Imari Tones Self Wiki Page

 

Latest and correct information about Imari Tones.
Updated May 2022.

 

Imari Tones is a band that is standing in a very unique position.
It’s a Christian metal band from Japan.
It’s a band its music is actually hard to categorize.
And it’s a band that does things in independent ways.

Probably because we are not a hugely successful band of any kind, over the years we have seen a lot of incorrect information about our band on the internet.

So we decided to summarize the correct information of Imari Tones, from our own viewpoint.

 

 

Introduction

Imari Tones is a Christian heavy metal band from Japan.

It originally started as a regular (secular) rock band but started playing Christian music in 2008.

They decided to call themselves “The first Christian heavy metal from Japan”, since they could not find any heavy metal band that was openly Christian in Japan.

It originally started as Takahiro “Tone Nakamine’s solo recording project in 1998, and was formed as a band in 2004.
In December 2007, Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine found Faith in Jesus Christ and decided to become a Christian. At the same time, he decided to dedicate his music to God and Imari Tones became a Christian band.

Mainly because they are based in Japan where Christian population is very small, not all band members of Imari Tones are/were Christian. (Only Tone and Marie are officially Christian, even though some members manifested their faith in God in one way or another.)
So one can argue if you can really call Imari Tones a Christian band.

But they consider themselves a Christian band because:
– They are open about their Christian nature and their Christian messages.
– They sing very straightforward and strong Christian messages.
– They believe they have been guided by God through the band’s history.
– Even though not all band members are/were Christian, they believe this band/project/ministry belongs to God.

 

 

Discography

Most of Imari Tones’ albums are independently produced and released.
Because of that, sometimes they don’t really have commercial release dates, especially for their early albums. Those were only private releases.
After “Victory In Christ”, their albums were released on digital outlets such as iTunes and Spotify via their own label Kitchen Knife Records, as well as selling at their live shows.
Their 2021 album “Nabeshima” was released from Sliptrick Records, a heavy metal label based in Latvia.

 

The Garden of Gods (1998)
Prototypes (1999)
Kodomo Metal (1999)
Entering The New World (2001)
Hero Of The Light (2005)
Heterogeneous Species (2005)
Reluctant Savior (2005)
Color Of Hers (2006)
Fireworks (2006)
Japanese Pop (2007)
Welcome To The School (2009)
Victory In Christ (2010)
Japan Metal Jesus (2012)
Heroes EP (2013)
Revive The World (2015)
Jesus Wind (2017)
Overture (2018)
Bloody Acoustics (EP) (2020)
Nabeshima (2021)

We will tell you more about Imari Tones’ discography and each album below on this page.

 

 

Band Members

Current band members (As of May 2022)

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Guitars, Vocals (Since the beginning)
Marie Nakamine – Bass, Background vocals (Since July 2018)
Shinryu – Drums (Since February 2021)

 

Past Band Members

Koji Maya – Drums, Background vocals (July 2018 – January 2021)
Hassy – Bass (August 2007 – March 2018)
Jake – Drums (October 2008 – March 2018)
Dr.Manzo – Drums (August 2007 – September 2008)
Baba-kun – Bass (February 2006 – July 2007)
Haratti – Drums (October 2003 – July 2007)
Minetti – Bass (February 2004 – March 2005)
Hitchie – Guitar (Pre-formation era member, sometime around 2002/2003 to January 2004)
Woi-chan (Pre-formation era member, sometime around 2003 to February 2004)

We will tell you more about each band member of past and present below on this page.

 

 

Band Name

The band Imari Tones was named after Japanese old porcelain art (pottery) called Imari.
In 17th century, Imari potteries were being exported to European countries and for some time the world “Imari” was the synonym for “Japan”.
Tone liked this band name because it means “Japanese sound”.
However, the truth is Tone named his band after his girlfriend (now wife) Marie. Marie is her favorite nickname but her real name is Imari.
After Imari Tones became a Christian band, it has got a new meaning because the Bible says we are “jars of clay” (2Corinthians 4:7). We are just jars of clay but God makes a beautiful art out of us that is Imari pottery.
Sometimes around 2010, they also started using Japanese version of their band name, spelled in Kanji character: “伊万里音色”.
Imari Tones had not had an official band logo for a long time but in 2021 they finally made one based on this Japanese Kanji spelling.

 

 

Musical Style

Imari Tones say they play 1980’s style classic heavy metal and hard rock.
They say this because it’s mostly correct and easy to understand.

However in reality Imari Tones’ music is a little more diverse.

While it’s based on 1980’s heavy metal style, Imari Tones’ music has other factors such as alternative rock, progressive rock, indie rock, and J-pop.

At first, when Tone started recording his music just by himself, it was somewhere between pop music and hard rock.

When Imari Tones became a real band in 2004, it was more like Japanese alternative rock.

When they recorded “Japanese Pop” with 2 legendary producers, they decided to go back to their original roots and that was 1980’s hard rock.

After that, they continued to play that kind of classic style, straightforward hard rock music but there has always been this alternative and indie rock thing going on.

Tone says “I consider ourselves one of those indie garage bands from 2000’s. But we were too heavy to be called garage rock. We were too loud to be called indie rock. As a result we call ourselves a heavy metal band and people loved it. We love heavy metal. At the same time, however, it’s true we are somewhat different from typical heavy metal bands of today.”

 

 

Musical Influences

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine cites those bands and musicians as his musical influence.

Legendary hard rock bands such as: Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Rush

Legendary heavy metal bands such as: Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne

Japanese pop songwriters such as: Yumi Arai, Sachiko Kumagai

Brit pop bands from 1990’s such as: Suede, Blur

Japanese hard rock and heavy metal bands such as: Anthem, Earthshaker, Loudness

Alternative rock bands from 1990’s such as: Smashing Pumpkins

Hard rock bands with different flavors such as: Living Colour

Japanese alternative rock bands such as: Bloodthirsty Butchers

Indie rock bands such as: +/-{plus/minus} and countless others

Blues rock guitarists such as: Peter Green, Paul Kossoff, Leslie West

All those legendary blues musicians such as: Albert King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Son House, and countless others

Genuinely great songwriters such as: XTC, Bart Bacharach

Gospel legend and mother of rock’n’roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

 

 

While Imari Tones’ main songwriter is Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine, there was always musical inputs from other band members.

For instance, Haratti brought punk, post punk, and alternative rock to the band and that changed Imari Tones’ music forever.

Marie has been always 1980’s hair metal girl. At the same time she introduced Tone to heavier stuff such as thrash metal and metalcore.

However, to make things simple here, let’s just listen to what Tone has to say about musical influences he had as a songwriter.

 

“So it was 1980’s heavy metal music. That was the music I fell in love with in my early teenage days. Those legendary bands such as Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, and AC/DC. Also those hard rock bands that were popular in Japan in 1990’s, such as Mr.Big, Skid Row, and Yngwie Malmsteen was quite popular in Japan, too. They made me want to play guitar.”

“I really fell in love with Judas Priest and to this day I’m a big fan. To me, Judas Priest is THE heavy metal and nothing else. If you hear some heavy metal in our music, that is from Priest. That was my first love.”

“My basic heavy metal lessons were from Glenn Tipton and Randy Rhoads. They were the reasons I started playing guitar. Also I have to mention that I had some albums from Japanese heavy metal band Anthem. They were a real deal. Hiroya Fukuda is definitely one of my guitar heroes.”

“I started listening to many bands from 1980’s. And one day, I listened to Van Halen. That was the biggest musical impact in my life. In a mere few seconds, Van Halen has become my No.1 band and that hasn’t changed to this day. All of a sudden, other bands started to sound like a joke.”

“I fell in love with Eddie Van Halen, as a guitar player, as a songwriter, and as a musician. He was much more than heavy metal. He was music. I started listening to rock music in 1990’s. Back then we already had so many guitar players who could play faster, more precise, more complex stuff than Eddie Van Halen. But to my ears, Eddie was on a different level since the beginning.”

“So you can say Eddie Van Halen is my biggest influence. Funny thing is, I stopped listening to heavy metal after listening to Van Halen. Because Van Halen was much more than heavy metal, I lost interest in run of the mill heavy metal bands. That was when I was 15.”

“Then I was a 90’s kid. It was in 1990’s. We heard so much alternative rock, such as Sonic Youth, and I was influenced by it. We heard so much rap music, such as Public Enemy, and I was influenced by it. And one important thing to me that was happening at that time was Britpop. After I stopped listening to heavy metal, I was a Britpop fan boy. I fell in love with a band called Suede. I was a big fan and I still am. They were different. You can say Bernard Butler was my first non-metal guitar hero. Also Brett Anderson is my biggest influence as a singer. In fact, I was never a fan of heavy metal singers. I never consider myself a metal singer.”

“I wrote my first song ever when I was 16. After that, I could not stop writing. In my high school days, I can tell you 2 things that were big influences to me as a songwriter. Firstly I heard Led Zeppelin. It’s basic, I know. But to me it was very personal and a very big thing. They got all the CDs in the school library and I heard them a lot. All those classic rock stuff. I didn’t really like Pink Floyd. I didn’t really like King Crimson. But I was deep in love with Led Zeppelin. I especially liked 2, 3, and Presence. Presence album by Led Zeppelin is so important to me. I was listening to it all the time when I was 18. As a songwriter, it was more than an influence. It was almost a religion.”

“Secondly, I heard Yumi Arai. Yes, it’s Yuming. A Japanese pop star. But music fans know she was more artistic in 1970’s. So I listened to Yuming, expecting some pop stuff, instead I got some serious rock music. Early Yuming stuff from 1970’s, when she was still called “Arai Yumi”, it has all the good things about Japanese rock. The band playing behind her was Caramel Mama. I was blown away by Shigeru Suzuki’s guitar playing and Haruomi Hosono’s bass playing.”

