Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Bands Abroad: Tape Waves

What one local band got up to when touring beyond the borders

Posted by Kim Weldin on Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Welcome to Bands Abroad, where traveling local acts enlighten us about their experiences on and off stage in far-flung places. In this edition, Kim Weldin of husband-and-wife dream-pop duo Tape Waves spills the beans on the band's recent adventure in Japan. We've included a sampling of photos from their journey but encourage you to check out more on Tape Waves' Instagram page. And don't forget to have a listen to Distant Light, the group's new LP released back in June via Japanese label 2670 Records.

Where We Slept

I'll never forget the Airbnb that was out in the countryside of Gunma, Japan that was run with an old Japanese man who sported tiny shorts. The share house had a giant stuffed zebra when we walked in the door. The shared kitchen had an eagle on the ceiling that was as wide as it, and the zebra-striped couch had a giant stuffed tiger on it, while the wall had a majestic painting of a lion. To add to the uniqueness of the Airbnb, we slept in a Goldilocks-style room on this night with our tour guide Hajime. There were three separate beds against the wall and we all had our own zebra blankets. Apparently the ceiling lit up with stars when the lights went out, but I fell asleep before I got to see it.

What we ate

We ate a ton of salted rice balls and Onigiri, which are rice ball snacks that are stuffed with things like seaweed or plums. They sell them in the convenience stores over there! I also liked learning how to eat cold udon noodles that you dipped in a sauce mixed of soy, radish, garlic, and green onions. You're supposed to slurp the noodles really loud as you eat them, but I wasn't very good at it.

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Where we played

The audience was so incredible at every show. Many people enjoyed the music with their eyes closed and overall were really respectful. For example, at our show at Common Cafe in Osaka everyone enjoyed the show seated and afterwards many people came up to tell us how much our music meant to them.

What we rolled up in

Our tour guide and label guy Hajime drove us around to get from show to show.

What we listened to

Steady Holiday, Old Lacy Bed, The Stone Roses, a C86 Compilation that will haunt me for years to come.

What we learned

Everyone values each other. When other bands would arrive to a venue they would bow to every person in the room to acknowledge each other. I feel like in America, people ignore each other a lot.

CD and record stores are all over the place, which showed me that music is important to the culture. They celebrate it and have a real appreciation and passion for it. Also, everyone we played with was so good at their instruments. Like crazy good!

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What we'll remember

At our last show in Tokyo we asked our new friend from Japan, Kano, to sing her favorite song "So Fast" on stage with us. She had come to see us at our show in Osaka and said she took a train all the way from Tokyo but we didn't play her favorite song "So Fast". I had an idea to ask her about singing it with us at the Tokyo show and she said yes even though she was super shy. She did an amazing job and it felt really special.

My other favorite memory is recording a video of us performing a new song on acoustics in Omigachi Park in Japan. It was so hot outside that day! These really cool guys who go by the name Ghost Party recorded the video and I really love how it turned out. (Check it out at charlestoncitypaper.com/bandsabroad)

Suitcase essentials

Comfy dresses, tote bags, a journal to record all ideas and memories, and a good pair of headphones!

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