Rocking on in Tokyo

Rocking on in Tokyo

Managing a rock band in Tokyo is not the usual career path for a CPIT graduate, but Tim McSherry couldn’t be happier. His ongoing fascination with Tokyo and obsession with rock music has led him in a direction he had never planned.

The journey started with a Bachelor of Language (Japanese) at CPIT and a move to Tokyo to teach, where Tim spent all of his spare time checking out the local music scene. “I have been organising DJ and band events in Tokyo for 2 ½ years,” Tim said. “It started out at a small rock bar with just a few friends playing songs as amateur DJs. It progressed into doing gigs with bands and making use of several venues for live music around Tokyo. This was never really planned.” 

If you caught Japanese rock band thatta in Christchurch recently, you will know the five-piece synth-rock, ‘Madchester’-inspired, group (think The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays) deliver on their promise of a "fearless and frenetic" style.

The band, whose name means “random” and “mind expanding” in Japanese, have just toured New Zealand after supporting kiwi bands Die! Die! Die!, Decortica and Tiddebades in Tokyo. All this cross-cultural activity is due to Tim and a few others, but he is pretty relaxed about his long term prospects.

“Over the last couple of years I've become more interested in the music scene here and I think I'd like to do what I can to help create more of an interest in Japanese indie music outside Japan. If this was to somehow turn into a career, then I guess that's something I would be happy with,” he said.

Meanwhile life in Tokyo offers all the lifestyle benefits of a one of the world’s great cities. “In Tokyo there's access to everything and anything one might be interested in - from eating out to sporting activities and entertainment. We are spoiled for choice.”

Tokyo also boasts an exciting blend of traditional and conservative culture crossed with a variety of contemporary fashion styles, music and art. And to explore this world, Tim says CPIT’s Japanese language programmes are an excellent preparation.

“I would recommend this course to anyone who is planning to further their studies in Japanese and to those who are interested in spending time in Japan in the future. It provides a solid foundation that one can easily build on through self-study and conversation, and therefore can gain an understanding from both a formal education and social background.”