During Anime Matsuri, I was able to attend a Q&A session with Bespa Kumamero. Due to problems with our recording equipment, I was unable to record the session. However, through the graciousness of another press team covering the event, NewsWireHouston, an Associated Press outlet, we were allowed to publish the transcripts of the Q&A here. For the original article, click here. For source galleries for images, click here for the panel gallery and here for the concert at Club AM.
Please keep in mind, the format of this interview involved a general audience, the band, and a translator to go between the audience and band. All answers below are transcribed as responses from Bespa with the translator explaining the response.
Translator: Okay well we’re going to get started with a little introduction.
This is Bespa Kumamero, she is Azumi. She does most of the vocals for the band. They do a techno sound.
Azumi-san: “Nice to meet you.” (Japanese)
Monkichi-san: “Konichiwa” (Japanese)
Translator: This is Monkichi of Bespa Kumamero, he says he likes to be called ‘Mon-chan’, and he’d like you to call him that. And he’s saying, that we love to be wild with our performances. So we look forward to seeing you all again at our five o’clock Club AM show later tonight.
What made you decide to come to America and do a show?
Just so that they could have a reason to come here. They were looking forward to coming here for a while, actually.
They actually did a tour around Europe. They toured around the UK. They did a tour over there with a couple of other bands. But, uh, this is their first time here in America.
What are some of the influences for their music?
They don’t have an artist in particular that they had influence from, but they went through different genres, like pop, rock, punk. Things like that, and they eventually got to techno. They didn’t really start out doing techno, but by going through all the processes that’s where they found themselves. They’re say that they’re not trying to imitate one particular artist. They want to do something that only those two can do on their own.
How long have they been playing for?
Well they’ve been performing for seven years, and this past week they started with their eighth year.
How did they meet?
A: Well, they actually met through a magazine. Mon-chan, here, he wrote back home in a magazine, and Azumi looked at it and said “Wow, what an interesting and unique person. I want to get to know him.” And then they met, and, once they got started talking, they realized they had a lot in common. And they got something going on. And they were thinking “Well, let’s do something fun together.” And that’s how the band started.
What’s it like being in America compared to Japan?
A: What she’s saying is that, compared to Japan, everything is just huge here. And, um, just seeing the reactions, like everybody here is so much more open to expressing their excitement. And, when they were at the opening ceremonies, and they stood up, everyone would start cheering for them. He liked to see what that was like, and that makes him really look forward to their performance this evening at Club AM.
He says “The food is good here, but the portions are so big I can’t finish eating them.”
How often do they perform there?
Well, in Japan they usually perform every month or so. Overseas, this is actually their second time overseas doing a live tour, they’ve counted the number of concerts that they’ve done in Japan and in America, and their performance here is going to be their one-hundredth performance.
Who designs your clothes? I really like your clothes.
She does the designs, but she has her friend make the actual costume.