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Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011
THOUGHTS ON FUJI
By MIKE SUNDA
Special to The Japan Times
This is a far cry from the sunshine and beaches of California. How are you coping with the weather so far?
Bethany Cosentino (vocals, guitar): It's not that bad! I think we're all fans of warm weather and sunshine, but I'm in Japan, I'm not going to complain about the weather. I feel lucky just to be here. Hopefully our music was able to make the crowd feel like they were in the sun, by the beach.
Actually, I think it's kind of awesome-looking, too. ... How low the clouds are against all the greenery — it's like I'm in a magical forest.
We wandered around last night to the White Stage to see Incubus, who we all really like, and that was the longest walk through the smelliest dirt ever! We were all exhausted and (bassist) Bobb was trying to bail on us. But we were like, "We have to go, we've been talking about going to this for months!" We finally just dealt with the hassle and it was worth it. But they weren't lying when they said it was a long walk. We lost weight just by doing that walk!
And the Orange Court stage is even further!
BC: That wasn't even the furthest?! I don't think I could've made it any further than that. You'd have to put Stevie Nicks and John Lennon together on the Orange Court stage to get me to go that far!
Are there any other bands you're looking forward to?
BC: I'm really looking forward to seeing Beach House — they're one of my favorite bands and they're friends of ours. We've been hanging out with a lot of our friends. I'd like to see No Age, who are also friends of ours — but again it's that stage that's really far away so I might not make it, sorry Dean and Randy!
Bobb Bruno (bass): I'd like to see Wilco and Warpaint.
BC: There are a lot of really great bands playing this festival. I wanted to see Coldplay but we didn't make it in time. Well, I mostly just wanted to see Gwenyth Paltrow.
Would you have liked to spend longer in Japan?
BC: Yeah, I definitely would have liked to have gone to Tokyo. I know we'll go there at some point, it's not like we're never coming back, but if we'd had more time off I'd have loved to go to Tokyo and stay there for a day. Bobb loves Tokyo Disney. I love cats and shopping.
So you'd like to hit up the cat cafes, then?
BC: That's on the top of my priority list when I get to Tokyo. I'll go to all of them!
Ali, you've been here before on tour, how does this time compare?
Ali Koehler (drums): This time's totally different obviously, with it being Fuji Rock. Everything on sale in Japan is really fascinating for me, but this time there's no stores within walking distance from here.
BC: We're all planning on just buying a bunch of shit at the airport.
Did the earthquake and radiation news put you off coming here at all?
BC: We were supposed to come here March 15. We were in Australia and then after that we were supposed to be in Tokyo for two days doing press. We were in Australia when we heard about the earthquake and we were watching the news and realized how bad it was, so we had to cancel our show. We were all really sad about that, but it really didn't seem like a good time to come here and perform. We haven't had time to make up for that yet, but I'm sure early next year we'll be back. That was only one show, so I'm sure we'll do a proper Japan tour.
It's terrible what happened, and we all did our best to try and encourage our Japanese fans to be strong. I grew up in Los Angeles, and it's nothing in comparison, but there was a terrible earthquake when we were younger. It's very sad when that sort of thing happens. But we're glad to see that things are coming back together here.
People seem really excited and happy. I'm sure after a tragedy like that people are ready to try and get back to their regular lives. Being at a festival like this, everyone is here together and everyone probably feels like they're in a community where they're feeding off each other's excitement and energy. When we walked around the grounds last night, we saw some people who are definitely very excited to be here, and that's all I'm going to say! (Laughs)
I wasn't sure what to expect, but it definitely feels like everyone is here to have fun.