“But the most important stuff about early Yumi Arai music was its pureness and fresh inspirations. Because back then, she was just a girl. She was not a pop star yet. Her inspiration was very pure and very powerful. I was like, wow so this is the real Japanese rock music.”

“So I wrote more than 100 songs in my high school days. Back then I didn’t have to record on a tape or any kind of recording device. Because I was young and I could remember everything. I can’t do it any more. I have to record those songs on my computer or I will forget them all in the next morning. Those songs were like hard rock version of Yumi Arai. I’m not talking about musical style. I’m talking about the spirit and inspiration. Yes those lyrics I wrote were often young and naive. When I read those lyrics now, I’m embarrassed. But the spirit is there. Basically that was the start of Imari Tones.”

“Did I say my mother was a piano teacher? My father was a singer in a local chorus group and they were always winning local contests. I grew up listening to Chopin, Liszt, and Beethoven. But I quit my piano lesson when I was 10 or 11. I can’t really play piano but because of this personal background, I have a soft spot in my heart for classical music. I listened to so much classical records in my high school days and there were 2 artists I really liked. One is Mozart, because to my ears Mozart’s music sounds just like Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. Another is Claude Debussy. He has some beautiful messages in his music.”

“Then soon after that, I met Marie. It was like an accident. It wrecked my whole life plan. Even though I wrote so many songs in my teenage days, I never wanted to be a musician. I didn’t believe in that kind of thing. But after meeting Marie and falling in love with her, everything changed and life didn’t go as I planned. I said Eddie Van Halen was my biggest influence as a musician. That is true. But maybe it was Marie, who had the biggest impact in my life. Writer needs a life story to write about. Musicians needs a life story to sing about. And now Marie is my life story to sing about.”

“So that was my teenage story and musical influences. We had so much more after that. Those things are equally important. But this is the basic. You can explain 80% of our music with these teenage stories.”

“It’s funny. Our music was personal since the beginning. We were singing about personal love. As a result, when I heard about Jesus, we immediately understood what He was all about. Because He was all about love. Now we got a new story to sing about. Still personal, but a very big story. Jesus is our story and our love continues.”

 

 

Personal Nature

Imari Tones’ music is very personal by its nature.
And its music and other activities are not being made for commercial purposes.
That is because Imari Tones was born when Tone and Marie met in their teenage days and its music was about their personal love.
After becoming a Christian band, their music is about their personal love for Jesus Christ.
So the concept behind the music was not a commercial one since the beginning.
Their standard of value as musicians was based on the musical situation of 1990’s and early 2000’s. Main stream rock music was dying and instead they found many great indie bands. Those indie bands’ music was not for big concerts. That was rock music for personal life. Yet they believe they can find the future of rock music in that kind of pure spirit.

 

 

Language

Imari Tones are singing their songs both in Japanese and English.

In their early days they were singing in Japanese, which is their native language.

They started singing in English when they recorded “Japanese Pop” album in 2006. That was because their then producer Tak Yonemochi encouraged them to do so. Tak Yonemochi said “You guys got to go for the world”. And that’s what they have been doing since then.

After becoming a Christian band in 2008, they kept going this “sing in English and go for the world” route and continued to write songs in English.
That was also because there is/was very small market for Christian heavy metal in Japan and they had to play for the international audience to get heard.
Another reason is for their musical style English language worked better than Japanese language.
They often received better reactions from Japanese audience when they sang in English rather than Japanese.

Even though Imari Tones wrote songs and made albums mainly in English language, they sometimes wrote and played Japanese songs based on Christian themes, especially for their worship type songs.
Some of their songs, such as “Living Water” and “Give Us Your Miracles”, have both English and Japanese versions.

However, on “Overture” album that was released in 2018, they wrote all the songs in Japanese language. That was because it was the last album from the long time lineup (Tone, Hassy, Jake) and Tone wanted to put his personal feelings in a more intricate way. As a result “Overture” became the first Christian album for Imari Tones that consists of all Japanese songs.

Also their 2020 EP “Bloody Acoustics” has all Japanese content with all 4 songs sung in Japanese.

Their 2021 double album “Nabeshima” is a bilingual album that has 11 Japanese songs, 11 English songs, and 2 instrumental tunes.

For the language choices, Tone often speaks of a dilemma that has always been there. He says “When we sing in Japanese, people ask us “why don’t you sing in English so that we can understand”. And when we sing in English, people say “why don’t you sing in Japanese since you are a Japanese band”. We are always having this dilemma.” “But most of the time, our English songs are more popular than our Japanese songs for some reasons”.

According to Tone, Imari Tones is planning to go back to “mainly English” style after Nabeshima album. Because they completed this “digging up their Japanese roots” era and now they have plenty of Japanese songs with Christian messages.

 

 

Message

Imari Tones’ message has been always positive and straightforward.

In their early days, especially for those songs Tone wrote in his high school days, the lyrics were often naive and immature. Still, the message was very pure and also it was very personal.
Their music was about personal love, joy, and hope.

After they became a Christian band, they expressed their faith in Jesus in a very straightforward way.
It was partly because their English skill was limited. They had to choose simple words and as a result the message was very straight.

At the same time they try to make their music as fun as possible. That is because they play their music based on 1980’s hard rock and heavy metal, which was all about partying. “It’s Christian music but we think Christian music is all about joy. Because we are saved and we are having a party in Christ.”, Tone says, “We are a Christian band but we try not to take ourselves too seriously, because that’s the spirit of rock’n’roll”.

However, when they wrote Christian lyrics in Japanese language on “Overture” album, things became a little different. Those messages were not necessarily straightforward. They were more nuanced and intricate. Sometimes they are desperate. Sometimes they are ironic. Still they are all about relationship between you and Jesus. Those songs are all about saving lost souls.

On albums such as “Jesus Wind” and “Nabeshima”, their songs and lyrics are sometimes based on Japanese history and spiritual/political background of Japan nation. You can say now they are more matured as a band. “I guess we are getting older”, Tone says, “but we want to keep our straightforward and positive message style because that’s what makes unique.”

 

 

Recordings

Imari Tones is an independent band in its nature.
As a result, they make most of the albums and EPs independently.
Most of the time, they are self produced and self recorded.

They don’t aim for mainstream sound.
They don’t seek for perfection.

Even if it sounds raw, they go for unedited, unpolished sound of indie garage bands, so that listeners can hear the actual band and feel the spiritual message.

One of the few exceptions is when the band recorded “Japanese Pop” album with 2 famous producers. 3 songs were recorded in Germany with Sascha Paeth, and 7 songs were recorded in Tokyo with Tak Yonemochi.
Sascha Paeth produced those songs with mainstream sound production, while Tak Yonemochi produced other songs with analog equipment.
The result was good, yet the band members felt “it doesn’t sound like us”. After that Tone decided to go self-produce route for further albums.

According to Tone, they never used pitch correction effect for vocal tracks. Tone says “Okay maybe literally 2 or 3 notes I corrected manually. But that was long time ago. Truth is, we never could afford vocal edit system or plugin. Either budget wise, time wise, or machine power wise. And I never felt we needed it. If you want perfection of polished modern production, the only thing we can say is sorry.”

At the same time Tone admits he used simple pitch correction effect that comes with Logic Pro for Marie’s background vocals, because her pitch was not really good.

Tone often uses cheap recording equipments that are being sold at very low prices but actually good. “I love CAD microphones. They are kind of hard to find but they are good. I used RODE microphones and they were good enough to make some of our best records with. I used MXL microphones and they did their job. I used some cheap dbx pre, some cheap Joemeek pre, some Tascam and some M-Audio. They all did their job very well. I used old Toft channel strips on Nabeshima and it worked great.”

According to Tone, he does not necessarily like vintage equipments because “they often kill transients of the sound. And those transients are very important for our music.”

During 1999-2006 period, from “Prototypes” to “fireworks”, Tone used CAD E300 microphone (original made in USA model) and Shure SM57 microphones for recording.

During 2004-2005 period, from “Hero of the Light” to “fireworks”, the drum tracks were recorded with only 2 microphones which were a pair of Shure SM57s.

7 songs on “Japanese Pop” were recorded with analog recording equipment (24 track Tascam tape machine) by the producer Tak Yonemochi. While the other 3 songs were recorded by Sascha Paeth in Germany with the state-of-art digital recording system.

During 2008-2014 period, from “Welcome To The School” to “Revive The World”, Imari Tones used “whatever microphone they could rent in a rehearsal studio”. In most cases it was RODE NT1-A. They used it along with a pair of Shure SM57 like they always did.

For “Jesus Wind”, “Overture”, and “Nabeshima”, Imari Tones used CAD e300s (newer model) as a main microphone, although they used some other microphones here and there for “Nabeshima”. They used it along with a pair of Shure SM57 like they always did.

 

 

Equipment

Since around 2013/2014, Tone fell in love with Bacchus guitars and he keeps playing instruments from that company, including a STR guitar and a Headway acoustic guitar.

According to Tone, his favorite guitars are “made in Japan, well made, set-neck construction, humbucker equipped guitar”. But he also says those guitars are very hard to find.

Marie started playing bass with her Ibanez bass when she joined “Atsuki Ryo with Jesus Mode” which was Tone’s side project. After joining Imari Tones as a bassist in 2018, Marie plays Bacchus basses exclusively. Her current favorite is Bacchus Twenty-Four DX/Sakura.

Hassy played his USA made Lakland bass for a long time. He was also seen playing Clive bass on tour. Other than that, on some songs on “Jesus Wind” and “Overture”, he borrowed Bacchus basses from Tone and recorded with them.

Being a Japanese indie band, most of the drummers who played in Imari Tones recorded with whatever drumkit that was sitting in the studio.

Being a Japanese indie guitar player, Tone recorded albums with whatever Marshall amp that was sitting in a rehearsal studio, notably JCM2000 used on “Victory In Christ” and JVM210H used on “Jesus Wind”. However in 2019 he bought a very inexpensive Jet City Amelia amp and recorded all the songs on “Nabeshima” album with it. He calls it “Imaria” instead of Amelia.

