We had a chat with members and producer of Nagoya-based idol group ポイズンラット (POISON RAT); special thanks to JROCK’N’ROLL for making this interview possible.
The poisonous idol group ポイズンラット
(POISON RAT) has suddenly appeared in the Nagoya idol world. POISON RAT
‘s fierce live shows scatter deadly poison and with their addictive PIKOPIKO sound it will poison your body which lets your body move!!
Leader 楪 菻李 (Yuzuriha Riri), she also wrote a lot of lyrics which POISON RAT
Poisonous outbreaks! Poisonous alert issued!
If you’ve come to the live shows, you’re an “infected person”!
Because POISON RAT is a big infection that’s sweeping the floor!
POISON RAT’s music is composed by Nagoya’s rock band THREE LIGHTS DOWN KINGS, PENPEN(u-ya), 残響P/708(ハローモンテスキュー) and tmg(Ei).
ポイズンラット (POISON RAT)
This interview was made in collaboration with JROCK’N’ROLL.
Translation help: Kenshin
*NOTE: PIKOPIKO = Music which includes various types of electronic sounds.
Questions To Idols
What is the meaning behind the name POISON RAT?
Yuzuriha Riri: It’s my favorite animal! But that’s not the reason why we called the band POISON RAT, we just wanted to have a name which sounds beautiful and which can be remembered and be called out easily by many people, that’s how the name received its shape.
Please introduce yourself.
Ichitani Aju: I’m POISON RAT‘s Red member Aju! I’m doing the death growls and shouts!
Anon Yura: I’m pink member Ano Yura. I’m a good dancer and I’m the member who laughs the most! Also I like to talk to people, once I start talking, I keep talking! Nice to meet you!( ࿀ )
Yuzuriha Riri: I’m a really easy to understand person, I really do like singing and it’s also my speciality. Lately, I’m getting better at dancing, I never was a good dancer, but I’ve come to a point that people started to say “I never thought you were a bad dancer once”. So it makes me really happy if someone praised me for dancing more than being praised for singing.
Please introduce POISON RAT members.
Anon Yura: We really can laugh about anything with each other, well sometimes I just laugh straight away right? [laughs]
How would you describe the music style of POISON RAT?
Ichitani Aju: Not only typical idol-like songs, but also mega cool band music.
Anon Yura: PIKOPIKO, band-ish sound.
Yuzuriha Riri: I’m aiming that the music we pour out that it collides with our soul rather than just being good or bad.
What makes POISON RAT special for you?
Ichitani Aju: POISON RAT is the only and best place to be. It’s the kind of place where you want to affirm that you’re alive and affirm the meaning of someone else’s life.
Anon Yura: POISON RAT is my life.
Yuzuriha Riri: Unique member personality and one of the strength points is that the sound totally fits my voice!
When and how was POISON RAT formed?
Ichitani Aju: 24/12/2017, But I joined the group at a later moment, so I don’t know the story behind the formation. Our current line-up was formed on April 13, 2018.
Anon Yura: 24/12/2017.
Yuzuriha Riri: This is a conversation I’ve had with our producer Teruna about what kind of group I’d like to be in and that’s what POISON RAT is now, it gradually embodies it.
What have been the highlights of your activity?
Ichitani Aju: That we have achieved crowdfunding. In the past many auditions attempts and other challenges I’ve done so far were not a success, just disappointing, But I’m really glad to have been able to succeed this project with all our fans!
Anon Yura: All big lives, but especially our one-man lives.
Yuzuriha Riri: There are so many highlights, but I don’t want to raise them over here. I don’t want to cling to past highlights too much, because I wish to make new highlights of every new day from now on.
Why did you want to become an idol? Who or what inspired you?
Ichitani Aju: At first, I didn’t want to become an idol, but rather I wanted to be involved in it because I love music. So I was wondering how I could step in that world, so I wanted for my very first time to watch an idol live, mainly because I knew one of the former members, everyone was so sparkling, So after seeing the show I really wanted to be an idol too.
Anon Yura: I loved idols and longed for them, so I wanted to stand on stage too!, I guess that was the trigger. I always liked Tomomi Itano from akb48, I admire her because she is a great dancer and singer, so I really wanted to be like her.
Yuzuriha Riri: Actually I’ve been making fun of the idol genre for a long time. The dances aren’t hard, but most of the time it’s lip-synching. I’ve been saved by putting my trust in music all my life, so I thought that lip-synching was the biggest insult to music.
