Ezo (band)

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Also known as Flatbacker
Origin Sapporo, Japan
Genres Heavy metal,[1] glam metal[2]
Years active 1982–1990
Labels Victor, Geffen Records
Associated acts Loudness
Past members Masaki Yamada
Taro Takahashi
Shoyo Iida
Hirotsugu Homma

Ezo (イーズィーオー, Iiziiō) was a Japanese heavy metal band originally formed as Flatbacker in the spring of 1982 in Sapporo, Japan[3] out of the remnants of two high school bands, Power-Station and Scrap. Ezo has been named a "seminal influence by such artists as Steve McDonald of Redd Kross and Michael Steele of The Bangles."[2]


Ezo consisted of Masaki Yamada (vocals), Taro Takahashi (bass), Shoyo Iida (guitar) and Hiro Homma (drums).[1] They released one demo cassette (Minagoroshi) in 1984 and two albums (1985's Senzo and 1986's Esa) in Japan as Flatbacker in the mid-1980s before coming to the U.S.[3] Rumor has it that Gene Simmons of Kiss, who produced their self-titled U.S. debut album,[2] was behind the band's name change to Ezo,[citation needed] inspired by Ezo, an ancient name for Hokkaidō.[3] They released two albums for Geffen Records, 1987's E-Z-O and 1989's Fire Fire, before being dropped from the label and internal differences led to the band's demise.[3]

Vocalist Masaki Yamada joined fellow Japanese metalheads Loudness in 1992 and drummer Hiro Homma joined Loudness in 1994.[3] In 2000, the original Loudness lineup reunited and Masaki and Hiro left the band.[3] Hiro Homma is currently the drummer for the Japanese metal band Anthem and vocalist Masaki Yamada is now the bass player for the New York-based band FiRESiGN.

A single guitar riff from E-Z-O song "House of 1,000 Pleasures" served as the signature sound of syndicated radio network Z Rock.[citation needed]


  • Minagoroshi (1984) (as 'Flatbacker')
  • Accident (1985) (as 'Flatbacker')
  • Esa (1986) (as 'Flatbacker')
  • EZO (1987) U.S. No. 150[4]
  • Fire Fire (1989)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b AllMusic Ezo Profile Retrieved on Sep 21 2007
  2. ^ a b c Yang, Gan & Hong 1997, p. 264.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Nippop's Ezo Profile Retrieved Sep 21 2007
  4. ^ Charts, AllMusic