That sucks blazer, I was hoping to meet up with you and hang out in Ochanomizu and help you find some Japanese market Ibanez to take home with you
I've only been playing consistently for 2 and a half years but my definition of success would be to play a few live houses and MAYBE jsut get some minor recognition in the metal scene. I dont even need to be on a major label, just to be able to create some of my own music and play it for people, even if it's like 20 people and some dump of a live house (plenty of those here in Nagoya
I told my drummer about you so we wanted to possibly use you and then all we would need is a bassist. My original role was that of singer only even though I played guitar but if we could tour with drummer, bassist, one guitar, and me doing only singing that would be perfect. Low key dives are fun types of gigs and you can connect. I remember Guitar Wolf coming from Japan and doing dives over here and they were on shoestring budget but it was the best rock and roll show I have ever seen. Our stuff are similar easy songs and all and in the cross metal/punk style of the Offspring or even Billy Idol. It's guitar driven but virtually no lead guitar work even though drummer and I love stuff like Joe Satriani.
All the previous bands I didn't sing and just did lead guitar but I got bored of that after too many years.
We planned to buy gear in Japan, but simple stuff and not the kit we have in the USA, and ditch it and give it to high school kids or something. We envisioned something like a 4 piece starter Tama for drummer, and GIO Ibanezes for bassist and myself. Small 20 watt solid state Fender or Vox amps would do the work turned up high and maybe a 100 watt PA. It's just too pricey to get cases for stuff and ship across the ocean, so budget end Hoshino stuff would do us well.
I read that the prices of shipping gear in flight cases has become so repulsive that John Bonamassa simply bought a redundant gear setup with amps and effects for his overseas tours and keeps it on that continent. When you go over the ocean that's when shipping stuff in flight cases becomes as expensive as the gear itself over time. The drummer seems well heeled with cash from family business but still needs to be practical. Knowing him he would get a J Custom (or six) in Japan and ship it back to the states just for kicks. He has the role of drummer in band but loves all things Ibanez. While others have played with us and asked why we didn't primarily play guitar, it was just that he wanted to put his best foot forward which is as a drummer and myself as a frontman/singer. I am no singer but luckily this type of music isn't Placido Domingo stuff.
The good thing is at small outdoor Tokyo gigs I don't think powerchord pop punk really needs perfect fret ends and and original Ibanez Edge to make it happen and we could get same sound if we bought cheaper Ibby gear there and then ditched it. Maybe we would have had to rent a slightly bigger PA and then we can mic stuff and get better sound control but hopefully that wouldn't be too expensive.
The good thing about being 45-58 is that none of us are trying to start a business anymore (others also have businesses) and are in the winding down stage of life. None of us have mortgages anymore or car payments. And none of us are in that 7 day a week mode that you can put in when you are teens through mid-30s without breaking a sweat so it's easier in that sense to take time off for a tour. The harder part is we are all married and honestly, don't have the physical energy it takes to play like we once did. Wives may or may not want to come but it may not be a real vacation worrying about carting around gear and having to be at a few places for gigs. A real vacation ideally is when you can show up at a new country with no specific plans or commitments and can go where you please. So in a sense it would be like a work vacation and those are often work and no vacation. Yes, the three of us flying over from the states would enjoy it but wives not so much.
So there, that's our excuses of us being old and not having true vactation level freedom for wives. Add to this the youngest member of band, the drummer is mid-40s but with small child so there would have to be something for him to do and rock gigs isn't in the mix.
We really did squander earlier chances when drummer was routinely going overseas for his family business and we could have all traveled then on the cheap and gigged since it was only me who was married and nobody had kids. Being young and thinking that music would always be around, plus that physical energy, we all thought we could catch the next flight and do a gig. We could have flown out of San Jose and do one of gigs on east coast several times a year, Carribean, Asia, Europe, etc and piggy back on drummer's trips when he was a lowly traveling sales rep for his dad's business. The only thing I heard from drummer was about how awful airplane travel was and the often mentioned less than stellar accomodations and then think of doing that carting around at least a guitar. No thanks, man but now years later I would have jumped on a chance. Air travel for a small business is a great write off and we could have traveled free back then.
Maybe if you could find a bassist over there and you do guitar, and you both have travelling amps (not too big) then drummer and I can show up and rent PA for me and buy small Tama for drummer and just do smallish gigs. We could make it short tour and leave wives at home and sleep on floors with sleeping bags. It's been a pain trying to get a bassist to go with us because they don't know us, and share no history, and they don't know Japan so it's a hard sell.
I don't care if all the drummer and I experience are open mics and high schools, it's the experience of traveling and playing which we seek. Hopefully, the draw of Americans and a slightly different take on rock music will be a draw enough in Japan. Neither of us travelled far from home and drummer once played 125 miles away in SF and I once went 500 miles away to San Diego but that's it. Both of us have been to Japan more than once but playing didn't occur to us.
At the very least I hope some young Jemsite members read this thread
and get the bright idea of bringing their guitar on family vacation next time. Bring small amp, soft case, and hit open mic jams. It may not seem all that interesting but when you are older and look back on life, I guarantee it will be one of those things you will always remember. Though I only did the outside the area gig in San Diego when I was 18 but got to play a large venue, I literally think about that time every single time I strap on a guitar and play with others. Who knows if I played well or not, but there was a certain high that playing far from home carried with it and it stayed with me and could be the only reason why I still play 30 years later.