Looking back at 2018
It was my first New Year to celebrate in this town, as I've just moved house. Forest, river and the airport are all close from my new home, and all the districts in this town have names meant to bring good fortune! Lucky! Wherever you live, there'll be a shrine nearby so you can make visiting it with greetings or expressing gratitude as part of your daily routine
70000tons of Metal - the metal fest cruising in Caribbean’s and gathering the world top-class metal bands. Though Florida is a very peaceful place, it has a lot of energy and as there are not many high buildings I thought it's a nice place to live. And there were a lot of lizards too! The show was a great success!
And I was really happy to be chosen to join All Star Jam.
All Star Jam session song:
METAL HEALS by Quiet Riot
Vocals: Chris — Freedom Call
Guitar: Ryoji Shinomoto — GYZE
Guitar: Joona — Battle Beast
Bass: Schmier — Destruction
Drums: Specks T. D — In Extremo
Ah, I also saw a Dugong! But while being on board I got the news about my grandfather's death. I'm sure he was happy for me, as his grandson was doing his best on the stage of his dream.
We joined OUTRAGE on their 20th Anniversary tour in Sendai and Nagoya. I learned a lot from it. In the plane on our way to Sendai I gave members a new song to listen; they really liked it and that's how the raised the topic of releasing a single. Yes, exactly, Hokkaido 159th Anniversary single The Rising Dragon "龍吟". Oh yeah, and we had a gig with our good friends UNVEIL RAZE in Sapporo. Shuji and Aruta were born in March.
It was still very cold when we were taking our new artist photos.
Fukuoka gig with HNIB. We're on the same wave with these guys, so every time we meet smile doesn't come off our faces. Aruta, being dead drunk started calling
MAKOTO by his surname, Shuji was throwing up like Merlion. And I don't drink. I for the first time appeared on the stage as just a vocalist without my guitar at Jupiter show. How much easier it is without a guitar!! I was deeply moved. For the first time I caught 68cm and 75cm Brown Trouts at the river nearby. I was really happy to see the fans from Japan to come to our stage at the festival in Taiwan. But I also remember how because a sudden temperature difference my health condition became unstable and it was the first time for me to almost faint on stage.
The production of the single The Rising Dragon “龍吟”entered the final stage. This time we asked Finish engineer Ahti, who helped us with the 3rd album, to work on the single post-production. I really like the sound of Sonata Arctica's 1st album, so I feel I can trust and rely on his taste in sound. Really grateful to Marc from DragonForce for recording guest vocals.
Touring in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya supporting the release of the single. The side drops for the new stages are really cool. The Dragon that NAMI-san draw for us looks divine and I believe he's our amulet. Thanks to all of you, who came to our shows. I caught Itou (Sakhalin Taimen). I had my first TV shooting. Fishing shooting.
I had nothing special scheduled for July, so I was teaching guitar and composing. Also, it was the best season for fishing. At night — music, around 3:30 in the morning — go to river, come back around 5am and go to sleep — this was my new schedule. For those who are interested in my guitar lessons: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Half a month in Europe. Playing at the biggest metal festival in Spain LEYENDAS DEL ROCK felt amazing. The scenery I saw in my dreams — a huge crowd of people presenting us with amazing reaction; seeing it in reality from the stage felt really good. Performance at not yet so famous in Japan, actually the second biggest metal fest in Germany after Wacken — SUMMER BREEZE, for the 2nd time. This time our experience was nothing like our show 2 years ago. So many people gathered to see our stage that it was hard to believe it's not the main stage! Also, we played our first solo gig in Germany, having a hundred of people coming to see us, which was a great surprise for us. We thought I'd be great if at least 50 people came. Maybe it's all thanks to the tour we had last year? However, due to the troubles with equipment and lost luggage, the gig in Belgium was canceled. London was fun as always.
I can't fully express it in words how memorable was the Hokkaido Iburi Earthquake. It was a shock for me. 2 days without electricity. At night the moon and stars were beautiful. This disaster switched something inside me on and I wrote a song extremely fast. I can even say that it's the song I couldn't write before, the compilation of everything I learned during my music career. I'm planning to make this song a title track of the next album. The Daikanmuri Matsuri happened to be in the very epicenter of a typhoon, so we couldn't play the show as it should be. It was a year full of awful encounters with natural disasters.
This is the instrumental song that came to my mind when I was watching the river after the great Hokkaido Iburi Earthquake.
We gathered our friend-bands in Sapporo at the event Metal Blizzard organized by GYZE. I was really glad that Chthonic performed in my hometown. Hokkaido is a different island so
it's not unnatural that there is a big difference in temperature comparing to Honshu, even when talking about the reaction of the audience. I know we can do nothing with it, but I hope one day Hokkaido becomes a hot island for metal!
Coupling tour with SEX MACHINEGUNS. Anchang took great care of us! Every night after the show we went fishing together, and then he would listen to my problems giving good advice. For example like the thing with Shuji that I've announced not so long ago... At the moment when we're on stage, we could live all our problems backstage, so I could relax. Also, I again realized that
GYZE is like Oxygen to me, I can't live without it. I turned 29.
Every year as it gets colder I lose motivation and get depressed. This yet wasn't an exception. But the presence of great nature around could give my heart a bit of relief. Mexico tour and Fukuoka show were canceled. All the time I was gloomy... But I understand that now I should devote myself to doing what I can do. I started playing violin. If cutting short this was my year 2018.
Born in the first year or Heisei, my 20s end with Heisei. And in almost 30 years of my life I can't wait to release my big work, that is bound to succeed. Not so long ago I've announced that current situation of our band is not really positive. You may say that we're in trouble... And you'd be right. When the situation is really bad, I feel there is a chance for a great change.
As we happened to be in such situation I realized that GYZE is my Oxygen and I can't live without it. That's how I really feel right now.
All in all, it was a year filled with gratitude to all of you who supported us. Thank you very much. Keep supporting us the next year as well.