Shonen Knife, which loosely translates as “Boy (for their cute side) Knife (for their dangerous side),” is an all-female Japanese pop-punk band formed in Osaka, Japan, in 1981. Heavily influenced by 1960s girl groups, pop bands, The Beach Boys, and early punk rock acts, such as the Ramones, the trio crafts stripped-down songs expressing infectious melodies and simplistic, exuberant lyrics sung both in Japanese and English.
The current lineup for the band consists of Naoko Yamano (lead vocals, guitar), Ritsuko Taneda (bass, backing vocals) and Emi Morimoto.
Despite their pop-oriented nature, the trio maintains a distinctly underground garage rock sound rooted in edgy instrumentation and D.I.Y. aesthetics, which over the course of their long career has earned them a solid, worldwide cult following and made avid fans out of seminal ’90s alternative rock acts such as Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and Redd Kross. The band has been credited with making “the international pop underground more international” by “opening it up to bands from Japan”. They have also performed as a Ramones tribute band under the name The Osaka Ramones.
We had the good fortune to conduct a video interview with the band and one of their fans at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY which was the 3rd stop of their current 2012 world tour (see all dates here: http://www.shonenknife.net/live.html)
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