A Final Farewell – Editor-In-Chief Leela McMullen and Publisher Daniel Quinn

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by Leela McMullen, ROKKYUU Magazine, posted July 15, 2015

With regret, ROKKYUU Magazine announces its official disbandment. Please read these messages from Editor-in-Chief Leela McMullen and Publisher Daniel Quinn for more insight.|残念なお知らせでございますが、ROKKYUUマガジンの解散を申し上げます。日本語の詳しくには2番目の「編集長リーラマックマレンからのメッセージ」をご覧下さい。

  1. Message from Editor-in-Chief, Leela McMullen (English)
  2. 編集長リーラマックマレンからのメッセージ (日本語)
  3. Message from Publisher, Daniel Quinn (English only/英語のみ)

Editor-in-Chief, Leela McMullen

In 2009, I joined ROKKYUU Magazine as a writer during the beta period. In 2010, I took over as editor during a hiatus leading up to the official launch. My goals as editor were very simple. I wanted to provide a number of services not yet available in one publication. I wanted to provide high quality and well-edited live reports with a depth and length that gave the reader a sense of being present. I wanted to provide exclusive live photos to capture the interest of those who aren’t avid readers. I wanted to provide insights into new and old music and give people and idea of where to start. I wanted to promote the indies scenes, major and minor, as well as the major scenes of visual kei. I also wanted to bring fashion and music together in one magazine as the two are intricately interwoven in reality. I wanted to introduce people to the more local brands and designers they may not have heard of. I wanted people to have a resource to learn about the designers making the costumes they admire. Our interviews, conducted in Japanese and meticulously translated and checked, have always been a source of pride. As time went on, even my aim to become a more bilingual publication was realized. The only goal that remains unachieved is my dream of evolving into a print format—unrealistic under the current paper media climate.

More than anything, I wanted to create a forum for people to come to when they wanted to learn more about visual kei and to spread the sense of wonder and respect that I myself found in this genre. People often tell me that VK is not a genre of music. They are wrong. What could be more original than taking samples from every genre of music around the world and blending them together to create something new and exciting? This is a genre that has the capacity to unite people from across the world and across a wide spectrum of musical and style genres.

One of the main requirements of our staff has always been a certain amount of Japanese proficiency and respect for the local customs in this line of work. One of my goals was to be a trend-setter in this area and I am very proud to have seen our work ethic and respect for the local business style having been picked up by other publications, old and new. It is with this in mind that I feel I have been able to accomplish some of what I set out to do through ROKKYUU.

Personally, this magazine has been an integral part of my journey in life as a writer, as an editor, and as a music enthusiast—but I hope, and I believe, that it has been so much more to many more people, not the least of whom being each member of staff and contributors—from photographers to writers to translators. You have been my sisters and brothers, my pupils and my teachers. I hope that you were each able to learn and grow as much during your time with ROKKYUU as I have done.

I also hope that we have been able to provide a bridge to the wider world and a scope of insight to those bands, designers, managers, offices, and labels that we have worked with. It is thanks to these people that we were able to achieve so much and to continue on for so long despite a difficult environment. I am also deeply grateful to the members of the Japanese media who became my colleagues and guides. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you.

Most importantly, I want to thank our readers. Those who commented, shared, participated in giveaways… Each and every voice has been recognized and appreciated. My deepest regret is that I will no longer be able to provide the in-depth content that I know so many have enjoyed.

Due to outside commitments, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to disband ROKKYUU Magazine, though it breaks my heart to do so. All of our past content will remain on this site as an archive but no new content will be posted. I apologize for those who had hoped to see more but I hope that our hard work over the years will continue to reach new people and perhaps to be reread as an ongoing well of memories.

I wish all the best to each and every member of the visual kei family, onstage, offstage, audience, and overseas—and I hope to see you around.

編集長リーラマックマレン

ROKKYUUマガジン編集長のリーラ・マクマレンです。

非常に残念なお知らせですが、ご了承をお願い致します。

本日、2015年、7月14日、ROKKYUUマガジンの解散を発表致します。

私は2009年にまだテストサイトであったROKKYUUマガジンのライターになりました。そして、活動休止中の2010年に編集長となり、2011年の再開に向かって頑張りました。編集長としての目的は簡単でした。一つの出版やブログに出てないいろんなサービスをしていきたかったです。編集に力を尽くして、クオリテイーの高い、ライブの雰囲気をつかみ取る、深くて、適切な長さのあるレポートを書きたかった。ここでしか見られないライブの様子を伝える写真を出したかった。新しい音楽も思い出に残る音楽もおすすめしていきたかった。メジャーバンドやインディーズのメジャーもマイナーバンドもデザイナーも広げていきたかった。ヴィジュアル系の魅力である音楽とファッションの融合を一気に伝えたかった。ローカルのブランドやデザイナーをおすすめしていきたかった。ファンの気になる衣装のデザイナーのこともピックアップして、伝えたかった。バイリンガルで行って、必死に翻訳し、細かく編集してきたインタビューはROKKYUUの誇りになりました。バイリンガルの記事を増やす目的も少しずつ増やすこともできました。叶えられなかった目的は一つだけで、現在のプリントメディアの環境では実現するのが不可能のプリントメディアになることでした。