“But don’t you want to be on Idol?” Since our Producer Teruna invited me to become one, It really gave me lots to think about which led to that I wanted to see what kind of idols I’ve been making fun of and because I wanted to see what they were focusing on and things like that.
How would you like your fans to support you?
Anon Yura: I always wish that everyone can get along with anybody around them and support us together no matter where we are.
Yuzuriha Riri: All I wish for is that you like our music. However if you don’t come to our shows etc, we won’t get results. However my personal feelings won’t change because of it, if you like me, I also will like you!
What is the most important thing you want to receive?
Anon Yura: Fans happiness after seeing me perform a live show, I really want to be such a person to give my fans smiles and to receive them because of it.
Yuzuriha Riri: Everyone’s feelings~~~~~
How do you prepare for a live show?
Ichitani Aju: While the soundcheck we all check out together how we will perform our show that day. Also we do some voice exercises before the show.
Anon Yura: We also do some small preparation work, dressing up and getting ready for the show.
Yuzuriha Riri: I wouldn’t name it preparation, but it’s very specific such as stretching your body and vocalization before the performance, but that’s not preparation, it’s more about how to turn your mind to the right mind setting to prepare for the show like “We’re going to hit on stage again today too!!”
What’s your favorite part of your live shows?
Ichitani Aju: When I notice someone who has never seen POISON RAT before. At first their faces are like “don’t enjoy”… but I really love it and it really gets fun when they start raising their first and shout long.
Anon Yura: When I felt the sense of unity with our audience. It’s really fun when we all have together as one unit!
Yuzuriha Riri: Before you get united with music as one there is always a space gab. I mean, if there are 100 people in the same room, then each person has their own life, we all have our own struggles and fun times which we cannot always share with others. Even if you listen to the same music, you might never have the same feeling, and that’s fine. But even if our feelings are different and live music is playing, we are looking in the same direction and being filled with emotions which we share together, and that only can happen live.
How do you decide on the costumes?
Ichitani Aju: I asked my favorite brands “M:E” and “kakuremi”, to create our costumes and also the last two shows before I became an idol for this group. I’m happy that I’ve received so many opportunities to work with them.
Anon Yura: We all consult and decide together!
Yuzuriha Riri: We’ll discuss the details with each other, but I’ll leave it up to the people who make our customs and our producer Teruna to handle the general details etc.
What’s your favorite song of POISON RAT?
Ichitani Aju: “毒69” (doku 69). It’s my first song that’s my very own, so I’m deeply fond of it.
Anon Yura: It’s “salam”, I really like it because it expresses me so well!
Yuzuriha Riri: I’ve so many memories of all the songs, so I can’t really tie them just to one song, but I especially like “grayscale” because the song feels as if I wrote the song myself from out of my heart.
Who decides the choreography?
Ichitani Aju: Mostly Yura and Teruna, but everyone is free to give some input ideas.
Anon Yura: Our producer, other idols and choreographers.
Yuzuriha Riri: Yura and Teruna are the main ones. But we are all working on it little by little.
Who is your favorite artist?
Ichitani Aju: SUG.
Anon Yura: EXILE THE SECOND & 風男塾 (Fudanjuku).
Yuzuriha Riri: I do like many artists, but recently I really like the band CIVIRIAN.
What’s your favorite genre of music?
Ichitani Aju: Japanese rock.
Anon Yura: Idol.
Yuzuriha Riri: I always liked to listen to Anime and Vocaloid music, I still like to listen to it from time to time.
What is your favorite food?
Ichitani Aju: Plum.
Anon Yura: I love tomato-based food, Pasta with meatballs, Hayashi Rice, Minestrone, carbohydrates.
Yuzuriha Riri: Yakiniku and chocolate!
What is your favorite drink?
Ichitani Aju: Ginger ale dry.
Anon Yura: Cafe latte.
Yuzuriha Riri: Cocacola, milk, Dr. Pepper.
What are your hobbies?
Ichitani Aju: Gaming, especially FPS (First Person Shooter).
Anon Yura: Watching YouTube.
Yuzuriha Riri: My hobby was music, so since I started this job as an idol the hobby kind of disappeared, but I really like to go singing karaoke on my free days.
What are your recent interests?
Ichitani Aju: I love cooking, recently I’m learning how to cook a dish exactly how it’s shown in a photo.
Anon Yura: Dancing.
Yuzuriha Riri: Cooking!! I’d like to get better at it and turn it into a hobby.
What makes you smile?
Ichitani Aju: The smiles of all the Otakus.
Anon Yura: When everyone is smiling.
Yuzuriha Riri: The smiles of everyone who supports me. That’s all.
