With a proliferation of idol-pop groups in the music scene these days, getting a start in the industry isn’t always easy — even for a band made up of former models.
“We started out in 2010 playing in front of five or six people, 10 if we were lucky,” says Sumire “Suu” Yoshida, the lead singer of Silent Siren. “We were terrible early on and it was disheartening. It was our hobby so we weren’t going to quit, but something had to change.”
The group had formed a few months prior to its debut show following a conversation between Suu and drummer Hinako “Hinanchu” Umemura about Japanese pop-punk band 10-Feet at a photo shoot for a fashion magazine.
“Once we discovered we had similar tastes, that was it,” Hinanchu says. “We decided then and there to start our own group.”
According to bassist Aina “Ainyan” Yamauchi, things started to improve when the quartet started writing its own music rather than attempting covers. Ayana Sogawa left the band in 2012 and was replaced with keyboard player Yukako “Yukarun” Kurosaka.
“I knew the girls from modeling and was a fan of their music,” Yukarun says. “However I was really nervous coming in as I’d never been in a group before. Thankfully they all treated me like family.”
Shortly after Yukarun joined, Silent Siren’s first mini-album “SaiSai” was released. An energetic, inoffensive debut with high-pitched vocals and a bit of kick, it blended bubble-gum pop with a rock guitar sound. It’s a style the group has adopted on subsequent records.
Silent Siren’s latest effort, “S,” came out last week. The group hasn’t deviated much from its original sound, but the album sounds a bit more polished. Some of the tracks sneak in a little edge, such as “Milk Boy,” and there are a few toe-tappers such as “Hikari” (“Light”) and “Hachigatsu no Yoru” (“An August Evening”) as well as ballads such as final track “Secret Base — Kimi ga Kureta Mono” (“Secret Base — What You Gave Me”).
The catchiest track is arguably lead single “Cherry Bomb.” It shares a title with the 1976 punk-esque rock single by The Runaways, but Silent Siren’s version is much tamer.
“You’ll see teenagers next to moms and dads at our gigs,” Hinanchu says. “The music is quite varied and therefore appeals to people of all ages. Our shows are really energetic though, so fans tend to be exhausted when they leave.”
“S” is in stores now. Silent Siren begins a nationwide tour at Tokyo’s Ex Theater Roppongi on April 18 and wraps up at Yokohama Arena on July 18. For more information, visit www.silent-siren.com.