Source: J-pop World
“It’s very difficult to describe our own music, and we don’t want people to think that we can only do certain things. We hope to challenge many things and create our own STEREOPONY sound.” – STEREOPONY
From the first time we heard their debut song Hitohira No Hanabira we knew the group with the oh so cute name was something we wanted to hear more of. With the good fortune of having that song featured on the popular anime show BLEACH and the backing of Sony Music, these three gals from Okinawa have been able to craft a style of music full of emotion and pop.
So come learn the story of the group who says, “All of our lyrics are about our honest feelings, so we never tried to be positive or expressed positivity too much as that wasn’t necessary what we were feeling.”
On June 16, 2010 the members of STEREOPONY were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World. All photos courtesy of STEREOPONY.
On June 18 you’ll make an appearance at Somerset, New Jersey’s AnimeNEXT. Can you tell us what you are looking forward to the most?
Just being able to play in America again, and this time at an Anime Convention!
How will fans get to interact with you?
We will of course have a live performance, and we’ll also do photo sessions and signing events.
Do you have other plans while you are in the US?
We are going sightseeing to NYC now!
In March 2009 you got the chance to perform at SXSW. Looking back now what memories stand out?
Aimi: For Shiho and I, it was the first time going aboard so we were a little worried, but all I remember now are only good memories. It was so much fun!
How different do you find American audiences compared to those in Japan?
Shiho: American audiences are very direct. I think it’s a great place to perform live.
Aimi: I can really feel their energy and power, so we try to respond to that on a same level.
Your latest single “Over Drive” just came out last month. Can you tell us more about the title track?
All of our lyrics are about our honest feelings, so we never tried to be positive or expressed positivity too much as that wasn’t necessary what we were feeling. However, while working on this song, we were able to realize that we can turn our mistakes or frustration into something positive, and we also realized of all the support we get from everybody we met through our music. So this song means a lot to us.
Yume is a very beautiful song. Can you tell us something about it we don’t know?
Shiho: I wrote the lyrics, but it’s based on the actual dream “Yume” I saw. I wanted people to recognize about my pain, but I kept it inside me which was probably confusing for all the people around me. I wrote this song when I first realized that I had to open that key inside me myself.
Your album “A hydrangea blooms” and three of your singles are now available for digital release on iTunes?
Yes! We still can’t believe it, and we never dreamed of coming this far.
Can you tell us the story of how the band first formed back in Okinawa in 2007?
Aimi: There is a music studio in Okinawa where all the music lovers hang out, and Nohana and I met there in the studio. Then I asked Shiho to play the drums when we were classmates in high school.
How did you each pick the type of instrument you play?
Shiho: I saw someone playing the drums from my school, and I just fell in love at first sight. I was wondering how it would feel if I played it.
Aimi: I just strongly felt that I wanted to play the guitar in high school.
Nohana: There was a band that I really liked in middle school, and I had the habit of checking out the bass players since then. There are many bassists who originally start out from the guitar, but my interest was straight to the bass.
Btw who came up with the name “STEREOPONY” and what exactly does it mean?
It’s a coined word. We wanted to combine the word “stereo” which for us had a cool three-dimensional image, and “pony” which has a cute image.
Did any of you ever imagine you wouldn’t become professional musicians?
Nohana: I always wanted to play music.
Aimi: I thought I’d be a hairdresser when I was very young, but since I started playing music, this was something that I wanted to pursue.
How did you first get hooked up with Sony Music?
The Sony Music staff approached us after a live performance event that the radio program “SCHOOL OF LOCK!!” was hosting.
How thrilled were you to learn that Hitohira No Hanabira was going to be one of the ending theme songs on BLEACH back in 2008?
Hitohira No Hanabira was our debut single, so we weren’t used to hearing our music through TV or from the radio. And us being fans of Anime, it was very exciting for all of us that our music were featured on BLEACH. We were all sitting in front of the TV together when it first showed on air. (laughs)
Now that you’ve had a few more years working in the music industry, how do you think you’ve all changed from when you first started out?
I think the biggest change is our approach towards the recording sessions. In the beginning, we had more anxiety and fear, but we feel much more relaxed now and we’re able to focus more on the emotional aspect of the music and the lyrics.
How would you describe the style of music you play today?
It’s very difficult to describe our own music, and we don’t want people to think that we can only do certain things. We hope to challenge many things and create our own STEREOPONY sound.
Do you think life on Okinawa had a major impact on your musical style?
Perhaps not too much on the music itself, but I’m sure there are some impact on our lyrics.
Who do you consider to be your major musical influences?
Aimi: Avril Lavigne. We use to do a cover band in high school.
Shiho: Maximum the Hormone.
Nohana: Namie Amuro.
What do you do for fun and relaxation when you’re not working?
Shiho: When I really want to get relaxed, I usually first go to the studio and play the drums, and then I would go for a walk or go do yoga.
Aimi: I take a long bath.
Nohana: I eat lots of sweets!
Do you have any plans for the rest of the year you can share with us?
We will go on a tour in Japan after we get back from New Jersey!
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
Thank you very much for all your support!! Please check out our music on iTunes, and we hope to come back to America again soon!