Artist Biography by Jeremy A. SchmidtOne of the most enduring hard rock groups to emerge from the Japanese "band boom" of the mid-'80s and early '90s, Blankey Jet City crafted a tight and tough glam-inflected sound. Anchored by the distinctive vocals and songwriting of guitarist Kenichi "Benzie" Asai, the trio of Asai, bassist Toshiyuki Terui, and drummer Tatsuya Nakamura arrived on the Tokyo scene just as an expanding market was forcing the Japanese music industry to dismantle its outdated assembly-line approach. BJC, writing their own material and emphasizing yearly tours, both benefited from and helped foster this move toward a de-professionalized atmosphere. Throughout, Asai -- taking cues from Marc Bolan, Iggy Pop, and Johnny Thunders -- steered the line between punky chattiness and balladry. His jerky stop-time guitar rhythms, emotional directness, and lyrics peppered with references to a fictional postmodern metropolis, dubbed "Blankey Jet City," provided the group with a recognizable style while leaving it room to evolve. En route to amassing a thick catalog and a feverish following, the three-piece bred a bevy of side projects and collaborations before dissolving in the summer of 2000.
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