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An interview with MAMA.


⚠ 日本語版へこちら。

MAMA., thank you very much for this opportunity!

Please introduce yourselves.

[Mei (命依)] I'm vocalist Mei. It's nice to meet you.

[Kagome (かごめ)] I'm guitarist Kagome. Nice to meet you.

[JiMYY] I'm guitarist JiMMY. It's nice to meet you.

[Mana (真)] I'm bassist Mana.

[Ren (蓮)] I'm drummer Ren.

L→R: G. JiMYY / B. Mana (真) / V. Mei (命依) / D. Ren (蓮) / G. Kagome (かごめ)

L→R: G. JiMYY / B. Mana (真) / V. Mei (命依) / D. Ren (蓮) / G. Kagome (かごめ)

In December 2022, “mama.” departed their label and became independent.

Almost a year after going independent, how do you feel about the change?

[Mei (命依)] We restarted with the intention of acting like a new band, so we have been able to play with a fresh mindset that is very stimulating for me as the brain of the band. It's easier to live this way because we're not a band created by someone else.

[Kagome (かごめ)] It can be a struggle because we feel the difficulty of doing things by ourselves, but it's what we wanted to do. But it's easier to move forward because we're following our own principles.

[JiMYY] Now that we no longer have the watchful eyes of a third party and are making all of the decisions ourselves, there are times that I wonder whether we're doing the right thing; but I think we've having a lot of fun despite that.

[Mana (真)] I felt as if we were starting from 1 again. But the things we've cultivated so far have been good.

[Ren (蓮)] For me, everything I do with these members is new and fresh, and each day seems to fly by at an incredible pace.

As creatives, has it been difficult to oversee the “business” side of being a band?

[Mei (命依)] I mainly compose and write lyrics. I don't really think of it as a business so I leave that up to the other members.

[Kagome (かごめ)] I hadn't thought about it much, but realize it's been difficult to make various proposals; I've had successes and failures.

[JiMYY] I've been in charge of the mixing and mastering since we became independent. I'm always concentrating on making a better musical product, so I rarely look at things from a business point of view.

[Mana (真)] I try to consider the various ideas that the other members have come up with. For better or worse, I've always thought like this. But my core as an artist remains the same, and I always work with “music” in mind.

[Ren (蓮)] I am not familiar with the business side of things so I might need to learn more. Maybe I should ask the members, “what is my role?”

V. Mei (命依)

V. Mei (命依)

The band debuted their new form, “MAMA.”

How did you settle on the new name MAMA.? Did you ever consider changing your name to something else?

[Mei (命依)] We decided to capitalize the letters without discussing it much. I think we didn't consider a different band name because we weren't thinking of disbanding.

[Kagome (かごめ)] Although the members changed, the band stayed the same, so we thought it would be good to capitalize the letters to signify our growth.

[JiMYY] To be honest, I don't remember why we capitalized it, but I do remember saying that I liked the band's current name and didn't want to change it.

[Mana (真)] I'm not sure if there's a reason, but I hope you will interpret the change from mama. to MAMA. as an evolution.

[Ren (蓮)] The band name was already decided when I joined, but I personally like the capital letters because they're more stylish.

During this time, guitarist Shiyu (紫游) changed his name to JiMYY. What made you want to make this change?

[JiMYY] This was the nickname I was given when I was 10 years old, and even as the years have passed and my environment has changed, people around me still call me by this name. So the simple reason is “why not use this one?” Thanks to that, my life is easier.



New drummer Ren (蓮) joined at the same time. What has it been like to work with a new drummer?

[Mei (命依)] We were friends back in Niigata, my hometown, and I used to hang out with him in private, but it was Mana (真) who invited him.

[Kagome (かごめ)] I think it must have been difficult to join the band in the middle [of our activity], but since Ren (蓮) was already familiar with MAMA. it was easier.

[JiMYY] It's nice to have hometown friends.

[Mana (真)] I'd been thinking “this is the guy!” for a long time and I persistently persuaded him lol. There's something compatible about how we work; or rather we fit well together.

[Ren (蓮)] Everyone has a strong individuality, but rather than clashing with each other the band ultimately comes together as one. I think these are good members.

