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Metal Crimes

Japanese Death Metal Drummer Arrested for Marijuana, Now Prevented From Booking Shows

In recent months of the music industry, there has been a large amount of allegations of serious sexual acts ranging back to the Polish death metal act Decapitated all the way to more mainstream metal band members of Brand New, Marilyn Manson, Pierce the Veil, etc. On the other hand, the war on drugs continues internationally with the somewhat recent arrest of drummer Umebo (Shigeki Nakazato). In 2016, Japanese metalcore act Her Name in Blood booted Umebo after his marijuana possession arrest.

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Since the arrest, the Japanese death metal band World End Man, consisting of vocalist Kiyo No-kon Nishihara, guitarist Kosuke Hashida, and bassist Yoichi Kohara, scooped up the drummer, yet have been facing a backlash since. Nishihara came to us with some very upfront words to say about the criticism and struggle they've been receiving regarding their newly acquired drummer's drug arrest.

"It’s true that Umebo committed a crime and, as a result, caused trouble to many people around him. Man, did I laugh when I found out he got arrested on the news. Anyway, I’m not planning to hold a press conference and have him officially apologize to the public for what he’d done, which some of you may think is a wrong decision. But look, he ain’t no murderer nor an idol on TV commercials. He’s just a badly behaved death metal musician who might have stepped just a bit across the red line. And for that, he’d been socially punished and brought to justice. So, if you still want him to receive punishment, I say you do that personally. If you want to hate him, hate him. If you want to follow him, you follow him. If you think a band including a drummer with a criminal record is shit, then call us shit. I don’t give a shit about people with that kind of overly fastidious attitude towards society. We’re a death metal band competing for brutality. Don’t you forget that."

Nishihara went on to explain that the most difficult struggles has been booking shows stating that concert organizers and bands have been keeping their distance from the group in reaction to the arrest and therefore making it beyond difficult to set up shows or tours. In a time where artists in the US are being arrested and accused of rape and sexual harassment, marijuana possession seems minuscule in comparison, but laws and taboos certainly differ in Japan. Personally, I think these are some extremely talented musicians and I hope that with the right support, their reputation can be rebuilt internationally instead of continuously shunned by Japan's strict drug policies. Check their music video for "King Dissection" below and click here for more of their releases.

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