Music-promoter-by-night brings the next music all the way from Japan

Next Music from Tokyo Vol. 11

Oct. 11 | KW Studios (111 Hastings Street West)

Tickets and info: $14 Red Cat, Zulu Records and ticketweb.ca, $20 at the door

Once, and sometimes twice, a year, Steven Tanaka brings a half-dozen or so Japanese bands to Canada for shows in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The Vancouver born-and-raised Tanaka, who works as an anesthesiologist in Toronto, bills these showcases as Next Music from Tokyo. Invariably, each lineup is wildly exciting and diverse, and introduces Canadian music fans to bands they would never otherwise get to see, while offering Japanese musicians a chance to play in cities that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for them to do on their own. All this for a low price — proceeds from ticket costs would barely pay for the Rogaine in Coldplay’s rider. We asked the erstwhile music promoter about Japanese music trends, his early promoting adventures, and what these bands think about coming to Canada.

Q: You’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars bringing bands to North America that would never be able to come here otherwise. What motivates you?

A: I went to an underground show in Tokyo where they eight bands playing. They started at five and it ended around 10. And each band was pretty amazing. I was blown away by how good the bands were and the diversity of the music. It was nothing like any kind of show I would see in Canada. Growing up in Canada, I had thought that Japanese bands were copycats of bands in the North America or the UK, and that they were five or six years behind. But after that show I realized it’s the bands in Japan that are a lot more progressive and ahead of their time. I went to other shows that gave me the same sentiment. And I felt that it was a bit of a shame that there were people in Canada interested in Japanese culture, in anime, in video games, everything except music. And I felt that Tokyo had probably the most interesting music scene in the world.

Jyocho is the new band formed by virtuoso guitarist Daijiro Nakagawa. They’re one of six acts performing with Next Music from Tokyo Vol. 11 on Oct. 11 at KW Studios..For Shawn Conner’s 1005 q&a tokyo. [PNG Merlin Archive]
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Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment

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