The lights turn green and hundreds of people flood the giant intersection simultaneously from 3 directions. There is not one empty square meter, yet everyone is polite enough to walk past each other without bumping or hitting one another. I take another sip of my Macha latte. „Oh my God! This is like soo unbelievable!“ I hear an American tourist comment next to me. They too have been overlooking the famous Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo from the familiar safety and comfort of the 1st floor Starbucks. Well almost familiar. After all it is only Japan that serves a green-tea latte and the matching green-tea cake. In fact, lots of things are green tea flavoured here…
Image credit here.
I walk into the Jpop section.
A violin talks about feelings of melancholy and long, emotional travels. No doubt the name does capture a faraway romance in a difficult climate whith surprisingly uplifting tones. One could even say that an inspiration from Irish folk music comes into play (no pun intended!).
But why Siberia? Why a newspaper? Perhaps because I happened to be born in Moscow myself, I really want to find out why this band identifies itself with 77% of the total area of my country where temperatures can get down to as much as −71.2 °C. Siberia is the birthplace of tennis ace Maria Sharapova and Hollywood star Yul Brynner, as well as the source of the New Russians’ wealth in form of Gazprom-owned natural gas.
“There is not the meaning about the name of the band superficially. Admiration to the continent. Some inferiority complexes. My brain does not stop if I start to devise it. I think it means “freedom” may be.” explains Yusaku to me.
He is the amazing violin I heard, the centrepiece of this acoustic sextet with an unusual instrumental constellation, and he is extremely polite and helpful when I request an interview.
Yusaku tells me: “Just one year after Siberian Newspaper was formed by the guitarist Amori, we were performing in Britain at the 2006 UK festival “In the City”. BBC radio loved the tracks so much that they were consequently broadcast worldwide.”
This is so very true, because especially in the West, when you ask about Japanese music, most people will immediately think of Jpop. But there is so much more to the creative music scene in Japan! And this particular band did new classical pop, so to speak, and went on to release their 4th Album in 2012, entitled “0” [zero], exploring this field of individuality further and wider. It is available on iTunes, for those who cannot buy it in Japan. They also covered the Four Seasons by Vivaldi on a special album.
I want to know how much the Japanese fashion scene is part of this groups life. So I ask: And what about fashion? Does fashion influence you?