SAMBOMASTER: Like Hearing God Play J-Rock

January 11, 2006 at 1:55 am (Soundtrack Of My Life)

Just a quick rant about my latest fanboy obsession…

Sambomaster Is:
Lead Singer & Guitar God: Takeshi Yamaguchi
On Bass & Backing Vocals: Yoichi Kondo
A Skin Pounding Madman: Yasufumi Kiuchi
“I love music more than just about anything, but am very particular about what I listen to. If I happen across a band with whom I can groove, that’s cool, but when I discover a band like Sambomaster they forever become part of my soul.” ~ 72HW

Some say I tend to go a tad overboard when I find a band that hits all the right chords – they probably just want me to stop giving them CD’s and shut the hell up long enough to talk about something different for five minutes. For the past 12 months its been Japanese film and culture I’ve been running my hole about, but over the past few weeks the dead horse I’ve been beating repeatedly goes by the name Sambomaster who play an exquisite hybrid of jazz, punk and power pop. So pow, how you like me now! One might think the people in my neighborhood would welcome a change of subject when they speak at me, right? Only problem is, you guessed it – Sambomaster hail from Tokyo.

So not only has my J-OCD been driven up a notch, now my peeps are getting stacks of tunes sung in a language they can’t understand to go along with the piles of movies chock full of actors speaking the same as I attempt to brainwash them so they show even a glimmer of interest. If I was them, I’d probably vote to have me lobotomized just to catch a break from it all – then again the way I stumble around puking up broken Nihongo phrases as practice on them, I’m sure most of them probably think I’ve already gone under the ice pick, so maybe it’s a moot point. But guys, this band really does rule!

Anyhow, I am gonna try and put into words this new love I have found soon, but I need sleep so for now I will refer you to another one of my Wild Hairs Of The Week – and get this, the guy isn’t Japanese! His name is Tim Rogers and he really likes rock-n-roll too. A lot. Like really a lot. He even plays in a rock band he likes it so much. Never met him, but he may just be the single greatest freelance author it’s ever been my pleasure to read and on top of all that this guy really gets Sambomaster. Really. Like really, really gets them. He even wrote a wildly entertaining missive on his feelings for the band he gets them so much.

And that’s why I am going to bed without airing my own love of Sambomaster – Tim Rogers has written what is arguably the most ultimate band review in history with such elegance and grace as I read it my head was filled with comparisons to Murakami, Raoul Duke, Poppa and even Kerouac. Seriously, if not already there, this kid has what it takes to make a lasting impression on popular culture. One thing’s for certain: Tim Rogers does not shovel snow. Each time I finish one of his stories I feel more and more comfortable betting he winds up writing the ‘Wave Speech’ of his generation.

(Hey everybody, you hear that? I just ran off at the mouth on someone who isn’t Japanese! …well, he does kinda live in Japan though. And writes about Japan and Japanese stuff like his Japanese job, Japanese toilet etiquette, Japanese games, and oh yeah – Japanese Rock-n-Roll too, nearly forgot.)

Aw jeeze, did I say that out loud? Now aint nobody gonna wanna go and read this story I bet. That would be such a mistake though, it really is one of those unique slice of life tales with plenty of solid social criticism, profound thoughts on music history, language barriers and Disneyland with just enough gonzo tossed in on the side to leave you wondering from time to time. And you know, if you don’t use the below link you know I am only going to print it out and leave it in your bathroom or email you the article as an e-book or something. So why not just give in and let the boss think you’re hard at work for the next half hour while you read it now… One of us. One of us. One of us.

Click Here Right Now:
on sambo master (and japanese rock in general)

Large Prime Numbers – cool huh!


For A Real Groovy Sambmaster Wallpaper I Made Tonight:



  1. Xaphirezst said,


    found your article from Google.

    I read that article of Tim Rogers as well, long time ago. And yes, it’s very good. Feel like reading a Sambomaster manifesto or something. However, that’s an old article. I wonder how does Tim Rogers feel about Sambomaster right now? No, no… how do YOU feel about Sambomaster, now?

    The truth is, I’ve been disappointed with their latest album, the 3rd album, that is. Somehow I felt that Sambomaster are getting farther and farther away from their own music. It’s not like i don’t like them anymore, Sambomaster still stands on the very top of my favorite band list. However, I can feel that change in them. I don’t know what they are trying to achieve by slowly changing their style like this.

    That said, their latest single, though, Itoshisa to Kokoro no Kabe, kinda fill out what they are missing in the 3rd album. I’ve seen their live promo for that song and it’s just stands out. I don’t understand Japanese much, but that doesn’t stop me from knowing what they are trying to make the audience feel in Shibuya where they filmed their promo. Funny I don’t feel the same way when listening to the same track in the album. It felt like listening to 2 whole different songs. Sambomaster are great, but far far greater when they perform their songs live.

  2. Shiva-[Mania]- said,


    i would like to make an concert with sambomaster in germany (düsseldorf) but i cant never find any email adresse or something else where i can contect them!?

    maybe someone of u could help me!? is online in japanese :((((

    contact me at

    thnx u very much

    sambomaster 4 ever 🙂

  3. sambo_love123 said,

    Ohai. The love I have for sambomaster!! I’m actually listening to them now (: at only 14, a lot of people think its a phase and well, I couldn’t love sambomaster more. I can’t wait till oneday I see them live. I have every single album. I know every single song. I try to spread my sambomaster love to everyone, but I think everyone’s sick of me forcing nihon down their throat! I shall love this band forever!!

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