J-music, Personal on May 25th, 2012 21:00 by Henkka
Tags: 9mm parabellum bullet, church of misery, kan, mouse on the keys, rip slyme, tokyo jihen, unchain
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I might as well have another little stab at this topic. This is what it was about. wu-san wanted me to expand on something I’d asked previously:
I f****** wish he’d explore a line he throws up in more detail.
“Would you really listen to this (music) if it wasn’t Japanese?”
Christ, it’s something I always think about, however menacing or impartial it may be.
Would I be listening to J-music if it wasn’t from Japan? In my original response, the 18-year-old me said it was something I find myself pondering about quite often. Nowadays? I no longer think about it. Firstly, it really is of minimal importance. Secondly, I now have (what I feel is) a better answer.
Would I really be listening to this if it wasn’t Japanese?
Honestly, my answer to this question still depends on the artist in question. If the artist was, say, 9mm Parabellum Bullet, Church of Misery or mouse on the keys, the answer would be a clear, resounding yes. They are bands I could most definitely see myself listening to, regardless of their country of origin.
If, however, the artist in question was RIP SLYME, UNCHAIN or KAN (and many others), the answer would be a bit more complicated… but it would begin with a no. It’s important to note, though, that I don’t listen to any of those bands because they’re Japanese. I still hold my original stance in that I don’t listen to any artist because they’re Japanese — just like I don’t listen to anyone simply because they’re from any other country of the world. Also, none of these bands feature any female members, so we need not even bring that topic into consideration here. No, I listen to all of the above bands because I think they’re fucking amazing.
The reason why I would say “no, I don’t think I’d be listening to these artists if they weren’t Japanese” to the second batch is simply because I don’t think I’d have ever heard of them were they, for example, American bands. Even if I had heard of them, I don’t think I would’ve given them a fair chance. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s just like how your typical Western fan would not give a proper chance to J-music. It just works out like that. It’s OK. It’s completely natural: neither of us expects to find anything worth our while there.
So then, what does the artist being Japanese actually contribute towards me starting to possibly like them? What do they gain for being Japanese? An incentive. It’s that simple. I will not like any band or artist if I feel they sound like shit, regardless of if they’re Japanese or not. I don’t force or brainwash myself to like any artist who I think is worthless. I have better shit to do with my time. All it is is simply a foot in the door. They have that one little extra thing going for them; that extra minute or two I might spend giving their songs a try on YouTube versus if I were checking out an American band. That’s all.
Why? Well, see, I’m invested in Japanese culture. I’m learning the language and I’m constantly on the lookout for anything to keep my interest continuously renewed and recharged so I can have the motivation to go on learning it — this obviously includes music. Others might have different reasons for liking Japanese music, but this is mine. I would, however, venture to guess that the reasons for many people would be something similar. If you’re interested in a country, is it not only obvious that one would seek out music from said country?
What it all boils down to is this. If there’s something that I still agree on with my 18-year-old self, this is it. This particular bit I didn’t think was bullshit.
Music is a wonderful thing and as long as you can find at least some out there that makes you feel good and all tingly inside, that’s absolutely great for you. Be it because of the eargasm-inducing music or just your love for those girls or boys performing it; if you get a little teary-eyed or if it sends chills running down your spine, it’s all good.
And speaking of chills that have recently ran down my spine…