Glim Spanky

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Glim Spanky
OriginNagano Prefecture, Japan
Years active2007–present
MembersRemi Matsuo
Hiroki Kamemoto
Past membersKazuya Ozawa
Taku Mishima

Glim Spanky (Japanese: グリムスパンキー, Hepburn: Gurimu Supankī, stylized as GLIM SPANKY) is a Japanese rock band from Nagano Prefecture, consisting of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Remi Matsuo and lead guitarist Hiroki Kamemoto. Originally formed in 2007 as a quartet, the group became a duo in February 2010.

Their name comes from Matsuo's interest in Celtic culture and fantasy literature; she read a book describing a goblin's "glim" and added "spank" to describe their aggressive drive towards the music industry.[4][5] Their retro sound reminiscent of 1960s and 1970s rock bands has received praise from musicians such as Keisuke Kuwata, Motoharu Sano and Maki Nomiya.[6][7]


Early years and debut (2007–2015)[edit]

Glim Spanky was formed by Remi Matsuo during her sophomore year to perform covers at Nagano Prefecture Matsukawa High School's 2007 cultural festival.[5] The guitarist and bassist quit after several months, and Matsuo recruited two upperclassmen in their place, including Hiroki Kamemoto.[5] Matsuo then began writing her own material and started focusing on the band full time. Glim Spanky won the Rock Bancho held by Sony Music in December 2008 and were finalists at the 2009 teenage artists-only festival Senko Riot held by Sony, Tokyo FM and au.[7]

By 2009, Kamemoto was enrolled in Nagoya University,[5] but traveled back to Nagano once a week for band activities.[8] When their bassist and drummer quit in February 2010, Matsuo decided to enroll in Nihon University's art department and Kamemoto transferred to the closer Saitama University so they could continue the band in Tokyo.[5] They resumed activities with support musicians in April 2010. Glim Spanky had their first release in December 2013 when Space Shower Music released the mini-album Music Freak nationwide.[9] They went on their Freak on the Hill tour in March 2014.

In June 2014 the band released their second mini-album and their major label debut, Shōsō, via EMI R (now known as Virgin Records).[11] It includes covers of "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele and "Hikōkigumo" by Yumi Arai.[12] They supported it with the Hello Freaks Tour, which ended with the group's first one-man live.[13] After Matsuo provided vocals to a cover of Janis Joplin's "Move Over" for a Suzuki commercial, Glim Spanky recorded their own version and released it as a 7-inch vinyl record limited to 300 copies on November 28.[14][15] That year, Matsuo contributed guest vocals to the song "Nightfever" by Analogfish.[16]

Glim Spanky's first official single, "Homero yo", was released in February 2015 and was used as the theme song of the TV show Taiko Mochi no Tatsujin ~Tadashii no Home-kata~.[17] The band released another limited vinyl single for their song "Otona ni Nattara" on May 27, which was used as the theme song of the film Children of Iron.[18][19] Their second official single, July 1's "Real Onigokko", was written as the theme song for the movie of the same name.[20] The duo performed at the year's Fuji Rock Festival on the Red Marquee stage.[21] Their first full-length album Sunrise Journey was released in July and they performed a one-man concert at Akasaka Blitz in October.[22] "Wonder Alone" was the ending theme of the Himitsu Kessha Taka no Tsume DO anime. Matsuo and Kamemoto also voiced characters based on themselves for the show.[23] Glim Spanky were one of the recipients of that year's Miura Jun Award and were nominated for Next Break Artist at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[24][25]

Bizarre Carnival and Looking for the Magic (2016–present)[edit]

