Much of the music from the 1980s holds a unique (read: somewhat forgettable) place in the hearts of music lovers. For many artists, it was the era of cheesy synths and bad haircuts sandwiched between their classic years and their adult-contemporary phase. For others however, the ‘80s era remains the career-defining apex of their creative and stylistic power. Hip-hop was the new, cool kid in town, new wave had everyone rocking the asymmetrical, bangs-in-face look, goth clubs were the place to be, and hair metal, in all of its torn-jeans, highly-flammable hair-do, guitar-shredding glory, had created a wave of glam-tasticness that stretched around the world.
While Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Ratt and W.A.S.P. were laying the foundation for a full-blown hair-metal takeover of the U.S. charts, some rockers across the ocean were putting together Loudness; the first Japan-based glam-metal band. Formed in 1981, Loudness went against the local musical grain, ignored marketing nay-sayers and put Japan on the map as a metal-loving, hair-teasing, Flying V-appreciating country.
The brainchild of guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi, Loudness has seen numerous lineup changes over the decades, bounced back and forth between Japanese and English-speaking vocalists, become an international sensation, taken a back seat to grunge and alternative music and risen again as a genre-expanding musical force with a die-hard love of heavy metal.
Known for its prolific studio output (the band has 23 albums to its name), its top-notch live shows and its technical prowess, Loudness was the first Japanese metal band to ink a record deal with an American label; a move that opened the door for countless Japanese metal bands to break into the Western market.
The willingness of the members of Loudness to follow their sound where it wants to go has enabled the band to reinvent and re-inspire itself and its fan-base over and over again. They have dipped into world music territory, explored the realm of psychedelic music and experimented with different metal styles, but they always return to their glam-metal roots in heavy, dramatic and totally shreddable style.
Loudness performs at the Avalon Nightclub on Tuesday, May 10.