DS News: Hi-Standard release new song “I’m A Rat”, announce first show following passing of drummer Akira Tsuneoka

Japanese punk veterans Hi-Standard announced the passing of founding member, drummer Akira Tsuneoka, in February. Today, the band released “I’m A Rat”, their final song recorded with Tsuneoka on drums. They don’t make any mention of it, but Fat Mike of NOFX is credited as the songwriter on Spotify and YouTube Music.

They have also been added to the lineup for Japanese music festival Satanic Carnival 2023. They won’t have a new drummer manning the throne, but will instead “have friends fill in and have them play a few songs each” on drums for this show.

Check out Hi-Standard’s absolutely killer new song “I’m A Rat” below, alongside a statement from the band on the track and their future plans.

“Hi Everyone

This may come as a surprise, but we are releasing a new song. It’s only one song, but we will be releasing it. The song is “I’m a Rat”.

This is Tsune’s last recording with Hi-STANDARD.

We recorded this song in December of 2022. This isn’t an unreleased song or a B-side, this is a new song. The song will be released digitally and will be available through various streaming services starting April 19th along with a lyric video on YouTube.

On April 12th we released a 12-minute short on YouTube documenting the recording session of this song.

Tsune was having a blast and was on top of his game during the session. He was extremely happy with how the song turned out, so we are releasing “I’m a Rat” without hesitation.

As announced, we will be performing at Satanic Carnival 2023 as Hi-STANDARD.

We will have our friends fill in and have them play a few songs each. We thought about how this show should be presented, whether it would be a tribute show or a memorial show, but those formats did not make sense to us. In the end we decided that it would best to perform as Hi-STANDARD. We won’t be announcing the drummers, they will be introduced when they hit the stage.

We were supposed to play the show with Tsune, and we had planned on playing “I’m a Rat”. When we were asked to play Satanic Carnival, Tsune said couldn’t find a reason not to play the festival. For that reason, we will be performing as Hi-STANDARD.

The three of us had discussed the future of Hi-STANDARD and we had a vision. We had projects in the works, releasing “I’m a Rat”, and playing Satanic Carnival 2023. These were the first steps we were taking to move forward as a band.

As we were taking this first step, we lost Tsune.

Nothing would make us happier if you could listen to the song, watch the video, and remember that there was Akira Tsuneoka, the eternal drummer.

We are back to square one with our “projects in the works” after the passing of Tsune. We may not be able accomplish everything we had planned, but we will do our best to bring to life what we had envisioned.

First, we would love for you to see Hi-STANDARD at Satanic Carnival 2023.

Hi-STANDARD Ken Yokoyama / Akihiro Namba”

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