Saturday, March 28, 2015

Victory music video and photo session!

Hello this is Tone (aka Tak) from Imari Tones.

Earlier in March we released our live album "Atomic Live!".
Did you like it?
It's a bit of scary for us musicians to release "Live" recording.
But we decided to do it because it was a special live recording with a background story.
You can download it for free on BandCamp.
So check it out, if you haven't yet.

So now what?
Today I have 2 things.

First thing is our new "Victory" music video.

As you may know, we are planning to release our new album "Revive The World" later this year.
We are planning to make many music videos for that album.
Because we think, in this internet age where people can listen to every song on Spotify, making music video is one of the best things we can do as an indie band.

Last month we posted "Born To Ride" skateboarding music video.
This "Victory" is 2nd video from our new album.

It's really really positive song.
I can guarantee it makes you happy!

This song we wrote in 2012, right after The Extreme Tour 2012, the last USA tour we did so far. We were inspired by all the people, friends and other great Christian bands there and wrote this song.
Since then we have been playing this song quite often.
It's song about "What is real victory in life?" and "What is real victory in Heaven?".
Our answer is in the song, I guess.

Also, did you notice the footage in this video was from our photo session?
Here is the 2nd thing.

We did a photo session in February.
Because it was long time ago we did a proper photo session last time and we decided it was time to renew our website photos.

Not only it was a good photo session with so many great photos, but also it was really fun!
Thank you Nobu, Midori, and Marie for helping us!
(Now we have band photos enough for next 10 albums!) (Just joking)

We have posted those photos on flickr already.
(and we are going to post them on Facebook later)

Here is the link for the album.

So, that's it for today's journal.
I, Tak, am working on many projects right now including other bands and some secret projects. Many things are cooking behind the curtain. So keep watching;)

Also keep checking our YouTube channel because more music videos are to come!

Thank you very much!
God bless you all!
Tak / Imari Tones (Japan)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Atomic Live!" We released a free download live album.

Yes, we have just released a live album.
A good thing is, it's a free download.

To spread the word, we tried to write some "press release" thing.
I'm not even sure if my English is correct.

- - - - - - - - - -

For Immediate Release

Japanese Rock Band Tells The World About The Crazy Situation in Japan with their "Atomic Live!" album

Yokohama, Japan - March 5, 2015 - Japanese rock band Imari Tones releases "Atomic Live!", a live album recorded in Fukushima, to send a message about the dangerous situation in Japan.

It was not something planned beforehand, when Imari Tones, Japanese Christian rock band, played a live recording session at Studio Back Beat, Minamisoma, Fukushima, the music venue that was only 15 miles away from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

This recording happened in November 2014. The band was touring in Japan with an American rapper Gallery Cat, as a part of The Extreme Tour. The Extreme Tour is a grass root Christian music tour that has been around in USA since 1994. Imari Tones joined their USA tour in 2012, and brought the tour to Japan in 2013. This 2014 tour was 2nd year for The Extreme Tour in Japan. The tour line-up included other Japanese Christian artists such as CLOD, Soul of Faith, GeeBars, and Kaori Yamamoto.

Imari Tones was in Fukushima, when a certain gig was cancelled at the last moment. The band didn't want to disappoint their fans, so they sought for an alternative venue. They found out Studio Back Beat in Minamisoma was the only available choice for them, and the venue was located only 15 miles away from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, that had been broken since the Tsunami disaster on March 11, 2011. When they booked the venue, they also decided to do a live recording for this off the cuff gig.

The result is "Atomic Live!", which was just released on the band's website. It's an unconventional live album recorded at a small venue with only handful of fans.

"We thought it was a good opportunity to carry the message to the world" says Tak Nakamine, the singer/guitarist of the band. "Because things are so crazy in Japan right now. The Fukushima nuclear power plant has been broken. It's still leaking a lot of radioactivity things to the ocean as well as into the air. However, the government and electricity companies keep saying it's safe and there is no immediate danger. Most people in Japan are living their life just pretending nothing has happened. That's the craziest part. We're not going against nuclear energy in general or anything. We just want to say things are crazy and extreme. Doing a live recording session only 15 miles away from the broken nuclear plant is crazy. But people don't see it crazy anymore. Because we are living in the craziness, what used to be crazy now isn't crazy."