Tone’s first electric guitar was Japan made Jackson Soloist Standard. He played that instrument for a long time. That guitar can be heard on early albums such as “Kodomo Metal”, “Prototypes” and “Entering The New World”.

Tone played Japan made Musicman Axis-EX for a long time. He had pink colored basswood body Axis-EX and red colored alder body Axis-EXS. He used these 2 guitars on most of the albums Imari Tones did in 2000’s. He continued to use these guitars on some songs here and there, up until “Jesus Wind”.

Tone played Epiphone Korina Flying V for a while.
He recorded 90% of “Victory In Christ” with this guitar and also recorded some songs on “Japan Metal Jesus”.

Being a Judas Priest fan, one of Tone’s dream guitars was Hamer. However Hamer was hard to find in Japan. In 2009 he found a Hamer-XT flying V that was made in Indonesia. He toured with it, and recorded some songs on “Heroes EP” with it, but sold it eventually because he was not 100% satisfied with its sound. Later he found USA made Hamer Vector Korina. While he likes it very much and plays it often for live shows, he has only used it for a couple of songs for recording purpose, because the guitar has a strong focus on higher mid range that does not always work in a recording situation.

Tone has owned some heavy metal style guitars in the past, including Jackson, Charvel, and B.C.Rich. However, as he was gravitated to more traditional, made in Japan set-neck construction guitars, most notably Les Pauls, he sold most of them. As of May 2022, the only heavy metal style guitar he still owns is white colored 1990 Japan made Jackson Randy Rhoads. (Even though he has a couple of Bacchus superstrats.)

 

 

More information about the band members

 

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine

Guitarist, Singer, Writer, Multi Instrumentalist
In the band since 1998 and continuing.

Imari Tone’s founder, main songwriter, guitarist, and singer. He sometimes plays other instruments when needed.
“Tone” is his nickname because if you take the first and last letter of his first and last name it would be TONE. He has been using this nickname on the internet since the early 2000’s and some of his Japanese friends call him Tone.
He also calls himself “Tak” especially for English speakers because it’s easier and less confusing.
He didn’t want to be a musician when he was a teenager. But after meeting Marie and their relationship was denied by the adults around them (due to the strict business culture of Japan), he experienced mental disorder and started making music because it was a needed therapy and also because that was the only thing he could do.
In December 2007, he found Faith in Jesus Christ and became a Christian. One of the reasons he became a Christian is because he was moved by the performance of the Christian singer songwriter called Yutaka Hagiwara.
Later he was baptized in April 2009, together with his wife Marie.
He was searching for some spiritual goals in music even before becoming a Christian. But after finding Faith in Jesus Christ, everything started making sense to him.

As a guitarist, he says his biggest influence is Eddie Van Halen. He says he is just one of the 100 million Eddie Van Halen clones. But he is trying to learn from Eddie Van Halen’s creativity and spirit, not just trying to copy his guitar styles.

Tone never considers himself a singer. Because he wanted to be Eddie Van Halen and never wanted to be a lead singer. However, after he started to make his own music, he could not find a right singer to work with. Also the messages he puts in his music and lyrics, they were so strong and private he had no choice but to sing himself. He cites Brett Anderson from Suede, British glam rock band, as the biggest influence as a singer. Tone says he likes singer with strong character and personality and does not really like technically gifted singers.

 

 

Marie Nakamine
Bassist, Background Singer

Joined the band in July 2018

Marie met Tone sometime in mid-1990’s when they were in high school.
Since then she has been a life partner for Tone. They got married in 2006.
According to Tone she is the inspiration of all the music and she was the reason Imari Tones was born.
Marie is her favorite nickname and an anagram of her real name when spelled in Japanese. Her real name is included in the band name, since Tone named his band after her.

She was not a music player but she has been a supporter of the band since the very beginning. She was together with the band on most of the band’s shows and tours, and saw everything happened to Imari Tones.

While she was not a band member, her speaking and singing voice was used on some songs such as “I’m a fish”, “Uwakina Kangaroo”, and “17 years”.

She believed in Jesus Christ and started going to church along with Tone in 2008. Later she was baptized in April 2009 together with Tone.

In 2011, she joined Tone’s side project band “Atsuki Ryo with Jesus Mode” and started playing bass. She also played bass in a Stryper tribute band called Chatryper. She was also an administrator of Stryper Street Team Japan from 2013 to 2016.

In 2018, after Hassy and Jake, long time bassist and drummer of Imari Tones, left the band, she decided to join Imari Tones as a bass player.

 

 

Shinryu
Drummer

Joined the band in February 2021

A very powerful heavy metal drummer. He is also a professional martial artist. He teaches Aiki and Karate at his own dojo in Tokyo.

 

 

Koji Maya
Drummer, Background Singer

Joined the band in July 2018.
Technically speaking he was a member of Imari Tones until January 2021, but had been inactive since February 2020 due to his shoulder injury.

He was one of the legendary players in the early days of Japanese heavy metal.
He was a drummer of Black Hole, the band that would eventually become Anthem. He played with Naoto Shibata and Hiroya Fukuda, of Anthem fame.
He was also a drummer for Tokyo X-Ray. He played with a legendary guitarist Toshiya Matsukawa, who would later be successful with Blizard.

His drumming style was straightforward yet powerful hard rock beats. He was also an awesome background singer.
He virtually retired from playing after his shoulder injury in January 2020. Tone says he wishes he could play longer with Koji.

He didn’t officially record with Imari Tones but his drumming can be heard/seen on some live movies such as Sunza Rock Festival 2019, and Kiss cover song movie of “Do You Love Me”.

 

 

Hassy
(Yuki “Hassy” Hashimoto)
Bassist

Joined the band in August 2007
Left the band in March 2018

A bassist with a gentle heart.
He was known as for his “Tsundere” personality among friends and fans.
He is very shy but if you get to know him he is one of the nicest persons.
He didn’t like to sell out and didn’t dressed up on stage.
For a long time he was the heart and soul of Imari Tones.

His bass playing can be heard on Imari Tones albums: Welcome To The School, Victory In Christ, Japan Metal Jesus, Heroes EP, Revive The World, Jesus Wind, and Overture. (Even though on “Jesus Wind” and “Overture” Tone played some bass tracks, too.)

 

Jake
(Hide “Jake” Yamazaki)
Drummer, Background Singer

Joined the band in October 2008
Left the band in March 2018

A very friendly person. Always wearing sunglasses. Always wearing the same shirt. Put 5 scoops of sugar in his coffee. Drives fast like crazy. Cooking meals and cooking sweets. He was called Jake The Cake.
Yes he had some problems but you can’t deny he’s a very nice person and he was loved by fans.
He was more of a multi-instrumentalist type player and he was not really a heavy metal drummer. However he did some great job recording complicated beats for Imari Tones songs.
He liked singing background at live shows and his characteristic falsetto voice was a big part of Imari Tones’ show.

His drumming can be heard on Imari Tones albums: Victory In Christ, Japan Metal Jesus, Heroes EP, Revive The World, Jesus Wind, and Overture.

 

 

Dr.Manzo
Drummer

Joined the band in August 2007
Left the band in September 2008

He was an older guy and he had a studio in his house.
Coming from 1980’s hard rock generation, he was a skillful hard rock drummer.

Tone called him a Doctor just because he looked like a doctor in a lab.
“Welcome To The School” album was recorded at his studio and mixed by him. Some people complain drums are too loud and guitars are too quiet though.

He left the band because now Imari Tones had become a Christian band and he didn’t like the religious direction the band was going.

 

 

Baba-kun
Bassist

Joined the band in February 2006
Left the band in July 2007

He was brought in the band when Tone started to work with the producer Tak Yonemochi.
He was originally a jazz player and a very efficient at studio work.
He recorded 6 songs in Tokyo with Tak Yonemochi and recorded 3 songs with Sascha Paeth in Germany.

He only played 3 live shows with Imari Tones.
He was kind of a hired gun and Tone says he didn’t really have time to make friends with him.

His bass playing can be heard on Imari Tones album “Japanese Pop”.

 

 

Haratti
Drummer, Background Singer

Joined the band in October 2003
Left the band in July 2007

He was a shochu drinking natural born rock drummer.
He was a punk guy and not a heavy metal drummer in any stretch. He was a good fit for Imari Tones “alternative rock era” in 2004-2005. But probably would not fit when Tone goes back to his hard rock roots after “Japanese Pop” album.
Regardless, Tone considers him the best drummer he played with in Imari Tones, in the aspect of groove, sound, and spirit.

He brought alternative rock and post punk essence to Imari Tones. That has influenced Tone’s songwriting very much.

He was an important part of the first incarnation of Imari Tones as a band.
After the first breakup of the band in March 2005, he was playing in other bands but came back to record “Japanese Pop” in Germany.

In July 2007, after playing the final gig, Tone said “Okay our journey ends here” and Haratti said “It was fun.” and he became a Taishogoto builder.

His drumming can be heard on “Hero of the Light” and “Japanese Pop”.
His background singing (sometimes singing semi-lead) can be heard on “Hero of the Light”, “Heterogeneous Species”, “Reluctant Savior”, and “Color of Hers”.

 

 

Minetti
Bassist, Background Singer

Joined the band in February 2004
Left the band in March 2005

Tall and skinny rock bassist.
He loves glam rock bands from 1970’s.
Follows his instincts rather than theory.
A very charming person.
He played an important roll in the first incarnation of Imari Tones as a band.

After the first breakup of the band in March 2005, he occasionally jammed with Tone but didn’t have a chance to come back.

His bass playing and background singing can be heard on Imari Tones album “Hero of the Light”.

