Music Peelander-Z. Special to Juice.

Peelander-Z. Special to Juice.

Peelander-Z brings its alien show to the Maintenance Shop in Ames

Published on September 17th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

Peelander-Z is fronted by two men. Peelander Yellow is an alien from the planet Peelander who came to earth to make humans smile with human bowling, limbo dancing and crazy outfits before eating the smile of everyone in the audience while playing punk rock and, on their most recent album, hair metal. Peelander-Z is also fronted by Kengo Hioki, a Japanese-born New Yorker.

Hioki is Peelander Yellow. Sometimes he answers questions in character. Sometimes he answers them as Hioki. Neither Peelander Yellow nor Hioki is especially fluent in English. For instance, what brought the Peelander people to earth?

“People need more smiles. I have to get smiles here,” Hioki/Peelander Yellow said during a phone interview. “We need smiles over there. We want to have fun on stage. Of course play music, but music 10 percent, other is 90 percent. I want to be kind of teacher; everyone has to be my preschool students. Everybody back to childhood, elementary school, jump!”

Here’s some more explanation: The members of Peelander-Z look kind of like Power Rangers, wearing different colors. There are also red, green, pink and black Peelanders. But they aren’t outfits, Peelander-Z said, it’s their skin. The skin changes pretty much every tour; this time they’ve got heavy metal-inspired skin to fit with Peelander-Z’s new album, called “Metalander-Z.”

“Like a lizard, a chameleon, people need something, we feel skin change,” Hioki said. “Like rainbow, change for you. I want to change my mind, change my brain, wash my body.

“New Peelander-Z always.”

And now, for no reason at all, Peelander-Z vs. monsters. Because why not?

“You can’t see any monster, but we fight every night. We save planet, crazy monster come down, we fight. One monster, friend now, new member of us. You will see, music be there soon. Why.”

I don’t think that was a question. I think he ended that sentence with a statement. And that statement was “Why.”

So how long will Peelander-Z be visiting earth? Peelander Yellow isn’t sure. “Star Trek” began as a five-year mission and has spanned 50 years of TV and movies. Hioki seems to keep going, both musically and with crazy answers.

“How long we stay here, we are not sure. If people need me I want to stay here. Tell everybody, I’m no Japanese. I speak Japanese very well. I love sushi, I will eat it every day. I ate Japanese light bulb. I love noodle soup. Tacos, tacos, tacos, tacos. I love food here. I hate smile. I eat. We can’t leave.”

Got that? Probably not.


When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: The Maintenance Shop, 2229 Lincoln Way, Ames

Cost: $10 in advance, $12 day of show.

Info: or

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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