Roughly two years after unexpectedly disbanding, Osaka’s talented young shoegaze band Whisper Voice Riot recently announced out of nowhere that they’re starting it back up. Despite having emerged as one of the really impressive young bands in the Japanese shoegaze scene, the then teen-aged Whisper Voice Riot decided to call it quits in 2016, with two of its members going on to form indie rock outfit Mississippi Khaki Hair almost immediately after.
It surprised a lot of people when, on January 24th, WVR and MKH frontman Taito Kimura randomly posted “we’re back” with a link to Whisper Voice Riot’s sound cloud page and some photos of the defunct band. The response was overwhelmingly positive, which doesn’t seem at all surprising given the band’s reputation prior to breaking up. However, Taito and WVR guitarist/MKH bassist Usui didn’t intend to make that announcement that the time.
— Taito Kimura (@Mr_Nobody1997) January 24, 2018
“Usui and I had been talking about wanting to start up WVR again for a while,” Taito explained. “I posted ‘we’re back’ on Twitter to mean ‘at some point we’ll be back’, and everyone mistook it as ‘we’re starting the band back up soon’. The response exceeded our expectations.” Believing it to be some kind of “fate”, Taito and Usui had to find members. They brought back former WVR bassist, Shibata, and added a two new members to round out the band’s new lineup.
When I talked to Taito after the breakup, he stated that he was simply no longer satisfied with Whisper Voice Riot. Talking to him recently he clarified that the pace of the band was too slow, and there were some personal issues. “We were a band that started in high school and broke up while we were teenagers. A few of the problems were inevitable.” When asked about what changed over the last two years, Taito responded, “I got the urge to be in a band that is personal and is active at a slower pace. So I started WVR back up.”
While he mentioned that Whisper Voice Riot is here to stay for as long as possible, Taito also plans to keep Mississippi Khaki Hair going at the same time. “I’m an egotist, so if I want to quit, I’ll quit.” For now at least it seems that fans of both bands won’t have to worry about any more sudden breakups in the near future.
Since announcing its return, Whisper Voice Riot had its first gig on April 30th. Things have been relatively quiet otherwise, perhaps just due to the slow pace that Taito has come to embrace. Whisper Voice Riot seems very near and dear to his heart, and after talking to him I get the feeling that he never intended to let it go forever. His current approach to and goals for the band seem much more laid back than before. “I just want to write good songs. My dream is to be singing songs I wrote as a teenager, even when I’m old.”
Here’s a link to their first EP “Before the Morning Cleaves Our Night” on Soundcloud: