Born in a grungy outdoor seafood restaurant fishtank in an alley in Seoul, Octopoulpe is an experimental mathcore/hardcore outfit, a one-man-in-his-underwear-show, and a spectacle essentially bordering on magical for us idiots below the API (that is, those who haven't learned how to tell computers what to do), and guess the fuck what? He's going to be in North America for his first tour there - having previously played in Korea, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia - in a couple of days.
The programming elements of an Octopoulpe show are reason enough to see it, even if really loud screamy music played by a very funny French guy is, for whatever weird reason, not your thing. JP is there live on the drums, yes, but he also does vocals, guitar, bass, standing on a cat, and so on. The video projection of him being the rest of the bands and his other friends making guest appearances is cued by his hitting certain points on his kit. At one point you can even select a guitar player for him the same way, and the character selection screen is professional as fuck. It looks like an actual video game.
Here, refer to this videos of Octopoulpe shows in Tokyo in 2017 if you're having a hard time picturing this:
You might remember JP/Octopoulpe from such blog posts as this one, all about January 2017 in Tokyo. That was the second time we saw him play there; the first was in 2015 at Antiknock. We also saw him last summer at Moonstep, and obviously I haven't posted that yet because I'm terrible at keeping up with this and always have been.
Here's a nice live video playlist for you to check out on YouTube, in case you're already jonesin' like really hard for some more of this shit like 20 seconds later.
Also go to his Bandcamp page and buy a CD!
But okay, so, why "American Gothic"? Well, I contacted JP at the beginning of the year while I was sitting around stuck in our apartment, freezing my ass off, and hoping I wouldn't get deported because German bureaucracy is so godawfully slow and inefficient, and told him I'd love to do a T-shirt design for him. He told me about this U.S. tour, starting in September, and after Hannes and I had finally gotten married and the summer kicked off and things were looking up, he contacted me again and asked me to do the thing.
He'd just gotten back from touring around Southeast Asia and was about to head to China. Awesomely, that was the first time he was invited to play and comped for his expenses!
Things leading up to our trip to Prague and Obscene Extreme Fest, our big wedding reception party, and two weeks of nonstop fun-making with my mom and three friends visiting from abroad followed immediately by another camping trip and music festival were, needless to say, hectic.
Once again I'm hopelessly behind on this blog, and the day before my first friend flew in, I finally sat down to finish the U.S. Tour design I'd promised JP to have done by the end of July. As Rejon put it when I told her I was sat there for ten straight hours doing it because Under Extreme Pressure™ is the only way I can finish anything: "Ah yes, the former-gifted-student way".
Since it was the U.S. tour, I'd gotten the idea to stick JP in American Gothic.
Here are the progress pics.
Now, I realised somewhere hopelessly late in the game that there was way too much dense, fine linework and stippling here for this to be printable on a T-shirt, but JP initially said it was no problem. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't. But the American printing company he uses got back to him about needing to simplify it a bit late, and he was in China and couldn't check his messages, and well, it was simply too late to make shirts by then. :(
However, simplifying this design is high on my To-Do List, and I hope there will be shirts in the future, because he does like it. For now I think it'll just be stickers and the graphic at the top of this post. So, enjoy, support this guy, and stay tuned!