Having not lived through the era: i assume that not having to uphold as flamboyant or gaudy an image as an artist in the late 80’s (in accordance with moving trends, when compared to the era of your work with Japan in the late 70’s / early 80’s) would leave one with something of a void. Am i correct? How does one patch this missing link, or rather channel that creative force in your case? Also, where did you find this shirt of yours from the “Quiet Life” promotional video? Cheers. -Chris

Dressing in a flambouyant way was a reaction to the stiffled upbringing of the 70’s. Youth like to experiment with fashion but it’s not usually something you carry on doing once you get it out of your system.

As for the shirt, I have no recollection.

Thank you for answering such random questions from everyone. I have another one myself if that’s ok. Last time I saw you perform live was the world is everything tour 2007. I have always wanted to ask you about your set up for that tour. Using an electronic kick instead of an acoustic one yet using acoustic drums & cymbals for the rest of the gear (apart from the spd-s) Why no bass drum live?Thanks.

The main reason was for flexibility. The material was quite varied and by incorporating a trigger it meant I could use the actual bass drum sounds from the original recordings in most cases. For example, when I wrote the music for the track ‘Snow Borne Sorrow’ (a piece I’d originally intended for my solo album) I used different bass drum sounds for the first and second parts of the track. Perhaps most people wouldn’t pay much attention to it but it’s these little details that I find interesting and wanted to bring to the live performance. And since bass drums don’t require much in the way of subtle nuance (unlike the rest of the kit) it means that bass drum samples work pretty well for live performance. It also meant that in certain songs without drums I was able to use the same pedal to trigger musical samples such as in the track ‘Transit’. 

Mr. Jansen. First, thanks for your contribution to the pop-culture of the 80’s. You had a major impact on me back in 2009, when i finally discovered your work. I wanted to ask: where you derived your inspiration for your costume/wardrobe for the Oil On Canvas live video/ Sons of Pioneers tour?

Funny … The white shirt was (I believe) from designer Y’s and the ‘dogtooth’ trousers were made by Yoko (Masami Tsuchiya’s wife) who was also responsible for Richard, David & Masami’s outfits. During the first stages of the tour I’d grown weary of bright & shiny outfits and asked Yoko to make me something in all black, which she did, although unfortunately (and forever to my dismay) the costume wasn’t ready until we reached the end of the tour in Japan.