Corgan hails Summer Sonic's '90s vibe

| Aug 6, 2010

Corgan hails Summer Sonic's '90s vibe

“The positive reaction to what we’re doing right now musically and the emotion coming off the stage has just lit a fire back up,” says Billy Corgan — guitarist, vocalist and sole remaining original member of alternative titans The Smashing Pumpkins. “I haven’t seen ...

The Brilliant Green are back in bloom

Jul 2, 2010

The Brilliant Green are back in bloom

“The wonderful thing about being solo is that you can do whatever you like, without asking anyone’s opinion — that’s fun. But as a band there’s camaraderie and you share a common goal. I never get fed up because I can do both.” So ...

PLASTICS: Rising Sun Rock Festival

| Jul 2, 2010

PLASTICS: Rising Sun Rock Festival

With their rudimentary synths, wiry guitar hooks, dazzling fashion and the insane barked vocals of Chica Sato and Hajime Tachibana, Plastics were Japan’s quintessential late 1970s new-wave band, finding fans in contemporaries Devo and The B-52′s. Their re-formation comes as neo wave and nu ...

Midori grow up, but kids still love 'em

Jun 11, 2010

Midori grow up, but kids still love 'em

Parents beware: Hardcore jazz-punk three-piece Midori are back, and this time they’re after your children. “There’s loads of them in the band — more than in Midori — and they’re just screaming and screaming!” says keyboardist Hajime Kato. Nineteen months after our last interview, ...

Soutaiseiriron: 'Synchroniciteen'

May 14, 2010

Soutaiseiriron: "Synchroniciteen"

In a world of information overload,in which we know what the members of our favorite bands had for breakfast thanks to an endless and unwelcome barrage of mundane information on Twitter, Facebook and a million fetid blogs, thank golly for Soutaiseiriron. The Tokyo four-piece’s ...

Vamps bite into British rock roots

May 14, 2010

Vamps bite into British rock roots

“L’Arc-en-Ciel is all about the musicianship. But Vamps are obsessed with rock music, and that’s basically our watchword: ‘rock.’ “ Japanese megastar Hyde is weighing up the differences between his two bands. L’Arc-en-Ciel, the multimillion-selling extrovert outfit with whom he rose to fame as ...

| Apr 28, 2010

Learning how to arrange a date in Japanese

Whether it’s a romantic engagement or dinner with friends or colleagues, making an appointment (約束, yakusoku) is a vital part of everyday language in Japan as much as anywhere else. The grammar involved isn’t too taxing, though the vocabulary extends as far as your ...

9mm Parabellum Bullet: 'Revolutionary'

Apr 23, 2010

9mm Parabellum Bullet: "Revolutionary"

Mixing emo and hardcore punk styles with a distinctly Japanese rock sound, 9mm Parabellum Bullet have carved themselves quite a niche. The Yokohama four-piece are pretty much fixtures on the major festival circuit, thanks to both their mainstream appeal (their last album charted at ...

I Am Robot And Proud

Apr 9, 2010

I Am Robot And Proud

Shaw-Han Liem may be proud, but he is not in fact a robot. Or if he is, he’s a robot in disguise; more Bishop from Aliens than R2-D2. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Liem is a one-man outfit who since 2001 has crafted chilled ...