The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY (LADYBABY hereafter), the Japanese kawaii metal musical duo of Rie Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya has their sights set on the future. The group sent shockwaves felt around the world as a trio with Kaneko, Kuromiya and Ladybeard when they first appeared in March 2015. In August 2016, the group rebranded itself after Ladybeard’s withdrawal from the group. On April 12, 2017, LADYBABY releases their second single on KING RECORDS “Pelo”, a song with a strong message of “letting go of the past and moving forward”.

We interviewed Rie and Rei about the new single, their current state of mind, and their hopes for the future.

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— The new single “Pelo” is going to be released on April 12. Please tell us about the songs.

Kaneko: “Pelo” includes three songs and each of them has a different taste and kind of “borderless” feeling. The main song “Pelo” is rather rock. “Easter Bunny” is a song of “hope” to us and both songs have the feelings of “don’t look back but look forward”. It is our first challenge after becoming a two member group so it’s like we are tired of talking about the past.

— I understand. I think “Pelo” and “Easter Bunny” both have strong messages; “No intent of hiding past” and “No regret at all. What has changed to you after becoming just the two of you?

Kaneko: Well, I say I don’t care about the past anymore (laugh). I mean it in a good way, of course. It’s been almost a year since we became duo so I go like, let’s forget about the past (laugh).

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— I see. So the songs express your “determination” and those kind of feelings.

Kaneko: We are already over that now, right?

Kuromiya: Yeah.

Kaneko: I feel like people watching us still aren’t over that yet.

— Do you feel that way?

Kuromiya: Yeah. We are rather frank and easy going so we don’t have sad feelings about it at all. In the first place, Rei and Rie were a pair and “Bea-chan” (Ladybaby) was there too. So it’s different now but I think this is also OK.

— Anyway, you two really get along with each other, don’t you?

Kuromiya: Yes, we do!

Kaneko: Especially lately.

— You two are like “we are one”, right? People often say you are “the strongest pair” and would agree with that.

Kuromiya: Yeah, we are one! We can’t be separated!

— You are replying “Supi~!” (It measns Suki, I love you) on each other’s Instagram (laugh).

Kaneko: It’s embarrassing (laugh).

Kuromiya: People always mention our Twitters but we are also often posting on Instagram too, so I’m glad that you are checking it.

— Oh, then I’ll ask everyone to follow your Instagram here (laugh).

Kuromiya: Yes, please (laugh).

— You just mentioned the 2 songs “Pelo” and “Easter Bunny”. And the other song “LADY BABY BLUE” is written by Seiko Omori, right?

Kuromiya: Seiko understands us and picks up our messages from our social media. So her lyrics are very close to our own words. It’s really easy to sing for us and we can put our feelings to the song.

Kaneko: Seiko found us first so I had kind of mixed feelings about getting involved in the work together. But I know she has been watching us closely. That’s why she was able to make this song for us. I can tell she really loves us from this song. Seiko released an album “kitixxxgaia” and at around the same time she accepted our offer, even though she was really busy. Later, we were told from our staff that she filled our every order. That made us do our best at recordings, you know.

— Hearing those things, those three songs have different “colors”. I think it’ll be interesting that you two grow up more and sing various types of songs.

Kuromiya: Exactly. Please say more stuff like that (laugh).

— All right, I will (laugh). Do you have any future goals as LADYBABY? Personally, I think Rei should write lyrics.

Kuromiya: You know what? Everybody says the same thing lately. Are you guys making secret plans or something (laugh)? But I don’t want to do that because it’s kind of embarrassing (laugh).

Kaneko: I know. It’s because lyrics are our own heart, right? So sharing it with the world is not that easy.

Kuromiya: No, I want to keep it secret (laugh).

Kaneko: I’m going to make a music video for “LADY BABY BLUE”.

Kuromiya: And what’s more, she is also a director.

Kaneko: But I need your ideas, we’ll make it together.

Kuromiya: I don’t have any ideas.

Kaneko: No, you do have ones. I know you have some heart. I want to make it together. I think there are a lot of people from our generation that are hitting the wall, especially our newer fans. I believe it will touch their hearts more if we offer something we create, not just something given. I want to make something using our own ideas. We just talked about making the music video of “LADY BABY BLUE”, right? You know, I’m so excited about it! The video is going to be a lyric video so the lyrics will be more emphasized.

