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Interview Now - ばってん少女隊 (BATTEN SHOWJO TAI) -(1/2)

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Just after one of their live performances, we had the chance to sit down for an interview with BATTEN SHOWJO TAI, "Stardust Promotion's 1 in a Century Talent," who made a guest appearance, wowing the crowd with an action-packed set at one the biggest pop culture events in Kyushu, the "Kitakyushu Pop Culture Festival 2016!" With their 3rd single coming out this February, and all the members of the group giving everything to their idol activities, while still studying, we spoke to them about their hometown Fukuoka, as well as their goals for the future!

I think we're the type of group whose individuality really shines through!

asianbeat (ab): Congratulations on a great live performance! Would you mind quickly telling us who you are?

Ai Kiyama (Kiyama): I'm Bassho-chan's lovely husky, Ai Kiyama!

Riko Ueda (Ueda): I'm killer smile black belt, Riko Ueda.

Kiina Haruno (Haruno): I'm million dollar smile, Kiina Haruno!

Sakura Seta (Seta): I'm Bassho-chan's miracle cherry, Sakura Seta!

Arisa Nishigaki (Nishigaki): I'm no ordinary person from Choshu, Arisa Nishigaki!

Sora Hoshino (Hoshino): I'm Bassho-chan's mini-monster, Sora Hoshino!
Ai Kiyama
"Lovely husky" Ai Kiyama
Riko Ueda
Killer smile black belt" Riko Ueda.
Kiina Haruno
"Million dollar smile" Kiina Haruno!
Sakura Seta
"Miracle cherry" Sakura Seta!
Arisa Nishigaki
"No ordinary Choshu local" Arisa Nishigaki!
Sora Hoshino
"Mini-monster" Sora Hoshino!
ab: We were able to see your awesome live show earlier, your performance of "Yoka Yoka Dance," which is used during the end credits for the anime "Dragon Ball Super," was so impressive!

Everyone: Thank you so much!

ab: First of all, could you tell us what made you want to become idols? Ueda-san, as the leader of the group, what was it for you?

Ueda: I used to love just watching (this kind of thing) more than actually dancing and singing. I always loved watching (idols perform), but then I found out about an audition, gave it a go and thought that it was something that I wanted to try and do. I can't think of what it was exactly (that made me want to become an idol), but at some point I became interested in trying dancing and singing for myself.

ab: We heard that the predecessor to BATTEN SHOWJO TAI was a group called "F-Girls," were you all members?

Ueda: Originally there was 7 of us, but 1 didn't take the idol route and has gone along a different path.

ab: When you changed into "BATTEN SHOWJO TAI," did the vibe and feeling kind of change?

Kiyama: During our "F-Girls" days we were all trainees, but since becoming BATTEN SHOWJO TAI we've made our major debut. Seeing the fans have a good time and joining in with all the routines… I think those are the kind of things you are more aware of; they're more tangible than practicing and rehearsing.

ab: Yes, that makes sense. There is an image that it is hard work being an idol. There must be lots of different challenges. But what are some of the best parts about being in "Stardust Promotion's 1 in a Century Talent" BATTEN SHOWJO TAI?

Seta: Maybe some people's first impression of us is that we are a little bit shy. Compared to other bigger groups it might be easy to think that we don't have much individuality, but when you speak to us, I think we're the type of group whose individuality really shines through.

Haruno: The type of music is called "idol," but not that's not exactly our style of style. We have a ska-core, so we really let loose on stage and our routines are filled with crazy head-banging. Also, our songs are pretty short.

ab: Definitely. Your live performance earlier was amazing!

Live performance at the "Kitakyushu Pop Culture Festival 2016"

Kiyama: Our major debut track was quite short, it was around 3 minutes. We have two songs that are around 3 minutes, and I kind of think it might not just be people who like idols that enjoy them, but also people who are into bands.

ab: People who come to see you for the first time might be a bit surprised to see you head-banging during your performances. As idols, are there any older artists that you look up, or want to emulate?

Nishigaki: I really love Aika Hirota from the group Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku (Ebichu), who are a couple of years older than us and signed to the same agency, Stardust Promotion. The first time I saw Ebichu perform, I thought "wow, who are these girls?" I was so impressed, I felt myself get overwhelmed and I really got into them as I watched. It's awesome if you have a great voice, but I also think it's great to hear people who have a cute voice, as well as an awareness and respect for the work that they do as idols. Those are the kind of people that I admire.

ab: What goes through your mind when you are standing on stage?

Ueda:We perform at all kinds of venues, including free events, and there's always people passing through that don't know who we are, so we want to make people stop and listen, even if it's only for a little while. But at the same time, we also have fans that always come along to every gig. But even when I'm performing I've always got an eye out for those who have stopped what they are doing to watch the show.

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