• maximum the hormone

    5 Rockin’ J-Bands at This Year’s Fest!

    • July 23, 2018 ● Bands

    Traveling around the Naeba Valley during Fuji Rock, you will see plenty of popular Japanese bands with hugely enthusiastic followings. Here’s my personal Top-5 for rocking Japanese bands playing major stages at this year’s festival, all great, energetic acts that will be fun to watch and sure to create an impression. Please note this list doesn’t include bands on smaller stages, like Naeba Shokudo, Boardwalk, Gypsey Avalon, Cafe de Paris and others, and there are plenty of great finds there. We’ve also already published a Rookie-A-Go-Go preview a couple weeks ago, so be sure to check that out. Lastlky, this list leans towards rock, punk, metal and ska and not much towards J-Rock or J-Pop, which is perhaps a whole other animal. OK, here’s the list:

  • tom1

    Space-Out With Tanizawa Tomofumi


    Get your head into the clouds

    Get your head into the clouds


    Sometimes a solo musician’s artistic evolution can progress in surprising ways. Tanizawa Tomofumi debuted as a pop singer-songwriter with good, quirky production and unique songwriting. After making a splash and a paycheck off of penning the opening theme for popular anime Kimi Ni Todoke, he spent a year traveling the world. The whole world. All the way to Antarctica and back. He returned significantly more psychedelically cosmic and with a lot of new world-music influences to add into what was already a super-strong pop sensibility. The result is some of the most sonically and artistically unique music to come out of any ‘singer-songwriter’ you could hope to find.


  • Esne-Beltza-Ibai-WEB

    Fujirockers Interview: Esne Beltza!

    Esne Beltza is a large ensemble from the Basque Countries, the mountainous region that rests in the north of Spain and the south of France. Basque is one of the most ancient languages in Europe, predating the arrival of Latin and the Romans and having no relation to other contemporary European languages. People have spoken Basque – or Euskal, as the Basque people call their own country and language – in Spain’s mountains for literally thousands of years. So tradition runs deep, and Esne Betlza proudly accepts it, mixing traditional melodies and lyrics of modern Basque poetry with Latin rhythms, punk rock energy and various modern styles: hip hop, reggae, soul, rock, folk and Cumbia. In their own words, their music represents “the journey from the small Basque Country to the large world.”

    This year, Esne Beltza will play several times at Fuji Rock, including sets on the White Stage and Crystal Palace Tent, a DJ set by band member DZ at the Blue Galaxy Tent, and also a pre-Fuji Rock warmup party at the Radical Music Network on July 25 at Club Asia in Tokyo.


  • 2017 Rookie winners Chai

    2018 Rookie Recommendations

    2017 Rookie winners Chai

    2017 Rookie winners Chai

    The Rookie Stage is always a mixed bag of acts veering between wishy-washy bedroom pop, punk guitar-throwing, schedule-be-damned antics or energetic kawaii-pop.  For those who play, the Rookie stage has sometimes opened up doors to wider success, and it’s this potential promise that keeps bands applying year on year for the chance to appear at the following year’s festival on a main stage.

    Here’s a brief selection of bands worth checking out, if only because they break the mold of floppy-haired boys playing guitar to their shoes.


  • Japanese Hip-Hop Four Piece Jabba Da Football Club

    Hip-Hop Hooligans Jabba Da Football Club

    Japanese Hip-Hop Four Piece Jabba Da Football Club

    Japanese Hip-Hop Four Piece Jabba Da Football Club

    In a more hip-hop-heavy lineup at Fujirock than ever, big names like Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone and N.E.R.D are sure to draw more fans of the genre to Naeba than in years past. Not to let overseas rap acts hog all the spotlight, a few Japanese hip-hop acts also have their sights set on expanding the presence of the genre at the festival. One of those acts, Jabba Da Football Club will take to Naeba Shokudo late Saturday to do just that.


  • Fishbone-Club-Asia-DJ-Set

    The story behind Fishbone Soundclash, Basque Rockers and Mestizo Music Mania!

    Every year, Fuji Rock hosts at least one of those crazy Latin bands that play high-energy music makes you dance so hard your legs ache for the rest of the weekend. Their presence is almost always due to the work of Shogo Komiyama, head of the Japonicus, a music promoter who for nearly two decades has been bringing “mestizo” artists –– musicians mixing Latin, Caribbean and international influences –– from the Iberian peninsula, southern Europe and the Americas to Japan. This year, Shogo’s arranging much of the Friday night line-up at the Crystal Palace Tent, will host the Basque Country rockers Esne Beltza on the White Stage, and has set up a bunch of great vinyl DJs for the Blue Galaxy Tent on Saturday night.

    Shogo’s also organizing the only Fuji Rock pre-party, his own Radical Music Network party on Wednesday, July 25 at Club Asia in Shibuya. It goes from 6:30pm to midnight and will feature members of Fishbone as part of an all-star mestizo lineup. (Quick note: anyone with a non-Japanese passport gets a JPY 500 discount on the door admission price. So if you’re getting to Tokyo early, check it out!)

    To get the inside scoop on all the mestizo music action on and around Fuji Rock weekend, we caught up with Shogo for a quick preview of the Latin, ska and other music coming to Fuji Rock this year.


  • Don't miss CHAI

    CHAI and the Rise of Neo-Kawaii

    • June 29, 2018 ● Bands

    While ‘kawaii’ may remain one of the most recognizable Japanese phrases and cultural cliches inside and outside the country, as an aesthetic concept it doesn’t provide musicians much artistic freedom. Then Nagoya’s CHAI comes in and flips the script.


  • The latest update is here

    Ash, Glim Spanky, Kali Uchis And More Added To Fuji Rock Festival 2018!

    • June 15, 2018 ● Bands

    The latest update is here

    The latest update is here

    With just a little over a month to go before the party gets going in Naeba, the latest artist announcement for Fuji Rock Festival 2018 has arrived.


  • Two experts discuss Bob Dylan


    Two experts discuss Bob Dylan

    Toshiyuki “Heckel” Sugano and Ryosei Sato discuss Dylan.


    Few artists confound audiences like Bob Dylan. In fact, a whole academic field, Dylanology, has sprung up to make sense of his exhaustive body of work. Dylan may be deserving of such attention after recently winning a Nobel Prize and his role in popular culture, for example, playing his anti-war hymn “Blowing in the Wind” minutes before Martin Luther King gave his famed “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington DC. Dylan gave a voice and a melody to the counter-culture. His artistic influences came from the free-wheeling Beat Generation, at one point inviting Alan Ginsburg on tour with him.

    Fujirockers recently spoke to Mr. Toshiyuki “Heckel” Sugano who was an A&R man for CBS/Sony and producer of the album Bob Dylan at Budokan, and Humbert Humbert vocalist, Ryosei Sato. The two are devoted fans and the closest thing to Dylanologists that we could find.

  • teskey-20-april-2017-0054-1_graded

    Meet the Blues Brothers from Down Under


    A morning cup of joe to soothe the soul

    No, I’m not talking about some Jake and Elwood cover band from Australia, I’m referring to Josh and Sam Teskey, who along with two of their best mates make up The Teskey Brothers band. They’re a hard working, authentic sounding soul/blues band hailing from just outside of Melbourne, Australia. Their music honors the classic Stax and Motown sound, while staying fresh and original. READ MORE