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Special Others

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A Japanese post-rock/jazz crossover band, Special Others had been around for a long time before finally making headway with their career around 2004, rising to share the scene with Pennywise and such J-rock big shots as Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Beat Crusaders, and Zazen Boys. The group was founded in 1995 by six classmates from a high school in Yokohama; the kids graduated in 1998 and two of them left, but the rest -- Ryota "Toyin" Miyahara (drums, vocals), Yuya "Segun" Mitayoshi (bass), Takeshi "Dayo" Yanagishita (guitar, vocals), and Yuma "Remi" Serizawa (keyboards, vocals) -- decided not to disband. The group became active on the indie scene in 2000 and toiled for several years, playing clubs and spreading demos, until debuting on NMNL Records with the EP Ben (2004), which topped the indie chart. The EP Uncle John followed in 2005, when Special Others also played Japan's biggest rock show -- the Fuji Rock Festival -- and in 2006 they released their third EP, Idol, and their debut full-length album, Good Morning, which came out on the major label Victor Entertainment and entered the Oricon album chart at number 29 -- no small thing for a mostly instrumental jam band. After that, Special Others settled into a stable release schedule, releasing their second album, Star, in 2007; its follow-up, Quest, in 2008; and the Top Ten-breaking PB in 2009. ~ Alexey Eremenko


1995 in Yokohama, Japan

Years Active:

'90s, '00s, '10s