Perfume and Yasutaka Nakata spill room temperature green tea for Sound & Recording magazine

Yasutaka Nakata x Perfume: Sound & Recording magazine | Random J Pop

Despite Yasutaka Nakata effectively being the 4th member of Perfume, he isn't that close with the girls. And despite the long standing 15 year partnership between Perfume and Nakata, there haven't been a great deal of interviews with all 4 of them or much on what their working process is. But they recently appeared in Sound & Recording magazine to reminisce and discuss what it's like working together. The interview doesn't disclose a lot that we didn't already know. And annoyingly, it didn't really go into as much detail as many of us probably would have liked. But below is a list of the closest we get to any form of tea. This tea is lukewarm at best ya'll. Because we know Perfume's team aren't out here allowing these girls to run their mouths freely and Nakata ain't trying to talk to people.
  • This isn't really tea, but something which is re-affirmed here: the girls of Perfume and Yasutaka Nakata are not close for shit. They are work colleagues. No surprise here.
  • Nakata wasn't thinking about the future of Perfume's sound when he started giving them songs such as "If you wanna" which featured a Future bass drop for a chorus. Again, no surprise. We done already knew.
  • "If you wanna" almost wasn't an A-side, until Nakata convinced Perfume's team to make it so. From the sounds of things, "Everyday" was included as a B-side to counter the concern their team had about "If you wanna" - which all stemmed from its chorus, or lack there-of.
  • Perfume used Namie Amuro as an inspiration to learn how to sing. I'm not going to say a damn thing about that. I just can't.
  • Yasutaka Nakata sings on the guide tracks for Perfume. I'mma need somebody to leak one of these.
  • Who gets which part on a song is not decided before-hand or when Nakata writes the songs. Each member of the group sings the entire song. Nakata then decides on who gets which part as he's working on the song and piecing it together. The girls never know who will get which part until they hear the final song. When Nocchi was asked how many instances there were of her vocals not making the cut, her response was "So many". It's official. He hates her.
The relationship between Nakata and Perfume is weird to me. It's widely known that Nakata is a bit of a recluse and awkward as fuck. But even so, you'd think that after 15 years that there'd be more of a rapport between them. It's crazy how much seemed new to the girls about how their songs come together, because of how separate they are from the process and the lack of interaction they have with Nakata. For me personally, this is showing in the music and has been for a while now. Nakata doesn't take the time to get to know Perfume the same way he does Pamyu Pamyu. There are a bunch of pictures of Grillz and Pussy Pam out having dinner, drinking, attending each others' gigs and wearing each others' merch. In some of these pics Nakata is drunk as fuck. And unlike these awkward ass photos that were shot for Sound & Recording where Perfume and Nakata seem afraid to interact with each other physically, Nakata and Pamyu can be seen acting goofy and being comfortable around each other. He's even got a pic and a video of her posted on his Instagram account.

I get that Perfume and Pamyu Pamyu are very different in their approaches. But even with Pussy Pam's worst songs, there's still a sense that Nakata tailored that shit for her from the ground up and built it based on her character or whatever space she's in professionally or personally at that moment - because he knows her. I don't get that same feeling with what Nakata gives Perfume. Perfume's music seems to be a by product of the types of songs that he's into at a given time. Which is fine. All producers tend to do that. But the subject matters of Perfume's songs either seem wholly generic, have obtuse meanings altogether where you're left wondering what the fuck the song is actually about, or are faux deep. I get that Perfume's whole shtick is for there to always be this barrier between us and them. I'm not expecting to hear a song about a-chan's first period or that goth Comme des Garçons homie that Kashiyuka wants to put it down on her. But even so, surely we can get songs with more to them than fucking "Tiny baby" and "Cling cling".

But this shit isn't gonna change. So, it's whatever, I guess.

Yasutaka Nakata x Nocchi: Sound & Recording magazine | Random J Pop

Yasutaka Nakata x a-chan: Sound & Recording magazine | Random J Pop
a-chan as the awkward girlfriend

Yasutaka Nakata x Kashiyuka: Sound & Recording magazine | Random J Pop
Kashiyuka as the cool friend

I'd like to take this moment to appreciate the shot of Nocchi and Nakata. Where-as a-chan and Kashiyuka look awkward as hell and as though they are posing with a celeb at a meet and greet, Nocchi is posing like a boss and is making Nakata look like her son. When Perfume disband, Nocchi goes solo, and the memo goes out that Nakata is working on her solo debut, I want this to be the image that accompanies it.

Interview translated by Twitter user Kowchan (check out their original post for the thread and the full interview)
Image scans courtesy of per-f-ume