If you could make a live show abroad, where would you like to do it?
Ichitani Aju: I would like to perform at DEAD RHYTHM EASTER FEST.
Anon Yura: Taiwan or South Korea!
Yuzuriha Riri: China, South Korea, and the Philippines are closely related to Japanese culture, so I would like to show people over there the world of POISON RAT.
Corona is a global issue at the moment. As an artist, how do you deal with this issue?
Ichitani Aju: For idols and for the music industry right now. I think everyone is filled with cloudy feelings. I hope I can cheer you up as much as I can without any boundaries of genre!
Anon Yura: We have been unable to perform well due corona, so we have been unable to express ourselves well enough, However we give our best to use SNS to communicate with everyone and to let people who don’t know us yet who POISON RAT are!
Yuzuriha Riri: I hope that anybody who feels sad because of Corona will be happy again.
What’s your ultimate goal for the future of POISON RAT?
Ichitani Aju: To play at Budokan, with anyone calling out for us!
Anon Yura: To stand on a big stage with us four together.
Yuzuriha Riri: Ultimately, it’s hard to say, but to put it simply, I want to be an artist that everyone can understand when they hear “POISON RAT”.
Please write your message to your fans and readers.
Ichitani Aju: Thank you for your support!! I hope that everyone will follow me! I will do my best to show you the very best LIVE’s you will ever see! Thank for you (continued) support for POISON RAT!!~
Anon Yura: Thank you for always supporting POISON RAT! We’re going to grow much bigger in the future, so I’d be happy if you could (continue) watch over me/us!
Yuzuriha Riri: Thank you very much!! Please keep following us so that our music will become one of your reasons to live, we will continue until we die!
About Jack In The BOX
The crowdfunding for your first album Jack In The BOX has been very successful. How do you feel having so many supporters?
Ichitani Aju: People often told us that it was a stupid reckless challange, but thanks to everyone, we were able to succeed the cahallens! I’m really happy and very thankful for that and I’ll do my best to not lose against CORONA!
Yuzuriha Riri: I think that the success is the result of everyone’s support for us in an understandable way. Thank you so much! I’ll do my best to not waste anything of it!
Teruna: Thank you very much for your cooperation! We hope that this success we’ve achieved all together with POISON RAT and all their fans will take shape and lead to future success! We would be very happy if you also could come to Tokyo to see POISON RAT’s lives!
The release date of Jack In The BOX has been delayed due to corona. Is there already an expected date? Or is the release date still unknown?
Teruna: We currently have scheduled it for the beginning of next year. We’ll keep you posted on this as soon as possible! We are also thinking of holding a release event in NAGOYA to coincide with the release.
What was the biggest inspiration of the first album Jack In The BOX?
Teruna: This is the first time that we started working on a full album. It’s been three years since POISON RATS was formed, so it would be amazing if this release could make them grow further!
Why did you decide to title the album Jack In The BOX?
Teruna: For a while POISON RAT has been playing mostly intense and heavy songs, when POISON RAT formed they mostly only played cute pop songs. Both styles are now POISON RATS characteristics.
We called it Jack In The BOX because it’s a “surprise box”, it contains all of the variety of POISON RAT’s music, but it also introduces a new side of the band.
Please tell us more about the artwork of Jack In The BOX.
Teruna: As the name suggests, Poison Rat Surprise Box! When you open the lyric card, you can see a surprise box that sticks out of the box.
Questions To Teruna (Producer)
How did you select the members of POISON RAT?
Teruna: The leader of the band was introduced to me by a friend of mine. My friend told me that there was a girl who is very good at singing and wanted to sing on stage, and so we decided to work together. Meeting her is truly the best thing ever!
The rest of the band members were chosen through interviews, the girls who wanted to join applied via SNS and live shows. I truly believe that meeting any of the members was decided by fate and it’s the best thing ever happened!
What are the joys and hardships of running POISON RAT?
Teruna: I think it’s always difficult to go through the trial and error of how to overcome difficulties when the personalities and ideas of each individual clash with each other, or when things don’t go well.
The best moments are always when I get to see my beloved group and the audience with many smiles on their faces at a POISON RAT live. Because they are a group that I love and also put a lot of my own energy into too, so when everyone smiles such moments are the happiest moment of my life!
Also I always feel very happy if I can share my beloved group with others. They are now a group who lives entirely with all their fans, they achieved that thanks to the help of so many great people. I really will do my best to share my love for POISON RAT with more and more people and to bring together with them something amazing to all their fans who helped to create POISON RAT.