Ren: I looked at my credit card and saw it was valid until February of 2019, so I thought “good through” (or “good thru”).
Right next to the brand new stage behind the Special Edition shop in Dordrecht there was a moment of time and space to talk with haru, Ren and Tetsuri about their very first European tour as GOOD THRU DATE, and for haru to look back on Abunai! 2017. And of course the future plans for GOOD THRU DATE.
01. Since you are a relatively new band and already getting ready for your first European tour, there isn’t that much that people already know about you as a group. Assume nobody knows anything about your previous/other activities, how would you introduce yourselves as a group and individually?
haru: I first came to Europe for a tour, and the next time I came for a tour with my band universe. I played the song for the anime BLEACH that time. I wanted to come back to Europe again, but this time with another band. I wanted to form a new one. Tetsuri, Ren and myself have been friends for 5 or 6 years now, and we have been playing at the same venues in Japan together for about that time too. I asked them to form a new band with me so we could visit Europe this time, and they said yes!
02. GOOD THRU DATE is an unusual name, especially because of the “slang” version of “through” (“thru”) that you decided to use. Can you tell me a bit about the story behind this name? Were there any other names you’ve considered, and if yes, why did you decide on this one?
Ren: When I was thinking what we could name our group I wanted to use the first letter of each of our names. The “T” is for Tetsuri, the “H” is for haru and the “R” is for Ren. I wrote these letters on a piece of paper and started thinking what word I could make with these letters. I asked you, the fans, and thanks to you I found the word “through”, which had “thru” as a slang version for it. I looked at my credit card and saw it was valid until February of 2019, so I thought “good through” (or “good thru”). I wanted the name to be GOOD THRU, but when I asked our agent here in Europe, which is HIGHFeeL, she asked me “what about GOOD THRU DATE?” because it was easier to remember that name. And we said okay. That’s how it became GOOD THRU DATE.
03. We know haru from universe, Ren from Megimimi Sleep Tight and Nextrade and Tetsuri from Dr. Undy. What made the three of you decide to team up and make music together?
Tetsuri: We all have been friends for a really long time already, and haru has been in his band universe for a really long time already as well. But when the activities of universe stopped, haru got the chance to come to Europe twice. He didn’t want to come alone, but rather as a team because of the energy between us. And our activities suspended for quite some time too. I was already playing together with Ren, and haru got the opportunity to join us because we had the same ideas and vibrations together. So I do believe this tour will be very good.
04. GOOD THRU DATE has two main vocalists, namely Ren and haru. How do you manage this personally? Is there ever a disagreement about who will sing what for example?
Ren: Actually, haru and me can sing in almost the same way. The high of his voice is so sweet, and I sing a little lower than he does. So we just sing together in harmony. Sometimes he goes to that high end of his range, and I go a little lower. We record the song with trial and error and see what works best. This is how we created the first three original songs for GOOD THRU DATE, and it’s just amazing to me how this happens.
05. (For haru): You’ve already seen quite a bit of this world, and you like to capture it with your camera and keep it as a memory. Is there any city that has made more of an impression on you than others? Would you call this your favorite?
haru: That’s actually a super difficult question! Maybe, and it’s not because I am in The Netherlands now but it left the biggest impression on me, the last European tour I got to play at Abunai! during the very last day of that tour. I just felt amazing at the event and I really enjoyed the convention. There were a lot of people, and a lot of power and energy.
06. (For Ren): On your social media you share a lot of photos from food, which is also something very interesting and creative to photograph! Do you have a favorite dish? Or something you’ve seen on other people’s photos and you’d really like to try?
Ren: I actually really love cooking. In Japan I cook two or three times a week and usually I end up making curry or pasta. But I like steak and fish as well. Unfortunately it’s very hard for me to cook these in my home so I am very much enjoying the tour of all these cities in Europe for all the food.
07. (For Tetsuri): You seem to listen to a lot of “Western” music, like MUSE, alice in chains and Garbage. Do these overseas bands (not just these ones, in general) give you inspiration that you use in your own music, or is it purely for your entertainment?
Tetsuri: Of course there were many bands that have inspired me in one way or another. When I was a child I listened to J-Pop, and J-Pop only. But when I was 13 years old I came to Paris and I ended up living there for a year. In Paris there was no Japanese music or J-Pop, but I met many rock bands like Nirvana and Metallica. Nirvana is popular in Paris, maybe, but when I was overseas I met a lot of bands. When I had to go back to Japan I kept listening to the Western bands because they remind me of the memories I made in Paris. I also started playing the guitar when I was 13 years old, and part of the reason for starting to play this instrument was actually the influence of these bands. I still listen to J-Pop, of course, but most of the time I listen to my favorite Western bands. So many songs remind me of when I first started playing music, so you could call them my first real impression of music.
08. I know haru has been to Europe and The Netherlands before, but how about Ren and Tetsuri? Have you ever been to Europe before?
Tetsuri: Well, from me you already know because of the previous question! (Laughs.)
Ren: I have been to France three years ago. All by myself for a trip. I went to Mont Saint-Michel, the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre, so a bit of an art tour. That was my very first time in Europe, and this tour actually is the second time for me.
09. The last time haru was in The Netherlands he was at the Abunai! convention for a solo show in 2017. Do you guys like the idea of a show for just you, or a convention more? And why would you prefer one over the other?
haru: To be honest, we would love to play at a convention more. I am very proud that I could make a song for the anime BLEACH, and at a convention I can introduce more people to the Japanese culture, not just to anime or the clothing, perhaps. I am so proud I got to be and perform at a convention, and my stories really made Ren and Tetsuri want to play at a convention as well.
10. Since this is your first European tour as GOOD THRU DATE, do you have any expectations for this tour? Is there a special place you’d like to go see, or something specific for the shows themselves?
haru: Actually, and this isn’t for just me only but for all of us. It’s the first time for all three of us here in Dordrecht. We think it’s a very nice city and the trees here are very pretty, so until now here is the most special place for us.
Tetsuri: We have a long career in Japan already, but I feel that the Japanese audience is too shy. They often stand or sit still and for the first meeting they always hold back. I am not a shy person, but most Japanese people are. Here in Europe I show my emotions and the audience shows theirs a lot more too. So for me it’s a direct reading, or feedback if you will. It’s special for me, and for us as a group it’s good. But I also like the Japanese people very much!
11. Of course, you’re not the only one looking forward to this European tour. What can the fans expect from a GOOD THRU DATE show? Is there something specific that you’d like to tell them beforehand? (Like something they could do for example furisuke? Doesn’t have to be for the EU tour exclusively!)
Ren: Because we all come from different bands in Japan, we have a different type of power and energy in the songs. As we’ve told you already, we have been friends for a really long time, but we have never played with each other until now. So when we get together to compose new songs the energy is huge and the sound is amazing.
haru: We make a miracle!
Ren: We have special things and a special mind, which we believe we can show you during this tour.
12. What are your plans as GOOD THRU DATE for the future? Do you have any short term goals you’re hoping to achieve? And for the longer term?
Ren: Of course we’ll continue to compose new songs after this tour. But after every show right now we sit down and talk to each other about how we think the live went. Do we like the setlist? Do we have to change the order? Do we add additional songs to the list to make the next show even better? So when we return to Japan in two weeks from now we’ll find new songs and make a better setlist for the next tour, all over the world. And maybe, next time we come here, we could play the biggest venue in the country! Hopefully!
13. Since it’s all about music in the music industry… Can fans look forward to any releases from the band? Do you have anything you’re currently working on?
Tetsuri: For this tour we have a lot of songs, but we talk about new songs too. Next week we have some free time, so perhaps we will make a new song then. Maybe we’ll have time to make something in Europe, but we can’t really record anything until we go back to Japan.
Ren: We can do everything so fast. Maybe what we make is good, maybe it’s not good. We ask each other that question. But now we go faster and faster for everything. Maybe we can make something new and solve the problems very fast in the near future. And maybe we’ll just be okay!
14. When you’re going back to Japan after the tour, what will you do there? Will you go into the studio, or focus on live shows more? After some rest of course!
Tetsuri: We have other bands in Japan, but right now I am thinking about GOOD THRU DATE. I think we must make songs, do more streaming and of course a new European tour! America and Asia as well. We will go all over the world. Maybe in Japan too, but not only in Japan. We started in Europe, so it has a big meaning for us.
Ren: Actually, we have announced our first show in Japan as GOOD THRU DATE recently. It will be at the very last day of March. So we’ve actually played in Europe before we’ve played in Japan. We will have a fresh show there, at the end of the month!
15. And to finish this with the most original question in the book, is there anything you would like to say to everyone reading this interview?
haru: We made a miracle in terms of music, so we really want you to come to venue to see our shows and feel the music with your body, but especially enjoy it with us! Basically we want you to share your energy with us directly!