AnimeNEXT 2014 — Tempest’s Interview with Rookiez is Punk’d

Posted on Jun 11 2014

AnimeNext Interview With Rookiez Is Punk'd

At AnimeNEXT we conducted a round-table style interview which included Dani from, Melissa from, and me (Tempest) asking questions of three of the members of Rookiez is Punk’d: 2Rash, Shinnosuke and U. Takumi chose to stay out of the limelight and took pictures instead.

    1) Dani asked: How did it feel having your music featured in anime?

  • a. Shinnosuke: It didn’t feel realistic.

  • b. U: It made me really happy, but in making the music, it wasn’t hitting me – is this really going to be in an anime? When I saw it, I was happy.

  • c. 2Rash: It’s different to make the music and then see it on the screen. Different from what I’ve experienced before and a different feeling than playing it live. “This is like crazy.”


    2) I asked: On Friday’s concert, you dedicated the song “Complication” to everyone suffering a hardship. Shinnosuke said he wrote it when he was considering leaving the music industry. Could you please tell what you were going through to lead you to that?

  • a. Shinnosuke: From doing music for such a long time, starting before debuting, and trying to continue through financial problems, following our dream is hard. You see your friends having a real job and being financially stable, and to push through becomes harder. I got hit with the reality that I might not be able to continue. It’s not just a Japanese problem, either. People all over the world have problems following their dreams.

    3) Melissa asked: When putting an album together, does the order matter or is it coincidence?

  • a. Shinnosuke: We feel it’s very important. First we talk about it, try to figure out shape of the album. Lineup is very important in making an album.

    4) Dani asked: Is American music a big influence for you? You performed “I Got a Feeling” by the Black-Eyed Peas at your concert.

  • a. Shinnosuke: We’re heavily influenced by American music. Regarding the Black-Eyed Peas, we talked about performing it ahead of time. That the audience would be able to sing a long, this would be great. “Eggmate of the Year” is based off the song by Zebrahead, “Playmate of the Year.” It was exciting to hear back when Zebrahead contacted us about it.

  • b. U: There are a lot of great artists in Japan, but the power of American artists is different. It’s a completely different grade of power. From my eyes, yes, I am very inspired. I look up to them a lot.

  • c. 2Rash: We were influenced by Japanese bands at first, but if it’s rock, it’s rock. UK, American bands, etc. You see on the billboards what’s actually popular now, and we’re sensitive to what is popular with the crowd right now. When I started the band, the hip-hop scene was popular: Limp Bizkit, crazy awesome band. Make it an inspiration, put it through a filter, take the parts you want to take. A lot of Japanese artists are inspired by Japanese bands too.

    5) I asked: Japanese guests often find American audiences unpredictable. How was it to perform in New Jersey, and how was it different from performing on the West Coast? Was it rowdy?

  • a. Shinnosuke: One of the main things that stood out from last night and from Cali was, when we’re just standing by, getting ready, all the screaming and chanting is great. That’s not something we experience all the time. We feel that the vibe was very, very high, very passionate. Even in San Jose and New Jersey, you get such a great response from the audience. We feel the audience is able to convey feelings a lot more easily than in Japan. Normally I can’t speak English, so I practiced and tried to get at it. Even with the little English I know, the audience tried to take meaning from my words. That actually made me – I pushed to communicate – it made me really tired. I was in pain, but thanks to that I was able to have such a great live last night.

  • b. U: We’ve been playing lives in Japan, and having an audience makes me not my real self. From the vibe of the audience, that pushes my vibe to the max. Even my emcee was fun. Even when I took off one t-shirt, I had a lot of fun doing that. (During the concert, he took off his Rookiez is Punk’d shirt to reveal another shirt with Asuka printed on it.)

  • c. 2Rash: The difference between America and Japan is that the audience really enjoys it from the bottom of their heart (in America), while in Japan there’s more shyness. When we perform here, we intake something different. It would be great if Japanese fans could come and learn.


    6) Melissa asked: You have a diverse sound. Describe your music for people who haven’t heard it.

  • a. Shinnosuke: In the Japanese genre, we’d be a mix band, having influence from overseas. But a couple of things we have as a center point is having a melody that will be conveyed all over the world. But because our language is Japanese, we would sing in Japanese and then bring in all the pieces and sound that we like, and bring in all the meat with the music. We’re sashoku, which means omnivore-style. We eat everything: punk, rock, pop, jazz, everything.

    7) Dani asked: Aside from performing live, were you impressed with anything in America, and do you have plans of coming back because of what you enjoyed?

  • a. 2Rash: I really like beer, and there’s a lot of delicious beer here. Other than that, there’s a lot that I learn and take in every day. Coming overseas is actually something I learn a lot from. I would love to come every month, but it’s not possible. And reconnecting would be great. I would like to come here even on private time.

  • b. U: I’m not able to speak English much, so I’m not able to be friends with people. Last night I drank a lot and was able to communicate with more people, so I’d like to drink more tonight.

  • c. Shinnosuke: Even with the live yesterday, there were all these people enjoying it, and all the people hanging out with me. Everyone is great, even the staff. I’d want to become more acquainted and be like “I haven’t seen you in a while, how have you been?” All the cosplayers are so pretty; all really cute.

    8) I asked: I saw the shirts you did with Subciety in Shibuya, and I know you’re working with SRH Clothing in San Diego. How is that going, and what are you most excited about?

  • a. Shinnosuke: Subciety and SRH are actually a support ramp for us, so they make our costumes for the lives. Not only that, but they’re part of a culture: they support free basketball players or motocross, using that as a connection to other subculture scenes. All different kinds of people getting together and being able to hear stories from what they’ve experienced becomes such an impact and inspiration for our music. It’s very important, having a brand like that support us. We are so grateful.

    9) Melissa asked: What does the future hold for Rookiez and what will you do next?

  • a. Shinnosuke: One of the main things is to release a full album and put out something that can be conveyed to more people, to release something and do more live performances overseas, and become a band that holds connections with so many people.

  • b. U: I would like to do more types of anime, be able to do overseas live shows, and make a lot more connections. We want a lot more people to find out about Rookiez: that’s one of our biggest feelings. It’s something important for us to grow as a band by playing overseas.

Upcoming is Tempest’s Review of AnimeNEXT 2014, with more details from the Rookiez is Punk’d concert.

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