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Interview Exclusive

Interview with GANG PARADE

31/07/2019 2019-07-31 16:35:00 JaME 408 views Author: Ashki, Noémie Translator: Kai Okudara, Ryan Wong Copyeditor: Silverfaye

JaME interviews idol group GANG PARADE, which had recently signed to Warner Music Japan.


© 2019 GANG PARADE official.

JaME had the chance to meet GANG PARADE before the group’s performance at YATSUI FESTIVAL! and the concert for the 20th anniversary of the live venue Shinjuku Loft Kabuki-cho. It was an opportunity to look upon the group's career with their transition to major label Warner Music Japan and the arrival of a new member within the formation.

First of all, please introduce yourselves.

YUMENOYUA: I’m YUMENOYUA, nice to meet you! I really love music, and I currently share my thoughts about it on the radio and in a written column. My red hair is my trademark, and so is my bed hair.

YUI GA DOCKSON: (laughs) You really wanted to add that in, huh!

YUMENOYUA: Nice to meet you!

KAMIYASAKI: I’m KAMIYASAKI! I’m the only remaining member in GANG PARADE from when it was Pla2me. In GANG PARADE, I primarily work on creating the dance choreography for our songs. Nice to meet you!

COCO PARTIN COCO: I’m COCO PARTIN COCO! I’m from Nagoya City! Two and a half years ago, I joined GANG PARADE. I loved travelling abroad.  

GANG PARADE: Loved?

COCO PARTIN COCO: I can’t really travel overseas due to work but nonetheless I love it. Nice to meet you!

TSUKINOUSAGI: I’m TSUKINOUSAGI! About a year ago I joined GANG PARADE along with HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN. My name is the same as the “Sailor Moon” protagonist’s, but the intonation is slightly different. I changed it to sound like “Tsuki no Usagi”. You can’t tell from how it’s spelt though (laughs). My English is pretty bad, but I’ll try my best to get better at it!

YAMAMACHIMIKI: I’m YAMAMACHIMIKI, nice to meet you! My hair has green highlights, and my style of singing is rather distinctive. Playing the guitar is also a hobby of mine. I love Disney a lot, and I hope to visit every single Disneyland in the world one day! Nice to meet you!

CAN GP MAIKA: I’m CAN GP MAIKA! I really love dancing, and I work together with KAMIYASAKI on GANG PARADE’s dance choreography. Quite a long while ago, I went to New York to learn dancing at the Broadway Dance Center, for just a little bit. I love dancing a lot! Nice to meet you!

YUI GA DOCKSON: Hi, I’m YUI GA DOCKSON! A food I love is ramen, and I publish a weekly column introducing different types of ramen! A foreign food I would like to try is something with macaroni and cheese in it. I’d really want to try that! Nice to meet you!

TERASHIMAYUKA: I’m TERASHIMAYUKA. I love watching movies, and I too write a weekly column on different movies. When I was in middle school, just for a short period of time, I did a study exchange in Seattle. I participated in things like homestays and camps, experiencing and learning more about American culture with other people. I’ve gone on many family holidays overseas, so I love foreign cultures a lot! Nice to meet you!

HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN: Hello, I’m HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN! My hobbies are going out for walks and… sleeping. And, last week or two weeks ago, I will go by myself to a fish pond and fish for about an hour before walking back.

GANG PARADE: (laugh) Will go? (sarcastically) Your Japanese is really good, huh?

HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN: I’ve only been abroad once, but I’m interested in travelling abroad. Nice to meet you!     

Why did you change the group’s name to "GANG PARADE"?

GANG PARADE: Well, GANG PARADE was originally known as POP. And the biggest reason we changed our name was to make our group easier to find using Twitter’s search engine. We felt that it would be good to have a name that wouldn’t overlap with other words, so we chose “GANG PARADE”. We’d decided on “GANG” already. At first our name was the other way around, “PARADE GANG”. We definitely wanted “P” in our name, and our members at the time kept giving suggestions for possible words one by one, and “PARADE” probably came up so we decided to combine it with “GANG”. We wanted a catchy name. We also wanted a name that would be recognized overseas.

COCO PARTIN COCO: (laughs) That’s true.

What song would you recommend to those who don't know about GANG PARADE? I personally recommend Plastic 2 Mercy and Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky.     

GANG PARADE: Woah! (cheering) That really makes us happy!

