Loudness drummer R.I.P.

2 Dec

Do you know the Japanese heavy metal band “Loudness“?

loudness

They were the first Japanese heavy metal band to become popular in America (followed by Japanese bands like EZO). For their U.S. label, they released about five albums in English (including one (“Soldier Of Fortune“) with an American singer named Mike Vescera (because the original singer was fired in the late 1980s…then rehired)…but in Japan, they’ve released many Japanese albums.

I saw Loudness in concert in America around 1987 for their “Hurricane Eyes” tour. (And I also saw the the lead vocalist, 二井原実 (Minoru NIIHARA) singing for the band Ded Chaplin at a concert in Tokyo). Loudness hasn’t been popular in America since the late 1980s (and probably most Americans don’t even know the band…unless they were a heavy metal fan in the ’80s).

But Loudness has released many albums in Japan and have put on concert tours here (in Japan)…until as recently as last October.

Recently, tragedy has struck Loudness. Last April, the drummer of the band, 樋口宗孝 (Munetaka HIGUCHI ), was diagnosed with liver cancer.

Well, he died last Sunday morning (November 30, 2008) about one month before his 50th birthday.

樋口宗孝 (Munetaka HIGUCHI ), R.I.P.,  December 24, 1958 – November 30, 2008.

(BTW, another great rock drummer died of cancer in his forties around this time seventeen years ago: Eric Carr, drummer of the American rock band KISS from 1980 -1991, died of heart cancer on November 24, 1991 at the age of 41).

  • Loudness Official website (in 日本語 (Japanese) only): Click here.
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18 Responses to “Loudness drummer R.I.P.”

  1. Sir Pent December 2, 2008 at 3:16 am #

    50 is too young to die…41 is worse.

    I remember vividly the day Eric Carr died. I was in college, sitting in my dorm room having an argument on the phone with my girlfriend. Everyone knew I was a KISS fan and I hear a stampede running up the stairs. 3 or 4 friends came charging into my room, “Eric Carr is dead!”
    The fact that I ended the phone argument only served to irritate my girlfriend more. I rushed downstairs and watched TV until MTV finally mentioned his passing.
    MTV of course presented it as a footnote to the passing of Freddie Mercury.

  2. tokyo5 December 2, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    Sir Pent…

    I was in Japan when Eric Carr passed. But I also had friends who knew I was a KISS fan tell me that he had died.

    And, I forgot to mention it in this post, but..as you said, Freddie Mercury (lead singer of the band Queen) died of AIDS the same day Eric Carr died of cancer.

  3. Eric.carr December 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    Paul.gene.ace.peter.his.band.mate

  4. tokyo5 December 11, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    Eric.carr…

    Are you an Eric Carr fan?

    >Paul.gene.ace.peter.his.band.mate

    Actually, Peter Criss was never Eric Carr’s “band mate”, because Eric Carr replaced Peter Criss on drums in the band KISS when Peter quit in 1980.
    And Ace Frehley wasn’t his band for very long because Ace quit KISS shortly after Peter did.

    Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are the only original members of KISS who have never left the band.

    Anyways, thanks for visiting my site.

  5. Sir Pent December 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Hey T5…we just posted our latest song BLOCK PARTY:

    http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/959006

    And I’m not sure what Eric.Carr means to be saying with his post paul.gene.ace.peter.his.band.mate.
    Very cryptic…

  6. tokyo5 December 13, 2008 at 12:26 am #

    Sir Pent…

    Thanks. I’ll check out that song.
    Is it possible to download your songs…or just play them online only?

    And hopefully if Eric.Carrさん visits my site again, he’ll leave a less mysterious comment next time!

  7. Sir Pent December 14, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    All the songs should be able to download. Up at the top of the player you should see the word download. Click that and get all of them.

    And yeah, I’m curious what that guy meant. I also have a special place in my heart for Eric Carr. I had the VHS of the live Animalize concert. I must’ve watched that thing 300 times.

  8. tokyo5 December 14, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    Sir Pent…

    >All the songs should be able to download.

    Alright. I’ll try.

    >I also have a special place in my heart for Eric Carr.

    Do you have the Eric Carr “Rockheads” album?

  9. Sir Pent December 14, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Of course I have the Rockheads album!

    Do you have Rockology?
    The few completed songs on his Rockology album I think are pretty good. (Just as good as most of the stuff that KISS was recording at the time in the late 80s, IMO.)
    Eyes Of Love
    Somebody’s Waiting
    Tiara
    Can You Feel It

  10. tokyo5 December 14, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    >Do you have Rockology?

    No. As for KISS members’ solo albums…all I have is:
    – The 1978 “KISS solo albums” (of course),
    – Eric Carr “Rockheads“,
    – Peter Criss “The Cat #1” (I bought it simply because of the album cover ;) ),
    – Ace Frehley “Greatest Hits Live“,
    – Gene Simmons “A**hole“,
    – Paul Stanley “Live To Win“,
    – ESP (Bruce Kulick & Eric Singer) (first album)
    – ESP (Bruce Kulick & Eric Singer) “Lost And Spaced“,
    and
    – ESP (Bruce Kulick & Eric Singer) “来日記念 Live In Japan“.

