In May I had the luxury of having Ryotaro (Kulu Kulu Garden) and Toki (mothercoat) around to help translate. This time around none of the band members speak English fluently. Which can be problematic since I'm not fluent in Japanese. (And my English is much not gooder). I should be okay 65% of the time but when it comes to more complicated vocabulary I'll have difficulty communicating with the bands. Not to mention I'll be very busy acting as stage manager, DJ, and occasional emcee during the show.
The bands have asked me if I can find volunteers who are reasonably fluent in English and Japanese. Such volunteers would be EXTREMELY helpful in assisting communication between the bands and the sound technician. A rudimentary knowledge of band equipment would be great but not necessary. As long as you can help translate to some degree you would be a lifesaver. Probably more important to the bands is having someone help occasionally at the merch table when customers have questions that the bands have difficulty understanding. These volunteers don't have to be on-duty the whole time. Your main job is to enjoy the show! But if you were available from time to time to help translate, that would be spectacular. Otherwise the bands will be grabbing me every 5 min and I need to coordinate the show. Volunteers will be rewarded with a combination of food, T-shirts, CDs, autographs, hugs from Maki Nakano, and the bands' gratitude. The shows in Toronto should be okay, and probably Montreal, but I'll need help in Vancouver for sure.
Also, if you have a car and want to help me take the bands sightseeing in Vancouver the day before the show (Oct 13), please contact me: nextmusicfromtokyo (at) gmail.com
Some more important news:
as of right now, the bands have no drums or amps to play with on Oct 17. The company I had planned on renting backline (drum kit and amps) from for the Sun, Oct 17 show said they want to charge me $1034. .. .. What. The. F%*K ?!!!!!!!! $1034 to rent one set of drums, 2 guitar amps and a bass amp for one night. They will also be delivering and picking up the equipment for me. STILL, that is absolutely retarded. It is already costing me $400 to rent the Velvet Underground. With tickets at $10 (a steal!!), I would need 140 people to show up just to break even. And note, that's just breaking even for that particular show since I am guaranteed to lose $25,000 paying for the bands travel and hotel costs.
I am working on a securing backline from alternate sources. One issue is that I would much rather not have to deal with returning the backline the day after the show. This is because I am supposed to take the bands to Niagara Falls in the morning before taking them to Montreal on the 18th. I really do not want to pay over $1000 for backline. It is ludicrous. So ridiculous that I would consider CANCELLING the Oct 17 show if there are no other options. I have asked to see if I can borrow backline from the organizers of Indie Week, but there's no guarantee that can happen. If you know of any bands that can lend us a drum kit or amps, contact me ASAP. Actually, a friend from Baltimore, MD is driving all the way to see the show and he has offered to bring his drum kit in his tiny car. Since he'll get interrogated heavily at the US/Can border if he has an entire drum set in his car, I don't want him to go through all that trouble. Some of you may be thinking, if you're willing to pay $30,000 to fly the bands to Canada and pay for their hotel, why not just pay the $1000 for the backline? Why? Because its highway robbery and I shouldn't have to pay that much. Most bands are able to borrow what they need for backline from friends and usually get by without renting anything. In Montreal, Devil Eyes are hosting and performing at the show with us. They're lending us their gear and will likely borrow a 2nd guitar amp from another band. I am doing this tour way more for the benefit of the bands, fans of japanese music in Canada and to help foster new fans of Japanese indie music than I'm doing it for myself. But at times I feel like I'm being taking advantage of way too much and out of principle I would not hestitate to cancel the Oct 17 show if noone helps me out in finding alternate backline. The Oct 17 show is the least popular in terms of interest but so far it is costing by far the most amount of money. I'd rather save the money I'd lose and take the bands sightseeing on the 17th.
So to reiterate, right now the bands don't have a drum set or amps for the Oct 17 show. I don't want to cancel the Oct 17 show, so please help me out if you can.
contact: nextmusicfromtokyo (at) gmail.com
Random old, but fave PV of mine: