Saturday, 5 September 2015

Momochi、 active as an idol for over 10 years 「There were times when it was tough」


――You were formed in November last year、 and you made your major début March this year。 Have there been any changes in the relationship between Momochi-senpai + the 4 juniors?
Tsugunaga Everyone's gotten better (laughs)。 They were hesitant to talk to me at first、 and they'd get red in the face、 but recently that doesn't happen at all。 The other day、 we were holding a live performance at Osaka、 and the 1st performance ended early。 And then Risa-chan indirectly pestered me、 「How about going for a meal now、 can't you ask our manager?」。 She's pushing around the PM(Playing Manager) (laughs)。
Yamaki I thought that if we didn't have the PM's permission、 we wouldn't be able to go for a meal~ (laughs)!

――How do the 4 of you juniors view Momochi-senpai?
Inaba She's always been like that from the very start、 but it was moving to see her truly act as an idol every day。 It's amazing how her pinky's raised even in the dressing room (laughs)。
Yamaki But、 when you see her taking a nap、 we get a sense of the activities that we've never seen up to now, which makes me happy。
Morito On-stage、 I make sure to learn from her example as she's really good at MC-ing and singing。 I respect her ability to deal with things even when there are unexpected changes。 While all of us are frantically writing on paper、 Momochi-senpai can cope immediately。
Ozeki What I respect about Momochi-senpai is that she can pro-actively talk even with me、 who's 10 years younger than her。 Even though a 13 year old like me would seem like a child in the eyes of a 23 year old…。 But when we chat、 the things that were popular when we were small were unexpectedly the same。
Tsugunaga Wait a minute、 what do you mean 'unexpectedly'(laughs)! 

――Tsugunaga-san, as an idol who's been active for over 10 years、 you've survived through the unsparing age known as the Idol Warring States Period、 but what do you think about the current idol scene?
Tsugunaga It makes me happy that a lot of idols appeared and roused up the idol world。 When we do events in together with them、 there are girls that say 「Watching Momochi-san made us want to become idols」、 which made me remember the time I auditioned after watching Morning Musume。-san。 Continuing that connection、 I wish that Japan will always have an eye on idols。 There are few countries in the world with an idol culture、 so we're welcomed overseas even more passionately than how we're received in Japan。

――Having been active for so long、 there must have been adversities and ups and downs…。
Tsugunaga However、 I don't think that there's an occupation as great as being an idol。 For singers and actresses、 it's hard to do really well if you lack absolute ability、 but idols have the ability to bring together people、 like we receive support by showing that we're doing our best。 I'm no good at doing repetitive things、 so I love being an idol who can challenge all sorts of things。 To the extent that I'd like to be an idol my whole life! ……If those around me will permit it(laughs)。

――For the 4 juniors、what advice would you give for them to survive as idols?
Tsugunaga If anything, I want them to fully enjoy being idols。 While your close friends are hanging out、 we can't even hang out at a festival。 But on the other hand、 I think that we get to do things that normal students wouldn't be able to do。
Yamaki  That was a bit of a shock。 I'm so moved that I could cry…。
Inaba It's because she's been doing this for over 10 years that her words carry such weight。But for us now、 we may want to hang out、 but this work is enjoyable、 so there often are times when I can't wait to get on-stage。
Tsugunaga That's amazing! Thought I had a quite a lot of tough times though……(laughs)。

――Coexisting with other idols、 what do you think is Country Girls' forte?
Ozeki Hello! Project has recently had a lot of cool, stylish songs、 but Country Girls has a lot of songs with a cute concept。
Morito And so、 it makes us happy that people think that we're all cute、 perhaps because of our cute songs。
Yamaki Despite there being great-senpai groups、 our forte might be that we're close and in a good way, we don't have a hierarchy
Inaba We're a new type of group。 We've got Momochi-senpai、 and Satoda Mai-san as supervisor。
Tsugunaga For the longest time、 thanks to Satoda-san continuing on as the group “Country Musume。” by herself、 we now sing songs from the Country Musume。 era、 so I'm thankful that we've got plenty of songs。 As our supervisor now、 she sends photos from New York、 so it weighs on our mind。 There are a lot of things that can't be conveyed through messages、 so if we could get cook up some sort of reason from now on、 I'd like to go and meet up in New York! (laughs


―― Is there anything that you'd like to try doing in the future?
Yamaki  In order to become a group that can gain currency in the world, we changed our name to “Country Girls”、 so we'd like to have a live performance overseas someday!
Inaba Firstly, I'd like to complete a nationwide concert tour on our own。 We're currently doing a live concert tour、 but Tsubaki Factory is also going around together with us。
Morito I've got no overwhelming goals、but I'd like to be able to hold our own hall tour!
Ozeki For my personal ambition、 I'd like to inherit Country Musume。's concept of “Part-time farming part-time entertaining”。 Doing agriculture in the countryside、 and returning to Tokyo for activities。
Tsugunaga No matter what sort of activities we have to do as a group、 I'd like us to do each and every thing with all we've got。 Even when the 5 of us are riding a train nowadays、 there aren't any people murmuring things like  「It's Country Girls!」 around us、 so firstly… I know、 we'll do our best so that about 60 percent of people would murmur!(laughs

Source: Oricon

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