The World Of Hardcore is a Beautiful Thing
by Riz Farooqi
When you’ve been involved in something like hardcore or punk rock for 20 plus years, it just becomes a way of life. There are certain things we just do automatically because this is what we’re used to. For example, no matter where in the world my family travels, the first thing I always do is see who I “know” there. People involved in hardcore and punk will definitely understand this sentiment. “Know” totally doesn’t actually mean a relative or an actual friend – it could just be someone in your social media circle that you MAYBE have spoken to once. But you make contacts anyway: “Hey man, coming through your city! Super excited! Hopefully we can meet up for a bit!”
I landed in Osaka yesterday with my wife and daughter. Within hours of arriving I found myself hanging out with someone I’ve been talking to on and off for many years – Toshi – vocalist of Japanese hardcore powerhouse PALM. We finally got to meet face to face at the club that he owns and runs called Hokage.
I’ve never met him before, nor have had the pleasure of watching Palm, so I didn’t recognize him. I walked up to the door, bought my ticket and asked the person at the door “Hey, is Toshi here?” The dude responded “That’s me!” hahahaha…we started laughing and started talking like we were old friends that haven’t seen each other in awhile and had a lot to catch up on. In reality, this was the first time we’ve ever met!
After talking about how he is able to run his venue full-time, play in Palm, open for Phil Anselmo’s band, being a fellow parent, etc, I finally went into Hokage and checked out the bands playing. The venue is amazing. Nice and intimate and LOUD. Just the way I like it. The soundguy was doing a killer job that night making every band sound HUGE. I mean HUGE.
The bands I got to see were: SK8NIKS and The Probes. Both awesome! But the band from Belgium that was on the bill Speedozer WERE FUCKING CRAZY GOOD!!!!!! Holy shit…one of the best Motorhead-inspired hardcore punk bands I’ve seen live in a LONG time!
While watching, suddenly someone I recognized walked in and said “Hey Riz! Dagger right?!” I looked closer and it was Oliver vocalist of Beijing hardcore punk band Struggle Session! Hahahahaha…fucking small world!
I spent the rest of the night watching bands, talking to Toshi, and then talking to Oliver, James (Sk8niks) and Shane (The Probes) about what’s going on in Hong Kong, etc. After handing Toshi my band Dagger’s 7″ – I had to get back to my hotel.
Enjoy the music below and thank you to anyone anywhere in the world that follows UniteAsia.org (and my band) and befriends me anywhere I go! Thank you to those who have really kind things to say and understand the time, energy it takes to keep this thing running. Thank you ESPECIALLY to those of you who know what’s going on in Hong Kong and ALWAYS offer your support and solidarity.
Thank you to Toshi, Shane, James, Oliver, and everyone at Hokage! Over the next few days I’m heading to Revenge Records, Punk and Destroy, Afterbase, and tons of other music related places in the city to buy a bunch of shit!
Tomorrow I’m going to Kyoto to watch Numbernine! SO STOKED!!!!
This world of hardcore is a beautiful thing…