 

 

Hitchie
Guitarist

Kind of joined the band sometime in 2002 or 2003
Kind of left the band in January 2004 that led Tone to really form the band

He was a hard rock guitar player Tone met during the formation era of Imari Tones band.
He was a very skilled heavy metal guitarist.
He played several shows with Tone under Imari Tones’ name.

Even though Tone used Imari Tones’ name, it was still in formation era and the band was not yet functioning. But you can say he is the only guitar player other than Tone in Imari Tones history.

In 2021, Tone posted some live recordings of Imari Tones’ show from 2003/2004, in which Hitchie’s guitar playing can be heard, as Patreon exclusive content.

 

 

Woi-chan
Bassist, Background Singer

Kind of joined the band sometime in 2003, kind of left in February 2004.

She was a good friend of Marie’s from her university days.
She was a talented musician and multi-instrumentalist.
It was still in formation era and the band was not functioning yet, but she played an important role and led Tone to properly form the band.
She was emotionally unstable and that was the reason she decided to leave the band.

In 2021, Tone posted some live recordings and a movie of Imari Tones’ show from 2003/2004, as Patreon exclusive content, in which Woi-chan’s bass playing can be heard and also the band members and audience celebrating her birthday.

 

 

Tours

Imari Tones is an indie band and they don’t go tour often but here are some things we did in the past which you can call a tour.

 

2009 April
“Rock, Faith, Anime Tour 2009”
Played churches and clubs in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, New York, and Washington state.

2010 February
“East Coast Tour USA 2010”
Played clubs and churches in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Washington D.C., and a conference in Pennsylvania.

2011 April-May
USA Tour “We are okay, we rock”
Played clubs and churches in Texas, Tennessee, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington D.C., New York, and Washington State, and a conference showcase in Nashville Tennessee.

2012 August-September
The Extreme Tour 2012
Christian music tour, Imari Tones took part in the West Coast devision for 3 weeks including X-Fest in Stevenson WA. Played street shows in Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

2013 October
The Extreme Tour Japan 2013
Along with Christian bands from the USA, Canada, and Japan
Imari Tones played most of the shows for the tour and Tone and Marie were involved in the whole tour.
The shows took place in Kanagawa, Chiba, Fukushima, and Miyagi

2014 November
The Extreme Tour 2014
Along with Christian artists from the USA and Japan
Imari Tones didn’t necessarily play all the shows for the tour but Tone and Marie were involved in the whole tour.
The shows took place in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Fukushima, Mie, Hiroshima, and Kagawa.

2015 November
The Extreme Tour Japan 2015
Along with Christian artists from the USA and Japan
Imari Tones didn’t necessarily play all the shows for the tour but Tone and Marie were involved in the whole tour.
The shows took place in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Fukushima, and Aichi.

2016 October
The Extreme Tour Japan 2016
Along with Christian artists from Chile and Japan
Imari Tones didn’t necessarily play all the shows for the tour but Tone and Marie were involved in the whole tour.
The shows took place in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Fukushima, and Aichi.

 

 

Simplified History

 

1998

Tone starts recording his original music in his home studio.
Tone records “The Garden of Gods”.

 

1999

Spring
Tone records “Prototypes”.

Summer
Tone records “Kodomo Metal”.

 

2001

Tone records “Entering The New World”.
Sometime around this time, Tone comes up with the band name “Imari Tones”.

 

2002

Tone moves to Tokyo and he tries to form a band.
Tone meets Hitchie, a guitarist.

 

2003

Tone plays some shows with Hitchie, Woi-chan. Haratti, a drummer, joins later.
They lived in the same house for a few years, in Shiki, Saitama. The song “Juku-Shiki” was written upon this experience.

 

2004

January
Hitchie leaves the band

February
Woi-chan, bassist, leaves the band
Minetti, bassist, joins the band

Band lineup [Tone, Haratti, Minetti]
According to Tone, this is the first proper lineup of Imari Tones.

Imari Tones starts to play local shows around Tokyo.

June
Imari Tones records 5 songs EP. That would later become “Hero of the Light” album.

Imari Tones keeps gigging in and around Tokyo.

 

2005

February
Imari Tones records 7 more songs and that becomes “Hero of the Light” album.

March
The first lineup of Imari Tones breaks up.

June
Tone starts recording 50 songs just by himself. Mainly because he wanted to record his teenage era songs before quitting music.
Haratti and Sugipe (a singer from Minetti’s another band) provided him with background vocals.

September
Tone finishes recording “Heterogeneous Species” and “Reluctant Savior”.

December
Tone finishes recording “Color of Hers” and “fireworks”.

Tone meets Tak Yonemochi, a famous music producer, guitarist, and music journalist.

 

2006
January
Tone starts working with Tak Yonemochi. They start recording songs that would be included in “Japanese Pop”.
Baba-kun, bassist, joins the band.
Haratti comes back to the band.

Band lineup [Tone, Baba-kun, Haratti]
This is the lineup that made “Japanese Pop” album.

September-October
Imari Tones, along with Tak Yonemochi, flies to Germany and records 3 songs with famous heavy metal producer Sascha Paeth at Gate Studio, Wolfsburg, Germany.

Around this time, Tone and Marie get married. In October, they had a private wedding party inviting friends and fellow musicians. Imari Tones played 3 songs there.

 

2007

January
Imari Tones finishes making “Japanese Pop” album.
However they are not good at business and fail to get an attention from record companies to release the album.

March
Tone and Tak Yonemochi fly to the USA and attend the music conference SXSW, aiming to make some business connections. It was the first time for Tone to visit the USA. Tone played some unofficial street performance in Austin TX.

July
After playing a show in Shibuya, Tokyo, Haratti and Baba-kun leave the band.
Tone decides to restart Imari Tones, with an intention to make it a regular local band with which he can have fun.

August
Tone meets Hassy, bassist, and Dr.Manzo, drummer.

Band lineup [Tone, Hassy, Dr.Manzo]
This is the lineup that made “Welcome To The School” album.

Imari Tones starts to play local gigs around Tokyo again.

December
Tone find faith in Jesus Christ and decides to be a Christian.

 

2008

January
Tone starts to go to church and decides to make Imari Tones a Christian band.
Imari Tones start calling themselves “The first Christian heavy metal from Japan”.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo.

March
Imari Tones starts recording “Welcome To The School” album.

September
Imari Tones finishes making “Welcome To The School” album.
Dr.Manzo leaves the band.

October
Jake, drummer, joins the band.
Jake and Hassy were friends from their previous band.

Band lineup [Tone, Hassy, Jake]
This is the long time, golden lineup that toured in the USA and made so many Christian metal albums.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo.

 

2009

April
Imari Tones goes to their first ever USA tour.
Just because it was a good opportunity, Tone and Marie were baptized at a church in Dallas TX.

“Victory In Christ” album recording
November 2009 – February 2010

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama, including some church concerts and events that involve other Christian artists.

 

2010

February
Imari Tones goes to East Coast Tour USA.
While on tour, Imari Tones plays Millennium Music Conference 2010.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama, including some church concerts and events that involve other Christian artists.

 

2011

“Japan Metal Jesus” album recording
February-April 2011, November-December 2011

April-May
Imari Tones goes to USA tour “We are okay, we rock”.
While on tour, Imari Tones records 2 songs at CFNI, Dallas TX. Those 2 songs are included in “Japan Metal Jesus” album.
While on tour, Imari Tones plays a showcase at The Objective, that took place at Rocketown, Nashville TN.

December
Tone starts his side project band “Atsuki Ryo with Jesus Mode” with the singer Atsuki Ryo. Marie joins as a bassist.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama, including some church concerts and events that involve other Christian artists.

 

2012

“Heroes EP” recording
June-July 2012
It’s an EP. But it contains 7 tracks, so we are not sure if you can call it an EP. Maybe it’s an album.

August-September
Imari Tones takes part in The Extreme Tour, West coast USA. Imari Tones, along with other Christian artists, played street shows, school shows, and church shows, including X-Fest in Stevenson WA and Nuart Block Party in Moscow ID.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama, including some church concerts and events that involve other Christian artists.

 

2013

October
Tone and Marie host The Extreme Tour Japan 2013.
They tour in Japan with The Lacks (The Lack Family, USA), C.J.Lassiter (USA), The Burn-Ins (Canada), and other Japanese Christian artists.
During the tour, Imari Tones also played shows time to time.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama, including some church concerts and events that involve other Christian artists.

 

2014

“Revive The World” album recording
February-June 2014

November
Tone and Marie host The Extreme Tour Japan 2014.
They tour in Japan with Gallery Cat (USA) and other Japanese Christian artists.
During the tour, Imari Tones also played shows time to time.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama, including some church concerts and events that involve other Christian artists.

 

2015

August
Tone, along with Hiroki Miki (CLOD) and Shinichi Ohara (Soul Of Faith), launchs a Christian rock record label called “Calling Records”. In reality it was more of an concert event group rather than a record label. They released a compilation album and hosted some concerts.

September
Imari Tones plays Matsubarako Vibration Jam, in Nagano, along with other Christian artists.

November
Tone and Marie host The Extreme Tour Japan 2015.
They tour in Japan with SIKA (USA), Filia (USA), and other Japanese Christian artists.
During the tour, Imari Tones also played shows time to time.

Imari Tones continues to play local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama.

 

2016

January
Around this time, Tone remixes Imari Tones’ 2005 albums “Heterogeneous Species” and “Reluctant Savior”.

“Jesus Wind” album recording
February-June 2016
It was a concept album about Japanese Christian history.
Probably the heaviest album from Imari Tones.

August
Tone finishes making a demo recording for “Nabeshima” album.
After a band meeting, Tone concludes “We can’t make this with our current band”.

October
Tone and Marie host The Extreme Tour Japan 2016.
They tour in Japan with Victoriano (Chile), and other Japanese Christian artists.
During the tour, Imari Tones also played shows time to time.

