They’re not your average idol group- they’re fast, intense, and since starting out in 2008 they’ve taken the world by storm. Modest in their achievements, this six girl unit found fame as performers at Akihabara’s idol live house Dear Stage, now they have taken their music to America, Asia, Europe, and now the UK as part of HYPER JAPAN 2015, making them one of the biggest J-pop exports around.
How was it performing yesterday?
Risa: First we were worried no one would know who we are! We’re happy that people who didn’t know us before and people who were already fans could come together and enjoy our concert!
There was quite a big crowd, it was impressive to see!
All: THANK YOU!
For those who don’t know who Dempa are, what is the main concept behind you?
Risa: Moe kyun sound is our concept, it is Akihabara pop music! We’ve been very popular there, the song lyrics are very important. We have a lot of self expression in our lyrics, and the first time you hear our music it is quite different so people might be surprised. We write a lot of meaningful songs to have a realistic expression, and a lot of our fans are able to connect with it!
So all of you grew up going to Akiba a lot?
Nemu: We aren’t from Akiba itself, but naturally we are drawn to otaku and Akiba! We naturally came together, also some of us had worked in a maid cafe in Akihabara too.
What is your favourite place to hangout in Akiba then?
Risa: Don Quijote! It’s the best, it has a mangakissa, and an amazing cosplay section!
What sort of music do you listen to outside of J-pop and idol music? Do you like metal or rock?
Risa: I like hip hop, Moga likes metal! We also like anison and video game music!
Are there any particular bands?
Risa: Bands like Linkin Park and The Prodigy. They’re quite different from us!
You did a cover of a BiS song, IDOL, how did that come about?
Risa: We had a music exchange with BiS, so we played their song, and they played ours!
Are you quite close then?
Risa: Two of us really enjoy classic Japanese pop music, they also appeared in our music video for ‘W.W.D II’ as villains. The fans probably saw us as rivals, but it wasn’t like that! We are good friends!
So you starred in Innocent Lillies, can you tell us more about it? How did the idea come about? Did you have any input?
Risa: The director, Koichi Sakamoto, wrote a story about our past, and we just fell into character. We especially wanted to talk about the heartbreak of girls at school. The director listened to our song W.W.D and must have thought we could do it!
The latest album WWDD is going to be released in UK in August, could you each give one reason why everyone should buy a copy?
Mirin: It has a bit of everything, the Akihabara pop we are famous for, but also a bit of a rock element, but there’s also a soft ballad. There’s so much variety and lots of different angles on this album! Please listen!
Words by Charles Shepherd