Monday, July 30, 2012

IndieGoGo campaign, our clumsy video and limited edition EP

Hello, this is Tak from Imari Tones, Japanese Christian rock band!

Let me explain about our fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo.

As we have already told you, we are going to join "The Extreme Tour" this year.
It's a Christian missionary music tour in USA. We will be touring with them during August 25--September 14.
We are very much excited to be a part of it.

Since we started playing Christian rock, we have done USA tours almost every year, mostly independently. They may have been small tours, but they were certainly big things for us, as well as very important steps.

On the other hand, we have all used up our budget on those tours. Actually (and honestly), this year we have some financial backup from our home church in Japan. That's a great blessing and that's what made it possible for us to join this missionary tour in USA.

But still, we have to do this fundraising stuff, because we are still struggling with budget issue. We didn't expect much. One reason was we did this kind of fundraising last year too, on Kickstarter. Doing it again was kind of heavy. Heavy for us, and also heavy for our fans. (On the other hand we know we have new fans since last year.)

So we wanted to do something different.
We didn't make our campaign video "sentimental".
Instead, we tried to tell you about our band and music. We tried to tell you what kind of band we are, what kind of music we play, and where we want to go. Because we knew the video would be being watched even after the campaign is over. And we decided that's more important than the campaign itself - Trying to communicate.

As a result, our campaign video turned out to be 8 minutes long, where most campaigns make their videos within 3 or 4 minutes.

Also we made this video by all of 3 band members. Tak, Hassy and Jake.
Last year, we made our campaign video just by Tak (me). Because I was the only person who can speak English. We actually tried to make a video with 3 of us, but it didn't work.
But this year, we decided to do it with 3 of us. Of course Hassy and Jake can't speak English and they just remain silent in the movie. It may look weird. But we decided it's more important to be present as a band, rather than Tak only.

Maybe we are not good at "PR", or maybe we are getting too "modest" (in Japanese culture we are all taught to be "modest", not to demand much), but that's the point of this video.

You may find it interesting, if you watch and compare the campaign videos from this year and last year.

Last year on Kickstarter:

This year on IndieGoGo:

Another reason we decided to launch this fundraising campaign was "Heroes EP".
We just released our latest album "Japan Metal Jesus" recently, but actually we are already working on new recordings. Now we are recording 4 songs. Those songs would be on our next EP, called "Heroes EP".

We are planning to release it sometime next year, but we thought it would be exciting if we can share it with people before the official release, just after the recording is finished.

That's why we set the $10 perk "Heroes EP". It's a special limited edition just after the recording completion.

We are offering other "Perks" such as signed CDs and downloads, but this $10 perk "Heroes EP" is something special for us. We recommend you to join this party with $10, because we can't wait to share the new music we just recorded and we want to hear what you will think about those songs.

To make a long story short (and it was a long story, I know),
Please support us on our IndieGoGo campaign!!

Every small contribution counts!!

Thank you very much!
God bless you all!!

Tak / Imari Tones (Japan)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

3 major announcements!

Hi this is Tak from Imari Tones, Japanese Christian rock band.

So many things to announce.
And we are not good at public relations, but let me try.

1. New Album "Japan Metal Jesus"
2. "Extreme Tour" USA North West
3. Fundraising on IndieGoGo

1. New Album "Japan Metal Jesus"

Our new album, titled "Japan Metal Jesus" is now available on iTunes, AmazonMP3, and BandCamp!
(Also, physical CD soon will be available on in CD-R format.)

Many people say there is nothing in common between Japan, Christian, and Heavy Metal. So we put those 3 words in the album title!

It includes already fan favorite songs like "Jesus Train", "Living Water", and "You Key". It's the album that defines our band and defines "Christian Rock" as well as Japanese Rock. And this is definitely our most "Catchy" album ever!

So be sure to check it out!

Our BandCamp page

2. "Extreme Tour" USA North West

We will visit USA again!
We didn't think it was possible, but now it's possible because we join "The Extreme Tour".

We met those people from "The Extreme Tour" last year. (And we played a showcase gig in Nashville TN with them, that was a great blessing!)

They are a Christian missionary tour throughout USA-Canada, and they are great people, great missionaries. They are not about money or fame but they are doing it for People, Love and God. That's why we decided to tour with them.

As a band from Japan, we are very pround and excited to be a part of this missionary tour.

We gonna join their "West Coast" dates in August and September, mostly North West part of USA. We gonna visit, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

Most shows take place outside (on the street) and we don't know exact place or venue we play yet, but here is the list of the cities we will visit.

