metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk






  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
JAPANESE TSUNAMI DISASTER
4th May 2011


chris dale

Pin It
Share |


Yes, that's right. MetalTalk.net is the only Metal website to send a journalist to Japan in the wake of the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster to report on how the rock scene has been affected. Am I absolutely insane to come out here? Yes, quite possibly.

I'll be honest with you, I'm not just here to report for MetalTalk. I work as Billy Sheehan's bass technician on the Mr Big tour. They're on a three week tour of gigs up and down the country. This isn't a review of the Mr Big shows or a report on the disaster itself. But let's get those two topics quickly summed up.

As I'm sure you've heard, on March 11th 2011 a massive earthquake struck just off the North East of Japan. The earthquake itself caused a lot of damage. Japan is probably the best equipped nation in the world to deal with an earthquake. They get them frequently, not usually of this magnitude, but their buildings are designed to deal with quakes, their people do not panic in a quake and their emergency services are prepared to respond to them.

The greater damage was done by a tidal wave that followed. It is no coincidence that we use a Japanese word, 'Tsumani' to describe a massive tidal wave. They've had them before but not like this in living memory. The tsunami was over 120 feet high in places and hit the Japanese coast around Sendai within minutes of the initial earthquake.

As I mentioned, the Japanese have systems in place to warn people of these things. Announcements are made over street tannoy systems and text messages are sent to everyone as soon as the trouble is detected. Nevertheless, the tsunami hit the Japanese coast long before full evacuation procedures could be put in place.

Over 25,000 people lost their lives in the initial impact of the tsunami. Men, women and children. Now think about if that was your hometown. That's all your family, all your neighbours, everyone you went to school with. Everyone dead. You might want to sit back for a moment and imagine that scenario.

The authorities still list many as missing but there's really little hope of any more survivors turning up. There was a miraculous case of a man found ten miles out at sea clinging to the roof of his house, but really all the others are gone.

Then as if it couldn't get worse, the tsunami hit the nuclear power plants at Fukushima. The footage we saw on TV of the plants exploding were just the excess hydrogen gases going off. They're a waste product of nuclear energy. The explosions did some damage but the real human damage is from the leakage of radioactive materials within the plants.

The only way to plug those gaps is to send guys in there to physically stop the leaks. Nuclear plant workers did that and are still doing that. Sure they're wearing protective suits and sure they work in shifts to minimise their exposure to radiation but they're still receiving way over the recommended healthy dose of radiation per day.

They won't die today or tomorrow, but chances are they will develop early cancers and die long before the average human life expectancy. They know that. They are sacrificing themselves, and not just for the people of Japan but for the people of the world. If they don't plug those gaps, the radiation will spread across the globe as it did at Chernobyl and far, far worse. Well, that's the bad news anyway.

As you probably also know, Mr Big are a great band. I'm not here to write a review of them but here's some basic facts you should know about them. They are one of the best live bands ever. The band members, vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Pat Torpey are individually some of the best in the business but more importantly they play and sing together incredibly well.

Whereas some collectives of great musicians somehow lose the plot when they get together these guys really rock, they groove and more importantly they write really good songs. If you're not familiar with their work, pop over to YouTube and type in 'Mr Big Budokan' for a taster. Then go and buy their latest album 'What If'.

Mr Big are massive in Japan. Loved by everyone here, they are mobbed in the streets and in return they genuinely care for their Japanese fans and for Japan itself.


Japanese TV report on the Mr Big Tour

I was booked to work on this tour long before March 11th. When I saw the news on that day, I thought "Oh, that's our tour cancelled then" but no, Mr Big care too much. While every other Western band has cancelled their Japanese tours, Mr Big did not. It seemed like insanity to me.

Some outsiders saw this as a cynical move. "Oh, the poor people of Japan need time to recover, not a rock and roll band" was a phrase I often heard back at home. But in fact the opposite is true. The Japanese need to know the outside world cares about their plight.

