Going to Japan is a little like going to another planet, or visiting another dimension :-). It's insane, and writing down all impressions from a week's visit is pretty much like setting out to do a novel. Here are some notes…
We had fun, we played Osaka + 2 nights in Tokyo, the audiences were amazing, the bands material works well there. The show in Osaka was shaky, we had very little in the way of rehearsal, it was the first show together. But we survived thanks to the audience mostly. Second show , the first in Tokyo, Mikael (Erlandsson) was getting warm in his clothes, and really delivered. But the last one he made me laugh so hard I lost it: he asked the audience what they thought of his hairstyle, and then he made the audience chant an englishification of the word "hockeyhairdo (hockeyfrill
!!!)". I guess you had to have seen it…
Masterplan was the second act on the bill, with Mad Mike Terrana on drums ... small world, he was at SRF, he's been in bands with both Jeff & Brian.
We were well taken care of, we had a really sweet tour manager / interpreter by the name of Shiori, I fell in love immediately :-). So did everybody else, and it was just hilarious to what lengths we'd go to flirt with the poor girl. And the other tour manager / production manager, Luis Washo…he was just like one of us, spoke perfect english, great guy. Funny as hell, first meeting he informed us "…during your show, me and the stage manager will be…somewhere!". After a day or two he told me he's been doing the translation for Talisman booklets, and that he's a good friend of the bassplayer (Doug) that was in a band with Mike Terrana and Brian, Beau Nasty.
The label took us out to dinner 2 nights, Ryo in Osaka where he proceeded to confuse the hell out of the guys with how he "helped" them order chicken curry…I was just trying not to choke laughing…there was no curry, "nonono, this is chinese, no karri, prease" :-)…and then suddenly there was a couple of plates of curry coming in…but no chicken…that appeared later, when the guys had done half their vegetable curry stew thing :-)…me I did it safer and ordered fried rice ! Afterwards we went to the Rock Rock Club, imagine taking an elevator going up 3 floors in a residential house, and the doors open onto a bar in someones living room – very weird!
In Tokyo we got to meet label boss Naohiro, and their "filst stuff and second stuff" (Ryo again :-)) which was a couple of secretaries I think, and some other guys. The Japanese can't drink, a couple of glasses of sake and they're 3 sheets to the wind, they're hilarious! This time it was traditional japanese food, really good.
Third show was great, I was in "the zone", Andy, Micke, and Jamie were spot on. I felt so good afterwards I went to the hotel to shower, came back to see the last few songs of Masterplans set (Gary Moore called, he wants his "Out in the fields" back :-)!!!) out in the club, taking a drink from the bar. When the show was over, I think I shook hands with pretty much everyone in there, taking pics, signing stuff…I love doing that when it's my choice, when I feel like it, but when I'm told to do it, I have difficulty getting into the necessary mindset.
Ok, you know my aversion to flying and travelling by now, so you can imagine how I feel about the hellish 12 hours between Tokyo/Amsterdam. And to think I will have to do something similar so soon…oh well, still looking forward to doing Brazil, and of course I will keep you posted on how that went down!