2016 Artist Survey: David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2016 Artist Survey: David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi

Best on 2016's Best Albums, the Election, Brexit, David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Self-Driving Cars, and Scary Movies

Jan 18, 2017 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar‘s 14th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2016. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2016 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi. The British band’s last full-length album was 2014’s Artificial Sweeteners. In 2016 the band released two EPs, fitting titled EP 1 and EP 2.

For our annual Artist Surveys we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about Trump and the election, 2016’s deaths, self-driving cars, Stranger Things, first kisses, scary movies they shouldn’t have seen as a child, which Friends character they are most like, and much more.

Pick up or download Under the Radar’s Best of 2016 / 15th Anniversary Issue for Artist Survey interviews with Amber Arcades, Austra, Faris Badwan of Cat’s Eyes and The Horrors, Boxed In, Caveman, The Charlatans, Cursive, Lucy Dacus, The Dears, C Duncan, Sadie Dupuis of Sad13 and Speedy Ortiz, Dutch Uncles, Ezra Furman, Robyn Hitchcock, The Invisible, Justin Lockey of Editors and Minor Victories, Lost Under Heaven (LUH), Lush, Midlake, Phantogram, The Range, Springtime Carnivore, Sunflower Bean, Surfer Blood, TEEN, The Thermals, Nick Valensi of CRX and The Strokes, Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak, and Yuck.

Top 10 Albums of 2016

1. David Bowie: Blackstar

2. Parquet Courts: Human Performance

3. Marie Davidson: Adieux au Dancefloor

4. Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker

5. Cavern of Anti-Matter: Void Beats/ Invocation Trex

6. Lost Idol: Chrome Machine Tales

7. Frank Ocean: Blonde

8. Factory Floor: 25 25

9. Mick Harvey: Delirium Tremens

10. Dinosaur Jr.: Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not

2016 was regarded by many as a fairly tough and negative year. Was it also a hard year for you personally? If so, how? And also what were the high points for you?

Brexit was pretty horrible. It felt like all Arsenal’s defeats over the last 10 years rolled into one. I lost people I knew and also those that I didn’t. David Bowie’s departure still makes me sad on a daily basis. My high points seem trivial compared to the turbulence in the world at the moment but since you ask, being able to still release records gives me great pleasure, if no one else. Watching my kids grow up fills me with joy too.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. presidential election played out?

It seemed all a bit farcical and scary.

Let’s discuss Donald Trump. What does the rise of Trump tell you about America in 2016? What concerns you most about a Trump presidency? How do you think his presidency might personally change your life? What message do you have for those who voted for Trump? What actions will you take over the course of the next four years to either protest a Trump presidency or support it?

I don’t understand how any decent human being could align themselves with what he was coming out with. Obviously people aren’t happy with their situations and he provided an outlet for their frustrations. I’m sure not everyone who voted for Trump is stupid and racist but everyone who is stupid and racist did. Hopefully he’ll just be a puppet president because you can’t have such an utter twat running your country.

What reality TV star would you have rather been elected president?

I don’t really watch reality TV so it’s a tricky question to answer. I’d prefer someone who is qualified to be elected.

If you were president, what would you try to accomplish in your first 100 days in office?

I’d like to eradicate all negative thought via a special mind machine that I’ve been working on. I just need some financial backing to get it off the ground.

What are your thoughts on Brexit and the future of the European Union? To what extent do you think the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump were motivated by the same factors?

Although I don’t agree with it I can understand people feeling frustrated and ignored and using Brexit as a stick to hit the establishment with. What I can’t understand is that it was led by privately educated, over privileged people who treated the whole escapade as a rag week jape. I don’t even think people like Boris Johnson wanted to leave. It was just all political maneuvering on his part. He’s a disgrace. It seems you don’t even have to pretend to tell the truth, and if you get caught in a lie, it doesn’t matter either.

We lost three highly influential music icons in 2016. What are your thoughts on the passing of David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen? And what are your favorite albums by each artist?

All three meant a lot to me. I got into Prince when Purple Rain was released and I’ve got vivid memories of sitting on my window sill listening to Parade over and over again as a child. I feel lucky to have seen all three play live. I remember watching David Bowie on the Kenny Everett show doing “Boys Keep Swinging” with my nan. My nan wasn’t performing with David Bowie, she was watching the telly with me. She said he was odd. I liked him but it wasn’t until my early 20s when I became a little obsessed with his music. Comparing his last record with Leonard Cohen’s is interesting. I get the impression that Leonard was ready to go but Bowie wasn’t. I suppose it’s something you have to get used to as you get older.

David Bowie:

1. Low

2. Station to Station

3. Blackstar


1. Parade

2. Sign o’ the Times

3. Dirty Mind

Leonard Cohen:

1. New Skin for the Old Ceremony

2. Songs of Love and Hate

3. I’m Your Man

What do you think Prince and Bowie’s afterlife project sounds like?

I imagine Prince will be soloing for perpetuity. David Bowie doesn’t need to have an afterlife project. He accomplished everything he needed to whilst he was here.

Which Friends character are you most like?

The one with the sad eyes.

What scary movie did you see way too young as a child, how’d you end up seeing it, and does it still scare you now?

Children of the Corn. It left a scar for a while but I’m over it now. Candyman on the other hand….

Are you ready for self-driving cars and a more automated future?

I’ve deliberately not learned to drive as I knew this moment would come. I think it’s going to be fantastic. Although driving instructors are going to be furious.

Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.

We played in Dublin a while ago after not playing in ages. People from Wales, Germany, Spain, and America came which was nice. It gave me the idea of getting the audience to travel to you rather than the other way around. It would make touring more financially viable.

Tell us about your first kiss.

No, I don’t want to.

Under the Radar has been around for 15 years now, since December 2001. How do you feel the music industry has most changed in that time, both for the better and the worst?

I think it’s a little pointless to look back on how things were. We can only deal with what’s in front of us. The major positive with how things are now is the dismantling of the barriers between the audience and the musicians through the increased accessibility to both the music and the people who make it.

What’s usually the biggest stumbling block to your happiness?


What band, besides your own, has the best name?

Roxy Music

What’s your all-time favorite movie?

A Matter of Life and Death

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

“Moody” by ESG.



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