Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Boris and Pitchfork

I hate to sound snarky, but on the one hand, this interview asks for it. It's too many hip elements all on the verge of being ironic-lame or ironic-cool -- a noise band, Pitchfork, homoerotic manga...

Pitchfork: With all that touring you've spent plenty of time abroad, is Tokyo still important for the band?

AM: It's really important, yeah, definitely, Tokyo is one of the craziest cities in the world, I mean, there are some neighborhoods where crazy, fucked-up things happen, stuff you wouldn't normally think about.

Pitchfork: Like what?

AM: It's not necessarily dangerous stuff like in other cities, but more deranged stuff here like fujoshi, you know that?

Pitchfork: No, what's that?

AM: [laughs] I think it translates as, "rotten girls." Let me see if I can explain...these girls take a regular comic book and subvert the storyline or plot into something homosexual. They pick out two male characters and rewrite their lines and even change their order of appearance in the story to make the male characters in the story fall in love with each other.

Pitchfork: And this is a hobby of some Japanese youth?

AM: Yeah, girls. They trade books with their friends or actually publish them DIY or via some indie press. It's kind of big, I'll go so far to say it's influential on the Japanese economy.

Pitchfork: [laughs] What?

AM: Yeah, like you know Masked Rider? It's like Power Rangers out here. The new version has all the male characters positioned in such a way just so it would appeal to these kinds of girls so they could subvert and, well, buy it, and further get it out there.

It's like all these Visual Kei bands are a branch off of that. The band members dress themselves up to the extreme so [these] girls will like them, so they wear lots of make up or go for an allusive feminine image. It's so twisted, you have to see it for yourself. Because in Japan, compared to foreign countries [where] gays and lesbians can exist openly and freely, here it's so suppressed and so taboo that it comes out in the most twisted ways, and that's part of why it's so crazy living here. Now, it's like all these people are wasting their time day dreaming about twisted subversive things and it's really changing modern Japanese society. I'm telling you, man [laughs].

Pitchfork: I had no idea...

...On the other hand the hip elements in question are surprisingly naive and old-fashioned. "Fujoshi...deranged"? "I had no idea..."? Uh, it's called SLASH fiction in the US, and there's butt-loads of it, guys.

1 comment:

jim said...

Is this interview from 1992? V-Kei bands are also just a version of hair metal. Pitchfork is pretty lame already. I don't know how I feel about Boris anymore. Seems like a canned thing to say. Why are they even talking about that? Why would they steer it towards a stereotypical thing like that?

Altho Radiohead starts off shows talking about how Bush is a bad president like that's blowing people's minds, so...bands should not talk about stuff.