Since 1999, Huntsville, Alabama’s Daikaiju has wielded one of the Southeast’s most distinctly energetic blends of metal. Trickling out four singles since the 2010 LP Phase 2, the instrumental quartet presents an affirming union between sharp, angular post-hardcore pummel and joyously reverberating surf-rock riffage. Connections between such styles are far from uncommon, but rarely does one hand shake the other so seamlessly as with Daikaiju, where surf’s sleek guitar lines purposefully enhance the band’s imposing ferocity, lending both levity and menacing agility.
But the music isn’t the first thing that typically gets mentioned when it comes to Daikaiju. That would the group’s literally fiery live show, which it puts on more than 200 times a year, per a provided biography. The band, which conceals its members’ identity with kabuki-style masks, sets guitars and cymbals ablaze, jumping onto bars and other surfaces, sometimes spilling shows out onto the street — as it did when appearing at Five Points’ Bluetile Skateshop last October, performing atop its van in the college-adjacent nightlife district. It was the second of two back-to-back nights Daikaju played in Columbia; the show moved to Bluetile after the owner of the initial location balked at hosting such a ruckus.
With Daikaiju returning to play West Columbia next week, Free Times reached out to the band for an interview, receiving responses to email questions from “the hive mind of the band.” The Q&A is, with the exception of typos and style, presented exactly as it was received.
Free Times: Since 2010, you’ve released just four songs. Before that, you released albums in 2005 and 2010. Why do you all release such a limited amount of studio recordings?
Daikaiju: DAIKAIJU HAS BEEN ADVENTURING AND ATTACKING THE CITIES OF THE WORLD!!! MORE SONIC ATTACKS COMING SOON... MAYBE-WAIT FOR IT!!!
Can you give me a sense of your activity level? Have you taken any considerable hiatuses since 2010?
DAIKAIJU HIBERNATES FOR 2-4 WEEKS BETWEEN RAMPAGES!!! REGENERATION IS CRUCIAL!!!
When did the band start? Having a hard time pinning it down through my own research.
DAIKAIJU FORMS FROM THE PRIMORDIAL MUCK OF THE MESOZOIC ERA!!!
Why do you remain anonymous and masked after all these years? What do you feel that brings to your material and to your performances?
THE MASK REVEALS THE MAN!!!
You were in Columbia a little more than a year ago, and you played two shows. Do you particularly enjoy playing here? If so, why?
GOOD FOOD, GOOD TIMES!!!
Your live shows are something of an underground legend — fiery guitars, taking shows out onto the street, etc. Was that a part of this band from the start? How did that aspect of Daikaiju evolve?
BLAST MAN CAME AND RUINED EVERYTHING WITH LOVELY PARTY TRICKS!!!
How have you tried to evolve the live show over the years? Or have you?
DAIKAIJU CONTINUES TO INCREASE THE GRAVITATIONAL VORTEX!!!
Your music presents an uncommon harmony between surf and hard rock/metal. Why do those two sound work so well together for you? Why does that stylistic blend continue to intrigue you?
DICK DALE IS THE GODFATHER OF HEAVY METAL!!!
What does the future hold for Daikaiju? What are you all working on?
Where: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St.
When: Sunday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.
With: Abacus, Galaxy Chief
Price: $12 ($10 advance)
More: 803-791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com