A contribution by Charles van Vessem (Aniway)
Who could have known that for the last couple of years we have been watched. Not just the change of millennium or the EK2000 soccer championship, but the complete modern history has been examined. The eX-Girls have landed. They come in peace, to make planet Earth happy, but don’t they all say that?
On the far planet ‘Kero Kero’, populated by frogs, about four years ago it was decided that the inhabitants of planet Earth should be made happier. After years of examination scien-frogs are convinced that mankind on that far planed could use some extra pleasure. These scien-frogs have had many headaches trying to understand the human race, so smart but still hunger, war and other misery. To fulfil this mission three frogs are selected. Chihiro, Kirilo and Fuzuki proudly accept the task that will take them to that mysterious planet Earth.
Thus begins their journey. At a distance of several thousand light-years the first images become clear. Like the many wars of Denghiz Khans cruel empire and the religious crusades in Europe. Full of horror, the three take in this information. Nevertheless there is something positive. By transmitting vibrations through the air, many people seem to become very cheerful. Quickly it is decided that this is the method to make them happy. Now the three brave frogs have also solved the question how to address all those earthling, who also speak lots of different languages, in one go. From that moment on it’s clear what to concentrated on the rest of their journey.
When planet Earth gets closer the images they to see become more recent. Now all kinds of music, what transmitting vibrations through the air is called, can be separated more easy. At a distance of about 900 light-years the island of Japan stands out with remarkable sounds. Although on the rest of the planet very slow music is made, from this small piece of land sounds originate which makes Kirilo very happy. She quickly makes a memo for Chihiro and Fuzuki. They are also enthusiastic about the discovery and from now on give extra attention to the island. Several weeks later, at a distance of about 400 light-years, they see how a group of people, called ‘red-haired barbarians’ by the Japanese, just barely reach the island. These ‘Hollanders’, as they call themselves, want, just like the frogs of ‘Kero Kero’, to increase their own and others’ happiness, but now by trading knowledge or rare artefacts. This teaches our three green friends a lot about humans. They also become happy from having funny or useful objects. Kirilo, meanwhile promoted to log-keep-frog, writes till her little fingers hurt. Together they decide that Holland must be visited to thank the people there musically, without them ever knowing what the concert was really for.
One moment you are being launched from your planet and the next one the little frog you are has almost reached its goal. Fortunately the final part is the most interesting. Especially in Japan musically a lot seems to be possible. Fuzuki has some doubts if they should make it their goal, but after some talking they all decide from there it’s best to make the world a happier place. After landing in the bay of Tokyo some little problems appear. Chihiro is frightened by the size of people, certainly up close. Fortunately it’s not difficult for our three heroes to change their shape. After some time is spend on looking around it seems that young pretty girls easily catch attention. So they choose to change themselves into three young and extremely pretty girls. Now the people don’t look so big anymore. Our three, no longer green, girlfriends do get a lot of attention, but don’t really stand out in the masse. The only time something seems to happen is when Fuzuki catches a fly with her tong. This incident should not be repeated!
A lot of time is spend listening to the radio, especially ‘Green FM’ has their attention. With this it becomes clear that eX-Frog, as the girls now call themselves, must record a CD if they want to make as many people happy as possible. First they send demo-tapes with frog-song to big company’s as Sony and Avex, unfortunately there are no reactions. The three get very sad now, and question themselves on how to fulfil their mission. Off course the can hear their music is completely different from anything else, but that’s KK-Pop. After a couple of weeks Hoppy Kamiyama, producer of many strange music, gets attention on a TV show. It’s clear that he is the best chance for making eX-Frog music known. On a moonless night they sneak to his apartment. Fortunately he is home and asleep. The girls use their little green think-changer to change Hoppy’s brain, which is quite different from all other humans. Now they have placed a ‘new’ idea into his creative centre. What this idea consists of is not difficult to guess, it’s the report which you’ve read so far. But now Hoppy Kamiyama thinks he has made it up on his own. Also they put a final tape, together with a business card into his letterbox.
Early next morning the phone rings. It’s Hoppy Kamiyama who says he slept wonderful and has a great idea for a new band witch fits the music he found that morning on his doormat like a glove. The girls all have a big smile on their face and make an appointment that same afternoon. Hoppy is a very nice guy and listens concentrated to the singing. Then he tells about the idea of the frogs from planet ‘Kero Kero’ and they all have a big laugh. Chihiro makes the proposition to call the band eX-Frog but Hoppy says people prefer listening to girls than to frogs so the name eX-Girl is chosen. Also instruments should be played. This is the cause for some hilarious situations. Fuzuki gets to play two drums, that’s easy because she has also got two hands. Kirilo gets a bass guitar with 4 strings and Chihiro a normal guitar witch has 6 strings. The two eX-Girl’s have some problems with this. They both have got five tentacles, also called fingers, on their hands. Together they agree to ask Hoppy if a finger or a string should be exchanged to make everything fair again. He just says guitars are normal like that and advises them to start practising, so they do.
After eight months the debut-album ‘Heppoco Pou’ is ready. In Japan, although people are used to strange music, it doesn’t become a best-seller. Maybe that’s because the frog story is to unbelievable and thus not commercial enough. The three eX-Girls don’t really understand this. Nevertheless many positive reactions are heard. People who have listened to it became very happy, so a second album is made. On ‘Kero Kero Kero’ there are again lots of fun songs. Now it has become time to make the rest of the world happy, for starters in Europe and America. Off course Holland is visited and on a sunny night they play in Haarlem. The public is surprised by the happy-coloured dresses that our no-longer-frogs ware. They carry out a ‘Yellow outside, green inside’ atmosphere witch sounds good to all listeners. Also they’ve learned some Dutch, after applause Fuzuki says ‘Dankjewel’.
