Driving Forty Five To See Fireworks On New Year’s Day

Isn’t it funny how music connects people? When two people enjoy music by the same band, they somehow forge a connection and have something new to talk about. For me, Ellegarden was one of those bands. Back then, I was dismissive of Japanese music – choosing not to listen to it because I didn’t understand Japanese lyrics. I couldn’t appreciate instrumental music or just melodies back then, the songs I listened to needed to have words in them. So I was surprised when I put on “New Year’s Day” after the recommendation of a friend.

Ellegarden – New Year’s Day

At first I thought it was some Blink 182 rip off band, but I was impressed at the way the singer sang – it wasn’t completely Engrish like most Japanese bands, and it didn’t have typical J-Rock guitars. I was curious but my friend didn’t have anymore songs beyond a handful to share. Since I had shit internet, I didn’t really bother looking them up and just listened to whatever was shared with me.

Fast forward to a few years later after I got broadband and discovered the joys of high-speed internet. I remembered Ellegarden, downloaded their whole discography and was amazed by how good they were. They remained the only Japanese band I listened to for a long time and I haven’t stopped listening to them since.

When I started working, I made a new friend who was into Fallout Boy and J-Rock music. Seeing how Ellegarden was a Japanese pop punk band, I shared them with him and he was thoroughly impressed. We bonded over their music and soon became great friends. We discussed a lot about the band’s lyrics and music. I was very impressed with Ellegarden’s lyrics and vocal melodies, while he was more into their guitar playing.

Over the years our friendship grew as we continued sharing music with each other – he listened to music I recommended him and vice versa. I started listening to more Japanese bands recommended by him while he started listening to more English bands from me. I learnt that there was more to songs than just lyrics and could now appreciate music that I had no understanding of (hello AKFG!). Long story short, we eventually started writing music together and even formed a band after a few years.

I don’t know much about Ellegarden, but I was sad when they announced their hiatus back in 2008. Fortunately when the band broke up, the singer continued making music with another band called The Hiatus (also topnotch stuff). I’m patiently waiting for the day when they announce their reunion, but until then I’ll have their existing discography to listen to.

Ellegarden – Can You Feel Like I Do

Ellegarden – Mouse Moulding

Ellegarden – Jitterbug

Ellegarden – Missing

Ellegarden – Marry Me

Ellegarden – Lonesome

Ellegarden – Ring

Ellegarden – Make A Wish

Ellegarden – Bored Of Everything

Ellegarden – Space Sonic

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