After years of being known primarily as an importer of live improvisational music, Japan finally has an export making waves on foreign shores. Since the turn of the century, Meltone has made Japan proud as her first native sons to enter the "Jamband revolution." Formed in 2000 by Shin-Ichiro Tomita (guitar), Takuya Fukano (bass) and Keisuke Ishizawa (keyboard) Meltone Strives to transmit the joyous nature of "summer festival vibes" through their music.
The two guitarists are old friends who agree that if something feels right, it inevitably sounds good. Tomita explains, "Meltone was started not to become famous but to build a foundation for Japan's jamband community." In 2001, the power quartet was solidified with the addition of drummer Shunsuke Sugasawa. In reverence to the magic surrounding the Grateful Dead's performances, Meltone hopes to share an evolved version of that euphoria with their budding fans.
Together now for five years, Meltone has woven an original style from a mixed bag of sonic cloth. Fukano elaborates, "We're influenced by every kind of music we can get. There is no band we can single out because we all have different tastes." They are quickly developing into serious songwriters with a well-balanced vocal presence, most notably Tomita with his bewitching baritone. The wild-haired front man often propels the climactic energy over the brim, soaring through complex rhythmic labyrinths with his blazing guitar. Meltone's ambitious compositions are rooted in Western exploration while paying respect with subtle Japanese brush strokes.
Meltone made their U.S. debut playing a few Midwest dates during the summer of 2004. Right around that time they reached their nation's biggest stage at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan. It was only a year later at the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA when they band's smoldering sets cemented their reputation as a new jamband phenomenon.
Touring in support of their new album, New Wave, Meltone returned in 2006 to wow the High Sierra crowds yet again. This time they followed it up with a brief California tour which revealed the strongholds of support they've already established. Fans are eagerly awaiting their return in May of 2007.