Gold Coast punks Charlie Rebel, with the Torr Brothers at the helm, are about to unleash new album ‘People’s Republic of Earth’ in May, as well as a 12-date Japan tour. They’re celebrating the album’s release with a hometown show before they set sail for Asia. They’re hitting up Vinnies Dive Bar with fellow Gold Coast punks Serial Killer Dinner Party, Cakes, Tokyo Beef and Pretty Cash on Saturday 4 May.
It’s not the first time Charlie Rebel have toured Japan, so ahead of ‘People’s Republic of Earth’ hitting the airwaves we thought we’d ask Chris and Nick Torr to share with other Gold Coast bands their top five tips for hitting the road in Japan.
- Book accommodation close to subways
In Japan you travel by trains and subways everywhere you go. So every time you all leave that apartment and head for a show, you seriously don’t want to be walking 2km to the train with your gear. Every venue has a decent backline for amps and kit, but long walks from the accom to the stations gets old pretty damn quick man! Your arms will thank you later.
- Learn language and etiquette basics
There’s not a lot of English spoken in Japan, but you don’t need to know everything, just words like thank you, excuse me, sorry, introducing yourself and the classic “I don’t understand”. Japanese people are extremely polite. Google translate helps, but you’ll probably need someone that has some basic understanding of the language to book the shows by email. Dos and don’ts will save your ass too. For example, don’t eat and walk in public or stick ya chopsticks in your bowl, just little things like that.
- Rent out pocket wifi
This one’s totally a necessity for bands! Google maps is going to be your best friend over there. It’s sometimes a bit tricky to find the venues and certainly very easy to lose yourself and ya bearings. Rent out a pocket wifi!
- Mosh to all the bands
Boy do Japanese bands love it when you go crazy and start a moshpit! Seriously, don’t sit at the back like an old grandpa keeping it low-key, if you get into every band’s show, the response from them when it’s your turn to play your set is the same. We’ve had members from other bands multiple times jumping on stage attempting a stage dive or just going crazy.
- Be open to giving out EPs and albums to bands and fans
All we’ve got to say for this is that it’s hard to shift as much merch as you’d realistically like, so having 50 odd more CDs floating around Japan with bands and fans is better than coming back with those 50 CDs you didn’t sell! And you’ve just made a bunch of new friends and fans of your band. We swapped many albums with bands we played with and always come home with some great new music to listen to.
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‘The People’s Republic of Earth is out 1 May (with stunning artwork by Dan Watts) with lead single ‘You Know’ out on 4 April. Charlie Rebel launch their album at Vinnies Dive Bar on 4 April (tickets $10 on the door), followed by a 12-date tour of Japan.