Interview: Naoko Yamano - guitarist and lead vocalist of Shonen Knife

This article is from 2011.

Naoko Yamano, guitarist and lead vocalist of Shonen Knife - interview

The Japanese lo-fi punk girl group get ready to return to the UK

‘We have been to Edinburgh a few times but all of them were in the 90s. The first time was with the Nirvana tour, I think,’ says Naoko Yamano, guitarist and lead vocalist of Shonen Knife.

Yamano, the only remaining member of the original 1981 line-up, is referring to the time her cult Japanese three-piece opened for the Seattle icons just prior to the bombshell that was Nevermind. This is the kind of stuff that comes up in conversation as if it ain’t no thing. The fact that their merits have been heralded by Sonic Youth, Fugazi, John Peel and Kurt Cobain doesn’t faze the pop-punk veteran.

Personally, I first saw Shonen Knife’s sunshine-infused, pop-centric garage rock live at the Matt Groening-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival at Butlins in 2010. The amount of musicians who turned out for their set (and cheered like my mother does at the sight of Donny Osmond) seems further testament to the respect the trio are afforded, almost 20 albums into their career.

And the albums keep on coming. ‘We are about to release a cover album of Ramones songs, Osaka Ramones. The end of this year is our 30th anniversary so we wanted to do something special to celebrate that.’

Sneaky Pete’s, 225 1757, 15 Aug, 7pm, £10.

Shonen Knife - Twist Barbie (Live)

Shonen Knife

All-female Japanese lo-fi pop-punk outfit formed in Osaka in 1981. The trio took a break from touring for 16 years until 2009 when they reformed and began touring regularly throughout Europe. They were a one-time favourite of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain.

Elsewhere on the web

Post a comment