Ways to Create a New Post-COVID Communities
Interview: Shinji Miyadai (Sociologist) × Masaya Mifune (Musician/ROTH BART BARON)
“Capitalism” and “Technology” have advanced and the destruction of traditional communities has progressed.
But now, we have witnessed these huge communities created by capitalism and technology floundering in confusion by the Coronavirus crisis.
When considering “post-COVID”, it seems urgent to create a new community.
We asked musician Masaya Mifune and sociologist Shinji Miyadai to discuss this, in search of a clue.
ROTH BART BARON Masaya Mifune, continues to seek a unique connection with his fans in their community, PALACE. Shinji Miyadai, a sociologist has sharply cut through modern society with his historical perspective and vast fieldwork.
The dialogue between the top young creator and the ever-evolving intellectual giant is full of hints for creating a new community.
Specific measures for the music industry’s recovery from COVID damages with government’s 1 trillion-yen supplementary budget
Talk：Taiji Sato × Umezo Kato（CEO of Loft Project）× Keisuke Murakami（Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry）
The music industry has been hugely damaged by the Coronavirus crisis.
Despite efforts to fight back during extremely difficult times, a solution to overcome the problem has not been found.
How can the situation be improved to start a new form of live entertainment?
On January 21st 2021, under the state of emergency 3 men gathered: Mr. Taiji Sato (musician and organizer of the fully solar powered rock festival, ‘THE SOLAR BUDOKAN’, also held in 2020), Mr. Umezo Kato (President of the Loft Project, established Japanese live music club), and Mr. Keisuke Murakami (General Manager of Management Support Department, Small and Medium Business Administration, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry） Mr. Murakami has also suggested a business restructuring subsidy of 1 trillion yen on January 28th at the Third supplementary budget.
Having walked different paths but sharing the same birth year of 1967, they had a heated discussion about how they can support the music industry.
Realization of Life and Death Explained by MahiToThePeople (GEZAN): “What makes us alive”
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Vocalist of GEZAN, MahiToThePeople published his novel “Ginga de Ichiban Shizukana Kakumei” (The Quietest Revolution in the Galaxy) in 2019, and continues his various activities such as appearing in “Hakai No Hi” (The Day of Destruction) a movie produced and released amid the coronavirus crisis.
The music festival “Zenkankakusai” (‘All Senses Festival’), hosted by their independent label “Jusangatsu” since 2014, is drawing attention with its unprecedented concept of tipping as admission system and free food. During the self-restraint period, the festival changed its form to “ZenkankakuSAI (the Chinese character for ‘SAI’ was changed to represent ‘vegetables’ instead of ‘festival’),” and created a farm on a live venue rooftop, and sold seeds and seedlings of vegetables and flowers using the tipping system. In addition, to celebrate the start of their farm, a 30-hour-drum-marathon by the drummer of GEZAN was broadcasted. As such, they have continuously challenged to overthrow people’s values.
Each of the actions and activities are his “battle” and “revolution” against the world.
What is he fighting against, and what is he trying to transform――?
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.