Sunday, May 11, 2014

Source: Horiemon - April, 2014
Translation by: Toppi - CoMYVz Crew

World Acclaimed Samurai Guitarist MIYAVI Talks about the Future of Musicians - Part 3


HORIE: What’s it like business-wise?

MIYAVI: Not profitable (laughs).

I see, so it doesn’t yield a profit (laughs).

That’s why everyone goes overseas once, but then doesn’t continue to do it, you know. And because they don’t continue, there’s no augmentability, either. It’s the same with Japan, isn’t it. For example, even if you were told that, say, Marcus Miller came here for the first time in 5 years, when you don’t get any news during that time span it’s quite tough, right? If there’s no news for as much as 5 years, it’s to be expected that the fans’ enthusiasm and such will also cool down, right? So, if you went abroad once, you have to continue doing it. And in order to be able to keep it up, you have to properly think about your budget, too.

You think about things like your budget!?

Of course I do! In the past, I used to go overseas taking along a crew made up of bass, drums, Taiko [TN: Japanese drums], a DJ, a tap dancer, a rapper and so on. However, I realised that we couldn’t keep up at that rate, you know. For example, for things like overseas festivals, in cases where they attract around the same number of customers, it’s only natural for them to bring local artists, you know. Since it’s not expensive. So, in order for us to compete with that sort of people, we have to make it so that we reduce the expenses on our part, be it by us being the ones losing money or so, if that’s the case. That means that the question of how minimal the setup of the crew can be becomes important. We even went on tour with 4 people making up the whole crew. Me, drummer, tour manager and tech (the person who sets up the equipment).

That’s amazing, isn’t it. It must be difficult, right?

It is. However, when you take the budget into consideration, being in a situation that allows room for things to move smoothly like that is essential, too. Of course, that alone isn’t the only reason, but my current act consists of me and a drummer, just the 2 of us performing together, you see.

Still, even though it’s not profitable, touring around the world like that must be fun, right?

Yeah. If only there were more breaks, though (laughs)

So you don’t get time off, huh.

That’s because there are times when we have shows for 4 or 6 days in a row, you know.

(While looking at the tour schedule) France on March 14, UK on the 15th, Finland on the 16th… … That’s amazing.

Therefore, whenever I’m asked whether it’s fun, that’s, well, there’s the meetings with the fans from each place and that also gives me power to go on, so it’s enjoyable. But it’s still physically taxing, you know. And if there’s a performance each day for 4 days in a row, whether we’re in the UK or in France, it feels the same to me (laughs)

It’s tough.

To tell you the truth, in some places in South America, the sanitary conditions and such aren’t very good either. So there are all sorts of things happening, like some of the staff getting diarrhoea and having to put on diapers before the beginning of a live and so on (laughs)

No way, no way (laughs).

And then, in places like Italy, even if there are around 100 fake merchandise vendors lined up, the people from the venue not being able to say anything and such. That sort of power relationships exist, don’t they.

On a local scale, indeed.

And when I made my staff go and check on what was being sold, while the official T-shirts we were selling were in monotone, the ones of the fake vendors were in colour and of high quality (laughs)

So you can’t tell which ones are the official ones anymore (laughs).


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