Knife to Slice Through America

Shonen Knife
Schubas Tavern
3159 N. Southport
September 21
9:00 p.m.

(with special guests
Aleks and the Drummer

Shonen Knife is a trio of women from Osaka Japan making music that draws as much influence from The Clash as it does from the Archie’s. They are poppy and punky and every bit of energy they have pours through their music.

After nearly three decades of recording albums and playing live shows – the band has decided to do a few new things – things that they seem to have always wanted to do and now seems like the right time.

One of those things is release their latest CD “Free Time” in English making the happy-go-poppy dance music even that much more accessible. We decided we needed a way to better understand the band as well as introduce them to you in hopes of getting you into Schubas to see them play live.

So we welcome you to Ten Questions with Shonen Knife. I caught up with guitarist vocalist and the last original member Naoko Yamano via email to get a few questions answered.

1.What – exactly – is a Shonen Knife?
Naoko: A Rock band.

2.Where did the idea for a punk band come from?
Naoko: I’m inspired by Ramones and Buzzcocks.

3.What did you do before you joined this band?
Naoko: I was a rock fan.

4.What music did you listen to growing up?
Naoko: Beatles, KISS, Queen and late ‘70’s punk pop bands.

5.Do you prefer American music or Japanese music?
Naoko: Of course I prefer American music. I also like British music, too.

6.Was it tough to break into a world that was dominated by guy bands?
Naoko: No, it wasn’t. We could be helped by guy bands a lot and [we became]prominent because [we we’re an]all female band.

7.What made you begin to release your work in English?
Naoko: For me, the language of rock music is English. I’m inspired by American and British rock. English goes well with my melody line.

8. Are you studying English? Translating songs phonetically?
Naoko: I had English lessons, but my English is not so good. Writing lyrics in English is difficult for me. Even in Japanese, it’s difficult, though.

9. What does it mean to you to have success here in America?
Naoko: I’m honored. Because I like American rock

10. What does the future hold for Shonen Knife?
Naoko: We would like to keep on rocking. I’d like to make interesting albums and I hope people enjoy our music.

Shonen Knife will play at 9 p.m., Tuesday September 21at Schubas Tavern. Also on the bill that night are two bands; Aleks and the Drummer and Santah.

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