Sleeping, Name Image change and a New look! Kirin Works interviewed Starwave band Tokami...

Please introduce yourselves and tell us what is the first thing you do when you wake up?

I'm Agato, Tokami's vocalist. When I wake up in the morning, I drink coffee.

I'm K on guitar. When I wake up, I drink tomato juice, lol.

I'm Ichika on bass, the first thing I do when I wake up is water the flowers.

I'm 1000 on drums. When I wake up I fall back to sleep again.


Last Summer you went on a short break from band activities before signing under Starwave Records. How did you spend that short break?

Agato: I was thinking about what we could do for the band, updating the blog and making lunch-boxes.

Shige: I was song-writing.

K: I was practising the guitar and studying recording.

Ichika: I was resting. Life without the band was boring

1000: I was sleeping.


What would you say is different now... has this new start given you a fresh perspective, new ideas or a new goal?

Agato: We began to look into performing overseas, and we were able to design a new label

Shige: Everything has changed. We've been working intensely, almost as if we're in a rage.

K: After the break I think we have a much darker image.

Ichika: After the break I think we're now speaking in our own voice. When we go to write songs we can see so much more potential.

1000: I've woken up.


You also quite recently started using the Roman lettering for the band's name? Although this now obviously makes it easier for the West to find you, why did you decide to make this swap?

Agato: We chose to write in Roman lettering to give us a fresh start.

Shige: The new lettering brought us peace of mind

1000: We did it to have the correct pronunciation; even in Japanese many people would read the characters "Togami" instead of "Tokami".


If you had the chance to change one thing about yourself, or perhaps one of your fellow band members, what would it be and why?

Agato: Everything about myself is fine.

Shige: Maybe I'd change Agato, he's too popular among the ladies.

Ichika: If I had to I'd say I'd become Agato. As the vocalist is always the popular one, I'd like to try.

1000: K, because he never catches colds, lol.


You have expressed an interest in previous interviews about touring more places in Japan, but also other places across the world. Would the United Kingdom be one of those places in the future?

Agato: I'd love to go on tour in the UK!

Shige: I've never thought about it, but if everyone bought loads of CDs and downloaded tracks from iTunes and we became rich, I'd think about it.

K: We have no plans at the moment, but if the opportunity came along, I'd love to go.

Ichika: I'd like to someday. Our plans are not fixed yet.

1000: If we had the chance, yes.


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the UK?

Agato: A country of castles, cathedrals, palaces and lots of World Heritage sites.

Shige: Radiohead

K: The birthplace of real rock.

Ichika: The White Cliffs of Dover

1000: 007


You have an enthusiastic following in Tokyo especially, what stands out for you most about performing in Tokyo?

Shige: the way the girls shake their head to our music is special, it's like a wave.

K: Most of all, the intensity.

Ichika: It's like there are 5 demons on the stage and we're all performing intensely. It's such a good feeling.


What, or who, is your biggest inspiration in life?

Shige: That would be... ramen.

Ichika: Our inspiration comes from inside and it never falters. There's an instinctual feeling that is better than sex.

1000: The feeling of creating something. creating activity, creating a performance.


What does being in the Underground scene mean to you?

Ichika: It doesn't have a particular meaning. It's almost as if we're travellers and the Underground scene is a waypoint for us.

1000: The Underground scene is a place where we can express exactly what we want to.


What has being in Tokami taught you about who you are as people?

Ichika: Nothing much. My ego runs wild!

1000: I've learned that I can't exist alone... and because people look up to Tokami, I have to pay attention to what kind of person I am.


What can we expect from Tokami for this year? Do you have any new material we should be looking forward to?

Agato: Our best album is coming out on the 6th of June. You'll be able to see how our music has changed since we changed the band name to “Tokami”. Please enjoy it!

Ichika: We'll begin selling our best album. We won't give anything away, we want you to feel it for yourself.

1000: there'll be a promotional video which will accompany our best album. You'll be able to check it out on YouTube.


Final message for UK fans...?

Agato: When Tokami finally goes to to UK to play live, let's all have a great time.

Shige: I love the UK. Please buy our CD!

K: If you're interested please experience the music of Tokami.

Ichika: Please tell us what English food is delicious. We really don't know.

1000: Tokami has been heavily influenced by British music, I'm sure you'll love our new album.

London, London, enjoyable London, pleasant London