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J-Pop Stars Perfume Talk Coachella, Influences and Sourdough Bread

One of Japan’s most popular groups, Perfume became the first J-Pop act to ever take the stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with a performance last weekend. Formed in 2000, the electro-pop trio will do another set at the fest’s Gobi Tent on Sunday. That concert will conclude Perfume’s U.S. tour to promote their album, “Future Pop.” Nocchi (Ōmoto Ayano), Kashiyuka (Kashino Yuka) and A-chan (Nishiwaki Ayaka) made the most of their Coachella experience: The group caught a bit of Ariana Grande’s show and attended parties hosted by Interscope and Moschino. The experience, they said, was a dream.

How was your Coachella set?
A-chan: Performing at Coachella was so different from anything we’ve done in the past. The excitement of the audience was incredible. They didn’t seem to have too much clothes on! [Laughs.]

Kashiyuka: Were they even wearing something? [Was it] swimwear?

Prior to Coachella, had you attended many concerts in the U.S.?
Kashiyuka: I saw Madonna at Yankee Stadium and that was spectacular. I [would like] to see someone really famous at a big place like that again. Maybe someone like Ariana Grande.

Growing up, which musicians did you look up to?

Nocchi: For Japanese artists, it would be a girl group called Speed. I also loved Namie Amuro.

A-Chan: Internationally, I must say Mariah Carey. Her songs were assigned to us to practice at the [dance and vocal school the group attended]. I used to think that high-whistle voice parts at the beginning of her songs were actually a whistle-like instrument. I didn’t think that it was a human voice! She has been our star ever since.

Do you pick up new languages easily?
All: No, we’re not good!

A-chan: The English education system [in Japan] definitely has problems!

Kashiyuka: But because I want to communicate more in depth, I’m taking English lessons. I want to get better. [But] even though there are cultural differences and language barriers, if we share our love and passion for something, we can overcome. I feel that everywhere I go. We can connect through people’s kindness and warmth. Even though there are cultural differences and language barriers, if we share our love and passion for something, we can overcome. I feel that everywhere I go.

Throughout the years, you’ve traveled quite a bit. What are some of your best and worst memories?
A-chan: Worst memory was when we took promo photos at the bottom of Brooklyn Bridge on a cold day with such light outfits on. We took our coats off, which was a bad call on our part.

Nocchi: We were too young. We would definitely keep the coats on now. (Laughs) But my best memories are having great bread all around the world, like bagels in New York and croissants in Paris! All the pastries I had in Paris were so good.

Kashiyuka: I personally loved San Francisco. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf and had clam chowder.

A-chan: I remember the sour dough bread — it was too sour! Japanese people aren’t used to bread being sour, so I was surprised. There was too much bread compared to the soup inside. How do you finish all the bread with that amount of soup? Can somebody tell me? [Laughs.]

What did you bring with you to make the plane trips more comfortable?
Nocchi: Moisturizing cream.

A-chan: Headphones that Nocchi gave me! Those noise-canceling headphones are too good. Must-have! With those headphones, I actually enjoy going on airplanes.

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