By John B. Moore
It’s taken almost four decades, but I alone have finally
been able to pin down the definition of punk rock for the rest of the world:
It’s a three-piece, all-female group from Japan, playing loud guitars and
singing bratty, but impossibly catchy sing-along choruses. See also Shonen
Thirty years ago, singer/guitarist Naoko (no last names
please, this is punk rock) started Shonen Knife with a strong fetish for The
Ramones and a strict adherence to two-minute pop punk songs.
Drummers and bass players have come and gone over the years,
but Naoko and her knack for writing solid punk anthems have remained a
constant. Just days after the release of the band’s latest album Pop Tune (naturally), Naoko was kind enough
to fire up the laptop and answer a
few questions via e-mail.
you first started the band, did you have any idea you will still be playing as
Shonen Knife songs 30 years later?
No, I didn’t. I’ve never imagined that.
Ramones are an obvious constant influence. Have your musical influences changed
over the years?
I’m influenced by the Beatles very much from the beginning
but I listen to various kinds of music from classical music to death
metal. In these years, I like a ‘70’s Scottish band Pilot and Strawberry
still perform as a Ramones Tribute band?
When we get offer to do that, we sometimes play as Osaka
Ramones. Osaka Ramones had a show this March in Kobe,
Japan and will play in London in October,
too. Might be in the U.S.,
can you tell me about the new record?
Our new album Pop Tune became very pop, fun, happy album like a jewel box with the best line up of
Shonen Knife. Ritsuko and Emi did lead vocal for each song. It’s
good variation. I hope everybody enjoy it.
new to the band. How did you find her?
I’ve seen her played at other band and her performance was
great. When we tried to find a drummer, she’d just quit the band and she was
a big fan of Shonen Knife. I thought she is the perfect for Shonen Knife.
does Emi change the dynamic of the band?
Right after she joined to the band, we went to UK/EU tour
for five weeks. Playing shows everyday made us having groove. Emi
likes Shonen Knife from the beginning and she had already understood the band.
have plans to tour the U.S.
Yes, of course. Our tour will start from July 19th.
We’ll go to all over the states. Let’s Rock with Shonen Knife. (Tour dates: www.goodcharamel.com/?select=artists&data=shonenKnife )
What is the punk scene like in Japan right
There are many interesting bands at the underground scene in
Recently, I like Extruders, Yellow Machinegun and Convex Level.
What’s next for the band?
Japan tour from June to July; North American tour from July
to August; UK/EU tour from October to November. I’ll continue to write
songs and keep on rocking.
have anything else you would like to add?
Please listen to our new album Pop Tune and I hope you enjoy it. Xoxoxo!!!