Films that connected fashion and music
Although Mori was already deeply drawn to music, when it came to fashion, he found more inspirations in films than in watching musicians. “People in Jim Jarmusch’s films are wearing shirts from the 50’s, right? And the music he chose for these scenes went so well together. I also like the music and the pace of Tarantino films too. So I think more about what music would go well in certain circumstances, rather than the musicians,” Mori explains. “I watched a ton of films that I found interesting since I was a teenager. At that time, I had no idea who the Directors were. Everything I saw, I believed was set in America too, so the whole time I’m thinking, ‘America is so cool’ (laughs). I love ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ and I found ‘The Killing of Chinese Bookie’ really cool.” Robert Rodriguez, Godard, Cassavetes… When Mori starts to talk about film, these legendary Directors’ names pop up. The film that influenced Mori the most was “Stranger Than Paradise” by Jarmusch. “I think I was around 20. I’d never seen such visually stylish film before: the people, the fashion, everything. That’s the first time I found hats really cool.”
Back then Mori was really into ska fashion that he had discovered on the big screen, and combining custom made suits with Converse became his staple look. The roots of his style today can be found in this period of his life. As Mori was taught fashion through music and films, he often felt uneasy with fashion victims filling up the streets of today. “I don’t find something cool because of what it is. Same goes for people. I’m attracted to people who exude special auras. I can’t explain where that aura comes from exactly, but I feel that it’s the most important aspect. I don’t know… I just feel like everyone is following the same thing, there aren’t many crazies around anymore. I feel like back then, there were more weirdos that oozed uniqueness and character. I’d be happy to see more of them.”
Endless exploration of music
Mori is not interested in the modern hype of wearing popular brands or rare items. As one means to express the deep-rooted cultural identity of Wacko Maria, Mori has been hosting Killer Tunes Broadcast: a series of events and activities that seek coolness whether it is music, film, or art. “I started it simply because I wanted to do something fun. I just like it,” laughs Mori. By constantly throwing events and featuring musicians from all over the world, Mori’s musical backbone has become more solidified. He was determined to invite the trailblazer of deep funk, Keb Darge, and the legendary DJ Harvey. He eventually achieved his dreams. “It was awesome. Keb and I even had a study session together. Keb would be like, ‘hey you know this track?’ and kept playing tune after tune while I took notes,” Mori laughs. “By the time I noticed, it was 6 in the morning. We did this for 2 days.”
It must be such a treat to have a legendary DJ personally select songs for you. It made me smile thinking about Mori busily jotting down information on each track and asking questions about it. “But nowadays you have everything at your fingertips,” murmured Mori gesturing tapping the smartphone. “I think that is why young people aren’t so attracted to these kinds of opportunities. Back in the days there were no smartphones… well actually I still don’t, but I love real things. Raw information is king and it’s more interesting, I think.” He may sound old school, but Mori is flexible. “I’m open to new music too. If I find spark in it, I buy and listen to it. It’s the same with everything. In the end, what matters to me is whether it’s cool or not. That’s it. Same goes for people, fashion, music and film.”
Mori’s obsession for style and passion for music keep increasing: “I still have tons of records I want today. It’s probably endless. Now I know more people who get my taste, so I can ask them to inform me if they find something. Some of them send me YouTube links pasted on emails. So I learned how to watch that, at least. But I still am not a big fan of emails.” Mori’s smile, as he tells his story, probably has not changed a bit since the day he discovered reggae music as a teenager.