Thursday, March 9, 2017

We're very proud of "Soul of Faith", our good friends and one of the few Christian Rock bands in Japan. They will play this "Sexual Minority Festival" in Shinjuku. It's great because they are reaching out the LGBT community and also showing love and diversity to the world. Only in Japan? Probably. I suppose Christian bands in USA/Europe don't play this kind of events often. (Tell me if I'm wrong.) 


僕たちの志を同じくする良き仲間である「ソルフェイ」(Soul of Faith)が、318日に新宿にてセクシャルマイノリティ(LGBT)のイベントに出演します。ご存知かもしれませんが欧米のクリスチャンの世界の価値観は一般的にLGBTには厳しいというのが現状です。おそらく欧米のクリスチャンバンドの多くはこうしたイベントにはあまり参加しないでしょう(Switchfootなら、あるいは?)。ソルフェイは今のラインナップになってから非常にバンドとしてチームワークや結束が素晴らしく、日本発のクリスチャンロックとして大いに期待しています。そんなソルフェイがLGBTコミュニティに向けてイエスキリストの愛を届けるというのは、まさに世界のロックと信仰の最先端と言える出来事だと思います。注目しています。

と、それと同時に、僕たちImari Tonesのライヴも319日に新橋ZZにてありますのでお忘れなく() カルチャー的なぶつかりあいという意味では(奇しくも話題になった遠藤周作「沈黙」の言うところの文化の「沼」という意味で)日本のクリスチャンロックは確かに世界の最先端です。ぜひ、その火花散る信仰と葛藤が最前線で鳴り響く様を目撃して下さい。



昨年のソルフェイの映像。良き友人たちです。



今度のライヴでもたぶん、やる。気まぐれに、"虚数少年3"など。


Tone / In Christ


Sunday, February 26, 2017

HipHop song featuring Yona Ishikawa

Here is totally unexpected New Single alert!!
The song is called "Revive The Nation: featuring Yona Ishikawa".
It is a Christian HipHop song.
Yes, you heard it right. HipHop.

Originally Tak wrote this song back in 2013. It was supposed to be the title track for the album that eventually came to be called "Revive The World", released in 2015. We asked some American rappers to rap on it but it didn't work. The song was removed from the album and as a result the album was titled "Revive The World" instead of "Revive The Nation".

Fast forward to December 2016, after some conversations with his friends at Calling Records, Tak decided to rap for himself. It was his first time trying to rap, but he managed to do it.
Also the song needed some female vocals on bridge part. So we asked Yona Ishikawa, our good friend and Christian blues singer from Yokohama. She did a stunning performance and now we have "Japanese Christian HipHop" song.

It's all sung in Japanese language (Yes Tak can sing in English but rapping is totally another story...) but we hope you enjoy it.

Thanks and God bless!!





そんな訳で、横浜が誇るクリスチャンブルースシンガー「石川ヨナ」さんとコラボレーションさせていただきました!
石川ヨナさんとは、クリスチャンロック専門レーベルCalling Recordsで活動を共にする仲間として、昨年から何度か共演の機会をいただいています。
で、「日本初クリスチャンヘヴィメタルバンド」を名乗る僕らImari Tones (伊万里音色)と、「横浜が誇る(間もなく神戸に移住予定だそうですが)実力派ブルースシンガー石川ヨナ」とのコラボ楽曲ですが、これがまさかのヒップホップになりました。

私と石川ヨナさんは同世代、同じ歳なんですが、90年代に青春を過ごした者として、実はHipHopというのは共通のバックグラウンドだったりします。
私はヘヴィメタル、ハードロックのカテゴリに属する音楽を一応ずっとやってきていますが、実は90年代のヒップホップは昔から結構好きで、「いつか挑戦してみたい」と思いつつもなかなか機会が無かったものです。
数年前にこのトラックというのか楽曲がたまたま出来て、サウンド的には「Led Zeppelinがヒップホップをやったらどうなるか」というようなテーマでやってみたんですが、よくあるミクスチャーとはまた違った方向性でロックとヒップホップの融合を提示できた気がします。

で、このトラックに乗せてラップしてくれるラッパーをずっと探していたんですが、2、3人のアメリカ人クリスチャンラッパーに声をかけてみるも、なかなか上手くいかず、日本人のラッパーにも友達が居らず、そのまま数年間、お蔵入りになっていたものです。しかし、Calling Recordsの仲間たちに相談してみたり、色々考えているうちに、「もう自分でラップしちゃえ」と思い立ち、そしてラップのパートだけでなく、メロディのパートが必要でしたので、女性ヴォーカルが欲しい、となった時に、石川ヨナさんしか居ない!と思って、コラボレーションが始まりました。

お互い、クリスチャンアーティストなので、もちろんクリスチャンヒップホップでしょ、と思って書き始めたんですが、私はラップなどやったことがなく、もちろんラップの歌詞も書いたことが無かったので、なかなか思い通りに行かず、そうこうしているうちに昨今の世界情勢、アメリカや世界の政治状況とか、それをめぐるキリスト教世界の現状とか、そういうのを見ているうちに、やっぱヒップホップは世相を斬るべきだよな、と思っていたら、結構激しいリリックになってしまいました。ある意味、クリスチャンヒップホップの枠からもはみ出してしまったかもしれませんが、真実のメッセージを投げかけるという意味では、これでいいのかなと思っています。

僕のリリックが結構攻撃的になってしまったのに対して、ヨナさんのメロディパートは、「あの声に聞け シェマ・イスラエル」と、神に救いがあることを指し示し、愛、平和、寛容のメッセージを発するものになり、その対比が、楽曲のメッセージに重層的な立体感を持たせることに成功しているんじゃないかと思います。
そして、そんな対称的なメッセージとパフォーマンスを展開するヨナさんと私なんですが、最後のパートで十字架を示すと共に「This is our faith」とユニゾンで一致する、という演出になっています。

ヨナさんの歌はさすがのクオリティで、レコーディングでもほとんど一発で決まりでした。そしてヨナさんの歌唱が素晴らしいのはもちろんですが、私も負けじとギターソロで見せ場を作っています。ラップはぶっちゃけ、初挑戦でどうしていいかわからないうちにレコーディングが終わってしまったんですが(笑)、聞いてみると、思ったよりも自然にやれたかな、と自分では思っています。ただ、ビデオを撮影した時に、アテ振りをどうしたらいいか全然わからなくて、歌詞と動きが全然合ってませんね(笑) それっぽい動きをいろいろやってみたんですが、しょせん僕はヘヴィメタルとか、いってもグラムロック止まりで、ラッパーのような動きは無理みたいです。しかし、そんな僕の不自然なアクションに笑っていただければ幸いです。その分ヨナさんは全編、ばっちりとかっこよく決まってますね。

そんなわけで、ある意味クリスチャンヒップホップの枠すらも越えて、コラボレーションという名のバトルを繰り広げてしまった感じの我がImari Tonesと石川ヨナさんなんですが、Calling Recordsの誇るこの2組のアーティストの実力を遺憾なく発揮する、レベルの高いものに仕上げることが出来たことは確信しています。

映像の撮影は2月18日の横浜関内で行われたライヴイベントのリハーサルの合間を利用して行いましたが、石川ヨナさんはもちろん、協力していただいたCalling Recordsの仲間たち、当日のライヴ会場だった関内Jazz Cafe GIGさん、そしてこの日のイベントに来ていただいたすべての皆さんに感謝します!


God bless you ALL!!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Guitar Instrumentals and "Invisible Rain" dedicated to Fukushima

Hello this is Tak from Imari Tones.
If you notice, we have posted some instrumental songs on our YouTube channel. Well, 3 songs, to be exact.

