Boredoms Biography


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Birth Place: Osaka, Japan
Years Active: 1986–present
Genres: Noise Rock, Experimental Rock, Minimalism, Electronic, Psychedelic, Dub, Krautrock, Avant-garde


Boredoms is a rock band from Osaka, Japan. The band was officially formed in 1986, although some date the band to bedroom tape experiments from 1982. The band's output is usually referred to as noise rock or sometimes Japanoise, though their more recent records have been largely based around repetitive minimalism, ambient music, and tribal drumming.

The band was formed by Yamantaka Eye, who at the time acted as front man for the infamous and highly controversial noise/performance art act Hanatarash, locally notorious for its extremely dangerous live shows consisting entirely of on-stage destruction and complete disregard for the audience's safety. The insane antics of Hanatarash would later be highly influential on the earliest incarnation of Boredoms, which was formed by the remaining members of a band Eye started with Hanatarash drummer Ikuo Taketani, as well as guitarist Tabata Mitsuru (known as Tabata Mara), bassist Hosoi Hisato, and vocalist Makki Sasarato, called Acid Makki & Combi and Zombie. The band's sound was characterized by violent, noisy punk rock/No Wave thrashings. They recorded a single track, “U.S.A.,” for a compilation tape.

Shortly after the release of their first song, Taketani was replaced on drums by Yoshikawa Toyohito, a friend of Eye's. The band officially changed their name to Boredoms after Hira replaced Hosoi on bass, and Sasarato left the band due to creative differences. The band's name comes from the Buzzcocks song “Boredom”

With the band finally reaching a level of stability, Eye and Tabata recorded their first official EP, “Anal by Anal,” in mid-1986. In early 1987, Tabata left the group to later join Zeni Geva and was replaced by Seiichi Yamamoto as guitarist. In March 1988, the band released its first full-length, “Osorezan no Stooges Kyo.”

Due to unhappiness over Yoshikawa's drumming, Yoshimi P-We from Eye's Hanatarash-related project UFO or Die was asked to serve as drummer, becoming the first female member of the band, with Yoshikawa switching to general percussion. Shortly after the change Yoshikawa left the group, to be replaced by Chew Hasegawa (now of Japanese funeral doom band Corrupted) and then by Kazuya Nishimura, known by his stage name Atari. The band's sound from this period was marked by harsh, dissonant punk edited extensively by Eye in the studio. This style was seen by some as pointlessly abrasive without any underlying motive, making Boredoms nihilistic absolute music, according to some critics; however, the strangeness of the record increased the band's popularity in the musical underground.

After the 1989 release of Boredoms' second album “Soul Discharge” in the United States, the band was able to parlay their growing popularity into long term record deals with Warner Bros. Records in Japan and its United States imprint Reprise Records. With the release of the band's critically acclaimed third album, 1992’s “Pop Tatari,” generally seen as one of the strangest albums ever released by a major label,[6] Boredoms took to the road and toured with Sonic Youth in 1992, Nirvana for eight consecutive shows in late October and early November 1993, and Brutal Truth in 1993.

The following year, at the height of its popularity in the United States, the band was asked to perform on the main stage of the 1994 Lollapalooza tour in support of the album “Chocolate Synthesizer,” which had just been released in the United States. The album proved largely successful for such an experimental band.

Yoshikawa had joined the band in the early months of 1994 for a second time to play on “Pop Tatari,” often sharing vocal duties with Eye, but left again in 1994 and was replaced on percussion by EDA, who had been introduced to the band by Pavement bassist Mark Ibold. The band was dropped from the Reprise roster, with Birdman Records distributing the band's “Super Roots” EPs during this period.

By the time of the release of 1998's “Super Go!!!!!” EP and full-length “Super æ,” the band started to break sharply from their earlier atonal noise rock/Japanoise sound by introducing many elements of sweeping electronica effects and thoroughly constructed psychedelic rock jams into their music. Perceived analogies with the music of Can became common during this period. “Super æ” has most often been compared to the defining elements of 1970s krautrock.

In 1999, the band released “Vision Creation Newsun” in Japan. This album saw an evolution in their sound, combining the evolving space rock themes explored in their “Super Roots” EPs and preceding album “Super æ” with more grounded content. It featured psychedelic soundscaping, complex tribal drumming and Eye's unique power electronic and turntabalistic stylings.

After its release, Eye oversaw a series of remix albums of the Boredoms catalogue by guest DJs. After the final remix album, Eye's own “Rebore, vol. 0,” was released in 2000, Boredoms seemed to disappear for a few years with no releases or tour dates, while the members participated in various side projects and other bands.

Rumors that the band had broken up began to circulate, but a smaller ensemble who called themselves V∞redoms resurfaced in 2003.The group's lineup had changed considerably upon its return, stripping down to a much smaller ensemble with Yamantaka Eye on vocals, Izumi Kiyoshi (who had performed on “Vision Creation Newsun” and “Super æ”) on synthesizer, and Yoshimi P-We, Nishimura and EDA playing drums and percussion.[4]

Despite the changes, the group's music still revolved around the tribal drumming patterns heard on “Vision Creation Newsun”. The band was signed by Vice Records for its releases in the U.S. since it had been dropped by Reprise. All “Super Roots” releases were then reissued on Vice in early 2007 (with the exclusion of “Super Roots 2”).

In late 2004, Boredoms released its first album as a group in four years, “Seadrum/House of Sun,” most of which had been previously recorded before the band's brief hiatus. This release also saw the band move from their label WEA Japan to the smaller Japanese label Commmons. Following its release, EDA left the band and was replaced by Yojiro Tatekawa.

In early 2007, the group released “Super Roots 9,” the first addition to the “Super Roots” series since 1999 and their first major release since “Seadrum/House of Sun.” It was recorded during a Christmas Eve 2004 concert, making it only the band's third official live release since 1998's “Super Seeeeee!!!!!!” video. “Super Roots 9” also saw the band move from Warner International to the smaller Japanese label Commmons for domestic releases and American label Thrill Jockey for eleswhere.

The band released a live DVD/CD combination called “Live at Sunflancisco” in December 2007 followed by the remix single “Voaltz” / “Relerer” in August 2008. The band released another addition to the “Super Roots” EP series, titled “Super Roots 10,” in 2009.