Nihilist Spasm Band
beginning Japanese tour

A Japanese record label will release
a live recording of the three concerts.

By Ian Gillespie 
Free Press Arts & Entertainment Reporter

A veteran London band, notorious for aggravating audiences with its chaotic brand of improvised noise, is heading to Japan today to launch the re-release of four of its albums.

Starting tomorrow, the Nihilist Spasm Band will perform in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. The 11-day tour has been organized by Alchemy Records, a Japanese record label that plans to release a live recording of the three concerts later this year.

"Our music is an exploration of chaos," said band member John Boyle, an acclaimed visual artist based in Owen Sound. "At the moment, there's very little interest in Canada in having us play. But Japan has taken great interest in us."

In addition to Boyle, the Nihilist Spasm Band features visual artist Murray Favro (who will not accompany the band to Japan because he's working on two exhibits of his work), physician John Clement, teacher William Exley, retired librarian Hugh McIntyre and London Free Press technician Art Pratten.

Formed in 1965 and widely regarded as a pioneer in the "noise band" movement, the Nihilist Spasm Band relies largely on electric guitars, home-made instruments and kazoos to produce loud, atonal and often accidental sounds. The late Greg Curnoe was a driving force behind the band.

"We do it entirely for ourselves," said Boyle. He recalls a concert at Hamilton in the early '70s where "it didn't actually degenerate into fistfights, but it looked like it could have.''

Copyright 1995 The Blackburn Group Inc