Q: I was planning on touring on my own. Bad idea? Also, I'm taking Japanese lessons at the moment, is there much point?
A: For a first time over, we actually encourage artists to do a solo tour. That way you can come over, see what it's like here, and if it's all good then build on what you've started and come back with a larger setup.
As for Japanese lessons, yes, definitely learn whatever you can. The Japanese are very appreciative when they see that a foreigner has made an effort to learn their language.
Q: Do you do distribution?
A: We seldom do distribution, but if we do, it's only for our roster artists that regularly perform in Japan. Otherwise, we have contacts that we refer artists to that may or may not be interested. Very few Japanese distributors are interested in artists with no name recognition here, so it’s generally a case by case type of situation.
Q: I am very interested in touring. Could you please tell me more about additional costs or commissions for tour managers, sound engineers, hotel and transport?
A: Listed on the "services" page are tour packages for artists that cover a range of different types of tours. The prices listed include all of the services applicable to a tour of that type, so there are no additional fees required. If you don't see the specific type of tour you're interested in or if you have other questions, please contact us.
Q: How much is the average remuneration per show? Is it a flat rate of the door?
A: Commonly, live houses pay artists from 40-60% of the door based on the number of people that when asked at the door say that they've come to see that specific artist (that percentage is after you've brought in a minimum of 10 people). So there could be 80 people in the room, but if you only brought 11, then you get credit for 1 person. Cafes, jazz clubs, and bars usually offer 50-60% from the first person that comes in.
Q: I'll want to bring a band with me but they would have to be compensated. I understand that there isn't much money to be made for a first tour, but will we make enough to cover our expenses, and who pays for the transportation and hotel fees? Would their be a minimum guarantee for performances, at least $2000.00 per night.
A: Unfortunately for artists that aren't well known in Japan, unless you can get a short term contract (3 months-1yr.) with an agency or theme park, neither promoters nor venues will offer a guarantee and pay travel & hotel expenses. This means that the artist must shoulder the financial burden until they develop a following large enough to support a tour.The reason we started our services is because as a general rule, promoters that work with overseas artists require that they have regular annual in store cd sales in excess of 4,000 units in Japan or an equivilent number of online sales. But, we've changed the dynamics of that equation such that any artist can tour here if they can afford the expenses. For a fee we give artists a chance to perform in Japan and market themselves in a way that can potentially help them to one day get big sales and move to the next level.
Q: Our band has 2 members that are fluent in Japanese, in fact 1 member is Japanese. Would it be ok to tour without a tour manager?
A: In order for things to go smoothly we require artists to use our tour manager service. Artists often come to Japan and are able to get to shows on their own and get through the night ok, but we have a reputation and responsibility with each of the venues that we work with and can not afford to have them jeopardized by artists that may not understand the importance of the relationships that we have spent years to build. We ask for your understanding on this point.