First, here is the Don‘t Believe The Hype’s crew = Nik + Mak + Mike = 3 french bastardos lost alone in Japan! We needed a friend to help us with all our luggages, merch and mostly to have bigger’s and funnier’s party times. Plus, Mike already went to Japan once, so he is our secret weapon.
Day1 – Flight and Tokyo
w/ Retch, Guevnna & Awaked @ Ruby Room
We arrived at Narita’s Airport around 9am after 12hours flight and only 6hours of sleep in the last 3days. So we were fresh as fuck !
The travel from the airport to Shibuya was quite easy and the excitement kept us alive ! Soon enough we were in front of one of the most crowded area in Tokyo, with people walking on the left side of the sidewalk (unusual for us), and a lot of audio and video ads everywhere.
We’ve managed to get lost in only 10minutes when we tried to find the venue. When we finally find the venue we took some time for our first ramen, time to eat and relax a bit. First funny thing we didn’t think about: the restaurant was tiny and we had lots of stuff, but the waiter managed to find some place without any complain. Then, we saw and heard the people « slurping » their ramen… We tried to do the same but it was not really a success especially for Nico who put some sauce all over is pants, the only one that he had for the whole tour. This first experiment was awesome and we have to practice to improve our skills.
We found a nice spot near a skate park where we had a nap, it was mandatory to save some energy for the first gig.
Then we met Ryo form Guevnna at the venue, he gave us our merchandising and at this point we were overloaded with luggages… The venue called Ruby room is a very small place, it looks like a kind of night club.
We met a really cool guy named Masa (we learned some month later that is the master of the « Monica alliance »… but it’s a secret) in front of the venue, he advised us to try an alcool called « chu-hi », it was a key moment of the tour and chu-hi is the drink that we missed the most !
Once the night arrived, the city changes, you can see flash lights and ads everywhere, typically what you can except from Tokyo by night, things are getting surrealist (or maybe it’s chu-hi magic effect, who knows).
After few bands it was our turn to play, even if we were tired we were stoked and we gave all that we had.
Finally it was the time to go to bed at Ryo’s house and… we discovered that Mike snore like a monster (noisy & scary)!
Day2 – Yokohama
w/ Su19b, Bullshit Propagand, Lost without Grenade, Trikorona & Corbata @ Studio Olive
After an awesome breakfast (thanks a lot to Ryo’s wife) and our first touch with « high tech toilets » we took the train to meet Ryohei (Final Exit) in Yokohama. And it was not a piece of cake to find the good train… hopefully our secret weapon nailed it !
While we were travelling we discovered the power that japanese have to sleep in the train, even with a computer on there lap and the hands on the keyboard !
After a little moment of confusion I (Mak) saw that we were arrived at Yokohama station and I tried to get out of the train backward while I was pulling my luggages… this was my mistake… I put my foot between the train and the station and I fell down until my knee get stuck. At this moment i yelled « Stop the train !!! » because the door started to close on me so I was scared to death. Actually I was safe because there’s always a guy at the station who check if there’s not an asshole stuck like me… Nico and Mike helped me to release my knee and to get back on my feet… My knee was blue and it was painfull so we were afraid to have to cancel the tour because of this injury. I made a tatoo about this story.
After a lunch break to release the pressure of this incident we find Ryohei of Final Exit and he leads us to the Studio Olive… Kindest mate/promoter ever number 2 in 2 days.
It was at the 5th floor… perfect for a guy who limp along like me. We were getting fit.
Even if we had a good night we were still tired from the travel.
At this afternoon gig in a rehersal room, we saw a friend from France and also Kubine and Kuzuha from Self Deconstruction. It was cool to see them 2 weeks before the show together in Tokyo. The gig was really awesome ! I was able to play with my injured knee, it was a big relief. (Short video here)
Day3 – Koriyama
w/ A Long Time Ago, Moz & The Tractions @ Peak Action
We took the Shinkansen to go to Koriyama, it was the first time for Nico and Me. It’s excellent, there’s a lot of space for the legs and you can tilt the backrest to have a very good angle to sleep. The only bad point is that there is not a lot of space to put all our luggages.
