Interview with Ginger May
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Both of us (Tanya and Satoshi) started to play instruments when we were in the school. It is not that we dremt about been musicians. But with time we got that ergant to cteate. Every moment the new melodies came to our heads. However Satoshi was more about the sound and technic and Tanya found herself in the songwriting. Time passed, we both played in the different projects. And eventually met each other online. And started our first joint project exactly online.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Traveling definitely. The best activity to refresh, restore your energy and get inspired. Apart from Ginger May Satoshi is busy with 3 more projects as a guitarist, and also he is working partly as a producer and mixing engineer. And Tanya is directing the short films and music videos
How long has your band been around?
Now we are Tokyo based band with 10 years of experience. We released two albums, one acoustic, to much fanfare from fans of dark music, as well as alternative music fans. 2022 is a big year for Ginger May as the band starts collaborating with indie label Messina Record. And the result of our collaboration is a new stellar single, “Me and You”.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Even though we based in Tokyo, it is hard to say we are a typical Japanese band. Not only because of the multi-nationality of the band's members and original sound, but also the unusual combination of the dark visual image and lyrics. You can feel the influence of industrial metal and alternative rock in the band’s sound. The main feature of the band's sound is the mix of heavy guitar, electronic and catchy melodies.
Despite the "dark image" in the past album, there really is no genre classification that fits Ginger May. We prefer to go with just alternative rock or indie.
We strive to ensure that our original melodies create the musical basis for our convincing lyrics. For the band, it’s all about the song
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Even though the name is very meaningful to us (especially if you know that we have the same name song), we don't really like discussing the name of the band. We want to provide an opportunity for our listeners to think up on this topic. For some, it will sound like a girl's name, for others like a girl with red hair. And if you are a deep diver into the old English language, you can find several more interpretations of this name. And all this will be partly true.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
All shows are special. We are trying not to play the same set twice in a row, or not to wear the same stage costumes. That is why probably it is hard to highlight. But we really enjoyed, for example, our latest single drop-off even. In the end, we played The Prodigy Medley cover. And some foreigners did mosh pit. We were pleasantly surprised because never expected that we can make the audience mosh. But at the same time, it is hard to compare because the Japanese audience (and we basically play in front of them) are not very familiar with The Prodigy. In any case, it was a really memorable show indeed. The other one is last year's online show (available on our YouTube channel). We had a drag queens' dance show and invited singer. We are always happy to think up something new, especially when it comes to the live shows.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Most of the time we are a domestic band. Especially after the Corona crisis. And it turned out that most of our favorite venues have been close forever, after they couldn’t organize events during almost 2 years. Yes, we had a multiply numbers of lockdowns here in Japan. Only a few underground venues could arrange the online live shows. From the other side, new venues opened after these 2 years, where we haven’t had opportunity to play yet. Where we really would want to play is abroad (haha). We had plans to have a small abroad tour, but it was canceled because of corona.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Interesting question. We are happy to share the stage with everyone. If we dream a little, it would be cool to play the same event with Maneskin, RHCP and maybe Rammstein. We are also pretty fond of Knotfest every line up.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
To all beginners musicians - never give up to achieve your dreams. If you feel you have something to tell people with your music, please continue. But if you want to earn money and fame, just forget about it.
And to younger us - don't forget that the band is like your family. Never get bad people into your family
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t try to become a musician, and get a real job (lol). But if serious, maybe try not to waste a time for unnecessary things in life (like endless parties) and try to invest time in money to yourself.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
All songs mean a lot, really. It is impossible to choose one or even two. Because all of our songs are reactions to events that occur in our or friends' lives. It is very sincere. We never write about something that we haven't experienced. So when we perform, for example, I (Tanya - singer, songwriter) always mentally back to that condition when I made this song. Performing them, it is like always experience the same feelings. So all the songs are very precious.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Possibly “Cocoon”. Somehow, a lot of people can relate to this song. We even have feedbacks about how this song could help some of our fans to coop depression. Another one is perhaps “Mesmerizer” - a beautiful ballad about the changes. Can’t explain why. Just it is a deep song and sounds beautifly live.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
That is a pretty hard question. I (Tanya) just have the songs in my head from the beginning. And as we mentioned earlier, all of our songs are reactions to events that occur in life. We never write about something that we haven't experienced. Like, for example, "Me and You:" I created in true love. If you are interested, how exactly do we make songs? Well, usually the melody comes first. The best ones come in the shower. And when I have time, I take my guitar and create the bone of the song. After we create the arrangement with Satoshi Higashida. And go to the studio to practice with the band.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We believe that people can relate to our music. And if listeners can connect to our songs, that would mean they also experienced the same or similar feelings. We hope our music can help them to cope with all the bad stuff in their lives and heel them.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We believe everyone has some small disagreements. The thing with our band is that permanent members Is just 2 persons, Tanya and Satoshi. And we are mature enough to cope with our disagreements. Each of us understands if he must give in on some issue. Much of this is due to proper segregation of duties. We rarely have disagreements.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have recently released our fresh single “Me and You” and MV is coming on July 17th. So we are not ready to spotlight anything yet. But we are planning to get back to studio to work on new songs. And we hope you can hear some new stuff from Ginger May in the near future.