Thursday 21st August 2014, End of Japanese tour, visit to Atelier Z workshop, Tokyo
As a UK based musician, Japan is an amazing place to tour. The culture is so rich yet those western touches that we often take for granted are also present. The people are so generous, warm and friendly. And you can pretty much rely on things to work properly/be on time/be in great condition (important if you like 2nd hand things...)
This was yet another highly memorable tour, two weeks passing very quickly. Highlights include having Maysa in Japan with us for the first time in maybe five years, rather copius quantities of birthday cake (four with my name on, one with my face on (!), two for the band and one for Maysa), and the aquisition of a new four string M245 bass from Atelier Z which I used for the entire tour. As usual there were plenty of laughs, plenty of esoteric memes for those who can keep up and excellent band unity and spirit. Well done too to Francisco Sales for his excellent playing with the band, as opening act and also jamming with my DJ set!
Reluctantly, I have had to leave my blue JS460 bass in Japan, with Aki at the Atelier Z workshop, because it is in need of a re-fret and a new nut. 😔 I'll get it shipped to me in a couple of weeks... Having said that, I'm glad that I am having the job done by the people that built the bass in the first place! My new M245 will fill in on the forthcoming tour on the Netherlands.
I paid a visit to the Atelier Z shop in Shinjuku, Tokyo a few days ago. The layout of the workshop has been switched around since my last visit, over a year ago. The workshop is now upstairs at what used to be shop level, and the shop/showroom has been moved downstairs. As you enter downstairs you are still greated by a pleasing array of Atelier Z guitars and basses and a somewhat expanded gallery of signed photos of happy musicians playing their instruments. There are a selection of guitar amps to choose from and also a range of bass amplification to test drive Atelier Z's creations. There's a spacious feel to the room with it's new comfy sofa and low rise stools dotted around. Even though the layout has changed considerably, it feels more than familiar to me as I've been here maybe five times and tried out many new basses here.
Over the last six or seven years, Atelier Z have been extremely generous and supportive of me. I thank Johnny K Motohashi, Aki and the rest of the staff for making such attractive and gorgeous sounding instruments. Often I get asked questions about my Atelier Z basses as they are not as easy to find outside of Asia. The English language version of their website can be found here. FH