I almost don’t know what to say — when I put out this survey of you all, I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations. Like, it’s just a few questions and no real personal information involved, but there is a certain level of commitment to filling out such a thing, and I wouldn’t have been surprised or offended one bit if but a handful of you had filled it out.
We got a lot more than a handful! In fact, the biggest handful here (wait for it …) is how I have my … hands … full … (giggling) making sense of the information! /punned
ANYWAY, the top-level look at who we are and what we like is really interesting. Here are some of the big takeaways:
We are really diverse
I had expected a rough 3:1 split between “United States” and “Rest of the World,” and that was way off; it’s closer to the opposite. And while the USA and UK are roughly even from a plurality standpoint (including Scotland’s pending independence), we have a big contingent of folks from German-speaking countries as well. My heart was warmed to have folks from Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Indonesia and Mexico, too — that’s great. And, of course, Japan.
Even more surprising to me, though, was how diverse our musical tastes really are.
From a “my favorite music” perspective, the metal-punk-hardcore triumverate was dominant, but not by much. Around 25 percent of submissions listed some flavor of EDM, and there’s a lot of variety in the rest, from krautrock to Japanese new wave to shoegaze to jazz. “Idol” or some variety thereof (including particular performers) made up about a quarter of the tally, too. The people who responded “Songs written by Tsunku” and “Indie trash” deserve a prize.
When it came to favorite idols, here was the big shocker: Babymetal did lead at around 14 percent, but BiS/H matched that total. And after that it was an absolute free-for-all; Deathrabbits, Perfume, YMM, Morning Musume, Dempagumi.inc, Bellheart, Hauptharmonie, and on. It’s a really interesting distribution, and in a way that doesn’t align very cleanly with the “favorite music” column. Good work!
We have very particular personal tastes, too
I thought the “my idol” question was pretty vague because it was tough to explain in the available space, but you got it. The problem was, the overwhelmingly tendency in response was to make a veritable shopping list of unsung or niche idols alongside the heavy hitters, plus very specific individual members of certain groups to a point that I gave up on Googling their names.
But here’s what was cool: As I hoped, “my idols” and “favorite idols” weren’t a clean match, either. And I get it: Gun to my head, I’m probably going to call BiSH or Babymetal my favorite, but you may have noticed by now that I am just weak in the knees for Hauptharmonie and Yukueshirezutsurezure.
There is a noticeable trend toward mid-level indies in this category, though, especially for the folks who had big, big names as their favorite idol. Good amounts of Bellheart (plus individual members) and the Codomomental groups. And yes, Pikarin and Hanako-san both got listed.
We are terrible at Japanese
I had to go back and check, but we actually had more first-language French speakers than Japanese, and an equal number of people who spoke German as a first language as who said “Yes” to the do-you-speak-Japanese question. Otherwise, it was an equal split between folks who could a little bit and folks who couldn’t at all.
In a way, that’s one of the most interesting tales in these results — we don’t really understand what’s going on, but we love the stuff anyway. I think that speaks well for where we go from here.
Because these results were really far outside of what I expected to see, I’m going to spend a little more time with the data before trying to draw out any decent-looking next steps and bring them up for discussion, but please do use the comments here to share any thoughts or reactions, or ask questions. I left a lot out of this little report just to keep it from being a very deep dive in pursuit of not that much information, but I’m willing to discuss any part of it with anybody.