Turtle Island fuses traditional Japanese carnival beats with other musical elements including distorted guitar, Indian music, and Korean traditional music, all held together with a punk rock background.
Turtle Island was formed in 1999 at Toyota City Japan by Yoshiki Nagayama (Vocal), Hiroshi Tsuzuki (Tabla) and Ko Yamaguchi (Drums). Currently, the line up includes a 14 piece orchestra with Talow The Tornado on percussion and Koichiro on matouqin from the established Japanese hardcore band Nice View, and George Bodman, former member of the Japanese cutting edge post rock/emo band Bluebeard and Naht on guitar. Other instruments played in the orchestra include Japanese taiko drum, jambe, tabla, Japanese bamboo flute, saxophone, upright bass, sitar.
Turtle Island fuses traditional Japanese carnival beats with other musical elements including distorted guitar, Indian music, and Korean traditional music, all held together with a punk rock background. Main vocalist Yoshiki is a charismatic poet creating a unique world with his lyrics, and is often referred to as the Japanese Joe Strummer or Manu Chao. With his passionate messages, Turle Island has gained great recognition amongst underground as well as mainstream music lovers.
Turtle Island has performed with international artists such as Fermin Muguruza and Esne Beltza from Basque country, and received great admiration from artists such as Prefuse73 and David Byrne from Talking Heads.
In 2008, Turtle Island headlined at Kaikoo meets Revolution festival presented by Pop Group & microAction, sharing the bill with over 80 groups. In 2009 they had their first overseas tour in Basque country, and in 2010 they were invited to Morocco to perform at Mawazine Music Festival playing along with Alpha Blondy, and 4 time Grammy nominee Angelique Kidjo.
In the end of 2010, they collaborated with Kabuki company Hapon Theater Project supervised by Tomohiko Hara to create a brand new style of entertainment Punk Macbeth, a collaboration of punk rock, Kabuki & Shakespeare held at Nagoya Noh Theater. They sold over three thousand tickets over the three day performance and released the original sound track of the performance from their own label microAction.