Hello, this is Tak from Imari Tones, Japanese Christian rock band.
(Sorry if my English is funny here and there, since this time I wrote it in Japanese first and then translated it into English.)
(And it's gonna be a long letter.)
I can't believe it.
It's almost 1 month since we came back from USA tour.
Thanks to you all, the tour was so much successful.
Recording at CFNI Dallas TX, concerts at churches, club gigs, and the showcase in Nashville TN, everything went very well.
(Here is the movie from our Nashville showcase)
Now we are back in Japan, organizing our thoughts, organazing videos and photos, and busy with everyday life here in Japan.
Before this tour, we were wondering what everything would be like after finishing the tour. We had no idea what it would bring, and we had no idea where we are going.
And let me tell you this.
Now we feel like the limit is gone.
It's as if we were in the small room and all of a sudden the roof is gone.
Now we can see the blue sky ahead of us and there is no limit.
I think this is what we call "breakthrough". And that is the most important thing we got through this tour.
Now that the old limit is gone, we have to take a new step and go for a longer journey in a bigger world. That's tough, it makes us dizzy, but it's a joy at the same time.
At the end of this tour, we attended a Christian music convention called The Objective. It was hosted by the people from "The Extreme Tour", and these guys were really great. I think they are trying to show what Christian musician really is, and trying to show the direction for musicians in this difficult age of music industry.
This year, we could not join their Extrem Tour further than The Objective convention, but in a future we really want to join their tour.
Also I was so inspired by the "outreach" they are doing.
Now I believe in the power of music, power of prayer, and the power of healing.
So now I really want to do this kind of "outreach" here in Japan.
(Off course it would be in a little bit different way, since in Japan things are very much different.)
In our 2010 East Coast Tour (which was last year), I prayed so that our country Japan would change. It was a great discovery for me, to find a heart for my own country inside me, to find out what I really wanted.
And now in 2011, we all know Japan is changing. However, the price was very high.
So my prayer during this tour, is like this.
"I want to see a miracle happen in Japan."
"I still believe in miracles."
Now we know God answers our prayer.
But in the first place, we have to be the "miracle" ourselves.
(By the way, here is the movie of Tak talking before concert)
So I want to tell you what we are going to do now.
One thing is, to contact industry people.
We met many music industry people at The Objective, the Christian music convention in Nashville.
Since we did our showcase very well, we made some little "buzz" among them in Christian music industry (hopefully, haha...).
So now we have to contact them, so that we can go further, aiming something big which we can't do by ourselves.
One issue we always have had is, to move and get based in USA.
Because we are playing a kind of music which is more for oversea market rather than Japanese domestic market, it's obviously a good thing to move to USA for our future success.
However, we know it's not so easy. For example, we have Visa issue and budget issue.
At the same time, we still have things to do here in Japan, especially because now Japan is going through a tough time.
One question here is whether or not we should follow success and glory.
As you know, people in this world are chasing their success and glory. However, we are a Christian band. Are success and glory necessary for Christian band? Should we really follow success and glory? Is there some other thing we have to do?
If we don't follow glory and if there is still something we can do, then I think we can say we are a Christian band.
So we are going to leave it to God's will, knocking every door and ask for His will.
Yes I know, it's almost 1 month passed since we came back from the tour. Maybe I should have contacted those industry people sooner.
I confess I have been suffering from kind of "burnout syndrome".
I needed some time to organize my thoughts and situation.
I could not think of doing anything for a while after the tour.
(Actually editing video took me so much time.)
So, here are things I'm going to do.
*Throwing Bible (in Japan concert)
Yes, bible throwing performace which was made famous by Stryper!
We are going to do it in Japan! At our concerts!
I wonder why we were not doing it before, maybe it's good time to adopt this pretty gimmick to our show. Also we will place some Free Bibles on our merchandise table so that people can see them. We will do each of our gigs as an "outreach" in Japan.
Some of you may know I was doing a podcast, together with my wife in 2008. However, it's not updated for a while since the band became very busy.
I'm thinking about starting it again, because I feel it's something I have to do now.
It's just a small output for an indie band like us, but I want to deliver some messages which I have to deliver in this time.
This time I'm going to do it by myself, because it's more personal and quicker.
Basically it's in Japanese language. I'm not sure if I'm gonna do English version.
*Side Project for Outreach
Like I just said, now I'm willing to do some "outreach" activity here in Japan, something like what I saw in Nashville TN. That's because I want more people to experience the power of music, power of prayer and healing power of God.
I can't say anything big, like big open-air event or benefit concert in Tohoku region, since we need some backup from organizations to do that kind of thing. But I'm thinking about doing some small stuff.
However, in fact, Imari Tones is not for these kind of local outreach activity.
Because our music is not for Japanese domestic market, and we need a decent venue and sound system to play, and our band members are not so flexible schedule wise.
So I'm thinking about starting a side project band for outreach purpose. Maybe with our church friends. And it's not gonna be a heavy metal like Imari Tones. It will be something easier to understand for Japanese people.
*Recording - Mid term plan
During this tour, we were selling CDs called "Living Water EP" at some venues. It inclueded 4 songs and 2 demo tracks.
During this tour, we recorded 2 songs (+1 remix song) in Dallas TX. So now we have 6(+1) songs.
We are planning to record 3 or 4 more songs during 2011, and make it a full album and release it in 2012.
*Recording - Long term plan
Also, we are thinking about making a "concept album". A concept album about Japanese history. It's gonna take time, it will need study and research. It's gonna be a biggest challeng for us. I don't know it's gonna take 2 years or 3 years. However, I promise, no matter how the situation is, no matter if we are successful or not, we gonna finish that album. At least that far, we can promise.
That's the list of things we are going to do.
I don't know how it's gonna be about our oversea touring plan.
Maybe we gonna do another tour soon, maybe we gonna play some festival, or visit certain city for a short tour, anything can happen.
But there is also a possibility we don't do any tour in 2012.
Because in these 3 years, we have been working hard and used up our energy and resource. So we may need some time to prepare and get rest, just to do a bigger thing in a future.
So we leave our next tour plan to God's will, while we are knocking every door.
Lastly, but most importantly,
We want to say big THANK YOU to all the people.
All the people who support us
All the people who made it possible
All the people we met on this tour
All the people who cares for us
And we thank God for huge blessing on this wonderful tour.
Thank you JESUS!!
Tak "Tone" Nakamine
"The first Christian heavy metal from Japan"
Check our footage from this tour on our YouTube channel.