- What do you find that musicians look for in the venues they play?
Kishimoto: The sound. At least, I'm very particular about it. For a long time we used an old analog console, but we shifted to digital. You can't go against the times.
- Can you elaborate on “Go against the times”?
Kishimoto: If the old analog machine breaks, it takes forever to repair while with digital we can get it fixed in a day. Our engineering staff kept saying it’s got to be digital if we're to open every night. I tried to put it off as long as I could, but they were insisted, "This is the limit!" so I gave in. About six to seven years ago, we finally switched to a digital console. With a heavy heart, though.
Bands that chose to play at O-nest were very adamant about the space between each note which determines the overall sound. Analog console enhances that. With digital, space is just space. We tried every way possible to keep our "analog-like sound" using a digital console.
- O-EAST does have an excellent reputation for its sound. The Front-of-house engineer who works for Australian singer songwriter Courtney Barnett was raving about your PA.
Kishimoto: I often get compliments about our sound from musicians from abroad. But that might have to do with the comparatively poor sound quality bands are used to when they do gigs elsewhere. Japan is unique in that sense, that the venues strive to better their facilities and genuinely care about the musicians, even help to promote them. Some live music venues here also do artist management.