Q079:Japanese audiences seem to know how to listen to music a whole lot BETTER than western audiences. I mean - I saw a Haino Keiji show in Koenji, and was stunned at how silent and attentive everyone was. They waited til the end of the whole 40 minute set to applaud, didn't order drinks while he was performing (or managed to do so while remaining completely silent), and they really LISTENED. How do Japanese and North American audiences differ, in your opinion? Is there a good side/ bad side to western audiences?
A079:If there is a difference, it's that Japanese audiences come to hear the music and that American or European audiences come to enjoy themselves. In addition, tickets are expensive in Japanese clubs so most people will only be able to afford to buy one drink. But in the US and Europe people will drink will listening to the music and they'll go to the bar even during the performance. Japanese audiences will also watch all the bands on the bill - firstly because they've paid a lot to get to in, but also because they're simply curious about the bands even if they've never heard of them before. I don't know which attitude is better. If you've paid your money to get in, then you should have the right to enjoy the music in whichever way you like. You can listen quietly or if you're bored you can chat with your friends, it's up to you. Maybe it's more important for the musicians to try and play in such a way that people won't feel like chatting?
Sometimes in Japan you'll see people sitting down criticizing those who get up to dance, and I'm not too sure about that. If it's rock then of course I think it's natural for people to want to move their bodies. Because Japanese audiences are so restrained in their reactions, sometimes Japanese bands that play overseas get overly surprised by the reaction they get there. But that's just stupid.
Sometimes there'll be some really tedious band on the bill and they'll get just as big a round of applause as us. At times like that I wonder how much you can trust the audience. But the audience are there to enjoy themselves, so that's their prerogative but musicians need to wary to getting too carried away by audience reaction. You need to step back and think more clearly.