Balzac (typeset as BALZAC) is a Japanese punk band formed in 1992 in Kyoto. The band was founded by singer and songwriter Hirosuke Nishiyama, who has remained the only constant member of the band since its creation. Since the beginning, Balzac was highly influenced by the sound and image of the famous horror punk band The Misfits and, especially during the very early years, Glenn Danzig's Samhain, adopting and combining the musical and visual style of both bands to create their own. The band often stays away from the "campy" horror lyrics and image found in most horror punk bands, as the lyrics by Hirosuke tend to be more like dark poetry and, though not always serious, deal with themes of darkness, loneliness and fear.
The band has gained a certain amount of recognition and exposure outside of their native country, where they are well known. Currently they have five official clothing brands (Shocker!!!, Dementia 13, Culture, XXXxxx and Balzac) with one store in Japan, plus three online stores (Shocker Webstore, Shocker World Wide and Shocker EU). They also have their own official record label called Evilegend 13 Records on which they have released EPs, singles and videos. Balzac is also well known for its toy releases, some created by the companies T.W.I.M. and Secret Base, and its extensive discography and side-projects.
The current lineup of the band consists of Hirosuke Nishiyama (vocals), Atsushi Nakagawa (guitar/chorus), Akio Imai (bass/chorus) and Takayuki Manabe (drums/digital effects/chorus). Musically the band has drawn from punk, pop, industrial and noise, across their various releases.
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