ENZIGURI (BRONX, NY)
Enziguri from the Bronx’s Pelham Bay and Throgs Neck sections got their start in December of 2013. The band consists of Davey on vocals (27), Will on bass (30), Royce on drums (26), Julio on lead guitar (28), and Kevin on rhythm guitar (22). To date they have played about 40 shows with their first show having been on January 10th, 2015 at the Trash Bar in Brooklyn where they played with Point Blank, WWlX, The Welch Boys, and All Torn Up. Their lone release is their 6 song EP which came out in June of this year and really caught my ear. Check ‘em out!
A FEW WORDS WITH ENZIGURI:
IE: Where does the name Enziguri come from? You guys are from the Bronx but when I first heard the name I really thought it might have been a Japanese band!
Davey: The name Enziguri came from the early sessions of jamming; we spoke about making the band name out of a wrestling move and it was ALMOST Haymaker or Sucker Punch. I started thinking about obscure ones, Hurricanerana was an option but it was too long. Enziguri popped into my head and it was phenomenal! It was one word, a wrestling move and me personally… I’m obsessed with Japanese culture and it sounds Japanese so I was all into it. It wasn't until Uzuhi's last show before going back to Japan did I get the confirmation ENZIGURI doesn't mean anything in their language, Gosha (Uzuhi's lead singer) approached me and asked what the hell it meant!
IE: Your bio states that each one of you comes from a different and diverse musical background. How diverse exactly and what are some of the extremes as far as what kind of music each of you was into or playing before joining this band?
Davey: Royce's dad was heavy into the LA punk scene back in the 80’s, so through that Royce showed me and Julio FEAR, Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys when we were young and we all kind of found our own branches of punk and hardcore we liked. I've been in a bunch of melodic hardcore and punk bands since I was 13. I even made a hip hop demo at one point and was part of a rap trio
Kevin: Me and Julio come from backgrounds of playing different subgenres of metal and punk playing in bands and being influenced by other bands in the local scene, to speak for myself I just enjoy what sounds good. It doesn’t matter if it's Madball, Immortal Technique, or Dream Theater.
Will: Although I play bass in Enziguri, I primarily play finger-style guitar. I inherited my first guitar when my grandfather died. It was a 1959 jazz guitar, and I got hooked on fingerpicking and chord melody. Shortly after that I bought my first bass, and played in and out of rock and punk bands since.
Royce: We've all been in so many different types of bands. We have experience playing punk rock, hardcore, metalcore, thrash, death metal, grind, screamo, jazz, classic rock, ska and hip hop. I think all those influences have really been shaping our sound going forward. I personally learned how to play drums while I was in a colonial fife and drum band. When I was growing up my dad fed me a steady diet of 80's/90's punk and hardcore while my uncle loved 80's/90'sthrash and crossover bands. I think the glue that holds us together is definitely our mutual love for DIY punk and hardcore music.
Julio: I'm pretty all over the place in my musical tastes, as I can go from listening to acoustic stuff to insane death metal. Over the years I've been in a few projects including 2 metalcore bands, 2 pop punk bands and a rock'n'roll-type project. I've learned important lessons from being a part of each of those projects, and it helps me understand my role in Enziguri.
PHOTO BY: AGA HAIRESIS
IE: Give us a quick rundown as to what Enziguri is all about both musically, and also with your message… Try to sum up everything your band is about in just a few sentences.
Davey: Musically I think our goal has been bring the fun and excitement to our live shows, make the hardcore and punk rock music that we've never gotten to see or miss from older bands.
Will: Our message is perseverance, unity, struggling for betterment. Sonically, we’re a kick to the back of the head!
Royce: Enziguri is about taking pride in yourself, what you do, where you come from and where you wanna be in the future. Our sound is a little bit old school and a little bit new school. A little bit pretty and a little bit in your face.
IE: As one of the newer bands on the scene you are in that “paying your dues” stage where you have to hustle to get on bills where you usually have to go on early before the crowd really gets going. Most new bands go through this and it’s got to be deflating as a musician at times. How has the ride been so far and how do you combat against a late arriving crowd or one that may be just staring at you guys up on the stage?
Davey: We grind VERY hard playing any show we can wherever we could and to this day are super appreciative of any and all opportunities people give us. When it comes to the late arriving crowd, I usually acknowledge their just joining us and let the rest of the set speak for itself, say our band name again and let ‘em know we're reppin’ the Bronx
Will: You can’t play music if you don’t expect to eat shit sometimes.
Royce: We've opened up a lot of shows playing to the crickets and the tumble weeds, but we've also had some great turnouts and crowd responses for a new band. No one has really given us a hard time or disrespected us and everyone seems to really enjoy our shows. Part of it is luck but we definitely work hard to put out good music and surround ourselves with positive, passionate people. We take every single show we play as a challenge and try to put on the best performance we can no matter who shows up.
IE: Outside of hardcore music and scene related stuff what are some of the other things you guys may do as hobbies, shit to pass the time, or stuff that you just do to occupy your day when you get some free time?
