Many musicians will admit to having a special affection for Fuji Rock Festival, which unfurls at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture this weekend. Few, however, have a history as tightly intertwined with the event as Quruli, the affable guitar-rock outfit from Kyoto.

Frontman Shigeru Kishida and bassist Masashi Sato were in the crowd with members of their university music circle at the festival's infamous debut in 1997, when a typhoon forced organizers to pull the plug halfway through. They returned for its second edition in Tokyo the following year.

In 1999, when Fuji Rock moved to its present home, Quruli played at the event for the first of many times: the band returns this weekend for what will be its seventh appearance. And, like Fuji Rock itself, Quruli celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.