NMFT5: the people behind the scenes (aka my peeps)
I used to run this tour entirely by myself but recently more and more friends have volunteered to help out. The greatest help came from Hiro and Midori. They are husband and wife and worked for EMI in Japan and came all the way to Canada last August on a working holiday visa. Why? To hang out with me for a year and help me organize and promote NMFT vol 5. Seriously. Hiro used to managed the bands 赤い公園 (Akai Koen) and Mass of the Fermenting Dregs and actually came to Canada with the bands during NMFT 2 & 3. That's how we met and became close friends. They've been staying at my condo off and on for almost a year, and by common law I am practically married to them now. Midori wears my clothes all the time! In fact she's wearing my shirt in this photo!!! And my underwear too!! (j/k! but that is my shirt.)
Makiko just recently came to Canada on a working holiday visa. She found out about NMFT doing a google search on Toronto's indie music scene (how does that happen? thanks Google!). She contacted me via the NMFT website asking to volunteer and brought her friend Ayaka along as well. If you were at the Toronto shows, Makiko and Ayaka were the ones modelling and selling the NMFT5 t-shirts. They also crowd-surfed during the shows. Nice!
Yoichi, Bryan and Naomi are friends I met through Japan Canada Student Association (JCSA): a language exchange club affiliated with Univ of Toronto. Yoichi is also here on a working holiday doing research at U of T. He used to be in a band and is an amazing bass player. Yoichi was by far the most awesome fan at the Toronto and Montreal shows. He was constantly dancing, jumping around, crowd surfing and making noise. You can easily pick him out in this Chi-na video as the most active person in the entire audience. Yoichi, Hiro and Bryan took turns driving a cargo van full of all our backline and musical instruments from Toronto to Montreal and back, returned all the rentals and then flew to meet the rest of us in Vancouver. Actually, Yoichi could only make the Toronto and Mtl shows and we really missed him in Vancouver. Midori picked up the slack in Yoichi's absence and got the audience motivated to mosh and crowd surf at the Rickshaw.
Naomi had been to a couple NMFT shows in the past, written comments/suggestions in response to my blog posts and helped with some potential poster designs. She's in the photo here with her boyfriend Hyo-bin. Mouse on the Keys' drummer Kawasaki pulled her up from the audience and threw her back to make her crowd surf during the show on May 18.
Bryan was one of the MVPs. He helped out the most in distributing posters/flyers in Toronto, took almost 10,000 photos (most of the NMFT5 photos you see on this site will have been taken by Bryan), helped get food and supplies, and drove people everywhere in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Jessica is a fan who came to watch NMFT3 and was one of Midori's co-workers when Midori was working at J-town. Jess tried her best to design the NMFT5 poster/t-shirt (although I ended up having to redo everything from scratch). She is also a dope bass player, adequate drummer and awesome karaoke singer. We love you Jess!!
trivia: Everyone in this photo crowd surfed during the shows! Except Bryan (who was the designated photographer) and Hyo-bin.
From left to right: Midori, Alvin, me, Rob, Paul.
Alvin is one of my best friends. He didn't help out but just happens to be in this photo (like Hyo-bin above. hahaha,) Alvin and I go way back as volleyball teammates. Alvin has come to NMFT4&5 and really liked Zazen Boys, Kinoko Teikoku and mouse on the keys.
Rob drove all the way from Baltimore, DC in order to shoot professional video footage of the shows at the Rivoli. Rob does this every year and he's the one who has created the promotional videos for us the last couple years. He helped me out for the entire tour during NMFT4. This year he could only make Toronto but brought his friend Paul to help take footage. Check out Rob's Vimeo page for lots of NMFT videos. Rob and Paul also brought a sh*tload of beer and crab chips for our house party on May 16. Much appreciated!
Vish was the one who introduced me to Kinoko Teikoku over two years ago. He helped take video footage last year during NMFT4. He's the one crowd surfing in the photo and was instrumental in getting a bunch of the audience to sing along as Kinoko Teikoku performed "Taikutsu Shinogi" (his favorite song by KT).
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my right hand man: Geoff Spence. He single handedly gets me a ton of interviews and media coverage every year and he is the main reason why the Toronto shows sell out repeatedly. The guy is the god of PR and his regular job isn't remotely related to public relations. He just helps me in his spare time and is remarkably efficient and productive at promoting the tour for me.
Thanks to Geoff, everyone above, and many people I haven't mentioned yet like Dan (you're in my next post!), Vanmusic (Oswaldo, Jordan, Dean), Tim & Morgan (posters/t-shirts), Georgina (awesome photos) and Brandon. You guys ROCK! Thanks so much for your help!