Ask Mutant Monster what they couldn’t do without on tour and Meana is quick to point to her two band mates, Chad and Be, and say matter-of-factly: “These two.” She smiles and Chad and Be do the same, confirming to us the unshakable bond the members share. From the moment they stepped out on stage earlier in the day we knew that this is a band who love what they do, and are great at it. Their infectious punk rock music and high-energy performances make them a stand-out group to come out of Japan, and we were very excited to get to talk to them.
‘Abnormal’ is pretty much the perfect punk song, what was your inspiration for it?
Meana: First, I tried to get some Japanese traditional sounds into the song, and the speciality of our music is aggressive sounds so we tried to take this idea make it abnormal.
You are influenced by a lot of British bands; how do they inspire you and your music?
When we were little we always listened to British punk music like the Sex Pistols and The Clash, so they are kind of our root and that’s why we want to express our love for these bands through our music, fashion, and other things like that. We love UK punk!
There’s a lot of female-led rock bands coming out in Japan’s music scene, how do you feel about that?
We are happy that girl bands can get out of the country, but we want to be number one so we will defeat them!
You spoke about ‘Abnormal’, but what inspires your music as a whole?
Meana: When we create songs I write the melody, then we write the lyrics and then we discuss the whole thing. But, first of all, we come up with the melodies, and that’s how we work, so the lyrics aren’t inspired by anything.
Since your last UK tour there’s been a number of British fans who saw you in Japan, what was that like to see them at your shows there?
Be: It’s so crazy!
Chad: It made me feel like our music has spread to the world. We call our fans our family, it’s like a community which is created by fans who live in foreign countries, and they are our MM family.
You recently worked with a band called Guitar Wolf, what was it like opening up for them?
Chad: We are fans of Guitar Wolf, and one day they told us that we would make it in all over the world [as a band]. So, that’s why we try to tour outside of Japan. I want our band to be the female version of Guitar Wolf.
You explained how you are influenced by British bands, but are there any Japanese bands who also inspire you?
Guitar Wolf is one, but there aren’t many. We like Japanese rock but we aren’t influenced by them, we love UK punk so that’s why we are influenced by them!
You clearly have a lot of fun on stage, what is your favourite part of being Mutant Monster?
Meana: I like our anarchic style, and our ‘anar-kicks’, we like it when it sounds like we are kicking ass on stage!
Your stage outfits are really cool, who came up with the design?
Chad: There is a designer who lives in Nagoya, and he is influenced by Anarchy designs, so we met with him and discussed the anarchic style we wanted to have as our look. Our outfits are all hand-made!
If you could go back in time and support any of your favourite punk bands, who would you tour with?
The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Oasis, The Damned, The Donnas and The Runaways. There are so many, we were born in the wrong era!
What’s the funniest thing to happen to you on tour?
Meana: There are many! When we were touring in Canada, we loved the bacon there so we were grilling the bacon in the morning but there was so much smoke that the fire alarm started ringing and the fireman had to come and help us!
Be: All the people in the town came outside, and watched us. The fire-fighters asked us why we did this, and we had to sign a paper. We will never do this again!
What’s next with Mutant Monster?
We cannot mention specifics right now, but I guess we will go on a long trip in a foreign country…
Interview by Roxy Simons, photos by Shalimar Sahota and Roxy Simons.