Ceremony Asian Tour Diary #2: From South Korea to Japan

June 01, 2010

One thing NorCal hardcore punks Ceremony have made clear with their new album, Rohnert Park, is that they’re not particularly thrilled with the static malaise being served as current American stimuli. So when we heard they were headed west for their first Asian tour, opening for Bane, we asked them to document what they saw in the brave new world. Singer Ross Farrar checks in with words and photos from the second leg, leaving South Korea and heading to Japan, after the jump.

The last day in Korea was fun. We did shopping things, shopped for things: glasses without shades,glasses for wearing, not for sun, tiny toys with Toast's face on it, candy, Korean BBQ, juice, you know, things like that. I skated this marble ledge/bank for a bit. Tried to board slide the thing, but got kicked out in five. We stayed at Cliff's friends house and woke up for Ron's breakfast. Ron's great palace of fast food, Ronald's world emporium of burgers and fries and fine Mac's: McDonald's.

We took a bus to the airport that only took around an hour to reach, but when we arrived we had a hard time getting through. I have no idea how Jake passed San Francisco International with two live bullets lodged in the crevice of his bag, but he did. One of the bullets was a hollow point. Me, Anthony and Toast got stamped and waited for him on the other side. We thought it was taking so long because of his toy samurai sword, with bow and arrow, or maybe a tiny green nug lost somewhere, some discarded dust: but it was the bullets. Bullets of all kinds are illegal in Asia. Even having bullets in your possession is a crime. Jake was lucky to get his picture taken, sign some papers stating he wouldn't do again, exist as a terrorist in Asia and be his (our) way.

The first show in Japan was very, very (very) good. It was, as I know now, the feeling of being in Japan for the first time: it was fantastic. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. The streets are very narrow and slim, almost like being in Prague, or one of those streets you see in movies, tiny Italian villages. All over Japan is like this. The show was energetic, all the kids were having a great time, we met people, we did, we do, we get…done. After the show we had drinks and went back to the home we were staying at. Very posh, very still.

The next day we woke, got some coffee at Sev-Elev and drove for five hours. It was very strenuous driving for that long without any hard stimulation from the physical world, plus the smell, plus the hunger—this can be unwitting. But after passing Fujiyama things started to become more exciting. Actually seeing the mountain was incredible. Unfortunately, we stopped at a shopping center shortly after named Premium Outlets and a bunch of us ate Philly cheese streaks, besides me…I got a BLT/hot dog. Yes it's sad, but we were also in a shopping center with only American stores, great.

The show was good. I know I say all the shows are great, but they are. We played to a nice crowd of young adult, young professionals who want to have fun, head band, orangutan, you know, all that stuff and nothing could spite the situation. We are in Japan for the first time, nothing can be done. Jake smoked "you know what" for the first time in his own Japanese history. Me and Toast made good conversation, also—me and Stu made good vegan chat, finally ate real ramen (with pork) and yes Japan, Japan. I may have been high and that may have been nice: we do a lot of drinking and talking.

After the show a bunch of people played cards till 5AM, but I was spent so I went to sleep forever and dreamed of eating and sucking the skin off Nate's arm. We went to Buddha at lunch time, the biggest Buddha in the world (120 meters) bigger than... way bigger than the Statue of Liberty, the biggest bronze statue—the third highest statue in the world. Yes, three hundred and ninety four feet. There were koi fish to feed, incense to burn, gongs to hit and be heard. We fed chipmunks and goats, we saw monkeys in suits. It was wild. And after three hours of fucking around we got to the show. Finally after three days I had some authentic sushi, milk tea, Asahi once again, udon…everything was situated.

The show structure was good, very climbable. Almost broke my foot climbing on the light holder thing. Walked around the subway area, listened to XX (pretty good record and very popular right now)...all pretty good. The Tokyo Inn is a cushion. I love the beds. I could sleep in them for my entire life and as far as Tokyo—I love her. It's very cluttered and hard to digest, but all in all: fun. Exciting. Well. There's going to be a few more days of tour, one more entry, I don't know what is going to happen, but, something will. Shit is getting funny over here, a little tension, a little flashing. I almost got into a fight with Jake. Fools are crazy and as always, "the world is like a ride at an amusement park. Full of ups and downs, thrills and chills." I can't even believe this.

Ceremony Asian Tour Diary #2: From South Korea to Japan