And the fourth band is....
I agonized over the choice of the final band.But in hindsight the decision was simple. On paper, adding mudy on the sakuban or te' to a line-up with ZAZEN BOYS, group_inou, and Charan Po Rantan is killer and looks damn sexy. Most people whose opinion I sought felt mudy on the sakuban should be the 4th band. Having help from Zankyo in promoting the tour would have made things alot easier for me. Especially when they make great PV's like: (above is te' not mudy) And one of my friends in Vancouver offered to pay $4000 to help cover the cost of travel to bring mudy on the Sakuban to Canada. Making mudy on the sakuban (or te') the 4th band made the most sense.
But instead of following my brain, I followed my heart. All of the bands who have taken part in NMFT sound different but the common thread that ties them together is that they play with a ton of passion and heart. * A powerful emotional connection develops after watching these bands perform live. mudy and te' do play with a lot of energy and passion. I've watched both bands play live multiple times and their high-spirited performance is an adrenaline rush. But neither bands' music does much for me emotionally (They both have a few great songs that really stand out but my interest wanes over the course of an entire set.) The instrumental bands I have brought in the past include sgt and NATSUMEN. Their music exalts the soul and carries so much emotional momentum. To me that aspect is not absent in mudy and te's music but the impact is much less profound.
I wanted the fourth band to have a powerful, aggressive sound with music that is soulful and unpretentious. No band fits this description better than Praha Depart.
So even though it made the most sense to bring Mudy on the Sakuban given that's who the fans wanted and Zankyo would have been extremely helpful in promotion, I'm going with my gut and choosing Praha Depart because they have a much more distinct sound that is more emotionally powerful.
* Okay there are a couple bands in the past that don't apply. I won't mention who.