On this day the weather was very cold, but the venue was really close to the train station and easy to find. We met Jon aka the kindest guy on earth aka Jon PA sama !
The gig at the Peak Action was pretty decent for a Monday gig, with a lot of different kind of music. And most of all, the sound was massive. A funny thing, everyone had his name wrote on him to help people regognized each other.
We took a cab to go to Jon’s House, the driver was worried when he saw all our stuffs… it was a big tetris but we managed to fit everything inside (Some Japanese cars looks like little cubes).
We had an incredible after party at Jon’s house with him and his wife. Awesome foods, drinks and a lot of fun ! Perfect night !
Day 4 Sendai
w/ Metamayu Kuzilla, Ｇuzula Mozula, Geropetro & Dj sore throat @ Birdland
After a hard wake up, a very good breakfast (no worries to eat a miso soup in the morning) and a little bit of tourism in Koriyama we went (always by train) to Sendai.
It was the first big hangover so we were happy to have some hours of sleep during the trip. The weather was still very cold and it was snowing a bit. We had to walk to reach the Bird Land, the weight of our luggages started to be very annoying….
Our host that night was Tsuyoshi, he booked a crazy gig with different styles of music from noise to grindcore with, in the middle, a one girl band unholy black metal. This night was also the first show where there was a DJ mixing all night long between bands, of course it was only harsh noise. It was really fun.
After the gig, we had an after party we can call « eat tofu in the middle of the pit », we ate plenty of delightfull inari sushi and talking about music with local dudes into hardcore.
We took Tsuyoshi’s car to go to his house, like the day before we rapped the car with all our stuffs…
We had a great sleeping place but it was pretty cold, around 10°C but the worst part is that an AC blew some really hot air all the 1 or 2 hours. So it was hot and cold all the night, perfect to take the flue. Actually the worst part was our snoring machine called Mike.
Day 5 Chiba
w/ NoLA, Vogos, Groundcover, Pecking Order, Predator, ExtremeOBSN, Slaughter Table & DJ Kei Toriki@ Firebird
Like everyday, we took the train, this time to go to Chiba. We walked around 15min to reach the venue and we arrived in the middle of a residential area with no venue at all. Hopefully we found a wifi access and Makino of Nola rescued us.
In fact, the venue was just in front of the train station at the 5th floor…
We had the surprise to see that Masa went to see us again ! The venue (Firebird) was pretty big, we played with some cool bands, especially Vogos, a fastcore-without-distortion band totally crazy and also Nola, a cool stoner band without bass.
During the night we had the same problem with the AC than the day before, hot’n cold while we were sleeping on the floor ! Hopefully Mike slept in another room, so no noise gig for this night.
Day 6 Nagoya
w/ 犬栓耳畜生, ODA Takumi, Chop Top, VIDEO GIRL, NUDELES, SOCIAL PORKS @ Daytrive
The venue in Nagoya was Daytrive, we went there by train and subway. We saw the « Shinkansen’s power cleaners crew », fancy and efficient. Daytrive is a really cool place upstairs with a balcony inside, we discovered that all the food and drinks were free… Perfect !
All the people seemed very nice and we had cool talks. We even found some guys who knew a band from Lyon called Swine Punch (Good friends of us).
Takaho from Unholy grave pass by the venue to say hello, it was very kind.
We played with a really crazy bands called Video Girl and Chop top (the bass player of Chop top played with a broken hand…).
Day 7 Fukuoka
w/ Tainted Dickmen, Darkness, Mass Collapse, Kaztel, Pochi @ Public Space
Dai (Tainted Dickmen) picked us at the train station with a big car, perfect to put all our stuff ! Tainted Dickmen is that band with a sick custom dick guitar. When we arrived at the venue (Public Space) we met all the guys from Tainted Dickmen, Mass Collapse and also a girl named Pochi who’s DJ. Nico & Mike went to the city to visit with dai while i was sleeping on the floor of the really small backstage.
When i woke up, we saw that my left leg was swollen… so i had to remove my sock and keep my leg up most of the time to prevent any bigger issues… it was not always easy, especially in public.
After the gig (short video here) we went with all the bands to a big restaurant where you can have unlimited drinks and food for 2000¥ (around 16€), perfect place when you’re on tour. Slowly we quit drinking beers for some chu-hi and whisky cola, looking for something efficient. It was great to talk with the other bands and some people from the audience.
The guitarist of Mass Collapse get naked and shows us his yakuza style’s tattoos, everyone was pretty drunk it was really fun. We also met a guy named FX who made a lot of stuff in the DIY way, it was really interesting.
Even when the restaurant stopped taking orders, Niko rang again the bell and the waiters was kind enough to give us some drinks again. French guys are rude, especially Niko ☺
Day 8 Kagoshima
w/ Brionics, Moraless & Burialava @ Word Up
In the morning Juicy (Tainted Dickmen) took us to a Ramen shop, it was really helpfull for the hangover.
Then, shinkansen again to go to Kagoshima. The guitarist and the drummer of Brionics picked us at the train station and we took the tramway to reach our host’s (Moraless bass player and singer) house.
The living room of his flat was full of Grindcore, punk and death metal vinyls. Kousuke from Endless Chaos joined us and we had some beers and food while listening to good music, then we went to the center to check some records shops, easy life !
We arrived at the venue (Word Up) we met the other guys of Brionics included a Spanish who lives in Kagoshima. It was a good upportunity for a little nap !
My leg was still swollen so Kosuke was very kind and bought me some drugs in a store.
Moraless played a cover of Motorhead (Ace of spade) so our host new name was « Little Lemmy »
When it was our turn to play, i had (like almost every day) to add a lot of tension to the head of the snare drum, it looks like japanese drummers likes to play on loose snares… but it’s impossible for me.
After the gig, it was a shooting session, we had tons and tons of pictures with people, mainly unknowns… sick! Anyway we went to the same kind of restaurant like the day before, whiskey coke and food everywhere! Mike was the king of the night when a senpai saw his Skyrim’s wallet and when Mike said that he work in a video game company.
We get back to Little Lemmy’s house to have some last beers and then go to sleep. But the party wasn’t finish, it was the time for Mike’s live snoring gig…. More powerfull than Sun 0)))
Day 9 Miyakonojo
w/ Endless Chaos, Crudia & 不浄 @ Yard
Kyosuke took all our stuffs in his car, it was a big relief to take the train without luggages.
Before leaving Little Lemmy’s house i wanted to play a Street fighter IV match against him, but a DVD was stuck in the PS3… so i won by default !
Because of a long break into a restaurant we almost missed the train, we ran to the station and entered the wagon as the alarm was ringing.
From the train we saw the volcano named Sakurajima which is still in activity (Sakurajima erupts few weeks before), we can actually saw some smoke on the top of it. The travel was peacefull, we saw very beautifull places.
As he said, Kousuke was at Miyakonojo’s train station with Oomine (Endless chaos). When we arrived, the weather was perfect and very warm.
We met the Miyakonojo’s punk team at the venue (Yard) and Kosuke brought us to a tattoo shop (Atomic Space tattoo) to get inked by Vlad. Vlad is an old school rockabily fan and knows how to get dressed with style.
Because of us, the gig started a little bit late, Kousuke was kind enough to drive us from the tattoo shop to the venue but he had to start the show with his band.
Endless Chaos ‘s gig was excellent, with a bloody performance of Shoei who injured is thumb while he played ! A lot of energy, it was great.
After the gig we went in a drug store to find some cream for our fresh tattoos, in fact it was more like a supermarket than a drug store so it was the perfect time to by some new underwares and booze. We had (like always) an awesome after party with all the bands in a really cool house, the only problem was Nico who forgot is phone at in the venue, so Kousuke saved us once again with his car and his kindness !
