September 4th, Daikaiju posted an image on social media announcing the final week of their tour. I can't find it, but I thought I made a comment along the lines of "You'll be back in a month". October 2nd, they announce the beginnings of a 3-week tour with four dates in Louisiana. I'm here getting excited about seeing Surfrajettes touring New Orleans because nobody tours all the way down here. I mean Surfrajettes are one of the slim few surf groups with enough clout to manage a tour outside their region. Except Daikaiju. Multiple times a year. They're the exception to the rule. They feel like an exception to every rule.
My wife is a musician. Like many surf bands, it's more hobby than livelihood even, though she takes it very seriously. I've accompanied her on three legitimate tours that took us far away from home, she's been on a few more. Touring is hard. Being in a band is hard! But from where I sit, touring appears to be life for Daikaiju. Their days are our nights. Touring never feels sustainable, but in their upside-down world I wonder how they sustain anything else.
I suppose the core question is "Who are Daikaiju?"
This question is obviously extra potent considering their masked, mute identities. They're not unapproachable people with the mask off, you can often talk to members before a show, but their interviews are as sparse as they are ridiculous, and good luck even finding a list of names beyond wikipedia's amusingly long list of pseudonyms. And of course, this might make a documentary very difficult, but let's keep going here, there's other reasons for the appeal.
They're not the only road warriors out there. Even in surf, Surfer Joe and Messer Chups seem to pull off the impossible. But Daikaiju goes where nobody goes, surf or otherwise. Three different cities in Louisiana. Two different cities in CZECHIA. SOUTH KOREA. CHINA. I can't find evidence of this, but I swear I met somebody that learned about them from seeing them play an anime convention. They're reaching a wider range of people than most bands see, surf or otherwise. And of course, they're getting reactions from those people in bigger ways than most of these groups. In case you've never seen Daikaiju (and clearly, it's an achievable goal) their shows are uniquely in-your-face and overwhelming. They usually call them "attacks" and sometimes it can feel like it! And not only is their audience frequently subjected to pyrotechnics and danger, obviously they are too on a regular basis and seem to do OK.
All this without a song that's EVER been used in a film or TV show or radio play outside of the college realm, mostly just building on word of mouth, show after show after show. Are Daikaiju a popular band? They just don't seem to fit the mold of every other band I've met that comes close to doing this. Their records are great, but despite an ancient Pitchfork review it doesn't feel like their music drives the hype. The only press they get seems to be those "shows to catch this weekend" features in your town's free arts & culture magazine.
I need to see it! I need to know the nuts and bolts of this crazy, impossible machine! Some brave soul needs to grab a camera and hop in the van. Or if they refuse to speak, I hope that one day, when their guitarist's body inevitably breaks as I'm pretty sure it has to at some point, a written memoir could at least be an acceptable loophole.