The Chinkees are a trailblazing ska-punk band from the Bay Area founded by Mike Park, who also created Asian Man Records. The Chinkees rose to fame by exploring their Asian-American identities through their music’s buoyant energy and standing against racism. This month marks the release of K.A. Music through Asian Man Records.
The Chinkees features Mike Park (Skankin’ Pickle, Bruce Lee Band) on vocals, Steve Choi (Rx Bandits) on keyboard and guitar, Roger Camero (No Motiv, Peace’s Out) on bass and guitar, and Kevin Higuchi (Jeff Rosenstock) on drums. The band were a big part of the California ska scene in the 90s and went on hiatus in 2002. K.A. Music is the band’s first release in 18 years. Their four-track EP includes singles “Trace the Morning Time” and “Our Lips Are Coming Right Through” and represents an exciting and invigorating return.
“Steve Choi called me up and said ‘I’m working on some ska punk tunes, let’s record for a new Chinkees release’,” said Park of the band’s return. “It was as simple as that. I went down to Long Beach and laid down the vocals. I wrote the lyrics and melodies, but Steve did the heavy work of producing and playing keys and guitars. It’s fun to be introduced to this project personally and though I’ve done so much ska with Skankin’ Pickle and Bruce Lee Band, The Chinkees sound is so unique to the project.”
With punk vocals, exhilarating guitar riffs, explosive drumming, and unyielding basslines, it’s like the band never left. At the same time, it feels like a new and exciting era for the band.