— Wow, that sounds exciting. OK now, is there anything that you’s like to try individually, like appearing on variety programs or anything?

Kaneko: I think I enjoy acting more than appearing on TV. Because I can play different characters so it’s like I can take a break from being myself.

Kuromiya: You are really good at remembering lines.

Kaneko: I thought I couldn’t do it myself first. When I played in the theater, people I worked with were all professional, so I thought I couldn’t do it well. But I did it actually. I changed the lines a little bit, and you know I ad-libbed when I forgot the lines.

Kuromiya: I can’t do it. I almost ad-libbed in “Heavy Shabby Girl”.

Kaneko: But, after all, there is nothing in particular. Because what I want to do now is only LADYBABY.

— How about you, Rei?

Kuromiya: Well, I’ll be more grown-up in 2017….. Maybe not (laugh).

Kaneko: You don’t have to be, you know.

— You are wearing a costume designed by Kanae Higashi, right?

Kaneko: Yes. Rururmu’s one.

— Do you like Kanae’s costumes?

Kuromiya: Yeah, we love them.

Kaneko: She always pinpoints what we like. She knows our tastes.

— You had your first tour in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka in February and March this year. How was it?

Kaneko: We did some in-store events but never done live houses before. So that was the first stage for only the two of us. You know, our comeback concert was a two-man live. I think I got over everything during this tour. I don’t remember too much about the concerts, though (laugh).

Kuromiya: I know. I got really hyped up every time so I don’t remember it either (laugh). If you ask me about the concerts, I’m like “I sort of remember them”.

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Kaneko: Simply, I was very happy a lot of people still came to see us. We are not very popular as idols.

— Really?

Kaneko: I feel it.

Kuromiya: We are the odd one out among idols.

Kaneko: We are often told that we look scary (laugh).

Kuromiya: Yeah. We are not scary but people say we are. That’s scary (laugh).

— By the way, do you want to try having concerts overseas again?

Kuromiya: Of course! I want to go abroad again!

Kaneko: Me too.

Kuromiya: I think about it everyday. You know, we’ll feel more comfortable in overseas countries than here in Japan.

— That’s why there are a lot of fans overseas. Did you know that there is a “LADYBABY community for overseas fans” on Facebook.

Kuromiya: Really!! What’s it like?!

— Everyone posts your photos and information on it soon after they get them. Today, I saw some posts saying “Rei and Rie are cute” (laugh).

Kuromiya: Oh I’m so happy to hear that (laugh)!

Kaneko: People overseas are really enthusiastic, I think.

Kuromiya: They can’t come to Japan that often but they are really passionate. We like it very much.

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Kaneko: Yeah, we do.

Kaneko: I like the casual atmosphere overseas.

Kuromiya: I know what you mean. Free and easygoing style, right?

— Which countries do you want to go next? You went to L.A, New York, Germany and UK in 2015, right?

Kaneko: I want to go to New York again.

Kuromiya: Me too.

Kuromiya: Of course London and Germany were really exciting too.

— So why New York?

Kaneko: It’s because we did the first one-man concert there. So I want to see what it is like now.

Kuromiya: Come to think of it, isn’t it amazing that we did our first one-man concert overseas? We just started our career and did it. I remember hearing about the concert on the Shinkansen (laugh). I was like, “Already booked? OMG” (laugh).

— Things were really hectic those days, right? (laugh)

Kuromiya: Yes, everyday (laugh). I guess things are getting calmed down now.

— How have you grown up since you started your career? Such as skills, your attitude or anything will be fine. Maybe it’s hard to say it yourself, so can you tell for each other?

Kuromiya: Well, about Rie. She was like an older sister for me, but she is more like mother these days (laugh). Before this interview, she just cleaned my ears and massaged my feet. When we take a bath together, she always scrubs my back and washes my hair, you know. It doesn’t make sense, right (laugh)? Also, she covers for me and supports me in a lot at work.

— Like how?

Kuromiya: Well, I’m not really good at talking. I know I’m talking today, but I usually can’t really talk at interviews or concerts. So Rie always talks for me when I’m in a pinch. I think she is getting really good at sensing the lack in me. She is reading my mind. Like, when I say nothing during a meeting, she’ll look over at me and speak for me.

