Japanese little-known heavy metal band Ningen-Isu became the topic in Twitter triggered by Ozzfest Japan

On May 11 and 12, Ozzy Osbourne's heavy metal festival OzzFest Japan was held in Chiba, Makuhari messe. This is the first time that Ozzfest is held in Japan, and drew crowds of 20,000 fans on each day. Press release of Ozzfest is here.

Japanese bands appeared with many international bands on both days. Among them, there was the band which became the topic in the Japanese Internet conspicuously. The name is Ningen-Isu(人間椅子).

Most of overseas metalers seems to not know them. On the contrary, Japanese metalers did not know much them, too. However, they are expert bands reaching the activity 25th anniversary in this year.

They did major debut in 1989. In those days, Japan was an enthusiastic band boom, and they became in great demand for TV programs and events(besides, Japan was a panic because of prosperity in those days).

Later, however, the dark 90s came. The economy suddenly worsened, and the band boom ended with it. Record label threw them out because of the recession, they transferred to indies label and continued being active, but entered the long slump period. Overseas metalers will know that the 90s was the winter times for hard rock and heavy metal. The mass media completely ignored them, and they were not placed in even the music magazine. They became extremely poor, and the drummer withdrawal occurred successively.

However, they continued being active steadily while working part-time, released albums constantly and continued gigs. And the people who reevaluated them from the mid-2000s increased. What happened at this time? Well..., Web 2.0 movements. Their fans shared their information on various social media. Youtube in particular contributed. Their cool numbers and superior performance spread all over the world by Youtube and attracted young metalers and overseas metalers. This cover of King Crimson is really AWESOME!

They are influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Budgie and other great hard rock band of 70s basically, incorporate Japanese folk music with doom/stoner sound, and write intellectual lyrics about classical literature, philosophy, Buddhism, Lovecraft Mythos, Japanese folk tale and Japanese horror tale. Their style may resemble Pagan Metal, but most people who listened to their numbers say "They are Japanese Black Sabath".  It was important that they appeared in Ozzfest in not only the career of their own but also the Japanese metal industry.

Thus, the stage in Ozzfest Japan of Ningen-Isu began. Their show was only 30 minutes, but it was really splendid! And the Twitter erupted just after that. The timeline of #OzzfestJapan(or #オズフェス) overflowed in Tweets which praised their show and it did not stop all the time. There were English Tweets of foreign audiences in them, too. Then, Ningen-Isu(人間椅子) became the trendy word of Twitter at last. It was the moment when many metalers rediscovered Ningen-Isu.

This is just after the show end that the staff of Ningen-Isu photographed.

After Ozzfest Japan was over, the praise to them continues. More than 30 news sites show their article, Tweets mentioning them still increasing, and their CDs ran low in Amazon.co.jp.
I think that this is current music industry. The fashion of the former music industry was influenced by TV, radio, magazine and newspaper. The artist ignored in them become nameless. However, social media make the fashion of the music industry now. It is democratization of the music industry. They showed the power of social media with themselves.

However, unfortunately the usage of social media of their and their label TOKUMA Japan is VERY POOR. The official site is only Japanese and does not support a smartphone. They have neither the Facebook page nor the Twitter account. There is barely the official blog, but is only Japanese. In the first place even iTunes is only Japan. They do not have social media literacy and global expansion ability. It is a serious opportunity loss. If you want to get their information and works by a language except the Japanese from the foreign countries, let's petition TOKUMA Japan by e-mail(mail form is only Japanese, too! F**K! Please use the translation tool).

By the way, They releases new album "Mandoro(萬燈籠)" on August 7. The price is 3000yen. "Mandoro" is a dialect of Tohoku , Japan, and meaning "Very bright"(Its original meaning is "10,000 lanterns") . The reservation of this began in Amazon.co.jp. Afterwards, the tour in Japan is held until from September 12 ~ 30. The tickets are not yet sold.

-Tour schedule-
September 12 Sapporo Bessie Hall
September 15 Aomori quarter
September 16 Sendai enn2nd
September 20 Hakata DRUM Be-1
September 21 Kumamoto DRUM Be-9 V-1
September 23 Osaka ROCK TOWN
September 24 Kobe Chicken George
September 26 Nagoya Electric Lady Land
September 29 Shibuya O-WEST
September 30 Shibuya O-WEST

These are the Youtube videos which TOKUMA Japan showed in a hurry. These numbers were played in Ozzfest Japan(Videos are before Ozzfest Japan).

If you like them, search "Ningen-Isu" or "人間椅子" in Youtube. Other photos of Ozzfest Japan are here.

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