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Shawn Despres

Shawn Despres has been contributing to the Japan Times’ music page since 2005, and he has a passion for writing about the independent music scene in East Asia. He spent several years living in Yokohama and currently resides in Seoul.

For Shawn Despres's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Kenta Koie and Crossfaith earn some rock cred overseas

Jun 3, 2014

Kenta Koie and Crossfaith earn some rock cred overseas

In February, Osaka electro-infused metalcore act Crossfaith toured Britain with Limp Bizkit. Sharing stages and hanging out with the 1990s rap-metal act and its celebrity frontman Fred Durst reinforced the importance of not letting success go to their heads. “That was the biggest tour ...

BBQ Chickens keep new album 'Broken Bubbles' short and sweet

Oct 9, 2013

BBQ Chickens keep new album 'Broken Bubbles' short and sweet

When making music, Tokyo punk/metal hybrid act BBQ Chickens like to keep things short. The quartet have yet to craft a song that lasts two minutes. A handful of their cuts don’t even break the 10-second mark. The band will tour across the country ...

Creative-content agency helps Korean music abroad

Feb 21, 2013

Creative-content agency helps Korean music abroad

Regardless of whether you are a bigger-name draw or a smaller, emerging band, planning — and more importantly financing — international gigs is no easy task. But since last year, things have gotten a bit easier for Korean acts touring abroad. In March 2012, ...

Hotel Mexico's pop aims at the heart

Feb 7, 2013

Hotel Mexico's pop aims at the heart

It’s tough to figure out where to take your band when you get some buzz in the media right out the gate. After getting noticed for its fuzzed-out pop jams from highly regarded online music outlets such as Pitchfork, Noisey and Gorilla vs. Bear, ...

ZZZ's hone skills abroad and have some chance encounters

Feb 7, 2013

ZZZ's hone skills abroad and have some chance encounters

The highlight of 2012 for experimental postpunk trio ZZZ’s was meeting Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore in Miami. It turns out the feeling was mutual. American record label Matador Records posted their artists’ and employees’ favorite things from the past 12 months online recently ...

Chatmonchy 'Henshin'

Nov 1, 2012

Chatmonchy "Henshin"

Since making their major label debut in 2005, Chatmonchy has established itself as one of the country’s most popular female rock bands. As a trio, they released several chart-topping discs and sold out gigs at the iconic Nippon Budokan. In 2010, the band played ...

Fact welcomes a new face to the fold

Aug 30, 2012

Fact welcomes a new face to the fold

In September, Fact will embark on a monthlong Japan trek in support of their fourth full-length effort, January’s “Burundanga.” The gigs will be the Chiba posthardcore act’s first domestic concerts since performing last December at the popular annual Countdown Japan yearend music festival. They ...