HOLY SHIT! JAPAN TOUR DIARY – Day 3
I was the first to wake, as I would be on most of this tour. I looked around at all of the passed out people and I snaked my way outside to take a piss. Last night the pisser was the small stream that was running 15 feet from the door, but this morning I had no idea where to relieve myself. I picked up my shoes and gingerly walked around, searching for something to lean up against and put on my shoes. My feet were not having it, but little did they know, this was just the start of their challenges. I put on my shoes and walked around outside Tboy’s house – It was huge! This was my first glimpse of Japan in the daytime, so looking for the bathroom turned into a pleasant adventure. I finally gave up and picked an out of the way spot just off the path to piss when I heard voices. I failed at choking off the start of my piss as I tucked my dick back into my pants, making my underwear wet. I turned the corner to see Tboy and Maru walking my way. “Ohayou gozaimasu (O-HI-O GO-ZI-MUS, Meaning: Good morning!), Tony-chan!” they said, and I got them to quickly show me where the bathroom was. I would have never found it, as it was 2 houses down. “Whose house is this?” I thought as I took my shoes off outside and followed the hall down to the toilet. Tboy left, and I frowned at the small room. Looking at it brought me back to the airplane bathroom.
When I woke up for the second time, I tore off my CPAP mask and attended to my eye. What the shit happened to it? It felt like my bottom eyelid was half inside out, and dry as fuck. I got some eye drops, but it still felt weird. Damnit. At least it wasn’t messing up my vision. Around one, everyone except a hungover Eric awakened and Tboy brought us our first taste of Japan home cooking: a giant bowl of sticky rice with seaweed, mushrooms and daikon radish. I wolfed my two servings along with a Tab soda and some random straggling treats sitting around. I love that Eric and Tabman brought so many cans of Tab along. People here seem brightly indifferent to it, but seeing them with a can makes me smile. Way to go Tabman, your love for Tab cola is now known worldwide. After eating we were told that we would spend tonight here as well, but to prepare our luggage for the tour. The goal was to slim it down as much as possible so we have more room in the van. My giant, ugly suitcase was the thing staying behind for me. I could make due with only a few changes of clothes, sure.
It was time to go to the show place, so we all headed back to the driveway. We were all goofing around again, this time rubbing my stomach and saying “Ahh!” Satoru was acting really into it so I rose my voice comically and then squeezed my breast while saying “gyunyu (GOO-NEW),” their word for milk. They all roared with laughter and maybe some surprise that I knew any Japanese at all. We left with two cars, all of us Holy Shit!ers opting for Tboy’s car. We got him to stop at a Family Mart on the way where I began one of my more epic quests in Japan: Find any sort of chewing tobacco. Preferably Snus of any kind. I had asked the boys yesterday if there was any around and I was met with confused looks, shrugs and then, “Not anywhere here, maybe in Tokyo.” Alright, maybe. I bought a corndog and a large bottle of Pocari Sweat (“Po’sweat” from now on). The cool little ketchup and mustard condiment package that came with Mr. Corndog was designed so that when you squeeze the filled extruding bumps together, it would dispense the sauces out the other side neatly. Man, it’s these little things that get me.
We drove 10 minutes and pulled into Heavens Rock, the club that was hosting the show. Upon arriving, I met a bunch of people, the notables being Fumito (FOO-ME-TOE – Guitar and Main vocalist – Your Pest Band), Yusuke (YOO-SKAY – Ex-Blotto), Emily (Yusuke’s girlfriend), and Miso (ME-SO – Guitar and vocals – Brown Trout) We hung around and did our sound check, much to the ire of Eric. He pretty much careened into Japan like a hadoken fireball of drunken shame, never really sobering up until now. He smartly decided to snatch more sleep in the Cube, as it was still a couple of hours until showtime. Tabman and I took a walk around Saitama to talk, take pictures, and stop inside a record shop for a bit. Coming back to Heavens Rock I found nothing to do, so I started playing my Nintendo DS for a bit but I quickly became bored with that and instead talked with people hanging outside the club. By dumb luck I came across a picture of a chicken in a magazine I was paging through and I flipped out. Why? When describing what I was going to do in Japan to friends, I said I was “Going to walk around with a picture of a chicken on my stomach and get drunk”. Realizing my chance to live the dream, I quickly ripped my shirt off, got a marker and had someone make it a reality. Everyone got a good laugh out of my silly idea, but I still needed one thing. To get drunk! Yusuke, Tabman, a few others and I walked to the 7-11 a couple blocks away. I picked out a bottle of sweet potato shochu and a small bottle of sake. As we exited, we met up with a somewhat rejuvenated Eric Schultz that unknowingly took a ride while sleeping and by freak chance met us there at the same time. He chose to walk back to the show with us and we walked in–just missing the first band, But I Can’ts. One taste told me that the liquor I bought was terrible straight, so I started mixing it with the Po’sweat that I still had. The people who knew what I was doing all said the same thing: It’s dangerous. Yeah, yeah, yeah, dangerous maybe to someone who weighs 105 pounds and doesn’t have the tolerance of a fucking surly shit-tailed polar bear.
