Saturday, 26 July 2014

Mike Peters, musician

In July 2014, I did a one-hour "phoner" (or "skyper") with Mike Peters, the singer and main songwriter of 1980s rock band The Alarm. Here are the first 15 minutes of what turned out to be a one hour interview. In this segment of the interview he used "y'know" a mere 15 times.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Maceo Parker, musician

In February 2014, I did an email interview with Maceo Parker, a famuos funk musician, both as a sideman to James Brown and in his own right. As usual with these kinds of interviews it was very much a case of just throwing a batch of rather obvious questions out there and hoping for something good or at least usable in reply. Some punctuation has been corrected.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hiroshi Ikushima, painter

"Donau Bar" by Hiroshi Ikushima

Sometimes interviewing can be very precise and specific, but other times you just throw out questions and hope for a good response. In February 2012, I interviewed three Realist artists for an article I was writing about the Hoki Museum. As they were all good painters of nudes, I sent them three identical sets of questions. This is the response from Hiroshi Ikushima.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Mark Karpeles & Gonzague Gay-Bouchery, bitcoin "entrepreneurs"

Gay-Bouchery and Karpeles

In early 2013, the “virtual currency” or “crypto commodity” bitcoin was starting to attract a lot of attention around the world. Realizing that Mt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, was located here in Tokyo, I decided that it might be a good idea to do an article on it. Around the same time, Mark Devlin, the founder of Metropolis, was in Tokyo trying to start a new magazine called M2. He managed to involve me in the project. Following the launch of what turned out to be the first and last issue, we decided to do a story on bitcoin for a second issue that never appeared. Accordingly, sometime in April, we went along to Mt.Gox’s office in Shibuya to interview the company CEO Mark Karpeles and his right-hand man Gonzague Gay-Bouchery, now notorious around the world following the collapse of Mt.Gox. This is the first 15 minutes or so of what turned out to a long, complex, and baffling interview about something that was there one minute and gone the next.

Monday, 3 February 2014

James May, television presenter

Back in the Summer of 2008 we were motoring across Scotland, driving at a good speed through some moorland in Perthshire, when I spotted a film crew. More surprisingly I recognized the man in front of the camera, none other than "Top Gear" host James May, who was then making a series about beer. The program he was working on that day - the 4th of August - was about heather beer. Anyway, as a bit of a fan of "Top Gear," we immediately stopped and I got out to go and see if I could get a photo. May was genial and friendly and we took a photo together and had a brief chat about his two Top Gear co-hosts, which I recall here purely from memory.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Sheryl Crow, musician

I interviewed Sheryl Crow at the inaugural MTV Japan Awards 2002 in the press conference room. Although there were around 30 members of the press in the room, my greater willingness to 'pitch in' led to me having an almost free run at a number of the big names rolled past us that night. The event was held on Friday, the 24th of May.

Hajime Yatsuka, architect

Back in 2011, the Mori Art Museum held a big exhibition on the Metabolist Movement, perhaps the most interesting school of Japanese architecture. I covered the show for a couple of publications, and decided to do an interview with the show's main curator, the architect and architectural theorist, Hajime Yatsuka. Born in 1948 and educated at the University of Tokyo, Yatsuka studied under Kenzo Tange and Sachio Otani, and worked for Arata Isozaki before setting up his own office in Tokyo in 1984. Even if not famous in his right, he is at least "famous by association" and well known in the architectural world for his academic work and 'deconstructionist' buildings, which are said to be influenced by French philosophy. Our interview, which was a set of questions emailed off, focused almost entirely on Metabolism. Despite the way in which the interview was obtained it actually reads like a face-to-face conversation.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Hiroshi Sugimoto, photographic artist

In 2012, I had a face-to-face interview with Hiroshi Sugimoto in Tokyo, Sugimoto is a well-known photographic artist. One of his pictures was even used for the most recent U2 album cover. The interview was for an article I was writing for his exhibition "From Naked to Clothed." The exhibition took place at his then new Tokyo atelier. Also present was his assistant/Tokyo representative and a young lady whom he introduced as his niece. This is the first 20 minutes of a 55 minute interview. Much of the conversation is unintelligible without visual references, which I will someday add.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Tomohiko Yamanashi, architect

On the 17th of February, 2012, I went to the offices of Nikken Sekkei, a major architectural firm, in downtown Tokyo to interview Tomohiko Yamanashi, the main architect of the Hoki Museum for an article I was writing for Architecture Week. The interview took place in a windowless meeting room and lasted around 75 minutes. Mr. Yamanashi spoke English throughout. Here are the first 54 minutes of the interview.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Noppon Brothers, mascots

The Noppon Brothers are the mascots of Tokyo's landmark Tokyo Tower. I interviewed them in November 2006 by email. My questions were translated into Japanese and their answers were translated into English. The whole thing was edited to make it look like they had been interviewed face-to-face. YNB is the younger Noppon brother (red) and ONB is the older one (blue).