Like a debauched Day-Glo phoenix, Ging Nang Boyz rose from the still-smoldering ashes of the Japanese quartet Going Steady in the spring of 2003. The original band's engine and songwriter, Mineta Kazunobu (vocals/guitar), rechristened himself Ging Nang Boyz, reunited with bassist Abiko Shinya and drummer Murai Mamoru, replaced guitarist Asai Takeo with Chin Nakamura of Snotty, and led the group on a series of riotous tours. GNB's sound may hark back to the Buzzcocks and the entire Lookout! Records catalog, but the group also exhibits a more unorthodox tendency toward an "aesthetic of clutter." Whether it's a 60-second blitzkrieg or a ten-minute sprawl, each GNB track is stuffed beyond the brim; ideas, riffs, and shrieks appear and blend unexpectedly. Capturing both the sensory avalanche of life in a 21st century megacity and the resultant desire to break free, the density of GNB's ecstatic project makes the "pop-punk" label itself less derogatory.

GNB's January 2005 debut with Skool was nearly two years in the making. Fittingly, it came in two simultaneous installments: Kimi to Boku no Daisanji Sekai Taisenteki Renai Kakumei (...Young Alive in Love) and Door. The sum, 29 tracks or two and a half hours in all, is a freewheeling hardcore medley dosed with punk-caffeinated folk, funk, and pop. The success of the film Iden&Tity (2003), which featured Kazunobu in a starring role, helped the albums reach sixth and seventh, respectively, on the Oricon charts. Both before and after releasing their debuts, GNB toured Japan and gave a handful of high-energy performances in the U.S., notably at the Bay Area Cuddle Shows and at Berkeley's famed 924 Gilman Street. Kazunobu's crowd-pleasing acrobatics and his rock star proclivity for public nudity repeatedly landed him in trouble with the authorities — once for a display in front of a crowd of 45,000 at the 2005 Rock in Japan festival and twice at shows in Taiwan.

In April 2007, GNB celebrated their brash live personas with a DVD compilation of concert footage, Bokutachi wa Sekai wo Kaeru Koto ga Dekinai (We Can't Change the World). A single followed four months later. The anthemic A-side, "Ai Don Wana Dai" (I Don't Wanna Die), proved popular in Japan, charting as high as sixth and selling nearly 50,000 copies. The corresponding video garnered attention for its hysterical depiction of an Internet café orgy. ~ Jeremy A. Schmidt, Rovi

    Yamagata, Japan
  • BORN
    January, 2003