Interview with HANGRY&ANGRY at Sakura-Con

interview - 05.02.2009 20:01

JaME got to know the duo after their first overseas performance.

Based off the original characters designed by GASHICON, duo HANGRY&ANGRY made their first US performance at Sakura-Con in Seattle. On the last day of the convention, JaME was given the chance to chat with the pair.

Thank you for meeting with us. Could you please introduce yourselves?

ANGRY: Thank you, too!

Is this your first time visiting America?

ANGRY: As HANGRY&ANGRY, this is our first time in America, but as normal visitors, we’ve been here before.
HANGRY: I’ve been to Florida. You’ve been to Hawaii…
ANGRY: And I’ve been to Los Angeles.

Is there anything you’d like to see while you’re here?

ANGRY: We want to see the flying fish! (laughs)
HANGRY: The Space Needle, too! We haven’t done it yet.

What were your impressions of yesterday’s show?

HANGRY: The best!
ANGRY: Very fun. It was very exciting!

Was it what you expected?

HANGRY: (shakes head) Not at all!
ANGRY: We didn’t think that many people would show up! (laughs) Like, what if only three people would show up? What will we do? We were so worried about it. We never expected that people would enjoy our concert that much!

How was the onstage birthday surprise for HANGRY?

HANGRY: Ah! (laughs) It was a really big surprise, I thought “ehh, what’s this?!”
ANGRY: We had so many meetings on how it would go, it was a super top secret mission!
HANGRY: They definitely tricked me really well! (laughs)
ANGRY: Mission accomplished! (laughs)

How did HANGRY&ANGRY come to life as a band?

HANGRY&ANGRY: The creator GASHICON made the characters. Original HANGRY&ANGRY were bad girls, so they damaged the earth. HANGRY&ANGRY of the future were born and we were living in the planet H44 Star Nebula until we decided to come to earth by the time ship named LOVE MACHINE. Then, h.NAOTO decided to put his idea for the clothing and fashion into a collaboration and asked us to perform, that’s our character story. The old nature from the original HANGRY&ANGRY’s time has been destroyed, and now we’re here to save the earth from global warming, that’s our characters’ mission.

Were you fans of h.NAOTO’s designs before the band’s start?

HANGRY: Even before the band started, we thought the style was so cool!

Does GASHICON or h.NAOTO design your outfits?

ANGRY: h.NAOTO made the original outfits we wear in Kill Me Kiss Me for us. The outfits we’re wearing right now, h.NAOTO had already purposely designed and arranged them for us: HANGRY with pink, and me with blue. h.NAOTO collaborates with us to design the outfits.

While your music has a very pop-rock feel, your fashion style leans more towards visual kei. Was this intentional to help bring gurokawa to life?

HANGRY: This is our first time at Sakura-Con, and there are a lot of cosplayers here. If we are the signature for gurokawa… (laughs) That’s the best match - we’re proud to be the head of gurokawa. If anyone wants to cosplay HANGRY&ANGRY, that’s great! That’s our dream! (laughs)

How long does it take you to get fully ready?

HANGRY&ANGRY: One hour each.

Is it hard to keep your hair styled up like that?

ANGRY: It’s itchy! (laughs) It’s pulling so hard!
HANGRY: ANGRY wears a wig, so it’s really itchy, but I have lots of hairspray (both mimic using hairspray), so it’s really hard to take down!
ANGRY: For the makeup, it’s easy to put on, but difficult to take off. It takes a long time!

Why did the two of you decide to adopt the characters HANGRY&ANGRY?

ANGRY: It’s pretty easy, (laughs) it was a perfect match! ANGRY is more girlish and HANGRY is more punkish and cool.

How did you choose who would be HANGRY and who would be ANGRY?

ANGRY: It was very natural, we didn’t realize that until you asked right now. (laughs) As soon as we saw the picture, it was like, okay! I’m ANGRY, she’s HANGRY. We didn’t even discuss it! We didn’t realize that. (laughs)
HANGRY: (laughs) It was a very natural process.

Could you tell us something unique about each other?

HANGRY: ANGRY is so easy to understand. When she’s so excited, (smiles) okay, she’s up! When she’s down (scowls and grunts) okay, she’s down! (laughs)
ANGRY: (laughs)
HANGRY: It’s fun to watch, though! (laughs)
ANGRY: A unique thing about HANGRY… I’ve been spending time with her for probably the last ten years. One thing that she’s never changed is that she likes eggs. (laughs)
HANGRY: (laughs)

HANGRY&ANGRY’s mission is to save the earth from global warming. Is this message present in your songs, or is it more of an undertone?

