Country: US/DE

Budokan Boys—composer Jeff T Byrd and fiction writer Michael Jeffrey Lee—are a mercurial American duo currently based in Berlin. Iterations of the ever-evolving project have included a psychotic vaudeville phase (2018’s That’s How You Become A Clown), a wry and mischievous prankster phase (2019’s DAD IS BAD), and a mystical grief and trauma phase, as heard on 2020’s horrific and heartfelt So Broken Up About You Dying. They are now busy writing their next opus, a space opera.

It is the band’s goal to make their own weirdness and instability as accessible and enjoyable as possible. Their fierce and darkly-comic live shows combine off-kilter electronics, sad/weird stories from unstable narrators, blaring saxophones and squealing slide guitar.

When not making trouble for themselves as a duo, both labor in their respective fields. Jeff T Byrd composes music for film and radio, most recently NPR’s investigative podcast White Lies. Michael Jeffrey Lee writes and publishes short fiction, and is the author of Something in My Eye.

Download press photo here. (Credit:  Peter Máté)


This artist participated in the SHAPE platform which concluded in 2022. The current version of the project is SHAPE+. Like its predecessor, it is co-funded by the European Union.