Broken Doll will start touring Europe later this week, next to that the band has released a 10th-anniversary album. Reasons enough to have an interview, guitarist and original band member of Broken Doll, Kensuke, took the time to answer the questions we had for him.
1. Broken Doll - From right to left: bass player Yuu, singer Sachi, drummer Takaki and guitarist Kensuke.
AVO: This is our first interview with you for AVO Magazine. Thank you very much for your time. Can you tell something about the band, for example: what brought the band together?
Kensuke: In 2006, I wanted to create a mix of rock and an extreme fashion brand matching the styles of Sex Pistols, SEDITIONARIES and Malcolm McLaren. I wanted to create the 2nd generation of Sex Pistols in Japan so I formed this band and also created my fashion brand. The only member of the band left from that time is me.
In 2008, Sachi joined Broken Doll as a vocalist and reaffirmed our style.
In 2014, Yuu joined the band as bassist and Takaki as the drummer. That was the year I started to perform overseas.
AVO: What is your favourite part of being part of Broken Doll? Making new music, performing on stage or something else?
Kensuke: I compose and record new songs and I even mix them. I do all the engineering process. It’s all really fun.
AVO: Broken Doll is inspired by big names like Sex Pistols, Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and the Culture Club among many other names from the 80’s and 90’s. If there would be a chance that Broken Doll could collaborate with these (or other) artists, which would be on the top of your list?
Kensuke: I think even nowadays Madonna is still very powerful so that’s amazing! I really respect her. I would like to perform together with her. From the latest artists, I choose Paramore. I want to collaborate with that band. I think Hayley’s live performances are incredible and she’s also the woman with the best fashion sense in the world.
AVO: You are going on a new European tour soon; what are you looking forward to it the most?
Kensuke: It will be the first time I play in France so I want to give a powerful gig.
AVO: You have been performing outside Japan a few times; the UK, Australia, Brazil. Do you have the feeling that the audience outside Japan is much more different than the audience in Japan?
Kensuke: Oversea fans like rock, but rock is not that popular in Japan. That makes us really happy.
Since Broken Doll is a rock band we are aimed to attract overseas, even more than Japanese ones. It makes me really happy.
AVO: If you could have a concert in any place you want around the world, in any stage or stadium, where would you like to play and why?
Kensuke: If you work in the rock scene, you would probably choose the United Kingdom but this is already our 3rd time there so I really want to go to Los Angeles. I got a lot of influence from hair metal bands from the 80’s. I made a cover of ‘Nothing But A Good Time’ from the latest mini-album of Poison. The hair metal bands used to be formed during the 80’s in Los Angeles. For example: Ratt, Motory or Guns N’ Roses. Though I’m 35 years too late. I still want to rock in Los Angeles (lol).
AVO: On July 1st Broken Doll released a new album, it is meant as a 10th-anniversary album for the band. Can you tell something about the album and which song is your favorite?
Kensuke: I do all the recording, mixing, mastering and production by myself. That’s why I needed 5 years to finish my latest album. I love all my songs, but I really like hard rock and heavy metal, so my favorite is the 2nd track ‘Like a Bunny’.
AVO: With all the steps that have been taken to grow the band Broken Doll and its band members in the last 11 years, if you look back at it, what is the best memory you have of being part of Broken Doll?
Kensuke: It takes a lot of time to make new music in the music style I like. Major bands just aim to make money so they don’t expend a lot of time in one album. They just release one after other. If the album doesn’t become a hit in a short period, they just disband. It’s just too stupid. Broken Doll is an indie band. We record the songs as many times as we want as to make them perfect, so we take all the time we need. That’s really fun. And it’s really great to feel accomplishment, gratification, and satisfaction when you finish a song.
AVO: The fashion label started by Kensuke; why did you decide to start the fashion label Broken Doll, can you explain a little bit about the concept of it and why is the physical shop not in Harajuku?
Kensuke: Harajuku sucks. It’s just a pretty place to go to see with kids. “Rock” is not something that really matches there. Didn’t you know that the coolest rock town in Japan is Shimokitazawa? So I placed my shop in there. It’s surrounded by 40 live venues! You can go to a rock party every night until morning.
AVO: Do you feel the fashion world and the music world are very different since you work in both?
Kensuke: When I started Broken Doll I mixed my own original fashion with punk rock and that attracted people from all over the world. I’m very happy to be able to work on a global scale now.
AVO: What would you love to accomplish for the band en thde label in the next few years?
Kensuke: During next year, 2018, I would live to have a lot of concerts. I would like to go to Germany, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy.
AVO: Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans in Europe?
Kensuke: I want to tour in a lot of European countries in 2018. So please call BrokenDolls and we’ll go there anytime! Let’s have a Rock Party!
I want to thank Kensuke for the opportunity and his time to answer the questions and my translator B. for the translation. It is possible to follow Broken Doll on Twitter, Facebook, and their official website. The new album can be bought for 1080 yen through the web shop.