MOTOSHI NATSUNO

日本語版はこちら

The best part is being able to have my hands on something I like and be a part of an industry that is dear to me. Also, witnessing the growth process of these bands.

What does your job entail?

Mainly, it has to do with publishing. We opened a shop named XENON based on Japanese music + Shibuya fashion and the concept of our own monthly magazine Cure. It’s intended to be the launch base of modern Japanese culture. My idea is to become the bridge for Japanese artist and the rest of the world. We would like to see the shop, XENON, as the platform to launch these Japanese music such as Visual-kei, Idol and Shibuya fashion to the world. Also, we want to carry rare Japanese items to be sold at the store.

Why did you choose Los Angeles?

I frequently visited and was familiar with Los Angeles. It all stated about 8 years ago when I was promoting the sales of our Cure magazine in the States while promoting Visual-kei bands. LA is the closest part of the States to Japan and many ethnicities live here. My thoughts were, it would spread faster if I brought Japanese music to Los Angeles.

What is the concept behind your company’s magazine, Cure?

Simply put, we don’t deal with major [record label] bands. We don’t interview or cover stories on bands that are no longer independent, in other words, signed a contract with major record labels. I used to be in a band, too, about 12 years of experience. And there were hardly any magazines that would give coverage on independent bands. If we don’t sell records, we didn’t get coverage. But if we didn’t get coverage, it was hard to sell or be discovered. I’ve seen many talented bands disappear because of such cycle, so when I quit my band I had this passion to give the younger generation a better chance. That was the start of Cure.

Does having a clear concept such as yours create a stronger following by fans?

I hope so (laughs). I think keeping the fans guessing with a few surprises keeps things fun, too!

Are there many Artists and bands that got their careers started because of Cure but went major?

Yes, there’s plenty. But that means they can longer be on the magazine, so quite often they are sadden by it.

Kind of like a graduation?

Sure (laughs). We’re a passing point of sort, for them to get to their final goal and we’re always rooting for them.

Are there things you keen on doing to keep the brand alive?

I’d say...not swaying from the original concept. I think it’s important not to cop out on your own determination. By not swaying, i believe things become more clear and able to see what you are heading towards.

There are two themes I like to touch upon regarding the question.

Bilingual format - We transcribe our interviews in bilingual, English and Japanese, so those who don’t speak Japanese can find out more about the Cure magazine with hopes that they will also dig deeper into the music and culture of Japan. I think this is all important on the promotional aspect, too.
Diversifying - We also have a spin-off magazine called Cure Doll, which focuses on Idol independent scene. And we also have a free-paper version of Cure, too.

What’s the best part about this job and the hardest part?

The best part is being able to have my hands on something I like and be a part of an industry that is dear to me. Also, witnessing the growth process of these bands.

The hardest part? …I can tell you, the interior construction for Xenon shop was one. (laughs)

Can you give us an insight to your future developments?

We want to put in energy into online endeavors. We want to have live concerts, but in order to have one, we plan on doing a monthly Skype live stream event, for fans and artists to connect better. Currently, there’s only a once a year Anime convention that allows that to happen. It would be great to see Xenon become a place for artists and musicians to exchange ideas.

Lastly, can we get an advice or message for those who are trying to make something they love into making a living out of?

I always tell people who’s in a band, that a band is like a “Small company”. What I mean by that is, there’s different roles and responsibilities in both. For example, the leader of the band would think of strategies and come up with budgets for the band to succeed, sort of what the president of a company would do! Other members of the band would execute what the leader strategizes, like selling products to shops, venues, media, other bands, etc. Think of that as a sales person of the company. And goes the same for merchandising, that’s the product development team. You start to see the similarities between bands and companies. If you were to start a company, the same thing applies. In a nutshell, I think of my company as a band and the “Band members” of the band called Cure magazine are very important to me and they are my mates. Being in Los Angeles, It feels like we’re on a US tour! (laughs)

Information

ASIAHOUSE Co.,Ltd(Japanese subsidiary)
JAPAN CULTURE CREATION,INC.(US subsidiary)

Xenon facebook
https://www.facebook.com/xenonshibuyastyle

Xenon yelp
http://www.yelp.com/biz/xenon-japanesque-rock-and-shibuya-style-los-angeles

Cure Magazine
http://cure-net.com

319 E 2nd St
Ste 119
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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