After the tour, Imari Tones had a band meeting and Tone said “Let’s make one more album. That’s where our journey together ends.”

Imari Tones plays occasional local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama.

 

2017

February/March
Around this time, Tone re-records some songs for “Prototypes” album and remixes 2 songs for “Color of Hers” album.

“Overture” album recording
November-December 2017
It was the first “All Japanese” album for Imari Tones since they became a Christian band.

Imari Tones plays occasional local shows around Tokyo and Yokohama.

 

2018

March
After playing the last couple of shows in February and March, Hassy and Jake, long time bassist and drummer, leave the band.

 

July
Koji Maya, a veteran drummer from the early days of Japanese heavy metal, joins the band.
At the same time, Marie, a long time supporter and the inspiration behind Imari Tones’ music, joins the band as a bassist.

Band lineup [Tone, Marie, Koji]

They started rehearsals but didn’t make it official until July 2019.

Sometime between August-December, Tone re-records 3 songs for Imari Tones’ first album remake project.

 

2019

March
Tone re-records 3 tracks for Imari Tones’ first album remake project.

July
Imari Tones officially announces the new lineup. It made some buzz because Koji was a member of Black Hole, the band that eventually became Anthem.

August
Imari Tones plays Sunza Rock Festival 2019, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.

“Nabeshima” album recording
September 2019 – February 2020

 

2020

January
After playing a gig, Koji had a shoulder problem, coming from an old injury caused by a motorbike accident he had before, and Koji becomes unable to play.

July
Imari Tones starts their Patreon page. Tone started to record monthly song every month. That continued until September 2021, when Tone became “too serious” for writing those songs.

“Bloody Acoustics” EP recording
October-November 2020
It was an acoustic EP made without a drummer.

 

2021

January
Koji leaves the band.

February
Shinryu joins the band.

Band lineup [Tone, Marie, Shinryu]

July
Imari Tones releases a double album “Nabeshima” from Sliptrick Records.

Imari Tones once again starts to play local shows around Tokyo and also starts to plan oversea tours.

 

 

Side Projects

 

Atsuki Ryo with Jesus Mode
(2011-2015)

Tone, teaming up with a singer Atsuki Ryo, started a side project band in 2011. Marie joined as a bassist. This is where Marie started playing bass.

Band member was,
Atsuki Ryo – Lead Vocals
Tone – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Marie – Bass
Yan – Drums

Atsuki Ryo with Jesus Mode recorded 2 EPs.

Soldiers Into Hell (2012)
Burning Fire (2015)

Compared to Imari Tones, the music of “Jesus Mode” is simpler and more straightforward. Its sound is based on 1980’s Japanese heavy metal.
While Atsuki Ryo was not really a Christian, “Jesus Mode” was a Christian metal band whose lyrics theme is all about praising God.

 

Dakeno Kakari
(2022 – ongoing)

It’s an indie rock and acoustic project by Tone and Marie.
They released their first EP in April 2022.

While playing in a heavy metal band, Tone always liked to play more eclectic music. He has been writing those soft rock and acoustic songs for a long time. Dakeno Kakari will be the outlet to perform and release those songs.

Here is the list of Dakeno Kakari’s recordings.

Greetings (EP) (2022)
Hypothesis (EP) (Planned to be released sometime in 2022)

 

 

More information about Imari Tones’ discography and each album

 

For some songs and albums, sometimes they have English titles and their original Japanese titles. Sometimes they are Japanese words spelled in English alphabet. This is both because digital music distribution systems often don’t/didn’t accept Japanese words, and because Imari Tones is playing for international audiences. For Imari Tones, those original Japanese titles are important, but they have to use these English titles on an international platform.

 

“The Garden of Gods”

Recorded originally in 1998, some songs re-recorded in 2018-2019 for “Remake” version

Release Date
November 1st, 1998
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

It was originally recorded in 1998 by Tone at his home studio.
However as the time went by, some of the songs were re-recorded on other albums. Also the song selection was a little odd.
So Tone decided to remake a “proper first album” for Imari Tones in 2018.
So you can say it’s a “re-made” version of the first album.

Half of the songs on this album are from Tone’s high school days, including the very first song he has written (Track 7 “Don’t Forget Who You Are”, although some arrangements done and the lyrics were re-written later). Other songs are from his college days.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Escape

2:From The Garden of Gods

3:Spiritual Seeker

4:Stray Child (迷い子)

5:Mirrors Always Tell Lies!! (鏡はいつでも嘘をつく!!)

6:Galactic Dreamer

7:Don’t Forget Who You Are

8:Morning Rain -snail song- (かたつむりの朝)

9:MONO Gokoro

10:In The Rain of Tears (涙の雨を走り抜けて)

11:Etude Infant (幼心のエチュード)

Track 4,8,9 recorded in 1998. Track 10&11 recorded in 2001. Track 3,6,7 recorded in 2018 and are some of the first songs Tak has ever written. Track 1,2,5 re-recorded in 2019 based on the original version recorded in 1998.

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Programming, Piano, Keyboards

 

Live Performance

“Stray Child” was played once by pre-formation era Imari Tones in early 2004 period.

“Mirror Always Tell Lies!!” was played once at one of pre-formation era performances Tone did with Hitchie.

 

 

“Prototypes”

Recorded in February-March 1999
But some songs were added later.
“Ima Kimini Aitaiyo” and “Zento Yo Yo” were recorded in September 2003.
“Mikotobani Katakutachi” was recorded in 2015.
“Flowers” was re-recorded in February 2017.

Release Date
March 30, 1999
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

One of the early recordings Tone did just by himself at his home studio.
As the name suggests, this half-album was made with an intent for sound check and to learn recording techniques.

Most of the songs on this album were written in 1998 period.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Breath of Angels
2:You
3:Sunny Side Up
4:Zento Tanan (前途多難)
5:Flowers
6:Mikotobani Katakutachi (みことばにかたくたち)
7:Ima Kimini Aitaiyo (今君に会いたいよ)
8:Zento Yo Yo (前途洋々)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Programming, Keyboards

 

Live Performance

“Breath of Angels” was played once or twice by Tone at one of his pre-formation era solo performance in 2002/2003. But I don’t think there is a recording of it.

“Mikotobani Katakutachi” was played a couple of times by Tone at his acoustic solo shows.

 

 

“Kodomo Metal”

Recorded in April-October 1999

Release Date
December 1, 1999
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

One of the early recordings Tone did just by himself at his home studio.
But this time he was more serious. This is a unique album with mixed elements of hard rock, alternative rock, experimental, and weird pop, into a form of home recording music.
Some people still call it a masterpiece from early Imari Tones.

Kodomo Metal means “metal for children”.
Most of the songs on this album were written in 1998-1999 period.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Akatsuki (暁)
2:I Am Your Teddy Bear (僕は君のTeddyBear)
3:Minorities
4:Soft Song
5:Dreams of Bacteria (バクテリアの見る夢)
6:I’m a fish (私は魚)
7:Sou (躁)
8:Big World
9:Kosei (個性)
10:Love Opens Your Eyes
11:Curtain at 2PM (午後2時のカーテン)
12:D.O.I.
13:Guitar House

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Programming, Piano, Keyboards
Marie Nakamine – Some voices on “I’m a fish”

 

Live Performance

“Big World” was sometimes played by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup, both with English and Japanese version lyrics.

“Minorities” was played several times by [Tone, Minetti, Haratti] lineup in 2004/2005 period.

“Kosei” was played a couple of times by pre-formatin era Imari Tones [Tone, Hitchie, Haratti, Woi-chan] in 2003 period.

 

 

“Entering The New World”

Recorded in March-November 2001

Release Date
December 1, 2001
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

This is the last of the early albums Tone did just by himself at his home studio.
It’s a very emotional album. Apparently Tone put so much personal feeling on this album.
Half of the songs on this album are from his high school days.
“Seventeen’s Requiem” could be the best song from early Imari Tones, even though it’s a sentimental teenage ballad.
It was around this period that Tone came up with the band name Imari Tones.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Entering The New World
2:Changes!!
3:GoodBye,MySunshineTown
4:14000 light years away
5:Wait For Me
6:Growing Happiness (幸せ育て)
7:Fly With Me On Spring Breeze (春風に乗って君と飛ぼう)
8:Why Not?
9:Angels of Rain (雨の日の妖精たち)
10:Young Wolves
11:17’s Requiem (Intro) (17歳のレクイエム)
12:Seventeen’s Requiem
13:Nara Teku Teku (奈良テクテク)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Programming, Piano, Keyboards
Marie Nakamine – Some voices on “Growing Happiness” and “Nara Teku Teku”
Woi-chan – Some voices on “Nara Teku Teku”

 

Live Performance

“Changes” was being regularly played by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup between 2009-2015 period.

“Growing Happiness” was being regularly played by [Tone, Minetti, Haratti] lineup in 2004 period. Also occasionally played by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in 2009 period.

“Seventeen’s Requiem” was occasionally played by Tone at his acoustic shows. Also it was played just once by [Tone, Baba-kun, Haratti] lineup in 2006.

 

 

“Hero Of The Light”

Recorded in June 2004 & February 2005

Release Date
March 1, 2005
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

This was the first Imari Tones’ album recorded as a band.
Recording was done with a cheap equipment but nonetheless it sounds very fresh.
It’s a young and ambitious Japanese pop band with so much energy.
If you want “Christian Rock Imari Tones”, you can’t find it here. But if you want some good Japanese indie rock, you can’t go wrong with this one.
It’s somewhere between hard rock, alternative rock, punk, and J-pop.

