Alternative idol has been a flourishing subgenre of idol music for the better part of the last decade, coming to a head in recent years with the establishment of the WACK family of groups. What started as a glint in Pour Lui's eye quickly spiraled out of control into the bloated and generic scene we have today - everybody wants a piece of the punk/metal idol pie, no matter what they have to do to get it. Only one group has really managed to stay consistent and relevant throughout the rise of alt-idol, and that one group is BiSH. Junnosuke Watanabe's pet project meant to replace the hole in his heart left by the BiS disbandment has evolved into something much more special. THE GUERRiLLA BiSH is a product of that evolution.
I don't really consider myself to be an idol fan. The groups I like are few and far between, and don't really fit in with the mainstream criteria of what "idol" music is. If I had to pick a favorite "idol" group, though, I'd be hard-pressed to find a group I appreciate and respect more than BILLIE IDLE. Formed out of the flaming wreckage of BiS a few years back, BILLIE IDLE's whole conceit is that they're "not idols" and "not kawaii". Across their three studio albums thus far, they've punctuated that image with a slew of hyperactive electro-pop and retro throwback punk rock which often stands out as some of the most vibrant music in the scene. All good things must come to an end, though. BILLIE IDLE's fourth album is called Last Album, and is to be supported by the Last Tour. Is this really goodbye for BILLIE IDLE? I sure hope not*.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Juice=Juice during their stop in Taipei, Taiwan during their ongoing world tour. Their concert, held at The Red House, would be attended by many fans, both local and abroad, and came following a very successful series of shows around the world. Having recently added new members, and having embarked on what is the biggest overseas tour that Hello! Project has put on to date, we were excited to sit down and talk to them about their experiences on the tour as well as the dynamics of the group following the new additions. Check it out and be sure to follow them for more updates as this tour is not finished!
Juice=Juice was formed in 2013 by famed producer, Tsunku♂, with members taken from the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei (the trainee members). Six members were originally chosen for their indie debut and had their major debut later that year with "Romance no Tochuu". Following the release of their first album, "First Squeeze!", they embarked on their first overseas tour "Juice=Juice LIVE MISSION 220 ~Code 1-Begin to Run~" with performances in Taipei, Taiwan and Hong Kong. They would perform in Hong Kong again in 2016 and in 2017 they announced a world tour titled "Juice=Juice LIVE AROUND 2017 ~World Tour~" which took them to Mexico, Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan. In June, 2017 it was announced that Dambara Ruru (Hello! Pro Kenshuusei) and Yanagawa Nanami (Country Girls) would be joining the group and they would release their first digital single titled "Fiesta! Fiesta!" that summer. Following their performance in Taiwan shows in South America have were announced to be added to their world tour.
Alternative idol group BiSH has been climbing the pop music ladder since their major label debut album KiLLER BiSH dropped last year (their third studio album overall). Since working with avex, their notoriety has quietly been replaced with a sort of mainstream respect, with member Aina The End taking part in multiple collaborative projects and BiSH music being used in various promotional campaigns. Today, BiSH held a surprise release for their then-unannounced fourth album THE GUERRiLLA BiSH at Tower Records in Japan. The surprise edition of the album does not include cover art or a lyric booklet, and is priced at only 299 yen.