there…
JRR: Oh really?
Teruki: There were other Japanese musicians there too! Hmm I can’t remember who…but there were at least 2 pairs of hand prints who were obviously Japanese musicians’.
Staff: B’z is quite well known around the world…
Teruki: It seemed like that wasn’t the case for these musicians, I don’t know if they’re known at all in Japan. I’m guessing they may be Japanese musicians who started their career out here in America?! I put my hands in Terry Bozzio’s handprints.
JRR: Did you purchase anything?
Teruki: Yes, I bought a little something. I found a type of snare wire for my snare drum that’s not very common in Japan…I was like "what’s this?!" so I went ahead and bought it.
JRR: Do you have certain things about your instruments that you’re picky about?
Takuya: I’m not very picky, I’m open to new things and like to try them out.
Miku: (looks at Yuuki) No keyboards that are over 10,000 yen!
JRR: Is there something in particular that you’d like to do while you’re in Los Angeles?
Miku: I’d like to have Japanese food.
JRR: Please share some stories of interesting locations or events that have occurred so far on this tour.
Miku: Personally, I was really moved by the fans in Argentina… There was a cafekko (An Cafe Fan) that made towels for us and had a big card full of messages. Geographically, Argentina is on the opposite side of the Earth from Japan so it was very touching to see that.
Kanon: It was wonderful seeing the fans in Moscow yell "Arigato! Arigato!" in Japanese.
Teruki: It made it even more touching that their Japanese wasn’t very fluent… it showed that they were trying hard to learn to communicate with us.
Yuuki: The air in Mexico was memorable…
JRR: How so Yuuki?
Yuuki: The air was very thin, and it got difficult to breathe even after moving a little bit.
JRR: Was it because of the altitude?
Yuuki: Yes, we performed in that environment; we had to use oxygen tanks during our show.
JRR: You are all from different areas in Japan, how did you all meet?
Miku: with an electronic marquee…
(Everyone): Electronic Marquee?!
Miku: Just kidding, I put an ad on the Internet.
Teruki: I saw the ad in a studio and I contacted them.
JRR: I’m sure your lives center around music, but is there anything other than music that you’re passionate about? Any hobbies?
Miku: Hmmm other than music… I like fighting games! Especially Tekken. I have a PS3 and I’ve been playing online.
Yuuki: I enjoy going to arcades. Other than that I like manga…
JRR: Manga, like which ones?
Yuuki: One Piece, Death Note, Bleach etc.
Takuya: I enjoy watching American dramas, like Prison Break.
Teruki: I don’t have a hobby in particular, but when I get a few days off I like to travel.
JRR: The WBC (World Baseball Classics) was very exciting for Japan, but were you able to watch it at all?
Teruki: Yes, it was very exciting!
Takuya: I wanted to go see it but we couldn’t because of our tour.
JRR: Anything you would like to say to your fans overseas?
Miku: We are so happy to see so many cafekkos waiting for us around the world! I’m sure you are excited, so we will give you a show that is far beyond your imagination before returning to Japan. We’ll do it!
Interview/translation/transcription by: Akiko M.
Edited by: Ali W.
Photos by: Son Cleva
Special Thanks: Maru Music
On April 12, 2009, An Cafe played at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California to a very excited crowd…
"Nyappy! Nyappy!" The fans chanted as they anxiously waited for their music/fashion heroes An Cafe to appear on stage. The lights turned off, and the crowd exploded in cheers and screams as the band members stepped out from behind the curtain.
"How are you? I’m Nyappy! Let’s make tonight special!"
As Miku, the charismatic singer of the band, shouted those magic words the House of Blues Anaheim turned into the happiest dance club on Earth with their hit "Sakura Saku Yuuki". Equipped with Kanon’s floor-shaking bass lines, Takuya’s heavy yet melodic guitar riffs, Yuuki’s playful keyboard tricks, Teruki’s command of danceable rock beats, Miku’s expressive, captivating vocals and of course their stylish attire and playful personalities, An Cafe gave their fans a night to remember. The audience was non-stop from beginning to the very end, following Miku’s dance moves and engaging in perfected call and response during the songs.
The band’s contagious energy even had the bartender dancing.
Miku interacted with the crowd with a Donald Duck puppet, asking the audience whether they preferred Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck – a very appropriate question considering the venue was in Downtown Disney. Miku threw the signed stuffed Mickey Mouse doll in the crowd for a lucky fan. After eager "ENCORE!" calls from the crowd, An Cafe returned on stage to perform two more numbers, ending with "Smile Ichiban." The band took their time thanking the Cafekkos and promised to be back. The show brought a true sense of unity between the band and the fans, and An Cafe will continue on with their tour and put more smiles on Cafekko’s faces around the world.