A Final Farewell – Editor-In-Chief Leela McMullen and Publisher Daniel Quinn


by Leela McMullen, ROKKYUU Magazine, posted July 15, 2015

With regret, ROKKYUU Magazine announces its official disbandment. Please read these messages from Editor-in-Chief Leela McMullen and Publisher Daniel Quinn for more insight.|残念なお知らせでございますが、ROKKYUUマガジンの解散を申し上げます。日本語の詳しくには2番目の「編集長リーラマックマレンからのメッセージ」をご覧下さい。

  1. Message from Editor-in-Chief, Leela McMullen (English)
  2. 編集長リーラマックマレンからのメッセージ (日本語)
  3. Message from Publisher, Daniel Quinn (English only/英語のみ)

Editor-in-Chief, Leela McMullen

In 2009, I joined ROKKYUU Magazine as a writer during the beta period. In 2010, I took over as editor during a hiatus leading up to the official launch. My goals as editor were very simple. I wanted to provide a number of services not yet available in one publication. I wanted to provide high quality and well-edited live reports with a depth and length that gave the reader a sense of being present. I wanted to provide exclusive live photos to capture the interest of those who aren’t avid readers. I wanted to provide insights into new and old music and give people and idea of where to start. I wanted to promote the indies scenes, major and minor, as well as the major scenes of visual kei. I also wanted to bring fashion and music together in one magazine as the two are intricately interwoven in reality. I wanted to introduce people to the more local brands and designers they may not have heard of. I wanted people to have a resource to learn about the designers making the costumes they admire. Our interviews, conducted in Japanese and meticulously translated and checked, have always been a source of pride. As time went on, even my aim to become a more bilingual publication was realized. The only goal that remains unachieved is my dream of evolving into a print format—unrealistic under the current paper media climate.

More than anything, I wanted to create a forum for people to come to when they wanted to learn more about visual kei and to spread the sense of wonder and respect that I myself found in this genre. People often tell me that VK is not a genre of music. They are wrong. What could be more original than taking samples from every genre of music around the world and blending them together to create something new and exciting? This is a genre that has the capacity to unite people from across the world and across a wide spectrum of musical and style genres.

One of the main requirements of our staff has always been a certain amount of Japanese proficiency and respect for the local customs in this line of work. One of my goals was to be a trend-setter in this area and I am very proud to have seen our work ethic and respect for the local business style having been picked up by other publications, old and new. It is with this in mind that I feel I have been able to accomplish some of what I set out to do through ROKKYUU.

Personally, this magazine has been an integral part of my journey in life as a writer, as an editor, and as a music enthusiast—but I hope, and I believe, that it has been so much more to many more people, not the least of whom being each member of staff and contributors—from photographers to writers to translators. You have been my sisters and brothers, my pupils and my teachers. I hope that you were each able to learn and grow as much during your time with ROKKYUU as I have done.

I also hope that we have been able to provide a bridge to the wider world and a scope of insight to those bands, designers, managers, offices, and labels that we have worked with. It is thanks to these people that we were able to achieve so much and to continue on for so long despite a difficult environment. I am also deeply grateful to the members of the Japanese media who became my colleagues and guides. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you.

Most importantly, I want to thank our readers. Those who commented, shared, participated in giveaways… Each and every voice has been recognized and appreciated. My deepest regret is that I will no longer be able to provide the in-depth content that I know so many have enjoyed.

Due to outside commitments, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to disband ROKKYUU Magazine, though it breaks my heart to do so. All of our past content will remain on this site as an archive but no new content will be posted. I apologize for those who had hoped to see more but I hope that our hard work over the years will continue to reach new people and perhaps to be reread as an ongoing well of memories.

I wish all the best to each and every member of the visual kei family, onstage, offstage, audience, and overseas—and I hope to see you around.














Publisher, Daniel Quinn

ROKKYUU Magazine started a long time ago as an experiment in running an online magazine by a grad student who had just finished his program in publishing and wanted to see what it would be like to work with an editorial team of his own. I didn’t expect this experiment to garner the following that it did. I didn’t know anything about visual kei. But I recognized that, with the help of the magazine’s original staff, there was a passionate niche audience out there and a void to be filled online that reported on their passions.

I owe the real success of ROKKYUU, however, to the passion of one person in particular, and that of the team she put together when I thought this experiment was due to end in 2008. Leela McMullen went from churning out live reports as a staff writer during our beta to helming the entire operation–a virtual Anna Wintour for the VK world, without whose six and a half years of tireless dedication, ROKKYYU Magazine would have ceased to exist.

Without Leela or her team, I can’t conceive of ROKKYUU Magazine going forward. ROKKYUU was never a profit vehicle. I donated time and resources to keep it alive, and the editorial staff donated creativity, sweat, photographs and words to give it heart. In this way, ROKKYUU was always underwritten by the fans, for the fans. I only wish it *were* a profit vehicle, so I could have given back to everyone who worked on ROKKYUU over the years. We tried many times to kickstart a redesign, among other initiatives, but as is the case too often with ventures of the heart, life got in the way. If anything, though, I believe ROKKYUU Magazine was a place for its staff to cut their teeth on reporting in the music scene, and have some visibility in a larger community they valued. For that, I hope they benefited.

All good things, they say.

And for you–our many readers who stuck with us all these years–thank you for reading, sharing, tweeting, commenting.

It’s been fun. We did this for you.

And we’ll miss you.

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

ROKKYUU Magazine is an independent, English-language visual kei publication that brings musicians from across the spectrum to a worldwide audience. Edgy and eclectic, vinyl-smooth and anachronistic, ROKKYUU covers the latest in visual music, life, and fashion.

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