Feb

Let the year begin

by phil
Jack Johnson in Osaka in 2011

Jack Johnson in Osaka in 2011

The calendar year starts January 1, and in Japan, at least, the fiscal year starts April 1. But for Fujirockers the year really starts when the first lineup is announced, and that happens to be NOW. The two top performers in the roster so far are Jack Johnson and Kanye West, who are as different, musically and temperamentally, as ginger ale and natto, so you are at least guaranteed contrast this summer.

The second tier headliners include Franz Ferdinand, Basement Jaxx and Manic Street Preachers. The list is completed, in alphabetical order, by the Bloody Beetroots Live, Bombay Bicycle Club, Claude Vonstroke, Darkside, Dubfire, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Garland Jeffreys, John Butler Trio, Jonathan Wilson, Jungle, London Grammar, moe., Narasirato, Parquet Courts, Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Qemists, SBTRKT, The Skatalites, The Strypes, Syl Johnson, Bobby Rush & Lavelle White Soul Music Legends, and The Waterboys.

Obviously, lots more to come, so watch this space.

*Photo by Hiroshi Maeda and used with the permission of Smashing Mag.

Jan

Dates For FRF ‘14!

by Shawn

Fuji Rock 2014The dates for Fuji Rock 2014 have officially been announced!  The festival will take place from July 25 – 27.  You can expect the first wave of artists to be announced in early March.

We hope you can join us in Naeba this summer for the fest!  Only 204 days to go until Fuji Rock 2014.  Yay!

In the meantime, why not check out all of our coverage from last summer’s festival?  There are hundreds of reports about the performances, audience, and overall amazing atmosphere at Fuji Rock 2013 here.

Jul

Fujirock Express ‘13

by Shawn

Fuji Rock Express LogoWe’re heading up to Naeba soon.  We’ll be posting live reports all weekend long from the Fuji Rock festival site!  All of our festival coverage will be on the Fujirock Express ‘13 site.  Check out the English version of Fujirock Express ‘13 here and the Japanese version here.

Hope to see you at the fest!

Jul

My First Fuji Rock

by Matt

RIMG0026-300x225
Everybody has to start somewhere, right? And that’s what I’ll be doing this year at my first Fuji Rock Festival. I’ll be thrown into the deep end, as the newest member of the Fujirockers team here that will be providing coverage across the 3 days. While it’s an amazing chance to experience a festival that’s been running for only 5 less years than I’ve been alive and going from strength to strength, it’s also seems a daunting challenge for any Fuji first-timers to attend. So here are what my first impressions of the festival were and what I’m looking forward to!

More…

Jul

Fermin Muguruza Kontrakantxa: Fighting the power

by Ben
FIST OF DEFIANCE

FIST OF DEFIANCE


Watching the opening of the live tune below by the boundlessly passionate Fermin Muguruza I am reminded of the ominous air raid siren that Public Enemy used to begin what some critics consider to be the greatest hip hop album of all time, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back." Even though that album came out in 1988 it stands as an eternal testament of how music can be used as a sharp edged tool to get people to not only think but to move them to take action against governments, social injustices and inequality. Fermin Muguruza's music has always taken its roots and its message from the place of his birth, in the Basque area of Northern Spain. This year he is celebrating not only his 50th birthday but also 30 years of making music which is aimed at creating peace in an area of Europe whose people have long considered themselves a culturally, linguistically and historically unique entity. He will be headlining the always interesting Orange Court on Saturday night and the audience can almost be guaranteed that the energy Fermin and the 9 other musicians he is bringing with him will turn that orange into a blistering red. More...
Jul

Fujifilm 13

by phil
Flashback Memories

Flashback Memories

As I write this the weather forecast for this weekend isn’t encouraging but we can always hope, especially for the benefit of the festival’s resident film event, the Fuji Eigeki (Theater), which takes place Friday and Saturday nights at the outdoor theater on the concessions clearing near the entrance to the White Stage. It’s difficult to watch a movie standing in a downpour.

The Fuji Eigeki features a great sound system, which is important since the films presented are mainly music-oriented. Starting at midnight on Friday is Tokyo Session 2013, a live video of Wilko Johnson’s concert at Red Shoes earlier this year. As everyone probably knows, Wilko is a last-minute addition to the festival and has terminal cancer. The veteran Dr. Feelgood guitarist has a special relationship with Japan, and his life and spirit will be celebrated this weekend in more ways than one. Then, at 1:30 there will be a special listening session of the new MGMT album that will be released this fall. Reportedly, it is the world premiere of the album, and will be accompanied by appropriate visuals. Be the first on your block! At 2:20 Tetsuaki Matsue’s documentary Flashback Memories will be screened. The movie is about didgeridoo player Goma, who suffered a traffic accident in 2009 that severely affected his cognitive functions. A fixture of the Tokyo club scene and international music festivals (including Fuji), Goma had to relearn how to play his instrument. More significantly, the accident caused severe short-term memory loss. Matsue’s inventive film—usually shown in 3D, but not on this occasion—recreates Goma’s situation by contrasting his struggles to regain his position as a musician with “flashback memories” of his past. It’s a fascinating and uplifting film, but it’s also a great concert document. The music is driving and ecstatic. More…

Jul

BJORK: SCATTERED T-STORMS

by J

BJORK IMPERSONATING CARROT TOP

BJORK IMPERSONATING CARROT TOP

If you look up the word “epic” in the dictionary, there is footage from a Bjork performance. Consequently, if you look up the word “eccentric,” well…

Word on the Internet street is that Bjork is bringing in tow a whole slew of surprises for festival goers this summer. She somehow (fairy magic I presume) packs an entire Icelandic girls choir, that massive orange wig, and Tesla coils on the tour bus de Bjork. Fuji fashion freaks, do you reckon she will grace the Green Stage in the geological Carrot Top getup or her version of Hellraiser at a sick rave party? I got my fingers crossed for the Hellraiser rainbow child.

More…

Jul

Ryukyudisko: Beating the Drum for Okinawa

by Lisa
NEO TRADITIONAL TWINS

NEO TRADITIONAL TWINS

Okinawan techno twins Yapan (real name Yosuke) and Tetsushi Hiroyama make up the electro duo Ryukyudisko. Named in part for the island kingdom before it became part of Japan, the boys are a bit of an anomaly in the southern isles. While they hail from a region that is relatively over-represented in the music scene in Japan, the boys are, ten years on, still breaking new ground both at home and elsewhere.
More…

Jul

We have a FB page, please do not LIKE it!

by Dave
666 "Likes"! We are stopping here

Fujirockers English, the official Facebook page of the official English-language Fuji Rock blog, i.e. this very blog that you are reading, now has exactly 666 likes — which makes us sooooo goddam metal we can’t stand it. That’s right! Rockanfukenroll!!!

Now, if you are not one of the mephistophelean 666 who currently “like” us — and this means you, dude! I don’t care if you are Nathan Explosions! — do not freakin ruin it! Do not spoil our perfect satanic equilibrium by being number 667! Seriously man, this is such a Tenacious D moment for us. Let us savor it!

Jul

Modeselektor: Get Down in Monkeytown

by Dave

Da da da, Won't You Take Me To.... Da da da, Monkeytown!

Da da da, Won't You Take Me To.... Da da da, Monkeytown!

The way I found out about Modeselektor was by hearing a song in a bar, asking the DJ what it was, going home and downloading the album, and then thinking to myself, “Was I asking about a different song?” It took a couple of listens to realize that it probably was, as I had remembered hip hop, but the album Monkeytown — their latest, and also the name of their record label — was mostly techno, with only a couple of hip hop tracks, and weird ones at that. (I was not hammered that night, BTW.)

Modeselektor is the German duo of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, and in the Mecca of techno, Berlin, they are known as the party music crew, mixing all sorts of bass music, booty shakers and whatever Germans might call the kitchen sink into a foundation of hard-driving machine beats. They in fact love to claim all kinds of weird genres (Russian crunk?) and are willing collaborators. Recently, the most high-profile team-ups have been with Apparat (with whom they now moonlight on the techno supergroup Moderat) and Thom Yorke, who has been a fan for years now, appears on a track on the latest album, and joined them onstage earlier this year at Coachella to perform a the song “Shipwreck”. More…

Jul

SOTAISEI RIRON: NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY

by Patrick
Leave the cameras in your tent, and just focus on Sotaisei Riron's music

Leave the cameras in your tent, and just focus on Sotaisei Riron's music

Tokyo’s Sotaisei Riron has done a good job staying out of the spotlight. Since forming in 2006, this quartet has revealed very little about their personal lives to the media…a feat that only grows more impressive (and difficult) with each passing year and each new social-media platform set loose on the world. They seldom grant interviews or allow themselves to be photographed…even at their gigs, they have a “no cameras” policy. Might be kind of tough to keep that one at this year’s Fuji Rock, when they play late in the day Sunday on the White Stage. Whether you snap a photo or not, it’s going to be one of the weekend’s best sets from one of Japan’s catchiest and intriguing rock bands of recent years..

The group – whose band name translates to “Theory Of Relativity” – released their first collection of songs in 2008. Chiffon Sugi laid out everything that makes them interesting. The actual music leans towards rock, at times aggressive but more often than not is relatively subdued, even approaching something that might sound good in a late-night lounge. Yet the sound Sotaisei Riron makes is the perfect backdrop for lead singer Etsuko Yakushimaru to sing over. Her vocals come close to being whispers, delivered in a manner that never hints at being overly emotional. A lot of the band’s song titles and words are plays on words and references to pop culture.

More…

Jul

Darkstar: Indies Future?

by Sean
UK TRIO MAKE HAZY PSCHEDELIC BEATS

UK TRIO MAKE HAZY PSCHEDELIC BEATS

UK electronic trio, Darkstar, fall squarely in the genre of buzz-worthy, internet-hype bands that are the domain of the Red Marquee.  The band’s admirers include Radiohead who played their instrumental single “Need You” just before they took the stage on a recent tour. And Darkstar’s 2003 release has generated heaps of  alt-indie praise  with touts like ”warped psychedelic pop”,  “achingly pretty warmth”, and even speculation of a Mercury Prize nod.

Darkstar are definitely on a number of people’s lists as the next, next thing, and many of the punters may not be wrong. Darkstar is already released by Warp, known for hot art-rock acts like Grizzly Bear, Battles, and Hudson Mohawke, and even more tantalizing is Darkstar’s previous dalliance with dubstep with label Hyperdub when they were just two-piece outfit before adding a vocalist.

While Darkstar’s critical cred is well established, will the band live up to the hype and squarely earn a look-in or walk-by during the festival? To this I say yes as the band are a glimpse of the future of music, when audio hallucinatory experiences will replace dance oriented genres like EDM and techno, and we may very well be seeing just the tip of the iceberg when it comes live performances made strictly with sequencers and synthesizers.

More…

Jul

Uhnellys: Back for More

by Shawn
Uhnellys at FRF '11

Uhnellys at FRF '11

Tokyo’s Uhnellys create a fantastic hybrid sound that merges hip-hop, post-punk, funk, soul, and electronica. In 2011, the duo made their Fuji Rock debut. Excited to unleash their powerful live show on Gypsy Avalon, multi-instrumentalist frontman Kim started making vocal loops for the act’s opening track. And then the group were hit with a bit of bad luck.

More…

Jul

The Gaslamp Killer: Killing It

by Elliott
FILLER OF DEAD AIR

FILLER OF DEAD AIR

The Gaslamp Killer is more than likely well aware of how scary his name would have sounded in Victorian times. Despite what it may sound like, though, he’s definitely not a psycho killer of the Dexter Morgan variety. The “real” Gaslamp quarter can be found in the historical heart of San Diego, and the center of downtown nightlife in the city. In his own words, The Gaslamp Killer — aka William Benjamin Bensussen — first started out in the music business nearly a decade ago playing ferocious DJ sets that often ruined the ultra-bro pop vibe in the local clubs, earning him the nickname that he still carries to this day. The big question is: Will he clear the dance floor at the Red Marquee at 3 a.m. on Friday night? From the evidence I’ve seen of his live performances so far, he most certainly will not. Instead — and as I’m sure Mr. Crate Digger himself would agree — he’s more than likely to be “killing it in the hip-hop sense of the word.”

You name it, he’ll play it. His frenetic live sets are typically interlaced with twisted interpretations of music from The Beatles, Hudson Mohawk, Tame Impala, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, San Francisco Bay Area bass addict EPROM and even the Star Wars’ “Imperial March.” Impressed? At 3 a.m. in the morning, you definitely will be… More…

Jul

Rocket From the Crypt Blasts Off Again

by phil
Bring the kids!

Bring the kids!

The last time Rocket From the Crypt played Fuji was the very first fest at Naeba in 1999, when the San Diego punk-with-horns band set the mood early on Friday afternoon with a blistering set of three-minute hardcore songs on the main Green Stage. Leader John “Speedo” Reis was in fine rant-wail form, guitarist ND had never sounded more like ten guys, and the two-man horn section proved why they didn’t have to play ska to be taken seriously by the skateboard crowd. The band’s sound was geared toward maximum power, and Reis’s Eddie Cochran-on-cholesterol vocal style matched up perfectly with the drag-and-drop rhythmic playfulness of the speed metal arrangements. Though Rage Against the Machine, which headlined the same stage that day, would eventually be the group that everybody remembered, RFTC was more than just a footnote on that historic day, and probably would have been better remembered if they had made the festival a habit, but they broke up several years later.

Some music aficionados will confuse them with Rocket From the Tombs, the Cleveland hard rock band that released only one formal album in the mid-70s before fading into legend. For sure, Reis, who formed RFTC in 1990, had that band in mind when he named his, but the difference is notable, mainly because of the horns, which weren’t in the original configuration and became a more central component when the band was signed to Interscope in 1993. Another identifying trait was the group’s plentiful use of B-grade horror movie cliches, most evident on 1995’s “Scream, Dracula, Scream,” which devoted fans cite as RFTC’s best album and the one that made them stars in Europe. They hung on in the majors for one more long-player before returning to Indieville and taking on a more realistic lyrical approach. Call them youth anthems if you must, but most of the songs on their final two albums are about how to face a future of faceless servitude, especially on “Straight American Slave” and the “save your soul before it’s too late” warning of “This Bad Check is Gonna Stick.” What was important to remember was that this theme did not detract at all from the band’s fierce attack. Not since Graham Parker’s early records was abject sarcasm this much fun. More…

Jul

Rookie Roundup

by Matt

LAST YEAR'S ROOKIE A GO-GO STAGE

LAST YEAR'S ROOKIE A GO-GO STAGE

Out of the 226 bands that will be taking the stage at Fuji Rock, there’ll be 15 performers that will be feeling especially blessed to be there. They are the 15 Japanese up-and-coming bands selected from 1400 applicants to be a part of the Rookie A Go-Go stage. Designed to showcase Japan’s musical future, these 15 bands are competing for a place on one of the main stages at Fuji Rock next year. From art-funk to downbeat alternative to some truly strange pop, there’s a wide variety of styles among this year’s group. We thought we’d best introduce them to you!

Rookie A Go-Go takes place every night at the Festival from 11pm at the Rookie A Go-Go stage. This concept and competition is supported by Strummerville, a charity dedicated to music. Each of the band’s name contains a link to their homepage if you’d like to learn more about them.

More…

Jul

Mulatu Astatke: Ethiopian living legend will perform in Japan for the first time!

by Ben
SHOWING US WHAT PASSION IS ALL ABOUT

SHOWING US WHAT PASSION IS ALL ABOUT

Some historians go so far as to say that Ethiopia was the birthplace of human civilization with a culture, creative capacity and religious foundations that went on to influence not only the rest of Africa but also Europe, The Middle East and Asia.  It is no exaggeration to say that Ethiopian composer and multi-instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke has been just as important and influential on the world of music is as his home country has been on the rest of humanity. I have no hesitation in saying that by far the artist I am most looking forward to seeing at this year’s festival is this glowing, incredibly talented man, who despite being born in 1943, looks like a child in heaven when he is on the stage engulfed in music. In his amazingly long career this will be his first time to perform Japan, which is something he has always wanted to do according to the fantastic label Strut, who have put out two phenomenal albums from Astatke in recent years. In 2009 they gave us a stunning album entitled “Inspiration Information”, which saw Mulatu team up with the awesome British psychedelic funk outfit The Heliocentrics. In the following year, the label put out his first new material in a long time with yet another ridiculously good album by the name of “Mulatu Steps Ahead.” There is some fascinating footage of him talking about it here. More…

Jul

Getting there and back in one piece

by Elliott
GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN

GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN

So you’ve bought your ticket to this year’s Fuji Rock Festival to see Mumford & Sons bring the house down on the Green Stage on Sunday. Now comes the mundane part: getting there.

There are a number of options you can take to get to and from the festival site, which is located in the lush mountains of the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture. These fall within various categories ranging from “you can do it with your eyes closed” to “it would be faster to walk with my gumboots on,” so let’s cover each of these in turn… More…

Jul

MUMFORD AND SONS: THE FESTIVAL SPIRIT

by J

MUMFORD AND SONS WAILING AT GLASTONBURY BACK IN 2010

MUMFORD AND SONS WAILING AT GLASTONBURY BACK IN 2010

Mumford and Sons are a folk rock band from London just 6 years young. In that time they have amassed more likes on Facebook than the Chemical Brothers, won a Grammy for Album of the Year (Babel) and bandmate Ted has survived brain surgery. Talk about a wild wagon ride.

Just glancing at some worthy praise the four-piece receives regularly via social media, fans and the like: “real music, quality stuff, you guys rock!” are, quite frankly, right on. With such a well-read frontman Marcus Mumford, ripping lyrics with style from the late-great likes of Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and Plato (?!) backed by solid performers Winston, Ben and Ted who can shred a banjo, a mandolin, an upright bass, even an electric piano (who shreds electric pianos?), you cannot deny the contagious power, an almost surreal spiritual grab bursting forth from their howling tunes.

More…

Jul

The Final Countdown…

by Lisa

WHERE'S WILKO?

WHERE'S WILKO?


…begins in earnest with the release of the last line up list for the fest. I know I’ve been talking this up in my other posts, and I’m sure many of you weren’t feeling it, but I can guarantee it won’t disappoint. But talk is cheap, so here’s a list explaining why this is the most important post on lineups so far:
More…

Jul

Maya Jane Coles: London >>> Japan

by Dave

London >>> Japan

Stop staring at my owls

If you were a magazine photo editor, you might not do too badly to cast Maya Jane Coles as Skrillex’s girlfriend. And just to be clear, I am not insinuating anything here, other than that it would look good on glossy paper. Both are 25-year-old phenoms. He is the king of American bro-step. She is half-Japanese, London-raised, and in the last two years, has already been crowned “the next big thing” by all the British DJ magazines, BBC Radio 1 and Ibiza fan ballots. He has long hair. She has short hair. He plays dubstep and remixes metal. She spins trip-hop inspired house and techno, sometimes bordering on chillwave. They are the yin and yang of nu skool punk/goth/EDM/skinny-jeans-wearing party rebels. On a magazine cover, it could sell a lot of issues.

Maya Jane Coles grew up in a very funky London household. Her mom is from Osaka and taught her Japanese from an early age, and her dad is graphic artist Mike Coles, who did album art for tons of dance music in the 1990s, including several album sleeves for Killing Joke. She started producing music on her dad’s gear when she was 15, and some of her first tracks to grab attention were non-commissioned remixes of Massive Attack and Gorillaz. More…

Jul

Rhye: Movements In The Dark

by Patrick
Rhye aren't publicly forthcoming, but they make deeply intimate music

Rhye aren't publicly forthcoming, but they make deeply intimate music

Ahhhhh, the ever-present “mysterious” artist. The sort where you have no idea what the people making the music look like and biographical details are scant. It’s a good PR move, but one facing a big risk when it comes time for the act to actually perform live – will people care when they actually take the stage? Los-Angeles-based duo Rhye face this very challenge when they grace the Red Marquee at Fuji Rock this summer…but there breath-on-neck R&B should be more than enough to win over those in attendance.

Rhye isn’t a total enigma – the names of those making up the group are known (Robin Hannibal and Mike Milosh, the latter providing the vocals), and a little background story has surfaced. The pair met while working on another group’s album in Denmark, and a little serendipity found both of them living in Los Angeles shortly after. Then it gets murkier – last year, they began posting songs they recorded as Rhye…although many of them hit the Internet anonymously. Rhye have chosen not to show their faces in press shots, and their names don’t appear in the notes for Woman, the debut album they released this past March.

Part of the reason Rhye has confounded so many has been Milosh’s singing. When “Open,” the string-assisted come-on serving as the group’s debut number, made the rounds online, many assumed the person singing the song was a woman. Comparisons to R&B singer Sade cropped up frequently…which aren’t off-base, regardless of what gender is involved…and online magazine Slate included Rhye in a list of “young chanteuses.” This quality makes Rhye’s music all the more intriguing – even if we know a little about who sings the songs (a dude), the delivery of the words comes across in an androgynous way that draws listeners in even deeper.

That element is one of the reasons Woman is one of 2013’s strongest full-length albums yet. It also helps that it’s a deeply intimate affair and, at times, sensual one…even when Rhye teeters on heartbreak. Highlight “The Fall” shuffles forward on piano and strings, Milosh coos to someone “make love to me,” but the chorus reveals a more fragile situation: “don’t run away/don’t slip away my dear.” Cuts like “Verse” and “Major Minor Love” are even icier, but Rhye also make time to let loose a bit. “3 Days” struts on a disco-evoking melody (sample lyric: “I’m famished/so I’ll eat your minerals” – that’s one kind of pick-up line), while “Last Dance” swings (those horns!) as Milosh’s voice twirls around the music.

For all the shadowy promotion techniques, the music Rhye makes is quite direct, whether trying to get a bunch of people moving or just speaking to one. Milosh’s words cut through the gossamer production and are ultimately the most direct element of this group’s sound. Whatever Rhye looks like onstage, expect to feel like you’ve known them for much longer.

Official website.

Jul

Kensington Hillbillys: Keeping it Country

by Sean
COUNTRY MUSIC FROM ALL CORNERS OF FUJI ROCK

OUTDOOR COUNTRY MUSIC AT FUJI ROCK

The Kensington Hillbillys will be one of hardest working bands at Fuji this year, playing no fewer than 4 times on an array of stages ranging from a boardwalk through the forest, to the back of a noodle restaurant (Naeba Shokudo).

And judging by their past appearances, something of a traffic jam occurs every time they play, with few resisting the warm and arresting orchestration of songs such as Clash covers played on a pedal steel guitar to Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues.”

In an email interview with the band’s drummer, “Lucky” Pete Lambert, we learn what songs the band bring to this year’s  festival and some of the artists he is interested in checking out, including a few Canadian countrymen.

More…

Jun

DIIV: Breaking new ground in familiar territory

by Elliott
DIIV OFFERS HYPNOTIC DREAM POP THAT SHIMMERS IN FADING LIGHT

DIIV OFFERS HYPNOTIC DREAM POP THAT SHIMMERS IN FADING LIGHT

By some weird twist of fate, there seems to be an extraordinary number of bands playing at Fuji Rock’s Red Marquee this year with names that are written in caps and only four letters long: LITE, KYTE, RHYE, LAMA and HAIM. Joining the party on Sunday is DIIV, an up-and-coming dream-pop outfit from New York City.

In spite of what it may look like, DIIV is not a name spawned by roman numerals. Instead DIIV’s origins can be traced back to Beach Fossils live guitarist Zachary Cole Smith’s solo recording project, Dive, which was named after a Nirvana song from the trio’s 1990 single “Sliver.” Although this is a little off topic, “Sliver” was the first Nirvana track I ever heard; it screamed at me as the radio alarm clock sounded at 6 a.m. one dark and dreary wintry morning in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I was instantly hooked. Smith obviously was at some point, too, and even likes to throw in a few Cobain references here and there when playing live, just in case you don’t immediately make the connection. It also appears Smith is savvy enough to keep up with live performances by his contemporaries, and will even go so far as to pay homage to the stuff his heroes do on stage. In DIIV’s live performance on KEXP below, he gruffly mutters “horses” over and over again during the band’s six-minute version of “Air Conditioning,” something Brandon Coles of Deerhunter also did during “Nothing Ever Happened” at the Pitchfork Music Festival a year earlier.

And yet DIIV is much more than a mere tribute band.

More…

Jun

Peppertones: Catch them on the Dragondola After Their Set?

by Shawn
Peppertones Photo

FRF '13 Will Be Korea's Peppertones First Time Playing Abroad

It looks like Korea and Fuji Rock are developing an “every two years” relationship. There were Korean acts at each Fuji Rock from 1999 until 2005.  In 2006, Korea started building up its own festival scene so no bands came over for a few years.  But in 2009, Korean punks Crying Nut played in the Red Marquee and Seoul post-hardcore/post-rock group Apollo 18 followed in 2011.  Another two years have passed which means it’s time for some more Korean tunes to enjoy at the fest!

Peppertones will be representing The Land of the Morning Calm when they play on Friday, July 26 at the Red Marquee.  Crying Nut and Apollo 18 were both slotted in the stage’s second time slot, so if history repeats itself we can expect Peppertones to perform in the early afternoon.  The group’s past work was a poppy mix of electronic and house music, but some of their more recent songs have moved into the realm of pop rock.

Although the band makes music as a duo, they are backed by three other musicians for gigs.  All five members will be traveling to Naeba.  Guitarist Shin Jae-pyung and bassist Lee Jang-won were kind enough to do an interview with us.  During the interview they said they hope to ride the Dragondola at Fuji Rock. So maybe fans will get the chance to hang out with Peppertones up at Daydreaming – or perhaps even catch a ride up there with them!  Check out what Shin and Lee had to say after the jump.

More…