After their third mini-album Wild Side wo Ike in January 2016,[26] Glim Spanky contributed a cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" for Hello Goodbye, a tribute album to The Beatles.[27] Their second album Next One followed on July 20 and its tour began in September.[28] "Ikari o Kure yo" was used as the theme song for One Piece Film: Gold,[29] "Hanashi o Shiyō" is the second ending theme of Kyōkai no Rinne,[30] while "Yami ni me o Koraseba" is the theme song of the film Shōjo.[27] I Stand Alone, their fourth mini-album, was released on April 12, 2017.[31] Their third album Bizarre Carnival was released on September 13, 2017, and the band embarked on its tour in October. They played their first overseas concert in Shanghai on December 16 and another in Taiwan on January 20, 2018.[32][33] Bizarre Carnival was nominated for the 2018 CD Shop Awards.[34]

The duo's third official single, "Orokamono-tachi", was released on January 31 and is the theme song of the Funōhan live-action film adaptation.[35] It includes a cover of Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move".[36] They also wrote the song "The Flowers" for the Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings film 2018 Hanabanasai Wild Flowers ~Hana o Aisuru Hitobito.[37] In a collaboration for the project, the band performed a concert on top of a building in Shinjuku on February 25 which was broadcast live.[38] "The Flowers" is included as a b-side on their fourth single "All of Us", released on May 9.[39] If ordered on certain websites, the single includes their cover of The Brilliant Green's "There Will Be Love There (Ai no Aru Basho)" from the February 17, 2018 episode of the BS-TBS TV show Sound Inn "S".[40] Glim Spanky performed at the Nippon Budokan for the first time on May 12.[41] They also performed at Makuhari Messe on June 23 as part of Luna Sea's Lunatic Fest. 2018, where they were joined onstage by Sugizo for "Orokamono-tachi", and on June 30 as part of SiM's Dead Pop Festival 2018.[42][43] The band returned to Fuji Rock Festival on July 27, this time playing the main stage, and played the Rock in Japan Festival on August 12.[44][45]

Glim Spanky were nominated for Best Japan Act at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards.[46] They released their fourth album Looking for the Magic on November 21 and will begin its national tour in March 2019 and continue it into June.[47] The song "TV Show" was recorded in Los Angeles and features Jack White support members Jack Lawrence and Carla Azar on bass and drums respectively.[48]

Music and influences[edit]

Glim Spanky's music is largely influenced by Western rock and blues bands from the 1960s and 1970s. Matsuo's husky vocals have been likened to those of Janis Joplin.[7][49] She is the principal songwriter of the band's lyrics and music, but when she only has a guitar riff, chord progression or drum phrase before working with Kamemoto to turn it into a song, then both get credited for the music as Glim Spanky.[50] Matsuo cited The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Joni Mitchell as influences.[7] She grew up in an artistic family and was exposed to a wide range of music and cultures by meeting musicians and poets. In addition to the ubiquitous Western bands, she also heard French music, African rock, Shibuya-kei and folk.[51] Kamemoto started playing guitar because of Glay, then moved on to Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, Oasis, Jimi Hendrix and Cream.[51] The duo are also fans of Japanese bands such as Bump of Chicken, Asian Kung-Fu Generation and Ellegarden which they grew up listening to.[7] Both members cited The Beatles as their biggest influence.[8]

Talking about their second album Next One in 2016, Matsuo said that its "absurd" to try and put Japanese lyrics in Western-style rock music. "But even so, you have to, so although Japanese lyrics are included on top of the melody, if you were to remove them you would have a completely Western-style melody, so we made the album that that in mind."[27] In regards to what the band wanted to do next, she said that because rock music is imported from the West, she pondered what type of rock people in the West can not make, and came up with "orientalness." Western artists became influenced by Indian music and created psychedelic rock, but "Luckily for us, we already have that orientalness the moment we are born. We can put out there something people in the West cannot, so we are establishing ourselves a Japanese kind of rock that will echo throughout the world[...] A genuine oriental psychedelic rock band."[27]

