Freshness Feature: Noriaki Endo – Devilock Founder

By - March 23rd, 2006

Produced by DAN H.
Interview by Thomas Bradley and Debre
Edited by Poe

Freshness Feature: Noriaki Endo   Devilock Founder

From a humble start, as a small shop (on the 5th floor of a building) in Ebisu part of Tokyo, Devilock has become an influential brand within the street culture of Japan. Celebrating its 10th year, Devilock today not only produce urban fashion apparels, but sponsor a music event series, “Devilock Presents:~Filter~“, a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) event “Devilock Presents: SHOOTO THE Devilock“, and of course this week�s street art exhibition, VISUALL Taiwan.

Freshness was fortunate enough to chat with the founder & the driving force of this celebrated brand, Noriaki Endo, to talk about Devilock, punk music, MMA, and etc�

> Devilock (Japanese Only)

> Freshness Feature: Devilock – The Store
> Freshness Gallery: Devilock

More after the jump

Freshness Feature: Noriaki Endo   Devilock Founder
Noriaki Endo – Devilock Founder [Freshness Gallery: Devilock]

Q: Where did the name Devilock come from?

自身の ブランドDevilock,名前の由来は何処から来ていますか?どういう意味を込めてますか?

NE: The name comes from my favorite punk music band The Misfits� hairstyle, the devilock. There is significance for my label to be constantly related to music.

ブランド名の由来は昔から大好きなバンド『MISFITS』の髪型『Devilock HEAR』から

*NOTE* Mr. Endo was the vocalist for 2 Japanese underground hard rock bands, GMF and SUPER HYPE, before creating Devilock

Q: Since the Devilock�s brand concept is influenced by the punk culture, how have you and Devilock been related to since?

Devilockがパンクカルチャーに影響されてると聞きましたが、今に至ってご自身 に どう反映されていますか?

NE: Yes, the punk culture is at the heart of Devilock. Without punk, we have nothing because it is what we are all about! For me, you can say that it is the same. It has kept me striving in this business.


[Freshness Gallery: Devilock]

Q: What would the Devilock team say they are about? What do they believe is their purpose as a brand?

デビロック”を自分達の言葉で表現すとどうゆうブランドでしょうか、またデビ ロックとしての使命は?

NE: Devilock is a forum to launch my messages, about our great crew, clothing, and music. Our purpose is to stay true to ourselves and continue to do what we want to do. We are not concern about the distractions out there, just as long as we are able to continue it!

Left: Devilock x NUMBER (N)INE 9th Anniversary T-Shirt
Right: Devilock Varsity Jacket

[Freshness Gallery: Devilock]

Q: You have recently started a new music event called “DEVILOCK Presents: ~FILTER~, what is the purpose of this event? We heard it�s held once a month.

最近新たにプロデュースされたDevilock Presents ~FILTER~” 月1回のペースで行われて いるそうで、どうゆうイベントでしょうか?

NE: I’ve always wanted to do something fun and interesting with my friends, as long as we can create it by ourselves. This event is staged in a small live house so that we and the audiences can feel the vibe and see everything up close! My hope is to continue this gig as long as we�re all having a great time!

と言う事から始まりました。 お客さんも小さいライブハウスでやるとミュージシャンを一体になって楽しめるし、 みんなが同じ空間で楽しむイベントであり続けたいと思っています。

Q: We heard that you will also be producing an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) event again called “Devilock Presents: SHOOTO THE Devilock” on May 12th at Kourakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. It will be a gathering the top Japanese MMA Fighters like Takanori Gomi (Pride Light Weight Champion), Caol Uno (宇野薰), Rumina Sato, Hayato “MACH” Sakurai and etc… Please tell us more about this event.

5月に総合格闘技イベント”Devilock PRESENT SHOOTO THE Devilock”があります、プライドで今や無敗で走る五味孝典や修斗のカリスマ佐藤ルミナなどメイン級のカードばかりです ね。久しぶりの総合格闘技イベントですがこのイベントについてお話を聞かせて 下さい。

NE: I am a MMA addict personally, and produced several MMA events in the past like Vale Tudo Japan. This upcoming event is a way to gather all the friends I made through MMA. Again, it is all about having a good time together with friends. It is something more like a reunion. There is a misconception I am throwing this event to get attention for myself, but it is not about that at all. The fact that all the top Japanese MMA fighters (and friends) are participating without any qualms, what more can I say?

僕が個人的に総合格闘技が大好きで昔っから色んな格闘技のイベントをやっていたの です。その時に知り合った格闘家を集めて久しぶりに楽しみたいねと言うのが趣旨で、 別に注目を集めたいからこのイベントをやろうとは思っちゃいませんね。 まあ、注目されちゃうのは仕方無い事なんですが、、。 選手もみんな頑張ってますし、、。

[Freshness Gallery: Devilock]

Q: How is it that MMA is respected in Japan and yet it still struggles for acceptance here in America?