Recently I wrote total 6 short instrumental songs for my friends at Calling Records (http://callingrecordsjapa.wixsite.com/callingrecords). They are now doing some "live streaming project" and they asked me to write some "BGM" for them.

So I wrote those "guitar instrumentals" and some of my friends suggested me to post them on YouTube. So I posted 3 of them.
Thing is, I was too lazy to make "proper" videos. You know, I'm not a "YouTuber" or anything. I'm just a "band guy" from an indie band. So these videos are very cheap, easy made.

But I still think it's worth sharing. So here are those videos.
Hope you enjoy.








Also today I just posted a song called "Invisible Rain" on YouTube.
It's a song on our album titled "Revive The World". We wrote the song in 2012 and recorded in 2014.
It's a song about Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown incident in March 2011 after the big earthquake and tsunami.
It's not a happy song and we have never played it live.
But as a Japanese musician, we felt we had to sing about what happened.



What's happening in Fukushima Daiichi, is a harsh reality and we don't want to talk about it much. It's a reality all the people in Japan have to face. We had to make a choice one way or another in our life.

By now, both as a band and as a person, we have visited Fukushima more than a couple of times and we have some good friends there. It's still a nice place to visit. We pray God's blessing on all the people living there.

That's it for today.
We are itching to release some of "new songs" from our very powerful concept album "Jesus Wind" soon but we are doing things one by one. So, I guess probably next month we can release something.

God bless you ALL!!
In Jesus' name.
Tak / Imari Tones

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"fireworks" on Spotify and iTunes.

If you know it, we have a long history of making music independently.
Back in 2005, our little band was on a temporary hiatus gigging wise but it was actually a very productive year recording wise.

We just uploaded one of the albums recorded in 2005 to Spotify, iTunes and other digital outlets. The album is called "fireworks".

All songs were sung in Japanese language.
Surely it was an album we made BEFORE we became a Christian band. But we believe it is still full of "inspirations", as the leading song "Sirase Kitaru" was actually a song about prophecy and salvation coming true.

This year we are planning to upload more of these "past" albums. Probably we will re-mix some songs, or even some additional song. (Surely we can change our "past".)

So stay tuned. Check us out on Spotify and give it a listen!





もしご存知であれば、私たちImari Tonesは、長くインディペンデントに音楽を作り続けてきた歴史があります。
2005年には私たちの小さなバンドは、ライブ活動の面では多少の停滞状態にありましたが、録音制作という面では非常に生産的な年でした。

私たちは、その2005年に作り上げた作品のひとつである"fireworks"というアルバムを、SpotifyやiTunesといったデジタルストアにアップロードしました。

それらの曲はすべて日本語で歌われています。
もちろんこのアルバムは、私たちがクリスチャンバンドになる前の作品です。
しかし、"報せ来る"という曲が預言と救済の成就について歌われた曲であることからもわかるように、このアルバムはインスピレーションに満ちています。

今年、私たちはこれらの過去の作品をいくつか整理してアップロードしようと計画しています。多少のリミックスや、新しい曲の追加もするかもしれません。(ですから私たちは、過去を変えることも可能ですね。)

ですので私たちのSpotifyをぜひチェックして、聞いてみてください。


Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Heaven's Gate" music video.

We know it's an internet age and YouTube has become a main battleground for musicians.
Yet we are very awkward and basically old style musicians still struggling to adjust.
It's been a while since we posted our last music video, but today we posted a new one.



It's a song called "Heaven's Gate" from our last album "Revive The World".
It's not an easy song to play but we have played it live quite a lot in last 3 years. There is no doubt it's one of the heaviest song in our catalog.

Some of you may have seen our Facebook post but we did a video/photo shooting last month (November 2016) at a Japanese traditional "Noh" theater in Yokohama.

There was a beautiful Japanese style garden with colorful autumn leaves.
Naturally we wanted to do a video there and the result is this music video.

This is the first video made from the footage we did on that day. Next year we are going to make more videos using this "Noh" theater footage. So please look forward to it!

