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Melt-Banana

Trevor Baker
Trevor Baker 3 June 2007 at 19.19

Apart from being the title of your new album, what is 'Bambi's Dilemma'?
Yasuko: I think Bambi has many dilemmas because of people's stereotype image towards Bambi. People think that Bambi is pure and innocent, but Bambi might be evil or mean. Or Bambi might be crazy. No one can tell. So maybe even if Bambi likes punk music, Bambi feels that Bambi has to listen to children's songs.

How did you feel when Bambi's mother died?
I don't know much about Bambi's mother, but I feel sorry for Bambi.

Would you prefer your music to be described as 'cute' or 'violent'? Why?
As you say, our music has both those faces, and we like both. Whichever is fine with us. We are not trying to make cute music, and also we are not trying to make violent music. We just make and play what we want, and what we feel is good. It depends on what people who listen to our music think.

What is the purpose of Melt-Banana?
We don't consider much about difficult things, because human beings can suddenly be dead without any reason. We just want to be happy.

British bands always claim that they get mobbed by ecstatic fans when they go to Japan. Do you get the same reception when you come here? Do you regularly tell Japanese journalists how much people love you in the UK and the USA?
We always have fun playing in the UK and USA! It is a great thing that many people like and enjoy our music. When Japanese journalists interview us, they usually ask us about touring abroad, but they don't ask many details. I don't know why.

What events in your lives have had the greatest influence on your music?
When I was a student, I went to Europe, and in Italy I stayed at a squat in Bologna for a month. It was fun. You don't get squats in Japan, so it was a strange but great time for me to spend there.

If you ran a record store, which rack would you put Melt-Banana's albums in?
I wouldn't separate genres if I ran a record store. It is the thing that annoys me when I go to record stores. Once we visited a record store in the USA, and they put all the records in alphabetical order with artist names, and it was a good way.

What makes you sad?
War.

What makes you happy?
Dogs.

If Melt-Banana was the answer, what would the question be?
What is a name of a band starting with 'M' and ending with 'A'? (Note: Metallica is the wrong answer. Madonna is not a band name.)

What do you think of the current music scene? Globally, in Japan, and the UK?
The Japanese music scene is getting better and better with good music. Artists from the mainstream and artists from the independent scene are both matured now to make good and interesting music. But still there is a problem. People still like to listen to very poppy music, and they like to sing it at karaoke bars, which of course is not a bad thing, but I think the problem is that they even don't know there are other types of music, besides so-called pop music. For them, it is hard to know about it because there is not such an opportunity.
I guess the Japanese music scene needs a person like Mr John Peel. Also, if all the borders between countries would disappear, the global music scene would be much better. We don't know much about the UK, but when we toured the UK, after the show, at the hotel, like around three or four am, there was extremely strange techno music on TV, and we were surprised, but it was so fun and we could not go to sleep!

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