Ok, guys! Here's the one from Velfarre Dance
I'll do these each as a post, because they're a bit long.
1, Koisuru Velfarre Dance ~Saturday Night~ May 10th, 1995
You have a 20th anniversary concert, and I'm sure you've had a lot of opportunities recently to think back on your debut, but do you remember any specific episodes from when you released Koisuru Velfarre Dance ~Saturday Night~ ?
N: when they first came to talk to us about it, we were performing as the super monkeys, and never thought that we would get the chance to perform together with just the four of us, so we were really happy. And then there was a dance that went with the song already but they decided that we should choreograph a different dance for so the four of us were really excited about that and said 'we'll choreograph the dance ourselves!'
L: it was just supposed to be a one time thing, so we figured it was fine to have some fun with it.
N: we decided for just doing this one song then let's make a dance that's a little bit playful. But then when we presented it, they didn't want to do it. (LOL)
M: I guess it was a little too silly. (LOL)
L: Maybe they had a vision for the future even though they had kept saying that it would be a one time thing?
M: there were also a lot of different ideas for our name. Some contenders were the Boon, and Lady Madonna. (LOL)
N: the one I was really glad that we didn't go with was Harem Queen! (LOL)
M: luckily we finally ended up with MAX.
L: but harem Queen stuck around Intel one of the very last rounds. Even though we were all in our late teens and didn't seem like harem queens that all. (LOL) at that time the Gravure Idols like the CC girls were popular so a lot of though female groups were that kind of group.
N: None of the names really clicked for us, but at the time we couldn't just say 'We like this one.' So in the end we ended up becoming MAX after Max Matsuura the president of the Avex group
And this is the CD jacket? (looking at it)
M: that's right! The idea for this jacket photo changed several times too.
N: now it's hard to tell who's who.
L: hello at the time this is the kind of thing that was popular. But it's totally different now.
N: there's something almost Russian about the style here. But it does look kind of modern when you look at it now.
M: we were probably ahead of our time.
N: and now it's come back around.
M: I think it's probably come back around twice by now! (LOL) I mean even a decade is a long time ago
N: and the beginning we were performing as the super monkey is still but we wanted this to be a separate group and it was like I don't know who those people are. We used our real names as the super monkeys so that's why we decided to use only our first names for Max. My name and Minako's name both had 'na' in them, so it was decided that we'd all use names ending in 'na'. Li-chan's name is Ritsuko so once we started MAX, she went by a stage name.
L: if we decided that people would really be able to remember us better that way and we were really excited about it like in the recording studio, and so I took the name Lina but I've always gone by the nickname Li-chan and really that's what people kept calling me. You guys have never called me Lina.
M: Yeah. I mean you guys don't call me Mina, do you? You call me Minako.
Lina: But in the beginning, I really did try hard, and say like, 'Lina thinks...', but I don't do that now. (LOL)
N: So, from Velfarre, we all got stage names.
L: but nobody really like them because they said that they sounded too much the same that it was hard to remember. (LOL)
When you are given the bell far a project to do you have any expectation or inkling that this would be the start of your own group?
M: not at all at the time. Because we were the super monkeys, and it really was just supposed to be a bit of fun. And we didn't really feel like anything was expecting anything of us, we really were just having fun.
N: we were performing as the super monkeys and then gradually Nami has started doing more things on her own and so we sort of thought oh well I guess all of us will start having more solo activities. We didn't really have a sense that we would continue on as a group forever and we couldn't really imagine doing so, we just sort of thought oh well maybe we'll sing or become talents, we never thought we could continue on as a group forever.
Akimoto Ken wrote the Japanese lyrics, did you have any contact with him?
N: We didn't. And the lyrics changed really suddenly even though we'd recorded already, so we had to do another recording. Originally it was a very grown-up song. The original song is on some album somewhere. (The song, with different lyrics, DI DI LA LA LA ~ Shigoto ga Koi no Jama wo Suru~, is on the compilation album 'We Love Saturday Night', released August 21st, 1995.
L: We even wrote the rap ourselves, with the director.
N: After we had to re-record the song with the lyrics Akimoto-san wrote, we were waiting for someone at the studio, and we all wrote the rap together, just for fun. And the Director said, "What are you guys writing? That's funny.' So then we decided to write an Okinawan kind of rap together, and on the spot, we were just like 'What's do we have in Okinawa?', and we just came up with things like, 'Ooh, snakes and mongoose fight!' (LOL)
M: And Li-chan was like 'I can't hold chopsticks right.' (LOL)
N: The things we said to the director just became part of the lyrics, like 'When I was a little, I flew.'
L: I have no idea why the dance we came up with got rejected, and yet they let us use this rap! (LOL)
Did you do release events for the single?
N: We did. But no one came to them.
It must have been a shock.
N: It was. (LOL) we always had such a big crowd with the super monkeys. And we had no one. And we were like how come we have so many people then and when it's just the four of us they don't come to see us.
L: we were all doing a lot of different auditions at that time to like auditions for commercials and things.
N: we were all living together. And so we would always tell each other let what auditions we had that day and things like that. But we would always come home not having been selected. (LOL)
L: I never passed an audition once. (LOL) BUt we knew which commercial we'd auditioned for so after a while, when the commerical aired, we'd talk about who had been chosen. LOL