Kaneko: I speak for Rei.

Kuromiya: She knows everything about me. That’s awesome (laugh). We’ll be as one soon (laugh).

— How about you Rie? What do you think about Rei?

Kaneko: Well, I don’t know. There’s so much, so where do I start? She used be very cheeky. Nothing but a cheeky girl (laugh). She was still charming, though.

Kuromiya: Am I getting better now?

Kaneko: You can now think about other people, not only about yourself.

Kuromiya: I know. I never thought about others before.

Keneko: She was terrible. Long time ago, she called me suddenly and said “Let’s go out together”. But I didn’t have enough money with me so I told her I couldn’t go until my parents came home. Then she went like “No. you should come now” (laugh). I replied, “Please wait a little bit longer”. And about four hours passed then she called me and said “I found another friend so you don’t have to come”. Of course I apologized to her. And later on, I was told that she was telling people like, “Rie kept me waiting for four hours and backed out at the last minute” (laugh). It was Rei who asked me out, not ME (laugh)!

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Kuromiya: No. You backed out. Seriously!

Kaneko: Whatever (laugh). She used to be like that but she is getting better now. Rei has always twisted me around her finger. But I kind of liked it. My love is rather heavy so I only make friends with someone like me. Anyway, she can take care of herself now. She is doing well. I know she can do it if she tries.

Kuromiya: What is it? You are saying I’m not trying (laugh).

Kaneko: You are getting independent. You know, you used to need someone even to go to the restroom.

Kuromiya: I know. I can go by myself now.

Kaneko: Also, Rei was very strict about time. But these days, she is not that much. When we meet in private, she is like, “OK around xx o’clock is fine with me”. She used to block my schedule beforehand and fixed the time around noon (laugh).

Kuromiya: I reserve Rie. But lately, it really doesn’t bother me even when she is late.

Kaneko: But I do respect her. She is my friend but I’m looking up to her. I know she doesn’t like when I say this kind of thing. But I like Rei in private and at work. Before I entered the Miss iD contest and became a member of LADYBABY, I had been to BRATS concerts and saw Rei’s performances from the front row. I like her as much as that. So I’m always conscious of being good enough to be her partner. She is very attractive so I’m proud to be standing next to her. My companion is only Rei Kuromiya.

Kuromiya: Mine is only you too, Rie.

— You guys’ love is so heavy!

Kuromiya: Without you, I’d be nasty. I don’t think I could make a partner with other girls.

Kaneko: After all, I also think only you can be my company.

Kuromiya: Why do you say “after all” (laugh)!?

Kaneko: Because you get carried away easily.

Kuromiya: You are right (laugh).

Kaneko: I seldom say to Rei that I like her. No matter how many times I say “I like you”, I feel like the “love” will be soon erased. Like, the bucket filled with “love” has a hole on the bottom so the “love” leaks out. It should be always filled up, right?

Kuromiya: That’s right. That’s why Rie doesn’t say that to me. I know I am very empty.

Kaneko: But I do like Rei.

Kuromiya: I am empty but Rie doesn’t say “I like you”, it’s so harsh. Life is hard (laugh).

— Now, please give your messages to your fans overseas!

Kaneko: Coming next♡ Cheers!

Kuromiya: Oh!! What does that mean?

—You should come next time, right? OK (laugh)!

Kuromiya: I don’t understand English (laugh). But we should be more popular and go to see them. I think it’s the fastest way! Let’s complete our own world, just the two of us!

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Photos by kobadog
Translated by Hideko


Buy Item

Pelo / The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY

Pelo / The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY


Related Links
LADYBABY official website : http://ladybaby-fc.com/en/
LADYBABY Twitter : https://twitter.com/ladybaby2015
Rie Kaneko Twitter : https://twitter.com/ChuuuRie
Rie Kaneko Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/bite_me_3/
Rei Kuromiya Twitter : https://twitter.com/rei_neverland
Rei Kuromiya Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/suicide_u/

Author
Ayaya
Ayaya

Been working in girls’ fashion magazines for a long time and am now the chief editor of Tokyo Girls’ Update. I have more expertise in Japanese teen fashion than anyone else (probably)! I’m a huge fan of the Revolutionary Girl Utena and Bakemonogatari animes.

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