Their quirky song lyrics often deal with monsters and the supernatural (especially as influenced by campy "creature feature" and scifi movies), in addition to more conventional themes, such as the visceral thrills of crushes and infatuations. They have stated that all their songs are either "love songs or monster songs."
Fans of Half Japanese include Penn Jillette, who helped the band release some of their albums on his ad hoc 50 Skidillion Watts label, and the late Kurt Cobain, who had them open for Nirvana's 1993 tour. Over time David Fair became less involved, ultimately quitting the band in favor of married life, and Jad brought in more outside musicians who have contributed to an increasingly coherent and organized sound.
The band's history and influence was chronicled in the 1993 fan documentary Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King by Jeff Feuerzeig.
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