RIZE was conceived in 1997 by JESSE, the son of national popular guitarist Char, along with his friend Nobuaki Kaneko. TOKIE later joined the line-up as bassist, rooting the band in the aggressive rapcore style that made them so well known. Following their formation, RIZE began performing in the Kitazawa area in order to establish themselves among the public. After gaining relative popularity, RIZE then went on to perform at the 10th Kitazawa Music Festival in 2000 and a short time afterward, signed onto Epic Records to release their first single, Kaminari.
RIZE followed up their debut single only months later with Why I’m Me, a second version of which was recorded for their tenth single in 2006. Only 21 days after this second single, the band released their debut album to moderate success. Reaching #8 on the Oricon after only releasing two singles is a great achievement for any group or solo artist. Unfortunately, in March 2001, TOKIE announced that she was leaving the band. With new member, U-ZO joining the band shortly afterward, in order to create a greater variety of sound, RIZE also adopted guitarist Yoshihiro Nakao.
The following year proved to be one full of variety for RIZE. April saw JESSE and Nobuaki becoming radio personalities for the program All Night Nippon until September. The band also performed at the Kitazawa Music Festival, ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL and SUMMER SONIC’01. Toward the end of the year, RIZE’s second album, FOREPLAY was released. Recorded in L.A., U.S. the album displayed a heavy influence of American Nu-Metal, taking influence from Limp Bizkit. The band’s collaboration with ZEEBRA, I can’t live without my radio, became the theme for the FM FESTIVAL.
RIZE began 2002 with their FUCK’N ROCK tour, performing in 42 cities across Japan. In the summer months, the band continued to perform at several festivals, including MTV Japan’s THE SUPER DRY LIVE, SWEET LOVE SHOWER. RIZE also performed at the Rising Sun Rock Festival and the MAJI ROCK FESTIVAL. In October, RIZE performed at the South Korean 2002ETPFEST at the Olympic Stadium, arranged by Seo Taiji. The event is known for being the largest field festival of its time with 30,000 attendants.
Toward the end of the year, RIZE released their third album. With 2003 only just beginning, RIZE released their VIBRATION single, featuring the newly formed reggae/pop duo Def Tech. The band continued to tour throughout the spring and JESSE collaborated with the Beastie Boys for the Tibetan Freedom Concert. JESSE also featured on American rapcore band Crazy Town’s Hurt You So Bad under the pseudonym JROC. In July, the band moved to Los Angeles to tour with American rapcore bands Kottonmouth Kings and Phunk Junkeez.
Following their tour in America, RIZE returned to Japan for a short timeout, but only a matter of months later, the band performed at the charity event PEACE vol.3 in December. The silence surrounding their lack of releases suddenly abated in March 2005 when RIZE released their first best of album. Before this release, the band had only appeared in Def Tech’s Kono mama~Def Tech reintroducing RIZE music video. The band also held nightly concerts in Gangima during the months of March, May and August.
It was around this time that JESSE formed the TENSAIBAKA RECORDS label. RIZE also performed at Live 8 Japan in July and in August at the SUMMER SONIC’05. U-ZO left the band in November 2005 and Nobuaki Kaneko’s brother KenKen replaced him.
2006 saw the band performing at Gangima Night and in April, KenKen joined the band as a formal member. Throughout the year, RIZE continued to perform at several festivals and in the latter part, formed the label FAR EASTERN TRIBAL RECORDS on Universal Music Japan.
In 2007, RIZE held their first tour of the year in March, ALTERNA which consisted of fourteen performances. In May, the band performed at the hide Memorial Day 2007 and in July, participated at the Live Earth event. RIZE held a two man tour with Acidman and toward the end of the year released their latest single, LADY LOVE. The title track on the single was used as the tie-in song for advertisements for October 2007 and was also used as the theme for the anime Shion no ou.
Although 2008 is far from over, RIZE released K.O., their sixth full-length album in April. The following month saw the band performing at the hide Memorial Summit, at which they performed their rendition of Pink Spider in tribute.
Unfortunately, on May 20th, the band announced through their official site that Yoshihiro Nakao would be parting ways from RIZE, citing creative differences as the main factor in his decision. However, the remaining members are determined to carry on activties as a trio for the meantime.
With RIZE’s ability to display diversity in their field and talent in the style of music that they have chosen, are one of the first rapcore bands in Japan to establish themselves in history.
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