cali≠gari

biography - 28.05.2011 05:10

cali≠gari

The concept of cali≠gari was already in the works in 1989 when Ao, guitarist and leader of the band, met drummer Katsumi. The project officially began in June 1993 when bassist Keiji and vocalist Kureiju joined the band.

With this complete line up, cali≠gari was born. They performed their first concert at Ikebukuro CYBER on September 11, 1993, just months after their formation. Two months later, the band line up changed with Shin replacing Kureiju as vocalist. Soon after, cali≠gari’s first demo tape Dai 1 Jikkenshitsu went on sale at Yokahama 7th Avenue.

Their next demo tape, Sennou, which was limited to 100 copies, was only available for sale at a concert performed at the famous Meguro Rock May Kan and included the song If. This song is of particular note because it marked the beginning development of Ao’s infamous performance style. It was later discovered that Shuuji, who was to be the band’s new vocalist, delayed joining the band for six months after hearing this song.

Keiji left cali≠gari just before the band embarked on their first tour of the Kanto area. He went on to join the band Valen Schtein and changed his name to Mitsuo.

In December 1995 Shin left the band and the remaining members decided to temporarily halt activities. During this hiatus, Kazuya also decided to part ways with the band. Remaining members Ao and Katsumi formed a band called Kashimiya with Heresey, the would-be vocalist of Jubilee, and bassist Ayan. Following another member change, Mitsuo became their bassist once again after leaving Valen Schtein and Parachute 2.

In January 1996, cali≠gari reunited with Shuuji at the microphone. A short time later, Mitsuo left again and Kenjirou of Eternal Flame joined the band as a support member in his place, soon becoming an official member of cali≠gari.

On April 4, 1997, cali≠gari held an anniversary concert at Motoyawata Route 14 to celebrate the first year of the band’s formation and continued this tradition in 1998 and 1999, marking each anniversary. cali≠gari's first tour outside of the Kanto area kicked off on August 21 with a gig at Niigata Juke Box.

Between 1997 and 1999, the Tokyo Chikashitsu event, considered the predecessor of Ao’s later annual music event, Yaneura Dai Circus, was organized ten times in Tokyo and once in Osaka. These events were some of the earliest gigs for bands such as VELVET EDEN and MUCC. Other well-recognized bands of the angura kei and eroguro nansensu scenes, such as la vie en rose and Guruguru Eigakan, participated as well. On 12th December, cali≠gari performed their first one-man concert in Shinjuku Loft.

On Halloween 1999, Ao organized the previously mentioned Yaneura Dai Circus for the first time at Shibuya On Air West. The event featured Ryutaro and Tadashi of Plastic Tree, VELVET EDEN, MUCC, Ya-foo!, Onan Spelmermaid, Full of Guniw Tools and Nookicky, and nearly every band that was ever mentioned in relation to cali≠gari. On this special night, Katsumi announced his departure from the band and Makoto of TECHNO URBAN took his position on drums.

One of cali≠gari's most famous songs, 37564, included on Dai 5 Jikkenshitsu, shows more of cali≠gari's strange sense of humor. The numbers spoken in Kanji would be: 3 = mi, 7 = na, 5 = go, 6 = ro, 4 = shi, forming minagoroshi, which translates as "massacre." The idea came to Ao while he was stuck at a traffic light in Shibuya and thought, "How would it be if I just kill everyone now with a machinegun, like in Full Metal Jacket?" In order to share his thoughts through music, he wrote the song in just three minutes.

Shuuji left cali≠gari on June 1, 2000 and was replaced by Shuuji of float. Due to their identical names, there was some confusion in the beginning. To avoid that, the new vocalist, Shuuji Ishii, always introduced himself as "the OTHER Shuuji."

With the new Shuuji behind the microphone, the band continued making an impact as an eroguro nansensu band, their reputation growing more notorious with the release of their album Blue Film, which is another name for adult movies. The second press of this album contained a pink condom and an instruction manual for using it.

cali≠gari's major album Dai 7 Jikkenshitsu was released in May 2002 under their own label Gai Records, a sub-label of Victor Records.

Less than a year later, during a concert in March 2003, cali≠gari announced that they would be taking a break. Their last concert took place at Hibiya Yagai Ongakudô and was later released on DVD. This is where cali≠gari paused their activities.

Following cali≠gari’s activity pause, Shuuji Ishii started a solo project called goatbead. Makoto followed Ao into his new project lab., but at the end of 2004, he left the group to join Cyanotype and has also played on Shuuji Ishii’s project. In 2004 Kenjirou changed his name to Samurai W. Kenjilaw when he joined heavy metal band SEX MACHINEGUNS. He is still with the band at present.

In 2009, it was announced that cali≠gari would be resuming their activities. In celebration of their revival and reunion of the members, cali≠gari released a greatest hits album and a DVD in April of that year. Their fan club was also revived. Later that year, the group released a full length album, 10 and marked a new release in six years.

By spring of 2010, the band hit the recording studio again and released the three version mini-album . They remained quiet without live activity as Shuji joined and participated in XA-VAT, Közi's new band.

In February of 2011, cali≠gari released the two CD and DVD album Misshitsu Neurosis. Each CD was full length, as was the DVD featuring a live performance from a February 2001 performance at Liquidroom Ebisu. Soon after, the band announced that in June, they will be holding their 10th "Caliversary" two day events on June 18 and 19. The show, entitled Shintsuyu no yagai~ saiki do?~ will take place at Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo.
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