Back in 1995 when I first went to Japan I found myself in a particularly bad spot. I had no money, I was alone in Tokyo, I knew no one, it was お正月, and I for reasons that are way too complicated to explain here had half of my belongings including my passport and flight ticket stuck over on the other side of the country. In short, I was royally screwed and without a plan.
Now, when you're down and out like this you either roll up into a little ball and give up or you draw power from different sources and fight back. I fought back and drew my power from Japanese film and music. Specifically noise and experimental (industrial) stuff. Things like Tsukamoto Shinya's TETSUO (鉄男) and the music of Ishikawa Chu's (石川忠) band (and Tsukamoto's composer of choice) Der Eisenrost. It was during this trip that I got my hands on my first Der Eisenrost music collection.
Here's quick write-up about the band, that I stole from their website:
"DER EISENROST" are formed back in April 1993 ,And since then, we have been appealing our metal-percussion with heavy rock and punk musical style to audience. In December 1993,Released live and studio mixed CD ;ARMORED WEAPON" from Jpan overseas label..Of course, I would've loved nothing more than to have actually seen them perform live, but alas I wasn't able to. That said, for many years I've enjoyed Ishikawa's soundtrack work for Tsukamoto. Most recently I finally got around to watching Tsukamoto's entry into the omnibus film FEMALE (his entry is called TAMAMUSHI - 玉虫) and while I will review that soon here, it has a score by Ishikawa Chu that is very reminiscent of SNAKE OF JUNE (六月の蛇). This got me thinking about what ever happened to Ishikawa's band Der Eisenrost? I know that he's been working steadily, but is this band kaput?
On December 1995, D.E.R released"TOKYO FIST" on CD. It was soundtracks of SHINYA TSUKAMOTO's films"TOKYO FIST". 2 years after, DVD"TOKYO FIST" D.E.R.'s live video by SHINYA TSUKAMOTO special tracks. Live DVD out in 2005.
We playing many club and musical festival, Some audience said "You are cool and so crazy!" "Your style are only you style!"In Japan, In 1993-1995 D.E.R .played with Esplendor Geometrico,dive(klink). [MIX2000] was famous big festival with 100 over bands in Sapporo Hokkaido.Joined from U.S. U.K.and many country. [Drive to 2000] 10days about 117bands. D.E.R. proud to join in this special program.DER EISENROST's metal percussion instruments are all made by ISHIKAWA. He has made so many instruments from metal scraps such as engine tank of a truck and wheels of motorbikes. At their live performances, the metallic beats generate more speed and tension than "TETSUO" film.
No, in fact. It turns out that they're alive and well -- they just played a show at the end of Sept. in Osaka (!!) -- and have a recently updated MySpace page along with an (somewhat) English friendly homepage. Nice!
Listening to these old tracks on MySpace, after all of these years it's amazing to think that these guys are still collaborating and are even making commercially successful films together, like NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 1 & 2 (悪夢探偵). (Don't know whethere ND2 will be successful or not, but you get what I mean.)
Anyway, here are some links to the Der Eisenrost stuff . Enjoy the music. I find that it makes me want to get to work and kick some ass. (Or get to work, kicking ass.)
Der Eisenrost MySpace link.
From the wonder that is YouTube comes some videos: