Popular anisong super unit JAM Project will release their new album Tokyo Dive on 27 September. They will also perform their songs at the Anisong World Matsuri at Otakon® 2017 in Washington DC this August, and their concert tour in Japan will also start from November. They are planning many exciting things for the fans!
On top of this, 2017 is a special year for Hironobu Kageyama, the leader of JAM Project, as it is the 40-year anniversary of his debut. We had a long interview with Kageyama and asked him about his future activities as a member of JAM Project as well as an individual singer. We’ve divided the interview article into Part 1 and Part 2, and this is the first part!
We conducted the interview at Magic Spice, the soup curry restaurant in Shimokitazawa that Kageyama and the other members of JAM Project love. If you ever have the chance to visit Japan, we recommend that you to check out this restaurant! (location details are down below)
Thoughts on the New Album, Tokyo Dive
JAM Project will be releasing an original album titled Tokyo Dive on 27 September. Can you please tell us what kind of thoughts were put into this album’s title?
Since 2008, JAM Project has been going around and holding concerts in many different countries as the ‘leader’ of anisong. We’ve been doing this hoping that our performances become the chance for many anime and anisong lovers living overseas to visit Japan. We also believe that it is our mission to increase these chances for the fans. Also, I’ve been living in the town of Shimokitazawa, where this Magic Spice is located, for quite a while, and in recent years, I’ve noticed that there are many people from overseas walking on the streets, such as from China, Korea, as well as Western countries. It has become an everyday thing to see people from other countries in Tokyo. Therefore, I believe that Tokyo is both a location and a word that gives a positive image to Japan. On top of this, Tokyo is full of energy. We will also be having the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, so I want more people to come and visit Tokyo. We are always ready to welcome anyone. We’ve named our album Tokyo Dive to express our feelings that we want people to ‘dive into Tokyo.’
You guys have been going around the world since 2008, so it means that next year would be your tenth anniversary for your No Border activities.
Yes, that is true in terms of the world tour of JAM Project. However, each member has been holding overseas concerts individually from way before. In fact, I have been holding concerts in other countries since the 1990s as a solo singer. It may well be that we, anisong musicians, are the ones who have been introducing Japanese culture to other countries for the longest time.
JAM Project will be joining the Anisong World Matsuri at Otakon 2017 on 11 August in Washington DC. Please tell us your thoughts on your future activities.
Throughout the world, there are many people who love Japanese pop culture including manga, games, and anime, which is known as ‘otaku culture’ in Japan. We are so thankful for those fans’ strong love. Therefore, we will continue to introduce the otaku culture out into the world for those fans living overseas. I’d be really happy if our concerts and online music distribution becomes the opportunity for more people to find out about us. And we strongly hope that these types of activities will be passed on to many other Japanese singers. JAM Project will continue to perform our anisongs and introduce Japanese otaku culture to the world, so I hope everyone will give us their support and continue to love Japan.
(Next Page: Questions from MANGA.TOKYO Readers!)