Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mountain Man


Finally in Sendai; Joe and Tenny's friends and fam here in plenty.

Lovin' the bass setup here at Macana. Marshall cab and...head starts with an A and its not Ampeg and it looks really old but I have amazing control over my mids.

And the green room is easily the most relaxing; up there with Narciss.




I seem to have confused all yall when I talked about getting the song the day before.

I mentioned that we'd written a particular song and played it at our one-man in March.
We don't want fans to get restless so we decided to self-finance at least one song to tide people over, for sale at our one-man next month.

But Schwarz said, well if we're going to release just that one, I'd like to make it better.

He worked very hard, but we were so busy that he couldn't finish the rough demo until, say it with me, THE DAY BEFORE.

So yeah, that's all. :) And it's almost a new song entirely!

Anyway I'm sure somehow you guys n dolls will hear it, so I hope you at least like one idea in there!;;

I am in a car to Sendai MACANA right now, gonna rock some clocks aw yeah

Tenten and Joe are from Sendai, as is Skull. Should be a good show, sponsored by Visunavi.

Lotsa green up north here; quite a nice change of pace!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Recording. I can't decide if it's really fun or really soul-crushing.

Here's how it worked:

-Write a song several months ago and work it up to speed and perform it at one-man live

-THE DAY BEFORE recording, receive a "reworked" demo which might as well be an entirely different song, get asked to write some new lyrics and melodies, scramble, panic

-Meet in 'bukuro at 6 AM goodness gracious, drive forever and a day to the studio, it is really far, listen a lot to the song in the car considering we only got it THE DAY BEFORE

-Drums take forever, not because the guy is bad, because he's fantastic, but hey remember we all got the song THE DAY BEFORE

-other than a couple of small hiccups, bass takes no time at all; how awesome am I (very) (nah but seriously it didn't take that long, even though I got the song THE DAY BEFORE)

-guitars take a few MILLION YEARS because we must have layered every single guitar part--and there were so, so many. Also since we got the song THE DAY BEFORE Schwarz played most of the guitar parts while Joe provided some brilliant tinkly-bits, if I do say so myself, but not so much of the main riffs, because remember we got the song THE DAY BEFORE

-similarly vocals take a few MILLION YEARS because Tenten hasn't recorded in a few years and I have never had to lay down my own vocals before. The engineer tells us point-blank that our voices don't blend very well for the harmonies, which is sad to hear because live they sound good and I sort of pride myself on my ability for vocal arrangements, so I had to quickly attempt to teach all my parts to Tenten, and there were a lot. I have not mentioned in this point yet that we only got the song THE DAY BEFORE

-leave the studio at 3am, get home at 5. I have been up for over 24 hours and that is really dumb you guys.

A lot of my arrangement ideas were perhaps too ambitious for a session of a song we'd all only received THE DAY BEFORE, and either couldn't be laid down in time or, upon listening in context, did not fit the song at all. One of my big ideas made it in, but given the time crunch it'll be interesting to see how the mixing turns out. Also we couldn't figure out what the difference between mixing and mastering was, even after being told.

Positives: But I mean, I learned a ton and learned that there are still things I need to learn and it is really, really cool to hear a final project coming together. Starting to feel like a band. I've been saying that a lot, but there are various moments when I believe it just a little bit more.

So, live news, if you are like me and lazy and aren't gonna check a different site just to see some live dates:

-Shikkoku Symphony on 8/15 with Duel Jewel, Clear Veil, Dali, Heisei Isshin, and a bajillion more

-9/18, Shibuya O-WEST! When Laverite started, I once thought, "you know, if I get to play O-West one day, that can be my high note." Seems a bit of a small goal now. Anyway, that show is with Oz, Nega, Lulu, born, and Skull.


Saturday, June 27, 2009



-check the website for cool live news!

-We bought a car!

-We're recording today!

-Cool surprises coming up.

-Tuesday is Sendai, sort of our warm-up for the tour. July came fast!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

drum circle


For our Sendai live next Tuesday, Masami won't be coming with us as drummer.

But the guy that's coming with us should do just fine~ :D

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When in Rome...



And now a taste of my Japanese blog, and most band dude blogs, and you can see that we are boring and not-at-all hardcore.

I saw bottled iced chai. Chai is delicious and I don't do Staba so I bought it.

It's stuff like this until rehearsals or lives. (°□°;)

Scuber Dive, Shibuya ga Taihen


There's a summer VK festival in Tokyo and Osaka; Scuber Dive. It's divided into "Shibuya ga Taihen" and "Naniwa ga Taihen".

The Shibuya one will be on August 3rd at O-'s East, West, Crest, Nest, Duo Music Exchange, and club Asia. You buy one ticket for the whole day and can get into any of the live houses.

There's no timetable yet, but here are the bands that are going to be in Shibuya on 8/3:

Aikuru, Ashe, Administrator, 12012, M, Elm, Gizmo, Zoro, Dali, Deathgaze, Duel Jewel, Tokyo Michael, NaiL, Nega, Hacchi, Lolita 23ku, Art Cube, Aoi, ALSDEAD, Gilltia, Jully, Juliet, Danger Gang, NightengeiL, heidi, Hi:BRiD, boogieman, Arc, Vanessa, Varna, Vidoll, Kalvary, Clear Veil, Dog in the Parallel World Orchestra, Heisei Isshin, Moran, Lycaon, counting a sheep, Kelli, Dhalis, Chariots, Dio, Hana Shounen Baddies a.k.a. Billy, Megaromania, meth, Layla, and CHEMICAL PICTURES wassup

shoot 3


Photo shoot last night. Whee〜

Also haircut!

Sunday, June 21, 2009



Why do people keep saying I'm in Versailles's new video??

Is it because I am? Most obviously at the 2:46 mark?

Saturday, June 20, 2009



Some news; on 8/27 at Cyber, we're gonna be playing with Cult Fiction Club, Canzel, SuG, Toon Factory, and DragonWAPPPPPPER.

Live Report 6/17/09, Ikebukuro Cyber: Chemical Pictures, etc.


Cyber is tiny and cramped and dirty and a real pain in the butt to deal with at a physical level.


On the other hand, the staff is great, and there is no dividing bar at the front, so the fans are crammed right to the front of the stage. It is a great feeling. You think that since all these places are relatively small you'd feel some sort of intimacy as it is, which is more true of some places than others. Holiday and Area feel a little far, Narciss feels good when it's packed, but Cyber is just soooo tiny and dingy and such a dive but they're crammed up to the front with you and you can look them in the eyes and watch their hearts flutter, and I sort of laugh inside because I think there are so many more interesting things than me to go crazy about.


It was an early morning that started with us filming something BUT I'M NOT TELLING YOU WHAT, NOT YET, JEEZ, then heading in to rehearsal. The place is crazy tiny, and the dressing room is like, a closet, so we really didn't have a chance to chat with any other bands. Tenten knows some of the guys in Hana Shounen Baddies (formerly Billy), but that was about it honestly.


I remember the lights being extra hot. Oh also it's Schwarz's birthday today (6/19)! He got tons and tons of letters, and some from overseas. One from America had 150 yen taped to the inside of the letter, which is just enough to buy a bottle of our favorite milk tea. :D He really liked the presentation of that one.


All in all it's been incredibly busy as a band lately, maybe not so much in terms of live activity (although that certainly contributes), but lots of behind-the-scenes preparations. It's exhausting and I'm a bit more moody than usual, and that's sort of sad to realize. And I know I don't have much to show for it yet, not to you guys, much as I'd like to... but come summer time I should have interesting things to talk about, I hope.


One thing that's been fun is all these little inside jokes that are coming to fruition as we play a lot and meet people. Steve Appleton and I also chatted about how great it is to be a musician, because without even speaking to each other, having played the same songs together even just over a day, you already have your own little language of musical communication within that group, whether they are musical gags/jokes or just the sheer joy of playing together. If you've gathered a good group together, that is. And I do feel that with these guys.


Masami will be with us up until the one-man on Tenten's birthday, and then... I dunno. But dang I love this guy.


And I got my first two letters ever from Japanese fans! One was sent to our fanmail address and one was brought to Cyber itself. Whee~

Whereas last year I felt like I depended mostly upon all the wonderful, amazing, and diverse people who read this English blog, I've been glad to be a part of something that has a decent following among the Japanese fans as well, because through the Japanese blog I've been able to meet similarly wonderful, amazing, and diverse people.

also is it just me or are most of the people who read my blogs way super hawt

Next is Sendai! I will have no opportunity to eat any of its famous beef tongue, and for that I am very sad. ;_;

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Steve's Japan band


I'm going to assume I'm not allowed to post the shots with Steve, but you can see his picture whenever you want, because he is a good-looking bastard and I do not want you to look at me and then look at him and then never look at me again because seriously look at that guy what a jerk; talented and young and studly and a super-nice guy; wanna punch him this is HIGHLANDER right here*

Ahem. L to R, Ryo (drums), Jimi (that is ME; bass), JJ (keys), Tomas (guitar).

*i do not really want to punch anybody he is a fine upstanding fellow and we can make a crowd DANCE i tell you what

Live Report 6/12/09, Shinjuku Holiday: Chemical Pictures,


We had trouble from the get-go, all morning, into rehearsal, it was horrible and crazy and I was a very depressed, sad little guy, wandering around the building with the guys, apologizing to anyone and everyone who would lend an ear...

BUT I GUESS EVEN JUST OUR REHEARSAL WAS MIND-BLOWING because everything was smoothed out and everyone was like "psh jimi why you gotta worry". And most people just said, "well, if you feel the need to apologize, you can make it up to everyone by rocking the crap out of the crowd tonight."

...which was a beautiful sentiment, and just what I needed to hear. :)


J-mom Michika showed up, as did Ryo, Satsuki, and Shun from Rentrer en Soi... initially just to see their roadie's band play, but once they knew that I was playing, they stayed until the end of our set. That was way, way cool of them and they didn't even have to stay.


The other cool thing about this show was getting to hang out with the Yumeji/Kenji/Shunsuke/Maru/Tsukasa session guys!


Here's me and Maru. We became friends instantly. He had me take a bunch of polaroids for their merch table with him and Yumeji. Shunsuke has been setting up really cool events for us, and is a reassuringly laid-back guy. Kenji, formerly of Wyse and now in Virgil, has also become a fast friend.


And Yumeji, from Mello and Rhyolite. An utterly fantastic guy; everything he says to me, every piece of advice he gives to me, is just so... sagacious. Was definitely almost moved to tears at a coupla points, and that was just in normal conversation. The older brother I never had, without a doubt.

How nice to know I have people over here who insist I am their son/brother/cousin! :D

Their session opened with Pink Spider, a Rize song, Lips by Kat-tun, and some bis songs.

Also I got my first present from a fan! Or rather I should say a present from someone I didn't already know! Not that I don't appreciate those too! Just, felt like a little milestone, yanno? :-P

-Yodare Chaos into SE from homepage
1. Human Rubbish (a brighter song than the title would suggest! Visual pop rocks)
2. Präparat (quickly becoming the big CP song)
3. Walking Ashland (high-tempo countrified blues)
4. Suffering (punch-you-in-the-face metal)
5. I wanna get away (pop-punk chorus and a heavy crushing bridge)

Next one is at Cyber on Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Steve Appleton Showcase


I'm cheating on CP today.

Tomas, JJ, Meev's drummer and I are supporting Steve Appleton at his showcase live tonight. We had a long, productive, fun rehearsal yesterday. Tomas is an amazing, amazing jazz guitarist, JJ is a brilliant rock keyboardist, Meev's drummer is disgustingly tight, and I'm just some punk kid from a little VK band. Also, Steve is a genius jazz pianist and no slouch on guitar either.

