GOOD THRU DATE is a brand new band, existing out of haru (from universe) on vocals, れん (Ren) (from Megimimi Sleep Tight/Nextrade) also on vocals, and Tetsuri (from Dr. Undy) on guitar. The act is so new that they haven’t even played their first official live in Japan, yet they’re on a small European tour already.
One of their stops was in Dordrecht (The Netherlands), and that was a great opportunity to ask the guys some questions. Because for れん (Ren) it was his very first time in Europe, and for Tetsuri it had been many, many years since his last visit.
So, without further ado..
GOOD THRU DATE is a very, very new band. Which means that people don’t know much about you at all yet, despite you being here on this European tour now. Can you please help them out by introducing the group in your own words?
haru: The very first time I came to Europe for a tour, and the next time I came again with my band “universe”. I played the song for the anime “BLEACH” as well during that time. Ever since I wanted to come back to Europe again, but with another band. Like, form a new one. れん (Ren) and myself have been friends for five or six years now, and we’ve been playing venues in Japan together for about that time too. I asked him and Tetsuri to form a new band with me so we could visit Europe again together, and they immediately said yes!
The name you’ve chosen is rather unusual too, especially because of the slang usage of the word “through”. Can you tell me a bit about the story behind it? How did you get to using this name for your new project?
れん (Ren): When I was thinking about what we could name our group I wanted to use the first letters of each of our names, so the “T” for Tetsuri, the “H” for haru and the “R” for me. I wrote all letters on a piece of paper and started to think what word I could make out of them. I also asked the fans with the help of social media, which brought the word “through” to my attention. As you know, the slang version for that is “thru”. I happened to look at my credit card and I saw it was valid until February of 2019. So I thought “good through” (or “good thru”, to make use of the letters of our names more effectively). I wanted the band’s name to become “GOOD THRU”, but when I presented it to our agent here in Europe (which is HIGHFeeL, by the way), she responded with “What about “GOOD THRU DATE”? Because people will remember that name more easily.”
So that’s how we got to “GOOD THRU DATE”.
haru just answered this question a little already, but what brought the three of you together for this project? Were there any plans beforehand, or was this a spur of the moment decision that just worked out really well?
Tetsuri: We’ve all been friends for a really long time already. haru has been in “universe” for a really long time already as well, but when the activities of that band came to an end he got the chance to come to Europe twice in relatively short succession. This time he didn’t want to go alone again, but as a team. And because of the energy between us as well as all of our projects having their activities suspended for quite some time we decided to team up together. By the time haru approached れん (Ren) to play with him れん (Ren) and me were playing together for a while already, so haru joined us because we had the same ideas and vibrations between us. So I do believe this tour will be a very good one!
There’s not one, but two main vocalists in GOOD THRU DATE, but how do you manage this behind the scenes? How do you decide who sings what, and do you ever disagree with each other?
れん (Ren): Actually, haru and me sing in a very similar way. But the high part of his voice is so sweet, while mine is a little lower than his. So we just sing together in harmony. Sometimes he goes to that very high end of his range where I can’t get to, so I’m a little lower. We record each song on a trial and error basis and see what works best in the end. We’ve used the same process for our first three songs as GOOD THRU DATE, and this entire process is just amazing to me…
Three different personalities and backgrounds in one project
haru, you’ve already seen quite a bit of this world, and you do like to capture small parts of it with your camera. But is there a city or country that has left a bigger impression on you than the others you’ve visited?
haru: Oh… That’s actually a super difficult question! (laughs)
Maybe… And this is not because I am in The Netherlands right now and I want to bring up a memory from here specifically for that reason, but when I got to play at the “Abunai!” convention during the very last day of one of the last European tour I just felt amazing being at the event and I really enjoyed the convention as well. There were a lot of people there, and that created a lot of power and energy!
れん (Ren), based on your social media you really like food, don’t you? Food photography is it’s very own category, but what attracts you to food? Is it the process of preparing it through cooking, or the part where you get to eat it maybe? Or something completely different?
れん (Ren): I actually really love cooking. In Japan I get to cook two or three times a week, and I usually end up making a curry or a pasta during those days. But I like steak and fish dishes as well! Unfortunately it’s really difficult for me to cook these types of dishes in my home, so another reason I’m enjoying this European tour so much is because of all the food, there’s something different in every city we visit!
Tetsuri, you seem to like a lot of “Western” music, like MUSE, alice in chains and Garbage, just to name a few. Do you take a lot of inspiration from these overseas bands for your own works, or do you just enjoy their music to unwind?
Tetsuri: Of course there have been many bands that have inspired me one way or another. When I was a child I used to listen to J-Pop. And only J-Pop… But when I was thirteen years old I ended up living in Paris (France) for a year. There was no Japanese music or J-Pop in Paris, but I met a lot of rock bands like Nirvana and Metallica instead. I also started playing the guitar around this time, and part of the reason to pick up an instrument myself was because of the influence these bands had on me.
Nirvana is quite popular in Paris, I think. But during my time overseas I met a lot of bands. When I returned to Japan I kept listening to their work because it reminds me of the time and memories I’ve made in Paris. I still listen to J-Pop, because of course I do. But most of the time I listen to my favorite Western bands. So many songs remind me of when I first started to play music, so you could call them my first real impression of music.