Thanks and God bless you all.
Tak / Imari Tones

Friday, December 2, 2016

Matsubarako Vibration Jam Movie


[Full Length Live Movie]
Last year September 2015, we played "Matsubarako Vibration Jam" that was a "Christian Rock Festival" that took place at Matsubarako Bible Camp, Nagano prefecture, Japan.

The organizer was saying it was the first ever "Christian Rock" festival in Japan. I think probably he was right, because, even though we have some "Gospel music" concerts in Japan, there had not been an event which focused on "Christian Rock" like this. Headliner was Saluki, which was natural if you know how popular they are in Japanese Christian community. But we played 2nd headliner slot, that was actually a big honor for us. And we did an awesome show.

In the past, we played several Christian Festivals and Conferences in USA. But we never thought it would be possible in Japan. So we were very happy to be a part of this Matsubarako Vibration Jam, because it totally ROCKED!!

So finally, we posted a movie of this concert on YouTube. It's, well, very long 70-minutes-set. I know not everyone has time to watch the whole thing. But if you want to see us live, even though we can't do a world tour every year, this is the next best thing.

Thank you very much to everyone involved in this awesome festival, including fellow Christian Rockers, Bikers, Pastors and Believers. And last but not least, thank you very much to Mr.Nobu for planning, organizing the festival and making this whole thing happen.

May God bless you all and Jesus be with you!!
-Tak

Set List
1: The Concept
2: Testimony
3: Dying Prophet
4: Unlimit
5: Jesus Train
6: Living Water (Japanese version)
7: Saints Seeking Salvation
8: Bushido
9: Karma Flower (Japanese version)
10: Jee-You
11: Faith Rider



Thank you for The Extreme Tour Japan 2016



It has been already a month, but we did "The Extreme Tour Japan 2016" in the past October. (Even though we updated our Facebook&Twitter, we have not posted here yet.)
It was our 4th time (4th year) doing XTJ (The Extreme Tour Japan) and it was another huge blessing for us.

This year we had Victriano from Chile and toured together.
Victoriano are based in Santiago, Chile, literally the other side of the earth from Japan. But they sing in JAPANESE and they play CHRISTIAN ROCK. And most importantly they are eager to spread God's Words in Japan.
So we decided to have them on this tour and it was awesome.

The tour went to places such as Seto, Gamagori (Aichi), Yokohama (Kanagawa), Iwaki (Fukushima), Shimokitazawa, Sibuya, Ueno, Fussa (Tokyo).

We played many shows, together with our friends at Calling Records and other local Japanese bands.

We, as Imari Tones, played 5 shows during the tour period. But I (Tak) also played bass for Victoriano and played even more shows with them.

Other Christian artists involved in the tour were, Soul of Faith, Hiroki Miki, Yona Ishikawa, Xie, Saluki and B.D.Badge. (I hope I didn't forget anyone.)

Without a doubt, the tour was super awesome and super blessed one.
So many miracles, beautiful moments, friendship and great music. Most importantly God's Love.

For me it was one of the most awesome XTJ experiences, maybe as awesome as the first year (2013).

Thank you for all the people involved, all the people who helped us, all the artists, pastors, club owners and awesome audiences.

For your information, there are some articles written about the tour and our Shimokitazawa show. They are in Japanese language but hopefully you can feel the vibe.



Also here are some pictures from the tour, mostly our band Imari Tones.
If you want to see other bands and whole tour report, please check the official Facebook page of The Extreme Tour Japan.






























Sadly I should say, this probably will be the last XTJ we lead, because we decided to "move on" next year. The future of XTJ is at this point unknown. Possibly some friends at Calling Records will take over the leading roll. Or possibly it will be on temporary "hiatus". Only God knows. If you are willing to work for "The Extreme Tour Japan" and help God's Love spread through Rockn'Roll, please let us know. Japan needs Jesus and we need God's Love on "street level".


Thank you very much and God bless you all!!!
Tak / Imari Tones