Will: I’m a big reader. My favorites are David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Noam Chomsky, Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck.
Julio: Outside of music, things I enjoy are video games, aimless driving, trying as many types of ice cream as I possibly can and comic books/comic book-related things.
Royce: I dabble in a lot of things but recently I've been playing a ton of nerdy video games like Skyrim and even nerdier trading card games like Magic the Gathering. I also love to read and write fiction in addition to being an avid graffiti writer and weed smoker.
Davey: I like to run, and ride my skateboard. I'm huge into comics, movies and independent clothing lines.
Kevin: I know me and Royce are into watching our New York sports.
IE: You guys are from the Bronx, NY which has always been a rough around the edges place to grow up in. What parts of the Bronx are you all from and how did you all find each other to start this band?
Davey: Just neighborhood stuff really, we're all from the Bronx and generally our neighborhoods all connect but originally we're all from a Bronx neighborhood called Throgs Neck. If you've used the bridge, you probably didn't even realize there's a Bronx town surrounding the highway leading to the foot of it. Julio, Royce and me met through mutual friends when we would all hang out at the Chase Bank parking lot next to the 7-11 on East Tremont Ave where all the freaks, skaters and social outcasts would start congregating after school and on the weekends. The parking lot would be empty so it was prime for anyone using a skateboard.
Royce: Me, Dave and Julio have known each other for over a decade and we've probably been talking about being in a band like Enziguri for just as long. Kev and Will were both perfect strangers to us and we essentially picked them up off the streets. We all grew up in Throgs Neck going to Bronx underground shows and skating around together. The bulk of the band still lives in Throgs Neck, with the exception of Kev living in Co-op City and Dave residing in Pelham Bay.
IE: With all the talk about how safe and sterile NYC has become would you say the same can be said about your home borough these days?
Davey: I would say that pertains more towards all of the gentrified areas and aside from the failed "So-Bro" project, I can safely say the Bronx is still the same. The Rite Aid up the block from me just got held up while deli owners on the surrounding streets have had a string of hold ups and assaults on the clerks. To me the Bronx has always been like a shitty friend; you love them, you know they're doing something shady, know they're not great but there's a sense of comfort in knowing they're there and got your back.
Will: The Bronx stands apart from Brooklyn and Manhattan in that outside money and forces turned those boroughs into rich people playgrounds. The Bronx wants to grow but it wants to do it its own way. On Halloween, a bunch of millionaires, models, and socialites threw a party in the South Bronx. There were prop garbage can fires and prop gun-riddled cars. It’s disgusting. First they tried the cutesy name “So-Bro”. But now they’re trying to rename a part of it to Piano District so they can build luxury high rises. There’s a street mural down there that reads “Coming soon, Bushwick. (If we let it.)”
Royce: The Bronx is a lot cleaner and safer than it used to be but the fact that you're in the boogie down has to be on your mind constantly. Remember, the Bronx is still the poorest congressional district in the country and there are a lot of desperate people around. Things can pop off at any minute, even in the nicer parts of town. There has always been this swagger that someone gets from being in the Bronx for too long and they carry that attitude with them everywhere they go, even in 2015. Long story short; you can only polish a turd so much before it starts to smear again.
CLICK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD/STREAM ENZIGURI'S DEBUT EP
IE: What bands, venues or people have been the most helpful in getting you get this band off the ground?
Davey: The most helpful people have gotta be: Lyz Red from Candy Apple Red Productions. Macky from Alfie's Place. Justin John Lebowitz from Edge of Earth Media & DoomToys.com. Vin Envy who recorded our first EP. Matty D from Mint State for helping out make our logo/designs and show flyers. Stick Em Up Inc for all our stickers. The Jukebox Romantics, Hopeless Otis, Left in the Attic, and Two Fisted Law have all had a huge hand in helping us.
Royce: Candy Apple Red Productions has hooked us up with so many great shows at the Trash Bar, Grand Victory and even put us on Punk Island this year. Our headquarters in the Bronx, Alfie's Place, has become a haven for punks in our hood and the guys running it have shown us endless support. Some bands that have shown us an incredible amount of love include Jukebox Romatics, Hopeless Otis, Left in the Attic and Two Fisted Law. (Editors Note: the band listed like 500 other people here so don’t get pissed if you don’t see your name listed).
IE: What does the rest of this year and early 2016 hold for you guys? What are your plans?
Davey: We have a new video we'll be releasing within the next couple of weeks and will pretty much mark the end of this year for us. The rest of this year will be focused mainly on writing and gearing up to record our full length. Honestly, 2016, we want it all. The house shows, the main stages, touring, benefit shows, anything we can do to keep these good times rolling.
Kevin: At the end of 2014 we said 2015 is gonna be a great year for us and it was. We played about 40 shows, released an EP and even got to share the stage with great bands we all love at Punk Island. Right now we're midway through writing songs for the full length album.