NewsSeptember 3, 2023 5:46 PM ET2,963 views

G.I.S.M vocalist Sakevi Yokoyama has passed away


Sakevi Yokoyama, the legendary vocalist of the Japanese hardcore punk and metal band G.I.S.M., has passed away. Beast Arts International, his company known for distributing art, merchandise, and records, confirmed his peaceful passing on August 24, with the announcement made today, September 2.

In 1981, Shigehisa "Sakevi" Yokoyama co-founded G.I.S.M. in Tokyo alongside the late guitarist Randy Uchida, bassist Kannon "Cloudy" Masuo, and drummer Tohru "Monamour" Hiroshima

The acronym G.I.S.M. remained unchanged throughout the band's history, representing various names, including God in the Schizoid Mind, Guerrilla Incendiary Sabotage Mutineer, General Imperialism Social Murder, Gnostic Idiosyncrasy Sonic Militant, and Guy Individual Social Mean.

Their inaugural album, Detestation, released in 1983, presented a band positioned between the realms of hardcore punk and metal. Sakevi's powerful guttural vocals played a pivotal role in shaping both the band's identity and the album's distinctive sound. Recorded at the multifunctional venue and recording studio known as Our House, the album was produced by the band themselves, with engineering assistance from Konishi Koji, who had previously collaborated with Aburadako, the Comes, and other artists. Detestation stood as one of the earliest Japanese hardcore albums to see the light of day. It would later gain a cult following within American punk communities after receiving coverage in publications like Maximum Rocknroll and Thrasher, with influential acts such as Poison Idea and Integrity endorsing the band.

In the subsequent year, G.I.S.M. contributed to the International P.E.A.C.E. Benefit Compilation, which was later renamed P.E.A.C.E./War in 1997. This iconic record brought together 55 hardcore bands from around the world, including notable names like Dead Kennedys, Crass, Subhumans, Butthole Surfers, D.R.I., Conflict, Execute, Mob 47, and others. The compilation aimed to promote anarcho and left-leaning messages of peace, with all proceeds dedicated to anti-nuclear organizations. Maximum Rocknroll also contributed a 72-page insert covering topics such as political demonstrations, imperialism, radiation, and more. The release of this compilation in 1984 marked G.I.S.M. as one of the pioneering Japanese punk bands to gain widespread distribution in the United States.

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