1. Shining new stars
Tokyo Wrestling’s own favorite Brooklyn-based electro duo, Telepathe, has caused quite a stir in music scenes around the world. Their rousing rhythms, haunting sound, and exquisitely coalescing vocals, all offset by their hip, urban look, have grabbed the attention of music and style enthusiasts everywhere from the United States to Europe.
After the Japanese release of their debut album Dance Mother this past February, Telepathe traveled to Japan in May for a series of concerts in Tokyo and Osaka. Already the band has captured a significant following of Japanese fans excited by the drawing power of their electro/post-punk/new wave sound.
While touring in Japan, Telepathe’s Busy and Melissa met up with Tokyo Wrestling for an up-close and personal interview. During the highly energetic conversation, the duo repeatedly finished each other’s sentences and otherwise demonstrated a remarkable synchronicity--just as their chosen band name would suggest.
Afterwards, TW took the duo out to the trendy shop Mario’s Left Tanker. There, Busy and Melissa demonstrated their keen-yet-natural fashion flair and modeled in a fashion shoot coordinated by TW and online street web-zine DropSnap.
In our interview, this multi-talented duo opened up about their musical inspirations, coming out, love & same-sex marriage, their views of non-gay media in America, and some thoughts on being in Japan.
Also, be sure not to miss our special video interview with Telepathe taped backstage before their show at Unit, coming up in the final installment of this interview!
★For a photo report on Telepathe’s visit to Mario’s Left Tanker in Ebisu and their fashion shoot with DROPSNAP, follow the link here.
※Telepathe is Melissa Livaudais (at left; vocals, keyboards, programming) and Busy Gangnes (at right; vocals, drums, key-boards).
-- I saw your show in late May at Club Unit in Daikanyama--it was terrific! What did you think?
Melissa (M): It was a lot of fun. We started playing right at 8pm, which is earlier than we're used to. We've been on tour for a while and all our shows have been running kind of late. So the show felt early, but it was a lot of fun!
Busy (B): Yeah, it was great that so many people came!
-- Could you tell us a bit about how you each began playing?
B: Well, I grew up playing piano and learned music from my mom, who's a singer.
M: I studied guitar for awhile. I also did a little bit of music theory and a very, very little bit of piano, but none of that ever helped me make this music. (laughs) At least, I haven't been able to make the connection yet--though I'm sure there is one.
-- How did you end up forming a band together?
M: I was playing with these two other girls and we wanted a drummer. Our mutual friend Emily said, "Oh, my friend Busy really wants to play drums." Busy came to our practice place at my loft in New York and then she was in the band!
B: That's how we met. So, we were in this other band called "Wicked" together, but after that band broke up we started Telepathe. I'd been wanting to play music with other people for a long time, but it was just hard to find people that I connected with. So meeting Melissa was a great opportunity.
M: I had been feeling a bit bored in Wicked when it ended. You know, we were just a "rock band," kind of math rock, and I realized that I wanted more than to just play guitar. I wanted to make beats and electronic music, and so that's how Telepathe started. It started from the desire to do something completely different from our old band.
B: I played a drum kit and we both wanted to incorporate other electronic instruments. We both wanted to write more melodies and make more arrangements and compositions. We didn’t want to just play all the time, we wanted to think more about the music as a whole.
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●Album: DANCE MOTHER
●1980 yen (tax incl)
●NO: VMMM-001 JAN: 4560124808402
●Japanese MySpace page: www.myspace.com/telepathejapan
●English MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/telepathe
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