CAN GP MAIKA: One of our songs is about wanting to eat toro (fatty tuna), ikura (salmon roe) and uni (sea urchin). Sushi is a unique part of Japanese cuisine, so we decided to make a song about it. With dance moves of us molding sushi and even pretending to be sushi, as well as us fervently repeating the song lyrics “I want to eat toro, ikura and uni!”, it’s a song that I would like people, especially those outside Japan in the rest of the world to hear!


YUMENOYUA
: I wrote a song entitled RATESHOW, and it has dance choreography and a melody that are rather theatrical. I personally liked it a lot, and I would like it if you could give it a listen!  


HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN
: We have a song called Yoru Kurai Mu, in which I composed the melody while YUMENOYUA wrote the lyrics. There was a period in Japanese history called the Edo Period, some thousands of millions of years ago.

GANG PARADE: (laugh) That long ago!?  

HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN: It’s a song that came about as I was imagining that era and people wearing traditional clothing such as kimono.


YUI GA DOCKSON
: My song recommendation is Lai le! When you hear it, images of things like kung fu or Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, come to mind, and I think it’s a song that people from abroad listening to us for the first time will find fun and enjoyable! The filming of the music video was also the first time GANG PARADE went abroad together, to Taiwan!   


KAMIYASAKI
: I would definitely like you to listen to BRAND NEW PARADE, the first song released under our new record label. Well, what I said earlier was one reason, but another reason is that the music video was directed by Show Yanagisawa, who has had a hand in shooting advertisements for Cup Noodles (Nissin), and he is a director who is able to create beautiful animations and more. The music video for this song also has some elements of animation and CGI that I think you might find enjoyable, so I hope that you’ll listen to this song together with the music video!


TSUKINOUSAGI
: We have a song called CAN’T STOP, and during its hook, there’s a part where we (GANG PARADE) all hold hands together. During many of our live concerts, the audience also held hands with the people next to them, and I really love the scene of everyone swaying from side to side. I would like to spread this to the rest of the world. And the whole world is such a huge scale, but if there were a place large enough, I would really love to see everyone doing this with one another.

(NARUHAWORLD arrives for the interview.)

Please introduce yourself!

YUI GA DOCKSON: My name is!  

GANG PARADE: Doing it in English is fine, so is Japanese, even French.

COCO PARTIN COCO: I studied French at my university. That’s it. That’s it.

NARUHAWORLD: My name is NARUHAWORLD. Nice to meet you!

“BODY & 9 SOUL” has now become “BODY & 10 SOUL”. How do you see this as new beginning for a “Brand New Parade”?

GANG PARADE: Hmm… since there’s so many of us it’s kind of hard to decide who should speak first, sorry! Well, we’ve become a 10-member group…

COCO PARTIN COCO: We've become a considerably big group with 10 members, kind of like a big family! While there are many of us now, instead of being seen as disconnected and all over the place, we’re all bonded together as one group. There may be many members, but that is also our appeal as GANG PARADE. All 10 of us, with all 10 of our souls, facing the rest of the world. Pow, pow! Just like that, we’ll make our breakthrough! (laughs)

Anyone else have any interesting responses?

GANG PARADE: (laughs)

KAMIYASAKI: When we changed our group name to GANG PARADE, there were only five of us. (laughs) I never imagined that we would end up with so many members, and thinking about things like: “Where exactly is the parade?” being said to us made me realize that surely, a “parade” can only exist when there are many people, and since then the number of our fans have increased, and with their support we built GANG PARADE up together, and then it really became like a parade, and what we’ve now become is what we had always envisioned and worked towards, since back then. And as mentioned earlier, we made our major debut with all ten of us—a brand new parade. With this as a new beginning, we hope to become more and more united as a group. NARUHAWORLD, too, has only just joined us, and she’s still unsure and nervous about many things, but with her support, I’m sure we’ll go far!  

Could the newest member, NARUHAWORLD, please answer the previous question?

NARUHAWORLD: I’ve only just joined GANG PARADE, and there are still many things that I am unfamiliar with, but everyone has been really kind to me… I think it would be great if the 10 of us can be united as one group, and work together on our activities moving forward!

The new era of Japan, named “Reiwa”, has just begun. Let's consider this for a moment, and similarly apply this concept to GANG PARADE—what would be a new word to define the group?

HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN: The most appropriate kanji to describe our group this year? Or word? I think the word that best describes our group is… “Reiwa”. It’ll be read as: “Reiwa = GANG PARADE”. This is our era, and for us, I feel like “Reiwa” captures the notion of “Let’s do it!” So this year, the word that describes us is-

COCO PARTIN COCO: (laughs) The word that represents our group is “this year”?

HARUNA BAD CHIIIIN: “Reiwa = GANG PARADE.

GANG PARADE will perform in a musical, Playhouse, which starts its run from the 25th of August at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. How did you feel when you first found out about your debut in this musical?

GANG PARADE: We were shocked. Us doing a… musical? Really!?  

YUI GA DOCKSON: “A big surprise… coming!” We were thrilled! Really, really thrilled! I’ve always loved musicals since I was a kid, going to watch them every now and then. I also love watching musical films, and for us to have the chance to stand on the stage this time around makes me really happy. We’ll work hard to make our Broadway show a reality (laughs).

KAMIYASAKI, it was announced on the 20th of April that you will be releasing a solo song. Is there anything you would like to convey through this release?

KAMIYASAKI: The chance to sing that song solo, well, for the first or the last time, I don't know.

COCO PARTIN COCO: (laughs) You don’t really get chances like this often.

KAMIYASAKI: It’s a really rare case (laughs); a special song, I feel. Something I’m really grateful for is the huge amount of support I receive from fans overseas through SNS on a daily basis, and also the fans from afar that support GANG PARADE, with all of their love calls from across the seas, not just the fans in Japan. As it stands, I think that it’s a song that will bring comfort to people who feel down or troubled by things. I really hope that everyone, especially those who are feeling disheartened or heartbroken, would give it a listen!

Could you tell us a bit about THE MUSIC AND THE GAME CREATES MAGIC, the new and limited EP you just released on the 19th of June?

TERASHIMAYUKA: It came about in a tie-up between our group and a video game company, and we made four songs for the game. All of us were involved in creating the songs; I worked on writing the lyrics for the theme song and another song. I felt like they ended up rather different from the songs I would usually write or the dancing that I would choreograph. For example, I had to use many words that I didn’t exactly understand or know how to use for the song lyrics, but that was also interesting, and the dance choreography, well, as long as there are groovy songs, the dances can be something fun that anyone could learn, which would then be something many people can enjoy.

Anyone else have anything to add?  

GANG PARADE: Well, it was the first time NARUHAWORLD was involved in making a song together with us, so…

GANG PARADE: (to NARUHAWORLD) You can do it! Which is your favorite song out of the four we made?

NARUHAWORLD: I think all of them are cool, and I found it interesting to help out with… (thinks)

YUI GA DOCKSON: (whispers to NARUHAWORLD) Say you recommend all four of the songs!

NARUHAWORLD: I recommend… all of them?  

GANG PARADE: (laughs)

If you were to perform abroad, where would you like to do so?

GANG PARADE: There are so many places! Many of them!

TERASHIMAYUKA: Where’s ORiYON? In France? Well then, France! They’re a “dance copy unit”, a group that performs songs from idol groups like ours, and they’re amazingly good at their dance choreography, and even all the way to their singing! There are many of such talented “dance copy units” in France, and we’ve seen quite a lot of videos of their performances! I would love to go to France and meet them!

I know them.  

GANG PARADE: Woah! Really?

To conclude this interview, what would you like to say to our readers?

COCO PARTIN COCO: Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved things from overseas, like listening to music from foreign artists, and I’ve also traveled abroad before. Japanese idol culture is seen as really niche by the rest of the world; idol culture doesn’t really exist much elsewhere in the world. And the fans that choose to come and see us, out of all of the original Japanese idol groups that exist, perform at our live concerts or connect with us through SNS—I recognize them, and I would really like to go and meet them one day! By crossing the seas, or well, the internet and the like exist now, so through them, I hope we can make ourselves known to people all across the world, regardless of the country or place, and that we can make music that everyone will enjoy. Thank you for your support!

TSUKINOUSAGI: Recently, there’ve been quite a lot of fans coming to our live performances, and there are also many idols in Japan, such as cute, or cool ones that they could support instead of us. But still, there are so many fans that tell us how we make them feel happy, so I really wish that we would become an idol group that can spread happiness not just across Japan, but also to the rest of the world.

We’re done!

GANG PARADE: Thank you very for your time!

JaME would like to thank GANG PARADE and Warner Music Japan for this interview opportunity.

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