Sunday, August 22, 2010

Qs from Ken

Ken asks:

"As a musician (albeit an inactive one) in Japan with a lot of old VK influences, I'm always surprised to talk with guys who play Japanese rock because generally, the influences they cite are predominately American or British. A lot of musicians (and mainstream music fans) over here seem to think of Jrock as less cool/authentic than American rock. Why do you think think that is, and do you and the other CPS dudes have any all time favorite Jrock bands? :)"

I do suspect that some of the reason they find British/American/etc music so exciting is the same reason you find Japanese music so exciting.

Another thing is, they are surrounded by Japanese music, inundated by it, every day. They have experienced the stagnation and homogenization first hand, and in real time. They will tire of it quicker than you do.

Another thing I have found is that, unlike in the west, to most young Japanese people, it does not matter what a group's fans are like, it just matters if they think the music is cool. Thus they have no cultural analog to show them why some people don't like the kind of people that bands like, say, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Slipknot, etc. might attract. And that is really neat to me. I have deepened my appreciation for pop music by ignoring what I used to think of as the teeny bopper contingent, as well as my appreciation for heavier bands by disregarding stereotypes of angsty hot topic shoppers. Because an audience should have no bearing on the merits of a piece of music. (There was a great review of Scott Pilgrim that touched on this point that Neil Gaiman linked to on twitter, and I would search for it but it's too hot and I'm going to use that as an excuse.)

Anyway. Thanks to the internet we can know a lot more than we used to be able to about the Japanese scene, but unless you are subjected to the entire machine at once, every day--TV, magazines, billboards, radio, commercials, etc.--you can't really see why things seem a bit more boring to the musicians over here. Though, I suspect that since you're here, you'll start to be able to put it into words better than I can very soon.

As for the jrock bands that are universally respected, it would be Luna Sea all around, I think. You don't meet too many guys who admit to liking X anymore. Tenten and Joe grew up really liking The Brilliant Green, too. Tenten got into vk thanks to Rouage and really likes Ellegarden. Joe likes Plastic Tree, Number Girl and stuff like that. We all like 9mm Parabellum Bullet and Radwimps, and MAN there is this one band we're really into but I canNOT remember their name right now. This is going to bug me all day. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


ken said...

Haha, you're welcome. And thanks for taking the time to answer, I appreciate it! Sounds like you guys have good taste overall. :)

Xio said...

"As for the jrock bands that are universally respected, it would be Luna Sea all around, I think. You don't meet too many guys who admit to liking X anymore."
Thank god.

Higashi said...

9mm Parabellum Bullet kicks ass! Love Takuro n co

ficsci said...

Nice answer Jimi (^^)b
Honestly, it was only after I started listening to vk that I became open enough to listen to and realize how catchy Slipknot is (lol).
Please tell us what that band is that you all like when you remember the name, I want to check them out too :)