Shamisen Rock
Jul 6th 2012 Patrick Saad What do you think?

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“The shamisen or samisen (literally “three strings”) is a three-stringed Japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi.” (from Wikipedia)

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What really brought my attention to this instrument is California-based band “God of Shamisen”, which features a master of the Shamisen Kevin Kmetz playing alongside a standard Rock band consisting of guitars / bass / drums. Their style is rooted in Rock / Metal while adding distinctive touches from Japanese Folk music, Funk and even Death Metal (check full bio).

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God Of Shamisen features musicians who have previously played with bands like Odious Mortem, Estradesphere, Secret Chiefs 3 and Decrepit Birth, so there’s definitely a rich Metal background mixed with a tendency to tread Experimental grounds in this band. Here’s the official promo music video for “The Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury Attack” by God of Shamisen:

Other Shamisen musicians playing Rock / Metal are Yoshida Brothers who’re also mixing the best from both Western and Eastern musical influences. They’re not a Rock band per s” but their use of fast “riffing”, percussion and occasional use of Rock instruments definitely makes them “Rock-approved”. Here’s a live clip of the band:

Here’s a video of Yoshida Brother’s “The National Anthem” (Radiohead cover)

Finally here’s a couple more videos:

  • Links

God Of Shamisen’s Official Website

Yoshida Brothers’s Official Facebook

Shamisen Information on Wikipedia

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