Thursday, 22 December 2016

Carl Barat, musician

In 2010, Carl Barat of Libertines fame came to Tokyo to promote his eponymous solo album. I interviewed him at the offices of the company promoting him in Japan. Even though he was somewhat jet-lagged and disheveled he allowed me to video the interview, so rather than the difficult job of transcribing it - his speech is often very unhclear - here is the actual interview itself. The article that this produced can be read here

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Jean Michel Jarre, musician

On the 12th of May, 1993, I attended a press conference at the Odeon cinema in London’s Leicester Square held by the French musician Jean Michel Jarre in connection with his new album "Chronologie" and a concert tour, which was being sponsored by the Swiss watch company Swatch.


Claire Constans, curator

Back in May 2006, I interviewed Claire Constans, the chief curator of Chateau de Versailles, for an article I was writing. The interview was a set of questions sent by email.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Masami Shiraishi, curator

For Art Fair Tokyo 2015, I interviewed the event's chairman, Masami Shiraishi. The interview was carried out by email a couple of weeks before AFT, with questions translated into Japanese and answers translated into English. The accompanying pictures are random shots I took when I visited the event.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Antenna, artists

In early 2011, I was preparing an article on Roppongi Art Night. This was later cancelled because the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake struck shortly before the event was scheduled to be held. In preparation for the article, I did a short email interview in Japanese with Antenna, a team of two Kyoto-based artists who use a character called Jappy as a motif in most of their work.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Akaji Maro, dancer

Akaji Maro is a Butoh dancer and the leader of the Dai Rakuda Kan (Great Camel Battleship) dance troupe. He is also a well-known movie actor in Japan. Internationally, he has appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies. I met him on the 15th of November, 2001 after a Butoh performance. We talked, with the assistance of an interpreter, for around an hour at a coffee shop in Kichijoji, Tokyo. When involved in these kind of interviews, you have two feedback loops to keep an eye on, the actual interviewee and how he responds to questions, but also the translator and how comfortable he looks. Sometimes you notice that the translator is (a) clearly out of his depth, (b) bluffing it, or (c) asking his own questions instead of yours.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Mike Peters, musician

In July 2014, I did a "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 famous 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.