何よりも、世界中の人たちが集まって、ヴィジュアル系のことを調べたりして、広げていく場になりたくて、頑張りました。よく言われることがございます。「ヴィジュアル系は音楽のジャンルじゃないけどね。」はずれ。ヴィジュアル系は世界中の全ジャンルの音楽から色々取り入れて、全く新しい音のある音楽のジャンルです。さまざまな興味を持つ、世界中の人々を合わせる力のあるとても幅広いジャンルでございます。

このROKKYUUマガジンでは、スタッフにはある程度の日本語力と文化への理解と尊敬が必要でした。私の目標の一つとして、この条件と働き方を広げていくのを注目してきました。さまざまな後輩も先輩にでも、「ROKKYUUのやり方に影響されました!」等の声を頂き、この目標は少しでも成功させていただけて一安心ができました!ありがとうございます!この気持をもって、ROKKYUUの存在は無駄ではなかったと確信させて頂きます。

個人的には、ライター、編集者、そして音楽ヲタクとして、人生で歩む道の大切な経験や思い出をいっぱい頂きました。しかし、他にも、沢山の人にとって、色んな影響を与えられたとは思います。特に、最初から最後まで一緒に頑張ってきたスタッフとコントリビューターの皆様。ライター、カメラマン、翻訳者の皆様は全員私の姉妹でもあり、生徒でもあり、先生でもあり、仲間でもあり、一人一人大切な存在です。心から感謝しております。私と同じほどROKKYUUとの時間で勉強させて頂き、進化させて頂けたら幸いです。

そして、これまでお世話になってきた各バンド、デザイナー、マネージャー、レーベル、事務所等を世界中へ繋げる橋になれたのではないかと思っています。難しい環境の中、ROKKYUUマガジンを小さな存在から育ってきてくれたのはこの皆様のおかげで、誠に感謝しております。そして、先輩や仲間であった日本の出版の方々にも深く感謝致します。

最後に、一番大事な存在に感謝を伝えたいと思います。この道を一緒に歩み続けてきた読者のみなさんたちです。コメント、シェア、抽選会の参加等によって、それぞれの声を聴かせて頂いて、大切にしてきました。何よりも公開するのはみなさんの楽しみにしてきた記事、写真、やインタビューを差し上げられなくなることです。申し訳ございません。

心が折れる程厳しい選択ではありましたが、スタッフの状況も含めて、素早く編集できなくなった私のスケジュールと仕事の都合も含めて、ROKKYUUマガジンを解散することに決まりました。言葉にできなくて、お知らせが遅くなり、大変申し訳ございませんでした。

今までの記事は全てこのサイトに残ります。ご参考や思い出として、たまにはこのページに目を通してくれれば、一人でも多く、笑顔になれることを祈ります。

このヴィジュアル系の客席で楽しむ側、ステージに立つ側、裏で働く側、海外で応援する側、このヴィジュアル系という家族の皆様の幸せを心からお祈りしております。またどこかで会えますように。

Publisher, Daniel Quinn

ROKKYUU Magazine started a long time ago as an experiment in running an online magazine by a grad student who had just finished his program in publishing and wanted to see what it would be like to work with an editorial team of his own. I didn’t expect this experiment to garner the following that it did. I didn’t know anything about visual kei. But I recognized that, with the help of the magazine’s original staff, there was a passionate niche audience out there and a void to be filled online that reported on their passions.

I owe the real success of ROKKYUU, however, to the passion of one person in particular, and that of the team she put together when I thought this experiment was due to end in 2008. Leela McMullen went from churning out live reports as a staff writer during our beta to helming the entire operation–a virtual Anna Wintour for the VK world, without whose six and a half years of tireless dedication, ROKKYYU Magazine would have ceased to exist.

Without Leela or her team, I can’t conceive of ROKKYUU Magazine going forward. ROKKYUU was never a profit vehicle. I donated time and resources to keep it alive, and the editorial staff donated creativity, sweat, photographs and words to give it heart. In this way, ROKKYUU was always underwritten by the fans, for the fans. I only wish it *were* a profit vehicle, so I could have given back to everyone who worked on ROKKYUU over the years. We tried many times to kickstart a redesign, among other initiatives, but as is the case too often with ventures of the heart, life got in the way. If anything, though, I believe ROKKYUU Magazine was a place for its staff to cut their teeth on reporting in the music scene, and have some visibility in a larger community they valued. For that, I hope they benefited.

All good things, they say.

And for you–our many readers who stuck with us all these years–thank you for reading, sharing, tweeting, commenting.

It’s been fun. We did this for you.

And we’ll miss you.

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

ROKKYUU Magazine is an independent, English-language visual kei publication that brings musicians from across the spectrum to a worldwide audience. Edgy and eclectic, vinyl-smooth and anachronistic, ROKKYUU covers the latest in visual music, life, and fashion.

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