Ruri Rori, both band and dance unit, is a girls group that will blow you away. But are they actually idols or a just a band? It’s a question the group gets asked a lot. What exactly made them decide to hone their skills as both a band and an idol? Just because the group is multi-talented, though, doesn’t mean they exactly have it easy. We sat down with Ruri Rori’s main vocalist, Hinako Kinoshita, to hear her thoughts on the group’s activity so far.

Hinako Kinoshita

Hinako Kinoshita

– To start off with, could you tell me the story behind the name Ruri Rori?

Ruri Rori (凸凹凸凹)

Ruri Rori (凸凹凸凹)

“Ruriefu” or “roriefu” is the pronunciation for the French translation of “dekoboko” (凸凹 – uneven/rough), but we thought these words were too long and didn’t sound cute enough, so we shortened them to “Ruri Rori”. It has a lot of impact when we perform with other bands, and it describes the uneven path the four of us, with our different personalities, are walking together, so it stuck.

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– You’ve been playing as a band for four years now, or four and a half if you include practice sessions before you debuted, so do you feel like your style or something personally has changed during that time, or that you’ve evolved?

We had our first live just two months after we first picked up our instruments. But going completely from zero, we were giving it all we had, and most of our effort was focused on our own playing and not messing up. It was pretty much like that at first, but recently it’s different; we still focus on our own playing, of course, but now we’re able to listen to each other and go with the flow, making for a much better live performance.

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As far as our performances go, up until now I’ve always been playing the guitar and doing the main vocals at the same time. But lately I’ve been putting my guitar down during some of the songs, and dancing along and singing while the lead guitar, bass, and drums play. I’ve been doing ballet for a long time now, so now during some of the parts where I’m not singing, I’ll do turns and spins, or something to make it more “me”, and the audience really seems to love it.

– So before now you never really put your instrument down and got up on stage?

Basically. I never did before we became Ruri Rori, and now I can just leave more of the playing to the other members and focus on the song. (laugh)

– Is there anything you focus on when you’re singing, or anything that helps you concentrate on the music?

Before I really had to be careful about my pitch, or that I didn’t lose my voice while trying not to lose to the loud sound of the instruments. My voice has always been a little on the husky side, but recently I’ve been able to sing as well on stage as I do in rehearsals.

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– One difference between bands and idols is that their sound changes depending on the environment, don’t you think?

It also differs depending on the live house, like when we’re playing outdoors sometimes it’s hard to hear my voice. I would try to sing really loudly to make up for it, but now I know my own throat better and how to make my voice carry.

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– Your music seems to have more of a rock feel to it since you became Ruri Rori, or more like your sound is harder than before. Is there any particular music genre you prefer?

Recently the musical-style songs on the Disney Channel like that are also doing acting, and they tend to really go all out dancing and singing during their performances. There was this performance I saw of someone doing air guitar that I thought was really cool.

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– It seems like you really focus on how to draw people in.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the guitar, but also really love dancing. I feel like I’m really more myself when I put down the guitar. What do you think? Would it be okay to put it down more? (laugh)

– One characteristic of girls’ band culture trying to entertain despite being somewhat constricted with the instrument that you’re holding. But I think if you add in some dancing it’s just another element where you get to have fun interacting with the audience, and provides a different way of enjoying the music…

Yeah, it really is a different way to enjoy it. When doing our idol mix between songs, it’s completely different. Recently our fans have been really mixed up during the “true confession” (gachi koi kojo) thing. But that’s because we tend to make it that way ourselves. How we get the audience riled up depends on the venue. We can either do it the band way or the idol way, so on the day of it’s like, “Okay, which way will we do it?!” I feel like we’ve become better at reading the audience.

– Is there something you’d like to try challenging in the future?

Right now we’re only able to show off both of our talents during four of our songs, but in the future I’d like to be able add dancing and playing parts to all of our songs to really make our band multi-talented.

Lately more idols are playing instruments, so it’s kind of like, “Omg!” (laugh) So before they really make it big we want to do it first! (laugh) In order to do that we have to work harder on our dancing, playing, and overall performance so we’ll have the skills to say we’re the real thing.

– Come to think of it, you’re right. There aren’t really any groups that have mastered both dancing and playing. If it’s all right I’d like to change the topic a little, and ask if there’s any anime or manga you’ve been into lately.

There is! Slam Dunk will always be my number one. There are others I’d like to read or anime I’d like to watch, but recently I don’t really have any time to…

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But guess what! I’m a little into Love Live! I saw my sister watching it and thought it looked really interesting. Because it’s an anime where the characters are growing as idols, I could really relate to it…

– Are there any ways where the situations depicted in 2D like that influence your actual 3D activities?

There’s a quote from Slam Dunk that goes. “The minute I give up is when the game ends,” when I always keep in mind when I’m working, so it helps me put my heart into things without giving up. As far as the band goes, I think K-On! has had an influence on me. I like Yui-chan from the show, and her sister plays the guitar, which is what made me first want to play.

– Finally, are there any big differences between modeling and being and a band?

There are. During concerts I can really be myself, but there are times when I’m doing variety shows or modeling where it feels very posed.

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– I feel as if you have a very carefree image when you’re on stage.

I’m glad you think so! I’d like that to be my charm point! (laugh)

– I feel like “carefree” really best describes your original attitude, a new “multi-talented” genre that isn’t idol or a band.

When you put it that way, it seems like the people watching us are different. It’s a little frightening~ (laugh)

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Related links
Hinako Kinoshita Twitter : https://twitter.com/kinoshitahinako
Ruri Rori official site : http://rurirori.com/about/

Translated by Jamie Koide

Author
TokyoGirls'Update
TokyoGirls'Update

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