Tuesday, July 11, 2017

GxFxFx's Demo Cover & Release Show

GxFxFx, or Green Friends Forever, is Jharrod and Daigo's (and Metadon's) kickass grindcore project. They've been playing shows constantly since they debuted at the beginning of Golden Week, which is especially impressive considering that Jharrod is a grind aficionado but had no musical experience prior to this. 

Their thoroughly enjoyable current tracks are about things like slicing and dicing the patriarchy ("The Kabukicho Castrator") and owning a cat that doesn't love you ("Shunned by the Pussy").

You can watch their debut set at Dues Shinjuku in its entirety below, or just listen to the actual demo on bandcamp.


Back in March they asked me to illustrate their demo cover, though both of them had to move around the same time they debuted, so actually mastering and releasing the demo itself was delayed.
They liked the anti-Trump protest sign I took to the Womens' March and the style of the dark swampy mermaid illustration I did for Alexandra on one of the oversized Frida Kahlo exhibition postcards we'd picked up at the Heard Museum, and asked me to do something in a similar vein. 

It's goregrind, though, so, you know, it needed to be something violent and bloody and kind of gross. They were thinking Trump being killed by vines sounded good, with them going into and coming out of his ears and everything, because that also follows with the greenery theme. Originally the "G" was going to stand for "Gaia", so it's all about anti-capitalist environmental vengeance. And weed. Definitely also weed.

This is what I came up with.



It wasn't enough, though, and when the end of May had rolled around I was finally out of time, the demo release show was only a week away, and I sat down to expand the background of this too-small illustration. I had wanted to add anguished claw-like hands from the beginning, and I needed a lot more space for green things.





Obviously there needed to be an indica leaf at the center 
of the swirling black galactic death spiral



The last steps were to continue the pinstripe suit on the watercolour paper 
(for the first plants, vines, and swirls I used watercolour, but everything else is acrylic) 
and make the chewy galactic center a little more starsy.


And here we are with the finished product! 
I'm happy with it, but more importantly, so is GxFxFx.

The demo release show itself was great, the highlights aside from GxFxFx being Moonstep Naoki's hardcore band The Fangs, the super weird literal-slam-dancing construction worker guy who gave us all cheap oily sata andagi (traditional Japanese doughnut holes) afterward as a peace offering, the fact that Rejon came and had a good time, seeing the demo itself for sale with a pretty high-quality insert designed by Jharrod, and finally, the fact that we were also celebrating Audrey's birthday. 
It had been two days before, really, but since she had been out to have a fancy time at the Park Hyatt with her husband that day, everyone came out on Friday night.





There were some weird, young guys there Hannes and I had never seen before, and they all started doing this weird drunken headbanging group freakout think after the show, so I exchanged understanding looks with Bifrorus, who doesn't speak English and has never exchanged a word with any of us, and snapped this.

Then he took a group selfie where Hannes stuck his coconut head right in the middle 
of everything and Meika looks way more Asian than she actually does for some reason?

Then we went to Alps in central Shinjuku for the afterparty.

Eric even came - he and Jharrod are friends and know each other from university here, though they were also both in the military and enjoy tabletop games and Japanese tattoos. He's not into the music and never comes to shows, and I was sure he had left early on but it turned out he had just gone outside and chatted with Hannes for a while.

Audrey had a really good time; everyone did, actually. It was a perfect night.

Jharrod and Meika brought a cake, with candles and all, and I brought a chrysanthemum I'd put in a bud vase and some macarons. We all sang Happy Birthday again, because Jharrod had everyone do it during the show, except this time we did it all slow and depressing. You can see it all in the video below, haha.