The backstage is probably the most-glorified space in the music business. Here’s where all the Rock’n’Roll is supposed to happen. But in fact, most backstages are rather boring and even more-or-less depressing, as the publication Backstage Tristesse by Sebastian Szary of Modeselektor proves. For our new and on-going series Caught Backstage we capture artists in their backstages with both analogue photos and short interviews on their touring life.

Second in the series is CHAI, who released their second album Punk via Heavenly Recordings this year. We met them at this year’s Primavera Festival in Barcelona. The photos were taken right before their second set at Parc El Forum, the interview later via mail.

Konnichiwa CHAI! You played two sets at Primavera festival this year, how was that for you?

YUUKI: Overall, it was simply FUN!!!

YUNA: Primavera was totally different was festivals in Japan.

YUUKI: The festival, itself, was truly amazing!

MANA: The line-up was totally different too!

YUNA: The festival was so close to the ocean that I was able to feel the nature. The location was just the best!

YUUKI: It was a chill vibe.  The mood was great.

KANA: The festival’s sense in merchandise was great too!  I bought a tote bag!

Did you have any time checking out other bands during the festival? If so, who did you see?

MANA: We saw Tame Impala perform!

KANA: It was a super cool!  From the visuals to the actual performance.  The sound was so tight that I was surprised.  There were so many fans there that I could hardly see!

YUUKI: We were pretty busy, especially since performing two sets, so it was rough getting around to seeing anyone other than Tame Impala.

YUNA: The fans were super energetic right?!  I was so surprised to see that many people in such a short amount of time.  No one attempted to go home.  Everyone stuck around and hung out the whole festival!

It was your last date on the European tour. How was that tour compared to touring in Japan?

YUUKI: No matter where we perform, the audience is always full of energy!

MANA: There’s not much of a hurdle to overcome when it comes to performing at festivals overseas, compared with Japan.

KANA: It’s really fun being able to feel how everyone at festivals overseas comes to enjoy the music simply for the MUSIC.

YUUKI: There’s not much of a vibe like this in Japan, I really admire it!  Every festival, every live performance has been fun thus far!

You play a lot of shows, do you ever get tired or stressed out while on tour?

MANA: Yes, of course!  There’s no such thing as a person who doesn’t stress.

YUNA: When we have those tired or stressed out moments we usually eat whatever is the most tastiest food wherever we are! We also go around to the local thrift stores and do some shopping!

KANA: Overall, food is our #1 motivation!

MANA: Also, to sleep a lot!

YUNA: Next time we go, we’ll be waiting on your suggestions for Germany!

Is there anything traditional Japanese you miss while being on tour abroad? Maybe Gyozas?

MANA: Oh yeah, of course we do!

KANA: I’m Japanese!

MANA: Like Natto, Dashi-based foods is what I miss you know?  Japanese BBQ, white rice. We’re troubled at times because the staple foods of a particular place are different from those in Japan. For example, with bread, I don’t get full off of it!

YUUKI: I do crave gyoza too!

YUNA: With gyoza, there are a lot of Chinese restaurants so you can pretty much eat it wherever you are. Really good Japanese food can most likely only be eaten in Japan though…

Is there an Must-Have item like drink or sweets on your tour rider, apart from Chai tea :)?

KANA: What?!  If I tell you, you’ll get it for me?

MANA: I love tonic water!  Also, hot green tea!  Corn-based tea!

YUNA: Rooibos Tea!

YUUKI: Haha, I see this is the part where we tell you what we like!  We don’t need Chai Tea, silly! hahaha!

You are about to tour the US again in July. Are there any other CHAI highlights coming up this year? 

MANA: Hmmm…I wonder?!  We’re excited to be going back to Europe this Fall!

KANA: Stay tuned! 😊

Arigatōgozaimashita for the interview!

CHAI: Ten-kyuuu as well!