Every month I get lost among the many awesome MV that come out, and it’s often quite hard to choose the best ones. Last month gave us lots of good stuff as usual, so let’s take a look at the coolest videos of June!
If I had to describe “Understand Music” by qppo, I’d say that it’s probably the kind of video that YouTube reactors would love to make funny faces to. I mean, we’re talking about an idol group featuring a guy with pigtails singing on some digital hardcore stuff. In any case, the song is pretty good.
9) RED-i – Without You…
We talked about RED-i last week through Chika Radar, but I guess they deserve to be mentioned here too. The emotional rock sound of “Without You…” is a very nice introduction for this group, and the more I listen to it, the more I want them to release some new songs as soon as possible.
8) akugi feat. メイユイメイ (Mei Yui Mei) – period
akugi keep releasing songs with idols from other codomomental groups, and more often than not they are quite interesting. In this case, “period” starts off quite light, but then turns into a horror heavy hip-hop tune with Mei Yui Mei screaming her heart out. Well, I can’t say it didn’t catch me off guard, and that’s why I like it.
In their latest MV, Papipupepo Wa Muzukashii turned into some colorful super-heroines. And a giraffe, of course. If that is not enough to make you want to watch it, let me tell you that “Super Samurai Ninja Karateman” is a song that you’ll find yourself listening to it over and over.
6) AKIARIM – アリム (Arim)
The only downside of AKIARIM‘s MV is that we get to see the complete line-up only for a few seconds at the end, since the song doesn’t feature the two newest members. Other than that, “Arim” is a pretty solid song, powerful and catchy enough to be enjoyed by every fan of rock idols.
5) めろん畑a go go (Melon Batake A Go Go) – 哀しきIDOL (Kanashiki Idol)
Fans of retro music must be really grateful for the existence of Melon Batake A Go Go. They never disappoint and always manage to bring back sounds from when most of us weren’t even born. “Kanashiki Idol” is yet another great one from them, and it gets even better when it gets faster towards the end.
4) B.K.S.N – シーラカンス (Coelacanth)
I have to say that B.K.S.N deserved to be in the top 3, but as usual there were way too many great MV’s last month. Nevertheless, “Coelacanth” is an awesome song combining the complex melodies of jazz with the energy of rock and, of course, the typical idol catchiness. They are seriously an impressive and underrated unit.
3) MAD JAMIE – Livehouse(e)na
The punk idols in MAD JAMIE have been on a roll lately, releasing one MV after another. There were two in June (the other one being “Kaneakese”), but I chose “Livehouse(e)na” because the catchy chorus is one of the best things I’ve listened to in June.
2) 我儘ラキア (Wagamama Rakia) – JOKER
Every time Wagamama Rakia release a new video, they always end up in these Top 10’s. “JOKER” blends a metal riff, a slightly dissonant verse, an almost pop/punk chorus and MIRI’s god-tier rap. And as if it wasn’t enough, they all look stunning in this colorful MV; even more than usual, I mean.
1) RAY – コハルヒ (Koharuhi)
Calm, soothing and slightly nostalgic shoegaze/dream pop is what you would expect from RAY, and that’s exactly what they bring us with their latest MV for “Koharuhi”. The filter used in the video gives some sort of teenage memories from the Eighties I’ve never lived vibes, which together with the song gets pretty dreamy and otherworldly. Great job as usual from this group.
We had the chance to realize an interview with the idols from outer space, めろん畑 a go go (MELON BATAKE A GO GO); the five girls talked about their experiences in the rockabilly-themed group.
めろん畑 a go go (MELON BATAKE A GO GO) formed in 2015 and published a release nationally for the first time in 2017. They have unique activities which are different from the usual idol scene, and thanks to Shinjuku LOFT they received a chance to be noticed by the audience. Their style is also endorsed by various idol groups in the underground idol scene.
In 2019 they released a CD under a Major label and participated in many large festivals such as Gyu Agricultural Festival and TIF; on 2019 October 17th the group gave a big one-man LIVE at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo. They appeared at the Monster Of Dolls festival in Italy and the group feels very enthusiastic about being noticed overseas too.
Translation: JROCK’N’ROLL Translator note: I translated this interview like a summary. Their way of talking is very much for their “GO-GO’s” (fan) only, so I tried to make it understandable for everyone. But I’m not a GO-GO myself so it can be that I’ve understood things wrongly, sorry for that, but I hope I conveyed everyone’s feeling well enough.
NOTE: Go-Go’s is the name of their fans.
