Without talking LOLspeak throughout this article and turn into a neko, I haven’t ventured into nightclubs for years. On a typical Saturday night, you have an array of nightclubs. Be it raves, R’n’B, rock, live bands – anything to let your hair down and dance the night away -Nya! But this clubbing scene is like no other. Neko Nation is back in Sydney once again with an exciting line up: The Living Tombstone, Mews, DJ 3SLR, SBS PopAsia host, Andy Trieu and a list of DJs throughout the night.
I had a quick chat with Craig – founder of Neko Nation Australia – from his busy schedule as he discuss the upcoming lineup for this Caturday’s event and the influence of cosplay and music.
Considering that I haven’t been in the clubbing seen for so long and looking over at the guestlist – The Living Tombstone – how huge are they over in the States?
They have a big following around the world. So basically, he started out doing mixes with My Little Pony music and you know, about 5-8 years ago it was very, very big thing. Then after a while, he kinda got pretty bored on working with one thing and decided to work on Super Mario Brothers, Overwatch – on stuff like that. So he gain a massive following for using gaming music and anime. In America, I would say, he’s got quite a few gigs lined up. He’ll be playing his first gig here in Australia – so we’re going to find out.
With the success of the current games of today – Overwatch and Cuphead, it’ll be a huge night for his debut. Will he be touring just Sydney or any of the major cities across Australia?
We’re gonna see. We decided to bring him over to Sydney as a one off, for now. We will see thekind of responses on the night. Because it’s a massive event, there is a possibility that we will bring him back to the other major cities as well.
With DJ.S3RL coming on board from Queensland, the one thing that struck is the use of anime into the rave scene. Hooray for old school!
Speaking of anime, another thing I picked up are cosplayers. They all love to come to your event in costume and dance up a storm. [The question to you] What’s the huge impact of cosplay and Neko Nation?
I think it’s because it attract a lot of people to this event. Obviously, cosplay has grown massively for about ten to fifteen years. For me, five years of anything. We manage to take advantage of the creative and dedicated cosplayer crowd and to appeal the community far and wide. The community fanbase makes a huge difference for Neko Nation so we treat it like an anime and/or pop culture conventions on a whole new level. Mainly to please the cosplayer.
Since Neko Nation first came to my attention, I noticed that it is starting to amass huge numbers and also, never in the same spot. Normally, it was over at Manning Bar at University of Sydney and now, it’s over at Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. Is to accommodate or such?
So basically we decided to work at Moore Park. The main reason is we are keen for this event as a standalone away from Manning Bar to make it a nightclub that is unique to the cosplayers and attendees. With Moore Park in mind, if the numbers become bigger down the track, we have the potential to host the event at a carpark or tennis courts nearby. Give or take, depending on numbers and the success after the event, we may go into
With Andy Trieu (host of SBS’s PopAsia) on board, there’s been a rise in K-Pop over J-Pop. Would you consider K-Pop is taking over the music scene more from J-Pop or en par with them?
K-Pop has very little influence to cosplay, in terms of anime and gaming. The reality is, J-Pop has always been a strong influence for the attendees. In other words, we throw an anime theme, use J-Pop to keep it relevant. However, using J-Pop was proven a challenge as you need a very unique gimmick like Kyayu Pamyu Pamyu and Baby Metal. If you don’t come up with a gimmick, it’ll be a hard sell for the buyers and fans. As fans of the music genre, we love the fashion aspect because it looks cool. Boy and girl bands from either the States and UK were not appealing to us as it is market towards a specific demographic age group.
K-Pop, however, has huge followings and no matter the age, it is still appealing for all. If the cosplayers love them, then why not include them into the list as well.