“Winning Song”, a song we have been playing for a very long time, was first recorded on this album.
Also “That’s why i love you” seems to have a lot of fans.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Winning Song
2:Pretty Color Flowers (きれいな色の花)
3:The Imaginary Number Boy 2 (虚数少年2)
4:Synchronicity
5:Utsukusii Monowo Miyou (美しいものを観よう)
6:Must Be….
7:Kyujo Reppu (丘上烈風)
8:i-pop
9:GoldenSun (輝け、GoldenSun)
10:That’s why i love you
11:Us In Wonderland (不思議の国のぼくら)
12:Mixing Girl Reflection

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Haratti – Drums, Background Vocals
Minetti – Bass, Background Vocals

 

Live Performance

“Winning Song” has been played by pretty much all lineups of Imari Tones since 2004, both Japanese&English versions.

All the songs on this album were played live by [Tone, Minetti, Haratti] lineup in 2004/2005 period.

Other than [Tone, Minetti, Haratti] lineup, “Kyujo Reppu” was also played by [Tone, Hassy, Dr.Manzo] lineup in 2007 period.

“Utsukushii Monowo Miyou” was also played by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in 2009 period.

 

 

“Heterogeneous Species”

Recorded in June-August 2005 (Remixed in 2015)

Release Date
September 30, 2005
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

Its original Japanese title was “異能レース”.

 

It was one of the 4 albums Tone did just by himself in 2005 after the breakup of Imari Tones’ first lineup. (With background vocals provided by Sugipe & Haratti)

Most of the songs were written in Imari Tones’ 2003 sessions. But it also contains some of Tone’s teenage/highschool songs.

Being recorded with cheap equipments in a very short time period, Tone was not exactly happy with the sound quality. He remixed this album in 2015 but as of May 2022 Tone is still not happy and wanting to remix it once again.

This album is recorded along with its counterpart album “Reluctant Savior”. But this one has shaper, more intense content.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Saratoga Stream
2:Vitamin Glass
3:Heterogeneous
4:Juku-Shiki
5:Flying Kitchen (空飛ぶキッチン)
6:Bouillabasic Inou Ryu (ブイヤベーシック異能流)
7:Kuusou Shounenn (空想少年)
8:Tooi Natsu No Komoriuta (遠い夏の子守歌)
9:Space Merchant
10:Chinese Mermaid
11:Bochi Bochi (ぼちぼち)
12:Song0

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Keyboards
Haratti – Background Vocals
Sugipe – Background Vocals

 

Live Performance

“Saratoga Stream” was played a couple of times by [Tone, Hassy, Dr.Manzo] lineup in 2007.

“Vitamin Glass” was played once or twice by formation era Imari Tones [Tone, Hitchie, Haratti, Woi-chan].

“Juku-Shiki” was played several times by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in 2009 period, using synthesizer app on iPhone.

“Bochi Bochi” was played by Tone&Marie at some private occasions and also at Dakeno Kakari shows.

“Flying Kitchen” was played once or twice by [Tone, Baba-kun, Haratti] lineup in 2007.

“Kuusou Chounenn” was played once by Tone at one of his acoustic solo shows.

 

 

“Reluctant Savior”

Recorded in June-August 2005 (Remixed in 2015)

Release Date
October 30, 2005
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

Its original Japanese title was “無責任なメシア”.

 

It was one of the 4 albums Tone did just by himself in 2005 after the breakup of Imari Tones’ first lineup. (With background vocals provided by Sugipe & Haratti)

Most of the songs on this album are from Tone’s high school days. As a result this album sounds younger, immature, and emotional.

Being recorded with cheap equipments in a very short time period, Tone was not exactly happy with the sound quality. He remixed this album in 2015 but as of May 2022 Tone is still not happy and wanting to remix it once again.

This album is recorded along with its counterpart album “Heterogeneous Species”. But this one has more personal and emotional content.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Asa (朝)
2:Kimi Ha Mammoth (君はマンモス)
3:If Only I Could Rockn’Roll
4:Phony Phony
5:Yoru No Uta (夜の歌)
6:Angel Wind
7:fine tune
8:Osanagokoro No Funk (幼心のファンク)
9:Nami (波)
10:Bokura Noutenki (ぼくら脳天気)
11:3chords De Ikou!! (3コードで行こう!!)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Piano, Keyboards
Haratti – Background Vocals
Sugipe – Background Vocals

 

Live Performance

“3chords De Ikou!!” was played once or twice at Tone’s solo acoustic shows.

“Kimi Ha Mammoth” was played at a high school festival by Marie and her high school band when Tone&Marie was in high school. It was also played once or twice at Tone’s solo acoustic shows.

 

 

“Color Of Hers”

Recorded in September-December 2005

Release Date
January 1, 2006
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

It was one of the 4 albums Tone did just by himself in 2005 after the breakup of Imari Tones’ first lineup. (With background vocals provided by Sugipe & Haratti)

Most of the songs on this album are from Tone’s high school days. As a result this album sounds younger, immature, and emotional.
However for some reasons, things worked somewhat better on this album and you can feel the young spirit of a teenage boy rocker.

This album is recorded along with its counterpart album “fireworks”. But this album has younger and purer spirit.

The first track “I” is the very first song Tone wrote for Marie when they had a first date in their high school days.
Tone re-recorded vocal tracks for that song in March 2017, because it’s a difficult song to sing and he was not happy with his 2005 performance. However as of May 2022, Tone is saying “I can sing it better now”. But because his voice is now older, it’s not really suitable to sing this teenage love song again.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:I
2:Break Through (ブレイクスルー)
3:Omoi (思い)
4:Osekkai (おせっかい)
5:Samurai Kids
6:Teishokuya (定食屋)
7:Hidamari (日溜まり)
8:Jibun Theme (自分テーマ)
9:Hitorini Naranaide (一人にならないで)
10:Glidin’
11:Magic
12:Koi Ha Kowaiyo (恋はコワイよ)
13:Tawamure (たわむれ)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Piano, Keyboards
Haratti – Background Vocals
Sugipe – Background Vocals

 

Live Performance

“Hidamari” was played a couple of times by [Tone, Hassy, Dr.Manzo] lineup in 2007 period.

“Break Through” was originally played with one of Tone’s teenage bands and co-written with the singer Daisuke.S. Later the song arrangement was changed by Tone. But half of the songwriting credit still belongs to Daisuke.S, who is actually a professional songwriter now, even though he said to Tone “Okay, you keep it”.

 

 

“fireworks”

Recorded in September-December 2005

Release Date
February 1, 2006
But it was just a private release and not really a commercial release.

 

It was one of the 4 albums Tone did just by himself in 2005 after the breakup of Imari Tones’ first lineup.

Half of the songs on this album are from Tone’s high school days.

This album is recorded along with its counterpart album “Color Of Hers”. But this album sounds more mature and balanced for some reasons.

“Hatsuharu Renpu” was later re-recorded by German producer Sascha Paeth with English lyrics, as “Karma Flower”. However according to Tone, he prefers this original Japanese version.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

1:Sirase Kitaru (報せ来る)
2:100 Wonders
3:Hatsuharu Renpu (初春恋風)
4:Nanikawo Shinjite (何かを信じて)
5:Nantekotonai (なんてことない)
6:Uwakina Kangaroo (浮気なカンガルー)
7:Ev’rything’s Al’right
8:La Mere
9:Silent Hearts
10:Seitokaisitsu Blues (生徒会室ブルーズ)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Piano
Marie Nakamine – Lead Vocals on “Uwakina Kangaroo”

 

Live Performance

“Sirase Kitaru” was played several times by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in 2008/2009 period.

“Hatsuharu Renpu” has been regularly played as “Karma Flower” and its Japanese version by [Tone, Baba-kun, Haratti], [Tone, Hassy, Dr.Manzo], [Tone, Hassy, Jake], and [Tone, Marie, Shinryu] lineup.

“Seitokaishitu Blues” was played more than several times in Tone’s solo acoustic shows.

 

 

“Japanese Pop”

Recorded in 2006

Release Date
October 1, 2007
It was an indie release and didn’t have a proper release date.

Track 2,4&6 were produced by Sascha Paeth at Gate Studio, Wolfsburg Germany
Track 1,3,5,7,8,9&10 were produced by Tak Yonemochi at Air Pavilion Studio, Tokyo

 

Probably the only Imari Tones album recorded and produced professionally.

By the end of 2005, when Tone finished making 4 albums just by himself, he was ready and willing to quit music.
However that’s when he met Tak Yonemochi, a famous producer, music journalist, and guitarist for the international rock band Air Pavilion.

Tak Yonemochi liked Imari Tones’ music and said to Tone “You got to aim for the world”.
That changed his life and that’s what he has been doing since then.
Recommended by Mr.Yonemochi, Tone started to sing in English.

Mr.Yonemochi took Imari Tones to his friend in Germany. The person’s name is Sascha Paeth. A renowned heavy metal producer who worked with successful bands such as Angra, Edguy, Rhapsody, and Avantasia.

Imari Tones recorded 3 songs with Sascha Paeth, and 7 songs with Tak Yonemochi. The result is “Japanese Pop” album.

In the hindsight, it’s ironic this album is titled “pop”, because it made so much misunderstanding and confusion, especially in the internet era where searching algorithm decides everything.

Most of the songs on this album are re-recorded version of the songs that appeared on previous albums. They made the best song selection and re-recorded those songs in a professional facility. (Except for “Iron Hammer” and “Skies of Tokyo” that were recorded for the first time.)(“Iron Hammer” is actually one of the songs Tone wrote in his high school days, but the lyrics were re-written.)

Mr.Yonemochi recorded Imari Tones with authentic analog recording equipment for old school hard rock sound, while Sascha Paeth recorded the band with state-of-art equipment for the mainstream rock sound.

The result was good. In fact it was very good.
But Tone and other band members didn’t like the polished sound, because it didn’t sound like them.
That is why Tone decided to keep pursuing his indie way of making music.

However “Karma Flower” remains one of the most popular songs of Imari Tones, while “Winning Song” (Japanese version) is definitely one of the best moments in Imari Tones history.

