This past weekend, I had the pleasure to assist on behalf of ARAMA!JAPAN to Japan Weekend Madrid, one of the most important Japanese culture cons of Spain. The event was bustling with cosplayers, dance groups, illustrators, merchandise sellers, videogame lovers and much more. And what would be a Japanese cons without guest international stars to bring Japan extra closer? One of them was the Idol-Metal, Kawaii-Core superstar LADYBEARD, a true beast on the stage that left no-one indifferent, covering all your faves and knocking out all his haters. Today we are sharing our report on the Q&A panel he held, and yesterday we shared our Live Report of the concert he gave on Satuday! Don’t forget to also check color-code‘s Q&A!
Even though this event was a Q&A Panel, LADYBEARD transformed it into something more! His constant interaction between the assistants and the long answers he gave made the meeting an insanely fun ocassion. I’ve also added these comments as they added a lot to the panel!
What do I have to do to become as sexy as you are?
I think you are doing an excellent job so far. Just stand up so all the crowd can see you! Look at this man! You are a beautiful man! A gorgeous man! I have no advice: I’m losing in this sexy-off. I have nothing to say. You are a beautiful man, keep doing what you are doing.
You have a really nice beard. What do you do to maintain it like that?
Twice every week, I fill a bathtub with avocado and egg yolks, and I immerse my entire body into the eggvocado bath, just letting my mouth out so I can breath, and I soak in the eggvocado bath for twenty minutes. Twenty minutes, twice a week, that keeps everything in pristine conditions. Make a note, the hair, the skin, the chest hair… it keeps it perfect.
But avocado is so expensive!
It’s expensive, but we have an avocado sponsor (laughs)
Just before we continue, this gentleman in the front row looks a lot like Andrew W.K.! And this gentleman here in the far left, looks like one of my university professor, his name was Professor Nick, so for the rest of the day I’m gonna call you Professor Nick!
Where do you purchase such awesome outfits?
That’s an excellent question! Generally, we’re getting all of them made at this point. But when I started crossdressing, I just went to a shop and find anything it would fit. But when I started lifting weights, I had the shape of my body changed into that not so typically associated with the female form, which presented a challenge. We had no other option than to have them made. We work with several different designers. The one we work with the most is a company called Candy Fruit. Interestingly, Shiasawa-san, who is the man who owns Candy Fruits, is Japan’s foremost designer of maid costumes, so all of the others maid outfits you see are pretty much were designed by him, and other companies sort of copied them and mass-produced them.
What did you like the most about Spain?
Spain has been absolutely FANTASTIC, we’ve been very lucky on this trip because we ended up with a bunch of days off, so we could do a lot of sightseeing, and that’s fantastic cause that normally doesn’t happen. Normally we arrive, we do the work, which takes all the day, and get the hell out of the place. We spent a whole day in Madrid, which was fantastic, you guys have a beautiful city here; and we spent a day in Cordoba, which was SPECTACULAR! I was like wooooooow! Everything I’ve seen in Spain has been wonderful, particularly the Spanish people, and you’all fans were really respectful and educated, and we appreciate that deeply, so thank you very much.
Are you coming back?
Right now, I don’t think we have a return visit plan, but if you guys want a return visit, then I’ll ask… … the person who brought us here! HAHAH! Demand LADYBEARD Returns! Demand it! I’d love to come back.
It was certainly the busiest Q&A, some questions were sadly left unanswered as there was no time for all!
I’ve read you are forming a new group, when are you releasing a new album?
All information -well, not all information- as much information as can be will be revealed on March 1st. So March 1st, ladies and gentleman, please keep your eyes on LADYBEARD’s Facebook and LADYBEARD Japan’s Twitter, huge announcement about new group! Nothing else I can say… (laughs) Uhmmm… as a hint (laughs) as to the other member of the group… “short – female – almost the same haircut as me” so you can play the guessing game for the next two weeks, try to figure it out! New group, people, new group! Very good times.
What do you do before and after the concert to maintain that beautiful voice you have?
That’s an excellent question! Most important thing beforehand, so, for as long as I can beforehand, I try not to talk. So, obviously that gets difficult if communication must be done, but I just try not to make any noise. Before the show, I go through a long warmup proccess, for a good 20-30min or so. I drink a lot of tea, a lot of water. And after the show I do the same exercises again, but the important thing is that when I get home at night I have a long shower and I turn off the fan, cause the steam is really soothing for your voice, so by the way that’s why everyone sounds good when they sing in the shower! It’s part of the acoustics cause you are in a small space and because the steam is very soothing on your vocal chords. So I let steam soothe my vocal cords.
What do you do so your stockings doesn’t go down? And what’s best: boxers or briefs?
(laughs) This is an answer I’d like to talk with Naoko [my manager]. I don’t often talk about my lady bits, they’re a bit personal! Now this is interesting: for those of you who do not realize, Naoko is Japan’s foremost photographer of crossdressers, so that’s how we got introduced in the first place. So she works with a lot of crossdressers, not just me, so she has a wide range of experience. She says regarding your stockings, a lot of crossdressers glue their stockings to their legs with a similar glue they use for like fake eyelashes, so they don’t come down. In my case, my legs are so hairy, the hairs penetrate the fibers of the socks, preventing slippage, so that’s how I handle that. Regarding the nether regions question, my advice would be: do both! Put one layer and then put another layer. Keep everything “in”, the last thing you want is things coming out. (laughs) In and in, you know what I’m saying? Double up! Triple up if you have to! It’s very important. (laughs)
There’s a saying that goes “to be pretty you have to suffer”. Obviously, you don’t have to suffer depilation, but what other things do you have to suffer?
