If you ever have the opportunity to go see the Japanese (by way of NYC) comic-book punk trio Peelander-Z (which is likely, considering these guys are constantly on the road), by all means do it: these guys put together the most unique and haphazard live show you’ll ever lay eyes on. I don’t know if one can suitably prepare himself for this band’s show, to be honest. You’ve got huge squid monster costumes, human bowling, audience limbo, and all the jumping, dancing, and singing you could want out of an evening.
The band has just finished an extensive tour in support of their newest album, P-TV-Z, and recently released a single, “How Are USA,” (streaming below) as well as a video for the song “Taco Taco Tacos.” The band’s guitarist, Peelander Yellow (Kengo Hioki), was kind enough to talk to Randomville about what the band’s been up to, as well as expounding on the band’s lore (PZ are not actually human beings, but rather aliens from the planet Peelander).
Randomville (RV): Thanks for agreeing to talk to me, Peelander Yellow. How’s it going?
Peelander Yellow (PY): Good! We finished the tour, and now we’re in New York City. Every night was crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, and yeah, I’m dying, almost. Every day we play like two hundred percent, using our energy… every night I empty the energy box inside my mind.
RV: Any good stories?
PY: Every night! We went to NYC, to the west coast, and then came back to NYC, all over the USA. Almost like 50 shows. Half the shows we played with a Japanese garage band, TsuShiMaMiRe. It was crazy – after the show every night, party party party, and yeah…they never stop drinking…crazy girls. Sake sake sake!
RV: And you guys just finished a tour of Europe earlier this year. How did audiences differ over there?
PY: I think Spanish people were great. People go crazy, and they stay crazy – it was a surprise! I think they have DNA from fighting with the cow…how can I say…
PY: Yes! They have DNA of the bullfighters. They are hot all over. Also, the food was very good. They brought us to the restaurants…every country, a different type of food. I’m so happy to eat every night. We opened for this band – super crazy – and yea, we played fast over there. Next year we are trying to go back, but next time we will be headlining.
RV: How about Japanese audiences, for that matter?
PY: Just last year we went there and did some shows. We are so happy to play over there. My English is no good, but my Japanese is super awesome, so always I am the MC in Japan. I speak speak speak speak speak, and people complain to me, “Okay, let’s play.” I am a crazy speaker in japanese. And everyday we eat Japanese food – very dangerous…I am getting fat, but we ate a lot. A lot of steak, especially in Kobe. I gained like ten pounds in Japan…I ate too much.
RV: Is it hard to get shy people comfortable are your shows?
PY: Oh yes, sometimes it’s very hard. But right now everybody knows, so we get people to dance. All of our moves in the beginning, sometimes it was very hard…when we start the human bowling, everyone is like “What’s happening?” Or when we do the jump rope. But right now our fans, they know and they help us, and it’s very easy. Next tour, we are thinking spring, we’re going to do another new move.
We played songs from P-TV-Z…a lot of “EIEIO,” “Ice Cream Song,” “Taco Taco Tacos”…I can’t play crazy songs. I can’t play music very well. I’m no genius to make a good song like the Beatles…I’m no Paul, I’m no Jon, I am Peelander-Yellow, a very simple person, and I just want key words, like “taco taco taco taco.”
RV: You guys are known to be fans of pro wrestling. Do you try to incorporate wrestling theatrics into your live show?
PY: Yes, yes. I grew up with like, 80s WWF. Wrestling was big in Japan, and I wanted to wrestle, but I’m not strong, which is why I do kind of wrestling moves: to say thank you to the wrestlers. And musically, we just want one audience. We play to the one audience, like one dimension. But wrestling isn’t one dimension – we have two, three, four dimensions…like, 360 degrees. They have to show all angles, and I respect that style, which is why we play on the floor. I want to do that, to show to all people, like wrestling.
RV: Do they have music on planet Peelander?
PY: Yes, kind of. We told everybody we eat smiles. Because we aren’t humans, we eat smiles. Smiles meaning sometimes music, sometimes listening, sometimes watching a baseball game, sometimes doing the computer game. It’s all types of smiles, and that includes music. So, taht’s why we have to do music with a smile, and then…kind of like a cheeseburger…cheesy music.
RV: What Earth music do you enjoy?
PY: Oh, we love the Ramones…limbo dance music…simple drum music, because I want to dance very simply – dun dunka dunk – I wanna dance like a mad tiger inside.
RV: Is there anything else you’d like to let people know?
PY: Please check our website, watch the TV, don’t think too much about us, just come to see us doing our show. Don’t be afraid, don’t hesitate, come to see and join us. We are Peelander-Z!
[audio:http://randomville.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/peelander-z-howareusa.mp3|titles=”How Are USA”]