“There are ‘good communities’ and ‘bad communities.’” (Miyadai)

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, various communities seems to be coming apart.  This interview was planned in the hope that the two of you will be able to provide guidepost to the question – “What kind of community and society should we aim for post-COVID?”

Miyadai: First of all, there are good communities and bad communities.  We can distinguish the two based on the relationship.  One is the relationship between the community and the people, and the other between the community and the nation.  And of course, when it comes to a new community, we should be imagining a “good community.”

In that context, I invited Mr. Mifune because I thought that ROTH BART BARON’s (hereinafter referred to as “RBB”) PALACE would be a hint for a new = good community.  Could you please explain PALACE for us?

Mifune: PALACE is an online-based community for our band, now in its fourth year.  The traditional fan club of charging an annual fee, sending newsletters, and being able to buy tickets ahead of time seemed a bit dull to me.  So, when I thought about how I could create new connections, I came up with the idea of building a “loose” platform using digital tools.  It all started when I created a free and closed community on Facebook.
We gradually started communicating with each other through greetings, and eventually we (RBB) started asking, “What kind of novelties do you think we should make? I have this idea. ……,” and then people in PALACE began to speak up, “I’m in design work” or “I work for a T-shirt printing company,” etc.
As this continued, the sparkle in their eyes changed, creating relationships that went beyond just enjoying music.  Now they volunteer as usher for our live performances, and when I meet PALACE members in various places on our tour, I feel a strange sense of solidarity and security that cannot be described as fans or friends.  There are a little over 300 of us now, but it wasn’t planned and it’s going in a completely different direction than I had originally thought, but we’ve developed a deep bond.

Miyadai: I think the keyword for PALACE is “freedom.”  We are enclosed in a system, so although we are the subjects, we are usually only workers or consumers, and have no freedom to be something else.  Being truly “free” is not the freedom to “choose an answer from the three options,” but the freedom to “create the three options itself.”  In that sense, being predictable is “not free” because it means that the choices are already assumed, but the fact that PALACE turned out to be unpredictable means that it got off to a good start.

I heard the PALACE members participated in crowdfunding for the 200,000 yen RBB live production rights, and created a live performance together.

Mifune: Yes, I think it was three years ago.  Back then, I wondered how much I could afford to pay if I could put together my favorite band’s setlist and produce live concert to my liking.  So, although a bit presumptuous, I decided to give it a try with my own band.  The theme of my latest album, “GOKUSAISHIKI NO SHUKUSAI (Loud Color(s) & Silence Festival),” is “festival,” and I thought that if we could share the joy of creation by creating a festival together, it would be an experience we would never forget.  When we tried it out, the PALACE members asked, “Can we divide the 200,000 yen between 20 people for 10,000 yen each?” and I replied, “That’s great! That’s really interesting!”  Then, they gathered 20 people and won the bid (lol).

I see.

Mifune: They wanted to see our live performance at the planetarium, so the 20 of them planned the concert through raucous arguments.   As a result, the tickets were sold out immediately.

Miyadai: The concept of a festival itself is very interesting.  A traditional festival disregards rank or seniority.  It’s a time and space where you can do things you normally cannot.  The point is to create a time and space that is different from everyday life.  However, in the last 20 years, music festivals have turned into a place to sell novelty goods instead of music, which cease to sell.  The audience participates just as a consumer, which goes against the true meaning of a festival.  A real festival is something completely different.

Mifune: Certainly, at music festivals, the audience gains the right to participate by buying tickets and goods, consuming something.   But for us as performers, we don’t think about buying anything.  We participate in the “festival” by creating and there is pleasure in itself.

Miyadai: It’s good to be old-fashioned.  In terms of festivals, 30 years ago, street musicians were illegal, and the arrangements for live performances were not that refined, and it was common for a two-hour event to take four hours.  Artists played knowing this, and the audience also participated.  It was this unexpectedness that made the festivals real.

Mifune: Yes.