MELON BATAKE A GO GO, Thank you very much for this interview.
Please introduce yourself.
Nakamura Soze: I am Nakamura Soze.
Rutakame Run: I am MELON BATAKE A GO GO, Sky Blue, Rutakame Run.
Sakimura Yuffie: I am MELON BATAKE A GO GO, Deep Purple, Sakimura Yuffie.
Tomoyo Chiyo: I am Fire Red, Tomoyo Chiyo.
Amino Coromi: I am Amino Coromi.
Please tell us how you joined the group.
Nakamura Soze: I auditioned!
Rutakame Run: I loved the music, so I contacted the producer and got invited to join.
Sakimura Yuffie: While having my own solo project named GARUDA, I was invited by the producer to join. At first, I was a support member for a one-time participation in a big event at the end of the year. After that, I was invited to join officially, and I did. Originally, I often performed with MELON BATAKE A GO GO at the same events, and they were also my guest act at my first GARUDA birthday party.
Tomoyo Chiyo: Firstly I was a support member, I became an official member before I knew it.
Amino Coromi: Firstly I was a support member until a new member joined, then I became an official member!
New members have joined the group. What has been the biggest change in the group since you added members?
Nakamura Soze: Two new members have joined! With the addition of the new members, the way we perform our shows has changed a lot! I became more aware of being in a group than before.
Rutakame Run: I started talking.
Sakimura Yuffie: How people started to look at us has changed dramatically. People tell us more often now that our atmosphere has become much more cheerful than before. Also our live style used to be more as an individual game, but now I guess we act more like a close group to each other, sharing our opinions and having more active conversations.
Tomoyo Chiyo: I’m in charge of the choreography for MELON, it felt that this group growth even has led to my personal growth.
Amino Coromi: I don’t know, I wasn’t here before, but for our fans, MELON is shining more! It’s more fun for everyone now! But I don’t know, because I wasn’t there before.
How did you decide to become an idol?
Nakamura Soze: Originally, I fell in love with the idol fandom through Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku!. After watching the lives of BELLRING Shoujo Heart and Avandoned, I really wished to become an Idol too.
Rutakame Run: There was nothing in my life, the only thing I enjoyed in my life was listening to my favorite music. BiS came into my life via my favorite band and after watching Dempagumi.inc and BELLRING Shoujo Heart, they gave me the feeling that what they do is what I wanted to do in my life too; thanks to them I received the spirit to stand up and to give my life a reason, so I stood up and took action to become an idol myself too.
Sakimura Yuffie: Originally, I loved music and theater and I wanted to stand on stage, however I didn’t have the courage to make it happen because of my very shy personality. When I thought it over, I decided that I would try what I wanna do before I die. Because people’s life is just short and you just should follow your dreams.
Tomoyo Chiyo: When I watched idols on stage, I wondered why I wasn’t standing there, so I became one myself too. The trigger to become one was after I saw AKB48, S★Spicy and TEAM SHACH.
Amino Coromi: When I was just a kid I already told myself “someday I will star in this TV show”. Also I always loved to sing and dance. My triggers were Morning Musume, AAA and SMAP.
What makes MELON BATAKE A GO GO special for you?
Nakamura Soze: I love our songs.
Rutakame Run: That we accept each other, that we can build something together and our songs have various meanings.
Sakimura Yuffie: When I first saw the live performance of MELON BATAKE A GO GO, It felt like the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. That’s my favorite movie. All our songs do have one sentence which gives each song an unique atmosphere and I guess that’s the only thing music and performances need.
Tomoyo Chiyo: I like our songs and I especially like the style of the members.
Amino Coromi: I think our songs and their atmosphere are unique.
What’s the origin and meaning of your group’s name?
Nakamura Soze: The origin and meaning comes from that a melon is a special fruit for girls!
Sakimura Yuffie: Our producer said that the origin and meaning comes from the fruit that girls are longing for.
How would you describe your music style?
Nakamura Soze: That’s really hard, and it’s the one thing I struggle with the most! In my own way, I’m trying to think of ways to express ourselves as idols by incorporating songs and dances from the worldview we should be aiming for. Sometimes our GO-GO’s will tell us how to knock it off. I’ll give my best!
Rutakame Run: I do like dancing and singing but I’m not good at it, but I’ll do it with all my senses. Also I do listen to the advice people gave me who are longer in this world, so I like to improve my skills by incorporating their advice. Even if it takes more years I’ll keep giving my best!
Sakimura Yuffie: There is a lot of shouting in our music. We have a lot of freedom because we can express our own interpretations of a song, while we are still considering our role in the group! We are ROCK’N’ROLL!!
