"Onban Domei" I tried to sell CDs/vinyl: to keep music in circulation today and beyond
Here's the 7th English translation of our free booklet "Onban Domei"
Translation for page 8 - 9 this time,
In this project, an artist brings his or her personal CDs or vinyl and we have them experience Diskunion’s buyback system. Today, we have the guitar player of GEZAN, Eagle Taka, is speaking with us.
The store: Diskunion Shinjuku Second-hand House/ Book Union Shinjuku
Thank you for using our buyback system today.
Eagle Taka (“E”): I think we often let CDs and vinyl go at a time when there is a major turning point in our lives. I recalled the times when I came to the record store under a stressful situation such as moving.
So, here is the detailed invoice.
E: Its’s quite high, isn’t it? Also, I noticed the campaign price is added on.
(as he looks at the invoice) Pascal Comelade is 720yen, the album of Balinese Hinduism is 300yen …. Wow, great! Tony Conrad is 1,680yen, I figured the buyback price would be high. I bought it originally for 200yen. (lol)
Your range of music is wide. But it is unexpected that you are an avid Blues fan.
E: I really like the Blues. Somehow, I have an extreme connection with the Blues. I am from the last generation who could watch performances by the pioneers of Japanese Blues.
Did you listen to Blues before Punk?
E: No, not really. Melodic Punk and Seishun Punk was really popular in our generation. There were older classmates who liked the heavy sound of bands like KORN, and it was a time when Visual kei was very active.
You are originally from Kansai. I have an Image that the Blues has a long tradition in that region. Did you not have any exposure to the Blues?
E: Yes, I did. I was 17 or 18 years old, and when I got onto the train, someone asked me, “Hey, come with me?”. I followed him to a live venue. Then, he told me “string up my guitar”, I said “What”, but I did it for him.
That sounds like a roadie.
E: Yes, that’s right. I watched the concert and asked someone “who is he?”, then I found out he was Yocchan of the band Murahachibu.
E: I also used to work at a live house, and Bruce the Butcher performed there. I listened to a live performance of a harmonica for the first time. I felt “this is awesome” and I had goose bumps. Even though I was at work, I began dancing madly.
E: I like going to record stores. I’m going there to have fun and it’s like walking into a new world that is devoid of daily reality. I can be introduced to new and diverse music, that allows me to look at ideas and concepts from a different angle. So, I naturally go there often.
So, the record stores have been a great benefit to you.
E: The other day, we released our re-pressed red album titled “KLUE”. Despite the COVID-19, we could barely hold in our excitement on the release day, so we pushed around a handcart to sell the album in four Tokyo districts, Shibuya, Shimokitazawa, Shinjuku and Koenji. I am very thankful to the Blues because so many fans who bought the album were people that I met through Blues Music.
Our age group started as a broken generation, so some people don’t know Nirvana other than a classic band. As I come to love music more and more, the music is the best at the time when it was released even long before it is categorized into a specific genre. I noticed that I liked these types of concepts and it made me feel like I was interesting.
At my favorite record store in Kobe, there are many people who buy and sell new releases. I used to visit that store often with my bandmates and we use to play a game. The game is us playing paper, rocks, and scissors, then whomever wins get to store for the newest used CD at the storefront. The winner gets to go inside and listen. I lost the game many times and it often made me frustrated. (lol)
There are some customers who want to buy the newest releases in used condition at a low price. So, we try to buy at the highest price, however, there are no residuals for the artist. That’s our dilemma.
E: That’s right. That is difficult. It’s not just about money, but what makes music special is the feeling people get from it and how far it can be spread. After selling and buying a second-hand album, I think you do not know how far the music will reach. That was the atmosphere I grew up in.
It is our desire to increase music fans in the end. So, whether the album is new or used, we hope it will be spread over as products.
E: I think it is a good thing to have the location where fans can gather, but not only products. Visiting a brick-and-mortar store gives you many different experiences and memorable encounters. And … I love that.