Ren (蓮), what was your drumming approach to playing old MAMA. songs? Were any particularly difficult to learn?

[Ren (蓮)] I'm not a particularly good drummer, so it might have been a challenge. I am especially bad at phrases that require detailed bass drumming; I don't know how much time I spent trying to understand the phrases in the song “Karma.” Even so, MAMA. motivated me.

How did it feel to perform again after your hiatus? Did the stage feel different as “MAMA.?”

[Mei (命依)] I was a little nervous, but I feel like my performances have become even cooler since I realized what I was doing wrong during the hiatus. I'll continue doing whatever I want.

[Kagome (かごめ)] We were determined that this was our starting point, so it was a very spirited live. I feel like we were able to stretch ourselves in terms of live performance.

[JiMYY] During the time of the activity stop we couldn't do anything, so I was just happy to be able to perform again.

[Mana (真)] I let out a lot of things that had been accumulating for those 3 months. It had been a while since I was on stage so I was quite nervous.

[Ren (蓮)] I thought I had prepared as much as humanly possible for that day, but I remember I was so nervous before the show that I had to ask the members for help (laughs).

G. Kagome (かごめ)

G. Kagome (かごめ)

The band's first original full album, “ANIMISM,” was released in July.

How was it to work on a full album for the first time, as opposed to a single or mini-album?

[Mei (命依)] The reason was that I wanted to make a full album, and we had a good opportunity to do so, so we did it. We'll continue to create VISUAL HYBRID MUSIC. I still want to do a lot with music.

[Kagome (かごめ)] It was the first one in my life, as well as the first for MAMA., so I thought it would be really hard work, but as I listened to the songs gradually being created I became more and more motivated.

[JiMYY] I came to realize that a band is their album after all.

[Mana (真)] It was a lot of work to complete the project, but I felt a great sense of accomplishment once it was finished.

[Ren (蓮)] A lot of things happened before ANIMISM was completed. We really kept everyone waiting for the finalized CD version to arrive.

  1. KAGUYA (instrumental)
  2. Tenmei no Ame (天命の雨)
  4. Psycho
  5. Fukoubutsu (Vocal one shot take ver.) (不幸物 (Vocal one shot take ver.))
  7. OMEN
  8. Koufukuron (幸福論)
  9. Mariana (instrumental)
  10. Nightmare.
  11. MUDER RED CHAINSAW (2023 ver.)
  12. Dystopia
  13. Wednesday.

Were there any challenges or incidents during the recording of the album?

[Mei (命依)] To be honest, I don't remember much of it because I felt so desperate, but the members all seemed really positive.

[Kagome (かごめ)] As usual, it was extremely difficult to deliver the best, most compelling product within the timeframe.

[JiMYY] It was quite a struggle to do all of the recording ourselves from start to finish, but I had a great time.

[Mana (真)] There were lots of challenges with scheduling and so on. Personally, I think the moment right before release was the most difficult.

[Ren (蓮)] During the production period I broke out in hives for the first time in my life. It was very painful but I want to continue having experiences with this band.

Mei (命依), you performed the song Fukoubutsu (不幸物) in one shot. Why did you decide to take on that challenge for this song?

[Mei (命依)] I didn't think many people would understand this song so I was originally going to include it in the release without changing anything [from the original version], but it seems like people were actually listening to it so the idea [to re-record the vocals] suddenly came to me during the recording period. It's a strange song but it's cool huh?

How did it feel to remake the beloved song MURDER RED CHAINSAW?

[Mei (命依)] It was a popular song during the lowercase mama. era so we wanted to sharpen that blade and continue using it as a weapon during our new era.

[Kagome (かごめ)] We decided to re-record that because it's a sharp song that's popular with our fans.

[JiMYY] Since the lives where we don't play this song are few and far between, it's a very important song for us, so we updated it. It's a song that I could re-record even more.

[Mana (真)] It's definitely our killer tune, so we wanted to evolve it as well.

[Ren (蓮)] I had personally always liked that song, so I completely agreed with the members' suggestion.

B. Mana (真)

B. Mana (真)

For each of you, which song from the album are you proudest of, and why?

[Mei (命依)] It's Wednesday. Eternity may not exist, but I want to live believing in Eternity.

