SEX MACHINEGUNS

major - active (1990 - )
Eccentric. Hilarious. Bizarre. Over-the-top. These are just some of the many ways to describe SEX MACHINEGUNS, one of Japan'’s leading heavy metal acts. With a wardrobe ranging from denim jeans to vinyl jumpsuits, lyrics bridging the gap between seriousness and absurdity, and a successful career spanning almost two decades, there’'s one thing you say for certain: SEX MACHINEGUNS exude craziness and the world loves every minute of it.
author: Scottie Wolfe & MDS (2014-10-11)
line up
It was back in 1990 that ANCHANG, a vocalist/guitarist, and MAD POWER, a drummer, created the SEX MACHINEGUNS. The band was named in order to demonstrate that they were as crazy as the Sex Pistols, just a lot heavier musically. This was during their days at university. After graduation, ANCHANG left the band to become a respectable salary man, although he continued playing with another band in his down time.

In 1995, MAD POWER got in touch with ANCHANG in hopes of bringing the old band back. ANCHANG agreed on the condition that he could bring along NOISY, the singer/bassist for the band he was in at the time. MAD POWER had no objections, even bringing in another guitarist, SUSSY. With this, their first official line-up was born.

Knowing they had to come up with gimmicks to get noticed, they began writing songs that, while melodious, were so bizarre/funny lyrically that attention was almost guaranteed. They even had photo shoots to market themselves, dressing in outfits ranging from full-fledged samurai armor to Hawaiian t-shirts, even in the nude at some point. It all worked to an extent, but not enough to get them out of live houses and into recording studios. The band agreed that they needed to jump onto the ever-popular visual kei bandwagon.

Their first video, Into the Fire, which was filmed at the Kawasaki Club Citta, was released on May 13th, 1997. They also appeared in Shoxx magazine to discuss their CD, Live Live Fire and video, Live- Born of Fire. They successfully got a major contract, but MAD POWER left the band shortly after.

Their first major single, Hanabi-la Daikaiten, was released on April 22, 1998. After their debut, tickets for the band’s live tour sold out in every region of the country, with tickets for the ON AIR EAST live in Shibuya selling out the day they went sale. SEX MACHINEGUNS released their second single, Burn: Burn Your Fire of Love, on September 18th and their first album, Sex Machinegun on October 18th. SPEED STAR SYPAN JOE, the band’s support drummer since MAD POWER’s departure, officially joined the group a few months later in January 1999. The band toured and recorded a couple singles with him however, due to back problems sustained while touring, JOE left in May that same year. SEX MACHINEGUNS continued touring, still finding the time to release the single ONIGUNSOW in October and eventually found the drummer, CLUTCH.J.HIMAWARI (ex-CleiR, known as Jun). Together, they released their second album, Made in Japan, on November 26, 1999.

They embarked on a national tour, ending January 7, 2000 at the Nippon Budokan for their first landmark concert. A sold-out crowd of 10,000 people headbanged the night away as ANCHANG and SUSSY finger-tapped their way into their hearts. The band then took a few months off before starting a new spring tour. At some point in 2001, JOE resurfaced with a new band: dasein. Shortly after releasing their third album, Barbe-Q★Michael, SUSSY left the band, recently married and wanting something more than the band’s intense lifestyle. Luckily, CLUTCH tracked down his old CleiR bandmate, Circuit V. PANTHER, who quickly picked up an axe to help the boys out in SUSSY’s place. He fit in perfectly and was officially inducted into the band shortly after.

Fast forward to August 2003 – the band, after releasing four studio albums, three live albums and fourteen singles, officially disbanded. They said farewell to fans on August 13th at Nippon Budokan. Things looked grim for fans as NOISY and CLUTCH started a punk band and ANCHANG went solo with SEX MACHINEGUN, which sounded like SM but was not quite Heavy Metal.

This was not a permanent end, however; in 2004, the band announced its reunification. ANCHANG and JOE (no longer with dasein) were returning with PANTHER and a new bassist known as SAMURAI.W.KENJILAW (ex- cali=gari, known then as Kanjirou). They released their first new single, Demaemichi icchokusen, on November 10th that year, demonstrating to fans that they were back with a bolder sound. Fans were happy to see that heavy metal was the name of the game this time around. Two more albums were released, Heavy Metal Thunder in 2005 and Made in USA in 2006, along with two other singles. JOE, PANTHER, and KENJILAW also formed a side-band known as ELLEGUNS.

Unfortunately this line-up too would come undone when the band put a hold on activities in May of 2006, but not before releasing Living in America and A Day in the LIVE- SEX MACHINEGUNS LIVE IN USA. These DVDs chronicled their time in the USA, recording their 2006 album, as well as their first American show. The J-P-K unit continues to play together to this day as the band CYCLE. ANCHANG restarted his solo activities, this time releasing under his stage name.

A year later, however, the desire to be a part of SEX MACHINEGUNS once again arose in ANCHANG and so the search for new members began. In June of 2007, over 200 people responded and ANCHANG scrutinized all of them through their sound, performances, interviews, and sessions. Selections were opened to the public on the band’s site. When applicants for each part were chosen, they participated in a training camp. During this training period, they released three digital singles, Haihin Kaishuu, Doku Mamaushi, and JACKY. On October 26th it was announced that guitarist RYOTATSU and drummer KEN’ICHI had become the newest artists to join the ranks of SEX MACHINEGUNS. A bassist was also chosen, but dropped out during the training camp. Because of this, during their 2008 country tour, SEX MACHINEGUNS were joined by a support bassist. It was at the tour’s final show at Shibuya O-EAST, this support, SHINGO STAR, was inducted as an official member. That same day RYOTATSU changed his name to Iberico Moja Malmsteen.

During that year, in honor of the band’s 10th anniversary, a greatest hits album, Best Tracks the past and the future was released including classic singles, online-only singles, and their new song “Shigotonin”. In August, Iberico Moja Malmsteen withdrew from SEX MACHINEGUNS because of family matters. They’ve continued on without finding a successor, but it was around this time that former member SUSSY returned in order to play support for his old band. On October 8, 2008 their album Cameron was released. This may be SEX MACHINEGUNS' final major album because four months later, ANCHANG announced on his blog that their contract with EMI Music Japan had expired.

Despite being without a contract, SEX MACHINEGUNS have continued on, returning to the indies scene. In 2009 they released the single PRIDE and their latest album 45° Angle. Although they've endured many line-up changes, the “metal spirits” of the band have not changed and it is because of that, ANCHANG has said this line-up is not “the 5th stage” SEX MACHINEGUNS, but rather SEX MACHINEGUNS itself.
author: Scottie Wolfe & MDS (2014-10-11)
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