Tomoyo Chiyo: Don’t hesitate to listen to us!
Amino Coromi: Our style is to release all our feelings! Getting one with the feelings of our fans.
How would you describe the atmosphere of your live shows?
Nakamura Soze: MELON BATAKE shows have the vibe that we grew up together with all our Go-Go’s!
Rutakame Run: It’s an atmosphere that we all build together, we fight against ourselves, we support each other and have fun together.
Sakimura Yuffie: We show that we have a good sense of unity and explosive power together, because we grew up together (also with our Go-Go’s), thanks to this strong unity we can perform our songs amazingly.
Tomoyo Chiyo: It’s a homely and pure atmosphere.
Amino Coromi: It’s created together with our Go-Go’s.
What have been the highlights of your activity?
Nakamura Soze: Our last lives!
Rutakame Run: That’s my secret.
Sakimura Yuffie: It was the live show in Italy and an outdoor live show at the Gym Farm Festival. I always dreamed of going overseas for a show and playing on an outdoor festival (Just like Dempagumi.inc and Momoiro Clover Z). It was a dream that came true for me through my idol activities. Shinkiba Studio Coast, the venue of the Gyu Farm Festival is a special place for me, so I was very happy that it was possible!
Tomoyo Chiyo: Everything is still very exciting.
Amino Coromi: I’ve memories of everyday, but the best memory is my first day on stage as a member of MELON BATAKE A GO GO.
In which countries would you love to hold live shows?
Nakamura Soze: I wanna go to the USA! And Denmark! And Germany! And India! And Bermuda!
Rutakame Run: Thailand, the Moon, I wanna go wherever my fans are!
Sakimura Yuffie: I would like to hold an international tour all over the world if I would have the opportunity!
Tomoyo Chiyo: I wanna go all around the world!
Amino Coromi: World Tour!
What’s your favorite part out of MELON BATAKE A GO GO lyrics?
Nakamura Soze: Yurusenakute mo Imajanakute mo Shinjiteirareruyo (from “MELON BATAKE A GO GO”). I’ve no reason why I like this part.
Rutakame Run: I like all the lyrics of “SF HORROR” because they are drawn in everydays live. This part: Tatta Ichirin no Hana no Utsukushisa no tame ni Inochi wo Kakero Ikari wo Moyase out of the song “撃つな琉陀瓶” is really cool!
Sakimura Yuffie: The moment when I saw the lyrics of our songs, it just amazed me to the fullest. Everything is written cool! Reading it it gave me a similar shock as at the time when I was struggling to write my very first lyrics for my solo work.
Tomoyo Chiyo: Itsuka Mata Aou Imajanakute Kamawanai kara (from “Someday Wolf”)
Amino Coromi: Yakudatsu Kotoba wa Shinjitenai Aisouwarai mo Unzarida (from “GIVE ME SOMETHING”) and Bokura wa Horobinai kitto Uta ga Nokorudakara MELON BATAKE ni iru (from “MELON BATAKE A GO GO”).
Does your lyrics have a common theme?
Nakamura Soze: I strongly feel the theme of “IDOL”.
Rutakame Run: I guess our lyrics are unique, but please ask our producer.
Sakimura Yuffie: IDOL! Outer Space! Friendships and Farewells…
Amino Coromi: To me it feels as if it’s about the way of life of idol’s.
So far what’s your favorite MELON BATAKE A GO GO song?
Nakamura Soze: It would be “to IDOLS to US to YOU” because it’s the current MELON.
Rutakame Run: Recently I like to listen to “SF Horror”, “Surfin’ Bird” and I like “Yaketara Mach”, “Supinattsu” and “Outer Space”.
Sakimura Yuffie: “I WAS A TEENAGE ALIEN” When I first heard the song I didn’t like it. But the song vibe belongs to my favorite music genre and it feels so epic when we perform it live. The other song I like is “SF Horror”, for the first time I joined as a support ember the producer and our fans told me that it was the song that suits me the best. I also do like our fast songs. So I also really like “Yaketara Mach” and “Give me something”.
Tomoyo Chiyo: “無敵のアイドル” I choreographed this song, we recorded it together and created a MV out of this song!
Amino Coromi: Well, I do love all our songs, but I like “ろん畑agogo” and “IDOL FROM ANOTHER PLANET~旅立ちの唄~” the most because if makes you really wanna sing even if you already sing it!
Please tell us an fun episode about your mini album “to IDOLS to US to YOU”.
