Marble Sheep

11/01/2011 2011-01-11 00:48:53 JaME Author: Yurasama, Meg

Marble Sheep

Marble Sheep

© Marble Sheep
In 1987, Matsutani Ken decided to leave his band White Heaven because he wanted to form a new group. Marble Sheep's first line-up was made up of several other former White Heaven members who also decided to leave for the new band. In the first few years the band recorded a few demos but remained quite unknown. Their first album was released in 1991 by Alchemy Records, the label of Japan’'s Noise superstar Masonna, who had bands like Angel'’in Heavy Syrup under contract.

Marble Sheep gained some popularity within the scene, but after some further member changes Ken remained the only one of the original line-up. In 1992 the band used the label Captain Trip for the first time under the management of Souichiro Nakamura. One year later Marby, the band's own mascot and official member, was introduced. Because it was loved by the audience, it has appeared at almost every live since. Although becoming quite famous, Marble Sheep was relatively inactive between 1995 and 1999. At this time, the band gave only a few concerts and released even fewer CDs.

In 1999, Ken became the manager of Captain Trip and Marble Sheep became active again and subsequently became more popular than in the years before. That same year, a completely new line-up was formed by Ken. It was at this point that Miyazaki Rie became part of the band and took the part of Marby. When she first joined, her position was only the mascot, but this changed by 2000 when she first played the guitar, then the bass for the group.

As members go, others take their place, but in the history of Marble Sheep, occasionally old players returned. At the turn of the millennium, two players had such a history: Brown Nose played between 2001 and 2002 only to resurface again between 2006 and 2008, and Arakawa Taro was an active member from 2002 to 2004 before taking a two-year break, returning again for one year in 2006.

By the year 2002, the band played at a German festival, where they met the German psychedelic rock band Guru Guru, who now publish their CDs in Japan under Captain Trip. The following year, Marble Sheep signed with the German record label fünfundvierzig, which made their albums available for their European fans. In 2004, the band organized an event in Japan, where another German Rock band, Damo Suzuki Network played. Although Marble Sheep announced that there was a European tour planned the same year, it was delayed.

The following year was relatively quiet for the band, with their only activity being the release of their record „The Gate of a heavenly Body“. This CD was a release strictly for Germany and did not debut in Japan.

Over the next few years, Marble Sheep's activity was muted, but by 2006, the band returned to form and played their very first tour outside of Japan in Europe. Throughout March they played several lives with the German band Drive By Shooting and toured through Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.

For this tour, they recruited a second drummer Sawada Morihide who is also a member of the experimental band Yozigenn. Because this tour was a great success for the band, they decided to return later that year. And so, after their first live in Korea, Marble Sheep returned to Germany in September, playing ten shows and participating at Avantgarde Festival.

In 2007, along with the release of Ryuuguu no Tsukai to Ruby no Bara, Marble Sheep returned to Europe for a solid two month tour, playing in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Austria. While the following year brought three new albums, the band lost long-time member Miyazaki Rie as well as Sawada Morihide and Tak.

Once again finding himself a one-man band, Ken's activity stopped while searching for new members. By 2009, Marble Sheep was back with a full new line-up consisting of IWAMOTOR on drums, ZIGEN YAMASAKI on guitar and BABY on bass.

By November, the new group produced two new releases, Purple and Green. That same month, the band embarked for the first time to the United States, hitting nine cities nationwide.

Marble Sheep's activity has lulled since that time, but the band recently rang in 2011 with a performance entitled Deep Inside on January 12th in Japan. With the band gearing up for a fresh year ahead, fans can look forward to new activity from this talented group.

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