Mr Big quickly recorded a special single, 'The World Is On Its Way', for this tour. All proceeds went to the thousands of people affected and made homeless by the disaster. The first pressing of the single sold out, so did the second. In addition they collected money at the concerts and donated money themselves.

By keeping their touring commitment, they have kept local venue, hotel and restaurant staff in work. The Japanese economy needs to keep running and without foreign investors they lose money. If tours are cancelled fans lose out on a night they have been looking forward to for months and venue staff lose out on business. Mr Big are keeping those people happy and in business. More importantly they are providing hope to re-build a future.

So how is Japan coping? The answer as seen from the ground is "amazingly well".

We've toured up and down the country. Most places such as Osaka, Kanazawa, Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Nagoya in the South continue as before. The same applies for Sapporo in Hokaido to the North.

The planned concert for Sendai had to be cancelled. Half the town is now missing. The concerts in the Iwate Prefecture and nearby Akido went ahead. This was despite warnings of severe aftershocks.

I'll be honest, I was terrified. I've never been in an earthquake zone before. We have it so easy In the UK. We have no volcanoes, no hurricanes and no regular earthquakes. The idea of the ground moving had me wetting my pants.

When we arrived in Nagoya there was a letter in out hotel rooms. I'll quote from it, the capitals and under-linings are their own.

"Due to the HIGH risk of further earthquakes and aftershocks, wherever possible, we recommend you to stay in or near the hotel building. If a tremor occurs please stay calm and listen carefully/follow instructions as they are announced."

Shit! Really? As it happened, we felt our first proper quake in Iwate. The room shook for about ten seconds, but really quite small, just like if you live next to a train track. This is what happens normally in Japan and they're quite used to it.

Remember, it was the tsunami, not the earthquake that caused most of the damage on March 11th.

On the morning of our Akita show, Nori, the Japanese production manager greeted me in the morning with "Did you feel last night's quake about 4am? It was quite a big one, far away but quite big".

My honest answer was "No, I slept through it, thanks to the power of Kirin beer". Although I had wondered why my stuff was on the floor next to the table that I'd left it on the night before.

"Keep drinking then" he said ominously.

Since then, we've had a few more aftershocks. One other I'm ashamed to say I missed entirely because although I was awake I'd had a few beers with Jason the guitar tech and the room was spinning anyway. I know it sounds frivolous but these aftershocks are really not too bad. Oooops, we've just had another one while I'm writing this. Again just a short wobble.

As for the leaked radiation. Certainly one should keep clear of the irradiated areas within 80km of Fukoshima as recommend by Japanese and American studies and I wouldn't recommend swimming in the seas nearby but levels of radiation as monitored across Japan as a whole are less than those emitted by standard television screens. So, hey, I've saved a load by not watching much TV!

And that's the point really; turn your telly off now. I saw on the news back home that Tokyo was suffering a shortage of bottled water. There may well have been a shortage at some point but within two weeks of the quake, when I was there, there was no real shortage. Most of Japan is back to normal. The Japanese are a nation of hard workers and they bear hardship well. It's all mostly fine here.

I say "mostly" because there are still thousands of displaced people who cannot return to their homes, either because of the tsunami flooding or the radiated areas. It will take years to re-build these people's homes. Their lives can never be the same again. They have lost everything. More than you or I can imagine.

I was told that in Sendai, many schools received the tsunami warning early and managed to evacuate to higher ground. Many businesses did not. This has left thousands of children orphaned as their parents drowned while they survived.

If you want to to help you can donate to The Japanese Red Cross by clicking here...

MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

April 2015: Undiscovered Kisstory: The Kiss Drummer Auditions Of 1980
March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Kiss: 'Love Gun' Deluxe Edition
October 2014: Mr. Big – Live Review at Koko, London
September 2014: Mr. Big: 'The Stories We Could Tell' album review
September 2013: Intensive Bass Course with Billy Sheehan
August 2013: Booking Agents vs Promoters
July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
Febuary 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns



Pin It
Share |



 
iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be preapred for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery