interview | Shonen Knife, Interview with Naoko Yamano

“Monday I go to watch Sumo wrestling/It’s an easy day to get a good ticket” (One Week from Brand New Knife, 1996)

Their songs bounce from jangling, smiling pop all the way through bashing, smashing punk. They are Shonen Knife, three Japanese grrrls who mix topics of buying Barbie dolls, drinking beer and watching Sumo wrestling with frontal, crunching guitars. With the biggest question being ‘how the heck did these three break from the purely conservative Japanese music mould’, the answer can somewhat be found in their lyricism – it’s still cutesy Japanese youth culture, but the instruments virtually yell with the same excitable fervour of these three battling it out on the Twister board.

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