Kaoru, DIR EN GREY Destination of unchanging strength and expression – “A moment will come when accumulated energy will explode”
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DIR EN GREY has a unique presence in the Japanese music scene. Having “pain” as the theme of expression ever since the band started, they have dealt with topics such as abortion, domestic violence, and war. They pick up “the dark sides” of the world and thrust them before us.
Having depicted social distortion, how do they see this situation where dystopia seems to have become a reality, and where are they headed--? We ask Kaoru, the band leader and guitarist, who produces all their music.
Masaya Mifune of ROTH BART BARON talks about the change of values: “Human’s creativity is being tested now”
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On the 28th of February, the day Masaya Mifune of ROTH BART BARON was visiting Sapporo City, it declared a state of emergency. He says, “my blood ran cold when I heard about it”. Thereafter, planned performance at Meguro Persimmon Hall on the 30th May was postponed. From then on, Mifune has been energetically giving live performances through Instagram and online broadcasting.
With folk rock as its roots, ROTH BART BARON produces music that transcends that boundary and has fans worldwide. Triggered by their online broadcasting, the band is expanding their audience around the world.
What should we think about right now, as we witness a major change in values? Mifune’s words contain many hints.
Prescription for “fear” and “solitude” presented by Taiji Sato “If we don’t communicate love, the virus will divide us”
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When holding large-scale events seemed difficult under the circumstances, every host of every festival was pressed for a decision whether to hold it or cancel it. As an organizer of “THE SOLAR BUDOKAN 2020”, a rock festival using solar-powered system, Taiji Sato held numerous discussion with his staff and decided to hold the event as no audience live broadcast + audience pre-recording. This strength “not to stop.” is a consistent belief of his.
As a father of two, while spending the coronavirus crisis with his children he saw the problem of Japanese education. As a man who have sang about love consistently, what recommendation does he have?
Changes brought to Ryohei Shima (the dresscodes), post Coronavirus – “Overturning common practice and traditional values are the fundamental of Art”
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Ryohei Shima (the dresscodes) is a multi-talented musician and author, who writes and composes his own songs. To mark the 10th anniversary of his major label debut, Shima released the ‘best’ album titled ‘ID10+’, in April during Coronavirus crisis. Unfortunately, anniversary tours planned with the release was postponed.
How does Shima, who has a reputation for deep theme and delicate expressions, perceive the cataclysmic changes to the world brought about by Coronavirus? Throughout the interview, he discusses what he noticed in his own life, as well as the radical change of society from his point of view during his self-restricted period.
Shoji Kokami Issues that surfaced under the coronavirus crisis –We must ‘Be wise as individuals’–
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‘Kyokou no Gekidan (Theatrical Company Fabrication),’ led by director and playwright Shoji Kokami, was planning to suspend its performances after May. However, the performances were cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. The cancellation would cause a significant loss from ticket refund, guarantee for the actors and staff, and cancellation fee depending on the venue. Under these circumstances, the theater industry asked for ‘compensation for business suspension request’ which drove a huge reaction from ‘the general public.’ Being in the center of this turbulence, Kokami tells us what issues came to surface under the coronavirus crisis.
Namichie shares her view of Art’s role – “I think we need Music which is a device to capture this space critically in this era.”
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Namichie graduated as valedictorian from the Department of Inter-media Art of Tokyo University of the Arts, a costume creator, a rapper, vocal of the band “globalshy”; a creator freely expressing her versatile talent. During this coronavirus crisis in April 2020 when the stay-at-home order was issued, she says “I’m happy that, with everything gone, I was able to examine myself.” What made her say this? And, this world with discrimination erupting in so many ways––. “Why are there still people who do not feel they are part of it all?” Namichie’s honest words, touch the heart of this world.
SUGIZO’s Thoughts on Roles of Musicians “I want to be a boost, stimulating and shaking people.”
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Guitarist SUGIZO has been full of energy even under the coronavirus crisis. Most of the nationwide tours, which started in February 2020, had to be cancelled or postponed, but he has since released a new song “Make a vow,” and held an online charity event “MUSIC AID FEST. – FOR POST PANDEMIC—” with his band.
Frequently drawing attention to his political comments on the SNS, SUGIZO says that he has had an unsatisfactory feeling and frustration against this society currently threatened by the coronavirus. What is his ideal world? What would be necessary to realize it? The proactive creator told us in his own words.
Courage, Resolution, and Responsibility of SKY-HI -Culture makes everyone the “concerned person”-
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Why cultures such as music, movies, and arts are necessary for us—SKY-HI, a hip-hop artist and the member of the nationally popular dance group “AAA,” continuously casts this question through his expressions.
The music and performances by SKY-HI is full of big love, trying to save the world, full of contradictions as racial discrimination. The words in his interview may seem a little aggressive and sensational at first. However, we can feel his strong will to make the world a better place, and his trust that it is possible. We would like to plainly convey his spirit.