Let’s put it to both the ladies and the cosplayers in the room. Biggest point of suffering are high heels, wigs -well, mine it’s real-, lenses.. though in my case I find having make-up on makes very hard for my skin to breath, particularly around my eyes, all day I wanna rub my eyes but I can’t ’cause I have make-up on. That could be the biggest point suffering. Also, tights in general, all bad, all day, and also if they fall you can’t pull them up cause you get a run on it, anyway you try! Unbelievable! So make-up, tights, and the most suffering that ever happened in this career for me, was when I did my Harley Quinn cosplay… Ugh, so we did this cosplay right, so I had like a million clipped-on earring on both ears, as Harley Quinn does. So, we put it on the start of the night, it’s all comfortable, everything is fine. Over the time, the skin around each clipped bit kinda swells and gets really really sensitive, which means that if you hit this bit, just if something touches it, it hurts like HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELL! For that shoot, we wanted to use a pole, so we could take photos of me pole dancing just as Harley Quinn does, but this was the end of the shoot, so anything that touched my earrings, my hairs, my shoulder, the pole… anything hurt like mad and it was a nightmare.
Now you know the story behind this photoshoot!
I’d like to take a second: the reason doing conventions is fantastic is just sitting here doing a Q&A panel and then a Stormtrooper turns up! (laughs) He just casually strolls in! May the force be with you friend! (laughs) This is fantastic!
What has been your favourite Spanish dish?
I’m gonna put that question to Naoko, because to be completely honest, we have a photoshoot as soon as I head back, so I had to diet the whole time. I had delicious ham, and that’s all I had. So now ask Naoko, ’cause she has been eating everything on my behalf.
She says she has eaten a great number of delicious things, so she is mentally recapping… She loves Spanish sangria! She says the sangria she has had here is the best she has ever had, and the price of one sangria in Japan gets you three sangrias in Spain, so everyone is happy!
Now all five stormtroopers have arrived! Gentlemen, nice to see you! (laughs) Thank you for attending my Q&A panel, I appreciate your presence very much! Please stay, ’cause I wanna take a picture with you at the end of the Q&A! This is actually the hottest new idol group of Japan! They are called BABYSTORM, and they’ll be appearing next year on the main stage! I look forward to your Live DVD!
LADYBEARD’s dreams came true just a couple of minutes later!
You have a great body, you are very strong… what do you eat in your diet, what kind of exercises do you do and how much can you lift to keep up like that?
Regarding the diet, it’s the fairly standard healthy person stuff, so chicken breast, green vegetables, brown rice, egg whites… it’s the “sacrifice fun” diet which is always a joy to embrace (laughs). Regarding the training, lifting a bunch of weights are not that fun, but however, anyone who’s interested in losing weight, learn any one of my songs that has a dance to it, and scream and dance at the same time, and that’s the best exercise you’re gonna do in your life. The song I did yesterday, the brand new song, “LADYBEARD Airlines”, once we put that online and everything, you have to scream and dance and sing at the same time! As a side note, everytime we have a new song, before I take it on stage, I make sure that I can do it five times back to back. I do the song, I finish and I start again straight away, and I have to do it five times. If I can’t handle five times back to back, that means I can’t do it in front of an audience. So everybody, learn LADYBEARD Airlines, do it five times. I swear to god, in one day, you’ll lose weight overtime! It’s fantastic. Singing and dancing at the same time is brutal, if you haven’t tried it, it’s the best exercise.
What’s the main diference between fans here and fans in Japan?
Fans in Japan have one kind of unity and it’s very hard to tell you about it until you see it and you experience it. Within Japanese culture, everyone doing the same thing at the same time is incredibly important, so that means that all the fans do dances like that but they’re all doing it in sync. So it’s actually pretty incredible, if you are in a stadium seeing a show there’s like ten thousand people and they all know all the moves, and they do them at the same time, it’s amazing. The first time I saw BABYMETAL was in Japan, and I was looking down and EVERYONE knew all the words, knew all the dance moves, and it’s ten thousand people doing the same thing at the same time! It’s incredible, it’s really incredible, so that’s the big difference: the Japanese culture favors harmony and unity within the group, whereas western culture is so famous for its individuality. So everytime I go to a heavy metal show in Australia, and I’m sure it’s the same here, people make circles going this way, and there’s always one jackass going the wrong way, ’cause we have an individualistic culture where everyone wants to be an individual, whereas in Japan the harmony in the group is what’s more important.
When you were younger, what was your dream job?
That’s an interesting question. When I was really small, I wanted to be a stand-up comedian, and that’s like the only performance I’ve never done. It’s very strange ’cause that was kind of my dream of what I wanted to do when I was very very small. For me it’s the final frontier of performance, because if you do a bad joke, there’s no coming back. For me it’s the loftiest kind of performance. That’s the one thing I’ve never done, my first aspiration ever. If you ever see me do stand-up, that means I’ve conquered my inner demons and my childhood dreams at the same time. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a metal singer, but at the time I couldn’t scream, so I said “okay, can’t do that”. I went to become an actor, then a voice actor in Hong Kong dubbing anime into English, and it was dubbing what told me how to scream, which led me to become a metal singer. I think that’s quite beautiful as well, because the career I wanted was inaccessible for lack of skillset, so I went to another career which then told me the skillset I needed to go back to the first career.