Saying Good Bye From Japan
Article By Adriana Rubio
Photographs: Courtesy of Decay Of The Angel
…“We are no longer a music creating entity”…
Harry Dalrymple (AKA Dirty Harry)
In early May 2016, I had a talk with bass player Harry Dalrymple (AKA Dirty Harry). He officially informed me about the band’s decision to stop making music, explaining that this is not a vacation hiatus but a permanent statement. It was sad to hear it, but Harry puts a smile on your face with a joke as always.
“We really stopped making music like 100%, sold all our gear and everything. Times have changed. But I still look pretty fuckin’ cool though, eternal rock star complex. Have you seen my new profile picture on Facebook?” (Laughs).
“We did what we could. The system is all corrupt. Artistic people fall by the way side. I wish this wasn’t true but alas it is”.
Dirty Harry and Yuki Kabuki created Decay of the Angel in Tokyo, Japan more than a decade ago and described the band as a “sweet story of love, devotion and artistic creation”.
Yuki felt immensely inspired to play guitar soon after hearing John Frusciante’s Zen work on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” album. She used to practice from eight to ten hours daily. She couldn’t stop expressing herself through the art of making music back then.
The music that Decay of the Angel recorded is an amazing piece of experimental creation of sounds where the audience can hear the beauty of a huge influence from Pink Floyd - Syd Barrett years. It can also be substantially perceived as strong connections of scenes as they are seen in a movie theater, track after track.
Decay of the Angel released two albums as independent musicians and had high hopes for a Record Label deal that never came.
On March 11th, 2011 Harry and Yuki suffered the most devastating earthquakes in Japan’s history. Harry’s facebook page was full of encouraging messages and prayers from friends and fans. These two musicians became the concern of many, many followers who wouldn’t rest until hearing back from Harry. On a personal level, I was like crazy for almost two days trying to reach him and his wife Yuki.
Reports on TV news channels were not that encouraging with all those devastating images. Phone lines and internet were shut down in many areas of Japan… until the miracle showed up… we all heard from Harry himself on facebook saying he and Yuki were OK!
He then answered my call/chat via Skype and this is what he said back then:
“We have experienced the most horrible day in our lives.I was at work which is about 5 minutes on foot from where I live, thank God. Yuki was at home recording a new song and when I was at work… approx 2:40pm… the shaking started. It got stronger and I ran out of the building. When I was safely outside...the earthquake got stronger and stronger, it literally felt like I was on the ocean like when I was in the Navy, I remembered that and it lasted like it seemed forever. The people working around our company were outside too and the tiles of roofs were starting to crumble”.
“When the major shaking subsided I immediately went into the building here I work and called my home number. Yuki and I don't carry mobile phones… we don't like 'em! We are not into mind controlling technology (LOL) Anyways, I got through immediately and my mother-in-law answered and I asked if everything and everyone was ok and she said “Yes we are ok”. I live about 5 minutes from work so I asked if it was ok I go home and check them out, so I did and the 2nd floor of our house was in shambles everything everywhere… the stereo my record collection, books, videos, clothes, CDs… every-fucking-thing total and utter chaos… a fuckin' disaster area still is! I am loathing to cleaning up just yet scared of a major aftershock… I have to protect both Yuki and my mother in law and our cat Syd”.
“On my way home, I stopped by the neighbors houses and asked if everything and everyone was ok most people said they were ok I had to make sure my loved ones Yuki, Mom and Syd were ok first and foremost and after I surveyed the damage and made eye contact I went back to work to finish the day”.
“The place where I work suffered some minor damage boxes of files fell from a 4 story height I work at a data security company storage facility. I drive a fork lift and do some minor computer work. It was the single craziest day of my life and I’ve had some pretty hairy times trust me! I went to my company two times today. It is Saturday, usually a day off, but the full time workers were there fixing and cleaning and reorganizing the mess. So I went to the store and bought them some food and something to drink. Japanese are true survivors and hard working people they survived the nuclear devastation of WW2 Hiroshima, Nagasaki they can survive any-damn-thing!”
“We have experienced the most horrible day in our lives. It was super scary… it felt really, really strange and, additionally the day before the earthquake a few hundred beached dolphins on a beach near where the tsunami hit where found… very, very strange… they wouldn't go back into the ocean… they were dazed as if in a coma”.
The music of “Decay of the Angel” is incredible deep and spiritual. The sounds transport the audience to an unimaginable level of perceptions. Yuki and Harry complement each other artistically and musically-talking in a way that is not much seen out there often. The secret is within their souls and everyday living.
Yuki has a beautiful voice when speaking in interviews. You can feel the same when she sings. However, she can make you experience her own “creative” mood changing through the songs especially on “Unknown Ghost”, “I Journey Down” or “The Magic of Darkness”.
It’s sad to see them quit the process of making music when there’s really beautiful art, creativity and talent in there. These two artists have great potential and what they created is real progressive-psychedelic-music. It is annoying to see the big level of apathy that exists in the music industry. “Decay of the Angel” knocked on doors for live gigs, radio airplays, online magazines for CD reviews and more with the resources they had.
I hope someday the music they made still plays somewhere and be as enjoyable as it is for me since their first recordings. For the record, my favorite “Decay of the Angel” song is “Ascension”.
“It's one of Yuki’s greatest songs. She was creating some seriously beautiful music. Anyway… Peace, eternal love and respect to you all”
Harry Dalrymple (AKA Dirty Harry)