As the headlining Jrock act for the ROCKSTAR Taste of Chaos tour, MUCC’s been getting plenty of attention. We sat TATSURO down at the Camden show to see how they’ve been taking it.
JRR: So you’ve been in the States for two weeks, right? How’s it going?
TATSURO: I’m having fun every day! And looking forward to the rest.
JRR: What’s so fun?
TATSURO: Hmm… I guess it’s because every day I become better able to communicate with the crew and the other bands, and I also get to meet more people and make friends. It’s a lot of fun.
JRR: Well, something that wasn’t so fun was that you actually lost your instruments when you got here, right?
TATSURO: Yeah, but we got them back, so it’s okay.
JRR: That’s great! How about the shows? How are they going?
TATSURO: Well, the response has been different at every stop, but there have been times when the response has been warm—but there have also been times when the crowd just kind of watches in the beginning and then gradually warms up to us. It’s really fun and I get excited.
JRR: Were there any places where you got a particularly good response?
TATSURO: There are a lot of places where, when I first say something like, "Yay!" the response is very weak, but towards the end of the set, the audience starts to get into it. One place where they were into it from the start was Chicago.
JRR: For your set, you’re playing a lot of new songs, aren’t you?
TATSURO: About half the songs are ones that are going to be in the new album.
JRR: Why did you decide to play so many new songs?
TATSURO: Well, while we’re on tour here, we have a new album coming out in Japan, so we wanted to play those songs. Also, LIBRA and FUZZ are new singles, so we wanted to play those. I guess, more than songs from the BEST album, we’re playing new songs.
JRR: But the BEST album just went on sale in the US, didn’t it?
TATSURO: Yeah, so we might be changing the set list a bit to include those songs.
JRR: About the BEST album—how did you decide what songs to put on there?
TATSURO: The members talked about it.
JRR: In Japan you released BEST with another album, WORST, so how did you decide which songs went on which album?
TATSURO: For BEST, we mostly included singles or songs that went over well at shows. Pretty much songs that were well received.
JRR: Any chance we’ll see WORST over here in the States?
TATSURO: We don’t have any specific plans, but there’s a chance of it. We just don’t know yet.
JRR: What kind of MUCC are you trying to convey with your new songs?
TATSURO: It’s the most real MUCC. It’s MUCC as we are now. In Japan, we have been playing for a while, but this is how we are now.
JRR: About the current MUCC: what is your new album, SHION, like?
TATSURO: It’s stuff that MUCC hasn’t done before. There are a lot of rhythms and pounding beats. It’s not only about the instruments—there’s a lot of electronic stuff in there. There’s a lot of stuff that’s danceable, there’s a little bit of an ethnic feel, and there’s some metal; it’s all mixed together. I think that it will have a new feel from anything MUCC has done before.
JRR: I think the most strikingly new part is the dance aspect.
TATSURO: Yeah, there are a few songs that have a similar feel to FUZZ.
JRR: Why did you decide to go in that direction?
TATSURO: Hmm… I guess that, when we sat down to discuss what we wanted to do, we said, "We’ve never done anything like this." But, surprisingly, everyone liked that kind of sound, so we decided to try it and it was a lot of fun.
JRR: By “everyone,” do you mean you and the other members?
JRR: For example, what artists do you like?
TATSURO: I don’t know about the other members, but as far as something that I just heard on the radio in the car and really liked—I don’t usually listen to overseas bands, so I didn’t know them—but Dead or Alive. I really liked the melody, and I ended up looking them up on YouTube and thought they were really cool.
JRR: Really! Well, about those overseas bands: right now, you’re touring with several of them. How’s that?
TATSURO: It’s really interesting. I’m learning a lot.
JRR: Are you actually watching the other bands’ shows?
TATSURO: I am.
JRR: I hear that YUKKE played during Atreyu’s set the other day. How did that happen?
TATSURO: Well, we had been able to talk to them a little, and we watched their set. Suddenly, they were just like, "Get out there!" But YUKKE said, "Let me learn the songs first!" So Mark, their bassist, taught YUKKE the bass part and he practiced. Last night, Mark told YUKKE, "You’re playing!" So YUKKE did.
JRR: So you’re doing fan meet & greets and signings at the venue. How are those going?
TATSURO: Those are interesting! Not only meeting Jrock fans, but when people wearing Bullet or Atreyu or Avenged7fold shirts come, I’m really happy.
JRR: Are they coming?
TATSURO: Yeah, they see our show and come to the signing afterwards.
JRR: Are there any bands that have impressed you?
TATSURO: I guess Atreyu; they’re hardcore. Besides that, Avenged7fold has a worldview that they express in their show with the way that they open the set and the fact that they are putting on a show. That’s awesome. Also, Bullet for My Valentine is so metal! Like, Graah! They’re so macho. Even Idiot Pilot—I really like the voice of the bassist/vocalist. He has a really nice voice. I think that there are a lot of interesting things going on during this tour.
JRR: So do you hang out with the overseas bands?
TATSURO: Only a bit, but we hope to be able to do more in the future. We still have a long tour left.
JRR: About that long tour: do you have anything you want to do or anyplace you want to see?
JRR: Are you really going?
TOUR STAFF: We’re going to Disneyland.
TATSURO: I’m going to both!
TOUR STAFF: Really? Good Luck!
JRR: What will you do in Disneyland?
TATSURO: I don’t know. Maybe take a picture with Mickey. (In English) "Mickey, can I take a picture?" (Mimes handing over a camera. )