A circle of friends connected by gut touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.
On August 22, Tomokazu Suga, who runs the “STYLE BAND TOKYO” event and also manages Tempalay and MONO NO AWARE, was introduced by nico-san, who runs “Mabonen,” “Omukai,” and “Machinaka” pubs in Shimokitazawa. We asked him about “STYLE BAND TOKYO,” which used to invite overseas artists on his own, and about his current work, which was connected through his personal connections.
Booking overseas artists on Myspace
Takano (MC): nico-san called you a “gentle kitten”.
Suga: I also heard the broadcast yesterday and immediately got on the line, but he himself said he was going to say “a black abandoned cat. But the kind director stopped me because he thought it was a pity that it was an abandoned cat.
Takano: So that’s how it is.
Celeina (MC): Do you have any cat-like ideas?
Suga: I prefer dogs, but from NICO’s point of view, it seems to have the nuance of “can’t be left alone.
Takano: I see. Maybe nico-san feels like a beloved character.
Celeina: I would like to ask you about your work, but I’m a little too curious about your T-shirt.
Takano: Really! Is it a sauna T-shirt?
Suga: Yes, it is. This is a T-shirt made by a friend of mine who I will introduce to you today.
Takano: Let’s save this topic for later. First of all, can you tell us what “STYLE BAND TOKYO” is?
Suga: We are not active now, but we started this club event in 2007. We started it because we wanted to let people know about artists who are cool enough to be active overseas but are not yet well known, and also because we wanted to have a place where these artists could get to know each other.
Celeina: What kind of places were these events held at?
Suga: We started off at Shibuya LUSH, then gradually expanded to clubasia and Daikanyama UNIT, and then we invited overseas artists and toured all over Japan.
Celeina: Isn’t it difficult to book overseas artists?
Suga: We were able to do it. They were indie artists, though.
Celeina : Where did you communicate with the overseas artists?
Suga: We contacted them through Myspace.
Takano: It’s been a while since I heard about it.
Celeina: I am from a generation that has just barely been exposed to it, but I have the image that older people were doing it.
Takano: They did. digging on Myspace is great.
Suga: They were using Myspace like crazy.
Takano: Were there any artists who performed at that time who became famous?
Suga: In terms of Japanese artists who are active overseas, it would be Bo Ningen. I was like an agent for them in Japan, organizing their live performances and tours. Also, Lillies and Remains is another band that is expanding their activities overseas, performing at large festivals in China.
Takano: I have talked on the phone with Taigen Kawabe of Bo Ningen on this program. I am glad to have a connection with him.
Celeina: I heard that you were particular about the design for this event, did you mean you were particular about flyers and such?
Suga: In my opinion, the band scene at that time had a lot of Western rock revivals, and I had the impression that it was kind of unattractive. I was able to change the MySpace page as I wanted. At the time, many people were looking at MySpace, so I got a lot of interest.
Celeina: After all, money is tight at first. Do you have any tips on how you kept your motivation up through the whole process?
Suga: I wonder. I also had the feeling that, although it was extremely risky when I thought about it, if I continued with the event, it would be good for me because it was a success. Takano: At the time, I was also working with Mysys.
Takano: At the time, I was also browsing Myspace quite a bit, and I think I may have unknowingly accessed the artist page that you had created.
Celeina: It is possible.