After the concert the audience could buy some fun stuff. Things like CDs, videos, stickers, cards, T-shirts, underwear, small bags, caps and other fun things with the eX-Girl logo on it. The ladies, who sold and autographed their own things, then were happy with the small metal discs and coloured pieces of paper they got in return. These could be used to trade with someone who transported them through the air to a next place where others could be made happy. Also they’ve traded with someone who got to much food for himself and preferred metal discs. Now it became obvious how important the coming of the Dutch to Japan, 400 years ago, really was. From trade comes happiness! Fortunately it was possible to have a chat with the three girls. The saw the cover of the Aniway nr.2 magazine and called ‘Kawaii’, meaning ‘cute’ in Japanese. Also they loved to get their pictures taken, each holding one Aniway, if that was traded against some attention for their mission ‘Making people happy’. Off course yes was the answer. Next an appointment for an e-mail interview was made. That you can read below. Unfortunately the night had to end to soon. Their goodbye words: ’Please be happy’, what else…
First please tell us something about yourselves.
Q1 Like what are you full names and where do you live in Japan?
CHIHIRO/Guitar, Vocal - file://living in Kero No.13 ward
KIRILO/Bass, Vocal, Casio Tone - file://living in Kero No.21 ward
FUZUKI/Drum, Vocal - file://living in Kero No.8 ward
Q2 Also what kind of (Japanese or other) music do you yourself like to listen to?
K/ Pygmy's polyphony
F/ Kerocanto chant
Q3 Do some of you have an interesting, maybe even weird, hobby?
C/ Rummage through my brain.
K/ Semitransparent skin.
F/ Salted rice-bean paste for picking.
Then about eX-Girl.
Q4 Please tell us how you group came into existence?
We've formed eX-Girl 3 years ago. All of us participated a Bungee Jump contest in the Sausage planet the other day. The rope was wet, we were flipped, and accidentally met together at the Kero Kero planet.
Q5 Does everybody has a specific 'job' in creating songs, like writing lyrics or music or is it more like an 'I've got a great idea, so let's see what we can do' thing. Please tell us about how eX-Girl music is created?
When we write music & lyrics, first at all, we catch a big vibration of musical interests from planet Macaroni. It's a very simple idea. Also If you believe in Keronian, you always can catch same vibration anywhere.
Q6 Certainly eX-Girl is not main-stream in Japan. Are you interested in current J-Pop and watch TV programs like CDTV or even kohaku uta gassen? (I hope I spelled that right...)
Yes, we are not main-stream in Japan. But we are very popular as a goddess in Planet Kero Kero. We are not interested in J-Pop and watching TV. We must accomplish our a lot of duty. So, spreading "Kero Kero Language" is very important duty for us.
Moving on to your albums and videos.
Q7 I always have big problems with describing music. Please make my life easy (for once) and tell us what your music sounds like?
Our music is sounds like "Kerock'n'roll" or "Three penny opera". We are sure that nobody can compare eX-Girl with another band.
Q8 Listening to your 'Revenge of Kero Kero' album I think a lot of traditional sounds can be heard. Like the a - i - a chant on the end of 'The revenge of Kero Kero', the uuuuu singing in the beginning of 'Tofu song' and the Kodo-like use of just a basic two drums. Could you share your insights about that with us?
a - i - a means "I love you "on our planet. uuuuuu means "smiling together" on our planet. We use basic two drums? Because we could get just two drums from calipash ministry 3 years ago. Also our drumming is not style like a Kodo. It is called frogy pon pon drum".
Q9 When watching your 'Revenge of kero kero' video one amazement follows the other. Please tell us who made these video's and also something about how it was made? When you get home compliment the maker and double his pay!
"Disco 3000" was directed by Steve Eto.
"Revenge of kero kero" was directed by Steve Eto.
"Hao Hao" was directed by Bob Limp.
"Upsy Daisy Ramsy" was directed by Shutaro Oku.
"Deutche B" was directed by Shutaro Oku.
We imagine they are inspired from spirit of Inca. OK! We get home compliment the maker and triple their pay!!!
Then about your show in Haarlem, Holland.
Q10 How does it feel to dress up in fantastic dresses and head-gear (Nani?) like that?
When we perform on stage, we must put on bizarre dresses and frogy wig. It's a our strict rule on planet Kero Kero.
Q11 How do people who watch the show in Europe differ from the ones who do in Japan?
Japanese audience is very quiet like earthworm. European audience is very exciting like chumpy frogs. We love the audience in Europe.
Q12 The fact that you sell your own CD & Video cassettes was very much appreciated in Haarlem. Is this a common thing for bands like yours?
Thank you! It's common attitude for us. That our way is token of gratitude for cool audience.
The final questions.
Q13 What's in eX-Girl's future?
It is a challenging a new record of frog competition for guinness book. We will record next album in August, and we are going to release next album in Autumn. Also we will make a next tour in U.S after releasing next album. Of course we quite want to make a next tour in Europe as soon as possible.
Q14 If there's something you would like to say to our reader. Please do. This is the chance for plugging your work!
We wish all of fans learn the language of Kero Kero. Please say, "Kero! Kero!" instead of greetings. Please see our show and listen to our CD "The revenge of Kero! Kero!". We love you!!!!!