According to Tone, because of psychological and technical reasons, his vocal performance on this album is the worst in his life. That’s one of the reasons he didn’t really like this album.

 

Track List

1:Winning Song
2:Karma Flower
3:That’s Why I Love You
4:Iron Hammer
5:Speechless Speaker
6:Skies Of Tokyo
7:Juku-Shiki
8:New World
9: I
10:Winning Song (Japanese)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine: Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Baba-kun: Bass
Haratti: Drums, Background Vocals

Amanda Sommerville: Background Vocals on “Skies of Tokyo”
Chisa Mia: Background Vocals on “That’s Why I Love You”
Saki Ohara: Background Vocals on “New World”
Mizuki: Background Vocals on “That’s Why I Love You” and “Winning Song” (Japanese Version)
Tak Yonemochi: Ending Lead Guitar on “Iron Hammer”, Synthesizer on “Juku-Shiki”, Background Vocals on “Iron Hammer” and “New World”.

 

Live Performance

All the songs on this album except for “I” have been played live in one way or another.

However it was “Winning Song”, “Karma Flower”, and “Iron Hammer” that were played most often.

 

 

“Welcome To The School”

Recorded in 2008

Release Date
March 31, 2009
It was an indie release and didn’t have a proper release date.

Produced by Dr.Manzo and Imari Tones

 

This was the first album Imari Tones made after they became a Christian band.
It’s a Christian album, but it was a kind of concept album. It’s an album about a relationship between human and God. The first half is called “Our Side” and it focuses on “doubt”, and the last half is called “His Side” and it focuses on “faith”.

It has some spiritual factor that was not necessarily Christian. So you can say it was more like a transition album.

At the same time this album contains some very good Christian songs such as “He’s Still With Us” and “Only One Wish”.

This album was recorded by Dr.Manzo at his home studio.
Most of the songs on this album were written in 2007/2008 period, except for “i love you, now ur on your own” was originally written sometime in 2006.

 

Track List

1:Welcome To The School
2:Illusions
3:God Has No Name
4:Freedoom
5:i love you, now ur on your own
6:Never Too Late To Learn
7:He’s Still With Us
8:Only One Wish
9:V.I.C.
10:First Pop
11:Rockn’Roll is the proof God loves us
12:Graduated From The School

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass
Dr.Manzo – Drums

Ryo-kun – Background Vocals on “Graduated From School”
Marie – Background Vocals on “V.I.C.”

 

Live Performance

“Illusions” and “God Has No Name” were played a couple of times by [Tone, Hassy, Dr.Manzo] lineup in 2008.

Also [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup played songs on this album quite a lot in 2009-2012 period. They often played “Illusions”, “i love you, now ur on your own”, “He’s Still With Us”, “Only One Wish”, and “First Pop”.
Also they occasionally played “Freedoom” and “Rockn’Roll is the proof God loves us”.

 

 

“Victory In Christ”

Recorded in November 2009 – February 2010

Release Date
October 12, 2010 (According to Spotify)

 

This is the first album by Imari Tones’ long time lineup [Tone, Hassy, Jake].
You can say this is the real debut album from Imari Tones as a Christian metal band.

It’s an album filled with strong faith, pure spirit, and fresh inspirations.

This album contains some of Imari Tones’ most popular songs such as “Faith Rider” and “Love Is To Do Something No One Dares To Do”.

All the songs on this album were written in 2009, except for “Departure” that was written on the fly in early 2010.

 

Track List

1:Testimony
2:Precious
3:A Girl In The Mirror
4:Oriental Worship
5:One On One
6:I Want A Revival
7:God Kids
8:The Wandering Savior
9:Simple
10:A Bow And An Arrow
11:Love Is To Do Something No One Dares To Do
12:Forget
13:Departure
14:Faith Rider

 

Personnel
Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass
Jake – Drums

Prayer on track8&13 – Pastor Yaw

 

Live Performance

All the songs on this album have been played live by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in one way or another, maybe except for “Oriental Worship”, “Simple”, “A Bow And An Arrow”, and “Forget”.

Especially “Testimony”, “Precious”, “Love Is To Do Something No One Dares To Do”, and “Faith Rider”, these 4 songs never left Imari Tones’ setlist during 2010-2018 period.

“Faith Rider” and “Love Is To Do” were played by [Tone, Marie, Koji] lineup, as well.

“Faith Rider”, “Love Is To Do”, and “Testimony” are currently being played by [Tone, Marie, Shinryu] lineup.

 

 

“Japan Metal Jesus”

Recorded in March-December 2011

Release Date
August 1, 2012 (According to Spotify)

 

This is the second album made by Imari Tones’ long time lineup [Tone, Hassy, Jake].

It’s a Christian rock album full of fun and Imari Tones’ own uniqueness.

According to Tone, they titled the album this way because they heard people saying there was nothing common in Japan, Heavy Metal, and Christianity. They decided to put these 3 words in the album title.

Imari Tones aimed to make something catchy, something straightforward and easy to understand on this album. They wanted to make a classic rock album that sounds as if it were recorded in 1981.

Many songs on this album have been staples at Imari Tones’ live shows.

“The Concept” and “You Key” were recorded at CFNI, Dallas TX. It was one of the few occasions, after Japanese Pop, Imari Tones’ songs were recorded at a professional facility.

“R.P.G.” was written for “Famicom Dojo”, a retro game podcast.

The songs on this album were written in 2010/2011 period.

 

Track List

1:Praise & Worship
2:The Concept
3:Jesus Train
4:Yokohama Dreaming
5:Living Water
6:Truth
7:You Key
8:Making Sure All The Gods Are Happy
9:R.P.G.
10:Give Us Your Miracles
11:Shito Shinjo
12:Living Water (Japanese version)

 

Personnel
Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass, Background Vocals
Jake – Drums, Background Vocals

Background Vocals on “You Key” – Ken-san
Background Vocals on “Shito Shinjo” – Marie

 

Live Performance

All the songs on this album have been played live by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in one way or another, except for “Praise&Worship”, “R.P.G.”, and “Shito Shinjo”.

“Jesus Train” and “Truth” were played by [Tone, Marie, Koji] lineup in 2019&2020.

“Truth” is being played by [Tone, Marie, Shinryu] lineup.

 

 

“Heroes EP”

Recorded in June 2012 – March 2013
Release Date
October 1, 2013 (According to Spotify)

 

“Heroes EP” was made with an intention to buy time until they are ready to make another album. The initial plan was to make an EP that contains 4 songs, but as the time went by more songs were added and it ended up with 7 tracks.

Probably you can’t call it an EP any more with such a volume. Maybe it’s a small album.

Imari Tones named this one “Heroes EP”, but on digital music stores and streaming services they just say “Heroes”.

Most of the guitar tracks on this “EP” were recorded with a computer plugin, because Tone wanted to try something different.

“Kiseki Wo Kudasai” is a Japanese version of “Give Us Your Miracles” that appeared on “Japan Metal Jesus”.

“Famicom Thrash” was written for their friends at “Famicom Dojo”, a retro game podcast.

Most of the songs on this album(EP) were written in 2012.

 

Track List

1:Overcome
2:Heroes
3:Follow The Light
4:Ai No Iro
5:Kiseki Wo Kudasai
6:Famicom Thrash
7:Precious (Live)

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass, Background Vocals
Jake – Drums, Background Vocals

 

Live Performance

All the songs on this EP, except for “Famicom Thrash”, have been played live by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in one way or another.

“Ai No Iro” has been regularly played at Tone’s solo acoustic shows.

 

 

“Revive The World”

Recorded in February-June 2014

Release Date
October 14, 2015 (According to Spotify)

 

This is the 3rd (or 4th if you count “Heroes” as an album) album from Imari Tones’ long time lineup [Tone, Hassy, Jake].

It’s probably the last album on which Imari Tones, as a Christian band, played with their “straight, pure, and innocent” mindset and characteristic.

Also it’s the first album on which Tone played his beloved made in Japan Bacchus Les Paul(s).

All the songs were written in 2013 period.

“The Imaginary Number Boy 3”, as the title suggests, is the sequel (sort of) to “The Imaginary Number Boy 2” that appeared on “Hero of the Light” album.

According to Tone, “Invisible Rain” is a song about the nuclear power plant incident that happened in Fukushima, Japan in 2011.

According to Tone, “17years” is a sequel to “Seventeen’s Requiem” that appeared on “Entering The New World” album. While “Seventeen’s Requiem” is (sort of) a teenage love song, “17years” is about a long time relationship.

“Born To Ride” and “Ripping Through Hell” are songs about skateboarding. It was because Tone started skateboarding in 2013.

 

Track List

1:Unlimit
2:The Imaginary Number Boy 3
3:Victory
4:Unknown Road
5:Falling
6:Steel Wheels
7:Heaven’s Gate
8:Ripping Through Hell
9:Invisible Rain
10:Hometown
11:Born To Ride
12:17years

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass, Background Vocals
Jake – Drums, Background Vocals

Background Vocals on “17years” – Marie

 

Live Performance

All the songs on this album, except for “17years” and “Invisible Rain”, have been played live by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup in one way or another.

“Unlimit” and “Unknown Road” were played by [Tone, Marie, Koji] lineup in 2019/2020.

“Unlimit” is being played by [Tone, Marie, Shinryu] lineup.

 

 

“Jesus Wind”

Recorded in February-June 2016

Release Date
November 9, 2017 (According to Spotify)

 

“Jesus Wind” is a concept album by Imari Tones. It’s a concept album about Japanese Christian history. Or a concept album about Japanese history from a spiritual viewpoint, that is mainly Christian.

Making a concept album about Japanese Christian history was a long time dream for Imari Tones. But Tone didn’t think it was possible.

However, for 2 reasons it became possible for Tone to write the songs for this album.
a) He was inspired, or urged by the political and spiritual situation of the world and Japan
b) He decided to write songs not only about the past but also about the future

This album consists of 3 parts: Past, Present, and Future.

