A funky and energizing Japanese girl band trio, TsuShiMaMiRe, is embarking on a North American tour set to kick-start on October 27th, 2010. Together since 1999 while they were in college, they started touring in the U.S. in 2004 and are now releasing a second full-length album that they will be bringing your way, Sex On The Beach! Many of their fans know them for their collaboration with Cartoon Network’s popular television series, Powerpuff Girls on their mini album, Six Mix Girls. They are also known for their uniqueness and crazy originality!!! Their sound has been described as being influenced by punk and even jazz, and although they say their genre is ROCK – they want you to decide for yourself!
“I am Mari. I am vocal and guitar of TsuShiMaMiRe. These are my answers. I hope these comments make someone happy.” - Mari
How does it feel to be one of few Japanese bands touring in North America?
We are very lucky to play in North America.
There are many Japanese bands jealous of us, maybe.
Many rock bands in Japan said to us “How do you do touring in the U.S.?”
I just respond, “Just take specific actions for U.S. tours”.
And U.S. tours make our lives and our music deeper and more free.
I’m a very bad English speaker.
So sometimes I cannot tell my feeling for American people.
That’s too bad.
But I have music!
And I have a big smile.
So I have many friends in the U.S. now.
It’s a very important thing of my life.
And I’m sure that American people love our music!
We did over 200 shows from 2004 to 2010 in the U.S.
I always feel much energy from our audience.
Every audience said to us “YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!”
I hope our music gives them much energy.
So it’s very natural thing that we are on tour in North America.
I always feel this is our home town in the world.
And I love American foods, like hamburgers, sandwiches, and burritos and salad. Every foods are biggest I’ve ever seen!
Anyway! I think it’s not a special thing that we are on tour in U.S. Of course, our first tour was our big challenge. But now, it’s a very natural thing we have shows in U.S. We need American feeling, and American people also need our music.
Are you surprised at your success? Or did you always expect to make it this far?
Yes, and Yes!!!
I think both answers are “Yes.”
Someone says to me, “Your dream came true!!”
I think so but…I think my dream is growing up along with me.
So, I want to do more and more things.
And I always love my situation where I am in right now.
Every time is very special.
And I think not so good things could be good things for my future.
I love myself.
I love imperfect success.
It happens everyday!!!
Your music is very influenced by punk and jazz. What were some of the bands that influenced you?
Punk and Jazz!?
Wow, it was the first time to hear that explanation for our music!
We used to copy “Blankey Jet City”, in 1999-2001.
They are a Japanese 3 piece rock band.
Please check it out!
We love many types of music.
Especially, our bassist Yayoi loves Classical music.
And our drummer Mizue is good at piano and Japanese banjo (Shami-sen).
And I love Japanese classical children’s songs.
And also, we like Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Yayoi and Mizue like Rage against the Machine, and I love Bob Dylan and David Bowie.
Our motto is freedom and tight.
We have no genre.
We just play what we wanna do by ourselves!
Today, genres are not as cut and dry as they use to be. What genre would you say TsuShiMaMiRe is?
We are a ROCK band.
We are PASSION band ENERGY LOVE FUNNY
Is it important thing?
I don’t know what we are. You decide!!!
Does it ever get stressful touring so far away from home? What do you when you’re home sick?
Not so much.
But I eat white steam rice and Umeboshi (Japanese sour plums).
And I drink miso soup and green tea.
It makes me feel good.
Food is very important!!!
And I email my family and friends.
There are very exciting days in U.S. tours.
My band members and staff are so nice and are like a family.
So, I didn’t feel mad.
That’s so nice.
Oh, 2 or 3 years ago, we went to Niagara Falls during our tour.
And we took a boat and were showered by Niagara Falls.
GOT WET SO MUCH!!!
But it’s very good in order to reduce stress!
Please try it!!!
What inspires your music and lyrics?
And we make a story in each song.
It ‘s based on “Momo-Taro”, Japanese old folk story about a boy who were born from the Peach!!! This song is my original story of ”Momo-Daro”.
It’s very similar but very interesting story.
I tell you “How to cook Chicken Sandwitch” and “how to date with a boyfriend.”
Every song has a very special story!!! Please check our new album!!!
I don’t wanna tell a lie and I wanna sing our desire.
Sometimes it is anger, pleasure. It changes to various shapes.
And I love pronunciation of Japanese words.
So, my lyrics are almost Japanese.
Sometimes I use tongue twister.
That’s so fun to sing!
I think funny things and serious things are very important for great music.
I wanna make you guys happy.
Please enjoy our music!!!
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with over 30,000 people committing suicide each year. Although the population in Japan is roughly half the population in the U.S., the number of suicides is the same. What are your thoughts on this national mental health crisis in Japan? And what would you want to say to someone who is thinking of committing suicide?
(Mari answered only this question in Japanese which was translated to English by a third person)
Our live shows are like giving away our joy of being alive, so it would be great if you see our shows and think committing suicide is ridiculous.
I have a friend who slits her wrist. There isn’t anything much I can do for her but I can tell her that there is great and fun music like ours!
I cannot force our way of life but I always hope that people who come see our shows and listen to our music could live their life happily.
Do you know Suicide Girls? I am sure that after seeing their dance show and website, you would think committing suicide is ridiculous! We did the US tour with them and they were so cool, crazy, attractive, and really enjoying their lives.
I learned the word of “Suicide” from David Bowie’s song, “Rock’n roll Suicide”, which always shakes my soul when I hear that song.
There are many things more interesting than committing suicide! Let’s live it up together!
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
Take specific actions. Do not work too hard.
What’s one thing that people might not know about TsuShiMaMiRe that you want them to know?
We are so energetic Japanese girl band and coming see our shows blows your stress away and you will feel great.
Any words to live by?
Thank you so much!!!