Melt Banana have been around for 20+ years doing things their way. Some call it noise rock or noise punk...I say whatever, their music rocks. Out of Tokyo, Japan I probably learned about them about when this album, "Charlie" was released in 1998. When I heard them I was hooked. It takes a few listens to find the method in their madness but it's there.
They're kind of popular in Japan but much more so in the USA and Europe. I saw them 5 or 6 times when I was living in San Francisco (once with Mike Patton sitting in with them at Slim's). Their live shows are among the best I've experienced. Pure energy. In the states most venues I saw them play were kind of like 500 people places I guess. Whatever the Independent in SF holds, as that was the largest place I saw 'em. Big enough to get lost in a sea of people on the floor anyway. Always sold out, always crazy bad ass and I always left happy and satisfied.
Well, when I moved to Japan, my buddy called me up one day and said they were playing in Tokyo. Of course we went and were surprised at fuck we were in this tiny ass club (they call them "live houses"). Like 75 people max. It was incredible to see them in such a small joint.
I've seen them one other time in Tokyo and that was the same deal. Nicer place but still didn't hold a lot of people. They fucking rocked it that evening, and they weren't even the headliners. I was lucky to get to meet them after their gig and chat with them for a bit.
Anyway, I really admire this band because they've been on the road a lot, obviously love what they do, and go from big venues overseas to small places in Japan. No big ego's, just kick ass music and performances. They're the real deal in my book.