Shoei give a perfect present to Nico, his Kamikaze bandana, never forget ! Then we had a lot of food and alcohol, the night was cold we ended the night by sleeping on the floor. Very friendly night!
Day 10 Kochi
w/ Vaaska, Tusk, Stad Filler, Wall Of Trash & Pyramid State @ Chaotic Noise
Even if we met Kousuke only 2 days before, it was a sad to say goodbye. We took the train for the longest trip of the tour with one of the biggest hangover… 8hours with 3 different trains. Hopefully we found some camember in a konbini !
We took a taxi at Kochi’s train station, the driver was so old like more than 107 years old… I showed him the address in Romaji, in Kanji, and then a map with a spot on the place but he didn’t understand where the place was… So he took his radiophone to speak with other taxi and he started to drive… at this point we didn’t knew if he understood anything.
After long minutes of nervous laughing he land us near a walking area with a lot of stores, but no venue around… Once again we made a mistake with the address ! Hopefully after some times I saw some Gaijin with punk’s look, it was the guys of Vaaska, they were visiting the area with Yu (Skizophrenia) who booked the show. It was a very lucky coincidence because we were not very close to the venue.
Chaotic Noise is a place with a huge record shop and a pretty cool venue, just perfect to find some new records before the show. We had a talk with a guy from Canada who used to play in SNFU, he said something really interesting ; Even if he lives in a « small » city, he can see a lot of gigs and he will never have enough money to buy all the records he wants from this record shop.
We really liked the band called Tusk! During our gig I tried to add some more tension to the head but something won’t worked… I understood after the gig that i broked the mechanism !
It was the first stage dive of the tour for Nico, totally crazy gig for a Monday !
Once again, we had some whiskey coke and awesome food in a bar/restaurant with Yu & Vaaska after the gig.
Day 11 Takamatsu
w/ Dead Pudding & Ungodly @ Too Nice
In the morning after a unusual french breakfast in a restaurant next to the venues we needed to take a taxi to get back to the train station. When we found one, we asked to the driver if he can give us a ride to the train station and he didn’t understand anything. We tried some japanese key words like « Densha » but it was like he didn’t want to understand, maybe he was afraid to put all our stuffs in his car. It was the first time in 10days that someone didn’t understand anything about what we said. In the end we manage to reach the train station by foot.
It’s the owner of Too Nice who picked us at the train station of Takamatsu, a very friendly guy. The venue was kind of the same like the day before but in a smaller version. In the record shop part we found some very good stuffs, even a LP of « Mom’s on Meth » a band from our hometown. The stage was for the merchandising and the drumkit was in the middle of the crowd. It was a tiny Metallica’s stage setup !
We met the guys from Dead Pudding and Ungodly, a friend of them was the « official » translator/interpreter for the night. We went to a restaurant to eat before the gig. It was a little bit stressfull to slurp in front of professionnals but after 10days we were not so bad !
There was not so much people that night but the atmosphere was great and we had a lot of fun, especially when Nico broke a string on the intro.
We went with all the bands and some guys from the crowd to a bar /restaurant to finish the night. Actually, everyday it’s the same schedule : Train -> Venue -> Gig -> Drinks -> Sleep (but never enough)
Day 12 Okayama
w/ Deserve to Die, Mold, Till Ewing @ Crazy Mama
We woke up after few hours of sleep because our host (the bass player of Ungoldy) had to work. The translator and the guitarist of Ungodly picked us to go to the train station by car, they put the eater on the max position, we were like in an oven… with the hangover I felt like shit, I almost passed out.
We arrived at Okayama around 10am and our host Shoki wasn’t available ‘till 4pm, so we had a lot of time to kill. We saw that there’s a castle not so far in the city but we were stuck with all our luggages… At this point we were so tired that we had a nap on a little parc few meters away from the train station. It was the time for an open air noise gig by Mike !
We had some walk around the area, we discovered the power of the sound inside the pachinko and we found a really tiny restaurant with many old people inside, it was a hint that the food must be good, it was true !
