also known as:   MAD CAPSULE MARKETS (THE)  
major - hiatus (1990 - 2006)
There's a spot in musical space where punk, metal, thrash, rap, electro and industrial crash into each other at full speed, creating an explosion of sound and genres that rain down on the listener in musical shards. In this space, you'll find The Mad Capsule Markets.
author: finix & Cynthia (2009-02-12)
line up
  • Guitar: TORUxxx [1996 / 2004 - gone - support member]
The history of The Mad Capsule Markets (for brevity MCM or Mad Capsules) began in 1985 with a band called Berrie. Vocalist KYONO and guitarist Shin were still in high school when they formed Berrie as a cover-band for the famous 80s Japanese rock band BOOWY. With Seto on drums and Takeshi, who joined in 1986, on bass, the band's lineup was complete and the band played their first gig at a school festival during their final year in high school.

BOOWY was not the only influence of The Mad Capsule Markets though; KYONO and Takeshi were especially influenced by new wave as well as Japanese punk bands such as YMO, The Stalin, Gauze, Aburadako and INU. As soon as high school was over, Berrie started to storm up the circuit of newcomer contests and soon had local gigs. Due to their unique style, Berrie's reputation quickly grew and in 1990 they had their first big show as the supporting act of the American funk rock act, Red Hot Chili Peppers.

However, only four months later Seto left the band, with reasons undisclosed. When his replacement, Motokatsu, joined the band, it was decided that the band would change their name to The Mad Capsule Markets. Soon after the name change, the band released their first album Humanity on their own independent record label, Insect Noise.

After the milestone of their first album release, Shin left the band and was replaced by Ishigaki, who in the past had supported Berrie on several occasions. It was not too long before their album Humanity caught the attention of the major label Victor Records, which led to the The Mad Capsule Markets signing a recording contract with them in 1991.

The band's first major release was the album P.O.P., which contained remastered material from HUMANITY, along with some additional tracks. Their next release was the EP Capsule Soup, which was notable due to the band introducing various sampling machines into their repertoire. From these works on, they started to step away from pure, simple, punk rock and started to experiment with various sounds and styles. This stage of experimenting continued through their next two albums SPEAK!!! and MIX-ISM, which were recorded in the UK. MIX-ISM is an interesting example of this experimental period, as some of the album's songs were clearly influenced by ska.

PARK, which was released in 1994, was the last album of The Mad Capsule Markets where the listener could find traces of the band's original style. In 1996, PARK was released in the United States and was the band's first album to be released overseas. This album made the final break between punk based music and the band's upcoming and more hardcore industrial orientated style. This is especially evident on their following album, 4 PLUGS, where listeners were confronted with a newly dark, aggressive, bass-driven and electronic sound with the majority of the aggressively styled lyrics written in English.

The fans wondered what had happened to the the relaxed rock and ironic punk style of previous Mad Capsules releases. Nevertheless, 4 PLUGS was very popular and reached the number-10 spot in the Oricon charts. Even though the band was increasingly successful, Ishigaki left the band in 1996. He went on to join former BOOWY guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei's band after the release of the eponymous album, THE MAD CAPSULE MARKETS. Officially Ishigaki was never replaced, but from this time on, TORUxxx played his part in the band.

Their next album DIGIDOGHEADLOCK was a big step forward, even if it was quoted by reviewers as the band's worst ever release. The album featured subdued bass, Takeshi on backing vocals and KYONO singing and shouting in a completely different style compared to 4 PLUGS. When the album was released in the USA and Germany it gained a great deal of positive international attention. Atari Teenage Riot's, Alec Empire remixed The Mad Capsule Markets' songs on their following single releases CREATURE and CRASH POW and also invited them to support the Atari Teenage Riot tour.

OSC-DISC (Oscillator In Disortion) in 1999, marked the birth of the band's now infamous logo characters The White Crusher and The Cyborn. The characters featured in the PULSE music video and were used as logos on various pieces of band merchandise including mouse-pads, t-shirts and of course album covers. OSC-DISC also contained vocal contributions from Hirosuke of Balzac, Yamada of Geronimo, and Katsya of NND. The album was subsequently released on the Palm Entertainment label in the USA and the UK. Over the following two years, the band received many favorable reviews, but the team from the UK Rock Magazine Kerrang! became massive fans of The Mad Capsule Markets and supported the band on their 2002 UK Tour. The band were also invited to perform at the famous Download Festival which was followed up in 2002 by a mini-tour in America.

The release of the single PULSE from the OSC-DISC album was featured on the soundtrack of the super-famous console game "Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3" and subsequently reached the top 10 of the Oricon charts. Additionally, PULSE was released in Korea in 2000.

Between 2002 and 2004, other than having even more releases, the band contributed to several other musical projects. Motokatsu, for example, supported the Japanese Pop singer Anna Tsuchiya for the recording of Change Your Life, while KYONO recorded a track with The Crystal Method for the Japanese release of their album Legion of Boom as well as performing live with Joujouka. At the end of 2004 The Mad Capsule Markets embarked on another UK mini-tour.

In July 2005, their best-of compilation 1997 - 2004 and the live album 020120, which was recorded at the Zepp Tokyo in 2002, were also released worldwide. A few months later, there was another worldwide distribution with their album CiSTm KOnFLiqt.... Once again The Mad Capsule Markets came to the UK to tour and the band played at the 2005 Download Festival at Donington alongside Ozzy Osbourne, System of a Down and Motörhead. On March 31, 2006 which was KYONO's 37th birthday, The Mad Capsule Markets announced a break of band activities for an indefinite period of time.

Since this time, KYONO and Takeshi have established their own clothing lines, "WAGUDUG" and "FUZZ REZ ZWEEP" respectively. KYONO then collaborated with Sid Wilson of Slipknot for a single track, HAKAI, leading him to halt his DJ activities in order to pursue deeper musical endeavors with his new solo project WAGDUG FUTURISTIC UNITY. The "digital hardcore" sound of WAGDUG expands upon late material of Mad Capsules, and includes collaboration with famous artists, both foreign and domestic, including Chino Moreno (of Deftones fame) and Maximum the Ryo from Maximum the Hormone.

Motokatsu's involvement in the band project Rally where he is playing with Hisashi and Teru of Glay and UENO of Radio Caroline (formerly with Thee Michelle Gun Elephant) is continuing, having released one track for the BUCK-TICK tribute album. He is also working on the Rhythmethod-project. After several years working with his clothing line, Takeshi will release his debut solo album, titled #1 under the pseudonym AA=.
author: finix & Cynthia (2009-02-12)

  • euroWH
  • Chaotic Harmony