HANGRY: We didn’t really want to combine one concept into everything. Music is music, and hopefully when we sing our songs, it’ll impact the world, but it doesn’t have to have our mission in the lyrics.
ANGRY:We are not the message or statement ourselves, our characters’ concepts are. The music is a completely different thing.

While quickly gaining popularity overseas, how do you feel about the language barrier presented for non-native speaking listeners?

ANGRY: Well, we never really thought that there is a language barrier in music, but every time we come to other countries, I definitely think, okay, I wish I could speak more English to communicate with people.

In the Kill Me Kiss Me PV, you both were seen playing the guitar. Have you been studying the guitar, or was that just for the PV?

HANGRY: We’re still practicing!
ANGRY: When we did the PV, it was just a performance, but we are practicing!

IZAM produced the PV. What was that experience like?

HANGRY: We performed everything on the green screen. We didn’t really know how it goes, we just did our part and were pretty pleased with the result!
ANGRY: IZAM taught us how to move, and that was a really good experience. We never had experience being this close (demonstrates by moving close to HANGRY) so I didn’t know how that would feel, but it was very natural and fun! Also, the hairstyle we had is very pointy, so when we got close, we poked each other - “ow, ow!” (laughs) That was the biggest episode.

Oricon gave you your own weblog, how’d that come about?

HANGRY: We definitely wanted people to know HANGRY&ANGRY more, so we decided to start a video blog.

What kind of challenges did you face while you were recording the songs on Kill Me Kiss Me?

ANGRY: The English!
HANGRY: Yeah, the English.
ANGRY: The English part is challenging, and we learned it with the rhythm using furigana and katakana. It’s not only speaking English, we had to go by rhythm, too. We practiced so many times, the two of us have to sing it on the right timing.
HANGRY: It was challenging!
ANGRY: (saying the English lyrics) “Baby tell you honey I just wanna” (laughs) It was difficult. Also, in Sadistic Dance, there’s the word ‘Bible.' In Japanese it’s ‘baiburu,' but singing it in English, it sounded like ‘baibol,’ so it was all about timing. (laughs) It was difficult. (in English) Not easy! Angelia also has a high note that was hard to hit.

Speaking of Angelia, who are you singing about?

HANGRY: There is a girl called Angelia.
ANGRY: But it is not us, we’re singing about a girl called Angelia.

Is there a song in particular you feel you can best relate to?

HANGRY: (thinks for a moment) GIZA GIZA.The lyrics are about not normally showing weakness, but throughout the song, it comes out that it’s okay to show my weakness. It’s very close to my own real life. I don’t show my weakness, but it’s okay to sing that way.
ANGRY: In Romantic ni Violence, I relate to the chorus part, it’s a really positive part that I can relate with.

The live you held on January 23 at Shibuya eggman sold out well before the show. How was the live?

HANGRY: We had never performed in a live house before, that was our first experience. The audience was right there, so close! (laughs)
ANGRY: HANGRY was so excited to run as far as possible to the front to interact with the audience, but I was kind of scared, so I kept going back and back and back! (laughs)

How did you prepare yourselves for it?

HANGRY: I was so excited, I wanted to stage dive, but the staff was so scared and told me to never dive into the audience, so I had to tell myself “I cannot dive, do not dive!” (laughs) That was a challenge for me!

Within the first four days of your MySpace page’s opening, it had received over 100,000 views. What was your initial reaction when you heard the news?

HANGRY: “Ehh?!”
ANGRY: “Is this real?” That was the first reaction. Especially with the Internet, it’s really hard to know that - is this real or what? So we thought it was just a number, but it’s really an amazing thing!
HANGRY: We were overwhelmed!

Do you have any future plans that you could tell us about?

HANGRY: We would definitely like to go all over the world and do live shows. This is our first time in the US performing in front of American fans. Maybe next, Europe? I don’t know, but I’d really like to go to as many places as possible to perform. Also, our album is going to be released in the fall!

That includes the new song, Sadistic Dance, that you played last night?


Lastly, please give a message to your fans,

ANGRY: It’s not only music, it’s fashion and character. There’s so many challenges we’d like to take on in the future, so please support us and see what we’re up to because we’ll always keep challenging ourselves!

Thank you!

HANGRY&ANGRY: Thank you!

JaME would like to thank Yaz Noya, Lynx International, Sakura-Con, JapanFiles and HANGRY&ANGRY for making this interview possible.
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