Interview Matenrou Opera AUSA 2011

JRR: First of all would you mind introducing yourselves?
–Sono: I’m Sono on vocals.

Anzi: I’m Anzi on guitar.

–Ayame: I’m Ayame on keyboard.

–Yo: I’m Yo on bass.

–Yu: I’m Yu on drums.

JRR: Congratulations on making your U.S. debut. Did you have any expectations for the show and did it meet your expectations?
–Sono: We’ve actually toured in Europe and Korea before, and we knew that overseas fans are more passionate, but yesterday’s reactions surpassed that.

JRR: Is there a most memorable moment of the convention?

–Ayame: There are a lot of cosplayers around and the fact that I was able to take pictures with people who are cosplaying characters that I like, specifically characters from Japanese anime.
–Anzi: With the signings, Q&A and all the events that happened through out the weekend, the fact that we were able to interact with our fans and how the fan base has expanded is really great.
–Sono: Because it’s an anime convention, I’m wearing making up and just walking around but somehow I just blend in so it’s a really strange feeling to be able to do that.
–Yu: I’m not too familiar with anime but coming here and seeing that there’s a lot of cosplayers from Japanese anime and such I felt the power of how much it’s going into other cultures and influencing others.
–Yo: There are a lot of cosplayers in Japan too but, I felt that the American cosplayers surpass them.  This is because a lot of anime characters who have revealing costumes and it’s pretty borderline.  In Japan they wouldn’t try to get to that point, but here the cosplayers try to reach that point so nice job, it’s a wonderful challenge.  Our manager was also really happy about this.  (everybody laughs)
–Anzi: He doesn’t know we’re mentioning him in here.

Were you surprised by any questions in the Q&A?
–Ayame: Nothing really stood out.
–Yu: In Japan, fans would never ask questions such as what would you be doing if you weren’t a musician, so that was something that was really fresh to us.

JRR: AUSA partnered with Make a Wish Foundation to make a girl’s dream come true and she wanted to meet you guys, so I wanted to know what that was like for you.
–Sono: She was very happy to meet us, and also the family was very happy; we met them right before the show but seeing her and actually being able to talk to her made us feel we need to give her a good time at the show and it fired us up more.

Matenrou Opera went major last year, has the band’s sound or direction changed since then?
–Anzi: There’s no really huge significant change in terms of style, but we’re working a lot harder to expand to express the name of the band.  I personally think we are motivated to pursue the sound.

Of all the singles and albums you’ve released so far, do you have a favorite and why?
–Sono: Tenjou e no Kakehashi wo.  It’s a ballad, that I feel personally expresses the world that the band is trying to convey.  Also the northern providence, I’m from Hokkaido, which is an area that gets a lot of snow, and singing that song, I can imagine the snowy white fields, so that’s why it’s my favorite.
–Yu: There’s a lot of different songs that I like but as a piece, the most recent, Otoshiana no Soko wa Konna Sekai is what expresses Matenrou Opera as a whole from their name also, so I really like that one.
–Yo: There’s a song called Kagayakeru Sekai, and right now I didn’t really actually think of a song, but then I thought of what song do I want to listen to, and I thought of that one.
–Ayame: Ruriiro de Egaku Niji.  This is the first song that we did when we changed the members and became the five people that we are now, so I had only known them for a few months and we were already going ahead and starting to record the song and this song is what made me feel that this is going to be a good band and make me do the best for them.
–Anzi: My favorite is Cocoon, it’s the last song in the main set we performed yesterday, and I like it because it gives us a chance to get closer to the audience and the fans.  I would like to try doing it on a huge arena or stage.

Which bands did you look up to when you were younger or which ones do you look up to today do you think influence you?
–Sono: Yoshiki from X Japan. His visuals and his music have influenced me the most.
–Ayame: Versailles. Their lives are so beautiful and they have such a beautiful presence, and I want to be able to become that beautiful on stage.
–Anzi: Yngwie Malmsteen, a guitarist.
–Yo: Sound wise and play is Dream Theater but band as a whole, music content wise, I’ve like Bon Jovi since I was younger.
–Yu: If I need to single out a person, it’s Lars from Metallica, he really drums with his face, soul and emotions.

Can you explain the concept behind your latest single?
–Sono: The three songs are not connected in concept because it’s not a concept album, but all put together it’s three songs that strongly described the band name Matenrou Opera.

Message to fans?
–Sono: We’re very happy to be able to come to America this time around, and the audience was a lot more passionate than we imagined.  We feel that the audience has  led a path for us.  Next year we’re releasing an album so we would like to come back with that.  Please wait for us.

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