Interview with Band-Maid’s Miku Kobato: Thoughts on Her Solo Project cluppo and Her New Track ‘with You’

21.July.2022 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

The rock band BAND-MAID has attracted legions of fans both in Japan and around the world for their powerful performances while clad in maid outfits. The group calls their loyal fans ‘masters and princesses,’ and the number of these devoted listeners continues to grow year after year.


The band will be the opening act for the Japanese version of the world-famous British rock event DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL. The event, DOWNLOAD JAPAN 2022, will be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba on August 14, 2022. In October, BAND-MAID will embark on their largest-ever U.S. tour, playing 13 shows. 10 of these shows are already sold out, showing the incredible impact the group has had abroad. 


Miko Kobato, the guitarist, vocalist, and founder of BAND-MAID, has been attracting attention with her solo project cluppo. Following her first EP hatofull in March, her newest song With you was released on July 7. The track is being used as the ending theme for the anime series Smile of the Arsnotoria


With you – cluppo


We recently had the opportunity to sit down with cluppo to chat about her new single, her songwriting process, and more. It’s clear that her music has been having a profound impact on her fans, and her many musical talents are shining through more than ever. 


—Your new song, With you, is the ending theme for Smile of the Arsnotoria. What was your inspiration for the track?


cluppo: Actually, I was personally asked to write the ending theme for the Smile of the Arsnotoria anime adaptation. After I got the invitation, I had a ton of online meetings with the animation team to discuss what kind of atmosphere and tone the track should have. 


They really wanted me to create a song with a unique atmosphere, totally different than my usual intense and super energetic sound. It was clear that they wanted a song with more of a gentle and cute sound and one that seemed to tell a story. I talked to Crow (cluppo’s music production team) and I decided on a cool premise–I’m a pigeon and cluppo’s theme is ‘world peace,’ so the track was inspired by the idea of a pigeon getting along with the crows. 


The anime was inspired by a mobile game, so I decided to try that out before writing any lyrics. It had a really awesome story, so I took a lot of inspiration from that. Once I had a general image in mind, I made the decision to incorporate common words from the game into the track, knowing that people who had played it would instantly recognize that. 


—After meeting with the anime team, were you able to pin down a concept for the song?


cluppo: The team was really particular about the music from the very beginning of the project. I’d send demos, they’d send them back, and that happened quite a few times. The atmosphere of the track changed a lot over time. It’s completely different from my original idea. 


—What’s the message behind the lyrics? 


cluppo: I think the most important point comes right at the end of the song–“love is unbeatable.” That actually comes from the show’s key visual, which said that “magic (cuteness) is unbeatable.” At first, I started imagining that the series would have a really super-cute vibe, but once I started playing the game, I realized that there was some darkness mixed in too. Maybe we were meant to be the cute ones. I figured out that ‘cute’ was also being used to describe strong people with the urge to move forward. In Japanese, the word ai means love, but when pronounced in English, it can refer to the self, as in ‘I.’ So when I wrote the lyrics, I wrote it so it could be read either way–either “love is unbeatable” or “I am unbeatable.” Using that word was really important to me. 


—What was it like working on the music and arrangement with Crow? We’re curious to know how you expanded on your earlier ideas.


cluppo: Rather than just relying on my own brain to come up with ideas and pushing my own personal image to the forefront, I had a lot of back-and-forth with the animation staff this time around. I’d ask if I could change the lyrics in a certain part or if I could alter the sound in certain parts, but other than little things like that, I left the overall vibe up to Crow this time. 


—It was a real collaboration!


cluppo: Totally! They really understand my tastes and my image after everything I’ve released so far, including hatofull. It was like they were focusing more on the cluppo vibe than I was, so I felt completely comfortable leaving it up to them. 


—Do you have any particular beliefs or principles that you keep in mind while you’re writing lyrics? 


cluppo: The main goal of cluppo is to bring world peace. That’s something that I always keep in mind while writing my lyrics–I really want to capture that wish as best I can. 


—Where do you get most of your ideas?


cluppo: I find inspiration in all kinds of places, but the thing that inspires me the most is a good night’s sleep! (laugh) 


—What’s your first step in creating lyrics? How do you start the process?


cluppo: I always write the music before the lyrics. I end up listening to a ton of songs everywhere I go and before I go to bed. I imagine the atmosphere that the song will have and how it will fit into someone’s daily life, which leads me to come up with the melody. That’s when I start thinking about lyrics–if you don’t have the melody in mind, it’s much harder to know which words will sound good and which won’t. 