Nakamura Soze: The song “to IDOLS to US to YOU” was fun to record together with our GO-GO’s.
Rutakame Run: The song “to IDOLS to US to YOU” was recorded with our GO-GO’s. Our producer set our GO-GO’s in motion, And it was fun to scream to our GO-GO’s together and that they were answering us. It was like a scene from a movie.
Sakimura Yuffie: This recording made me very excited from the beginning, because it includes songs with a different taste than before. Also it was the very first time that our GO-GO’s participated in the recording of a song. For the MV shooting, we went to the sea in the early morning which makes us thirsty and hungry, so we went to eat Kentucky for the rest of the day.
Tomoyo Chiyo: When we did shoot our MV I spent all the time from early morning to night with all the members, and I remember feeling that I really enjoyed being part of MELON, (even though I was sleepy that day [smile])!
Amino Coromi: We went to the sea very early in the morning to shoot the MV and have fun with everyone at the gorgeous set. Also we ate Kentucky!
In 2019 you played at “Monster of Dolls 2019” in Italy, how do you remember it?
Nakamura Soze: Since I don’t understand the language, I wondered how much I convey through music. So I transferred MELON with all my heart!
Rutakame Run: It felt that everyone gave me a lot of power, so thank you very much! It was a live show that was full of fun and joy! I also remember climbing a pole. Thank you to everyone who took our photos!
Sakimura Yuffie: I confirmed my thoughts that you can communicate with everyone through music, even if you don’t speak each other’s language. Other than that I really enjoy the various delicious foods!
How did you prepare for the show in Italy?
Nakamura Soze: I tried to translate some sentences into Italian.
Rutakame Run: I never went abroad before, so I had no clue about anything so I relied on Yuffie. I remember that I didn’t prepare anything before, one day before.
Sakimura Yuffie: I went on a solo tour in England before, so I knew how stuff works. I remember that I was in charge of being in contact with the italian booking agency, everyone relied on me.
Amino Coromi: Last year I was really looking forward to go…
Was there any culture shock or something what really surprised you?
Nakamura Soze: As I expected it was a totally different culture, but I was surprised that I enjoyed it more than I thought! Also the food was very delicious!
Rutakame Run: The whole place felt like I was inside a movie. There were lots of things I had never seen before. I also was impressed and happy to see a very big COCA COLA bottle which impressed me the most.
Sakimura Yuffie: The food was really delicious! It’s a pity that I can’t eat the same thing here in Japan. The streets are beautiful and it has a high sense of beauty. Also, the hotel corridor smelled of lovely flowers.
How do you deal with Corona?
Nakamura Soze: I will never stop my activities.
Rutakame Run: The first thing above all is to continue with our live activity. Yet it’s not easy for GO-GO’s in Japan and around the world to support us, so we are very happy receiving any kind of support now! Thank you very much for that! Hope we all can continue like this.
Sakimura Yuffie: I guess the most important thing to do for us is to continue our activities. There are many people who can’t meet other people face to face, but I really think that it’s wonderful that our fans if possible can watch our shows via live streaming, which we never had thought about before, it’s also taken its roots! It’s a pity that there was a period where we couldn’t perform any shows, but we took that time for preparation to record a new release, creating new dances and practicing various things.
Tomoyo Chiyo: I felt really lonely when we couldn’t perform. I really love giving shows and it’s also very important for every artist to hold as many shows as possible.
Amino Coromi: Well stay always positive, keep motivated and believe that there are always people who will watch our shows!
Do you meet with each other outside of work?
Nakamura Soze: Not often, we meet each other already almost everyday.
Rutakame Run: On my free days, I just rest alone. But it feels like that we are meeting daily even if we are not together we message each other via LINE.
Sakimura Yuffie: We meet each other already everyday, so it’s rare. But sometimes we go to eat dinner together after an event.
Tomoyo Chiyo: Before I joined MELON, I used to go out for dinner with Nakamura. But since I joined the group, I met the members almost everyday, so it’s no longer a private meet.
Amino Coromi: There are activities almost everyday so we meet each other almost everyday for all kinds of reasons.
What do you hope for the future of MELON BATAKE A GO GO?
Nakamura Soze: Going on a World Tour! Appearing at Kōhaku Uta Gassen! Performing at Budokan! Collaboration with conveniences stores! Also I want to be inside a textbook!
Rutakame Run: I want to perform at Budokan. I want to keep doing things that we only can do right now and that nobody can take those moments from us. I want to be a person that everyone remembers. I wish to do some stuff Heroes do. I have to do an invasion… well I’m busy.