    No Vinnie Vincent or Mark St. John (although I like Vinnie’s “KISS songs”).

  11. Sir Pent December 15, 2008 at 2:52 am #

    Rockology has about 12 songs on it…but only 4 or 5 of them are truly finished songs. A few of them are barely demos. But as I said, the 4 or 5 finished songs are just as good as most of the songs on Hot In The Shade.
    Gee…I wonder why none of them ended up on the album?

    Cat #1 is not that great of an album but there are definitely moments where, if they had brought in a top notch producer/songwriting collaborator, they could’ve probably been great.

    Did you pick up any of the Union albums? The first one is a must have, I think. Just an unbelievable hard rock album. The second one…meh. Bruce sings an ode to Eric Carr that is just painful to listen to. (Poorly written, poorly sung, poorly everything.)

  12. tokyo5 December 15, 2008 at 11:07 pm #

    Yeah, I don’t listen to “The Cat #1” album.
    As you said, it has a few kinda good songs on it.

    I never bought any of Union‘s albums. But, from your recommendation, I’ll probably get their first album now.

    Have you ever watched either of Gene Simmons’ reality TV shows?
    A friend gave me season one of his School Of Rock show. It was alright…but Ozzy Osbourne’s show was better ;)

  13. Sir Pent December 16, 2008 at 3:51 am #

    Oh yeah…pick up the first Union album. Totally worth it.

    I find it hard to believe you don’t have the first Vinnie Vincent Invasion album. If you’re a fan of KISS and 80’s heavy metal, it will not disappoint. The second one is OK, but I think by that point Vinnie was beyond full of himself and most of the lyrics are cheesy.

    Obviously you’re not the compulsive completist that I am, so I will not recommend either of Mark St. John’s solo albums or the White Tiger album. They all show that he is talented as a guitarist, but a real amateur as a songwriter.

    Bruce Kulick has 2 solo albums out which demonstrate that he CAN write good songs and play guitar with the best in the world…but unfortunately he chooses to sing on them, which is just…not…good.

    I have all the ESP albums minus the live one…which I should be getting for Christmas.

    – – – – – – –

    Gene Simmons Reality shows:
    You’ve let me know in the past that you are not a fan of the Family Jewels show. I liked it the first season, but as the show has progressed it’s become preposterously scripted and poorly acted. (Shannon Tweed used to get paid to act?)
    > Gene takes nephews to the zoo and one gets lost! Wacky!
    > Gene buys Shannon a ski-cabin…but during their first weekend the old renters show up and they all get snowed in together! Wackier!!
    > Gene visits Carrot Top and accidentally super-glues a vibrator to his hand…which NO doctor in all of Las Vegas can remove! So he has to go to a wedding…with the vibrator stuck to his hand! Wackiest!!!

    I did watch that first season of School Of Rock. It was alright…but I didn’t really see the point of it.

  14. tokyo5 December 16, 2008 at 10:42 pm #

    Sir Pent…

    Re: Union and Vinnie Vincent…

    Alright. You talked me into it! ;)
    I’m gonna get both!

    Re: Mark St. John /White Tiger…

    I heard that they weren’t good. So I never bought them.

    Re: Bruce Kulick…

    I heard him sing on “Carnival Of Souls. Didn’t enjoy it.
    (I’ve met him and Eric Singer a couple times in Tokyo. They’re both very nice guys. I did an interview with Bruce Kulick here:
    http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~tokyo5/interviews.html#kulick )

    Re: Gene’s Family Jewels

    Sounds very scripted…and goofy.

  15. Ac/Dc boy 96' December 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    I feel very sorry 4 da’ death of Loudness drummer, Munetaka Higuchi.He is 1 hell of a great drummer(although Loudness is not so famous) I think Loudness should do their Reunion concert coz’ i love to hear some of their song like, Crazy Night, Like Hell, Gotta Fight.I was in love when i 1st saw it’s vocalist, Minoru Nihara performing on Live Aid 1985 with it’s costume and make-up and everything about him. Some people say Loudness song is not Original but i think Loudness is Asia’s Greatest Rock Band..

    • tokyo5 December 8, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

      >I think Loudness should do their Reunion concert

      They are still touring with their new drummer Masayuki Suzuki.

      They played at the “Loudpark ’09” heavy metal festival near Tokyo a few weeks ago, in fact.

  16. shetan March 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    : HAHA ! iloike this group , cuws ma exbf lyke loudness babeh !

    • tokyo5 March 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      I almost didn’t understand what you wrote in your comment. But I think i figured it out.

      You mean:
      HAHA ! I like this group, because my ex-boyfriend like(d) Loudness, baby!

      Right?

      Which country do you live in?
      Because Loudness will be touring both Japan and the U.S. beginning this spring for their 30th anniversary.

      (As I wrote above, I saw Loudness in concert in the ’80s in Florida.)

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