Biography of Maximum The Hormone
Maximum the Hormone live up to their name, a full-on punk band with feral, provocative music. Maximum the Hormone was formed in 1998 in the suburbs of Tokyo. The group currently consists of Ryo-kun on guitar, Daisuke-han on screaming vocals, Ue-cyan on bass, and Nao on drums and vocals. Nao, the younger sister of Ryo, plays the drums adroitly and ferociously despite her petite size, and her high voice adds a distinct contrast to the bellows of the front men. Their bass player Ue is also an exceptional musician, and says he is most influenced by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His bass style (and his hair), if influenced by Flea, is so only in that it is wild yet solidly cool. However Maximum the Hormone does not play to show off their chops; they seem more bent on venting their feelings and having a good time. Ryo is the group’s main songwriter, and he lists as amongst his inspirations System Of A Down, the Ramones, Mike Patton, NOFX, Suicidal Tendencies and Snot. Maximum the Hormone’s debut mini-album Ootori was released in February 2001 on the indie label Sky Records, owned and operated by fellow punk rockers Nicotine, their friends and family. This early configuration of the band often sang in English, but after some lineup changes they became more Japanese oriented, and adopted their famous katakana (Japanese lettering) logo. While singing mostly in Japanese, their lyrics tend to be lewd, ridiculous and do not in an obvious way make sense. Maximum music is punk based, but also includes funk and other influences, with their mainstays being high energy performances and humor. Over time the band released singles here and there, as well as the indie albums Mimi Kaziru (Ear Biting)in October 2002, and Kuso Ban (Shit Disc) in January 2004, but some fans felt that these albums did not fully capture the energy of their life shows, which had made them a popular draw. The band also has a DVD called Debu vs. Debu ( “Fatso against Fatso”). Maximum made their major label debut CD in June 2004, entitled Rockinpo Goroshi, the album art for which featured a drawing of a granny with swinging breasts rocking out on guitar. The band furthered their reputation playing a rambunctious set in August 2006 at the Summer Sonic festival’s beach stage, and today rank as one of Japan’s best punk bands. Other signs that they were reaching a larger audience include their music being used as the ending theme of the animation Akagi and a Portuguese language fansite. In 2007 the band’s career took off in a big way, with their supplying the opening and closing themes (“What’s up, people?” and “Zetsubon Billy” respectively) for the popular animation Death Note. Their album, Bu Iki Kaesu, which contains these songs, debuted at #5 in Oricon, and sold a not too shabby 70,000 CD’s in the first week of release, by far their biggest sales to date.
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