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Daily Inspiration: Meet Last Train to Tokyo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Last Train to Tokyo.

Where does this story begin?
Originally started in 2015 with two brothers, Aki, Tatsuya, and their friend drinking and jamming to music on Thursday nights in a garage in Fullerton. Through a mutual friend, they were introduced to a drummer, Wes and there was instant chemistry. Everything quickly got serious between Aki, Tatsuya and Wes and they went from covering Japanese pop-punk songs for fun to producing original music. Over the course of 5 years, our music has evolved to incorporate a variety of different genres and sounds (Neo Soul, Jazz, Indie, Electronic, Pop, Rock). We’re always challenging ourselves to push our creative abilities. We’ve even taken it upon ourselves to self produce everything from the songwriting, recording to post-production. Currently, we’re working on self-producing an EP. Our hope is that we can create something that can resonate with even one person aside from ourselves.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We’ve always had trouble finding other musicians who had the same level of work ethic, commitment, musical taste and ability. This is still an ongoing struggle because the sound we want to achieve is usually more than what the three of are capable of playing at once. At the same time, we feel this struggle does help stimulate our musical creativity. We also all work full-time jobs, so coordinating practices and gigs are always challenging but we make it work. We’ve also had our share of gigs where we literally played to no one. Not even the bartender.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
All of us in the band are Japanese American but musically, we all come from a different background. For some of us, there’s a lot of heavy J-Pop melodic influence and traditional Japanese Taiko. We’re most proud of the fact that when we create music, it’s a very open and collaborative experience. There isn’t one person really leading the musical direction. A lot of ideas are organically inspired in jams or evolve from simple lyrical ideas. We’re pretty critical of each other but there’s no animosity.

How do you define success?
If we can find anyone that identifies with our music, we feel that is a success.

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