Japanese punk blues stalwarts, King Brothers… have released their first album, “Wasteland”.. in over 8 years! They’ve been together for 20 years… I know.. I know!!… How come I’ve never heard of em’? Faintly praised by critics, yet never have they been convincing enough to being anything close to greatness. “Wasteland“ has an abundance of riff-tastic, custard-cover, ribald, real deal rock and roll. Fortunately, the King Brothers are more focused on a strong musical statement than an ideological one. Japan has largely been missing out on burgeoning contemporary music scenes since the end of the WWII. I guess you can call the international hit from 1962 classic, “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto contemporary!Japanese youth finally had something to rage againsts – industrial decline, pollution, attack by North Korea and major price inflation during the world oil crisis – so the essence of Japanese punk was born.
“Wasteland” is full of songs that snap and snarl in all the right places. It is a bit retro, but I ask myself… who gives a fuck if it’s in Japanese? Their live performances are so over the top that they’ve been banned in many venues throughout Japan because of the chaos they create. The band is Keizo Matsuo on guitar, harmonica.. and vocals, Masafumi “Marya” Koyama on bass guitar and Zony on drums. In their native Japan, they are revered as hip gunslinger cool of the Clash, the danger and threat of the Sex Pistols, and the well-rehearsed nihilism of countless other bands from that era. Well, who’s laughing now eh? It’s hard to pin this record down to a point in time – they’ve opened for Jack White and Jon Spencer..
For those that are prescribed Retalin, “Wasteland” is music to your ears…There “ain’t” a song more than 4 minutes. It certainly doesn’t sound like 2018, but as sure as eggs are eggs it doesn’t sound like it’s from 1978 either. Again, the King Brothers are just a brilliant rock n’ roll band…
I was lucky enough to get guitarist, Keizo to answer some questions…
Rock Bands of L.A.com: The King Brothers are the most kick ass band I’ve seen in 10 years.. You could’ve easily play in L.A. punk bands… Circle Jerks, Agent Orange, Black Flag. What’s the music scene like in Japan? I can’t believe there’s a punk movement there? What music were you raised on?
Keizo: OK, ..My English is super very bad I am sorry… . Japanese music seen is super shit…All boring idol music. There is no rock band at all in Japan Except for Great Guitar Wolf and the underground bands in the basement. No, Punk of fashion only.In Japan, rock and punk are kids’ music. The Japanese media is dead! It may change little by little. Punk of fashion only.In Japan, rock and punk are kids’ music. But the media is dead. It may change little by little. My favorite bands are Murahachibu and real punk rocker.. Yamaguchi Fujio.
Rock Bands of L.A.com: I can’t believe you’ve been banned in many cities… How does that feel? Do you feel singled out or are you kind of proud of it???
Keizo: Yes, we are banned from playing in many venues throughout Japan. The King Brothers certainly cause an explosion when we perform….
Rock Bands of L.A.com: Is it harder to write lyrics in English vs. Japanese? Is the emotion the same in either language?
Keizo: Oh,I can not speak English very well so its easier to write in Japanese… Only “Come On” and”Lets Go” are in English. Our fans don’t understand English… though I personally listen to a lot of music in English for inspiration. We opt to working with imagination…I think we need English skills. We toured with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and we went down really well… I just remember kids doing crazy dancing…
Rock Bands of L.A.com: You are going to tour Europe and Britain… when are you coming to America? The Western U.S. will love you!
Keizo: Yes!Of course I hope US tour!
At last we’ve released new album that were excited about!
See you soon!
There are so many people to thank… Keizo did a great job..