My Fender Telecaster nestles on the far wall of the small stage, battered, dented on all sides. The fading sunburst paint has warn away on it’s bottom left corner – the years of duck taping guitar leads into position. A tiny 15 watt Marshall amp couples up to the Telecaster. It has a small unthreatening sound, crackling and fizzing out when I add distortion. But I love it anyway.
Hitomi Yaida holds a tired looking classical guitar. It’s so devoid of history it remains nameless. But Hitomi Yaida likes playing it regardless. She says it reminds her of the first ever guitar she bought when she was 11 years old. She tells me the memory helps her play into the –zone’. When I asked where she got the guitar, she pulled out a catalogue. We both started laughing uncontrollably, only stopping because our lungs were quickly collapsing.
Miki Fujimoto sits on a wooden stool holding a bottle of water. I watch the way the spotlights in the foreground pastel the surrounding space around her with white light. She turns her head down and adjusts the microphone a few inches lower. She’s hard to make out between all of the onstage glare, but when she leans into my focus she is beautiful. A look of melancholy hides a deep pain covered by the subtleness of her onstage ego. She looks down at the bottle of water in her hands, staring right through it, as if there’s something missing. When she notices my gawking at her she smiles politely, her eyes empty, lost and hidden in a place only she knows how to get to. I believe it’s the place where she writes all our songs.
The small crowd continue chattering in the background waiting for the band to finish setting up. Mikitty, Hitomi and I wonder where our drummer and bassist are. No sign of them. They’re always the last to show up.
Hitomi sits on her amp and begins to read the body of her guitar. Yesterday she pasted it with pages from her favourite books. She recites a quote from –The art of war’.
“Regard your soldiers as children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look at them as your beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death” She continues on after a moment’s silence “ha! It’s like being in a good band right?”
I turn my head to Mikitty – still fiddling with her water bottle.“She’s amazing isn’t she?”
Hitomi looks at me warmly, pulling over her guitar strap. She stands up and moves forward slightly. “No dating in the band” she laughs.
Akiko Fukoka (Chatmonchy) finally staggers up on stage and flings her bass around her waist. She looks into the crowd with a focused grin, swaggering her bass from left to right in waiting.
“I’m ready” she proclaims.
I admire her energy for a second, then hide back into the comfort of the wall, picking up my guitar, slowly pacing forwards into the stage lights.
Daisuke Horinouchi (base ball bear) soon follows, sitting on his drum stool, contemplating life “you know, life is a funny thingâ€¦”
Hitomi quickly counters “That’s no excuse for being the useless one in the band”
The venue is an intimate little bar housing very few seats. As our fist official gig, we’re all a little nervous. Apart from Mikitty.
She glances around at all of us “let’s play the music we always wanted to play”
(Zush’s last post on his dream team, and love for girls with axes got me dreaming a little bit, too hehe. I’ll let him take it from here on the next post. He usually starts the topic or sways the direction anyway, and I’m kind of glad lol)