The Kyoto Protocol is a two-piece Anti-folk band based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fronted by Joe Riepenhoff and backed by Joe Rand, The Kyoto Protocol formed because the duo wanted to move away from their more serious outfit Broadcast Juno. Since they wanted to do less serious stuff, with pure fun in mind, they decided to move to the absolute wackiest end of spectrum: creating music with casiotone keyboards, four string acoustic guitars, toy drums, and other random instruments.

As you can imagine the group cannot produce as full of a sound as they could with more people, even with their brilliant song crafting abilities it can sound empty at times. To make up for this they fall back on a live multimedia extravaganza of fun to entertain the audience. Some of the things they have done live include:

  • Inviting people to play Atari game stations set up around the stage
  • Playing old 8 mm pornographic film, usually ending the show with the cum shot.
  • Having various slide projectors going.
  • Push-up contests during songs
  • Various other audience participation, including percussion playing and hand claps.

At one rather serious art festival the band played they decided to get rid of all their instruments and instead perform a mini-"musical" they created by singing vocals over old Nintendo Megaman themes, mostly from Megaman 3, which also resulted in them getting close to naked. They also opened up for Of Montreal once as well.

The Kyoto Protocol has never recorded any of their music for official releases, although a few shotty demo tapes do exist. However, the group may someday release an official album, as they are in development of their own record label, Hi-Five Records, which will not only release music, but also film.

Update: January 9th, 2004 - Hi-Five Records has officially taken off. Over the past month the label has come out with two releases, one for The Kite Society, and the other for Joe Riepenhoff and his brother John on a split they did.

They have also opened up their own venue, called The Corn Club, which is actually the top floor of their house. The first show they did in December was with The Flying Party (Joe and John's band they're in together), Jail (their roommate Hue's band) and Call Me Lightning (local Milwaukee indie/Pavement rock band), and it drawed in 200 guests, a huge number for first show of a small operation.

Along with more shows planned for the future Joe and John also host Kung-Fu Night every Monday of the week at The Corn Club, where they project various kung-fu movies onto a huge screen.

Check out the Hi-Five website at

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