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Interview: Shonen Knife Talk Punk Rock And Snacks

Interview: Shonen Knife Talk Punk Rock And Snacks

Danielle Street / Wednesday 27th September, 2017 12:15PM

Osaka’s queens of bubblegum-punk Shonen Knife are landing on our shores next week for a whirlwind tour around the North Island. Last here in 2015, the three-date jaunt comes on the coattails of the long-standing trio adding their 20th studio album to their sizeable catalogue. Entitled, Adventure, the record see the cult group mark their 35th anniversary with 10 songs of undeniably fun and peppy punk rock that sound as fresh as when the band formed in 1981. In anticipation of the group’s visit we dropped a line to guitarist and vocalist Naoko Yamano to find out their special recipe for rock ‘n’ roll…

Hi Naoko! How are you today?

Yes, fine thank you.

Since your coming here soon on tour, I was wondering... what three things do you always pack to go on tour?

Umm.. of course passport! And my stage costumes. And um.... some Japanese snacks.

Oh, well that's a good lead on to my next question. What food do you like to eat the most when on tour

My favourite is... I usually like sweets. But other than sweets, I like cheese.



Do you have a favourite kind of cheese?

I like cam-mem-bert cheese (laughs).

Shonen Knife have been doing lots of travelling the whole time you've been together, but what's one of the most memorable places you've been in the last year or two?

Memorable place... hmmm... it's difficult to choose. But I think India. We played in Goa, which is in West India. It was so good, the place was very beautiful. We stayed at a very fancy, gorgeous hotel and every day we could have a delicious dinner. It was an all-you-can-eat dinner, everyday (laughs). Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything is all you can eat. And the menu was changed everyday. Also, the venue was on the top of the mountain, and it was a Go Kart park. So, on the top of the mountain was a tiny car course, and we played there. It was outside.

Oh my gosh, India sounds like a lot of fun.

Yes, and I saw many wild cows on the street.

I'm going to have to go to India sometime soon.

Yes, it was a very great experience for me.

You guys have come to New Zealand a few times now, what do you like about coming here?

It will be the third time I have visited New Zealand this October. And I think the scenery, or the landscape, is very similar to Japan. I think the size, and it's an island country. I feel like home when I am in New Zealand. And people are so kind to us. And I could eat very different kinds of international foods. There are very kinds of restaurants. I could eat Japanese, or Asian, or Western. Everything. And I can enjoy worldwide food all at once (laughs).

It's true, hahaha. I'll change the subject from food for a bit haha. Since you're on the road quite a bit, what is one of your favourite bands you've seen play live recently. Maybe a band you've been on tour with??

Ummm... this is my favourite Japanese underground band. The band is called Extruders.

Oh cool! Have they been around for a long time?

Uhh, I think they have been around for about 10 years. And their music is very very unique. It's a three-piece boys band from Tokyo area. And it's very difficult to express, but their music is so unique. Their voice it like a whisper and the drums are like a rhythm box. And the guitar sound is like, not a guitar sound, but kind of like strings or other instruments sound. So, anyway, very unique.

Oh, I'm going to look them up!

They are a very, very underground band so it must be a little difficult to find, but you can check through internet.

What song have you had on repeat lately that you can't get out of your head?

Haha, in these two days, just these two days, I like to listen to song called 'Get Up And Go' by Pilot. They are a 70s Scottish band, haha.

Do you have a band that is your guilty pleasure, a band that people would be surprised to find out you like?

Mmmm... well people might be disappointed that I like to put on Journey. Do you know the band, they are American and very very people. They're not so cool, but I like their melody lines.

For you, when you are writing a rock and roll song, what is one must-have ingredient?

Rock spirit! And rock 'n' roll attitude. And in my case, my ingredients of rock 'n' roll song is delicious food and cute animals.

Hahaha, so I want to know. Do you have a secret talent off-stage?

A secret talent, umm... I can wrap a gift beautifully. I've been working as a part time worker at a gift shop and wrap gifts most of the day.

So, for my last question, I'd like to know... what is your favourite song from your new record?

It's difficult to choose, but I like 'Rock’n’roll T-shirt', because I sometimes draw pictures for our tee-shirts and if people like my drawings I get very happy. And also I have tons of rock 'n' roll tee shirts at home.

Me too, haha. Anyway, thank you so much for your time, it's been so lovely to talk to you and we are looking to forward to seeing you soon here in New Zealand.

Thank you, see you soon!


UnderTheRadar Proudly Presents...

Shonen Knife

Wednesday 4th October, Nivara Lounge, Hamilton
Thursday 5th October, Whammy, Auckland
Friday 6th October, Meow, Wellington

Tickets available HERE at UTR and in-store at Flying Out (AKL) and RPM/Slow Boat Records (WGTN)


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Wed 4th Oct
Nivara Lounge, Hamilton
Thu 5th Oct
Whammy Bar, Auckland
Fri 6th Oct
Meow, Wellington

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