Our host Shoki arrived around 4pm, he brought us to Crazy Mama, it’s a place with some reharsal rooms on top of a record shop.
The merchandising place was outdoor for the pleasure of Mike !
We had another nap in a reharsal room, it was so good to sleep in a warm place with no lights ! Way better than in the park.
We met Shinji, the guy who made our merchandising, really nice guy who made very nice merch.
We discovered the power duo band called Deserve to Die, really young guys who played very well and fast !!!! It was very impressive, we hope that they gonna keep on playing and they gonna be real killers.
During our show two old guys totally drunk started to fight each other, it was more funny than worrying.
After the gig we had some ramen in a restaurant and we hit the road with Shoki to slept at his place. Then, no more memories.
Day 13 Osaka
w/ Palm, Five No Risk, Completed Exposition & Tsuka&Maro @ Hokage
Big change on our planning, on this day we didn’t take the train to go to Osaka, instead we took the bus.
We managed to find The Hokage quite easily and it was awesome to see this place for real after all the videos that we saw on the internets. We were also very excited to share the stage with some bands like Palm and Five No Risk. We met Sano from The Hokage, super nice guy, he bring us to a bar and we have some talks around food and drinks. We learnt that Sano went to Europe for a tour with his band called Birushanah. We also had the opportunity to visit some record shops.
Back to the Hokage we met the guys of Completed Exposition and Toshi of Palm.We also met a french guy from Nancy who lives now in Japan, the world is really small in the underground scene.
The gigs that night were totally crazy, Nico jumped on people (sometimes it’s not good for smartphones), Palm made an excellent show. And even if we’re not big fan of all their songs, Five No Risk killed it, the singer is totally crazy and it was awesome to see them live. We also had a big surprise with an awesome duo band called Tsuka&Maro.
After a lot of drinks and talking at the Hokage, Kenta (Palm’s drummer) droves us to Toshi’s house, we met his wife who made so many good food and we had a really confortable place to sleep. Once again all the people that we met were very kind, it was like a dream (full of booze)
Day 14 Tokyo
w/ Seft Deconstruction, Flagitious Idiosyncrasy of Dilapidation, Anatomia, 明日の叙景 & 出店:はるまげ堂 @ Earthdom
In the morning, Toshi walked with us to the subway and we went once again to Tokyo. It’s the last gig of the tour, even if we’re tired we wanted to make this night unforgetable.
We saw Kubine from Self Deconstruction in front of Earthdom, it was one of the biggest venue of the tour.
Kubine bring us to our Hotel and then to a big shop because we wanted to buy some souvenirs to our friends and familly. The place was big, full of colors, we took so many stuffs, from booze to magnets, real tourists !
When we were back to the venue, once again Masa was here, he saw us 3 times in 14 days ! But it’s always great to have him around ! We met for the first time the band F.I.D and Naru from Obliteration records, on this tour we managed to see almost every people that we saw on the internet and it’s way better in real life.
On stage, Self Deconstruction made an excellent show, it was one of the best grindcore band that we saw in Japan.
Our show that night was perfect to finish the tour (short video here), a lot of people came, Nico jumped everywhere and had a lot of stage dives, the crowd seemed happy it was just perfect.
We went to a little bar for the after party with Kubine, Kuzuha and Masa and for the last night we had too much drinks and a lot of fun !
I don’t even remember how we came back to the hotel. In fact, I found some pictures on my phone were everybody slept (Masa stayed with us) and the sun was already up… so the night was long.
Day 15 Tokyo -> Lyon
The final day has arrived, we were fucked up, still drunk and we had to pack our stuffs to be ready for the flight.
Hopefully Masa was here and we followed him to a bus that goes directly to the airport while Mike stayed as the Hotel because his flight was the day after. Without the help of Masa we may get lost because we didn’t planned anything for traveling to the airport.
After one last melon pan, we took the flight to get back home, see you next time for sure !
Sayonara nihon! Mina san, hontou ni arigatou!