Saturday, March 12, 2011


British metal legends IRON MAIDEN have canceled the bands previously announced Japanese tour due to the Earthquake and tsunami.
IWAKI, Japan - An explosion shattered a building housing a nuclear reactor Saturday, amid fears of a meltdown, while across wide swaths of northeastern Japan officials searched for thousands of people missing more than a day after a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The confirmed death toll from Friday's twin disasters was 574, but the government's chief spokesman said it could exceed 1,000. Devastation stretched hundreds of miles (kilometers) along the coast, where thousands of hungry survivors huddled in darkened emergency centers cut off from rescuers and aid.

The scale of destruction was not yet known, but there were grim signs that the death toll could soar. One report said four whole trains had disappeared Friday and still not been located. Another said 9,500 people in one coastal town were unaccounted for and that at least 200 bodies had washed ashore elsewhere.

Atsushi Ito, an official in Miyagi prefecture, among the worst hit states, could not confirm those figures, noting that with so little access to the area, thousands of people in scores of town could not be contacted or accounted for.

"Our estimates based on reported cases alone suggest that more than 1,000 people have lost their lives in the disaster," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. "Unfortunately, the actual damage could far exceed that number considering the difficulty assessing the full extent of damage."

Tsunami Relief: Network for Good

Among the most worrying developments was the possible meltdown of a nuclear reactor near the quake's epicenter. Government spokesman Yukio Edano said an explosion caused by vented hydrogen gas destroyed the exterior walls of the building where the reactor is, but not the actual metal housing enveloping the reactor.

Edano said the radiation around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant had not risen after the blast, but had in fact decreased. He did not say why that was so.

The explosion was caused by hydrogen interacting with oxygen outside the reactor. The hydrogen was formed when the superheated fuel rods came in contact with water being poured over it to prevent a meltdown.

"They are working furiously to find a solution to cool the core, and this afternoon in Europe we heard that they have begun to inject sea water into the core," said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate at the Nuclear Policy Program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "That is an indication of how serious the problem is and how the Japanese had to resort to unusual and improvised solutions to cool the reactor core."

Officials have not given specific radiation readings for the area, though they said they were elevated before the blast: At one point, the plant was releasing each hour the amount of radiation a person normally absorbs from the environment each year.
IRON MAIDEN's Japanese promoter Creativeman has issued the following statement regarding the band's Tokyo shows this weekend:

"Following the cancelation of Saturday, March 12 show, IRON MAIDEN's show scheduled at Saitama Super Arena on Sunday, March 13 is now canceled as well, due to obvious safety concerns towards the audience, the artist, and the venue, caused by the earthquake of Friday, March 11. Your ticket for Sunday, March 13 will be refunded. Please contact Creativeman after Monday, March 14 on the refund process. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. TEL: 03-3462-6969 (12pm-6pm weekdays)."

The members of IRON MAIDEN and their crew were flying into Tokyo from Seoul, South Korea following their show there. On approaching Narita airport in Tokyo, IRON MAIDEN's specially chartered plane Ed Force One was advised to re-route to Nagoya as the earthquake/tsunami had just become apparent. The bandmembers stayed the night in Nagoya and following the announcement of the cancelation are preparing to fly out of the country.

IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris has released the following message on behalf of the band to the band's fans in Japan and all who have been affected by this terrible disaster:

"We are extremely saddened by the calamitous events of the last day or so which led to the cancelation or our two shows in Tokyo.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone affected by this disaster — our fans in Japan, the people of Japan and those in many other places suffering from the tsunami. We are also aware that a number of fans flew into Tokyo from various parts of the world to see a MAIDEN show there and we hope you guys are safe and sound.

"We have had a long relationship with this wonderful country and have always been made to feel most welcome — this would have been something like our 16th tour.

"Our sincerest condolences to all those who have suffered and to the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives."
Members of JUDAS PRIEST, KISS, AEROSMITH and URIAH HEEP have issued statements expressing their thoughts and condolences to the Japanese people following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that shook Japan early Friday morning and left more than a thousand killed and many more missing.

JUDAS PRIEST: "We were all deeply shocked to hear about the awful tragedy in Japan with the earthquake and tsunami. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our fans and everyone there."