There is a hidden message in the artwork. On the album cover, Tak is standing next to the banner says The Extreme Tour Japan, but the word "Tour" is crossed out. As a result it reads "The Extreme Japan". Tak says it's a message about how things are crazy and extreme in Japan right now.

Although it's carrying a controversial message, the music on this album is all about God and Christianity. Imari Tones, call themselves "The first Christian heavy metal band from Japan", is one of the few Japanese bands who declare Christian heavy metal openly.

"The reason we came to Fukushima was to spend time with people here" Tak continues, "and the reason we came to Minamisoma venue was to pray. After all, we are Christians. We believe, with God's help, things can be changed in a positive way."

Imari Tones decided to release the album as a free download, to spread the music and the message. "Atomic Live!", recorded at Back Beat, Minamisoma, Fukushima, Japan, is available at the band's website and BandCamp.

Imari Tones website

Imari Tones BandCamp

Monday, March 2, 2015

Born To Ride skateboarding music video

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

We recently made and posted our new music video called "Born To Ride".
It's a song about skateboarding.
There are some stories behind the song/video.
Here I want to share the stories with you.

It was in October 2012 that I started skateboarding.
That year August-September, we were on the tour in USA.
We were touring with The Extreme Tour, a Christian missionary tour that had been around for nearly 20 years.

On that tour, we played some skatepark shows.
Being a Japanese boy grew up in a local town, that was actually the first time for me to see actual "Skateboarding" and "Skatepark".
It was really inspiring. I wished I had known it when I was younger. But I thought nothing was too late to start. So that's when I decided to start skateboarding.

After coming back to Japan, I started skateboarding.
It's really difficult to find a place to skate in Japan. But luckily, there was a nice skatepark nearby. To be exact, the parking lot for that park was a lot less crowded. (I can't skate in a crowded place.) So that's where I practiced regularly.

Soon, in October/November 2012, I wrote this song "Born To RIde".
It was a song about skateboarding, because I was in love with it.
I wrote the lyrics for the song and I put these words "KickFlip" and "BigSpin" in it.
Back then, I had no clue if I could ever do those tricks. But I put them in the song simply because they seemed like cool trick names.

In 2013 Summer, I made this skateboarding movie and posted on YouTube.
Titled "Skating for 8 months now", it's a skateboarding story from a beginner's standpoint. Back then, I had just learned KickFlip and HeelFlip. I was not good, but I thought there was something only a beginner could see. Regardless of being good or bad, there is a joy in skating. That was something I wanted to show in this video.

Problem is, this "Skating for 8 months now" video started receiving so many views. Receiving so many comments from young skaters.
Actually this video is the most viewed video on our YouTube channel.
Right now (as of 2 March 2015) this video has 14,000 views, while our next popular Faith Rider video has 10,600 views. (If you think these numbers are too small, please spread the word about us!)

It's giving me a mixed feeling the most popular video on our YouTube is a skateboarding video, not a music video. But at the same time it shows us we should probably post more skateboard related content, such as "Skateboarding Music Video".

Also, as the "10 months" skate video gaining more views, I was wanting to post a new stuff. Giving the update to the viewers of this older version of me. I wanted to show them how I progressed from there.

In 2014 we recorded the album titled "Revive The World". We recorded this song "Born To Ride", too. Now we are planning to release it later this year 2015. We decided it's right time to make a video for this song.

So I filmed my skateboarding footage. For some reasons, I usually skate alone. (In Japan skateboarding is not that popular.) I put my iPhone on the ground and tried to do those tricks in front of it. It was harder than I had thought. But I managed to make those tricks.

"KickFlip" and "BigSpin", these tricks I put in the song lyrics. I can do them now. Now they are some of easier tricks for me. I didn't expect that when I wrote this song in 2012.

I can do even more advanced tricks.
For this video, I made Front Side Flip, Back Side Flip, 360 Shove-It, Ollie Impossible, and TreFlip.

Wow, isn't TreFlip the trick everybody wants to learn?
Just like, one of the hardest flatground tricks for every skater.
Also, isn't Ollie Impossible supposed to be a really advanced trick?

I didn't expect I would come this far in 2 years or so.
Even if I mostly focused on flatground tricks, as a Japanese guy who started skateboarding at age over30, I think this is not bad. (Even if we may look young in the music video, we are not that young. We play some anti-aging music, though.)

I'm still not a good skater. I'm still a beginner. My skating is still pretty much sketchy and there is so much to learn. There are many younger kids who are really good and talented. Nonetheless, I'm really proud of this video and my skate footage in it.

Because, to write a skateboarding song is one thing.
I guess so many musicians are doing it.

However, to start skateboarding actually from there and put your own skate footage in the music video is totally another thing.

Because it advocates real love for skateboarding, not just "Let's write a skateboarding song because it's popular" thing.

I feel lucky to be able to do that within this short period of time.

I think this is a blessing.
To falling in love with skateboarding and write a skateboarding song is a blessing.
To put your own skateboarding footage in the music video is even more blessing.
How much more blessing can it be when you can sing "I ride for Jesus" in it!!!???

Thank you for our friends, Nobu, Midori, Marie (of course) and Shinichi from the band "Soul of Faith" (a.k.a. SolFai). You guys were big help for me to make this video.

I found skateboarding attractive because I felt something spiritual about it.
I will keep skating as long as possible.
I believe it will take me to the places I have never seen.

Thank you Jesus for music.
Thank you Jesus for skateboarding.

Tak / Imari Tones (Japan)

Born To Ride スケートボードビデオ

Imari Tones (伊万里音色)の楽曲、"Born To Ride"のミュージックビデオが完成しました。

今回の"Born To Ride"は、ちょっと特別です。

そういえば今からちょうど一年くらい前に、僕らのバンドの代表曲である"Faith Rider"のビデオを公開したのでした。

この"Born To Ride"は、"Faith Rider"に続く、ライヴで使い勝手のいいヘヴィメタルアンセムとして書いた曲ですが。まあ、今までのImari Tonesのレパートリーの中ではもっともThrash Metalに近づいた楽曲でもありますが。


2012年の9月、アメリカで長く続いているクリスチャンミュージックとエクストリームスポーツの伝道ツアーである"The Extreme Tour"に日本のバンドとして初めて参加していた僕たちは、スケートパークでの演奏やイベントを何度か経験しました。




たった一人で始める、とはいっても、それほど情報とかHow Toには苦労せず。

そしてその頃まもなく、僕はこの"Born To Ride"という曲を書きます。
(ちなみに白楽の駅のホームに立っている時に思いついた曲なので、最初のデモのワーキングタイトルは"Hakuraku Mezzanine"でした。)

そしてその2012年のThe Extreme Tourの素晴らしい体験と仲間たちとの出会いによって、いろいろとテンションの高かった僕は、自由奔放に楽曲が溢れ、それらの楽曲をバンドで取り組んで演奏していたのが、ああもうそれが2013年のことだったんだなあ。そしてそれらの楽曲が、昨年2014年に録音して、今年発表する予定の"Revive The World"と名付けた作品というかアルバム、になるのですが。

で、無名のインディーズミュージシャンである僕が、スケートボードというものに出会って、インスピレーションを得、スケートボードについての楽曲を書く。これはひとつ、それでいいでしょう。That's one thing. 