—When you listen to a song, do you ever suddenly feel overcome with emotion?


cluppo: Oh, for sure, all the time. Like, “Oh, this lyrics popped into my head while I was playing that scene in a game,” or something like that.


—Tell us about your dreams for the cluppo project. Its theme is ‘world peace,’ right?


cluppo: Right. Honestly, cluppo began as an April Fool’s Day project, so I never expected it to last this long. I was even more surprised to be asked to write an ending theme song for an anime series! With world peace as a theme, though, I know that there are so many more things that I can do. I honestly hope that I can do things with cluppo that I could never do with BAND-MAID. 


—As a member of BAND-MAID, you’re about to tour the U.S. this October, with over 20,000 fans coming to watch you perform. Do you have any plans to take cluppo abroad?


cluppo: I haven’t thought about it! (laugh) 

I’ve heard from overseas fans that they were sad that cluppo didn’t perform, and while that does make me really happy, playing at a BAND-MAID concert would be odd since we have such different sounds. But I do really want to perform abroad someday!


—Finally, could you say something to the fans reading this interview on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON?


cluppo: Of course! MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has worked with BAND-MAID for a long time, so it’s such an honor to be featured here as cluppo. I’d wanted that for a long time…oh, I guess that sounds odd. (laugh) I want many more people abroad to get to know my solo project since cluppo is a little different than BAND-MAID–we’re both cute, but in different ways. I’d love to spread my wings overseas someday, so I’ll keep doing my best! Please support me! 

With a nostalgic feel and Kobato’s warm vocals, cluppo’s new track With you is sure to wrap you up in good emotions. Written as the ending theme for Smile of the Arsnotoria, the song was made to inspire listeners and give courage to those about to take the first step towards meeting their goals and chasing their dreams.


The music video seems to show cluppo flapping her wings and taking flight as she conveys a powerful message to fans: “love is unbeatable.” 


Be sure to give cluppo’s music a listen, and be sure to support BAND-MAID as well! We can’t wait to see what Kobato does next.


  • BAND-MAID Reveals New Track ‘Memorable’ Written During 2022 U.S. Tour, Music Video Released

    25.February.2023 | MUSIC

    The globally popular female rock band BAND-MAID released the new track Memorable on streaming services on February 22, 2023. This is the first song to be released in the group’s 10th anniversary year, and fans can also watch the music video on YouTube.


    This new song is a ballad written during the 2022 U.S. tour and performed for the first time at the Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. The music video begins with footage of Miku Kobato standing alone in the wilderness of Lancaster, Los Angeles, and both American and Japanese fans will be enamored with the unique natural touches present in the new release.


    Memorable – BAND-MAID (Music Video)

    The band has also announced that the BAND-MAID TOKYO GARDEN THEATER OKUJI performance held on January 9, 2023 will be released in three formats on April 26. The limited edition will include documentary footage for the first time in BAND-MAID’s history, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the 2022 U.S. tour and a photo book filled with private shots of the members.


    In addition to performing at Pointfest 2023, Welcome to Rockville 2023, and the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival, BAND-MAID will also perform six solo shows in the U.S. in August. The group will also appear at KNONTFEST JAPAN 2023 for the first time on April 1.


    Follow BAND-MAID as they continue taking over the rock scene around the globe!

  • BAND-MAID to Hold First Performance at KNOTFEST JAPAN 2023 to be Held at Makuhari Messe

    20.February.2023 | MUSIC

    The popular female rock band BAND-MAID will perform for the first time at KNOTFEST JAPAN 2023, scheduled for April 1 and April 2 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.


    KNOTFEST was begun by the American heavy metal band Slipknot, and the festival has been held yearly since 2012. BAND-MAID will perform on Day 1 along with headliners Slipknot, Trivium, and MAN WITH A MISSION.


    Tickets for the May shows to be held in the United States as part of the BAND-MAID 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR are none on sale. The group managed to bring in over 20,000 fans during their solo U.S. tour in 2022. In addition to performing at Pointfest 2023, Welcome to Rockville 2023, and the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival, BAND-MAID will also perform six solo shows. With some venues selling out instantly last year, you’ll want to snag tickets while you can!


  • BAND-MAID Announces U.S. Tour in May, Includes Appearances at Three Major Music Festivals

    16.February.2023 | MUSIC

    BAND-MAID, the globally popular girl’s rock band, has announced more details about the U.S. leg of their BAND-MAID 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR. The group managed to bring in over 20,000 fans during their solo U.S. tour in 2022. In March 2023, the 10th-anniversary celebration will begin, with the group once again planning to visit the United States in May and August. In addition to performing at Pointfest 2023, Welcome to Rockville 2023, and the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival, BAND-MAID will also perform six solo shows. Events in August will be announced later.


