Photo by Melissa Guzman

Definitely one of the main highlights of Music Matters Live ’14 would be JPNSGRLS – pronounced “Japanese Girls” – a band that manages to combine the dynamic pleasures of 80s post-punk and 90s alt-rock. The band kindly answered our queries before making their way to our shores from Canada! Don’t miss them!!

Why did you apply to play at Music Matters Live ’14?

We have been really fortunate to have the support of CIMA which is Canada’s not-for-profit trade association that represents our independent music industry. Part of their mandate is to create export opportunities for “export ready” Canadian indie acts, like ourselves, and so, last year, we were brought to Spain to play at BIME 2013. The opportunity to travel to another country, engage with a new audience and culture, and network with the business people of a different market was really an amazing opportunity and experience for us. The idea that we will get to do the same in Asia is a dream come true. We were ecstatic when we found out we were accepted to play at Music Matters Live.

How do you think playing at the Festival will help you?

Vancouver (where we are from) is a city that is very connected with Asia. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that it is the most “Asian” city in North America. There are enormous populations of immigrants from China, Japan, Philippines, Korea and South Asia and there are so many sushi restaurants here that I have managed to convince someone that it originated here. So all of us in the band have grown up being influenced by Asian culture. Even our name JPNSGRLS (Japanese Girls) was inspired by a Japanese indie band called Mass of the Fermenting Dregs. It has been a dream of mine, ever since the band began, to perform and have our music heard in Asia. I see Music Matters as a gateway into that dream since the festival gathers so many people from around the region.

As a band one of our main priorities is to network like crazy. Make as many friends as possible and encourage them to come see our performances. The music business is entirely built on connections. Who you know can make a massive difference in a band’s career. The band is preparing to release our debut full-length album Circulation this summer so, in a perfect world, it would be amazing if the connections created from Music Matters would help us bring the album to the Asian market. That could be realized in a number of ways; making friendships with Asian record labels, publicists or bookers can lead to a number of opportunities.

What are your scheduled slots at MML’14?

21 May – Fern & Kiwi – 10.30pm
22 May – China One – 1.00am
23 May – Crazy Elephant – 9.10pm
23 May – Beer Market (Canadian Blast Showcase) – 11.20pm
24 May – Kuro – 11.20pm 

How are you preparing for MML’14?

The band just finished touring half of Canada supporting Mounties and, after Singapore, we have a list of festivals and tours in Canada and the US that are being set up… So we do our best to stay in top musical shape and not let the gap periods make us lazy or sloppy. There is a big difference in the professionalism and performance of a band before they go on tour and after they come back. We practice regularly and we just spent some time in the studio which really made us focus on the “sound’ and technicality of the band so I think we are going to sound amazing by the time we get to Singapore. Fit and focused. Like athletes.

Why should music lovers come and watch you at MML’14?

If you like rock music that still has guitars in it I think we are the right fit for you. Also if you like energetic concerts where you can dance and sing and share in the excitement of it all we are for you. We put a lot of effort into our performance and put out all of our energy in the hopes that the audience will help us create an amazing and memorable (and sweaty) experience. Listen to our songs ‘Smalls” and ‘Mushrooms’. I think they are the most representative of were we are right now as a band. Can’t wait to meet everyone in Singapore! If you are at a show please come say hello. We honestly want to meet you.

… still there’s more …