Various stories are coming out …, shall we talk a little more about the detailed invoice? (lol)
E: Isn’t this something that sells quite high at stores? Isn’t it rare?
This has been re-released many times. So, it has been out on the market in numbers. Also, the buying price can rise easily if there is an Obi or other accessories.
E: I think mine is in bad condition, so it must be “B grade”.
There were some items that had many scratches (lol), so we could tell you listened repeatedly. At this point in time, do you own more CD or vinyl??
E: There may be more CDs. I gave up many during the times when life was rough but listened to them often.
It is said that we have been in a vinyl boom recently, but we think it is CDs still circulate more. In the end, CDs are more convenient, store more music, and are more practical.
E: I want to say one thing to the recent car navigation company, “put in the CD player” (lol), especially the car-rental company. It is tough without it. We have to type letters onto iPod. I’m not an organized person, so when I leave home, I take CDs, “this one, this one, this one and this one!” (lol) If there is no CD player in the rental car when we go on a tour, I feel down, “why not?”.
I often buy CDs even though I have the vinyl because I want to listen in the car. Do you select by sound quality?
E: No, not so much. The price is more important for me. There is a part of me that thinks it is fine if I can just listen.
In today’s vinyl boom, people say that the soft analog sound is pleasant. Of course, that is true, but for example, there is a time when a punchy sound like Punk and Metal has impact, so sometimes I dare to choose CDs. It is good that they have bonus tracks as well for some titles. After all, there are still many CD fans.
E: There is a tendency with some around me to buy vinyl although they do not own a record player.
(everybody) Ah …. Yes, true.
E: After I bought vinyl, I found a shabby record player, which I was unsure whether it worked or not. I did not know I was unable to listen without a preamp or mixer, and I had an experience that I could only hear an unclear sound even if I connected to a component. After that, I came to know the correct way of achieving optimal sound with some outside help. When the bass has good tone, you will feel, “Yes, I made it!” and I feel that is extremely important. Actually, I think that musicians should listen to music with good sound.
Do you really think that input is very important?
E: I think input and output are both important. Hearing a good sound, eating a great meal, having a memorable conversation, and your overall feeling is very important. I think all of this feeds back to you.
I understand about having a great meal. I heard you have been farming, haven’t you?
E: Yes, but it’s not a giant farm. It’s a smaller operation, but I also have a kitchen garden.
I have started farming recently.
E: Oh, great. It’s exciting, isn’t it? I was really surprised to know how delicious freshly picked produce were. Freshly picked spinach tasted like it was sauteed by a top chef although I just grilled. (lol)
I wanted to ask you, when you seed in the garden, do they sometimes come out in random places? I must have a stray cat?
There is a 90 years-old woman lives in the house next to me. She seems to do nothing, so her weeds are growing all over the balcony, but the vegetable that should have been growing in my garden is growing nicely in hers.
E: Like, “isn’t that supposed to be growing here?” A radish grows impressively at the bicycle parking area in the neighborhood. A bird …? A cat …? Why…?
It makes you feel alive. We should meet during the next growing season. (lol)
The guitar player of GEZAN. A man who cannot hide his shock to know that an eagle is a Washi in Japanese but not a Taka (hawk). It is said that a wise eagle hides its talons (“He who knows most, speaks least”), but “Eagle Taka tears up a pick” which means he likes playing the guitar after all.
However, he says he has no regrets about naming himself Taka. As a DJ HELL-E.T., he is releasing “Asian Japanese Mix”, “覚兄ぃ SONIC GROOVE MIX” and “覚野菜のとも” on the Jusangatsu label.
Alternative Rock band, formed in 2009 in Osaka.
Moved their base to Tokyo in 2012, and carried out activities with their original vision all over the country. While performing at big festivals like White Stage at Fuji Rock Festival 2019 and SXSW in USA, they organize the open-air music festival named全感覚祭(Zen Kankaku Sai)of reconsidering things value, and manage their label “Jusangatsu” which produce diverse talents of foreign and domestic. They released the 5th album “狂 -KLUE-“ in January 29th 2020.