    Some venues on last year’s tour sold out immediately, so the competition is sure to be fierce again this time around. For details on purchasing tickets, check the official website. BAND-MAID is currently appearing as the opening act for THE LAST ROCKSTARS Live Debut 2023 Tokyo – New York – Los Angeles, which began on February 3. The group will hold the finale of their 10th-anniversary tour at Yokohama Arena, marking the largest-ever solo performance.

  • BAND-MAID to Perform at Major U.S. Outdoor Rock Festival Pointfest 2023

    10.February.2023 | MUSIC

    The popular girl rock ground BAND-MAID will perform at the outdoor rock festival Pointfest 2023 in St. Louis, Missouri.


    The festival will be held on May 27, 2023. Organized by the alternative rock radio station KPNT, the event is one of the oldest rock festivals in the U.S., with the first taking place 30 years ago in 1993.


    This year’s headliners include Incubus and The Pretty Reckless. BAND-MAID is sure to be a huge draw at the event–one of the most popular girl bands overseas, the group pulled in over 20,000 fans on their U.S. tour last year.


    BAND-MAID is currently appearing as the opening act for THE LAST ROCKSTARS Live Debut 2023 Tokyo – New York – Los Angeles, which began on February 3. In March, the band will begin the BAND-MAID 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR in Japan to commemorate its 10th anniversary, and on November 26, the tour’s finale will be held at Yokohama Arena. This will mark the largest-ever solo performance for BAND-MAID.


    Tickets for the first ten stops on the tour are now available by lottery. The band will also perform in the United States in May and August, and in addition to appearing at Pointfest 2023, BAND-MAID will also perform at Welcome to Rockville 2023 and Sonic Temple 2023.

  • BAND-MAID to Perform as Opening Act for THE LAST ROCKSTARS’ U.S. Tour

    30.January.2023 | MUSIC

    Rock group BAND-MAID has been chosen as the opening act for THE LAST ROCKSTARS’ first live concert in the U.S., THE LAST ROCKSTARS Live Debut 2023 Tokyo – New York – Los Angeles, starting February 3, 2023.


    THE LAST ROCKSTARS’ U.S. shows in New York on February 4 and Los Angeles on February 10 are sold out. Reaction to the group has been incredible, leading to an additional New York show on February 3. To make things even more exciting, BAND-MAID will perform at all three U.S. shows.


    THE LAST ROCKSTARS (Paris Mix) Music Video

    BAND-MAID has become overwhelmingly popular around the world. In the United States, the band recently performed at AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL 2022, one of the largest music festivals in the country. They also served as a supporting act for GUNS N’ ROSES during the legendary band’s Japan tour in November. This year, the group will once again perform at a selection of music festivals in the states, including Sonic Temple 2023 in Ohio and Welcome to Rockville 2023 in Florida.


    This time around, BAND-MAID will perform as the opening act for one of the most impressive rock bands in recent memory. THE LAST ROCKSTARS is composed of YOSHIKI, HYDE, SUGIZO, and MIYAVI, making it a superband like no other. This will be the first time the newly-formed group will perform in the U.S.


    The Ariake Arena concert on January 27 was broadcast live on WOWOW and was also streamed in movie theaters throughout Japan. The February 10 show in Los Angeles will also be streamed, so be sure to tune in!

  • BAND-MAID Reveals 10th Anniversary Tour in Japan and America, Additional Festival Appearances

    21.January.2023 | MUSIC

    Having amassed a global audience, BAND-MAID is starting off 2023 in the best possible way. The group performed their largest-ever concert, BAND-MAID TOKYO GARDEN THEATER OKYUJI, on January 9. Soon after, they announced a domestic and overseas tour set to begin in March 2023.


    BAND-MAID’s 10th-anniversary tour will commence with a show in Kumamoto on March 23 and will then travel to 20 cities around Japan for a total of 23 performances. The legendary finale will take place at Yokohama Arena on November 26, marking the largest-ever solo performance for the band. In May and August, the girls will tour the U.S. and appear at a number of major festivals. More details will be announced soon.

    The sold-out TOKYO GARDEN THEATER performance is also available to stream. Tickets are now available through February 8 and fans around the world are welcome to enjoy this
    incredible show from the comfort of their own home!


