The heady aroma of a duke’s armpits – an interview with Texaco Leather Man

 

I don’t want to rave too crazily but I first saw the force of nature that is Texaco Leather Man my first weekend in Japan at the 2004 Back From the Grave Halloween Ball at Shimokitazawa Shelter and I think that was the moment when I let the gods know that they could kill me now and everything would be fine and dandy. Glad that didn’t happen because a whole ton of cool shit has happened since then, but when they took the stage, I knew I’d made the right choice in coming to Japan even though I worked for Nova, the shittiest among shitty eikaiwas and each day was a living hell until the weekend. For those who don’t know, Texaco Leather Man are a perfect example of a Japanese mutant punk rock band that takes everything from the Monks, Keiji Haino and thrash metal and twists it all into something wonderfully weird that you’ve never heard before. And singer Mokkos is swinging a sword at you.

This is an old interview from 2003 when they released their LP “Duke.” The translation’s a little shitty in parts but I couldn’t give Fuck #1.

Texaco Leather Man is one of the greats of Tokyo garage punk along with Guitar Wolf, Mad3, 5,6,7,8’s, and Jackie & the Cedrics. Finally, 15 years after their formation, they’re putting out their first full-length. Including new versions of previously recorded songs, it’s a masterpiece that really showcases well their unique style. Texaco Leather Man’s style isn’t just garage rock, but also incorporates elements of psyche, punk, hardcore, metal, and noise, greedily gobbling up genres and spitting them back out into a new, mutant form. Known for their excessively loud and unruly live shows, they’re a band not to be fucked with.

Interview by Taneyuki Shiina

──I don’t think this is an album that fits into the category of”long awaited.”

Mokkos: No, it just happened that way. Basically, recording has never really gone well for us. That’s all. We never felt a great urge to do it.TXCO

──But you always wanted to put out a full-length, right?

Mokkos: I guess we thought about it maybe every five years or so.

Osama: We recorded stuff before but partway through, things would always fall apart. At the end of the day, we were never that serious about putting something out. It’s on principle, kinda. Continue reading