For over thirty years now, thrash-metal outfit Outrage has been carrying the banner for Nagoya’s thriving hard rock scene. Rising to prominence with rapid-fire tempos and a thunderous sound, Outrage blends tight musicianship with the gritty, soaring vocals of Hashimoto Naoki. Since the beginning, the band’s success has helped bring attention to Nagoya’s underground rock community, and opened the door for local hardcore and heavy metal bands. They’ve played alongside such acts as Pantera and Biohazard, winning them fans both at home and abroad. This acclaim earned them the “Aichi Prefecture Cultural Art Prize” in 2010. Outrage was the first rock band to ever win the honor.
The group has been a staple of the Japanese rock diet ever since signing with UK label Polydor Records back in 1983. One key to the Outrage’s success has been their determination to sing in English. With the help of lyricist and band friend Shaun Gleason, they’ve composed lyrics that have made the group more relatable to a wider range of listeners. This was essential in helping them to secure tours with groups like Corrosion of Conformity, GBH, and Pantera. And, it was further advantageous in scoring them a gig with Testament at The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Outrage just finished recording their 11th album in Sweden with the help of Opus and Arch Enemy producer Fredrik Nordstrӧm. The new album will be entitled Outraged, and it’s due to be released on June 5th of this year. This new release comes at a busy time for Outrage bassist Yoshihiro “Yocchan” Yasui, whose side project, Crocodile Bambie, is starting to generate some serious buzz.
Crocodile Bambi’s jam band influences are a wild departure from the thrash-metal assault of Outrage. However, this departure allows Yocchan to pursue his own eclectic tastes, which range from psychedelic stoner rock to hardcore punk. They played their first show in the spring of 2011 at Huck Finn in Nagoya, and released their first four track EP on May 22nd. Yocchan says that after thirty years with Outrage he is eager to explore new musical horizons. Crocodile Bambi is a jam oriented rock quartet with blues inspired rhythms that offer a far more up-tempo atmosphere than that of Outrage. Yocchan attributes much of his current musical inspiration to American jam band Phish. He hopes that Crocodile Bambi will get audiences dancing. They’ll be at Shibuya Cyclone in Tokyo on June 1st before returning home to Nagoya to play the Owari Gloomy Fest at Huck Finn on June 13th. Crocodile Bambi is looking forward to the upcoming shows as an opportunity to experiment musically before a live audience. Yocchan excitedly jests that they just might spend the entire set at Gloomy Fest jamming off of one song like some kind of Phishy, psychadelic freak out!
Outrage will back on the road this summer to support their new album. Catch them at Nagoya’s Electric Lady Land on June 26th and July 13th. Crocodile Bambi are at the Gloomy Fest at Huck Finn on June 13th. – Brian Miller