Because of this, although Tone wrote about old Samurais and Buddhist monks, he could write about Japanese history and legacy only partially on this album.

As a result, this “Japanese history” theme was carried on for Imari Tones’ later albums, such as “Nabeshima”.

According to Tone, “Jesus Wind” album contains some political messages as well as religious ones. However those messages can be construed in any way, both for left and right. So it’s spiritual messages that really matter.

Imari Tones calls themselves a heavy metal band. However, while it’s not incorrect, they have always had other factors such as alternative rock, indie rock, and progressive rock. Its sound is/was sometimes not heavy enough to be called “metal” by a modern standard.

But on “Jesus Wind”, Imari Tones focuses more on straightforward and intense heavy metal sound, even though it still has diversity.

That is why Tone calls this album “probably the heaviest album from Imari Tones”.

All the songs on this album were written very quickly between December 31st 2013 and January 3rd 2014. Except for “Jee You”, written sometime later in January 2014.

 

Track List

[Past]
1:Jee-You
2:Dying Prophet
3:God’s People
4:Saints Seeking Salvation
5:Bushido

[Present]
6:The War
7:The Peace
8:Remembrance
9:The Wave
10:When The Nation Falls

[Future]
11:This is How Freedom Dies
12:Repent
13:Don’t Stop Walking
14:Revolution
15:New Jerusalem

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass, Background Vocals
Jake – Drums, Background Vocals

 

Live Performance

“Jee-You”, “Dying Prophet”, “Saints Seeking Salvation”, “Bushido”, The Wave”, “Repent” were played live by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup.

“Dying Prophet”, “Repent”, “Jee-You” are being played by [Tone, Marie, Shinryu] lineup in 2021/2022.

 

 

“Overture”

Recorded in March-December 2017

Release Date
December 12, 2018 (According to Spotify)

 

“Overture” is the last album from Imari Tones’ long time lineup [Tone, Hassy, Jake].

Also it’s the first album for which all the songs were written in Japanese since they became a Christian band.

After the completion of “Jesus Wind” album (recording was done in June 2016), Tone made a demo recording for “Nabeshima” album. The band members had a meeting and they concluded that they would not be able to make that album, at least with their current state. After they finished 4th “The Extreme Tour Japan” in October 2016, they had a meeting and confirmed that they didn’t have enough motivation to continue. They agreed to make one more album quickly and call it a day.

The result is the “Overture” album.
Written and recorded in a short period of time, the band recorded 7 songs, while Tone recorded 4 songs either with acoustic setup or with programmed drum tracks.

Imari Tones chose to write all the songs in Japanese language, their native tongue, because they want to put more feelings and complex emotion in a more nuanced manner. It was also for sentimental reasons.

According to Tone, this is not a heavy metal album. It’s more of an alternative rock, indie rock, or J-rock album. That was because “Jesus Wind” was already a very good heavy metal album and they didn’t feel like doing the same thing again. They wanted to do something different and they wanted to put personal messages, especially for their Japanese friends and fans.

Because the lyrics were written in Japanese, the songs on this album, compared to their earlier works, have less straightforward and more complex, sometime ironic sounding messages about Christian faith.

On “Revive The Nation”, Yona Ishikawa, Japanese Christian rock singer, appears as a guest. This song was originally written around the same time as “Revive The World” album was being made, as the title suggests. It had been shelved until “Overture” because they could not find a right singer (rapper) for the song.

“One More Continue” was written for their friends at “Famicom Dojo”, a retro game podcast.

“Cat Licks” was written in Summer 2016, as Tone was watching his American friends arguing on Facebook for their Presidential Election. Tone thought it was funny because people, both left and right, seemed to believe only what they want to believe. Tone takes pride in writing this song even before “fake news” became a word.

Artwork is based on the “stand” inspiration of Tone. Artwork drawn by Luka Terada, ex-drummer for Soul Of Faith and Christian activist.

The songs on this album were written mostly in 2016.

 

Track List

1:Overture
2:Discarded World
3:Born Again
4:Forgiven
5:Samurawanai
6:Revive The Nation
7:Cat Licks
8:Daremo Kamiwo Minai
9:Kotoba
10:Mistake
11:One More Continue

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Vocals, Guitars
Hassy – Bass, Background Vocals
Jake – Drums, Background Vocals

Co-Lead Vocals on “Revive The Nation” – Yona Ishikawa

 

Live Performance

“Overture”, “Discarded World”, “Born Again”, “Forgiven”, and “Mistake” were played live one way or another by [Tone, Hassy, Jake] lineup.

“Overture”, “Discarded World”, “Born Again”, “Daremo Kamiwo Minai” are/were played by Tone at his acoustic solo shows.

 

“Kotoba” and “Cat Licks” are sometimes played live by Dakeno Kakari.

 

 

“Bloody Acoustics” EP

Recorded in October-November 2020

Release Date
December 18, 2020 (According to Spotify)

 

After the completion of “Nabeshima” album in 2020, it seemed for Imari Tones to take some more time to release the album, because they had to make an artwork and find a label. They were waiting for the right time for the release of “Nabeshima”.

However, they didn’t want to spend another year without any release.
So they decided to make something very quick.

Koji, the drummer, had not been able to play because of his shoulder issue. As a result, Tone and Marie decided to make an acoustic EP without drums.

This project gave Imari Tones another opportunity to write Gospel songs in Japanese, their native language.

Even though it’s called “Acoustic EP”, it actually has plenty of electric guitar tracks and some drum tracks, as well as programmed synthesizer and drum machine sounds.

“Bloody Messiah” (血まみれのメサイア) was originally written as a band song. It’s an acoustic version included on this album. The band version is planned to be recorded for a future album of Imari Tones.

The albums’s original Japanese title is “血まみれのアコースティック”.

The songs on this EP were written in 2019/2020.

 

Track List

1:Bloody Messiah (Acoustic Version)
2:Yakamashii
3:Aino Kiseki
4:One Sheep

 

Personnel

Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine – Most of the stuff and lead vocals
Marie – Some of the stuff and background vocals on “One Sheep”

 

Live Performance

“Bloody Messiah” is being played by Tone at his solo acoustic shows, as well as Tone&Shinryu’s “Aiiro Imari” (藍色伊万里 – Imari Blue) acoustic shows.

 

 

“Nabeshima”

Recorded in September 2019 – February 2020
Release Date
July 6th, 2021
Released from Sliptrick Records

 

When Imari Tones was working on “Jesus Wind” album, they were looking for their Japanese roots. They were searching their identity as a Japanese band and wanted to play Christian rock music in more authentic, Japanese style.

During that period, Tone wrote so many songs with Japanese traditional flavor. Those songs didn’t appear on “Jesus Wind” album, because it was a concept album and they didn’t fit in the story.

However, Tone knew those songs were what he was wanting to play. Those songs had the sound he had been looking for for a long time. That was the music he always wanted to play.

He didn’t make any limit. Diverse, progressive, experimental, freeform, yet distinctively Japanese, traditional, and heavy metal in an authentic manner.

“Nabeshima” is a name for a kind of Imari pottery.
Imari Tones was named after 17th century Imari porcelain. While those Imari potteries were all beautiful, “Nabeshima” was on a different level. “Nabeshima” is the best part of Imari porcelain. It has almost spiritual, multi dimensional beauty. Since the moment he was mesmerized by this “Nabeshima” porcelain, Tone had decided someday he would make music like this.

After finding Christian faith and playing international tours, and seeking identity as a Japanese band, this was the ultimate answer for Imari Tones.

This is one of a kind “Japanese Traditional Christian Heavy Metal”.

It’s a double album consists of 24 tracks.
11 songs are sung in Japanese, while 11 songs are sung in English and the other 2 are instrumental tracks.

Since it’s a multi-culture, multi-language, multi-viewpoint, multi-style album, it may be difficult for some people to understand what Imari Tones are doing here on “Nabeshima”, but we are certain this is both an artistic and a spiritual peak in Imari Tones history.

The songs on this album were written in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

 

Track List
(Original Japanese title in parentheses)

Disk1
1:Passion
2:Lord’s Prayer
3:Sakura Day
4:Atomic Jam
5:123,4&5
6:Sakura Night
7:Extravaganza
8:Chanbara
9:Yamagoya3
10:Jidai
11:Bloodthirsty
12:God Anthem

Disk2
1:Crucified Boy (磔少年)
2:Sonic Soldiers
3:The Garden
4:Who Are You
5:Sengoku Christians (戦国キリシタン)
6:Screaming Sin
7:Matsuo
8:Once In A Lifetime (千載一遇)
9:Redemption
10:Tsukuru
11:Not Of This World
12:Utage (宴)

 

 

Live Albums

Imari Tones has released several live albums on their Bandcamp page.

 

“The Record of Live 2004”

Released in 2004

Its original Japanese title is “2004年の演奏活動の記録”.

Featuring the first incarnation of the band Imari Tones [Tone, Minetti, Haratti].
It also features Mizuki, Tone’s sister, on keyboards and background vocals.

 

“Imari Tones in Glory Zone”
Released in 2010

“Imari Tones in Glory Zone 2”
Released in 2011

“Atomic Live!”
Released in 2015

 

 

Singles

 

“Lion Roar (feat. Brinson)”

Release Date
September 4, 2020

It was a collaboration song between Imari Tones (Tone) and Brinson, Florida based American Christian rapper.

Tone was planning to include this song in the “Best Album” of Imari Tones. But the plan for the best album is currently on halt, as of May 2022.

 

 

Recording Plans

 

After “Nabeshima” album, Imari Tones is planning to release following:

1) Very straightforward, very fun, easy to understand hard rock album

2) Another Japanese traditional metal album in line with “Nabeshima”

3) World journey album about Christian history

4) Japanese Worship album using Shamisen

5) Some occasional EPs

Only God knows if these are possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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