What’s modern music or life itself without a bit of mystery. While most artists are busying themselves with revealing even the tritest details of their personal lives to what they hope will be a caring and understanding audience hungry for more information, some are happy to lurk in the shadows.
Cosmidust, a Japanese shoegaze independent artist, earned international attention through the medium of the internet back in the mid-2000s. Since then, he has kept to himself. The myth has grown alongside a new appreciation for his work. He breaks his silence for Alt77 revealing his inspiration, aspirations, and where the road is bound to be taking him. (The responses to our inquiries are published in both Japenese, as well as an English translation, in a bid to maximize understanding).
First of all, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed by Alt77. I really appreciate it.
I need to ask about the mystery surrounding the music. Why has it been important that you maintain anonymity?
Really, I find having a public image embarrasing. I don’t like having my image be set in stone and there are only disadvantages if I put out an image of my real self.
How has internet culture affected the way that your music is perceived?
Maybe the most important is MySpace around 2006. From that, I could feel a person from anywhere in the world could hear my music, and I get to communicate with people who make similar music.
Can you tell us about what mind space you were in when making your debut Snow Noise Assemblage?
I was obsessed with Jesus and Mary Chain’s sound of discharging noise.
Snow Noise Assemblage is being reissued through He’s Trying Records in, what I’m told, is a classy gatefold design. What can you tell us about the re-release and your involvement in it?
I’m very lucky. The free internet service I used for Cosmicdust remained after 15 years. I got an email offer in that old mailbox. I was thinking about reviving it someday, so the timing was right.
I am a big fan of Julian Cope’s book Japrocksampler. A lot of it is dedicated to psychedelic and shoegaze groups from Japan. Is his assertion that Japan has been a thriving place for this kind of music accurate from your own experience?
I haven’t read it, but it seems like an interesting book
I think the shoegaze revival in Japan was rekindled by the Japanese alternative rock band called “SUPERCAR” in the late 90’s- early ’00s.
Cope also claims that the music industry in Japan used to maintain heavy control over the music scene. Is that still correct?
Do you mean JASRAC?
They are fuckin’ shit.
What is the current state of underground music in Japan? Where do you see yourself fitting into that?
I don’t really pay attention to the Japanese scene, so I can’t really comment.
Are typical fans of your music more accustomed to these types of sounds and this kind of vision?
I have no idea. But, I feel like it’s good kind of like a B-movie.
What were or remain some of your biggest inspirations, musical or otherwise? And, how would you rate Les Rallizes Denudes?
When it comes to Cosmicdust, Astrobrite is a big influence.
I’m not familiar with Les Rallizes Denudes music, I only know the name.
Let’s play pretend. If you were asked to cover a more conservative pop-rock artist in your own style, who would it be?
Rick Astley, I think he’s interesting.
Let’s play pretend. If John Cale offered to pay you to buy your favorite piece of music gear, what would answer him?
Oh… I’d break.
Thanks for the interview. In closing, can you tell us what are your future plans are for Cosmicdust?
I wanna release a new album next summer including a double vocal style (male and female) and I’d like to make a compilation album of our old songs.