Today I want to let you know that we have released an album. But it’s NOT a new album. Actually it’s a very old album.
For a long time, we didn’t have a proper “first album”. Isn’t it strange?
That is because, we are an indie band that is making music totally independently.
If you know the history (and spiritual factor) of this band, we didn’t start making music to be a rock star. I started making music without an intention to sell it at all. It was a very personal thing.
Long time ago, back in 1998, Tak (that is me) started making music just by himself.
Although I made some good album like “Kodomo Metal” as early as in 1999, the first recording session he did in 1998 was not yet perfect.
That was my/our first album technically, because that is the first thing I/we did in the history of this band. (Even though we were not even a band back then.)
Because it was not perfect, I ended up re-record half of the songs on later albums. (Songs such as “That’s why I love you”, “Must Be…”, “Angel Wind” and more)
As a result, this “first album” has been forgotten and “abandoned” for a long time.
What is our first album?
It’s very funny but that is a real question for us.
My debut album as a self recording solo artist would be “Kodomo Metal” (1999). Because it’s a powerful and unique album I did with the professional quality for the first time.
Our debut album as a band would be “Hero of the Light” (2005). Because that was the first album we made with a real band. It was a super catchy Japanese rock album.
Also our “international” debut would be “Japanese Pop” (2007). Because it was the first album I sung in English language. It was produced by 2 famous producers, recorded in big studios.
Then again, our debut album as a “Christian Metal Band” would be “Victory In Christ” (2010). Because it was the first album we made with the long time lineup: Tak, Hassy and Jake. I still think that was the album we really made our statement as a “Christian metal band from Japan”.
It may be funny for some people, but any of those albums can be called “first album” in its own way. Because we are not a band that made a debut on commercial major record company. We didn’t care which one was first and which was second. We just started making music no matter what.
But when looking back, I noticed this first recording I did in 1998 left unfinished and I felt like wanting to “fix” it. Because some of the songs really had “vibes”. The vibes and feeling of “starting out with nothing”, if you know what I mean.
So I decided to “remake” our first album.
I wondered what it could/should have been really like.
It was 1990’s. I loved 1980’s classic hard rock but back then I didn’t have enough courage to do that style straight, because that was out of fashion.
What if I could go back to my teenage days and do what I really wanted to do?
I took a look at my old song book. (Not a real book. It’s in my head.)
I wrote bunch of songs when I was in high school. Some of the songs we are still playing with our band. Funny but true. Half of those old songs are already recorded at one point or another. But there are still some songs left unused.
I picked 3 songs from there and decided to add to the “first album”.
That includes the very first song I have ever written when I was 16 (Don’t Forget Who You Are), the probably 3rd song I’ve ever written (Galactic Dreamer) and one strangely “Buddhist sounding” Japanese traditional rock song I wrote when I was 17 (Spiritual Seeker).
Also I decided to re-record 2 songs (2 songs and 1 intro/instrumental track to be exact) that were on the original recording I did in 1998. Those songs are “Escape”, “From The Garden of Gods” and “Mirrors Always Tell Lies!!”.
Do you think it’s a “cheat” to go back in time and re-record the first album?
But we are an indie band that are making music with no restriction.
It just took me to finish the album I started making 20 years ago.
Great thing about this first album re-issue is:
It has some of the first songs Tak has written in his high school days. Young, fresh and straightforward. (Of course I changed some of the lyrics… because hey I don’t want to sing those words I wrote when I was 16!!)
It has some classic 1980’s style hard rock songs and also some cute pop songs.
It has some naive, unpolished indie rock vibe.
Also, interestingly, it has some dark, spiritual songs. They are based on Japanese spiritual background such as Buddhism and Pantheism. As shown in the song/album title, it is an escape from hell, an escape from spiritual demise.
As much as it sounds ominous, it was the starting point of Imari Tones’ spiritual journey. A starting point for a young musician who later starts Japanese Christian Heavy Metal.
Actually, you might already know it, we have already made a video for one of the songs.
That song called “Spiritual Seeker”.
This was the first video to feature our new lineup [Tak, Marie, Koji] but just to clarify they didn’t play in the actual recording. Because this is first album remaking, I had to do it in self recording style just by myself.
In anyway this first album is now called “The Garden of Gods”. Complex background it has. But if you listen to it, it will speak.
It will be on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music soon. (Already on some of them)
Please check it out and we hope you enjoy it.
Bandcamp link is here.
Thank you very much.
Tak “Tone” Nakamine