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Biography

Camisama / 神さま are a band born out of teenage rebellion, and a deep feeling that the world is damaged and needs to heal. As a teen Elly found parental control and school stifling, and was often found skipping school, preferring to dig thru record stores and hang out in live houses. She developed a wide taste in art and music, which was focused esp. on punk, hip-hop and Japanese pop music. One day while attending a High-Lows concert she was drawn to guy with a purple hair punk, and soon they struck up a conversation and were fast friends. This was Jun Makita, an aspiring artist and fellow music freak. Jun was also a punk rock fan, but also into electronic artists like Underworld and New Order. The two were soon sharing music, going out to punk shows, techno parties and running around together until late at night. Jun meanwhile continued to work diligently on his painting. He developed a distinct style, based partly on an obsession with Japanese motorcycle gangs, known as “bosozoku” and known for their love of speed and loud rebellious style. He also found much inspiration from San Francisco-based painter and graffiti artist Barry McGee. He had a number of exhibitions, and thru his paintings met some people who would make big influences on him, world renown multi-media artist Takashi Murakami and singer/guitarist/producer Keiichi Sokabe of the band Sunny Day Service. Murakami bought one of Jun’s paintings, and also inspired him to follow his own artistic muse and impulses to create something bold and fun. While Murakami was more of a mentor, Keiichi became more of a pal, with whom he could discuss many aspects of music and art. One day while Keiichi, Jun and Elly were hanging out at a noodle shop lamenting that recent music was overwhelmingly boring. Keiichi suggested that Jun and Elly start a band, and while neither played an instrument, they took this as a mission, to create their own kick-ass band. The band politely declined Keiichi’s suggested name, Adam and Eve, and went for Camisama (“god” in Japanese). They liked the sound of the word, but also felt like they were like a god about to create a band where nothing had stood before. Their primitive sound started with just drums and voice, so they started with a Ramones-esque four on the floor rhythm supplied by Elly and vivid, compelling lyrics by Jun, and creating such songs as “Child of Yakuza”, “Mom Dad Crack Head”, “Sex” and “I Am Hitler”. Despite their lack of technical skills the band won over audiences with their unusual songs and high- spirited, unpredictable approach. The band created their first album “Camisama Toujyou”, produced by Keiichi Sokabe, which was released May 18, 2009. They will make their first overseas trip to attend SXSW in March 2010. Meanwhile Jun Makita continues to paint, and has done work for books, CD jackets and his own exhibitions.

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