Interview: Japan’s Perfume talk about their latest album Future Pop

Japanese Pop outfit Perfume recently released their 7th studio release Future Pop. The twelve-track album features their most recent hits ‘Tokyo Girl’, ‘Mugen Mirai’ and ‘If You Wanna’.

We caught up with the J-Pop trio to talk about the album, the world tour they just embarked on, and what they think about their fans mimicking their signature dance moves.

Much of the Japanese pop world really takes a lot of inspiration from your music. Especially after you drop a new record. I’m curious though as to where Perfume looks whenever they themselves need something to inspire them musically.

Nocchi: It’s always the producer Nakata who makes our music. So we believe in him so we sort of let him lead in how he wants to approach J-pop.

Future Pop made it to number one electric album on iTunes in 20 countries. With that said, what are your plans moving forward?

A-chan: I couldn’t believe so many people actually listened to our album! We’re still taking in that situation but there’s so many people waiting for us out there. I really wants to go and visit them all and to play for them.

Future Pop is your seventh album. How have you seen Perfume’s music evolve over the past seven albums and what sort of theme are you looking at for this particular album?

Yuka: So this time, we found a new genre of deeper bass music. Our challenge was to put the J-pop lyrics on top of that rhythm. We were on that with our producer Nakata on this album.

What would you say was the most challenging song to record on Future Pop and how did the three of you overcome these challenges?

A-chan: For me it was ‘Fusion’ because at the time of the recording we weren’t even given a lyrics sheet and they were just told to say, “Hey can you say ‘fusion'” with a low voice like you’re in a bad mood. And she doesn’t have a low voice so it was really really hard for her.

Are they obsessed with anything lately such as comedians or food?

Translator: They love bubble milk tea. They’re into that right now. There are a lot of bubble tea shops coming to Japan from abroad, the United States, so they’re ordering bubble tea from different shops everyday when they work. They get it delivered.

I have a question about the music video for Future Pop. I understand there’s going to be screenings of the music video throughout Asia up to the end of September. So I’d like to ask the girls, what should we expect from the music videos for Future Pop, as we know Perfume as a very visual group as well?

Yuka: Music videos from this album are all very different. Especially like, If You Wanna and Tokyo Girl, you might think that those were very signature Perfume videos that are electronic. But Mugen Mirai was shot in Guam and that was a new challenge for them, shooting outside Japan in the nature. And Let Me Know is like looking back to their childhood. So you can enjoy various types of music videos from this album.

Tiny Baby is one of my personal favourites on Future Pop as I feel it catches Japan’s kawaii culture in one wonderful melody. Can you go into the sort of mindset the three of you had when creating this song? What brought out the happiness or the cuteness from within that helped bring this song to life?

Nocchi: The lyrics that Nakata writes is … he’s really good at writing kawaii challenging words in the lyrics. So if you just naturally and happily sing to the melody, it just comes out very happy and cute.

A-chan:  Nakata actually suggested making a video of this song, so he probably really likes it.

I’d like to ask the girls about the Perfume dance contest that they attended a couple of days ago. I want to know what their thoughts are of their fans actually mimicking their dance moves and what do they think of actually the contestants that was on stage this year?

Translator: Yuka says that she’s simply honoured that people are mimicking their dances and it’s a good way for them to know what people like about them. And at the dance contest actually, people were copying them so much that even their facial expressions and it actually kind of embarrassed them a little bit. She was simply very happy.

What can your fans look forward to on obviously their next upcoming world tour? Is there any particular themes or pieces of technology they’re working on that we should be looking forward to?

Translator: A-chan said they’ve been trying lots of different technologies and production, new and old. In the past they’ve been very experimental. But even then they tried taking whatever they’ve been doing, like some of the old stuff versus… and then added some new technologies to make it look new. This time they’ll continue to do that and the songs they’ll probably do, mostly from the album plus all their hits. The production itself will be very stoic. And then she hopes the fans, the audience will be ready to see it.

Future Pop is out now. The group are currently on their world tour. For dates and details head to their official website