KISS: "To all our loyal fans, friends and their families devastated by the effects of the earthquake in Japan: We stand side by side with you in support and you will remain in our prayers through this time of tragedy."

AEROSMITH: "We want you all to know that we're thinking of you through this tough and difficult time. Our thoughts and hearts go out to you."

URIAH HEEP: "Our thoughts and hopes are with the Japanese people today. We have made many friends over the years in your wonderful country. Once again we were overwhelmed by your friendship and hospitality only a few months ago during the band's last visit to Japan. We want you all to know that everyone in the URIAH HEEP family is with you, as you deal with the challenges ahead."

The quake was originally reported at a magnitude of 7.9 but was later upgraded to 8.9. That makes it the fifth largest recorded world-wide since 1900, according to the U.S. Geological Service, larger than the 7.9-magnitude Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo in 1923 or the 6.8 magnitude quake that hit Kobe in 1995.
Our rock band All That Remains was in Japan for the third time. We had played the day before in Osaka and we took the bullet train from there to Tokyo only a few hours before the quake struck.

Due to travel we didn’t have time to go to the hotel before we had to sound check in Tokyo so we were at the venue when it happened. My first thought was honestly one of nervous excitement. All That Remains is from the east coast and I had never felt an earthquake. The building was shaking, light fixtures swaying with significant force, doors rattling. I didn’t realize how serious the situation was at first until our contact at Creative Man (the booking agent in Japan) started shuffling us to the stairs. You could see the concern on his face.

Once in the street I began to understand just how significant the quake was. The street was full of people, some laughing nervously, some even crying. By the time we got down to the street the first shock was done but within a few minutes there was a very large aftershock. From the street level you could see skyscrapers swaying back and forth.

We remained outside for at least an hour while the structural integrity of the building was checked by local authorities. When they told us it was safe to go back inside we walked up the stairs and almost as soon as we got to the venue we felt another very significant aftershock. In the area that we are in there was no real damage to structures and the people seemed to return to normal quite quickly.

The following morning seemed to be a fairly run-of-the-mill day. But when you turned on the news and saw the damage in Sendai it was clear this was anything but typical. It’s now 36 or so hours since the major quake and as I type this I am feeling aftershocks. A nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged and there was an explosion. The Japanese government is distributing iodine to local residents and has evacuated thousands of residents who live within 12 miles of the area.

I know that I, as well as millions of other people effected by this disaster, will never forget how it felt during and for days after.

Phil Labonte is the vocalist for All that Remains. You can visit their site here.

You can see Labonte’s Twitter updates here.

You can see band photos here.
DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess has posted a "musical message" to his "friends in Japan" following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that shook the country early Friday morning and left more than five thousand killed and many more missing. Check it out below.
Following the cancellation of both IRON MAIDEN Tokyo shows due to recent events in Japan, the British heavy metal legends will be donating the proceeds from sales of the Japanese event shirt available from the official IRON MAIDEN shop (i.e. the shirt without tour dates on) to a charity assisting victims of the earthquake. The band plans to do the same with the stock of event shirts currently in Tokyo, which were due to be sold onsite at the Tokyo venue (i.e. the shirt with tour dates on). Details will follow as soon as possible as to where these will be available from. The charity MAIDEN will be coordinating sales of both events shirts through is the Japanese Red Cross.

In other news, members of IN FLAMES as well as legendary guitarists Joe Satriani and Michael Schenker have all issued separate statements expressing their thoughts and condolences to the Japanese people following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that shook Japan early Friday morning and left more than four thousand killed and many more missing.

Joe Satriani: "You can help Japan deal with earthquake/tsunami by donating through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)."

IN FLAMES: "Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the people of Japan. The effects of the earthquake and tsunami have been chilling to witness. There are several organizations out there that are making an effort to help everyone like the Red Cross, Salvation Army. Beware of the scam sites out there preying on your heartfelt generosity. If you are able to, please donate what you can to make a difference to all those affected. Every bit will help!"

Michael Schenker: "My heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragedy in Japan. As someone with an incredible fondness for the people of Japan, who have been some of my biggest supporters, I wish everyone the best in getting through these trying times. God be with all of you."

Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal, we wish all the best to Japanese metal heads and Japanese ITP READERS-\m/ -l-