After a hefty hike from Denver to Japan, we were greeted in the airport by our Japanese translator Marcelles. He has been in Japan for sixteen years following a move from Cleveland, Ohio.

Sumo. Isn’t this exactly what we would expect to see on the airport TV’s when we arrived in Japan? I rooted for the fat guy as Marcelles instantly validated his skills by deciphering whatever the sign below said. All I know is that we ended up in our van which was quite nice…

After an hour drive, we found ourselves in Shubuya where this sign welcomed us to our hotel. It was either a welcome or a warning saying they were going to poison us. Whatever it said, I smiled and thanked them.

Exhausted and thrown off by the Europe to Georgia to San Fransisco to Denver to Japan time warp our previous 4 days had consisted of, we awoke the next morning fully clothed and somehow oblivious to the recommended sleep attire provided for us the night before….

Awake, refreshed and ready to see what Tokyo had to offer, we had only one worry to start our day. It occured to us that we weren’t going to blend in well on the street seeing that one of us is well over six feet, another rips large sideburns, and another has red hair. We decided to morph into 3 small Japanese children and wear the small outfits we had packed in anticipation of this exact predicament. The hotel concierge hooked us up with 3 matching hats FREE of charge!!! We were pumped.

We hit the town looking for food. I represented the U.S.A during my first Japanese meal by carefully selecting a hot dog. ROCK!!!

Immediately following the meal we ran into our old buddy Colonel Sanders on the street. His band was also playing Fuji-Rock. I bet they’re pretty good.

There’s nothing important about this license plate. I just thought it looked cool.

Inside HMV record store, we got pumped to see that our travels had paid off for us. We ACTUALLY were going to play the festival!!! It wasn’t a big, mean joke someone was playing on us.

We also found out that we were a part of some new Japanese releases that are being billed as a part of “Summer of Love ’08.” I would like to go on the record as being honored by our inclusion in this category.

For those curious… the Japanese release of Mission Control includes two extra songs we recorded with Kyle Spence in his Athens, GA. studio. They are covers of “Swallow My Pride” by the Ramones and “God’s Biographer” by the Bingo Trappers. The release also includes lyrics in English as well as Japanese. If you want to know the lyrics to track 11, the title track “Mission Control,” they can be found in the following photograph.

REAL Black Music eh???

This lady recognized us as members of the Whigs. We signed her an autograph and took a couple hot photos.


While I still might need a bit to figure out what that hat means, I had no trouble selecting my Sweet Pink Berry toppings despite their labeling being in some sort of code.

After consuming frozen delights, we headed back to the hotel for a few interviews. All of the interviews involved a game of “telephone” where the publication would ask our interpreter (in this case Shin, our Japanese record label representative) a question in Japanese, he would ask us in English, we would respond to him in English, and he would report back to the publication in Japanese. Needless to say, the interviews lasted almost exactly twice as long as normal.

OK… we hung out in Tokyo for a couple days and then it was off to the Fuji-Rock Festival. I’ll put up that garb tomorrow. For now I’ll leave you with a shot of me getting too pumped about being in Japan and rocking out on the stage runway…

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