Should be fun!

Monday, June 08, 2009



Why am I with JJ (drummer from 4 most recent Tommy videos and TV appearance with me) and Tomas (drummer from first 2 Tommy videos with me), and Miyavi's drummer?

All will be revealed tomorrow!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Magazine #2


I totally forgot to mention, but there's a long 2-page interview with Chemical Pictures in this month's issue of Alive...


("Alive" is part of Visualive who have been helping us out tons lately; good peeps. Also we have the cover of the next issue, shhhh :-*)

Live Reports-ish: Gossip, ...



Gossip had a one-day reunion show, and Chemical Pictures' current drummer, Masami, was their drummer, so after various separate errands, Schwarz, Joe, and myself met up at Shinjuku Holiday and made our way backstage. We had bought some drinks for the Gossip guys but we got there just as they were about to head onstage. We ran into Ryo and Shun from Rentrer en Soi, who remembered me and gave me warm greetings, and finally put two and two together that the gaijin in Chemical Pictures is me. (Both "gaijin in VK" and "that new Chemical Pictures band" are getting around pretty fast.) Joe's renewed presence in VK is also a blast from the past for a lot of fellow band dudes, and he seems to have a lot of old friends with a lot of catching up to do; Ryu from Administrator was one of them. Nice guy. Almost forgot; had a reunion with Yumeji too! (ex-Mello, ex-Rhyolite)

Gossip was fun. Hiro's pretty funny. Kaname and Schwarz briefly played together in the recent past so it was cool to meet him too. Masami was having a lot of fun; in the MC when he mentioned that he was drumming for CP, the 3 of us in the back almost, almost cheered but that woulda been annoying. :-P


Schwarz, clearly a non-believer in the concept of private property, decided to try on Masami's jacket. I still don't think he's noticed that my face is in the picture.


Afterward, Masaki called me up and wanted to chill some more, and he also knew Joe, so we went and said hello, and Schwarz and Joe headed back to their respective homes while Masaki and I had a very, very chill drinkin' time.

And that was that!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Banzai Butterfly


Just darling and dreamy!

I loved "Doko" and its video, and while I'm not often sold on Kaela's concepts, she does manage to look like she's having a lot of fun and cute to boot in "Banzai", which is a nice, fun song.

And then she surprised a friend at the friend's wedding party by coming out and performing this song impromptu for them. I like the melodies involved, and while I think the song could benefit from a sparser instrumentation, I think it works all around. :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Askew 2: Elec-tric Boogaloo


If you go to Askew and download the 2nd issue, which you should because I am in it but also people way more interesting than me as well, then you might make a few people really happy, me for sure, but also the people who worked hard to put it together, to build it up from the dirt out of nothing like a primeval creator god;

just do it okay, sheesh

There are pretty pictures. There are pretty colors. There are pretty boys and girls. Also I'm sure, like, some of the fonts are pretty too, you weird font people.

(by "I am in it" I mean "I am in it because Chemical Pictures is in it", and Chemical Pictures is a band I am in)

And even if you buy a subscription this is way cheaper than trying to import a Japanese magazine and also easier because it is in the Queen's English. Heck, I have qualifications and I'd still rather read an English magazine!

Q: what are you going to do right now?
A: i dunno, call a friend, see if they wanna go see-- WRONG! The answer is, download Askew #2.

Monday, June 01, 2009

oh my erm what also fanmail


Lots going on, hoping everything falls into place nicely. I'm not really a fan of having to, like... do things. In the band. That aren't related to just making music. OH WELL :D (i like you guys though)

Oh, so we have a fanmail address now!

MBE120 「g-heart」内
ケミカルピクチャーズ 〇〇宛


Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Shinjuku 2-3-1
Shinjuku Monolith B1F
MBE120 "g-heart"
Chemical Pictures (member name)

Just in case anyone wants to be ridiculous (or awesome!) and pay high prices for overseas shipping. :-P