Miyadai: But as time went by, illegal street musicians became recognized as lawful by the capitalist system.  The key word is capitalism.  The system represented by capitalism has the character of greedily incorporating things from outside.  So, if you stay in the same place, you will be registered into the system before you know it, even though you were outside the system ten years ago.  That’s why we need dynamism all the time.

2019/9/14 “The PLANETARIUM”ROTH BART BARON’s Acoustic Live at the Planetarium Dome in Tamarokuto Science Center

“Not focusing on money, instead share the experience and value that lies beyond it” (Mifune)

Listening to the story of capitalist uptake now, I thought that PALACE’s crowdfunding was different from that.

Miyadai: That can be explained by the classic paradox.  Anarchists, Marxists, and those who advocate urban revolution through expression can only create a revolutionary force when their books sell.  Once it sells in the market, they prove their meaning.  An editorial that denies the system will not be recognized, nor can it be endorsed unless it is incorporated into the system.  Therein lies the essence that the act of buying in the market has a function of voting.”  After all, it’s the capitalism which makes everything marketable that is bad, not the market.  Capitalism refers to a system that markets even land and labor, and includes the criticism that there are some things that should not be implicitly marketed.

In other words, PALACE’s crowdfunding is not in contradiction with a good community?

Miyadai: There is no contradiction at all, in fact it is in alignment.  The point is how much we can create something different from the way the traditional system works or the way capitalism works, with the help of the market.  In other words, it is “results-oriented.” PALACE is producing such results.

Mifune: I see, results-oriented……

Is there anything you are consciously aware of when connecting with people in PALACE?

Mifune: Participation is free and you can come and go as you please.  We do crowdfund projects, but by aiming to be a place where people can share experience and value that lies beyond, and create something together so that money is not the center.  As this progressed, I experienced the joy of finally meeting someone I had only been writing to.

Miyadai: The keyword here is “Think different.”  This is a quote from Steve Jobs.  He introduced the iPhone to the world, but smartphones were not created in response to customer needs.  He showed something that no one had ever imagined and claimed that it would change your life.  By changing his mindset, he created a new market outside the traditional one, and let people participate in the form of buying.  As a result, the new proposal which ignores needs, proved to be correct.  The translation of “Think different” is “Your idea is wrong.”  The dynamism of practice itself exists there.

By the way, 20 years ago, people said that iPhones had fewer functions or were more complicated to use than the Galapagos phones of the time, but no one would say that now.  In other words, using an iPhone is now the norm and no longer “think different”.  Few years ago, Mr. Mifune created PALACE, a new market that does not respond to needs.  However, if it stands still, it will become normalized and will be incorporated into the existing system, and stagnate.

Mifune: Yes, we have to keep rolling.  In that sense, if we start providing music only for the 300 people in PALACE, that’ll be the end.  To put it in the extreme, I have a sense of crisis, that I need to create something that turns off everyone.

Miyadai: The difficulty is this, unless the market purchases your work, you cannot make a living and will have to stop being a musician.  That’s why you have to keep satisfying certain percentage of the 300 people’s needs, while doing new things.  For example, if someone sees a new paper airplane and receives a certain message, it’s because it was made to fly.  If it was not made to fly in the first place, people would not see it as a paper airplane.  Meaning, you have to add something new like stylish or like world music, while using ready-made design as a frame.  That’s where Mr. Mifune’s worries should lie, and I believe when we see his struggle, in the integral sense his core fan base will increase.

Masaya Mifune

“The code of the community is the virtue of obeying the code” (Miyadai)

The mention of paper airplanes reminded me of Yuta Nakajima’s ※1 installation art ※2 called “This A Side and That B Side,” which I saw at the art exhibition “MOT Annual 2020: Invisible Powers” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.  There was a wall in the exhibition space, and you were to write your own rules on a piece of paper, fold it into a paper airplane, and throw it over the wall.  As you stroll through the exhibition, you will go to the other side of the wall, and on the floor, see many paper airplanes with rules written on them.  You would then pick up the ones that caught your attention, modify the written rules, and throw them back to the other side.  The airplanes which made the round trip were posted on the wall, and it was very interesting to throw rules to a faceless person and then throw them back to another faceless person.

Miyadai: That’s very metaphorical.  Humans have created laws because they settled down.  This is because group farming and cultivation plans were needed, as well as crops had to be preserved, distributed, and inherited.  Now, there are laws when we are born and we have no choice but to adapt to it.  Therefore, the younger the generation, the less they know outside the law.  At the most, they just create “sub-laws” inside the law.  In other words, we can no longer create rules that are different in concept from the existing law.  But a community is a community because it has a different code than the law.  Laws are to be obeyed for fear of punishment.  Codes are obeyed because it is a virtue.  Codes are not given to you like laws, but something you make and risk your life to keep.  Someone proposes it, catches it, and revises it.  That’s why codes can only be created in the midst of conflict and friction.  It is the same with bands and music.  It’s important to create through confrontation and friction.  All the bands I respected are like that.

Mifune: I agree (lol).

Bands are also a strange community, aren’t they?  To tie in with today’s theme, I think hints for creating new rules and new communities amid this Coronavirus crisis lies in the kind of expressions and rules that are created through such frictions.  However, earlier mentioned ability to throw paper airplane back and forth = communication is very low in today’s Japan and I feel that we are at a dead end.

Miyadai: Even before the ability to communicate, emotions have deteriorated overwhelmingly. We are confined within the framework of words, laws, and profit and loss, so even if we have communication skills, the content is shabby and shallow.
Since you have started the conversation, I would like to add on to it.  As mentioned in the beginning, there are two types of communities: good communities and bad communities.  In countries other than Japan, the old nation was established by overthrowing the community, and the community resisted and created a new nation, so historically community = a base that resist the nation.  This is a “good community.”
In Japan, there is Chichibu Incident※3 as a symbol of the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement, and proper image of “community = base to resists the nation” Existed.  But the Meiji government, in its haste to modernize the country, neutralized the community as a base of resistance, and turned it into a tool of power like the PTA※4 and neighborhood associations.  The elementary school district was used for this purpose.  This is the “bad community.”  It was created in the course of history, so it has very deep roots.

Mifune: I see.

Miyadai: All of the familiar communities that Japanese people know today are government villages = works for the authority.  The only people in the community are the “flounders”, those who look up to the authorities, and the “kyoro-me”, those who look around watching their surroundings.  The original community = natural village, is nothing like that.  The code of the community conflict with the laws of the nation, and that is aright.  That’s why the community is the base of resistance in the first place.  But even outside of Japan, if you are not careful, you will be taken in by the system and your nature village will become a government village.
The system consists of a market and government.  Both are resource allocation devices.   Former nature villages procured resources independently of the market and government.  But now, if they become independent of the market, they can’t get anything, and if they are abandoned by the government, they can’t get any benefits.  Therefore, what is important is whether we can continue to propose alternative markets and governments without losing the character of a base of resistance, while responding to the system in a straightforward manner.


Miyadai: In Europe, they have “subsidiary principle”, where people do what they can within their own community, and leave what they cannot do to the higher layers of government.  In the United States, there is the “republic principle.”  The first 13 states were communities of faith.  Now there are 50 states, what can be solved in the state is solved in the state and it is still the same as it was in the past, leave the things that cannot be solve to the federal government.  The “bad communities” like Japan are still rare.
Deteriorated Japanese are always asking, “What is the government doing?”  In the first place, the government does not know the details of the small area covered by the code.  There must be a state of moral emotion in which one can imagine and care about what happens to our fellow citizens when a decision is made.  In other words, it is necessary for emotions to work as a “pre-democratic condition of democracy.”  The functioning of these emotions determines whether a community is a good community or not.  We can see how inferior Japan is now, compared to the United States and Europe.

※1Yuta Nakajima……Born in 1985, graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008. Conducting workshops in Japan and abroad, interested in social issues as seen through children and expanding the social role of artists.

※2Installation……A work of art in which the entire work, including the exhibition space, can be experienced by the audience.

※3Chichibu Incident……An armed uprising which happen between October 31 and November 9, 1884, by farmers in Chichibu County of Saitama Prefecture, demanding that the government should defer payment of debts and reduction of miscellaneous taxes.  The uprising spread to neighboring towns and villages in Gunma and Nagano prefectures, becoming a major uprising with several thousand people.

※4PTA……A social and educational organization of parents and teachers (not including children and students) organized in each school.


Shinji Miyadai

“The point is for communities to empower each other using technology” (Miyadai)

It may seem very difficult to start experimenting a new community in Japan, but Mr. Miyadai, what do you think is a way to create a new community in Japan?

Miyadai: There is no new way, everything is known.  We should “make good use of the system, but stopping living buried in it.”  But it is difficult.  The reason it’s difficult is because it’s easy to depend on the system, and as mentioned earlier, the system constantly incorporates the outside.  Therefore, even if we have to continue to use the system, we have to keep expressing the feeling that you don’t think this is okay.”
The hardest thing is that there is no end here.  You have to think about it all the time. Every “good community” eventually has to be incorporated into the system.  That’s why a “good community” closes people’s eye.  In particular, it closes the eyes of the leader.  Therefore, we need to constantly crawl on the ground, while constantly looking at our activities from a bird’s eye view.  This can be said for both sexuality and families.

You mentioned that a good community has a code = virtue, but there are few such communities in Japan, and there is an urgent need to revive them.  Mr. Miyadai advocates the “accelerationism”※5 and says that before a community can be revived, it needs to be destroyed like a burnt field.  What I would like to ask is, should we destroy the current community?  And if a new community is to be created, what kind of connection and scale should it be?

Miyadai: Yes, I wanted to get to that point (lol).  First of all, we should completely destroy the “bad communities.”  But it won’t break while the system looks rock solid.  However, we now have the Coronavirus crisis.  The Japanese system, which has been broken for a long time, is now revealing its inferiority.  For example, even in East Asia, where there is fewer death from infection, for the full year of 2020, Japan’s mortality rate is 93 times that of Taiwan and 8 times that of China※6.  Now is the time to take advantage of Japan’s loser status which has been exposed.  In 2018, Japan’s GDP per capita was surpassed by South Korea, and in 2019, its average wage was surpassed by Italy, making it the lowest in the G7, and even surpassed by South Korea※7.  The average wages are half that of high places like the United States and Europe.  In terms of economic indicators, Japan is completely done for.  There is no room for improvement with minor adjustments.  So, it will keep falling.  But this is actually a good thing.  We now have an opportunity to change our unsustainable way of life, where hanging on to the system of market and government has been taken for granted.
However, many Japanese have deteriorated from the brain to the body, there is no possibility that macro changes will happen throughout Japan.  But that’s why some people are starting a new way of life.  People who live in the wilderness call society with their friends.  What we need to do is, first, connect people in the neighborhood to create a “good community,” and second, connect “good communities” across national borders to share wisdom and resources.  By using technology such as IT, communities that would not have been able to connect in the past can share wisdom and resources and empower each other.  That is the point.

Mifune: That’s right.

Miyadai: When it comes to building connections between communities that transcend national borders, the 2500-year-old humanities and social sciences are a treasure trove of wisdom.  We need to connect that wisdom to society.  However, there are very few people in Japan who have the ability to act as an interface that connects the society and the humanities and social studies.  That’s why the wisdom is not being utilized.  I also feel a responsibility there, so I have been sharing everything with those who have connected with me.

※5Accelerationism……In political / social theory, the idea that the contradictions of the current capitalist system should be expanded in order to create fundamental changes in society.

※6Source……Reference: https://hitoritabi-kiroku.com/covid-19-data/

※7Source……According to OECD statistics

“I want to continue creating places where people can share their senses, both in reality and digitally” (Mifune)

Mr. Miyadai’s imagine of a new community is that of small communities connected by technology across national borders.  What is the new community you imagine, Mr. Mifune?

Mifune: There’s no doubt that we have to face technology, especially in the next five years.  Whether we are going to be using AI or being used by AI is a pretty big question.

Miyadai: AI is a machine that performs deep learning from big data.  However, the initial settings for the range of databases from which it will start learning are configured by humans.  The problem is, as deep learning progresses, the learning path becomes unknown.  In other words, we gave big data to it, but we won’t know why AI became a fascist.  Humans initially set the direction, but we have no control over what happens next.  That’s why it’s very dangerous to rely on AI as if it were a god.

Mifune: I agree, AI does not have a physical body, I would like to gradually work on sharing sensation felt in the body as well as the five and six senses of human beings which has yet to be translated digitally.  I feel that this might be a hint.  For the coming ten years, I would like to rely on those things that will not change, and amplify something from them.
Last year, during Coronavirus we tried to perform live music as normally as possible by broadcasting monthly, performed solo and also launched a crowdfunding campaign to broadcast all the performances of tours for our new album “Loud Color(s) & Silence Festival”, which we are in the middle of.
When I actually go to the venue, I can feel the audience really craving for music.  Even though the audience were only allowed to clap, no voicing, they were so enthusiastic, so hungry and I’ve never seen their look before, and it sharpened my physical senses like I’ve never felt before. I strongly felt that I wanted to continue to create a place, where people can share their sharpened sensibility and the feeling of gathering together to create a festival, both in real life and digitally.

Miyadai: Excellent.  The basis of a community is common sense, where “sense” in English means a feeling outside of language.  In the new normal society, where people could no longer gather because of the Coronavirus situation, the physical distance was compensated by connecting with technology.   But when it’s supplemented by technology, it’s convenient since it connects you straight to your goal, but boring because it’s convenient.
Back when there were no Google Maps or car navigation systems, you tried to remember landmarks, so you knew immediately when the city changed.  You would think, “The signboard is gone, what happened to that store?”  Nowadays, we don’t have the ability to sense the surrounding environment anymore.  There used to be a surplus effect, such as memorizing landmarks to get directions, or connecting with people to ask for directions, but that has been lost.
Therefore, sensitive people feel uncomfortable about the direction of connecting straight to a goal without cost. They are thinking, “Google Maps is boring, the human experience should be richer.”  That is why more and more people are thinking about alternatives.  So, it’s good to keep using both reality and digital like you do, Mr. Mifune.

“Japanese people are qualified to say that ‘Japanization is the beginning of the end’” (Miyadai)

Mr. Miyadai often refers to “fire” as a symbol of community, but I interpret the meaning of it as the distance and number of people who are together with the fire, in other words, the scale of the community. During Coronavirus crisis, smaller nations such as Taiwan have been able to come up with more effective measures, but what do you think about the scale of the post-COVID-19 community, Mr. Miyadai?

Mr. Miyadai: Before newcomers with no ties to the land started making a fuss about it, bonfires were possible all over Japan, even though it was prohibited by regulations.  It is a genomic quality supported by two million years of history that people can get along harmoniously surrounding bonfire and fireplace.  How to use these genomic qualities, or the providence of nature, is the key.
This is also related to genomic qualities, but Jean-Jacques Rousseau considered 20,000 people to be the limit of democracy.  In other words, that is a range where you can see each other’s faces, and be concerned about what happens to each person when decision is made.  I think such sense of scale would be one guideline.

And if we connect communities of that scale across distances and borders with technology?

Miyadai: What we need to be careful of is that as the system becomes richer, the more we are deprived of physical and mental capabilities.  As I mentioned in the Google Maps example, it is good that technology can relieve us of various burdens, but it is bad if we do not question it.  For example, I don’t deny that there are rich experiences through virtual reality and augmented reality technology, but it’s not good to lose our physicality and the bonds between humans because of it.  That’s why I’ve been proposing that we should distinguish between “bad tech” that degrades us, and “good tech” that enriches our bodies and minds.

Mifune: Yes, yes.

Miyadai: The reason why I recommend accelerationism is because, if the descent is slow, we will adapt without noticing.  Since the world and the future are rapidly becoming darker, we are able to notice many things now.  But the acceleration of the descent is still not enough.  That’s why we’re still fighting for seats on a sinking ship.  We should just let the ship sink, then there won’t be any seats left (lol).
However, many students are anxious because they don’t have any friends, so they turn away from information they don’t want to see on the Internet.  But they are out of luck taking my class (lol).  In addition to the declining economic indicators, I tell them that Japanese are the only people in the world who dies alone, and that one in four people who die at home dies alone, and the majority of people who die alone are in their 60s or younger, and that even university students will die alone if no one comes to visit them when there’s no reply on SNS.  Then their face loses its color.  As a matter of fact, the messages of various people, including Mr. Mifune and myself, became easier to convey.

Mifune: Like, “Are you going to be the captain of a sinking ship,” right?

Miyadai: Yes, actually it’s already sunk like submarine.

Mifune: We are running out of oxygen, aren’t we?

Miyadai: So, it’s a chance to change the way we live.  Stop trying to get a seat and adapt to society so they won’t point fingers at you, and instead row out in a rubber boat since you are already sinking.  If you row out with good friends, you will be able to drift somewhere with them and make something of yourself.  That is fun.  I’ve been saying the same thing for 20 years, but the message is suddenly getting through to students.  So, the accelerated descent is a good thing.

In terms of today’s theme, “community,” do you think that this could be the start of a new community?

Miyadai: Japanese people cling to things.  That is why we cannot start until it ends.  The Coronavirus crisis is now our chance to end it.  We have to end it properly and start a “good community” that tells each other the truth, not a “bad community” of “flounders” and “kyoro-mes.”  There are many international artists coming out of China and Korea, but not in Japan today.  Because it is just the excitement of the inner circle.  Once Japan sinks, Japanese artists will be able to send out expressions that are meaningful to the world.  Even if Japan is futile, it can still contribute to the world.  That’s okay.

Mifune: However, the world is also becoming more and more Japanized.  In Europe, hobbies, ideas, and fashion used to be more individualized.  But when I went to London three or four years ago, I was disappointed to see that it was not so different from Tokyo.  Not even a musician who is willing to go beyond the rules, and I thought, “Isn’t this just like Japan?”  Then I thought, “Japan is sinking, but so is here! This is bad!”

Miyadai: That is the correct feeling.  The world is becoming more Japanized, and we have been saying that Japan is advanced in terms of issues.  We can survive by relying on the system without having to think for ourselves and help each other, so we are deteriorating regardless of the country.
By the way, many people seek to register in the system in order to eliminate inequality and discrimination.  Therein lies a paradox.  Because we were not registered in the system and had no choice but to help each other, we have been able to cherish the bonds of fellow human beings.  If we are not sensitive to this paradox, in exchange for being registered in the system, we will become flattened waste.
For example, discrimination against blacks should be eliminated.  But if that means being registered as equals in today’s white society, it is a very bad idea.  Because of the ghetto※8 and the Bronx※9, hip-hop was born.  New expressions and unique culture were born as means of resisting discrimination and oppression.  In this sense, we should not forget the complex elements that cannot be covered by simply saying that “inequality and discrimination are not good.”
Japan was ahead of the rest, when society went to shit in the 80’s, out of words, out of law, out of profit and loss and people turned into scrap of automatic machines of words, slaves to the law, and profit and loss machines.  Some Japanese people knew this.  That’s why we could have told Asia about Japan’s bad precedent before various Asian cities rapidly became Japanized in the 1990s.  I have tried to do that, but I was not strong enough.  We must not repeat the same negligence.  We need to tell the world that Japanization is the beginning of the end.  We are qualified to tell them because we have actually experienced it.  By continuing to do so, if we are lucky, Japan may turn from a bad place to a good place.

Mifune: On that note, as an artist, I struggled a lot in my own way last year, creating digital festivals and touring with a small group of people, but the experience I gained was huge, and I feel that I have gained something.  I don’t want this situation to continue forever, but this year I want to continue this movement even further.  From this place amid the Coronavirus crisis, and through music, I want to create places and connections where we can share values, wills, and senses that transcend language.  And I have a feeling that I can do so.

※8Ghetto……A residential area where Jews were forced to live in European cities.  It can also refer to densely populated minority neighborhoods in large cities such as in the United States.

※9Bronx……The northernmost administrative district of New York City, New York, USA.  It is said to be the birthplace of hip-hop.

“I thought it was very important to make friends, and it will give you hints.” (Mifune)

The tools to connect are technology, but the motivation to connect is intuitive and instinctive.  I feel that humans are being tested again by the six senses that Mr. Mifune mentioned.

Mifune: On that note, it was interesting last year when I did a music creation workshop at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa Prefecture.  I had the kids play instruments and write lyrics for one song, and the look on their faces after writing the song were completely different from when they first came in saying, “Good morning.”
There are many artists who are waiting for the storm to pass, looking for what they can do now to prepare for the coming day, but there are not many who can discuss on what they are going to do anew.  There are many artists who are trying to return to the world they’ve been in, but for me, I’m assuming that I’ll never return to the same state as before, so I am thinking how I can move forward with my music.  I would like to cut off my retreat with self-discipline and think about a new direction, realistically half a year or even five years ahead.

You must speak, and take action.  I think it’s important to have friends who come to that “bonfire.”  In the song “Gokusai | IGL (S)” from RBB’s latest album “Loud Color​(​s) & Silence Festival”, there is a line that says  “Can you hear me calling you from afar? Can you hear it?  Don’t stop screaming, don’t stop screaming.”  Listening to you today, it seemed like a song about the beginning of a new community, trying to escape from a sinking submarine and recruiting friends to drift to a new island.

Miyadai: When it comes to the music community, the so-called merits of scale are not as strong as before.  The same could be said with movies.  Some people are starting to micro-fund their own movies, distribute them on a small scale, and collect a certain amount of money.  Since live concerts are no longer possible, it is up to individual ingenuity to see how effective an experience can be given using technology.  It should be an opportunity for you, Mr. Mifune.

Miyadai: When it comes to the music community, the so-called merits of scale are not as strong as before.  The same could be said with movies.  Some people are starting to micro-fund their own movies, distribute them on a small scale, and collect a certain amount of money.  Since live concerts are no longer possible, it is up to individual ingenuity to see how effective an experience can be given using technology.  It should be an opportunity for you, Mr. Mifune.

ROTH BART BARON – Gokusai | I G L (S) (Official Video)

Shinji Miyadai

Born in Sendai City in 1959.  Professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University. Specializes in sociology. Attracted attention in the 1990s, with his essays on “compensated dating” and the Aum Shinrikyo incidents, and has since continued to critique politics and society through various media.
Author of many books such as “14-sai Kara No Shakaigaku (Sociology from Age 14)”, published by Chikuma Bunko, and “Nihon No Nanten (Japan’s Difficulties)” published by Gentosha Shinsho.  His most recent book is “Ongaku ga Kikenaku Naru Hi (The Day I Can’t Listen to Music)” (co-authored).

『Long Season』Fishmans
『World’s end Supernova』QURULI
『On the Silent Wings of Freedom』Yes
BBC 1.3.73』Faust
『Oh Yeah』CAN

Masaya Mifune of ROTH BART BARON

Recorded their first album “ROTH BART BARON’s THE ICE AGE” in Philadelphia in 2014, followed by recording in Montreal, Canada and London, England.  After winning many praises from music-related media with the 4th album “Kemono tachi no Namae (The Name of the Beasts),” now currently on tour with their latest album “GOKUSAISHIKI NO SHUKUSAI (Loud Color(s) & Silence Festival)” On May 22-23, 2021, their first jazz club performance at Blue Note TOKYO in Aoyama is scheduled.https://www.rothbartbaron.com/

『Alto Voices』Sam Gendel
『Home』 Caribou
『Anything』 Adrian Lenker

Interview by Joe Yokomizo
20th January 2021 at LOFT 9 Shibuya, Tokyo