A contribution by Charles van Vessem (Aniway)
If you look at the number of people that visit concerts of Japanese bands in the Netherlands nowadays you can only conclude Japanese music is really getting into focus here. And when you look at the number of Japanese bands that come to play here you could also say the Netherlands are also getting into the focus of these bands. One of them is the all girl trio ‘Mummy The Peepshow’ from Osaka. Of the 11 concerts in their European tour no less that 5 we held in the Netherlands. And with an audience of about 400 people their concert at the 2nd ‘Sushi Sounds’ festival at P60 in Amstelveen was the tour’s climax. By the way, there is such a festival there every tree months. Fortunately I could seduce the ladies ‘Mummy The Peepshow’ Maki, Naru and Mayu with my best smile and AniWay #9 for an interview and photo session.
An all girl band from Osaka, that will bring back the memories of ‘Shonen Knife’ of about twelve years ago. From the relaxed and exuberantly happy music of ‘Mummy The Peepshow’, described by themselves as ‘Girls Pop ‘n Roll’, you can almost read they have been walking the same streets and sitting on the same terraces. From the melodies and chords, that seem to be to easy to be true, radiates an enormous love of music. And with rhythms that often appear to be just a bit too slow the total becomes both ecstatical and fun mellow. Also Maki’s singing is catchy. Japanese artists never seem to be able to transfer the feeling in Japanese text to an English one. But when you listen to Maki’s singing you’ll think you can understand Japanese, without years of hard study. I sincerely hope she immediately stops her English course.
However much you like J-Pop, read the magazines and follow the developments, even then you can easily miss a band like ‘Mummy The Peepshow’. The Japanese music scene can globally be split up between major = mainstream = J-Pop and minor = underground = independent. Major labels will not give attention to things that can eat away part of their market. And you can bet that will happen when a band like ‘Mummy The Peepshow’ suddenly becomes a hype. So that’s why in a J-Pop magazine like ‘What’s in’ (owned by Sony) all the pages go to major bands like Glay and MAX. Minor bands on the other hand prefer not to be associated with the ultra commercial and somewhat egotistical intentions of the major labels. All in all the major and minor scene prefer to have nothing to do with each other.
‘Mummy The Peepshow’ really is a super fun band that you should not miss live. Of all the groups that have played in the Netherlands in recent years the ‘Mummy The Peepshow’ concert was, with the absence of successful-or-not arty stuff, the most down to earth. Because of that their music sounded nicely refreshing and pleasantly accessible. Fortunately their albums sound just the same. Just like ‘Shone Knife’ ‘Mummy The Peepshow’ has the potential to have a modest break through outside Japan. And I think they will be able to stand their ground in their home country as well. Hopefully they can stay away from under the commercial flat-iron that not only removes the wrinkles but the contents as well. When Maki, Naru and Mayu return to perform I will surely again go to admire them, and if I were you I would do the same.
Q1 Please can you introduce the members and tell us who does what?
Maki--- vocal & guitar
Q2 Maki, please can you tell us something about Naru?
She has her own unique world and big feet!! And very good bass player.
Q3 Naru, please can you tell us something about Mayu?
I love her "funny face"! (She always plays the drums with funny face.)
Q4 Mayu, please can you tell us something about Maki?
She knows many things that I don't know, and she is my yearning. I love the songs she makes, and I want to continue to play the music with her.
Q5 Please can you tell us about how the band got started?
I (Maki) wanted to make my original songs. At that time (1994), I met with my guitar "SPECTRUM 5". I did not have a guitar and could not play the guitar, but I wanted to have that guitar by all means!!! So I form the band.
Q6 And do please tell us about your band-name?
It means nothing! I want to put "the" in the middle of the name.
Q7 How is 'Mummy The Peepshow' doing now?
We came back home from our Europe tour! We are still jet rag and we got fat!!! Oh my gooood!!!!!
Q8 In Japan you are a small band compared to for example Glay. Here many people see you as one of few Japanese bands, a very exiting one. How do you feel about that?
In Japan, "major" music scene and "minor" music scene is totally different, you know. We don't have interest in "major" bands like "Glay" (We hate them!!!), and Japanese "major" music scene. We love many bands in England, USA, or many other countries. So if lots of people in Europe or USA or other countries listen to our music and feel good, it's so great! We are so proud.
Q9 And how do you feel about J-Pop?
We don't have interest at all!
Q10 What would like your music to be known for?
(I cannot understand this question well, but...) Very "ORIGINAL" one.
Q11 What do see in your good dreams about 'Mummy The Peepshows' future?
We hope people in all over the world get over walls like the frontier, languages, and genres of music (it's really nonsense!!!) and listen to our music. We want to go to many countries that we have never been and do a show! And we, all of Mummy members, want to have influence each other for ever.
Q12 This was your second tour in Holland and Europe. How did it go?
We went to Europe in February in last year, it was so so cold for us! But in this year, it's a fine weather for us, so we were all fine! This is very important thing. And because of it's our second tour, we get used a little and didn't be strained, we feel ease.
Q13 Of course we hope to see you again. Do you have plans to return?
Yes, of course!!!!
Q14 Finally here is a chance for you to add something to this interview. Maybe a message for AniWay's readers?
Pleeeease listen to our new album "school girl pop"! And come to see our show someday somewhere! Certainly!!