In one of the weirdest honors ever accidentally given to anybody, fate just so happened to twist in a direction by which Candye Syrup’s final-ever media appearance happened in the United States, and in a Homicidols sit-down executed by your friend and mine @DaeMetal
Idols are illusionists.
Even in alternative idol where the music has more integrity, the songs can deal with real world issues, and the vocals contain more honest emotion, there is still a magic act being performed on stage. That’s how an idol can make a show in front of ten people in a basement club feel like it’s a sold-out night at the Budokan. It’s how an idol can throw a glance at a crowd of hundreds and make it feel like they are looking directly at you and only you. It’s also how an idol unit that’s being dismantled in a matter of days can go through a three-day weekend of activities with all the momentum, energy and the outwards appearance of a group in their prime.
For those who need a recap: In mid-June, Candye Syrup announced that the five-member unit would be making their first U.S. appearance over Labor Day weekend at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona. Eleven days later, CS announced that Ichigo was leaving the group immediately and the other four members would be graduating after the Phoenix show. Candye Syrup’s American Debut had suddenly turned into their Last Live.
Even so, Candye Syrup landed on American shores full of positive energy. Their itinerary for the Saboten Con weekend was full: concert, VIP event, fashion show, Q&A panel, plus multiple autograph and cheki sessions. When they weren’t performing responsibilities related to the Con, they were engaged on social media, twitcasting or streaming on Showroom. All outward appearances were of a unit moving forward at a healthy clip, not a group facing imminent dissolution.
This illusion was maintained for the duration of the weekend (they rocked both the event stage and the runway and greeted fans, new and old, with enthusiasm) and only started to crack around the time I finally got to speak to them Monday morning. By this time, all of their Con-related duties as Candye Syrup had been carried out except this one last interview.
I was led into the event stage green room to greet them and introduced to an idol unit in casual mode, dressed in their personally styled civilian clothes with little-to-no makeup. As I set up my camera to record the interview there was surprise and Non anxiously asked, “Is this on video?” I responded that it was primarily to capture the audio and so I can see who is responding to the questions. I assured them, “The video won’t be published”, and they relaxed.
Translations by Hailey Marinovitch of Chaotic Harmony
Honestly, for me it doesn’t really feel like it was our last show yet.
Homicidols: Was this you first time in America? What were your first impressions?
Non: Coming to America, everyone talks to you with a smile on their face. And they are friendly, so I got a really kind of cheerful impression of America.
Colomo: It’s my second time. It’s Colorful.
Sha-yan: Like what Non-chan says, but after thinking about it, lots of things are really, really big.
Mai: Like they said.
Homicidols: This was you first show in America, but your last live as Candye Syrup. You seemed very hyped for the show. How do you feel it went, and what are your feelings now that it’s over?
Non: During the actual live, there were some things that went a little wrong and there were some mistakes. I couldn’t say that it was 100 percent perfect, but I could feel the audience’s excitement and their reaction. Overall, I think it was successful.
Sha-yan: Honestly, for me it doesn’t really feel like it was our last show yet. Probably when I get back to Japan and see everyone posting on Twitter and social media I may finally get that feeling like, “Oh! It’s over.”
I would like the opportunity to perform a jazz song live.
Homicidols: As a performer, has performing overseas been one of your goals? If given the opportunity, where else would you like to perform or even just visit?
Non: First, I want to make sure that lots of people in Japan know who I am, but from there, yeah, if there was a chance I’d love to go to different countries and different places all over the world.
Sha-yan: To be honest, I was surprised we even got invited to come to America. Now that I’ve been here I definitely think I would like to go to other countries. In particular Europe seems to have an idol culture that’s active so I’d definitely like to go to Europe.
Colomo: I don’t have a goal to perform overseas, but I definitely want to travel overseas like as vacation.
Mai: Like they said.
Sha-yan: But you want to go to different countries?
Homicidols: Do you have a moment that stands out for you from this past weekend? What do you think you will remember most about your visit?
Non: Sometimes we do have foreigners come to our shows in Japan, but it’s only like one or two, so I‘ve never had the opportunity to interact with so many foreigners at once. So the interactions with the foreign fans is definitely what stands out and what I will remember.
Sha-yan: When the live first started, I saw a girl in the front row with an, “I love Candye Syrup!” sign, and when I saw that, I was so happy. I will remember that.
Homicidols: Non, you have a great voice for performing jazz, blues, and even metal and punk growls and screaming. Which vocal style is your favorite to perform?
Non: I haven’t actually performed jazz live before but I would really like to because it feels like it would be just right, very fitting. So I would like the opportunity to perform a jazz song live.
Homicidols: You all have put out an impressive catalog of songs in Candye Syrup. “IDOL OF DEATH” stands out as almost creating its own genre of kawaii hardcore punk. What were your first thoughts about this song and what do you think of it now?
Non: The first thing that came to mind was, “The lyrics are really weird.”
Non: No! I still think that! The lyrics are pretty weird. I’m used to the lyrics now, but definitely still weird.
Sha-yan: When I first heard the song, it really surprised me too at how it was all heavy, like “Bom! Bom! Bom!” (laughing) Now, I’m more used to it. And also the lyrics for me too. They kind of sound like someone who is depressed or menhara, but then I thought there are maybe people who can relate to that, so that’s good. Now I’m used to the lyrics too.
Homicidols: Which Candye Syrup song is your favorite?
Sha-yan: I like all of them so it’s hard.
Colomo: “White Russian”. The new one.
Non: “Sweet Suicide.”
Sha-yan: Non and I came up with the lyrics for “Screaming, Crazy, World”, so that is one that sticks out because it’s something we worked on.
Mai: What is it? Favorite? Umm … “Secret Doll”.
As with most idol interviews, I was given parameters: I could ask about their time in Candye Syrup and their experience in America, but questions about their post-CS plans were off limits. We know that Non’s future involves being a member of rock band/idol unit hybrid Holderlins, and Sha-yan will be making a major announcement regarding her plans soon. For Mai and Colomo, their CS-branded twitter accounts are still active, but what comes next is a big unknown. The latter two were polite but didn’t show much interest in answering interview questions. In their defense, Colomo rarely says much, and Mai may have been exhausted from running around downtown Phoenix all night with blue Monster energy drink fueled SENANAN.
Homicidols: Which Candye Syrup song will you miss performing the most?
Sha-yan: “White Russian” came out like right before we announced that we were all graduating. So it is the song that we have had the least opportunity to perform. So that is the one that I would really like to perform again.
Non: “IDOL OF DEATH”. There is something that the idol otaku do in the audience. They get really excited and do these hand motions and stuff and, not to offend anybody, but nobody here knew how to do it. So I kinda want to do that song one more time to get that experience again.
Colomo: There’s nothing in particular I can think of.
Homicidols: Your time in Candye Syrup has been short but you have made a very loud impression and you got to end it with an overseas show in America, something not many chika idols get to do. What has been your favorite part of being a member of Candye Syrup?
Non: Probably this.
The others nodded in agreement.