Tokyo Damage Report

golden week world punk festival: gauze, world burns to death







From Australia, although the singer is a ethnic Chinese from Malaysia.


the singer was on some Iggy Pop shit.

boom! total pro-wrestling style

He spent most of the time in the audience, or rather over the audience, singing from the top of the mob.



These guys were the Best! Shit! Ever!!

Furious but they still had a sense of humor about themselves. They played really short songs like 30 seconds, but somehow the songs were filled with arena-rock bombast and melody. At first I looked at the singer’s belly and sweatpants and thought, ok, it is a stoner who will be lame, but I could have not been more wrong. The dude leapt, gesticulated and performed like a crazy man. He would look people in the eye, which for some reason no one does anymore.

It was one of those high-energy punk bands like IDOL PUNCH where they are hella mad but also just goofy. Singer all wrestling with the guitar player in between verses. They were selling shirts that said SALSA’S NOT DEAD! All the bands that try to be “cool” or super macho or pretentiously saving-the-world-ish: prepare to get destroyed by these guys. They manage to be the maximum high-intensity realness without resorting to any of those gimmicks.

it was one of those drummers that was so huge that he made the kit look like a kid’s toy. plus he was making this face the whole time. sort of accross between anger and desperate fear — what’s that called? revolted! yeah, the revolted face. like he just found a huge spider in his bathtub and he had to get it before it got him.

the guitarist was just the most rock being ever.

not only could he do this shit but he could pull it off and not look like some foot-on-the-monitor posing dude. it was like he had just now discovered this move and was as astonished by it as we were.

guns ‘n roses. g.g. allin. vivisick.

this!!! this is punk rock!!! fucking right here!! dogpiles on stage!! this is what you don’t get from tough-guy bands or super political guys. the mixture of chaos, danger, and immaturity.

sexy dance!!


note pose of singer on left. you don’t need a foot-tall mohawk, or a heroin habit, or a long jail record. all you need is that.

click here for part two



Crazy texas bodybuilder guys. They were on tour with old school burning-spirits veterans Forward. (it was said that world burns to death is like the American equivalent of Forward: bringing back the serious threat/danger vibe on the political tip). This was the end of their Japanese tour and they were about to do every American punk band’s dream and record an album in a Japanese studio. Their music got a great reaction from the crowd, but later I showed the singer around Kabukicho and in return he told me some of his war stories. And to me, the storytelling was even better than the rock music.

motherfuckers were just bum-rushing these guys the whole time. it was like The Alamo!!

Dude was not fucking around. yelling like some scary-ass gym teacher. "Drop and give me 20!!"



Gauze ruled shit as always. but this time i was in the eye of the hurricane. could not see anything ,and in between dodging bodies, just held my camera up all submarine periscope-style to take pictures of whatever was in front of it.

beer’s-eye-view. funny thing is, it wasn’t even my beer! i have no idea whose beer it was ,but this is what it was looking at.



I don’t have nothing new to say about them, except the crowd was so dense that there was no room for a pit. People just kept surfing back and forth on top of the crowd, unable to land. Here is a thing: Hadaka matsuri. The meaning is literally “naked festival.” It is really deep, traditional culture and really violent. Kind of like the Japanese version of Running With The Bulls. A lot of small towns and even cities still do it ? once a year. I never been but they say that all the dudes in town will pack into one room wearing nothing but traditional g-strings called fundoshi, and someone will throw a white wood baton from the rafters. Dudes will then make a HUGE CRAZY DOGPILE trying to grab and hold on to the baton. Whoever makes it out of the room and I guess past some kind of finish line is officially Da Man that year.

Anyway the shit is totally naked and writhing bodies of like 100 or 200 guys all going fucking nuts. And getting back to Gauze, I think they are a modern updated version of Hadaka Matsuri, and part of their appeal is they tap into this vein of pure old-school japaneseness. Like even modern dudes living in Tokyo their whole life have this subconscious urge to get their Hadaka Matsuri on and aren’t even conscious of it until they see gauze and wind up cannonballing through the air covered with 20 dudes’ sweat.



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