I know haru has been to Europe and The Netherlands before, and Tetsuri just shared some of his experiences in Europe too, but what about れん (Ren)? Is this your very first time in Europe?
Tetsuri: (laughs) Yes, you’re right! You already know my story because of the previous question!
れん (Ren): I’ve 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 it was a bit of an art tour. This was my very first time in Europe. This tour is the second time, then!
haru has mentioned the “Abunai!” convention here in The Netherlands already, but れん (Ren) and Tetsuri have never been to a convention before, right? What do you think about playing at a convention?
haru: To be honest, we would love the idea of being able to play at a convention. I’m very proud that I could make a song for the anime “BLEACH”, and introduce it to more people at a convention while also being able to introduce them to Japanese culture through anime and clothing, but hopefully more as well.
I’m so proud I got to be and perform at a convention, and the stories I’ve told れん (Ren) and Tetsuri have really made them want to play at a convention as well now!
Since this is the very first European tour as GOOD THRU DATE, I’m sure there were some expectations, right? Was there something you were hoping to see, or something for the shows themselves?
haru: Actually… This isn’t an answer from just me, but from all of us. It’s the very first time all three of us have been here in Dordrecht. We think it’s a very nice city and the trees here are very pretty. So up until now this is the most special place for us.
Tetsuri: We have a long career in Japan already, but I feel like the Japanese audience is too shy. They often stand or sit still, and when they come see us for the very first time they always hold back. I’m not a shy person myself, 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, for what I’m doing on stage. It’s special for me, and for us as a group it’s good. But don’t get me wrong, I love the Japanese people very much too!
Today is not the final date of the tour just yet, so there are still people waiting for you in other countries. What can they expect from a GOOD THRU DATE show? Is there something specific you’d like to tell them beforehand?
れん (Ren): We all come from different bands in Japan, so we all have a different power and energy we put into our songs. As we’ve told you already, we’ve been friends for a really long time, but we’ve never played with all three of us together until this project. So when we get together to compose new songs the energy is huge, and the sound is amazing!
haru: We want to make a miracle!
れん (Ren): We have special things and a special mind, which we believe we can show you during this tour.
Looking towards the future
What about your plans for the future? What are some short term and long term goals you hope to achieve?
れん (Ren): Of course we’ll continue to compose new songs after we finish this tour. But after each show we do right now we sit down together to talk about how we think the live went. Do we like the setlist we have now, do we have to change the order of the songs or add additional ones to make the next show even better? So when we’ll return to Japan in two weeks from now we’ll make new songs and make a better setlist for our next tour, all over the world. And maybe, next time we come here, we’ll be playing the biggest venue in the country! Hopefully!
Since it’s all about music in the music industry, can fans look forward to any new releases from the band? Are you currently working on something already?
Tetsuri: For this tour we have a lot of songs already, but we also talk about new songs. Next week we will have some free time so perhaps we’ll use that to 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 again.
れん (Ren): We can do everything so fast. Maybe the things we make are good, maybe they’re not. We ask each other that question constantly. But now we go faster and faster for everything. Maybe we can make something new and solve the problems we encounter very fast in the future. And maybe we’ll just be okay!
You’ll be returning to Japan soon, but what is on your agenda there?
Tetsuri: We have other bands in Japan, but right now I am thinking about our activity with GOOD THRU DATE. I think we must make songs, do more streaming, and of course a new European tour! The US and Asia as well, though, we’ll go all over the world. Maybe in Japan as well, but not only in Japan. We’ve started our project in Europe, so Europe has a big meaning to us.
れん (Ren): Actually, we’ve recently announced our first show as GOOD THRU DATE in Japan. It will take place 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!
In the meantime we’ve have reached the very last question on my list today… I think you can guess it already, but is there something you’d like to share with everyone who has been reading the interview today?
haru: We’ve made a miracle in terms of music, so we really want you to come to the 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!
As already mentioned, GOOD THRU DATE has launched their project here in Europe before they officially launched it in Japan, which is quite a unique feature.
With the influences from universe, Megimimi Sleep Tight, Nextrade and Dr. Undy haru, れん (Ren) and Tetsuri aim to create a unique project that appeals to a broad audience spanning several different genres.
If you have the opportunity to visit one of their shows, either during this tour or the first planned live show in Japan, give the guys a chance to entertain you!
We also took photos of their performance at Special Edition (Dordrecht, The Netherlands). You can find these photos on our photography portfolio, Arlequin Photography, by clicking the image below!
Follow GOOD THRU DATE
雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind both Arlequin Magazine and Arlequin Photography.
She started in 2009 as a photographer with Arlequin Photography, but due to a growing interest in journalism, translation and behind-the-scenes work in general the project burst out of it's seams in 2021 and expanded through the addition of Arlequin Magazine.
雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker and maintains both the English and Dutch sections of both Magazine and Photography with original content, translations and photography as well as all the behind-the-scenes work for both websites.
She speaks Dutch, English, Japanese and German.