Japanese melodic punk band WANIMA was one of the first major-label J-pop groups directly affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, when one of the first reported cases was a fan who had attended its early February concert in Fukuoka.
While the name of the band wasn’t specified in the initial reports, the trio later confirmed that the concert had been theirs, and cancelled a number of upcoming dates in Fukui and Ehime prefectures to ensure their fans’ safety. The band has since cancelled two more shows at the Saitama Super Arena, which would have taken place this weekend (March 14-15).
While the rest of WANIMA’s COMINATCHA!! TOUR 2019-2020 arena tour — scheduled to continue until the end of April — remains in limbo, the band decided to take swift action for their fans who couldn’t come see them perform.
With the support of their label and team of recording engineers, designers and visual artists, the band recorded and released a track called “Haru wo matte” (“Waiting for spring”) that they had previously only performed live during this tour.
The recording took place on the days the Fukui concerts were scheduled (Feb. 29 and March 1), and was digitally released Thursday (March 12).
The band dropped a trailer documenting what went on behind the scenes during the stressful period around the time they decided to cancel some shows, including concert footage from the last performance before cancellation, the meetings that took place, and scenes from the recording studio. Watch below:
“Take it easy, everyone,” frontman KENTA says to the crowd before performing the song in the trailer. “Hard times might lie ahead, but I’ll hang in there, too. I’ll hold my ground. So you all take it easy, too.”
The cover artwork was designed by the team at fashion brand LEFLAH, which has supported the band since its beginning.