Artist picture of THE YELLOW MONKEY

THE YELLOW MONKEY

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The Yellow Monkey originally came together as a glam act in the mould of the likes of David Bowie and T.Rex, but over the years they took on influences from genres like hard rock, prog and disco, climbing the ranks of the Japanese music scene to become one of its top bands in the 1990s.

The Yellow Monkey, known as YeMon to their fans, were formed by Yoshii 'Lovin' Kazuya, Hirose 'Heesey' Youichi and Kikuchi 'Annie' Eiji in 1988. They were later joined by Eiji's brother Kikuchi 'Emma' Hideaki to round out the ensemble. They played extensively in underground clubs, building a following and working for three years before releasing their first EP, 'Bunched Birth' (1991). It was enough to get them a deal with Columbia and over the next few years they grew in popularity, releasing their best-selling single 'Love Communication' in 1995.

Problems with Columbia forced a switch to the Funhouse imprint and delayed their fifth album, 'Sicks' (1997), but it proved worth the wait when it hit the top of the Japanese album chart and the track 'Tactics' brought them yet further fame by being picked up for the popular anime series 'Rurouni Kenshin'.

1998 saw the band not only go on a mammoth 113-date Japanese tour but also release their sixth album, 'Punch Drunkard'. Their unrelenting schedule was beginning to take its toll, however, and the band was forced to cut back on its live appearances. They put out a further two albums, but a 2001 hiatus dragged into a confirmed split in 2004.

They pursued separate careers for a time, but in 2016 The Yellow Monkey announced their reformation and went on a 20-arena tour. After various covers and singles, the band put out their first album in nearly two decades, '9999', in April 2019.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved