Slang Interview

Slang is a Japanese Hardcore band from Sapporo formed in 1988. Slang, a killer live band, is gearing up for their first US tour. I did an interview with them for my upcoming zine on Japan Hardcore, because the zine will not be finished before their US tour, I decided to post a preview of the interview on my blog.

Most Japanese bands do really short international tours, but Slang will tour the US for 4 weeks. How did you organize the tour and how did you guys get such a long holiday?

KO: The America tour was decided a long time ago so each of our band members were able to adjust the holidays. Our lives are on the edge though.

You will play 4 shows at Chaos in Tejas festival, anything special we can expect for these shows?

KO: We’ll be playing twice for the Fes. If you don’t know when we’re on, the dates are on our MYSPACE page. We’ll be in Texas early for various preparations so we’ll be there before the first day of the Fes.

“Stop Child Abuse” stands on the flyer for the US tour? Why do you want to raise attention for this topic?

KO: In Japan, 1 child dies because of abuse every 5days. Everyday we see a new child being abused on the news and they get forgotten. No one can even keep up with who killed who. So I thought I could be of at least some help being in a place where I can express myself to the public. In addition, I’ve got 2 kids myself too. Even now as I’m talking many children are being abused in the world. If adults don’t start changing the way of thinking, the same thing will go on over and over again. To be honest, I’ve been contemplating for a long time whether or not putting this message out as a band. But I came to the conclusion that I have to. We’re in a situation where we need to have more than one person trying to make a change. Even if it’s one more additional person calling out. We need to do this even if it may not necessarily be a fit image for our band to the public. I’m a member of the ‘Child abuse protection campaign’, so I’m going to keep on calling out.

US tour flyer

What makes bands from Hokkaido different from other Japanese HC bands?

KO: I don’t think there is a major difference but I feel something is different. Probably because Hokkaido is far from the rest of Japan. I think difference in interpretation, experience, and environment makes some things different.

Slang has several songs about the Second World War like “Rain In August”. Today in Japanese politics due to the North Korean threat there is a lot of debate to change article 9 and build up an army. What is your stance on this?

KO: A society where nations have to threaten each other with weapons in order for peace sounds stupid. Especially in this time of day where internet and globalization is making communication much easier. The public’s known that this kind of situation is wrong and stupid already. After losing the Second World War, Japan’s been dependent on the American military. If Japan was to make an army for its own in a situation like this, I don’t think it’ll hold. If  America goes down, Japan will go down with it. North Korea is making nuclear weapons and if something happens they threaten us by shooting missiles at Japan. They receive aid from Japan, and there are unions too. It seems senseless but I guess they have their part of the argument too. I hope we can find a netter way to co-exist. Either way, I think there is a better way to spend money than spending a load of money on the military.

Slang back in the old days

There seems to be a special relation between Slang and NY hardcore. Besides the musical influence you released Vinnie Stigma’s solo cd on your label and I saw picture of Madball and Slang together. Can you explain?

KO: Slang’s played with MADBALL, Agnostic Front, and other NYHC bands who came to Sapporo. When I go to NY, I go to N.Y.H.C. TATOO too (though I can’t speak English), but I don’t think there is too much of a connection except for that. I respect Vinnie Stigma and Roger. I got a lot of influences from Agnostic Front.

Any Chance Slang comes to Europe in the future?

KO: I’ve always been listening to European Hardcore since the 80s. I watched UK/DK so many times my tape got worn off. I had to buy new ones. Twice! I’ve always listened to European/Japanese/ U.S. Hardcore, and Slang’s music
has influences from all.

Some more words from Slang in the printed zine and interviews with Tone Deaf, Cosmic Neurose and koenjicalling. Also articles on touring in Japan (with Fy Fan, My Minds Mine and Unit 21), G.I.S.M, Hijokaidan and The Stalin. Coming out soon!


4 Responses to “Slang Interview”

  1. Hi, When will this zine be available?
    I’m interested in getting a copy, and maybe some for my distro


    • Jagged Visions Says:

      Hi Connor,
      Im working hard on finishing it. I hope to finish it within a month. Keep checking here for updates!
      Jagged Visions Zine

  2. nice interview, thanks for doing this! the Slang guys are a great bunch of dudes and was lucky to meet them. saw them in tx and chicago.

  3. love the approach on the “child abuse” subject!! Slang….good people, got a once in a lifetime chance to meet them on the Baltimore leg of there U.S. tour…cheerz!!

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