When you have time to sit down and consider it, humans really are tiny ants perched on top of a large rock we named planet Earth. The murmuring depths of the ocean is frightening deep, the sky is endlessly broad and between heaven and hell, the unknown stares us straight in the eyes. This unknown often surprised those who are brave, and I feel we have been this year.

Given the right circumstance, people are capable of amazing things and our generation is incredibly blessed to have the means and opportunities for this. At the beginning of the year, the JRN crew sat around a digital table and joked about some “business” goals for this year. It didn’t feel particularly productive at the time, especially when you have a gang of serial meme-machines within the team. We eventually came up with some fairly wild ones for a two-year-old website including; “starting our own music label” and “meet Yoshiki”.

Team meets x Japan

Magic happened. The team were exceedingly lucky to be invited to report their HMV signing event and also the epic X Japan Wembley, London show. We sat arms reach away from the world-renowned Hello Kitty designer, Yuko Yamaguchi. Hungry from the sweet taste of success, we desperately grasped for more. A few months rolled around and we secured a face to face interview with Yoshiki.

special moments of 2017

Rounding up some of our exclusive work, here are some moments we can fondly look back at thanks to our international team. Interviewing and reporting live shows is a time-consuming business. From researching, curating the questions, reviewing, planning, to commuting to each event, each step is a lot of effort. If you have time, please take a moment to enjoy some of our exclusive articles below. If you liked any of these, please let us know so we can pass on the thanks to the reporter!

Interviews

Live reports

shaking hands with Legends

Continuing on with our adventures, we became the first publication to interview The age of civil wars (Sengoku Jidai) at HYPER JAPAN, London, who to our surprise revealed to be ex-members of legendary band SIAM SHADE.

Each moment has given us increasing amounts of courage to pursue and conjure even more explosive Jrock magic for 2018. We haven’t made our own record label just yet, but we did start our own fashion label! The team now have matching JRN t-shirts, and this design should scream out like a beacon, so come say hello if you spot us in the crowd. We have a signed one by Yoshiki which we will never wash:

improving the Jrock community

This year we’ve put in a lot of effort to host activities and started projects to get to know you guys a bit better, including our Discord channel which we’ve exclusively opened for the Jrock community. The channel has been busier than ever and now has a designated moderator, come join us for some music chit-chat with other readers and even the JRN writing team.

We don’t know how to express our gratitude for those who have supported our JRN Apparel project. This has been incredibly helpful to support the funding of this site. We pay for everything out of our own pockets, so by purchasing a t-shirt or sweater, you have helped to keep this site running. If you have photos of you wearing one, please do send and show us via our Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you

Rounding this all up, I’d like to thank all the writers, photographers, translators and editors who have made this year possible. Without these dedicated team members who volunteer their own time and energy, it simply wouldn’t exist. The music labels and PR including V STAR, JPU Records, Sony Music Japan, and Amuse have been very generous for providing us opportunities to make amazing things happen. Last but most importantly, thank you for our readers, without your support and readership, there is no reason for us to be around. Please continue to look after us in 2018 and thank you very much.

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