The Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife was formed in December 1981 in Osaka by sisters Naoko Yamano (vocals and guitar) and Atsuko Yamano (drums) along with their friend Michie Nakatani (bass).
The group was something of an anomaly when they started, as they were coming in at a time where all-female bands were scarce. Influenced by 1970s punk rock and new wave bands such as The Ramones and The Buzzcocks while ignoring the then-rising, early J-Pop movement, the trio began crafting energetic rock songs rooted in rough instrumentation and do-it-yourself ethos. However, unlike traditional rebellious punk rockers, the trio emphasized positivity using catchy, upbeat melodies and frivolous, carefree lyrics that often touched on sweets and animals. The group eventually came to describe their music as, oo-oo-ultra-eccentric-super-cult-punk-pop-band-shonen-knife!
It was in 1991 that Shonen Knife came to find their biggest fan in the form of Nirvanas Kurt Cobain, who had seen them play in Los Angeles and had come to deeply enjoy their music. He stated When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.
The Beatles analogy is a good one, as essentially the band members of Shonen Knife cite the fab four as heavy influencers of their music as well as the aforementioned Buzzcocks and Ramones.
37 (?!) years later and Shonen Knife's new live album ALIVE! in Osaka was released on March 14th from P-VINE Records in Japan and on May 4th via Good Charamel Records on CD, DVD and digitally in the UK. This will be accompanied by a fast selling out British tour - see dates below.
Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T thought it was high time we asked these Daydream Believers what keeps them Top of the World. Naoko, vocal & guitar, answered
* Shonen Knife - who, what and why?
* What do you know now about the music business that
you wish you knew when you began?
ALIVE! in Osaka is released on May 4th via Good Charamel Records on CD, DVD and digitally. It will be accompanied by British tour - see dates below - but be quick, gigs are selling out fast!
Thanks to Naoko for her time and to Jack at RANTouring for fixing things up.
Some of this intro was borrowed from the Brighton and Hove News