Sakimura Yuffie: I would like to hold a one-man show at Budokan. I also want to perform at bigger stages and venues and be at famous festivals to see the wonder scenery with my GO-GO’s. There are so many things that only can be done now and things that only can be seen now, so I really wish to go to various places around the world with my GO-GO’s!
Tomoyo Chiyo: I wanna grow so big that we can tour around the world!
Amino Coromi: Budokan, Dome tour! I don’t only want to perform in Japan but also tour around the world. I wish to perform on big stages around the world. I wish that people would recognize me on the streets.
Please leave a message to your reader and fans.
Nakamura Soze: I love you!
Rutakame Run: Thank you, I’ll continue to give my best to convey good songs to you if we meet!
Sakimura Yuffie: Not everyone is able to visit our live! So we’re gonna invade more places where our fans live! LOVE & ROCK’N’ROLL!!
Tomoyo Chiyo: Thank you very much for your love!! I love you too!! I’ll keep giving my best for you!
Amino Coromi: Thank you! I LOVE YOU!
Thanks again for answering this interview! We wish you all the best!
Another month has passed, and so here we are for another Top 10 of the best alternative idol MV’s released in March. Let’s take a look at these ten awesome videos!
10) EIMIE – FAKE
EIMIE‘s latest MV is pretty good. “FAKE” consists of an alternative metal sound with vocals mostly influenced by rap, except for those awesome growled parts, which unfortunately don’t last that much. In any case, the song is still very enjoyable.
9) 8bitBRAIN – Black Sabbath
No Osbournes were harmed in the making of this video, I promise. 8bitBRAIN are back with their electronic-infused metal sound, with the usual autotuned vocals. If you love this style, you’ll surely enjoy “Black Sabbath”. Although I wanna hear them saying I am iron man in autotune now.
8) プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga) – Winning Ark (Daybreak)
How many times have I been featuring プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga) lately? Not that’s a problem. The psychedelic unit brings us their first MV for “Winning Ark (Daybreak)”, which is a kinda catchy and simple one, compared to other songs they have released before.
7) POPPiNG EMO – SELFISH
POPPiNG EMO have been doing great lately, just listen to the intense electronic/pop-infused rock sound of “SELFISH” to understand what I mean. For some reason, the main guitar has been stuck in my head for a while, despite not being really that much unique or awesome. Not that I complain, anyway.
6) ピューパ!! (Pupa!!) – Vanilla
Everytime I listen to ピューパ!! (Pupa!!), I get fascinated by their dreamy, delicate sound; “Vanilla” is no exception, of course. You start getting lulled by guitars resembling post-rock’s calmer parts, accompanied by a synthetic background, and then some intense synth pop hits you. That’s a very nice feeling.
5) FRUN FRIN FRIENDS – バニラ (Vanilla)
More “Vanilla”, this time from FRUN FRIN FRIENDS. Both the song and the video feel very artistic, if that makes any sense. Catchy, cute and poppy, but still refined and kinda unique. Check out the MV for “Strawberry” too, released together with this one.
4) 9DayzGlitchClubTokyo – Brand new Stimulate
Heavy and weird electronic stuff, catchy and intense pop/metal mix, a bit of hip-hop: anything else? Apparently, 9DayzGlitchClubTokyo have anything you need in their music. “Brand new Stimulate” is their first MV, and it shows how promising this unit is.
3) INUWASI – holy
If you read the review of their EP, you should already know I love INUWASI; in case you haven’t, go read it. Do it NOW. Anyway, while “holy” is not my favorite song from the mini-album, it’s still a good one where post-hardcore and electronic/hip-hop meet, which is a great mix.
2) めろん畑a go go (Melon Batake A Go Go) – 撃つな琉陀瓶！ (Utsu Na RUTAKAME!)
Our favorite masked super-heroines are back with their usual retro-styled music. “撃つな琉陀瓶！” (Utsu Na RUTAKAME!) is an awesome song featuring memorable vocal lines and lots of stuff from long lost decades, exactly what we would expect from めろん畑a go go (Melon Batake A Go Go).
1) 感覚ロヂック (Kankaku Logic) – 深愛嫌悪 (Shin’ai Ken’o)
感覚ロヂック (Kankaku Logic) really outdid themselves with “深愛嫌悪” (Shin’ai Ken’o). The song keeps switching between extreme metal and dark, haunting parts, with a video which fits perfectly the music. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Unless you want to get traumatized.
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