Visitors to this year's Spring Scream, which starts next Friday, might want to check out the sampler platter of punk bands from People's Records, a Japanese label based out of Beijing.
"What's this?" you ask. "Spring Scream has sold out to a record label?!"
"It was really nothing so contrived," said Jimi Moe, one of Spring Scream's founders and perennial organizers. "They came to Spring Scream last year and said, `We have a label and we want our bands to come play here.' They sent us demos and we listened to it. Every single one of them just rocks really hard."
The rockers in question are Bubblelovele, Goofy Style, Buzz Dogs, Trash Box, Seven Star Rockers, Anti-Elements, Keyna and Hakahayabusa.
Additionally, two other bands, Attack the Supreme, or AXTXS, and JAMS will be making their way to Kenting from Japan. Both bands are friends of Hakahayabusa.
"We're based out of Beijing because that's where I'm going to school," said Zuli, one of the Japanese brothers who runs People's Records. "But most of our bands are Japanese with a few foreign bands, too." People's distributes a total of some 50 punk and
Zuli explained that, while studying Chinese and politics in Beijing, he's seen and heard a lot of the Beijing punk scene.
"There are so many good bands there," he said. "I was surprised to see what kind of scene there is in China." He said that it was through the punk scene in China that he learned about Spring Scream.
"One of my friends in a band there told me about this crazy festival that happens every year in Taiwan. We came last year and saw that it really rocks," he said.
While Japanese bands performing in Taiwan is certainly nothing new, Zuli says the acts coming for next weekend's festival will show Taiwan a side of the Japanese music scene it might not be familiar with.
"I know of a lot of the bands that come play The Wall [in Taipei]," he said. "They're a lot of really dark bands. Our artists aren't like that. -- David Momphard