Sunday, October 13, 2013

Interview with moumoon

About moumoon

moumoonVKEIOS: Hello, could you please introduce yourselves for our readers?

YUKA : Hello everyone it's moumoon. Our band name means “soft moon”, we even make concerts under the full moon. And just like the moon, our music has many changing faces.

MASAKI : moumoon is made of Yuka who's writing the lyrics, and Masaki who's in charge of composing. We have experiment on a broad range of musical genres, hope you guys like what we do !

VKEIOS: What five words would you use to describe each other?

YUKA : Masaki is a sleepy head, a glutton, he's very balanced, gentle, and smiling.

MASAKI : Yuka; she's positive, but sometimes weak, unique, full of ideas, and so energetic, she'll never give up on something once she has decided to do it !

VKEIOS: With a group name that means "soft moon” how did you come up with such a name?

YUKA: The name means that we want people to be enveloped in sweetness by our music, just like the soft glow of the moon. And also, like the moon, growing and always changing, it reflects our desire to experiment in musical genres.

MASAKI: The moon has this soft image linked to it, the reassuring light in the dark. And also it has a very romantic meaning.

VKEIOS: How do you feel that name is reflected in your music?

YUKA:The mou, is “soft” in French, as for the moon part, well, we always perform on full moon nights with our FULLMOON LIVE. Of course, the moon and the stars are important themes in our lyrics too.

MASAKI:moumoon is a band that loves the moon, and as such, we always have concerts on the full moon. 8 years ago, we decided to integrate French in our band name, and we'll play in France soon, maybe it was fate !

VKEIOS: You’ve been around since 2005, could you tell us how Moumoon formed?

YUKA: A mutual friend introduced me to Masaki, and let me listen to one of his demo tapes. I was so moved by what I heard ! And that's how things started.

MASAKI: After we met, I asked Yuka to write some lyrics to go with the melody she listened, and we recorded it. And that was it ! We had found the perfect chemistry we were looking for. Her lyrics would so perfectly match every melody I wrote, we ended up with a demo CD in no time.

In the meantime we had started to produce ourselves live, soon after we signed a contract with an indie label, and that's how it all started.

VKEIOS: Prior to the group’s formation, were the two of you already active in the music industry?

YUKA:No I wasn't, I was a cheerleader up until then.
MASAKI:I wasn't a musician in a professional sense of it, but I would arrange songs for a friend's band, compose music for a friend's play, so I was involved in music making.

VKEIOS: What do you think are the best aspects of being part of a duo?

YUKA:We can try many different sounds.
We can do energetic songs, slow ballads, experiment with sound since we do not have fixed instruments for the both of us, so our experimenting is without limit.

MASAKI: Depending on the song, we can choose which instrument to play, and that's the best part for me. I can be the rhythm maker by playing percussions, or do the bass line on the keys, etc... We're free to decide which part to play. Also, with a band of 4 or 5 people there always famous stories of fights and dispute, there's none of these problems with only the 2 of us.

VKEIOS: What’s the most fun you’ve had on your job?
YUKA:Yesterday, on my first rehearsal in France !!!

MASAKI:moumoon after our first national tour, on the last day, after the show, we had a drink and that feeling was just the best !


VKEIOS: How has your music evolved since you first debuted?

YUKA:I think moumoon has quite evolved since its debut, especially in terms of composing. I think at first it was quite difficult to match our vision around one type of sound. Even if I had something in mind, it wouldn't be the same thing as Masaki. But now we are more relaxed, as if our breathing was synchronized.

MASAKI:Our way of making songs is mostly what has evolved, at first we separated completely the writing and composing parts, each of us in charge of its own part. But recently we're making almost all of our songs together. As time passes and we work together, it feels like we're able to tackle on more and more challenging things.

VKEIOS: How would you describe the theme for your latest album, PAIN KILLER?

YUKA: Music that stops the pain, the aches of the heart.

MASAKI:The theme was an album that would be like a prescription for heartaches and pain. The power of music would cure your heart of its daily pains and stress.

VKEIOS: What made you chose the name "PAIN KILLER" for its title?

YUKA: There are no medicine to cure the pain of the heart. But music can. That's why the album is called pain killer.

MASAKI:Yuka said “Pain Killer ! That's it ! That's gotta be it !”
Me, it made me think of some hard rock song, I had some hesitations, but I was convinced in the end.

VKEIOS: What are you most proud of about this album?

YUKA:The song “PAIN”. When you feel sad and depressed, sometimes you wish that you could shut your body down and erase all emotions, however, the song is about how feeling pain, is proof  that you're alive. During the recording, I couldn't stop crying during when we did this song. This his how powerful it is.

MASAKI:I think that without comprise it is the one song that compromise everything that is us, that defines us as of now as a band, musically. I love the melody, Yuka's delicate voice and words, the sound of my faithful telecaster, the beautiful strings, the keys that are very present too, and the tempo that makes your body move on its own. Anyway, it's a very moving, powerful and full of emotions.

VKEIOS: Which piece from this album has the best story behind it? And what is that story?

YUKA: It's “doko e mo ikanaiyo”.  The song is about when your love for someone is so big it becomes overwhelming. It appears a just love song at first, but it has a scary side too.

“Help me” is a little different that our usual songs as it's more about the malicious part in us, it's an interesting song.

VKEIOS: If you had to name a theme for each of your previous albums, what would those themes be?

Flowers →Impulse
love me?→Challenge
moumoon→Fully expressing ourselves
リフレイン→A turning point
15 Doors→We want you to know us!
No Night Land→Sound and words that are good food for thoughts
PAINKILLER→Curing the gloom in your heart

Flowers →Our lives to that point
love me?→A new start
moumoon→Everything about moumoon
リフレイン→A turning point
15 Doors→Everything about moumoon yet again
No Night Land→Theme park for your brain
PAINKILLER→Our resolve in music making

VKEIOS: Earlier this year you went on a tour, what’s it like when you’re performing new songs for the first time?

YUKA:My heart is always pounding like a drum. Feels like it wants to scream.

MASAKI: We rehearse many times, of course, with the scenery of the hall, and the audience changing, I always feel a bit nervous, but this stress is kind of fun. When the public reacts better than we anticipated, it always feels great to see the surprise and delight on the members' faces.

Creative Process

VKEIOS: How many hours of work typically goes into creating one album? 

YUKA:Counting the time to make the demo, about 6 to 7 months.

MASAKI:It's quite hard to count, a full album requires quite an enormous amount of time. Starting by finding the concept, getting the ideas for the melody, the arrangements, etc... I'd say a little over one year.

VKEIOS: Do you write the lyrics to match the music or the music to match the lyrics?

YUKA:We match the lyrics to the melody.

MASAKI:The melody generally comes first. Sometimes we create both at the same time.

VKEIOS: Do you ever draw on life experiences when you compose new pieces?

YUKA:Daily life is a gold mine for inspiration.

MASAKI:The music you hear while walking around town, music on the radio, on TV, talking with people, etc... Inspiration comes from many places. Actually, there are so many things going on around us very day, it's hard to say we should take this or that into consideration for song making.

VKEIOS: When it comes to music creation/recording, what’s something that you know now, that you wish you knew when you started?

YUKA:Don't be so hard on yourself, just be more relaxed.

MSAKI: Mixing with an analog mixer gets us just the sound we want. And also, the best mike to match Yuka's voice is the Neumann u67.

VKEIOS: Where do you find inspiration for your visuals? Is this a joint effort or is it one person making the decision?

YUKA: First, there's usually something that comes to my mind, and I share it with Masaki. Once we're satisfied about what we want to do, we present it to the staff, and then we discuss it together.

MASAKI:Mostly, Yuka's the one boiling with ideas all the time !
Then we discuss on how to shape things with our awesome art director, who's always been with us, and it becomes a great piece.

VKEIOS: What do you love most about the music creation process?

YUKA:Making demos. I am the most excited when we find a new sound that we love for the first time.

MASAKI:What I like the most isn't composing, or arranging or even performing, I think it's the mixing : getting the perfect balance, trying many effects and finding the perfect sound.


VKEIOS: I know you will be performing in Paris soon, what are you most looking forward to about this performance?

YUKA:I hope everyone that comes to see moumoon will leave with the biggest smile on their faces !!!!!

MASAKI: The first and most important thing for us, is that we will play for the first time in France and we want our audience to enjoy our live. And of course, we want to enjoy the city and the French cuisine !

VKEIOS: What should you fans look forward to in the coming months?

YUKA:We're going to release a new album next year !!!

MASAKI:We're now completely focused on the creation of our next release. We also have some tour dates in Asia.

VKEIOS: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years, or even 10 years from now?

YUKA:Still singing, drawing pictures and writing stories.

MASAKI:Still composing songs for moumoon.

VKEIOS: Thank you for your time! Any last words for all the readers at Visual KEIOS?

YUKA: Thank you for reading us ! Hope you take this opportunity to start listening to our songs if you haven't yet. Moumoon is a very happy, easy-going band that will give a lot of positive energy. Every full moon, we're playing live, and it's broadcast on Ustream, so you can enjoy our concert anywhere in the world, as long as you have a computer. Then every time you'll see the moon, you'll think about moumoon.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing you at our concerts !

MASAKI: Hey everyone, it's Masaki from moumoon. I'm really, really, looking forward to our live in France. If this is the first time you've heard about us, please give our songs a try, you won't regret it. We have happy songs, ballads, cool rock songs, and many others, I'm sure there's one you'll enjoy !

Official Homepage

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This interview with was written by Kaitlin Maginnis and Alicia R. Thomas. Many thanks to moumoon, their management, and Tokyo Crazy Kawaii Paris for making this interview possible!


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