Peelander-Z: Getting happy with the people of Earth

by Rod Lotter

You will definitely not find this planet on any star map or anything like that, but apparently there is one called Peelander-Z. Not much is known about this supposed planet, other than what a group of aliens have told us about it. This group of aliens dress like characters from the Power Rangers, are professional human bowlers and love to play rowdy rock ‘n’ roll music – which is crazy, because like how would they even know what rock n’ roll is if they were from another planet, right? These aliens are a band, and their name coincidentally enough is Peelander-Z.

It’s a gimmick, but at least it is a fun one. In reality, Peelander-Z is a band of Japanese ex-pats that gathered in New York City to start a punk band and put on a crazy fun show, even though they didn’t really know how to play their instruments (so, essentially how most punk bands started).

Peelander-Z’s brainchild is Kengo Hioki (or more commonly known as Peelander Yellow). He wears a yellow costume and plays lead guitar and sings; he does not seem to ever break character, even staying in character for interviews.

Kengo’s vision for the band started in the late 90s while living in NYC. It sprang from his love of “80s pro wrestling, Japanese old anime, and Power Rangers.” Just a few glimpses of YouTube videos of them playing live, or the documentary “Mad Tiger” (which is on Netflix as we speak) gives credence to the validity of his singular vision.

Peelander-Z is one of those bands that does not care about the music per se, it is more about the spectacle of them playing live; it is more about the theatrics than the music. Their whole claim about being aliens literally only makes sense when you see what they do live. Like a human being could, and should, not be able to keep up that type of energy day after day for months on the road. So, being an alien would totally make sense.

When asked how the band keeps that energy going, he said “We are not human-being, [we] come from Planet-Peelander, if we got your smile, we got super hi energy!!!” Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, apparently these alien beings source of subsistence is derived from human smiles.

Apparently, Peelander-Z’s whole mission here on the planet Earth is to just make people happy, and in return they will “eat your smiles,” and so continues this circle of life. Or, as Kengo put it, “we love to make happeee [sic] time with all of people at venue, and The Earth!!! we need it, they need it,  it is awesome communication!!!”

And, really, who can argue with that? The man makes a good point.

Catch the Peelander-Z show at The Wild Buffalo on April 4. For more about the band, see