けれども、そのビデオを作るにあたって、当然スケートボードの映像を使いたい。普通はそこで、誰か上手い人の映像とか、名のあるミュージシャンなら、それなりに名のあるスケーターの人とか、そういうふうに他人の映像を使うと思うんですが、僕は今回、そのスケートボードの映像というか、スケートのフッテージも、自分でやってしまったわけです。That's totally another thing. これは、ちょっと頑張った方なんじゃないかと。しかも、そこまで2年ちょっとでたどり着いたわけです。



まあ音楽とスケートのつながりは昔からありますし、ミュージシャンでスケートをする人たちもたくさんいるとは思いますが。逆にスケートの世界で、Josh Harmonyみたいに、プロスケーターだけど音楽もやってるよ、みたいな人もいますね。







何年も前にアップしたFaith Riderの静止画簡易バージョンが、今、10,500viewsくらいなんですが、この「スケート始めて10ヶ月」の動画が、今ちょうど14,000viewsですね。たぶん、まだまだ増えるでしょう。

バンドのチャンネルなのに、楽曲のビデオではなく、スケートボードのビデオが、いちばん視聴回数が多いというのはちょっと複雑ですが、まあそれでもこのビデオにもちゃんとImari Tonesの昔の楽曲がBGMとして使われていますしね。まあいっか、と。


そして、せっかくその動画にアクセスが集まっているんだったら、今のImari Tonesの、スケートボードソングを、良い感じのスケート動画とともにアップして、バンドの楽曲にアクセスを集めたい、と思うのは自然の流れです。

というわけで、一刻も早く完成させてアップしたかったこの"Born To Rideのビデオであるのです。

というのは、自分は2012年の10月にスケートを始めたので、まあより正確に言えば2月度は、スケート始めて24ヶ月ってところなんだけれど、日割りとかで数えれば、23ヶ月って言えるかな、って思って。「スケート始めて10ヶ月」の映像の続編としては、「2年3ヶ月」っていうのが、なんか数字とか語呂として美しいように思えたんだ()。まあこの2年の間にも、The Extreme Tour Japanの期間中とか、録音作業をしていた期間とか、1ヶ月スケートできなかった、っていう時期も何度かあるしね。





まあでも、その動画ファイルの整理さえ出来てしまえば、例のごとく、一日でざっくりと、作りました。でも自分のMacBookの処理速度ではiPhone5Sとかの映像の解像度も高いので、Final Cut上で、ほとんど「カクカク」としか映像が見れず、音と映像のタイミング合わせとか、画面の切り替えをどう処理するか、とか、まったくできなかった! 前はもうちょっと出来ていたのに。iPhone4で撮った絵とか、古いカメラの絵のときはもっとさくっと処理出来ていたけれど、iPhone5Sになると解像度がフルHDのせいなのか、リアルタイムで処理できていなかった。これはショックだ。だから、歌っている口の動きと、音が、合ってなかったりする。でも、はっきりいってそのへんは気にしない!() しょせん、音にはそれなりにこだわるけれど、大きな予算のかかった昔のメジャーのPVならともかく、今のインディーズミュージシャンがYouTubeなどで発信する映像作品なのだから、細かいことにこだわっていたら死んでしまう!


この曲"Born To Ride"の歌詞に、「キックフリップ」ならびに「ビッグスピン」という技の名前が出てきます。




さらにこれも「名前がかっこいいから」という理由で、「不可能」なんていう技は、不可能なんて言われたら絶対にやるしかない、という"Impossible" (オーリーインポッシブル、Ollie Impossible)も、出来るようになったどころか、今では得意技になっていた。

それとともに、自分のギタリスト人生の究極の回答である新たな愛用のギターBacchus "猫ポール" (BLP-STD-FM 2011年モデル)でもって、最高のサウンドを実現したこの曲で、自分のスケートボードを始めて2年余りの集大成をこうして(まだまだ初心者なりにであっても)形にすることができたこの"Born To Ride"





昨年11月の2度目のThe Extreme Tour Japanに参加してくれたオオハラ氏。




で、今回、どこで撮影しようか考えてるうちに、思い出して、そうだあそこの池にもう一回デッキを落とそう、と() それをビデオのオチに使おう、と。

あとは、ビデオを通じて、僕は"Revive Skateboards"のフーディーを着てるし、
言葉の問題もあり、日本のスケーターたちがRevive Skateboardsのことをどれだけ認知してるかわからないけれども、この極東の地にも共感してる者がいるぞ、ということをアピールしたかった()


この初心者期間の集大成であるBorn To Rideのビデオを作ったことで、


そしてThank you Jesus for Skateboarding