Mongol800 eyes the Asian market

Mongol800 eyes the Asian market

The members of Mongol800: Takashi Gima (left), Kiyosaku Uezu (middle) and Satoshi Takazato (right).

May 24, 2011 by Takahiro Miyagi of Ryukyu Shimpo

On May 18, Okinawan band Mongol800 released a new album entitled “Etcetera Works II” featuring a number of their songs released since 2009. The band arranged well-known songs from all over the globe such as “What a Wonderful World” and “Honen Ondo” into their own style.
Mongol800 will use this new album to launch a national tour, starting with performances in Human Stage in Ginowan City on May 28 followed by one at Sakurazaka Central in Naha City on May 29.
The three members of the band, which successfully held concerts in China, plan to further develop their presence in the Asian market. They said, “We hope that Mongol800 can serve as a bridge between Okinawa and other Asian countries.”

The new album includes many tribute songs such as “Oriko San (Pet) by THE BOOM” and cover songs. Two new songs are included, one of which, “Boku and Jelly,” evokes a feeling of floating.
Kiyosaku Uezu (bass guitar/vocals) said, “This new album almost turned out to be like an original album. We tried some things that we had never done before, but there is no change in our style. We’ll be glad if people see this album as being unique to Mongol800.”

Besides performances in live music houses in Beijing and Shanghai from June 1 to 6, Mongol800 took part in one of the largest rock festivals in China.
Satoshi Takazato (drums) said, “We sang in Japanese, which is of course a foreign language to the audience, but they seemed to enjoy it. It was really quite strange.”

Uezu said, “We would like to perform in other Asian countries while we are away on our national tour and would like to serve as a bridge between Okinawa and other Asian countries through music. We would be glad if musicians from China would come to music festivals in Japan and broaden the scope of cultural exchange.”

On their national tour, Mongol800 will perform in some of the areas stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Takashi Gima (guitar) said, “We can offer support to the victims of the earthquake from here in Okinawa, but it would be the best for us to perform live for them. We want to deliver live performances to audiences across the whole country.”
The price of the new album is 2500 yen.
The band will donate part of the sales to a fund to support people in the areas affected by the earthquake.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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