    To commemorate BAND-MAID’s 10th anniversary, a high-resolution stream of all works
    after the group’s transfer to Pony Canyon will be available on streaming sites starting January 10.

  • BAND-MAID to Stream Huge Tokyo Garden Theater Performance Worldwide on January 9, 2023

    22.December.2022 | MUSIC

    The globally popular rock band BAND-MAID has announced that it will stream its upcoming Tokyo Garden Theater performance to the world! The concert is scheduled to take place on January 9, 2023.


    BAND-MAID has streamed several times in the past, performing live in front of only a digital audience. These shows were viewed by those in over 60 countries with #bandmaid trending on Twitter in the U.S. The upcoming livestream is scheduled to take place after BAND-MAID’s successful American tour that drew in over 20,000 fans. Tickets for the online event will go on sale starting December 23.


    It has also been announced that BAND-MAID’s PRE US OKYUJI in JAPAN concert held at shibuya eggman on September 9 will also be available to stream. 


    The eggman performance will only be available for fan club members to purchase. See the official site for details.


    Following the U.S. tour in October 2022, BAND-MAID is scheduled to perform at a major festival in the U.S. in May 2023.

  • BAND-MAID Releases Music Video for Instrumental Track ‘from now on’

    29.November.2022 | MUSIC

    BAND-MAID, now one of the world’s most popular girl bands, has released a music video for their instrumental song from now on on their official YouTube channel.


    The song was not only performed during the massively popular BAND-MAID solo U.S. tour held in October and November 2022 but also as the first song played during the girl’s appearance at the Guns N’ Roses JAPAN TOUR held at Saitama Super Arena on November 6. The member’s cute appearance combined with their powerful sound managed to catch the eye of music fans around the world, and BAND-MAID quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. The new music video is also included in the limited first edition release of the recent EP Unleash.


    from now on (Music Video)


    Japan impressed fans during their US tour, packing a number of venues across the country. In addition to their appearance at MERRY ROCK PARADE 2022 on December 18, the band will hold its largest-ever solo concert at the Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. Tickets are now on sale.

    Keep an eye on these girls as they keep working towards world domination!

  • BAND-MAID Completes U.S. Tour with Over 20,000 in Attendance, Welcomed Back to Japan in a Huge Way

    09.November.2022 | MUSIC

    Globally popular girl band BAND-MAID has successfully concluded their first solo tour in the U.S. in about three years. Immediately after returning to Japan, the group was met with a sold out crowd when they performed as the supporting act for the Guns N’ Roses JAPAN TOUR held at Saitama Super Arena on November 6, 2022. Following the event, BAND-MAID even became a trending topic on Twitter!


    BAND-MAID made a splash during their U.S. tour, playing a total of 13 packed shows and getting plenty of media coverage. Given that the Guns N’ Roses JAPAN TOUR was the group’s first performance after returning home to Japan, it received massive attention from fans both locally and abroad.

    Miku Kobato (Gt. & Vo.), KANAMI (Gt.), MISA (Ba.), and AKANE (Dr.) strolled onto the stage and performed the instrumental track from now on. The audience was shocked watching these petit girls in maid outfits perform such heavy rock! SAIKI (Vo.) appeared as the following song, DICE, began to play, with her powerful voice tearing through the intense ensemble. BAND-MAID’s goal of world domination certainly came through in their performance–of course, the song DOMINATION began to huge fanfare, with the girls being shown on the big screen next to the stage. It was clear that each of them was enjoying the performance to the fullest. During Manners, MISA’s incredible bass took the spotlight, with the sound of shredding guitar punctuating the powerful track. Miku Kobato’s strong chorus was also a fan favorite, and as the song Daydreaming began, SAIKI’s voice captivated the audience. BAND-MAID left the stage amidst a sea of applause after performing a total of seven songs ranging from quiet instruments to rock ballads.


    In addition to their appearance at MERRY ROCK PARADE 2022 on December 18 in Japan, the band will also perform solo at Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. This will be the largest solo performance in the band’s history, so fans won’t want to miss it!


  • AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL 2022 Filled to Capacity! BAND-MAID’s Solo U.S. Tour Begins with 20,000 Fans

    13.October.2022 | MUSIC

    BAND-MAID, one of the most popular Japanese bands abroad, recently performed at AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL 2022 in Sacramento, California. On October 9, the last day of the massive 4-day rock festival, the band performed their first U.S. show in three years. We’re taking a look at the group’s successful performance, which has audiences anxious for BAND-MAID to arrive in their city.

