We here at the Rockbrat HQ love many Japanese HM bands from yesteryear. However as I’ve written previously, one of the worst aspects of the crowded music scene here is a lack of originality. A great example is stage make-up. Countless rock n roll outfits here love the grease paint, which is fine, and there always seems to be an eager audience ready for that kinda thing here. You hardly hear a whisper about these kinds of bands outside Japan, but take my word for it, they attract large fan bases here in Nippon (and usually South Korea). It ain’t exactly the thing to make Mr Rockbrat go nuts about these days, and if anything, I find it all stale and tiresome. Unless I get my name on the pest list you won’t find me shelling out the hard-earned yen on this type of schtick either. Case in point regarding zero originality (and shamelessly aping 1977/1978 era Kiss are a band called Seikima-II. They are one of the most famous bands in japan known for wearing make-up. Yes I also know they’ve been around since 1982 (and I acknowledge that they have some popularity in the West) but I just don’t get their whole trip. What a shit name for a band (here’s a tip for all you youngsters starting a band. One-word band names are always winners – and are quickly seared in people’s minds……Oasis, Kiss, Queen, Heart etc). Anyway, the guitar player is a dude called E.M Jail O’Hashi (who’s been around for some time) and FMD when I first saw his photo years back, I thought ol’ Peter Crisscoula had taken up the axe ! This cat’s (ahem) make-up is so similar to the TRADEMARKED Peter Criss design, that it is sailing into lawsuit territory (through my telescope I can see
a grinning pirate Simmons, flanked by his laywers on the sand). The ‘whisker’ design, created by Peter Criss back in 72/73 is nearly identical. Sure his paint is partly red and not cat eye-green but it makes no difference. O’Hashi (actually the japanese word for chop sticks), also dons a similar style striped jacket to one which Criss wore in 77/78. For pete’s sake (ahem again), do these guy encore with Black Diamond ? Sheesh why not just become a Kiss tribute act ? Either that or adopt your own, original ideas and cease all this shameless stealing from others who’ve gone before you. I am not ignorant of O’Hashi and I remember him being in a band called (yawn) Cats in Boots in the late 80’s. But ask that
wicked Dane named King Diamond, if it was a smart move designing his evil black make-up in the 80’s – a little too similar to the bat-winged demon’s ? He had to alter it and rightly so, and I am sure that if someone in the Kiss camp bothers to look closely at Mr Chopstick’s grease paint, a call will be made to Tokyo pronto. Though I would be very surprised if Simmons had nos not already been alerted to this story. What do you Kissers think ?