It's not too often that you get the honor to interview a punk legend, but I got to do just that. Shonen Knife, veteran punk rockers hailing from Japan will be performing across the USA this fall. We are extremely honored to get to work with these talented ladies, who continue to uphold their punk legacy they crafted for themselves by performing since 1981. If you have two ears and a half a brain, you'll catch their show coming up at ACL Live on September 16th. If you want to learn more about these punk rock queens, read our short and sweet interview below and stay tuned in for show coverage!
Track: Jump Into the New World by Shonen Knife
-To lead off the conversation, would you like to share with readers what inspired you to form a band? How'd you come up with the name and decide the
type of music you'd be producing?
Naoko: I wanted to do some creative activities when I was young. I was inspired by the Beatles in my teenage then started to listen to punk pop bands like Buzzcocks or Ramones. I invited our original bassist Michie and my sister Atsuko to form the band. Shonen Knife is a brand name of pencil knife. Shonen means boy in Japanese. I thought the shape of Kanji and Katakana characters and the meaning. The impression is cute and dangerous.
-Let's chat costumes! You have some iconic looks-what drives your senses of fashion on the stage?
Naoko: Our present bassist, aka the original drummer and my sister Atsuko designed and makes our stage costumes by herself. She’s inspired by 50’s, 60’s and 70’s mode. We needed to more prominent than our fashionable audience because we’d like to entertain them.
-Your music has some classic punk rock influences with driving guitar-going back in time if you could meet any band, which would you meet?
Naoko: XTC. I think they are rather pop than punk, though.
-On the note of your music, your tracks seem to have a fun energy to them-what is your favorite part of making new music?
Naoko: I like to make melody lines. I have fun to put melody lines on the completed lyrics.
Track: Pop Tune by Shonen Knife
-Do you have a guilty pleasure band you enjoy listening to?
Naoko: I never felt guilty to listen to any music.
-What is the best part of touring? Are you excited for your upcoming tour?
Naoko: To see our fans at the venues is my pleasure. I’m very excited to come back to the USA!
-We understand there have been some changes in the band, how has that impacted your sound?
Naoko: In these more than 10 years, I write all songs but if it is the same notes and same melody lines, the sound impression become different. It’s interesting and I make it very positive. I’m sure that our fan can enjoy.
-Anything else you'd like to share with readers?
Naoko: Please come to our show and let’s share fantastic time together.
-Thanks again for taking time to work with us, we look forward to seeing you perform on tour!
Naoko: Thank you! Arigato!
Be sure to check out this amazing band's site here and their music on major streaming platforms. Don't forget to catch them at ACL Live on September 16th!!