Interview with HANGRY&ANGRY

interview - 02.04.2011 19:01

A few days after their showcase at Chibi Japan Expo in France, JaME caught up with the Japanese duo in a hotel in Germany.

Brainchildren of popular Japanese designer h.NAOTO, HANGRY&ANGRY have dazzled Asian and American audiences alike with their blend of punk rock and techno pop. After their showcase at Chibi Japan Expo in France, they took a few moments to sit down with us and talk about their music, their fashion and life on the road.

Hello, could you introduce yourselves to those who don’t know you?

HANGRY: I’m HANGRY, a punker girl who seems really bad on the outside but is actually quite sensitive on the inside.
ANGRY: I’m ANGRY, a gothic lolita that seems cute and cuddly, but actually has quite an attitude!

Can you describe each other?

HANGRY: What I like about ANGRY is that she’s easy to read. We know when she’s hungry, when she’s sleepy, etc. Unfortunately, that can actually make her quite angry, so it isn’t fun for long!
ANGRY: I like HANGRY’s “responsible adult” side. Although she does eat a lot of eggs, which is pretty weird!

What’s it like to be together again after having been a part of Morning Musume。?

HANGRY: I feel we’re together in this group because of the fact that we’ve known each other for 10 years and we’ve worked together before. That and we fit the characters we’re playing well.

How did HANGRY&ANGRY come to be?

HANGRY: HANGRY&ANGRY was born from a collaboration between fashion designer h.NAOTO and illustrator Gashicon.

Why was your first album entitled Sadistic Dance?

ANGRY: When we visited Seattle, we already had the song entitled Sadistic Dance. Others followed but Sadistic Dance had the most impact. That’s why it was chosen as the album title.

What’s your favorite song on the album?

HANGRY: Sadistic Dance! It’s an incredibly stimulating song that revs you up as you listen to it!
ANGRY: The Peace! is my favorite. I used to sing it in Morning Musume。 and being able to sing it in a different context is really fun.

Speaking of which, why did you choose to revisit that specific Morning Musume。 song and not another?

HANGRY: While in Seattle, we wanted to do something different. We decided to revisit that song and try to perform it in a different manner. We then thought it would be great to put it on the album.

Plan on revisiting other songs?

HANGRY: If we get an opportunity to, yeah, it would be great!

How would you describe the music on Sadistic Dance?

HANGRY: Simply put: very stimulating, it has a rhythm that doesn’t stop.
ANGRY: And it’s “sadistic,” obviously.

Its sound is quite electronic compared to your mini-allbum. Why is that?

HANGRY: That’s thanks to DJ Dan, a.k.a Daniel Merlot, who gave our songs a whole new dimension.
ANGRY: HANGRY&ANGRY is a recent group; we want to explore various styles of rock music.

Do you know what kind of rock music you want to explore in the future?

ANGRY: We’re really interested in exploring, but since we don’t compose our own music, it's something we’ll discuss with the producer.

How does it feel to know your album is being released in Europe, America and Asia?

HANGRY: We’re ecstatic; we can communicate with more people than ever before and quickly too!

What are some of your musical influences?

HANGRY: Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Madonna.
ANGRY: Lots of J-pop, old and new. However, music evolves quite rapidly, so I try and follow all the recent hits too. I’m listening to Lady Gaga a lot at the moment, for example.

If you could transmit only one message through your music, what would it be?

ANGRY: We’d like to touch as many people as possible with our universe, in order to learn more about the little dark place that resides in each and everyone of us.

The video for TOP SECRET is quite different compared to your previous one. How was the shoot?

HANGRY: It was great because we got to shoot in various locations like a game center, a luxury suite, a limousine interior, etc.

Is another video planned for the album?

HANGRY: Not at the moment, but one can hope!

We’d like to know more about your style, your fashion. What’s it like to work with h.NAOTO?

ANGRY: h.NAOTO’s costumes are based on the characters of HANGRY&ANGRY. As actual living beings, we collaborate with him by providing ideas and suggestions.

You were at Chibi Japan Expo not too long ago. What surprised you during the event?

HANGRY: The fact that so many people already know our songs. That and how the crowd reacted to different songs as compared to Americans. For example, the song Lady Madonna had a bigger impact here.

Any idea why that song seemed to speak to Europeans more?

HANGRY: Uh.... possibly because it talks about Paris? I don’t know! (laughs)
ANGRY: In Seattle, it was mostly girls in the crowd. The French crowd, surprisingly, was more half and half.

How does it feel to know that fans flew from Japan, the USA, etc. to come and see you play in France?

HANGRY: We’re really happy, of course.
ANGRY: I was wondering about that, actually. I was sure I recognized some people from the Seattle crowd!

On the latest album’s cover, it says "HANGRY&ANGRY F." What does the "F" stand for?
HANGRY&ANGRY: Future, Fusion and Fashion!

Did you go sightseeing in Paris and Munich? What did you see?

HANGRY: The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées and the Marais.
ANGRY: I went to the Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris and a luxury brand’s boutique. (laughs)
HANGRY: In Munich, we loved the Marine Platz and City Hall.
ANGRY: The buildings in general were quite impressive!
HANGRY: I sometimes asked myself how some of the buildings were constructed with such designs.

Which French artists do you enjoy?

HANGRY: Jane Birkin. She isn’t French, but she sings in French! (laughs)
ANGRY: I like France Gall.

A last message for JaME readers?

HANGRY: It was our first time in France and I really loved the people, the architecture, the food, the wine, etc. The only thing missing is a return visit from us!
ANGRY: Even though we’ve only been active for a little while, we really want to continue challenging ourselves so we can return to Europe!

JaME thanks HANGRY&ANGRY, Fabrice for his translation and Up-Front.
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