When I got inside The Tiffs played right away. They are a straight up rock and roll band fused with a scrape of Chuck Berry’s DNA. I broke off and went upstairs to the green room and made one of my smarter moves of tour by taking my sweatpants and making them shorts. It was sweltering in the showroom! Brown Trout plugged in next; they reminded me a bit of the Modern Machines but aggressive enough to punch the folky sounds to the side. They also gave us a shout out in English to which Tabman and I pumped our fists and hooted. Andy also raised his fist to our gracious friends and hosts. After they were done, Andy tracked Tabman and I down to introduce us to the man who has run the Snuffy Smiles music label for countless years. The same man who brought The Modern Machines, Lefty Loosie, The Chinese Telephones, and now Holy Shit!(HS!) to the land of the rising sun, Yoichi(YO-E-CHEE). He is smiling and quite thin, with boyish features that betray his age.
After meeting Yoichi, April Fool played. It was high energy hardcore punk rock like if NOFX and Dillinger Four had Japanese offspring. Each break we would steal into the stairwell where it was a good 20 degrees cooler to drink and chat. HS! used this particular break to write our set list the way we always do: one at a time in random order for 16 songs. I finished my own copy of the set list and walked in on what turned out to be my favorite band of the night, Sin Soda. Laid back and chill, two girls and guys playing music that went slow to fast, but never sounded out of place. Nearing the end of their set, I felt it coming and there was no way to stop it – my first shit in Japan. I booked it upstairs to the green room bathroom. I was relieved that the room was big enough for me, but disappointed to see there was no robo-toilet attached to the commode. I ended up getting a surprise anyway – the seat was warm, almost bordering on hot! Yikes! Not my type of toilet as I rarely need a source of heat placed up against the most toasty region of my body. Thankful that I was still human, I finished up and caught some of the Shyboy set. They were harder to pin down. Their hanging notes made it more spatial and diverse – even bringing in a female saxophonist for the last few songs. The first band of Tboy’s doubleheader, Broken Mountain cranked out some intense rock and roll, setting the mood for our tour mates, Your Pest Band (YPB). YPB is fucking great, but to manage space here I will expound on them later.
It was now time for us to play, and I felt something I rarely feel with Holy Shit! after 9 years – nervous. We kicked into our set and Japan rapidly erased any jitters I felt by the way they responded to us. It was a great feeling looking out into the crowd of smiles and banging heads singing along. I heard about it but had to see it, some of them actually knew our lyrics! Unreal, man. We plowed through our set in what seemed like a flash, and all I could do was smile. Tabman and I went upstairs to share some shochu and Po’sweat with a fun talk. We made a silly mask out of a flier and ended up missing The Crump. They, along with Shyboy would join us for the next few shows, so we didn’t feel too bad about it.
The show ended and all of us, as in HS!, The Crump, Shyboy, YPB, and a few other people made off to one of Saitama’s grocery stores to get provisions for the night. The boys and I were walking around with awed expressions–not only was this our first real time to shop, but the store was filled with all BRAND NEW things to look at! After checking out I was set back 2800 Yen on yet another gallon of Po’sweat, a liter of Black Nikka whiskey, a spicy looking ramen bowl, various snacks, and four small Super Mario Bros. Wii gifts for friends back home. Every one of us exited the store a little lighter in the wallet, but filled with the warm feeling of getting some new cool shit, if only to eat. We traveled back to Tboy’s relaxation den where we all ate and drank and got to know each other a little better. The night had caught up with me shortly after my bowl of ramen, so I set up my CPAP and crashed out as hard as I did in the car the night before. I can safely say that our first day of actual music was a complete success. Now on to day four, actually hitting the road and starting this bitch up. Let’s go!
Hours on The Fucking Plane: 15
Approximate Hours of Sleep: 18
Shows Played: 1
Total # Of Different Bands: 10
Number of Crybed Sessions: 0
Number of Shits Taken: 1
Robo-Toilets Used: 0
Alcoholic Tours: 0
Chewing Tobacco Chewed: 0
Angry and Pissed-Off Count: 0
Pieces of Chicken Displayed: 1