Celebrating their 15th anniversary, the members of MUCC have been running a lottery for some limited anniversary items with purchase of CDs and DVDs with the “15th anniversary sticker”. Prize A, awarded to 69 fans, was an original MUCC ramen donburi set. Prize B, awarded to 1,000 fans, was a metal pin designed by the members. Then, there was the amazing grand prize: a “License to Become MUCC”, awarded to two fans, which gave them the ability to join the band as new members.
The project was a huge undertaking for the chosen fans, as the members could not only immediately join the group without going through the hardships of the past 15 years, but they were also given stage names by the current members, invited to participate in recordings and photoshoots, and throw themselves into the busy schedule of MUCC, involving every aspect of their activities including magazine interviews. Then, out of a total of 767 potential applicants, the band decided one new female member and one new male member, announcing the results on the final episode of their serial internet program on Nico Nico Douga.
Will this marketing campaign only last for a short time, as one would expect? Or, will these new members become a permanent fixture of the band? For the time being, we at BARKS have gathered all six of the members, including new members DEAN (shamisen) and HANCHO (shakuhachi) for their first interview together since the announcement. Read on for an interview we hope is full of laughter and amusement! ◆MUCC Large Images
■”To be frank, we did this because we felt we had done all we could with four members.”──MIYA
■”I'm making sure to teach them all the things I was taught when we were only three members at first.”──YUKKE
■”I had always been waiting for a chance like this.”──HANCHO
──The band first started in 1997, with TATSURO (vocals) and MIYA (guitar) as focal members, with YUKKE joining in February 1999; from there, you've been together with your original lineup, including SATOCHI, for the last 16 years. After going that far, then you announce on August 17, 2013 that you're going to be adding new members. Leader (MIYA), what on earth were you thinking?
MIYA：Eh, it's expected that after a band is together for 16 years, things start to get stale.
──Blunt as always, aren't you. (Laughs.)
MIYA：Yeah. To be frank, we did this because we felt we had done all we could with four members, and the option of adding some new members came to mind. Like, eh, after 16 years, it's something to do, I guess.
──Like a gap has appeared in the MUCC with only four members?
MIYA：Also, there was a part of us that felt that we had done everything already. If we didn't get some new energy from someone else, no matter what we did the band wasn't going to be able to move forward.
──Relying on others for your own ends, huh...?
──Eh, it might be better to say it a different way though...(Laughs.)
YUKKE：Yeah, yeah (Laughs). I guess you can say that we're talking about getting global recognition.
──I see! That's why you have the shakuhachi and the shamisen! After all, there's a Japanese individuality about MUCC. You can say that these instruments are strengthening that aspect.
TATSURO：That's right. Also, HANCHO is totally fluent, you know, in English! Since she'll be doing this whole interview in English, translate as you go, okay?
──No, I think I'll have trouble with that...
TATSURO：Thanks for taking the trouble then! Hey, HANCHO, where are you from again? Which language is your native language...?
HANCHO：I'm from Hungary.
──HANCHO is MUCC's first female member, so what about that?
TATSURO：Eh, SATOCHI is always fawning on her.
YUKKE：He's been doing that constantly since yesterday.
SATOCHI：（As he fawns on her) No, no, I haven't at all. But, I thought it might be nice is all. I think having a new member sounds like fun, that's it.
TATSURO：SATOCHI、you're totally fawning (Laughs). Like a capybara with food (Laughs).
──Ahahaha. What do you think, YUKKE? How does it feel to have someone less experienced than you in the group after 14 years?
YUKKE：If there's something I can teach them, I'll do my best to do so. There's lots of stuff, like how to play Ameba Pigg, or how to write a blog, stuff like that. Other than that, I'm making sure to teach them all the things I was taught when we were only three members at first.
──What was the first thing they taught you?
YUKKE：Live house etiquette and stuff, how to properly introduce yourself, proper interview behavior...
──P...proper interview behavior? MUCC is notoriously ill-mannered at interviews, though...(※They aren't at all.)
YUKKE：Eh!? You think?!
MIYA：Yeah. That's something we're famous for. A long time ago, we weren't that well-behaved at interviews, you see.
TATSURO：Of course, we were always threatening people, like “Don't you dare make fun of us!”
SATOCHI：Ahahaha. Were we really like that?! (Laughs.)
YUKKE：Oh, was that it?! We never got interviews, we were always sleeping, or late...are you saying you were actually keeping track the whole time?!
