Here is long overdue “The Road To Nabeshima” vlog, episode 4.
We recorded the video back in September 2018, but could not post it until now.
It’s about our new album “Overture”, which is our first “Japanese Christian Album”.
You can buy the album (CD/Download) on our Bandcamp page
Or it’s available on Spotify and other digital outlet.
Here is what I’m speaking in the video.
Road To Nabeshima vol.4
Our First Japanese Christian Album!
Hi, this is Tak from Imari Tones, Japanese Christian metal band.
Like I said in the previous video, Hassy&Jake, the bassist and the drummer I’ve been playing with for 10 years, have left the band.
Today I will talk about the one last album we have made, also about what we did in the last 5 years.
Just like I told you in the previous video, this last 5 years, we could not visit USA or tour overseas, because some of the band members didn’t want to do that.
Instead, we invited Christian bands from USA and Canada, and toured together in Japan. That was called “The Extreme Tour Japan”, it was originally a Christian music tour in the United States but we did that IN JAPAN.
Along the way, we made friends with other Japanese Christian bands, and together we have established the indie record label dedicated to Japanese Christian Rock. It is called “Calling Records”.
Also, while playing in Japan, we seek for our identity as Japanese musicians. We looked for the answer of what Christian music should be for Japanese people,
and as a result we made “Jesus Wind”. That was a concept album about Japanese Christian history.
But that’s not the end of the story.
After that, we went on even further and found the music called “Nabeshima”.
To us, that means the ultimate sound for Imari Tones.
It is, to say, Christian Heavy Metal with Japanese traditional flavor.
We have already written all the songs for that project.
and it will be a double album with 24 songs.
We, me and Hassy and Jake, talked about what we were going to do with this “Nabeshima” music.
However, unfortunately, we have reached to the conclusion that we are not able to make this album with our current situation.
One reason is, simply, musical skill.
Nabeshima is highly technical music and it requires a lot of skill to perform.
Hassy and Jake, they agreed that with their current musical skill, they could not perform “Nabeshima”.
Another reason is, after playing in the band for 10 years, they have reached their limit in their life situation and they could not continue any more.
For which, you should understand them, because being in a band is not an easy thing.
So, we decided to go separate ways, in order to carry on.
In order to carry this music, into the next chapter.
They left the band so that I can go on to the next stage.
So please don’t blame them. We were good friends and we still are.
But, even though we could not make “Nabeshima” together, we still decided to make one more album together.
That is the album called “Overture”.
We recorded it in November-December 2017. It is already finished and just waiting for the artwork.
(This video was recorded in Sep 2018 and the album is already released.)
and it is, ALL JAPANESE album.
As you may notice, we have been mainly singing in English since we became a Christian band.
Of course, we also made Japanese versions for some of the songs, but basically we’ve been singing in English to the international audience.
That is, not only because Christian music market is very small in Japan, but also English language fits better to heavy metal music style.
However this time, we decided to sing all the songs in Japanese.
Because we wanted to do something different.
and most importantly, this is the last album with this current line up.
It’s a little bit of emotional thing, but we wanted to do that in our native tongue, because that way, we can put more feeling in the music.
To be clear, we used to sing in Japanese BEFORE we became a Christian band.
Funny thing is, some of those songs sound like Christian songs, even though they were written before I became a Christian.
We started singing in English, when we worked with 2 internationally known producers in 2006, 2007. That was the “Japanese Pop” album.
The Japanese producer, his name was Tak Yonemochi, he encouraged us to sing in English, he said “Go for the bigger thing. Go for the world.” That is why we started singing in English. And after that, we became a Christian band.
So, this album “Overture” will be the first Christian album, in which we wrote all the songs in Japanese.
Funny thing here is, when I write the words in English, I can only write simple stuff because it is not my mother tongue. As a result, it has always become very simple, straightforward lyrics praising God and Jesus. Such as, “I ride for Jesus” and “I’m a faith rider”.
However this time, when I wrote words in Japanese, things became much more complex.
It is not always straightforward. Sometimes it has irony and satire. Sometime it is figurative. Sometimes it is a bit critical about Christian situations. Like, “Hey, do you really believe in God?”
Some of them may not sound like typical Christian songs.
But it is an album that makes you ask yourselves “What does it really mean to believe?”
Because they were written and sung in Japanese, I’m not sure if our fans outside Japan will understand or even appreciate,
but I DO hope it will have a good impact on Japanese Christian music scene.
Not only language wise, this “Overture” album is different also music wise.
With our previous album “Jesus Wind”, we have made the best heavy metal album we could possibly make.
So this time we wanted to do a different thing.
This “Overture” album, I don’t think it’s a heavy metal album. It is more of a alternative, diverse type of album. It has a hip-hop song, it has some acoustic songs, it has even a poetry reading song.
The fact is, my style changes when I write in Japanese.
When I write songs in Japanese language, they don’t always become heavy metal. More often they will become something different.
So, this time, not very heavy. I guess it has more of J-Rock, J-Pop vibe.
So I have no idea how our fans would react.
Because it is very different from our previous albums.
Maybe it was a risky choice.
But even so, we wanted to do that in Japanese language.
Because this was the last album, we, Me and Hassy and Jake, made together.
Most importantly we wanted to give our messages to our Japanese friends.
I think that’s the reason we made this album.
I hope you will enjoy it.
Thank you very much.
Keep on rocking for Jesus.
God bless you all.