Interview with MERRY + video comment

Asian Music Polska had a chance to talk with MERRY about their newest single “Happy Life” and the message it conveys, the latest concert tour “Grateful Year 2015” and the band’s plans for the next year’s 15th anniversary. Read the interview and watch the video with a message for Poland! In the spirit of the La Tomatina, to which their newest music video alludes, Nero presented his Spanish language skills and Gara talked about how there is no language barrier in music.
Enjoy the interview and video!

AMP: Hello! Please tell us about your newest single “Happy Life”. It sounds a little bit different when compared with the previous MERRY’s songs. Is there any special reason for it? Is this a new direction in MERRY’s music?

GARA: Last year we’ve released the “NOnsenSe MARkeT” album on which we’ve honestly talked about the absurdity of our times and how displeased we are with them. After that I’ve started wondering what should I sing about next and finally I’ve arrived at the conclusion that I want to sing about what happiness is to me, after all even if something happens somewhere in the world, it doesn’t really affect me. What’s important to me are the people who are here with me now. I thought that I have to use it as a theme for a song and that’s how I wrote the lyrics. Perhaps it is something new and different in the music that MERRY has presented till now, but actually we just invariably want to present our message to everyone.

TETSU: We’ve released “NOnsenSe MARkeT”, then “Happy Life” and we’ve had “Grateful Year 2015 2F” tour and the most interesting thing is that we also don’t know yet what our direction will be from now on, where will these experiences lead us.

NERO: MERRY – the band that doesn’t conform to any genre. We’re able to play everything!!


AMP: The newest song was promoted with tomatoes. How did you come up with that idea? Tell us something about the music video and the tomato fight!

GARA: Both the members and our staff spent a lot of time discussing about this music video and in the end we’ve arrived altogether at that idea. We had to include MERRY’s theme, the dissatisfaction with our absurd times and the relentless need to support those who are weaker. We’ve started with that theme and in the end the idea of La Tomatina came to our minds. When we checked information about it, we’ve found many theories about its origin, but “Even if by the end of the fight everyone is totally red, nobody is dead”, we’ve come to a conclusion that this message, this nuance, perfectly fits MERRY’s theme and that’s how we’ve decided to have the tomato fight.

NERO: We knew about the Spanish festival called La Tomatina. According to one of the theories about its origin, the festival is about a “fight which ends up with everyone covered in red, but not because of shooting, but because of a merry tomato fight”. It had me completely.


AMP: The main theme of the second song from the single is insomnia. Tell us something more about it. What do you do when you can’t fall asleep?

GARA: I’d say the theme is actually “liar”.

TETSU: When I can’t fall asleep, I try not to think about anything, to empty my head completely.

NERO: At such times I just give up going to sleep.


AMP: Lyrics of songs such as “NOnsenSe MARkeT” and “Chiyoda-sen Democracy” contain criticism about politics and the state of society. Are those your real opinions and ideas or do you maybe decide on such lyrics because it fits the band’s concept and theme?

GARA: They are a message which we’d like to send to the society.

TETSU: The topics appearing in our lyrics reflect the things which are bothering GARA every day.
AMP: All your lyrics are written by the vocalist GARA, but do the other members also participate in their creation process in some way? For example they come up with the motifs or concepts together and later GARA writes his lyrics based on that?

GARA: These days we really want our message to be as strong as possible, that’s why the lyrics are written first and the music is created later. I think that thanks to the fact that I write the lyrics first, it’s easier for the other members to understand what would I like to sing about and what would I like to communicate.


AMP: Now let’s talk about the “Grateful Year 2015” tour. You performed with various artists on that tour, how did you decide with which bands do you want to play with?

GARA: First we’ve contacted those bands that somehow moved us, which followed their own path. We didn’t care about trivial things like the music genre or the band’s image, we just gathered the bands which could move and motivate MERRY.

TETSU: We chose those bands which we truly regarded as great ones.

NERO: Bands which came to our minds right away.


AMP: What interesting things happened during that tour?

GARA: A brand new world has opened to us, because we could perform on one stage together with bands with which normally we wouldn’t get a chance to play with.

TETSU: For the first time we played live the song “Waltz” from the “ZERO” single released back in 2013. We decided to play it together as five members. [Tetsu had an accident and now he rarely performs on  stage with the rest of the band – AMP]

NERO: We have more male fans now. And I think that our female fans became even greater than before.


AMP: If you were to have a world tour, which Western artists would you like to perform with?

TETSU: I would like to play with local bands in every country. In Poland it would be OSLO KILL CITY.

NERO: I would like to play with bands which greatly impressed me right away!


AMP: You’ve already had concerts in Germany and France, do you have any plans for visiting Europe again?

GARA: At this moment we have no such plans, but if only we had a chance to do so, I would really want to go to Europe.

NERO: Not now, but we would like to go there to present our “NOnsenSe MARkeT” album to everyone.


AMP: What comes to your mind when someone mentions Poland?

GARA: Auschwitz concentration camp.

TETSU: I think about the First and Second World Wars and how much something like these shouldn’t ever happen again. Warsaw’s scenery also comes to my mind.

NERO: Witold Lutosławski. [Polish composer and orchestral conductor – AMP]


AMP: GARA is quite famous for his unique behaviour on stage. Are the other members still sometimes surprised by his antics or maybe do you discuss about everything before the performance?

NERO: He does everything on the spur of the moment.


AMP: MERRY’s symbol is a sheep. What animal in your opinion symbolizes you the best?

GARA: Rabbit.

TETSU: There’s no mistaking it, I’m a giraffe.

NERO: Cat.


AMP: Do you have any new hobby these days?

TETSU: I’m still in the middle of my rehabilitation, so these days it’s walking.

NERO: Playing baseball and reading mangas about baseball.


AMP: What are your plans after the “Grateful Year 2015” tour? Soon it will be your 15th anniversary, do you have any special plans for that?

GARA: There will be the grand finale of our tour in EX THEATER ROPPONGI on 7 February 2016! Then we’re planning other activities in order to make our 15th anniversary as wonderful as possible.

TETSU: As befits MERRY, we will do something incredible!

NERO: There’s no avoiding it since it’s the 15th anniversary – I’d like our awesome festival to last the whole year long!


AMP: If you were to introduce MERRY to someone who hasn’t heard your music yet, which song would you recommend?

GARA: “Japanese Modernist”.

TETSU: I’d like them to listen to “NOnsenSe MARkeT”, “Chiyoda-sen Democracy” and “Happy Life” and to read the lyrics for those songs.

NERO: “Chiyoda-sen Democracy”.


We would like to thank the band and SunKrad for this interview,
special thanks to Matthew Kitayama.


MERRY’s latest news:


▼ The newest single „Happy Life” is already on sale!
Available on iTunes:

▼„NOnsenSe MARkeT 3F -Lamb Fest-“
Festival sponsored by MERRY

5 November (Thursday) Shinagawa Stellar Ball
Bands: MERRY / Kuroneko Chelsea / LIPHLICH / lynch. / MUCC / Su-xing-cyu

7 November (Saturday) Kyoto KBS Hall
Bands: MERRY / メリー / Back drop Cinderella / 88kasho junrei / HERO / vistlip / Kamen Joshi


Countdown 2015-16
„NOnsenSe MARkeT -nemurenai hitsuji-”
31 December (Thursday) Shinjuku LOFT

„NOnsenSe MARkeT FINAL -saishuukai-”
7 February 2016 (Sunday) EX THEATER ROPPONGI

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