SATOCHI：Wow, that's incredible (Laughs). I had no idea. (Laughs) I found that out now, after 16 years, I can say that finally. (Laughs.)
──Ahahaha. By the way. How did you choose DEAN and HANCHO? Did you hold an audition?
MIYA：That was...the result of a very official documentation and selection process.
TATSURO：Um, well, you see, I found this form for finding band members in an issue of “BAN-yaro” (※A now-defunct band magazine, “BAND Yarouze”). “Yankee-no”, “Fat-no”, that kind of thing.
──Like a “this is the kind of guy I am” sheet, that kind of thing?
TATSURO：That's right. The one that says “We're looking seriously to go professional.” (Laughs)
──Leaving aside the fact that people lie in those magazine ads all the time.
YUKKE：How many people did we say applied for this, again?
TATSURO：Oh~ You're amazing, DEAN, to remember that! After all, DEAN here has an amazing memory.
──So, first of all, let's have your new members introduce themselves.
DEAN：Okay. I'm DEAN, one of the newly-selected members of MUCC. Please welcome me to the group.
──What instrument do you play?
MIYA：Right now, I play the shamisen.
TATSURO：Also, he's in charge of remembering things.
SATOCHI：See, me, I forget things right away, so he has to be in charge of remembering things for both of us.
──Of course. Though it seems for some reason that you're also a fashion model, or designer, or a DJ, too...?
DEAN：No, I don't do any of those things...
──Oh? But that's what it said about you on Wikipedia...
MIYA：Aah. Lately, there are a lot of people who take the information on Wikipedia as the honest truth, aren't there. But, there's some mistakes in there too. Sometimes, writers will tell us what they say about us on Wikipedia.
──That's totally me right now, isn't it....
TATSURO：This total failure~! (Laughs)
SATOCHI：Ahahahaha. That's so funny!
YUKKE：But, it's really amazing, isn't it? I wonder where those people who write on Wikipedia get their information from?
MIYA：Eh, but they were still wrong though anyway (Laughs).
YUKKE：So, what have they written about HANCHO, then?
──It said “HANCHO=Leader of a Group”.
TATSURO：No mistakes there! (Laughs.)
YUKKE：Of course...they weren't talking about this HANCHO, but just explaining what the word itself means (Laughs). Yeah, that's the right definition, all right. But, since you took all the trouble to come here, please listen to the real in-depth information from the people actually involved, now.
──Yes. You're right. So, DEAN, what made you decide to apply for the position?
DEAN：I just wanted to become a member of MUCC.
YUKKE：……How deep! See, look, hearing it from the source gives you so much more information! (Laughs.)
──Ah, yeah....so, DEAN and HANCHO, you both were MUCC fans?
DEAN：Yes. I love them!
HANCHO：I too had loved MUCC for a long time.
YUKKE：HANCHO, you came to see our show when we went to Finland a long time ago, didn't you?
HANCHO：Yes. That was my first live show.
TATSURO：Eh~ Hey, have MUCC ever been to Hungary? (HANCHO is originally from Hungary).
HANCHO：Yes. You have.
YUKKE：Budapest is in Hungary.
TATSURO：Eh~I guess it is...
SATOCHI：Look, that was the place that had the hotel where we had no hot water!
──Hey, you have a good memory too, don't you SATOCHI!
SATOCHI：Seriously~!? (Everyone laughs.)
──HANCHO, so because you loved MUCC, you wanted to become a member yourself and become even more excited about them?
HANCHO：Yes. I had always been waiting for a chance like this.
TATSURO：I mean, this doesn't happen normally, you know, a chance to get into the member selection process. (Laughs.) HANCHO had been waiting for that! So, this chance came along, and she took it! Isn't that amazing?
SATOCHI：You really did wait for us~!
TATSURO：She waited for us, for sure!
YUKKE：Um, at that audition, there was also a five year old boy who applied. I got a message on Twitter from his mom, and I told her that even though he didn't get in this time, he should do his best and try again next year. (Laughs.)
TATSURO：Oh, so we're doing this again next year, then! (Laughs.)
MIYA：We're just going to keep getting bigger and bigger, aren't we. (Laughs.)
TATSURO：I guess we'll end up like AKB or something.
──By the way, HANCHO, what part are you?
YUKKE：Is that okay?! Really, a shakuhachi?! She's a girl, and she plays the shakuhachi?! Hmmmm....
TATSURO：Hey, that's a bit perverted. You're really pushing it!