[Kagome (かごめ)] Right after we finished it was Dystopia., but it has come to be Tenmei no Ame. When we play it live, the lyrics come through and its emotions are easy to get into.

[JiMYY] It's OMEN. I had always wanted to do a song with this kind of atmosphere. Maybe because of that, its arrangement came instantaneously.

[Mana (真)] Mine is the same as Ren (蓮), but it's Nightmare.. The composition and lyrics are simple and good. I've said from the beginning that it's my favorite.

[Ren (蓮)] At this moment it's Nightmare. I think it changes depending on the time of day I'm listening, what I'm thinking at the time, my mood. But I feel like the tempo and gentle atmosphere are closest to who I am at this moment.

The release tour final oneman, 『Fukushuu』 (『復讐』), was held at Spotify O-WEST on September 15th. The band declared “we are creating a new era of visual kei!”

Your revival oneman was titled “VISUAL HYBRID MUSIC.” and this seems to have become your new concept. Please tell us what this phrase means to you.

[Mei (命依)] The message of it is “as a band who started in this era, we're mixing new things into visual kei to create a revolution and restoration.”

[Kagome (かごめ)] I think it's something like a declaration of war against this period of sameness.

[JiMYY] Of course we're not completely rejecting the visual kei genre of the past. We respect it, but also want to destroy it.

[Mana (真)] In the same sense, we hope to find new challenges and experiences in addition to visual kei.

[Ren (蓮)] As the name suggests, we would like to continue taking on challenges while weaving together lots of elements.

What is the difference between “VISUAL” and “VISUAL HYBRID?”

[Mei (命依)] I know there are a lot of bands doing new things right now, and the boundaries between genres are breaking down. It's precisely because we're in this era that we want to establish ourselves as the only MAMA.. I want MAMA. to be recognized as MAMA. rather than that phrase.

[Kagome (かごめ)] Although we're in the visual kei genre, we're trying to deliver music that goes beyond it.

[JiMYY] It's a symbol of unconventionality.

[Mana (真)] It's not that we're forcing ourselves to do something new, but what we want to do is connected to something new. Our desire to liven up visual kei remains unchanged.

[Ren (蓮)] I think that MAMA. is a band whose charm and shine is that we're different from others.

During your activity pause, some foreign fans wondered if you would return as a “non-visual” band. Why do you feel visual kei is important for the band MAMA.?

[Mei (命依)] My life has changed since I discovered visual kei, and it saved my life when I was ready to die, so I want to be the next one to save it. I believe that the concept of MAMA. will be established once I've accomplished that.

[Kagome (かごめ)] As someone who entered this scene knowing nothing about visual kei, I understand best the merit of visual kei.

[JiMYY] I grew up listening to a variety of music, but the one I got most passionate about was visual kei. I had the impression that people overseas enjoy music without being as bound by genre so I was surprised that they were concerned about it.

[Mana (真)] I know this is a bit of a cliche, but I'm a vkei lover at heart!

[Ren (蓮)] Just like our fans, I think it's simply because we love visual kei.

The visual kei scene is starting to feel hot again thanks to bands like MAMA. Please tell us more about your intention to “create a new era of visual kei.”

[Mei (命依)] In the end, I think I'm able to create this style naturally because of my own selfish desire to make more people understand who Mei (命依) is. I just don't like being with anyone else. Except with the girl I like (laughs).

[Kagome (かごめ)] Times are always evolving, changing, and reincorporating the past, so I guess that means MAMA. will also continue to evolve.

[JiMYY] Recently it was said that visual kei has become obsolete, and honestly speaking, I can't completely deny it. In this day and age where it's so easy to upload a video of you playing a song on the internet, you hardly ever see a visual kei song. I would like to change the times so more kids will listen to visual kei and want to rock out again.

[Mana (真)] We just want to embody whatever we want to do, and we hope to build a new era from that.

[Ren (蓮)] It's difficult to summarize my own answer in this format where we have limited words, but I agree with what the other members said.

D. Ren (蓮)

D. Ren (蓮)

At the conclusion of the O-WEST oneman, MAMA. announced their solo performance, Kami Koroshi (神殺し), will be held on February 10 at Ebisu (恵比寿) LIQUID ROOM!

The title Kami Koroshi (神殺し) {God Killer} is quite evocative. Please tell us how you came to that title.

[Mei (命依)] It's a harsh title because I believe that God exists, but even so he doesn't come in every now and then and save the world. That's why I made a title that fights against all the gods so they'll show their faces to me. I think something great is going to happen.

[Kagome (かごめ)] If we can kill God, it means MAMA. is God, right? (Laughs) That's what we're saying.

[JiMYY] Only the person who thought of it knows the true meaning, but humans are creatures who rely on God. Since we're going to kill God, I get the impression that we're defiantly challenging ourselves to rely on no one.

[Mana (真)] You will understand everything when you visit us.

[Ren (蓮)] The title was decided by Mei (命依). It has a strong impact huh.

You have been running at a fast pace since reviving with a oneman at EDGE, then O-WEST, and now LIQUID ROOM. How are you feeling with this rate of growth?

[Mei (命依)] I don't care if we fill capacities or not, we just do it because we want to. But I want more people to see us, so we're going to keep on trying.

[Kagome (かごめ)] I think the good thing about MAMA. is that we're not bound by common sense, and this is a reflection of that.

[JiMYY] I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious, but the feeling of positivity is much greater. I'm really looking forward to LIQUID.

[Mana (真)] We're not doing it “just because” or anything like that, and I don't think it's the wrong choice because we as people only have this moment. However, it's a challenge so we'll take it on with great determination.

[Ren (蓮)] I think it's a good decision. There's a lot to be gained from it.

This will be your biggest stage yet. How will this show be different from your previous ones?

[Mei (命依)] I have fond memories of this place because I bought a same-day ticket to a oneman for a band called SCAPEGOAT, who I fell in love with when I first moved to Tokyo (東京).

[Kagome (かごめ)] I want to do something that will make the fans who have supported us this far feel glad that they came, so I'm more enthusiastic than ever.

[JiMYY] There was a time in the past where I would look up the capacity of livehouses, and this one is where the four-digit numbers started. I had always thought it would feel good to be able to play in a place like this, and now it has come true, so I'm very excited.

[Mana (真)] I have no fear at all, but I feel like this is a place where only cool bands can stand, so I'm grateful for the opportunity and want to create a magnificent stage.

[Ren (蓮)] When I think about my seniors who have stood here, I naturally feel a surge of energy.

The band has also announced the tour 「Shuugeki」 (「襲撃」) and sponsored event VISUAL NEW SPIRIT. at Shinjuku BLAZE.

Regarding this event, what's something that each of you is looking forward to?

[Mei (命依)] At taiban events, there are more people to talk to backstage, and that's a lot of fun. But of course we'll steal the show.

[Kagome (かごめ)] The number of people who support us has increased so I'm able to see more and more fans having fun in front of my eyes.

[JiMYY] I think we have visibly evolved since our oneman at WEST. I want as many people as possible to experience us live.

[Mana (真)] I'll do my best on that day to attract as many people as possible.

[Ren (蓮)] The thought gets my blood pumping every day. I look forward to standing in front of many people.

What are your goals for MAMA. in 2024 and beyond?

[Mei (命依)] No matter what, I want to spread the music and activities of MAMA. even more.

[Kagome (かごめ)] I think there are still many people who don't know MAMA., so I hope to reach them.

[JiMYY] Create better works and make them known to more people. It's the same every year.

[Mana (真)] I'll do my best to become stronger and bigger.

[Ren (蓮)] I want people who aren't even interested in visual kei to say “I've only heard of that band.”

Finally, please give a message to your readers.

[Mei (命依)] Thanks as always.

[Kagome (かごめ)] Thank you for reading until the end.

[JiMYY] We will go overseas. Someday.

[Mana (真)] Thank you very much as always. Please come see us live. I'm sure you'll discover something.

[Ren (蓮)] Thank you very much.

Thank you for this interview. We wish you the best of luck!

Thank you to for coordination and translation, and to and for further coordination.

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An interview with MAMA.

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Them being fans of SCAPEGOAT makes a lot of sense, actually. Great interview!