Kanae Doi is Japanese, lives in Toronto and shares the same passion for music but is almost my polar opposite. I'm male, she's female. I bust my ass to support Japanese indie music while she does everything in her power to support Canadian indie music especially local bands in Toronto.
She runs a popular music blog called:
I had a chance to e-mail her a few questions for an interview and she had some really interesting, thoughtful and well articulated answers. No wonder why her blog is so much better than mine. =)
Which city in Japan are you from and what are some of your favourite things about your hometown? I'm from Hiroshima, Japan. I'd lived and grew up there for 18 years. When I mention the name of the city, people react in a certain way due to it's history. However, I want everybody to know that it is a beautiful city to visit. Don't forget about delicious food in the city: Oysters and okonomiyaki are known as our speciality in Hiroshima.
One of your first blog posts was aboutGo!Go!7188. What are some of your other favouriteJapanese artists/bands? I've been away from Japan for over 6 years so I'm not familiar with any new bands, but I used to dig Mongol 800. Ellegarden, ACIDMAN, Ringo Shiina, Rin Toshite Shigure, and Supercar. My first CD that I ever purchased was Heart of Sword-Yoake made by T.M Revolution. Okie, I was a huge fan of Kenshin =)
You’re quite passionate about the local indie music scene in Toronto. What do you think makes the bands here so interesting and fun to watch? Toronto is a very unique city, known for its diversity. Having various ethnicities is definitely one factor that makes music very interesting. Toronto is also the hub of Canada in regards to entertainment. People come to Toronto to play music, which makes it more competitive =D We also have a number of indie music festivals such as NXNE and CMW.
If you could bring four bands from Toronto to perform in Japan, who would you choose for the Next Music from Toronto tour (lol) ? (they don’t all have to be from Toronto; any Canadian band is okay but think about the mix of bands that would put on a really kickass show and who you’d have fun touring with and getting to know) That's a very interesting and hard question. I picked 4 bands from different genre with links for my reviews
If I can squeeze one more in the van, I would definitely bring Ben Caplan too.
Your best friends from Japan are visiting Toronto. Where would you take them for food, for shopping and to have fun? (i.e. Kanae’s list of recommended Toronto hangouts) I would definitely take them to Sonic Boom, which is one of the biggest/coolest record store in Toronto in Annex. then I would go to the Kensigton Market to shop around and have a couple of coffees, then for dinner, I would go to Kokyo (College and Yonge) for sushi dinner and have them indulge with North American Sushi
During your stay in Canada, what has been the best show/concert you’ve been to thus far? I've attended a number of shows in the past 2 years. I have a few shows that I absolutely loved. If I have to choose one show, then it is Arcade fire show in Toronto Island. After the release of their third album, "Suburbs", Arcade Fire attended a number of festivals in 2010 including Lollaplooza, which I also went. Right after coming back from Chicago, my friends asked me to go to the Toronto island one as well since we just LOVEd their performance. I guess the show was the best one ever as the entire crowed including me and my friends, became one while humming "Wake Up" together. It became a moment to remember.
You’re in a band. What instrument do you play and which actress or musician would play the movie version of Kanae Doi ? (she doesn’t have to be Japanese and it could even be a guy) I used to be in a band when I was in high school. I played the lead guitar, so I would definitely play that again. If someone has to play me in a movie, I want Jack Black or Joseph Gordon Levitt to play my role just because I think he can make it so funny and geeky.
When you’re bummed, what song or album do you listen to to cheer you up? Butch Walker "Sycamore Meadow". He released this album after the wild fire in Malibu in 2007, which destroyed his house which he rented from Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Although there wasn't anyone who was injured, he lost all his properties, including original master of every song that Walker ever recorded. It was definitely an devastating event for him. and he rerecorded his album from a scratch again. It was the very first album, which he made is very personal. There is a song called " Ship in a bottle" This song was written after the wildfire, and I think he wrote it at the lowest of his life. His music and live performance actually was one of the inspirations that I started writing a blog. and whenever I hear this song, it hits the bottom of my heart, either encouraging me to stay strong and also admit honestly that I can be down.
The world needs more _________ and less _________ The world needs more Regina Spektor and less Katy Perry
This interview was fun and I'll probably do a lot more. Once this damn tour's over and when I have free time I'll arrange interviews with some great Japanese bands. I'll interview Ian Martin too since he's already a legend in this blogospehere.