NE: Really, is that so? I think that it is as popular as in Japan. A way of looking at it, the sport has not reach a certain level of understanding in the U.S. The promoters and backers of the event, they are the ones that need to comprehend what this sport is about in order to present it to the public.

I believe that there is large fan base obsessed with MMA, like myself, in the U.S. I have seen many U.S. based MMA events personally and have tons of DVDs.

Again, if the promoters and backers have the abilities to find, to construct an appropriate promotional vehicle, the sport will definitely become a force in the industry, I believe.

そうなんですか? 僕はかなり盛り上がっていると思いましたが、、、。まあ、メジャー的な目線で見れば盛り上がっていないと思うかもしれませんが、、。なぜなら、プロモーターサイドがしっかり世に送りだそうとおんまり考えていないか らだと思うんですが、、?実際はアンダーグランドでめちゃくちゃ盛り上がっていると思いますよ。 実際僕は何度もアメリカで格闘技見てますし、アメリカで行われた総合の大会のDVD いっぱいもってまし、、、。

Q: How does the Japanese fighting scene and Devilock view the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and American trained fighters?


NE: From a third person�s point of view, I believe there are a lot of excellent American fighters that just need the opportunity to be out there. A Fighter’s only place is in the ring, where they can get the experience and the recognition. Compare to Japan�s MMA industry, it (UFC) has to struggle a lot more. I think it needs more support as in promotions and events

More and more, Japanese fighters are learning from their American counterparts, emphasizing on mental exercise, fighting mind-set, and physical training. Because of this you will see many more Japanese fighters competing in the world events as top-class athletes.

やはり、ファイターと言うのは実践で戦ってなんぼの世界ですからね。そういう意味で言うとアメリカにいると言う事は少しデメリットもあるかとは思いますよ ね。でも、練習量は日本の選手より、アメリカの選手の方凄いんじゃないですか?今、日本にもアメリカでやっている練習方法やアメリカのジム自体をどんどん 入れてきているから近い将来に本の選手はかなり強くなっていくと思いますね。

[Freshness Gallery: Devilock]

Q: The MMA fighters in Japan seem to fully embrace the Devilock camp. How have you gained such respect in the industry?


NE: Simply put, I think it is because the fighters come to our shop and enjoy wearing our products where ever they go.


Q: Will Devilock ever try to make its presence felt in the UFC or the American MMA scene on a commercial level?

将来的に、デビロックの名前がアメリカ格闘技界(UFC,KOTC、UCC, etc)に進出することは考えられますか?

NE: No, I don’t think so. However, if there is an opportunity for me to establish friendship with fighters in the U.S. scene, then maybe? I will not create a grand event unless there is a strong correlation between one another. Maybe someday…


[Freshness Gallery: Devilock]

Q: You will have another big event, this time in Taiwan called VISUALL Taiwan, from March 25th thru April 25th. Please tell us about this event? Will this event tour the other major cities soon?

台湾で行われるイベント”VISUALL”,こちらのイベントについてもお話を聞かせて 下さい。また、主要都市でのVISUALLがツアーをする日は近くお考えですか?

NE: This is an art work exhibition from Devilock. I have asked each artists/designers to create something that relates to Devilock, from their perspectives in any kinds of media. Again, it was something entertaining that I could share with my friends. All the participants (friends) were supportive about it. I really appreciate all their supports, the fact that they are some of the greatest guys with immense passion that I know of.

This time the event will be held at Taiwan, and in the past we toured Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong. I cannot guarantee if there will be a next time, maybe with a different concept and participants.

これも、海外の友達を何か面白い事をやりたいと言う発送から始まったものですね。 みんな、最高に良い人達だったから快く引き受けてくれて、感謝しています。 内容は基本的には作品展です。テーマを「Devilock」と言うのにしてみんなが思 うDevilock像を作品にしていく感じになっています。 ツアーは今やっているのがそうです。今回は台湾ですが、以前もカナダ、日本、香港 などでも行っています。 次回はあるか分かりませんが、もしやるのであれば違うメンバーでやっても面白いか なと思っています。

Q: What should we be on the lookout for in the future from the Devilock team and any advice for others out there?

これからデビロックの動向に対して、新商品やコラボ品以外でも注目してほしい 所があると思いますが、読者に向けてメッセージをお願いします。
NE: I have learned a lot since I started this brand. I have a lot to tell people out there but to make it short and simple – JUST DO IT! Many obstacles shall be in your way. Don�t let anyone�s words alter your decisions. Always keep in mind you have to accept responsibilities and consequences of your choices. It is your business!

僕はこのブランドを始めてから本当に色んな事を学びました。ここではまとめて言え ないですが、、、。
ただ言えるのは、JUST DO IT!!と言う事ですね。 人の言葉に左右されすに自分の進むべき道をみんなには歩んで行ってほしいです。 その後についてくるものに対して、自分が決めた道なんだから『自分で解決していく』 と言う姿勢で人生を生きて行く事がベストだと思います。

Q: Finally! rather win by a nasty Submission or K.O.?

最後の質問です、勝つのであればエグイ関節技かKO? どっち!

NE: K.O.!!!