God In the Schizoid Mind, Guy in Suicide Mission, Guerilla Incendiary Saborage Mutineer. No is is quite sure what GISM stood for, or if it was true that singer Sakevi Yokoyama stabbed a fan for wearing a bootleg T-shirt. But as "KI-2" (real audio) from their last album SoniCRIME Therapy (2001) can attest, they were Japan's most insane hardcore band, maybe the world's.
It's safe to say that the Japanese underground is notable for many bands who take the essence of a lot of other genres of music from other cultures and boil them down to their purest, molten core, then amplify that basic element times 20. Take Corrupted, Hijokaidan, Boris, Fushitsusha (VH1.com link!) , Boredoms; all very different groups that achieve total extremes of what they are trying to accomplish. And no doubt if Elvis was trucking around today still alive, he would without doubt have the Big One anyway upon witnessing what rock and rollers Guitar Wolf and the King Brothers have achieved with the old 1-4-5..
GISM started in 1984 as a full-on attack that blended the more bizarre elements of punk/hardcore with the likes of Motorhead and Iron Maiden. Singer Sakevi Yokoyama's gobbledygook approach to vocals makes 1st LP-era Meat Puppets sound like Sinatra at times, and the brutality of their multi-faceted sound definitely was somewhat of an inspiration to today's freaks like Discordance Axis, Converge, and Pig Destroyer. If that wasn't enough, Yokoyama's antics were legendary: clad in bullets he was famed for throwing rocks, attacking fans while footage of Vietnam rolled behind the band, chasing them around venues with flamethrowers. He was also the main brain behind the band's visual presentation, being a master of collage, t-shirt designing etc. (no wonder he got so upset at the bootlegger.) Antics like these should even encourage some Norwegian Black Metalheads to hang it up and play in Tropicana resort poolside bands in Waikiki.
Not much can be found about them online, except for a few sparse fan sites like this one and this one. While their first two records Detestation and M.A.N. (Military Affairs Neurotic) were nuts in their own right, it was SoniCRIME Therapy (which didn't happen until 2001) that was their most insane; it's a study in all of the most violent aspects of every aggro band across the map from the Germs to Venom to Void and a concise capsule of how it all relates to GISM's fucked world. I have no idea what happened in the years away, but if the Real Audio clip above is any indication, it sounds like Yokoyama went off to live with Magma, learned Kobaian language and finetuned a way to spew it all at 200 MPH with total grace and flair (listen to how he rolls those "R"s!). Guitarist Randy Uchida died in 2002, and Yokoyama poked his head up last year with a quick 7" commenting on the War on Terror (though somehow one might think he was doing it to complain that he was being left out being identified as part of the source of said Terror). The single was called, appropriately enough, "The War".