Speaking of their 2017 album Bizarre Carnival, the singer described their first and second albums as "business cards to introduce ourselves. Up until now, we've held off on the kind of maniacal rock music we really like."[52] 2018's Looking for the Magic begins with distorted vocals as Matsuo wanted the listener to be unable to tell where the singer was from in order "to create a utopia-like song that gradually enthralls listeners." The band found recording in Los Angeles quite different than in Japan, where its done in completely soundproof rooms with expensive cables. For "TV Show" they purposely left the white noise in to give it a raw feel. Matsuo referred to the song as a wake up call against people believing fake news on the internet; "Now that's scary. I wanted to say [in this song] that people should think for themselves about what is true, without just being fed information." She further stated "I've always included hope into even my most judgmental songs, because I believe rock music is about hope."[53]


Former members
  • Kazuya Ozawa (尾澤和也)bass (2007–2010)
  • Taku Mishima (三島拓)drums (2007–2010)


Year Album details Oricon[54] Billboard Japan
Top Albums
2015 Sunrise Journey 39 31[55]
2016 Next One
  • Released: July 20, 2016
  • Label: Virgin Records / Universal Music Japan
9 8[56]
2017 Bizarre Carnival
  • Released: September 13, 2017
  • Label: Virgin Records / Universal Music Japan
7 5[57]
2018 Looking for the Magic
  • Released: November 21, 2018
  • Label: Virgin Records / Universal Music Japan
10 9[58]
Year Mini-album details Oricon[54] Billboard Japan
Top Albums
2013 Music Freak
2014 Shōsō (焦燥)
  • Released: June 11, 2014
  • Label: Virgin Records / Universal Music Japan
2016 Wild Side wo Ike (ワイルド・サイドを行け)
  • Released:January 27, 2016
  • Label: Virgin Records / Universal Music Japan
31 26[59]
2017 I Stand Alone
  • Released: April 12, 2017
  • Label: Virgin Records / Universal Music Japan
10 9[60]
Year Title Oricon[61] Billboard Japan
Hot 100
2015 "Homero yo" (褒めろよ)
  • Released: February 18, 2015
83 20[62]
"Real Onigokko" (リアル鬼ごっこ)
  • Released: July 1, 2015
145 84[63]
2018 "Orokamono-tachi" (愚か者たち)
  • Released: January 31, 2018
31 25[64]
"All of Us"
  • Released: May 9, 2018
22 50[65]
Other releases
Year Release details
2014 "Shōsō" (焦燥) / "Move Over"
  • Released: November 28, 2014
  • Notes: 7-inch vinyl
"Move Over"
  • Released: December 6, 2014
  • Notes: Digital
2015 "Otona ni Nattara" (大人になったら)
  • Released: April 22, 2015
  • Notes: Digital
"Otona ni Nattara" (大人になったら) / "Homero yo" (褒めろよ)
  • Released: May 27, 2015
  • Notes: 7-inch vinyl
2016 "Hanashi o Shiyō" (話をしよう) / "Jidai no Hero" (時代のヒーロー)
  • Released: May 13, 2016
  • Notes: Digital
2018 "Heart ga Sameru Mae ni" (ハートが冷める前に)
  • Released: August 1, 2018
  • Notes: Digital
Compilation appearances
Year Song Album
2009 "Shōsō" (焦燥) Senko Riot 2009 (閃光ライオット2009)
  • Released: December 2, 2009
2016 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Hello Goodbye
  • Released: June 29, 2016
2017 "Beatniks" (ビート二クス) "Beatniks" (ビート二クス) / "Killing Me Softly"
  • Released: November 8, 2017
  • Notes: Split 7-inch vinyl coupled with a song by KenKen


Year Award Category Nomination Result
2015 CD Shop Awards Kōshin'etsu Block Award[66] Shōsō Won
2015 MTV Video Music Awards Japan Next Break Artist[25] Glim Spanky Nominated
Miura Jun Awards Miura Jun Award[24] Glim Spanky Won
2017 Space Shower Music Awards Breakthrough Artist[67] Glim Spanky Nominated
2018 CD Shop Awards Grand Prize[68] Bizarre Carnival Nominated
2018 MTV Europe Music Awards Best Japan Act[46] Glim Spanky Nominated
2019 CD Shop Awards Grand Prize[69] Looking for the Magic Pending


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External links[edit]