    Appearing on the Coors Light Stage, the group began with the instrumental track from now on. Miku Kobato (Gt.&Vo), KANAMI (Gt.), MISA (Ba.), and AKANE (Dr.) immediately attracted the audience’s attention, still riding the high of their newest EP release, Unleash, on September 21. BAND-MAID, whose intense music is something you’d never expect from a group of girls in maid outfits, showed off their performance ability from the beginning. As the impressive guitar riff of DOMINATION continued along with the cheers of 10,000 fans in the audience, SAIKI (Vo.) made her appearance. Raising both hands to spur the audience on, fans began yelling out the member’s name as Choose me, a very popular song overseas, began. As the momentum continued, BAND-MAID began playing songs from the new Unleash EP, including influencer and, of course, Unleash!!!! The final song, NO GOD, began with an incredible intro arrangement, and the crowd continued to grow–so much so that security guards had to step in to keep the peace. A total of seven songs were performed during the 30-minute show, and audiences were more than thrilled.

    After the performance, the group attracted a large number of requests for interviews from international media outlets. Other performers, such as the Mexican trio The Warning and The Pretty Reckless, immediately came to mingle with the BAND-MAID members.


    The U.S. tour will begin on October 12, and the first solo concert is expected to bring in over 20,000 fans. 12 of the 13 stops on the U.S. tour have sold out, proving the group’s international popularity.


    In addition to their appearance at MERRY ROCK PARADE 2022 on December 18, the band will hold its largest-ever solo concert at the Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. Tickets are now on sale by official lottery, so don’t miss your chance to watch these girls continue down their path of world domination!


  • BAND-MAID Performs at Genshin Impact Concert, Available to Stream Worldwide

    04.October.2022 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    BAND-MAID, one of the most popular Japanese music groups in the world, recently performed at the Genshin Impact Concert 2022 – Melodies of an Endless Journey. The event, which was held on October 2, featured a special arrangement of the Dawn Winery Theme by Shiro Sagisu, with instrumental performances by MIKU KOBATO, AKANE, KANAMI, and MISA!

    Genshin Impact Concert 2022 – Melodies of an Endless Journey

    BAND-MAID’s newest EP Unleash is available now, and has been incredibly popular, reaching #10 on the Worldwide iTunes Album Chart and #1 on the weekly USEN HIT J-POP and J-POP/Western music rankings. The group will start its U.S. tour on October 9 with over 20,000 fans expected to attend. 12 of the 13 shows scheduled in the U.S. have already sold out, proving that the band has an incredibly dedicated international fanbase.


    In addition to their appearance at MERRY ROCK PARADE 2022 on December 18, the band will hold its largest-ever solo concert at the Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. Tickets are now on sale by official lottery, so don’t miss your chance to watch these girls continue down their path of world domination!


    Comment from Miku Kobato

    “We were so happy to be able to perform at the Genshin Impact concert. 

    Genshin is so popular around the world. I’m surrounded by people who play it, and I promised myself I wouldn’t start because I’d probably get addicted. Eventually, I couldn’t help myself though, and now I’m completely obsessed. 


    This performance was completely instrumental, which was a really valuable experience for us.  I hope that everyone can enjoy the world of Genshin through our music!”


  • BAND-MAID Releases ‘Unleash’ EP, Music Video for ‘influencer’

    26.September.2022 | MUSIC

    With an ever-growing international fanbase, the rock group BAND-MAID has just released the Unleash EP. Featuring eight tracks, the band has also released the music video for the track influencer


    The music video was shot in the same location as BAND-MAID’s newest artist photos, and fans will want to keep an eye out for MISA’s bass solo! The liberating music video encompasses the EP’s main theme of being fully unleashed and free. 


    influencer (Music Video)


    A number of in-store campaigns commemorating the release of the Unleash EP have also begun. Those purchasing the EP can enter a special campaign by using the ticket included with the CD itself, and those visiting Tower Records Shinjuku will be able to see Miku Kobato, KANAMI, MISA, and AKANE’s instruments on display! A playback campaign has also been launched on music subscription services worldwide so that all fans, no matter their country, can participate!


    Unleash!!!!! (Music Video)

    BAND-MAID will hold its largest-ever solo concert at the Tokyo Garden Theater on January 9, 2023. Tickets are now on sale by official lottery, so don’t miss your chance to watch these girls continue down their path of world domination!


    Miku Kobato’s Comment on the influencer Music Video

    “The gap between us and the quarry, the grand and majestic atmosphere…it just makes the music sound even better!

    KANAMI’s guitar solo on the cliff is such an incredible rock scene, even if it terrified me during filming.”