Interview with Edgar for White Wabbit Records (Taiwan)

1. Do you like Woody Allen? What does Woody Allen mean to you?

Yes, I like Woody Allen a lot. He means very much to me. I watched all of his movies and I collect them on DVD. I can find a lot of situations in his movies which I experience in my own life and after having seen Woodys perspective I can see my own experiences in a different light. I learned to see the funny side of tragedy. To a certain degree I would go so far as to say that my sense of humor and even the way I talk to girls is influenced by Woody. But I'm too shy to go into detail in this interview.

2. Please tell us about your new member. Does member-changing cause some change in your music?

First of all our policy in the band is definitely to play guitar pop! 
We wouldn't play speedmetal or Hip Hop. So by changing of members we don't get a radical
change in the style of our music, but new members surely add new colors to the music. The
first album was recorded without a synthesizer. The synthesizer girl MAI, who is now in
our band is very talented and during live shows the same songs now sound denser and 
brighter than before. The synthesizer does not work with all songs, but with some songs
like THESE FISH GLOW IN THE DARK and TONGUE INFORMATION it sounds amazing. The guitar 
sound on the album cannot be matched during live shows, cause we only use two guitars,
whereas on the recordings we usually use three guitars. Just a week ago we admitted an 
addititonal guitarist (TAISUKE) to our band in order to reduce this problem. TAISUKE can
play the guitar much more effectively than me. From now on I might just concentrate on
the vocals. It's also convenient because I don't like to carry my heavy guitar to the
rehearsal space. Before Taisuke joined us, he played in the indie-pop band LOST IN FOUND.
When I learned that he left the band, I thought I shouldn't allow any other band to use
this gifted guitarist. If someone like him is available, you have to take action without
hesitation. Jonny from Glasgow who plays keyboards on one song and bass on a couple of
other songs on the album, left our band because he wanted to leave. Min Sung from Korea
who plays bass on some other songs on the album, had to leave Japan, because his one-year
working holiday visa was running out. He is a very good bassist, who is now successful in
Seoul with his pop band LINUS BLANKET. Our new bassist MAKIKO is even better and besides
that she looks like KIM GORDON!
SACHIKO (vocals, flute, accordion), TATSUMUNE (lead guitar), KENMI (drums) and myself
were members from the start.
Now we are the MAGNIFICIENT SEVEN! (movie title)
3. What kind of movies do you like?

I'm a movie buff! I could talk about movies for hours and I really watch one movie every night before I go to
sleep. I now have a huge DVD collection of great classic European, American and Asian films.

My favorite five films are:

1. Two For The Road (by Stanley Donen)
2. A Woman is A Woman (by Jean Luc Godard)
3. Red (by Krzysztof Kieslowski)
4. Husbands and Wives (by Woody Allen)
5. Umberto D. (by Vittorio de Sica)

4. We met some Japanese musicians, to whose description, Tokyo is a city hard to live. You mentioned that in the lyrics of "Woody Allen Likes Japanese Noise Rock" too. We are very curious, since Tokyo is so hard to live, why you stay in Tokyo, and even play in a band in Tokyo?
What is the difference between Tokyo and Germany?

The song title itself already indicates that I do not mean everything seriously that I'm singing about.
Everyone knows that Woody likes Jazz music, but hates pop and rock music. When in the movie ANNIE HALL he
talks with Diane Keaton about the Grammies he says: "you mean they give awards for that kind of music. I
thought just earplugs." Besides that Woody loves big cities. I also like big cities and in my opinion Tokyo is a
city very easy to live, because everything is offered. You get much more variety than in any other city in Japan:
all products, all kinds of people, all kinds of arts etc.
Tokyo is even my favourite city in the world! In Japan you have centralism. Everything is centralized in Tokyo.
Germany is much different, because there you have federalism. That means everywhere in Germany at least
something is going on, but there is no place where you get the big cake just as in Tokyo.
It's easier and more fun to play in a band in Tokyo than in any city in Germany (though Berlin is also great).
There are more record shops, more studios, more live venues, more indie-pop fans, more D.J. events and
probably more musicians who can express the real spirit of C86 guitar pop than anywhere else!

5. What is Japan's best part to you? Also we want to know what kind of Japanese food you like. Can you get German food easily in Japan?

Geographically the best part is definitely Tokyo. Besides that I like the overall friendly atmosphere in Japan.
Although I'm not a vegetarian I don't eat much fish or meat. This is a little problem, as most Japanese foods
contain fish or meat. My favorite Japanese food is definitely plain cooked rice. Besides that I like Kitsune Soba.
It is hot buckwheat noodles with fried tempura.
In Tokyo there are many international supermarkets where I can obtain most German foods.
Fresh bread and fresh cheese are most important to me.

6. You performed in Korea. How is your impression on Korea?

Last year in March we played two live shows in Korea. Both shows were sold out with more than 300 visitors.
It was an overwhelming experience. We were welcomed very heartily and the warmth of the audience spread
to the stage. Whatever I said between the songs in my modest Korean, people were friendly laughing. I said for
example between two songs: "Let me drink some water". Everyone was laughing! When Kenmi lost his drum
sticks during our song AHOI BRAUSE everyone was screaming in excitement as if a tightrope walker had just
fallen from the height of 100 meters.

Interview of Guy Blackman (Chapter Music) with Edgar

1. How do you come to be playing in a band in Japan, Edgar?

I always wanted to play in a band. In Germany in the town where I live there was not much going on. I did not know any people who know the Pastels or BMX Bandits. But in Tokyo there are many people who like guitar pop and itfs easy to find band members.

2. So Miniskirt is your first band?

Well, not really. A couple of years ago I've once been to Japan studying at Keio University in Tokyo for one year. At that time I played in a band with cover songs of the RAMONES. We called us The ROMANES, but we split up after only one show.

3. What do you think of the live music scene in Tokyo?

It's great. There are many live shows every week. I think it's the best place for guitar pop in the world.

4. Sometimes the audiences are very small!

That's true. Because there are so many events. Besides that the prices for the tickets are too high and many Japanese have to work until late in the evening, so they cannot go to see the live shows which start too early.

5. Is it strange for you to be German singing songs in English in Japan?

No, I don't feel that there is anything strange about having a band in Japan. It's no difference to me. To sing in English is also natural, because most of the German guitar pop bands also sing in English.

6. What are some of the bands that inspired you to want to be in a band yourself?

The only band which really made me want to play in a band was the RAMONES. But I figured out that I'm not good at singing RAMONES songs, so I wrote my own songs. Guitar pop fits better to my voice and to my attitude towards life.