Since I was a teen, I was crazy about American music and formed my band. Film, Art, Literature … a lot of things born in the United States have captivated me. I’m now in the United States and doing a tour with my own band, and I want to tell my 19 years old self, “I am on the starting line for what you wanted now it’s up to you.”
In this era, we can deliver our music and do live streaming to the world through the internet. We can talk with people all over the world on SNS (Social Networking Services). However, it’s impossible to realize the connection online. It can be only felt by actually acting, by touching a living person. And, it’s exciting and fun at the highest, which cannot be changed to anything.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the cultural differences, not in food and customs, because these things seem obvious. Here’s more of an example:
One day we were at the airport in Minneapolis. With our passports in hand, I was nervous and stood in line at customs. The agent looked at our visa documents while making a difficult face. For foreigners, it’s a very nervous moment.
READ MORE: Five Japanese dishes to try
“Are you a musician?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m a member of Japanese rock band, I came to do tour in the USA,” I responded.
“Are you a guitarist? What guitar do you use?”
“It’s Fender Telecaster.”
“Oh, I have one! I will show you it next time.”
That’s a nice conversation that we definitely could never have with a customs agents in Japan.
Another example happened the other day when I spoke with a T-shirt shop clerk on the street.
“Are you a rock band from Japan? What kind of band do you like?”
“Well, I like The Pixies …”
“Pixies! Nice, they’re cool!”
And, we had an exchange about music. There’s almost no such conversation like that in Japan.
The Smiths and Fugazi are rarely heard in Japanese restaurants or cafes in the cities. It’s decided, somehow, that only some clubs play such music. There’s never a chance in Japan that a female at the age of my mother is dancing to these songs. But, in the USA, l saw such a situation many times. I think it’s wonderful.
It may be the same in Japan that there’s music on in everyday life. However, it’s hardly seen in Japan that people of all generations can naturally enjoy all kinds of music. In Japan, it seems like the music to listen to is decided by the generation.
READ MORE: How to get through Customs hassle-free
Now, we are touring around the east coast. We’re touring lots of New York cities, including the famed New York City, as well as Buffalo — Boston, towns across Ohio and Pennsylvania too. We’d like to go out west, through the Midwest and the southern states sometime too. Each and every city is a wonderful city for us to convince you all of the power and love of music!
— — —
For more on Yuzuru Takeda and The Molice visit their website: