Japanese Motors

Equally inspired by Richard Hell and the Beach Boys, Costa Mesa, CA surf punks Japanese Motors formed in 2004 and soon became known for their immersion in surf culture and their raucous live shows. Singer Alex Knost is also a pro surfer who appeared in the surfing documentary Step into Liquid; he also rides for surf/art/lifestyle brand RVCA and worked in their art department. He met guitarist Nolan Hall when their fathers went surfing together; bassist Chris Vail and drummer Andrew Atkinson -- a former designer for Hurley -- make up Japanese Motors' rhythm section. With frequent, and frequently hedonistic gigs, the band evolved from doing Iggy Pop covers to releasing the single "Single Fins & Safety Pins" on Black Lips' Die Slaughterhouse label. Japanese Motors signed to Vice Records, who released a re-recorded version of Single Fins & Safety Pins in summer 2008 and their self-titled debut album that fall. ~ Heather Phares

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