Aug 25-26 Whidbey Island, WA
Aug 27-29 Salem, OR
Aug 30-31 Gold Beach, OR
Sept 1-3 (X-Fest) Stevenson, WA
Sept 4-5 Yakima, WA
Sept 6-7 Moscow, ID
Sept 8-9 Coeur d'Alene, ID
Sept 10-12 Missoula ,MT
Sept 13-14 Butte, MT

We will keep you posted about the detail of the tour as soon as we know it!

3. Fundraising on IndieGoGo

Yes, touring in USA is a tough thing, especially for a Japanese band.
We sacrifice our time and money. We sacrifice our life in Japan.
And most of all, airplane tickets to fly to USA are simply expensive.

So again, this year, we do our fundraising on IndieGoGo website.
(We know we did this on Kickstarter last year. And we want to say THANK YOU for people who helped us!)

So we need your help.
Every small contribution is a big help for us.

And check out "Heroes EP" which we offer as $10 perk.
It's very special "pre-release" edition, only available there on IndieGoGo.

We are doing this fundraising project not only for tour budget but also to spread the word about our band and the tour.
So please help us spread the word!
We really appreciate if you post this on Facebook and Twitter.

That's all for today.
As you can see, we have so much to come in this summer.
We are practicing hard for The Extreme Tour, doing local gigs in Yokohama, and recording "Heroes EP". (We do bass recording tomorrow!)

We are praying for God's guidance.
We are praying for the cities we visit on the tour and people living there.
We are praying so that God's will be done all over the world.

Lastly, here is what's happening in Japan right now.
(New York Times article)

We are very small, as a person, as a band, but still we believe we can change the world, we can make a difference.

God please help us all.
In Jesus name.

Tak / Imari Tones
17 July 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nuclear Plants, Revolution, and God’s Kingdom

(Japanese below - 日本語は下にあります)

Hi, this is Tak from IMARi ToNES, a Japanese Christian rock band.

We have many announcements for this summer.
A new album to sell (Yes, check it out on iTunes), a tour announcement, and a little something to ask our fans.

However, we have to follow the right order when doing things.
So, before making any announcement, we want to share this story first.
Because we feel it's a very important thing.

It’s a long story, so if you love long stories, then please keep reading.


It's really difficult to explain what has been going on in Japan after last year disaster. There is really no explanation. We thank you and really appreciate all your prayer for Japan. Just like I said in every opportunity, we believe this is a change for Japan, planned by God, and it’s a change for good. After we started playing Christian rock music (and we were REALLY serious), we prayed for a change for Japan. So that there will be more Christians in Japan, more people know about Jesus and God, and there will be spiritual salvation upon our country Japan. And yes, we believe now Japan is changing. People in Japan, society in Japan, they are changing, though we lost many people’s lives as sacred sacrifice on March 11, 2011.

Even after 1 year has passed since the earthquake and tsunami, we are still struggling, and our society is shaking. That is, because of, the nuclear power plant issue. Maybe nobody outside Japan cares about it, but we care. Because we are Japanese. 

The worst thing last year was we lost so many lives in the disaster. About 20,000 people killed. But the next worst thing was, as you all know, the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, which took away their hometown forever, and may cause further, bigger disaster to whole human race in any moment.

It was on May 5th 2012, all the nuclear power plants in Japan stopped running. Since last year, there have been so many demonstrations against nuclear power plants in Japan, just like every week. It was quite surprising because in Japan people were always ignorant, indifference, and they didn’t care about things as long as they can live their life as usual. I felt people were changing, society were changing. As 1 year has passed, I begun to realize, this is not just about energy policy issue. It’s something MORE. It’s about our SPIRITUAL decision.

Some of you, your friend or family, may be working in one of those nuclear power plant facilities, and we have nothing against those people. And I don’t know if nuclear power plant itself is right or wrong. After all, we had been relying on them for many years in our life.

But as a citizen in Japan, the country in which we had 3 nuclear disasters in history (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima), at least we can say this. We are NOT God. We are NOT perfect. And there is always something we CAN'T expect. Because the huge tsunami on March 11th 2011, that was something more than our expectations.

In Fukushima disaster we learned several things. 1: We are not perfect. Accident happens. 2: Once a nuclear power plant is broken, there is NO way to fix it. We have to take care of it for thousands of years to come (And if we fail to do that, what will happen?) 3: We use those “nuclear fuel” to run the nuke plants, but the problem is, we have NO way to “dispose” those fules after we used them. We have to take care of those used fules for a very long time.

I think, probably, we can rely on those nuclear power plants, only if we are perfect. Only if we make no mistakes. Absolutely no mistake. But we all know we make mistakes. And we can’t expect everything right. We know we are not perfect. (We need Jesus, because we are not perfect. Right?)

I don’t know what they are going to do with the broken Fukushima plant, which may collapse in any moment and cause further bigger disaster to the world. And maybe it’s already too late for the human race on this planet. But as a Japanese person, I can say this. Nuclear power plant is NOT GOOD. Or at least it’s too early for us to use it. We are simply not matured enough, and our technology is still not enough to deal with it.

And we learned one more important thing in this disaster and following society struggle. Nuclear power plant is more about MONEY, rather than about energy policy.

I don’t really want to explain here but, it looks like people build those nuclear power plants because of MONEY. And they want to keep them running, because of MONEY. And now our government wants to restart those nuclear power plants because of MONEY.

I’m not going to say we don’t need money. But as a Christian, I always think of the bible words, “You can’t serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24). And to me it sounds like a choice between LIFE and MONEY. It’s a spiritual decision, rather than a political decision. And I feel it’s time to make our decision. Our society’s decision that decides our direction. And we can’t be ignorant for that. Our future, whole human race, and our children’s life at stake.

One of my heroes in Japanese Christian history, is Takashi Nagai, who was a surviver of Nagasaki atomic bomb and the author of “The Bells of Nagasaki”. He was also a doctor and a researcher in nuclear technology (radiology). In his book “The Bells of Nagasaki”, he wrote about “using nuclear technology for peace, not for war”. He was dreaming about using nuclear technology for a good purpose. Now I wonder what he would say if he were alive. Would he be disappointed with our immature technology? Or would he be disappointed with our immature society? But his story tells us there is still hope. Because in his worst situation after Nagasaki atomic bomb, he still had hope for the future.

My story doesn’t end here.
I want to talk a little more about POLITICS (ah, not really), and OUR LOVE for our nation Japan.

As a rock musician in an independent band, I have been always thinking about changing society. It’s what rock music is all about, right? When we look into a history book, back in 1960’s people believed that music could change the world. I have been thinking what it really meant, and that’s actually one of the reasons I became a Christian. And off course, I have been always thinking about “Politics” (ah, not really) and “Revolution”.
Yes, Revolution. Number 1, number 9, or whatever. (The Beatles.)

When I see those struggles and turmoils in Japanese society more than 1 year, I realized this is more than just an energy policy. It’s more about politics. And it’s more about DEMOCRACY. It’s our society system.

What kind of DEMOCRACY do we have, when the government makes a decision against so many people?

What kind of JOURNALISM do we have, when there are many demonstrations every week and they don’t even mention it on TV and Newspaper?

What kind of SOCIETY are we making, when people’s voice can’t be heard and only POWER MANIACS and MONEY WORSHIPERS in higher positions?

In this struggle and turmoil, we realized that’s the society we have. That’s the government we have. I think Japan has come to a point when we have to face these society distortions.

As a rock musician and an artist, I never believed in the notion of “NATION”. We have no borders between cultures, races, tribes. It’s just our background. Thus, I never believed in our government, too.
However, when I became a Christian, I learned one important thing. We have GOD’S KINGDOM. Yes, I am a Japanese person. But we don’t really belong to a country here on earth. WE BELONG TO GOD’S KINGDOM.

As a rock musician, and a Christian person, now I know we play our music for God’s Kingdom. We play music to realize His Kingdom on this earth.

Our country, must be like God’s Kingdom. But how can we do that?
God’s kingdom, it is NOT in politics. It’s NOT in democracy itself. It’s NOT in system or law. God’s Kingdom, is IN PEOPLE.

LUKE 17:20,21 says;
20: Some of the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the kingdom of God come?” Jesus answered, “God’s kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you will be able to see with your eyes.
21: People will not say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ because God’s kingdom is within you.”
(New Century Version)

We need a revolution, I believe. But we don’t do it with weapons and guns. When we toured in USA last year, some good person told me that Americans don’t have guns only for self defense. He told me Americans own guns and weapons to fight the government when it becomes “oppressive”. Honestly I was impressed and that’s probably the first time I understood the meaning of freedom American people talk about. (Though still I don’t like guns.) However we, at least in Japan, can’t make God’s Kingdom with guns and weapons. Because it’s not in politics or systems. And most importantly, we have better weapons. That’s WORDS, ART, ACTS, and MUSIC.

