Five exceptional Japanese bands are hitting the road to share the best of Japan’s underground music scene with lucky audiences across Canada.

Next Music from Tokyo (NMFT) is an annual tour that introduces Canadians to the most creative and skilled bands from Japan’s indie and underground music scene. The tour began in 2010 and brings a different group of Japanese bands to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver each year. The organizer of the tour is Steven Tanaka, a Toronto-based anesthesiologist who travels to Japan at least six times a year to scout the best possible lineup for each edition. With shows selling out every year, NMFT is proof that music played with energy and passion transcends language barriers and can be appreciated by audiences anywhere.

The eighth edition of Next Music from Tokyo (NMFT8) will take place in Toronto, with shows at Soybomb on May 20 and Lee’s Palace on May 21. The lineup for NMFT8 will include five bands: Mass of the Fermenting Dregs, Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu, Regal Lily, Nengu and Dalljub Step Club. One of the greatest strengths of Japan’s rock music scene is that, compared to any other country, females play a much more prominent role as musicians. This is reflected in the lineup for NMFT8, as three of the five bands are predominantly female.




Mass of the Fermenting Dregs

One of the greatest Japanese female bands of all time. They play a fiercely powerful combination of melodic post-punk and emotional shoegaze.



Highlighting NMFT8 is the return of Mass of the Fermenting Dregs (MOTFD), one of the greatest female bands of all time. Their music is a combination of melodic post-punk and emotional shoegaze with a very heavy and powerful sound. No other female band in the history of rock and roll has played with the same combination of fury, power and skill as MOTFD, whose shocking breakup in 2012 broke the hearts of fans around the world. But the time for mourning has passed as MOTFD has been resurrected with a new lineup and will return to Canada sounding better than ever.




Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu

Influenced by Shiina Ringo, Kinoko Teikoku and Akai Koen, these four girls make emotionally powerful music with a fun, creative and experimental edge.



Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu means “3 am & bored,” and the four female night owls that comprise this quirky pop band are still first-year university students. A fun, whimsical attitude with a profound flair for creativity and experimentation is what makes Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu such an unpredictable and immensely enjoyable band to watch. Influenced by the music of Shiina Ringo, Kinoko Teikoku and Akai Koen, Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu show great variety in their music by constantly changing their style and emotional tone from song to song.




Regal Lily

Three girls who have yet to finish high school but are well on their way to becoming the next great female band after Chatmonchy.



Regal Lily consists of three adorable female students who have yet to finish high school but are already on track to become one of the best Japanese female bands. Their music is incredibly soulful, melodic and unpretentious—but when you least expect it they stomp the pedals and crank up into overdrive to create a thunderstorm of noise and distortion. Regal Lily sound very much like a younger, more powerful version of Chatmonchy on steroids.





A three-piece instrumental band playing a combina- tion of math rock, jazz and metal that sounds like opening a pre-shaken bottle of thunder and lightning.



Nengu is a three-piece instrumental rock band with guitar riffs similar to heavy metal but a rawness and energy much more characteristic of punk/hardcore. Their drumming is incredibly creative: it has a jazzy quality played lightning-fast with power and finesse as the bass attacks in a densely thunderous tone. The music is very melodic, intricate, powerful and fast and should appeal to fans of math-rock bands such as Tera Melos, And So I Watch You From Afar and Adebisi Shank.



Dalljub Step Club

A live band playing club music with the energy and aggressiveness of rock, highlighted by the fresh and intricate drumming of a veritable drum prodigy.



Dalljub Step Club is composed of four members from different rock bands who came together to perform songs with a club music vibe. Their music has elements of dubstep, funk, hip hop and house music with the raw energy and spontaneity of a live band. Their drummer, Goto, has created his own unique and intricate style and has become a burgeoning drum hero in Tokyo’s music scene. Along with artists and bands such as group_inou and Zazen Boys, Dalljub Step Club are blurring genres and leading music in a mysterious and exciting direction.

Next Music from Tokyo prides itself in showcasing a fresh and eclectic lineup of Japanese bands that put on a great show without resorting to theatrics and gimmicks. Although this year’s lineup is predominantly rock-based, none of the bands sound remotely alike and they are bound to fascinate audiences that keep an open mind. NMFT is the only tour in Canada featuring multiple Japanese bands and will continue its tradition of creating one of the most interesting and intense live music experiences of the year.


Friday, May 20 Toronto @Soybomb

Saturday, May 21 Toronto @Lee’s Palace

Monday, May 23 Montreal @Divan Orange

Wednesday, May 25 Vancouver @Biltmore Cabaret

Information can also be found on the tour’s official website:



Steven Tanaka

MD. Lives in Toronto. So passionate about the Japanese underground music scene that he founded and carries out a three-city (two shows in Toronto, one show each in Montreal and Vancouver) tour to share the music with fellow Canadians.