J-Pop superstars Perfume will be taking their COSMIC EXPLORER TOUR to the US to celebrate the release of their latest album COSMIC EXPLORER. This will be Perfume’s second major tour of the US with stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Hello Asia’s editor Johnny Au spoke with Nocchi, Kashiyuka and A-Chan about their upcoming tour and what their US fans can look forward to. The girls also spoke about their collaborations with OK Go, the choreography for the track “Flash” and why its important for them to bring fun elements to their shows.
As Perfume has completed more international touring, how have you changed as performers?
A-Chan: I’ve actually become stronger. Touring in foreign countries is full of unexpected things and accidents. By overcoming these obstacles with the three of us together we’ve become stronger and became “manly”.
Kashiyuka: By touring in foreign countries if you want to communicate there isn’t a language barrier any longer. We have overcome it. Especially outside of Japan when we are having fun on stage the fans in the audience can see that. So I think its very important to make sure we have fun on stage and we communicate that.
Do you feel you are more natural performing in Japan compared to overseas? Do you feel you need to be extra natural?
Kashiyuka: It’s not just being natural but to be more expressive in certain songs we perform.
Nocchi: The songs our fans in Japan like is different to what our international fans like. We’re starting to find this out as we tour more internationally. So it’s more fun putting together the setlist and tailoring it for certain audiences.
What are you doing differently with the Cosmic Explorer Tour that you have not done previously on your world tours? What should your fans in the US look forward to?
Kashiyuka: The Cosmic Explorer tour is a tour to promote our new album Cosmic Explorer, whereas the previous tour was an individual world tour. This will be the US leg of the album tour that is a continuation from the Japan leg of the tour. I’m really excited to perform all these new songs from Cosmic Explorer live for our American fans.
What was it like to work with OK Go again for the track “I Don’t Understand You”? What was the process like when you worked together and how did you sustain the relationship you had with OK Go?
A-Chan: Perfume has always been huge fans of OK Go and they are a band that has influenced us especially their music videos. We have so much respect for OK Go. When OK Go was in Japan to shoot the music video for “I Won’t Let You Down” we were asked to appear in the video, which was a great honour in itself. When we met OK Go we were struck by how nice they were and in return we asked OK Go to appear in our video for I Don’t Understand You so that’s how it all came about. We were all very thrilled when they agreed! OK Go also came to our last Los Angeles show and asked us if we wanted to do a song together? So when OK Go came back to Japan their lead singer Damian Kulash had all these demos for us to work on so it was all a very natural process. We’re just so happy to be part of the song and to have this continuing working relationship with OK Go.
The choreography for the song “Flash” included some martial arts and tai chi moves. What special training did you have to do to perform the routine?
Nocchi: When we first learnt the routine for “Flash” we did it just like any other choreography we do. But when we started shooting the music video it wasn’t really a dance but like you said it was martial arts. So we started getting muscle aches right away.
A-Chan: Its probably not something you would want to do in heels!
Perfume are seen as style icons of Japan. How has your fashion style changed over the years? Do you have a favourite fashion designer you work with?
A-Chan: For our stage work we have two favourite stylists/designers who we work with. One is Mr Miter and he is very good with technology so he puts in the engineering work on our dresses and he works very well. Another is a stylist Mr Toshio Takeda and he has a very sensitive style that we like.
Kashiyuka: As for brand designer I really like the Japanese designer Mame Kurogouchi and us girls tend to wear her clothes to our fan meetings and events. Mame Kurogouchi’s style is perfect for Japanese women especially the colours and patterns.
Right now the Pokemon Go craze is taking over the world. Since Perfume already work with augmented reality do you see yourself using this technology more?
Nocchi: We’ve been doing a lot of high tech stuff in our career including augmented reality so we are always open minded about working with new technology in the future. We have a team we work with called Rhizomatiks who engineers and creates a lot of the technology you see in our live shows and in our music videos. So I’m not sure what they have in mind for Perfume next. But I’m looking forward to it!
At your last US tour I noticed there was a lot of dancing in the crowd but also a lot of laughing as well when you interacted with fans. Why is it important for Perfume to bring fun elements to their live shows?
A-Chan: Its just us being our natural selves to make people laugh. To be too cool has never been our style from the start and we’ve always wanted to incorporate fun elements in our shows. We’re actually taking English lessons at the moment but we might keep speaking Japanese and be funny on stage this time.
Perfume COSMIC EXPLORER US Tour Dates
August 26 (Friday) – The Wiltern | Los Angeles, CA | Tickets: LiveNation
August 28 (Sunday) – The Warfield | San Francisco, CA | Tickets: AXS
August 31 (Wednesday) – Vic Theatre | Chicago, IL | Tickets: etix
September 3 (Saturday) – Hammerstein Ballroom | New York, NY | Tickets: Ticketmaster
September 4 (Sunday) – Hammerstein Ballroom | New York, NY | Tickets: Ticketmaster