In Japanese history, some great samurais said “the most important thing in politics is EDUCATION”. That’t because education makes people’s heart and mind. And that heart and mind makes God’s Kingdom!

I want a REVOLUTION. I want to make it happen. And when we say revolution, we mean “God’s Kingdom”. And God’s Kingdom is only WITHIN PEOPLE. AMONG PEOPLE. IN PEOPLE’s HEART. As a rock musician, our mission is to spread God’s Kingdom in people’s heart. Now we know it clearly. When God’s Kingdom comes among us, I believe, those problems, politics, nuclear plants, economies, wars, we can find the right solutions with God’s help. Am I too optimistic?

I want you to help this battle. Not with guns, but with heart and mind. Using your/his/her talent, job, life, to express God’s Love. That’s the only way to spread God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is not “here” or “there”. It’s not “look like this” or “shape like this”. God’s Kingdom is IN YOU. And if you have God’s Love, I believe God’s Kingdom is in EVERYTHING you do! I really want you to join this battle for God’s Kingdom, wherever you are. Not only for Japan but for all of us.

Earlier this month (June 2012), our government decided to restart the Ooi nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture Japan. Some people say we lost the battle. However, that’s not true. From my point of view, our country has certainly changed. Our mind, changed by God. We see something we have never seen before. It’s just a beginning.

Even if our government will go against our hope and restart all the nuclear plants in Japan, our battle doesn’t end there. Our battle actually, has just begun.

Can we change the world with MUSIC?
I don’t know.
Can we change the world with LOVE?
I’m not sure.
But my heart says YES. Never changing “YES”.

Because, even though we are powerless humans being, we know there is nothing impossible for God!!

....and by the way, our new album “Japan Metal Jesus” is here on iTunes store ;)

Thanks and God bless you!
Tak “Tone” Nakamine
Imari Tones
29th June 2012



ハイ、日本のクリスチャンロックバンド、Imari Tones(伊万里音色)Takです。








2012年の55日、日本にあるすべての原子力発電所が運転を停止した。昨年から、日本のあちこちで、原子力発電所に反対するデモが毎週のように行われている。それは驚くべきことで、なぜならそれまで日本人は、無関心で、普段通りの生活を送ることができる限りは、こうした問題を気にかけなかったから。僕は日本の人々が、社会が変化しているように感じた。そして、1年が経過し、僕は、これはただのエネルギー政策の問題というだけではないことに気がついた。これは、それ以上の何かだ。これは、精神的な選択 (Spiritual decision) の問題なのだ。



福島の災害から、僕たちはいくつかのことを学んだ。1: 我々は完璧ではない。事故は起こるものだということ。 2: 原子力発電所が一度壊れてしまえば、もうそれを直す手段は無いのだということ。我々は何千年にもわたって、それを管理しなければならない。(もし管理に失敗したら、どうなるのか?) 3: 原子力発電所には、核燃料が必要だけれど、問題は、その核燃料を使った後に、それを廃棄する方法が無いのだということ。我々はそれを長い時間にわたって、管理しなければならない。





お金が必要ないなんて言わない。でもクリスチャンとしては、聖書の言葉を思い出さずにはいられない。僕らは、神とお金の両方に仕えることはできない (マタイ624) 。そして、僕にはこれは、命とお金との選択であるように思える。これは、政治的な選択である以上に、魂の選択、精神的な選択についてのことだ。そして、今が選択の時であるように思える。僕らの社会の選択、僕らの社会の進む方向を決める選択だ。そのことに、無関心でいられるはずがない。僕らの未来が、全人類の未来が、僕らの子供たちの命がかかっているのだ。



インディペンデントなバンドのロックミュージシャンとして、僕はいつでも社会を変えることを考えてきた。ロックミュージックってそういうものだろう? 歴史の本を見ると、1960年代には、人々は音楽で世界を変えられると信じていた。僕はその本当の意味をずっと考えていた。それは僕がクリスチャンになった理由のひとつでもある。そしてもちろん、僕は政治(いや、違うけど)と、「革命」について考えてきた。



















そして、ところでだけど、僕らの新しいアルバム「Japan Metal Jesus」は、iTunesで発売中です;)

Thanks and God bless you!
Tak “Tone” Nakamine
Imari Tones (伊万里音色)