May 19, 2011

ALL AGES New Support Drummer

ALL AGES New Support Drummer 5/11- 5/20 (2011)

All Ages would like to thank Masa "The Machine" Kaida for his 9 month support with us. This post is about a month late. We wish Masa well while he pursues his own interests in Tokyo and continues his career as a professional drummer in Japan. Good luck Masa!

For the past 3 shows and for our show finale in Tokyo (all Sold Out shows) we have had the pleasure of working with our good friend Kenta Tochio. He is a drummer from Osaka and has been working with the band OFF ROCK. We asked him on short notice to support our tour with Noodles and he was quick to respond. We've never had such an astute and dedicated drummer and even though we've only been playing for two weeks together, he has brought a new life to All Ages that Tom and I have truly missed.

Our last show is this Friday in Tokyo @ LOFT opening for The Pillows and featuring Noodles and Bugy Craxone… after this show Tom and I will return to San Francisco to begin work on our 2nd Album and to rejoin our staff @ Shameless Self Productions to continue our 9-5 projects… (more like 9-9)...

This past year has been difficult and we truly want to thank the three drummers who supported us during this time and allowed All Ages to continue on in good fashion… So, thanks Josh, Masa, and Tochio.

We are excited to say we have made leaps in our expectations because of this tour and All Ages will be around for a long long time… until the next post… Peace, Love and Rock and Roll.

May 15, 2011

Sendai SHOW ------- venue: Enn

Sendai Enn

Tonight we played our show with Noodles, Bugy Craxone, Jack Pot Bell, and Channel 8 in Sendai. We delivered our original bed sheet banner and the first 15 yard banner to the club and they proudly displayed them. Neat huh? It's fun watching projects come to fruition as planned. We felt good playing too… we missed it… I missed it.

After the show all the bands and the venue staff went out to eat and drink… I'm constantly amazed by people here in Japan. I think it's because in School I wasn't forced to learn another language… Whereas in Japan, English is a standard requirement. Although broken and often bad, it's understandable. I had a great time getting to know Channel 8 and discussing a possible US tour for them… Tom hung with Bad Music (All Ages management in Japan) Maury and Chie. We are relieved to find that they don't fault us for having to leave Japan in the middle of tour as a result of the Fukushima incident. We were nervous, but now we feel fine.

We still have a lot of ground to cover and make up work to do, but it will have to come later, better planned and done out of joy rather than a need or obligation. Most of these bands have been together for 10-20 years (seriously!) … All Ages has only been together for 6 years. We constantly question ourselves… why haven't we "made it" in 6 years when so many bands come together and in just a short period and "make it" … The problem was our definition of "making it".

We were bluntly told, "You made it, you are it… whatever it is!" It put our minds at ease and suddenly the game is fun again. They call us their little brother band. We are approaching 30 (years old) but we are at least 10 years younger than the members in these groups… We are just a young band.

They say, think of this way; You are 6 years old (learning to spell) (as a band)… Bugy is 13 (their body is changing in strange and mysterious ways) Noodles is 18 (legal finally) and The Pillows (Show May 20th in Tokyo) is 24… Most bands don't make it past 2 years.

The glass is half full … but full of what?

Sendai >>

We have had limited access to the internet, so my post will be from several days ago and contain a few days of notes... hope you read this in good health and know that your prayers and well wishes are felt all the way over here in Japan...

The damage here is unbelievable. We are being guided through the rubble by a friend of a friend… He has been explaining the devastation. Fires, Floods, and the sweep of the tsunami that wiped structures across the entire city. The sight is heavy… cars destroyed, upside down, inside out and even on rooftops (the few left) The entire town smells like death --(fish we say to ourselves)… Our guide brings us to reality, "We are still finding bodies… I found parts the other day." He explains that deep in the rubble are many more but they lack the resources to dig them out quickly enough. It's evident all that is being done is all that can be done. I thought I've had life changing experiences… but I was wrong. Even this moment isn't a life changing experience… It has creating life within us.
We had a visit to a shelter today. The conditions are good… very clean. The people are hopeful and happy… eager to talk to a stranger and tell them their stories. Everyone is separated by cardboard walls. Cardboard also lines the entire floor, about the size of a gymnasium. Everyone was friendly… Many explained that they lost every material thing they owned and all they have now is what has been given through charity. They were very appreciative of the banner. The volunteer staff hung it building-length for all to see.

We met many fisherman who had been to California and Canada, fishing for tuna. They were happy to see an American and asked to shake my hand… "please take this handshake with you…" many would say. "I'm happy to do that…" I'd reply. So many follow the law of giving and receiving and wouldn't let us leave until we consumed some of their precious rations, which we did with joy and gratitude.

A friend of ours working with "Genki for Japan" made the trip with us and we helped hand out tote bags, hand made with a message of love inside from the maker. The appreciation was overwhelming and it was difficult to hold in tears of empathy. We passed out and spoke with over 200 people, mostly older in their 70's and 80's but a few young children followed us around.

Tom did a great job, taking a microphone and addressing the entire shelter. I'm not sure what he said, but he made them laugh and smile… Some said they hadn't done either in months.

We are now heading to a volunteer post to say hello, deliver another banner and ask how their efforts are going. Just curious. After, we are heading to one more town and shelter to repeat…

It never seemed like a waste of time that we put our music and tour on hold to work on this charity and help other charities… but after talking to people and seeing them happy… the idea is confirmed. Love is the answer, ne?!

May 10, 2011

The Road to Sendai or Japan 2.0

Back in Tokyo...
Sitting in the Tokyo airport again. The time reads 0:06. Our connecting flight to Osaka is in 7 hours.

The plan: Get picked up by Tom's mom and go to his family house. Eat breakfast, shower, sleep for a couple of hours and then meet up with our new drummer and hit a rehearsal studio for an intensive 5 hour practice. After practice we load the van and head to Tokyo. Right where I'm sitting now!

These past few weeks felt like a blur. Meaningless to me, just work, work and more work. I have lost my expectations. Will we be famous? Will we be wealthy? Too many questions… I'm going to try something new and not really care too much. The past few years, this whole project has been a failure in the sense of making money, and building a larger fan-base. It has been a success in the networking area… well, time will tell...

Looking forward, we have four shows, and I think part of both Tom and I know this is the end of All Ages… at least as a lifestyle. It's too complicated to live like this…no money coming in and floods of money being poured out… We travel the world and play for hundreds and thousands of people and they love us… but the numbers just don't translate. We have four shows and I'm not sure what either of us is holding on for... but we do.

The charity work has been the greatest thing Tom has ever done. He has gained international attention and worked hard producing the song and video for "Words of Love". I'm very proud he stood up and took control. I really just feel like I'm along for the ride… I feel like I'm losing the part of me that pushed so hard… But I'm still in the game.

They make these airport benches just soft enough to want to sleep, but just uncomfortable enough to piss me off! We'll have to wait and see what happens next.