Heavy-metal on board!
Last year, exactly on the same day (Feb 1st) we went to Florida, US for the first time.
There are many crazy metal festivals around the globe. But there is no doubt that 70000tons of Metal is The craziest metal fest in the whole world.
And what is crazy about is that 4 days in a row, there are no stop metal shows performed on board of a ship!
It's a return cruise from Miami to the Turks Islands.
Anyway, it was a great honor to take part in it.
GYZE were flying from Narita to Miami via Chicago.
Even thought it was early February, the temperature was near 30°C; comparing to Hokkaido, it felt like a different world.
But the atmosphere of that place where the time passes so slowly perfectly fit me, a resident of Hokkaido.
The space on board was 100% filled with true metalheads that didn't feet the interior of the gorgeous cruise ship
The thing I really admired was that artists and audience were all sharing the same space on board.
I'm sure that if it was Japan - artists and audience would be totally separated in all times...
I was thinking about it when getting on board.
The atmosphere there reminded me of the Disneyland.
During 4 days we were to play 2 times.
Also, I was really honored to be chosen to join the All Star Jam session as a guitarist.
Also I've held a guitar clinic and we had a sign session on board too.
Another great thing - there were many great bands that I listen to on board so I surfed from stage to stage to listen them live.
The open stage outdoors was amazing as you can listen to metal while sunbathing and enjoying the true feel of the Caribbeans!
But despite all of that I couldn't stop worrying that metalheads on board won't be in a mood for GYZE show.
Thanks to the free flyers we distributed and the fact that GYZE was the only Asian band on board we got more attention than we could imagine.
When we were walking on board here and there we heard something like "Are you Guys (GYZE)??"
Yeah, not calling GYZE correctly [gízeə] is the same for all the countries.・・・(sad smile)
This time I wanted to have a challenge so I decided to perform a new song for the first time.
It was a song with a lot of sing along parts so we're hoping for the audience's support.
And what we got was a great choir of metalheads singing with us and the performance was a great success! And we harvested even more...
As you might know the song Dragon Calling has a strong Japanese melody and vibe.
And thanks to that performance I feel like I understood something about my songwriting.
There is no chance you'll get bored on board of 70k tons as it keeps entertain you non stop! There is a pool from where you can enjoy watching shows.
Unlimited meals in the restaurants.
And for those who drinks - there was more that one can possibly consume.
So for me who doesn't drink there was absolutely nothing to complain about, it was a paradise.
How amazing is the horizon above the Caribbean sea.. Enjoying the view I was thinking if the pirates on their ships were also sailing here as we do now?..
One of the big events during the cruise is a day off at the Turks islands where you can get off board.
The feel of Latin America and a chance to swim in the sea.
The panorama and splashing in water like five-year-olds definitely didn't match with traditional image of metalheads -
but everyone seemed to really enjoy it!
And leaking some info as an example - GYZE were also swimming in the beautiful and inappropriate for metalheads sea fooling around like kids.
Also, we had a unique opportunity to talk to the festival owner and main organizer while interviewing him for Japanese metal magazine BURRN!.
What stayed in my memory from that interview is that 70% of the sailors on-board were repeaters.
In the middle of the fierce winter, in February, we could go cruising South America, listen to great metal, play shows and everyone had their own room.
And yes, there are a lot of repeaters on board.
The second our stage on board finished.
Comparing to the first stage we played on the second one was smaller but the reaction of the audience was hotter.
And The All Star Jam.
I was wondering why I was chosen to take part in it. We had a meeting in the morning and went straight on stage. Here is a video of it so I'd happy if you watched it.↓
The point I want you to draw your attention to is when I approached Schmier from DESTRUCTION, his sound got muted for a moment.
Oh, is that my fault..?
Considering the difference in our constitution I was worried he would get angry at me... (Laughs)
But in contrast to his image he turned out to be a super kind gentleman.
The last thing I did on board was a guitar seminar. The topic was "Japanese scale".↓
Interview and autograph session. And many people were bringing with them out CDs which was really touching & heart-warming↓
However, right before the guitar clinic started I got the news about my grandfathers death.
And there is no way I can cancel the seminar just because I'm sad.
Worthless without a guitar, I was doing my best to cover myself with it filling the space with its sound.
I thought my deceased grandfather would appreciate it the most.
So hurriedly, I decided to perform the song from our first album - DAY OF THE FUNERAL.
I couldn't hold the tears but after seeing the faces of all those people who gathered only to see me turned them in the tears of joy.
Not being able to be with my family when someone dies due to the existence of the band and because I chose music as my life path is not something to be proud of.
Now, as one year has passed I looked back at that cruise and understood that within those 4 days I gained something very important.
For example, how to make people feel happy and totally satisfied...
And absolutely everyone totally enjoyed true 100% metal there!
And I'm looking forward to the day when I can become a crazy sailor once again.
One more thing - talking about the Caribbeans - it's a perfect place to sing PIRATES OF UPAS! The audience seemed to really enjoy it!