‘New Wave’ inspired Budo Grape return to the UK next month and after a three year wait, the Nagoya based quintet can’t wait to perform on British soil again! If you’re a veteran of the band or just want to dig a little deeper into the artistic world of Budo Grape, then look no further!
You last performed in the UK in 2013. What new things can UK fans expect when they see you in November?
Nagai Grape: “I would want to have live tours every month in the UK! But it’s been three years since the last time, so my energy is built up inside. I’m sure that the live show will be more energetic than ever. Also, we will bring our newest CD that will be released in December, so you can buy it at the venue. We’re pre-releasing it in the UK!”
Quminco Grape: “In our last UK tour, you got to see the feeling of nervousness, excitement, and momentum as the newly-born Budo Grape after Naho Grape joined. It’s been 5 years since Budo Grape was reborn. Our ‘budo’ (grape) juice has ripened with the same power and maybe it’s become a little mature and mysterious wine now?”
Budo Grape have been together since 2001, when you look back at your early days, what’s the biggest change in your musical sound compared to today?
Nagai Grape: “When the band had just started and we didn’t have a contract with a label, we used to sell the demo music on cassette and video tapes, I remember. The cute ‘Pop’ feeling has decreased and now we play a more refined, cool sound.”
Quminco Grape: “It’s become a groove that we’ve extracted from instinct and chemical reactions. I think now it’s music you can dance to.”
Which song is currently your favourite to perform live?
Nagai Grape: “The one I can get in the mood for right away is funky, jungle-beat ‘Sutten Kororin.’ There’s a song I sing, ‘Hatatatta’, with a ska beat – that’s good, too. Oops, I chose two!”
Quminco Grape: ” ‘Mind Museum.’ It’s a very right-brain type of song and it gets me really excited. I want to share that feeling with all of you!”
When you’re writing music for Budo Grape, what’s the most important – style or feeling?
Nagai Grape: “Since I’ve been writing songs with my own style without anyone teaching me, I believe that my songs end up being quite original. I try to keep my personality in there and to keep it catchy.”
As visitors to the UK, you must have seen some very strange sights. What part of British culture caught you most by surprise?
Nagai Grape: “Even when it was raining, pedestrians were walking calmly without umbrellas. I thought that was cool, Japanese people sort of panic when it rains. They love umbrellas and carry them around even when it’s not raining, you can buy them anywhere.”
Quminco Grape: “The big difference in expression of UK people, before and after they hear music. Their hugs when they get emotional are full of feeling. I learned the word ‘cuddle’ for the first time and I thought it was lovely. Another thing, beer glasses are big!”
Your music video for ‘Zankokuna Yasashisa’ is very unusual and artistic. How did you come up with the concept and how did that connect to the song?
Nagai Grape: “Our friend from America who liked this song made this video. We totally left the production up to him and Budo Grape just had to act as we were told. The video matches perfectly with the crazy imagery of this song.”
You’ve had success creating a ‘New Wave’ style in Nagoya. What’s different about ‘New Wave’ music?
Nagai Grape: “I started playing in a band after being influenced by ‘Punk’ and ‘New Wave’ bands from the UK and America after 1977. I think we still have traces from that but over 35 years have passed since then. Currently, Budo Grape cannot be contained by the phrase ‘New Wave,’ and we play more a wider range of music, I think. We constantly try to be innovative, so this can make us ‘New Wave’ in the original sense, I guess.”
Please give a message for your UK fans.
Nagai Grape: “I haven’t stopped thinking about our UK tour for the last three years. I can’t wait to let all that built-up energy explode! Budo Grape keeps developing without stopping, so this tour will be greater than the last time! Get excited! Look forward to it!”
Quminco Grape: “It takes over 20 hours to travel from Nagoya, Japan to see all of you in Brighton, London, and Manchester, UK. It’s a long way, but I’m happy to be invited again. Japan has a beautiful story called ‘Tanabata’ that is about a man and woman who get to meet only once a year. So I’m treating this UK tour like ‘Tanabata’. We don’t know when we get to meet again, so let’s enjoy this precious, special time together!”
Did you catch Budo Grape on their recent UK Tour?? Share your experiences in the comments below!