Autographed copies of new CD now on sale
BEEP! BOOP! Japanese chiptunes girl TORIENA returns to HYPERSONIC music club this week to talk about her new record MEME NOISE, her new collaboration with robot fashion creator KYUN-KUN, and how she’s decided to quit her day job to focus full time on her music and art.
We last interviewed TORIENA a few months back, so check out that piece out for more info about her dance-inducing, Game Boy-powered music and previous works.
Meanwhile, HYPERSONIC music club artist Hiroyuki Takahashi is busily preparing the next pages of our story proper, so look for a short tease after the TORIENA interview and a full update later this week. ENJOY!
TORIENA in Harajuku, Tokyo, 6/27/2015
MEME NOISE is your latest release. What can you tell us about it?
Internet trends come and go really fast, and so does technology, but common sense and morals don’t change all that much in our real lives. It can create a gap that makes it hard to live sometimes, but let’s try to live our lives with strength and ambition. That’s the theme of this song.
Does MEME NOISE represent any kind of evolution or new direction in your music?
Yes. Before I was making music without any restrictions, but because of my situation now, I have to think about numbers, figures, and deadlines.
I understand that you need a hit song to make a living as a musician, but I feel constrained just thinking about it. I recently became determined to make a living as a musician, so I’m trying to keep the pressure in balance and keep making the sounds that I really want to make. That feeling is represented in this song as well.
What does the title MEME NOISE mean to you and where does it come from?
I imagined, “what if these rapidly consumed internet memes had minds? Their cries might only be heard to use as noise”. So that’s where the title comes from.
Is this your first collaboration with Kyun Kun? What sort of person is she?
I’ve collaborated with Kyun Kun twice before, for live performances at (otaku club) Akihabara MOGRA and at Tokyo Tower. But this is my first time making a CD with her. Kyun-kun looks like an android – in a good way of course – but she is very human inside. It’s hard to describe, but I really like that contrast in her personality.
Kyun Kun (left) and TORIENA (right)
I met her last summer at an event called “Akihabara Maker’s Club”, which is an after party of “Maker Faire Tokyo”. She contacted me first, asking if she could direct my live stage performance. She is a robot maker and a creator, but she is also really cute and works as a model too. I thought I’d rather bring her on stage rather than letting her direct from offstage, so I wrote a song for her. She’s a girl with strong ambition, who clearly knows what she wants to do and goes for it. She’s fantastic.
Both of you guys seem people who are using technology to explore new spaces in fashion and music. Kyun Kun with wearable tech and you with chiptunes and game music…
I think that chiptune is not a popular music genre yet. It has a very specific sound that is not to everybody’s taste; some people might like it, others may not. Game music and chiptune music may sound similar at first, but in fact, they are totally different. Game music is made to describe a particular game’s atmosphere and chiptune music is made to listen to and enjoy by itself.
I myself have always wanted to spread chiptunes, and to disrupt the concept of game music. I’d like to create “chiptune fashion”, like punk fashion. There’s been more and more 8-bit fashion items on sale recently, so this might also be good way to help spread chiptune music.
When last we talked you were about to start a new job and were heading to Australia to play some shows. How are things going for you now?
I had a full time job until recently, but I decided to quit so that I can focus on my music. It’s just like the saying “he who runs after two hares will catch neither”. You don’t have much time to create songs if you have to work all the time, so I determined to live as a musician since I love making music and I have lots of thing I want to do and make. My journey has just started, so please expect lots of new projects from me.
So far, how are foreign audiences outside of Japan reacting to your music and performances?
They are lively and energetic, so I’m very happy! I’d like to get closer to foreign audiences using my music. I’m planning to play in the UK later this year. I’ve always wanted to play there, so I’m really looking forward to it. Of course, I’m also interested in going to places like France, Italy, the USA, and even more parts of Japan too.
Finally, you have a message for people who are curious about your music and MEME NOISE?
Thank you for reading my interview till the very end! MEME NOISE is my “cry out” song and maybe it can be the same for you too. Please enjoy!
SIGEND TORIENA ITEMS FOR SALE IN THE CRUNCHYROLL STORE! HELP SUPPORT THE ARTIST!
MEME NOISE is the new EP by TORIENA featuring vocals by Kyun-Kun. Five tracks of stunning, futuristic chiptunes dance pop, including multiple versions of the title track. SIGNED BY TORIENA! Support the artist!
The amazing retro-game themed promo video for TORIENA and M7kenji’s “Pulse Fighter” gets the deluxe treatment in this DVD-ROM containing a wealth of video and musical extras. Contains the full Pulse Fighter PV, rough cut, and outtakes, along with six bonus remixes of the “Pulse Fighter” song, and pixel data. Also includes a full color booklet featuring art by TORIENA. Exclusive from MADMILKY RECORDS. Compatible with PC and Mac. DVD package is signed by TORIENA herself!
MEANWHILE, at HYPERSONIC music club proper, we’re putting the finishing touches on our next double page spread. Expect the Extra-Dimensional Monster Girls (below) to make life miserable for our heroes VAL, LANYA, and COSIMA, but rest assured they won’t go down without a fight!
STAY HYPERSONIC, FIND THE MYSTERY FREQUENCY, AND SEE YOU LATER THIS WEEK!