Tuesday, October 7, 2008
This upcoming weekend is the yearly visit from our friends from Japan CREEPOUT. We will be doing 3 shows with them (and NUMB, also from japan) in BALTIMORE, PITTSBURGH, and CLEVELAND October 10th, 11th and 12th.
More important than the shows is how we got to know the guys form Creepout and how we became great friends despite living on opposite sides of the planet. One day, me and Rob were sitting at the tattoo shop doing our usual online search for international HC bands. We are big fans of bands from Europe and Japan, as well as other places in the world. We feel there is a wealth of great HC outside of the US which gets overlooked because of pompus attitudes of US superiority, so we search for new bands that we do not get exposed to and the internet has opened the flood gates for us to do so. On the mentioned day, me and Rob found a band form Japan called CREEPOUT. Thye had logos with the Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo, and the singer's name was "JAPANESE CLEVELANDER". They had a great Clevo influenced sound (OLC/Integrity mixed w/ NYHC) and they seemed like they loved Northeast Ohio. To us, this was a sign. It was a sign that these were people we would get along with great. Also, their music ruled. We wanted to not only meet them, but we wanted to bring their music to the US.
We contacted them and Clevelander (Kunhide) told me he comes to Cleveland every year to see Cleveland Indians games, so we asked them to do a split record with us, and met him up in Cleveland the next time he came to see an Indians game. The 1st time we met, he and his friend (Ychiro) could barely speak english, and I could not speak ANY Japanese, so it was a bit awkward and difficult to communicate. We took them to see Ringworm (one of their favorite bands0 at some awful metal bar in Cleveland... the show was terrible (due to the venue and the crowd of 90% middle aged metal dudes) but they were excited to see Ringworm and meet Human Furnace (they thanked me as though I had introduced them to God). I stayed with them at their hotel that night and we talked more as the language barrier started to break down. The next day i took them to the rceord store and then to Rob's tattoo shop. We had a BBQ and played a show for them in the lobby of the tattoo shop and lots of people came and had a blast. They said it was better than any of the shows they had flown over to attend in NYC of anywhere else. We were sad to see them go home.
Soon after we released our split CD with them and me rob and some others would keep in touch w/ Kunhide, as well as many of his friends in Japan on a daily basis. We sold 500 copies of the CD which we self released on a DIY level on our own HARD ASS RECORDS, mainly in our region where we play shows (NEOH/Western PA) but we also sold them on the internet to ppl all over. Creepout came to play 2 shows that year in the fall and both shows were great, people travled from far off to come see Creepout, and before their set in Cleveland the entire crowd was chanting CREEPOUT! CREEPOUT! CREEPOUT! until they exploded into the 1st riff and the place exploded into one of the wildest sets I have ever experienced. Bodies, fists, couches being thrown... I even saw a guy running around and hitting people with an empty milk jug full of rocks! Truly one of the best shows I have been to in all the years I have been attending, playing, and setting up shows.
At that moment I realized we achieved our goal. We brought Creepout's music to the US, and more importantly, we made some wonderful friends form the other side of the earth in the process. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Who'd have thought that just checking a band out on the internet would lead to all this?
We have just released another split w/ another band from japan (Numb) and we are looking forward to bringing their music to the US as well. Please keep your ears open to music from other countries, HC does not exist soley in the US.
Check out CREEPOUT at their My Space: