For those who don't like to read: Japanese screamo/hardcore/whatever from Japan. They've been around for years, and everything they have done is gold. Yoshi (who does bass/vocals) is a fantastic guy.
I know, I know. I haven't done any writing in over a month! The real reason is, I don't care. But going through the motions of listening to music, I came upon Killie (as I usually do, again and again).
Now, I can credit quite a bit of my existence to Killie. I started listening to them in mid-2008 when I found a download to their one-sided 12" Afterall, the Opinion of One in a Hundred Million Will Not Reach Anyone. The download mentioned that they sounded a lot like Off Minor (another band I have expressed and will continue to express deep interest in). Well, they don't sound anything like Off Minor, I also hear them compared to Daitro quite a bit, whom they also sound nothing like. It's hard for me to try and throw together what Killie sounds like, there is obviously the fucking rage and fury that you'll find in the best screamo/hardcore bands, but they spend a lot of time in their songs just with ambiance (or samples in Japanese). For some reason, the fact that they include a lot of dead space in their songs makes people classify them as "post-rock." They are the furthest from post-rock, and have gone as far as to make "Post-Rock Sucks!!!" t-shirts (which are pretty fucking awesome shirts, I gotta say).
Killie - "Abandoned Corpses with Graffiti" live
The one thing I truly love about this band is their willingness to give the most fucks about the punk scene in Japan. And it's more important to understand the punk scene in Japan, as it's pretty different from the scene found here in the US. There aren't hundreds (thousands?) of punk bands popping up day and night across Japan, there isn't a long standing culture of punk in Japan, it still far and away remains a counter-culture in Japan (at least from what I've read and talked to people about). And even though the punk scene is still young there, apparently there is already a schism of sorts developing in the punk community, the split lying between people who value the scene for what it is, a place where acceptance holds value, and where you can be you and not shunned for where you are; and people who view bands for how "pretty" they are (usage of "pretty" comes from the insert to the Afterall one-sided 12", more on that beautiful piece of work later, or soon). Reading interviews of the band proves one thing, they really fucking care. They care about all the contemporary issues of their country, of their scene. They want to make things right, and they're doing their hardest to try and make right. Hell, just reading the news page (even though it hasn't been updated in like a year and a half) you can feel their emotions towards everything.
"remember, as we sow, so we need to reap. your slackness sickens the community as a city cancer. stop the philosopher chats, and start holding your activist hammer. we're here to slam your preconceptions and customs.
we hate you all."
-yoshi / killie
Killie - "Untitled Song" live
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of the Afterall one-sided 12" 2 years after it came out (for fucking cheap, too!). The first time I read the insert to this EP is something I rank as one of the highest moments in my life for change. It still is unlike anything I've read before. Reading it for the first time I felt this weird sense that being punk, and my values, had me on the short end of the stick towards a lot of people who don't agree with my viewpoints on issues. And not only that, but people who care less about the stature of the punk scene, and care more about how "pretty" (seriously, interpret the phrase pretty here your own way) bands are. The quote from Yoshi above is something that still rings in my head every day, especially "your slackness sickens the community as a city cancer." For me, nothing more seems to be truthful in whatever I see today. I'd be able to expand on this more if I actually had some basic concept of communication, which I lack.
"some of my lyrics might seems to be abstract to a lot of you (*irony is always made intentionally people), but this is the collection of my conscious inspiration of "minority against majority". these are lyrics of what i captured throughout seeing the current situation in japan; by reading this, i hope i will achieve even a small piece of understandings of our country. learn and react. enjoy conceit."
hirotatsu / killie - notes on "one in a hundred million"
Killie - "One in a Hundred Million"
I can talk forever about this bands ideals and values, and how much I respect them, and how much they inspire me, but I'm sure that will forever bore you, the reader. I will finish off here with saying, Killie are still going strong even after 7 years of being a band. I haven't talked to Yoshi in a couple of months, but hopefully the plans they have go through of them finally releasing their first full length album this year. And hopefully they'll finally do a US tour, that one is a pipe-dream though. Support these guys in anyway you can, because if there is one band I can think of that deserves it, it's Killie and OTO Records (run by Yoshi) as a whole.
Want To Escape From The Underground, Don't Want To Escape From The Underground, Can't Escape From The Underground