INTERVIEW TEXT: 珠城 悠 (JROCK’N’ROLL STAFF)
・ This is your first appearance on JROCK’N’ROLL, so please introduce yourself.
Together: Hello everyone, we are BATTEN GIRLS!
I am Ai Kiyama, the dance leader!
I am Riko Ueda, I’m in charge of our MC’s!
I am Kiina Haruno, Official Supporter of BATTEN GIRLS!
I am Sakura Seta, the chairman of the Kyushu Food Culture Lovers Association!
I am Rirua Aoi, I’m everyone’s cheerleader!
I am Miu Yanagi, a sleeping lion princess!
Together: Nice to meet you!
・ On November 10th, your new song 「わたし、恋始めたってよ！」 has been released. What was your impression when you first listened to the song?
Haruno: It’s a song about love, so it’s cute, but it’s also mysterious and sad, and I had this image of white and pale purple.
Ueda: I’ve never sung a song about sad love before, so it was difficult to imagine how I should sing it.
・ The new song has a sophisticated sound with a lot of voice effects. How was the recording process?
Seta: When I listened to the demo, it sounded like vocaloid, so it was difficult for me to express the correct emotion while singing, but while recording the song Shinobu Watanabe guided me by saying “Here express more “kyuun” here” to sing the song with the correct emotions.
Kiyama: At first I was singing in an inorganic way, but Shinobu told me to sing more cheerfully and energetically, so I sang with that in mind.
Aoi: At first I wasn’t sure if I sung it how Shinobu would like it, but when I first sang it in front of him he made me a lot of compliments and from there I received further advice and had a lot of fun recording!
・ BATTEN GIRLS has a musicality based on SKA, etc., and is supported by ROCK fans. What kind of music do you usually listen to?
Four seniours: We used to watch live music after playing at rock festivals, so we listen to a lot of bands’ music because of that!
Yanagi: I don’t know the genre yet, so I often listen to popular songs or songs taught by my friends.
Aoi: I often listen to music at night, so I often listen to moist music that makes it easier to fall asleep.
・ New members (Rirua Aoi and MiuYanagi) joined in April 2021. Six months have passed, how are you looking back?
Yanagi: It’s been six months and I’ve had a lot of experiences, in this period I grew much more than I ever grew, the past six months have been great and I found parts of me I want to grow more and more!
Aoi: In these six months, I’ve experienced so much, more than I could ever imagine. Everyday feels fulfilling. From now on I wish to improve my singing, dancing and talking and of course to bring smiles and happiness to many people!
・ We would like to ask the four original members (Riko Ueda, Ai Kiyama, Sakura Seta, Kiina Haruno). How has the atmosphere of the group changed when two new members joined?
Ueda: With the two new members coming in, I think we’ve become more aware of what we’re doing and we’re talking more about how we want to improve.
Seta: Originally, the atmosphere of the group was very relaxed. When heard that two new members would join I worried about how to talk to a young girls of these days, but the two new members are even more relaxed(laugh) and it’s really fun to have a younger member who fits the atmosphere of the group well.
Kiyama: I think when Rirua-chan and Miu-chan joined our group became stronger, I wish to teach them both various things, and on the contrary, there are many things that they can teach me. I want to expand our group much more with both of them.
・Your tour 「温故知新」 was an elaborate re-creation of your past albums. How was the tour?
Ueda: It was the first tour under the new system, and the four of us had our first challenges (directing using panels, etc.). I was very nervous until the tour started, but I think the tour was fun for those who have recently come to love us and for those who have supported us for a long time.
Seta: It’s been two years since I’ve been touring, so I was very happy to see our fans who have been to various regions and always support me and those who are nice to meet you. Our fans also wear masks, but from their eyes and movements, I could read “I’m glad to see you! I was very happy to feel that feeling.
Haruno: Some of the songs we sang were born while we were in Junior high and high school. Some of them seemed difficult to express because we grew up, so we avoided them in the past, however with two junior high school members, those songs could bloom again! I’m looking forward to the future because it will expand our range of expression.
・ BATTEN GIRLS has a wide range of merchandise, but what goods do you recommend and what goods would you like to create?
Haruno: I liked our produced shorts, I am very happy that many people bought and wearing them to our lives. So for this winter I would like to produce winter clothes and have everyone wear them! (smile)
Kiyama: We are very happy to see the masks in the members’ colors, which are clearly visible from the stage!
Yanagi: I like the t-shirts for each concert because we can wear the same t-shirt as the fans, and I like that we are able to create new designs.
・ Are there any things you would like to try or challenge?
Aoi: Due COVID-19 our fans aren’t allowed to yell at us yet, so I’m looking forward that our fans can shout and cheer at me at the venue.
Senior’s: We often tell our new members us how our gigs were like when there was supporting cheering yelling from our fans. We can’t wait until both can experience it!
Yanagi: In this day and age, it’s difficult for all six of us to go to a location together, but when we’re able to go out more together, I’d like to create videos with everyone together on different places.
Haruno: I wish to meet our overseas fans.
Ueda: Up until two years ago we used to perform every year in places like Taiwan and Korea, and we’d love to go back!
・ As BATTEN GIRLS you are also focusing on YouTube, but what kind of videos do you usually watch yourself?
Haruno: Recently, I’m addicted to cat videos and they’re so mind healing.
Seta: I often watch videos of V-tubers and game live streaming’s!
Ueda: I like comedy, so I often watch YouTube videos of comedians talking like on the radio.
・ What are your hobbies and addictions?
Ueda: To go to a comedy show.
Kiyama: I love sweet potatoes, and now that it’s the sweet potato season, I’ve been taking my mother, brother and Riko on sweet potato tours!
Aoi: I’m addicted to pink grapefruit and pink grapefruit ice cream!
・ You are based in Kyushu and are also the tourism ambassador for Munakata City. Please tell us the recommended places for sightseeing in Kyushu.
Aoi: Christmas lights in front of Hakata station!
Yanagi: I joined in April and started working as a tourism ambassador for Munakata City, but when I first went to Munakata Road Station, there were so many fresh fish and food lined up, and it was really fun to go around. I recommend it to everyone.
Seta: I often go out with my family by car, and the food is delicious in all prefectures in Kyushu, and there are many sightseeing spots, so if you come to Kyushu, I hope you will rent a car and go around the various prefectures.
・ Please give a few words to your fans and readers.
Ueda: We Batten Girls are an idol group, but our songs fits into a wide range of genres, from rock sounds to electro sounds such as like 「わた恋」and 「OiSa」, so I hope you find your favorite song!
Seta: We, Batten Girls, are based in Kyushu, Fukuoka-city, but I really want you to visit our local lives too. We hope you will come visit us while eating our delicious local food and go sightseeing to feel the beauty if Kyushu!