Name in Japanese: 少年ナイフ, ショーネンナイフ
Years Active: 1981 - Present
Sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano joined with buddy Michie Nakatani in December of 1981 to form the band Shonen Knife.The Osaka based band played in livehouses in the Kansai area, and built up a following for their for their ultra-pop punk songs about food, animals and life in Japan, often in a mix of English and Japanese. Amongst their fans were foreigners who lived in Osaka. While still very much a local, indie band, they began gaining a following in the States. Amongst their earliest fans were...read more
Sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano joined with buddy Michie Nakatani in December of 1981 to form the band Shonen Knife.The Osaka based band played in livehouses in the Kansai area, and built up a following for their for their ultra-pop punk songs about food, animals and life in Japan, often in a mix of English and Japanese. Amongst their fans were foreigners who lived in Osaka. While still very much a local, indie band, they began gaining a following in the States. Amongst their earliest fans were Calvin Johnson of K Records, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and LA scenester Bill Bartell, all of whom helped them along in various ways. In 1983 Shonen Knife released their first album Burning Farm, followed by 1984's Yamano Attchan, both on local indie Zero Records. In 1985 K Records released a cassette version of Burning Farm. Foreign interest continued to grow, and they had tracks appear on a Sub Pop and Flipside magazine compilations, and received play from legendary UK disc jockey John Peel. Their third album Pretty Little Baka Guy was released in both Japan and the US, but both on small labels with limited distribution. In 1989 they appeared on stage with Sonic Youth in Osaka, and their did their first gigs abroad. They also had a Bill Bartell organized Shonen Knife tribute album made, with contributors including Sonic Youth, L7, Redd Kross, Babes in Toyland, Lunachicks and Big Dipper. This indie success came as a shock to music business people in Japan, considering that previously several well financed attempts to break Japanese artists in America had failed miserably, most notably Pink Lady's disastrous US TV show in 1980. Amongst their US fans was Kurt Cobain, who invited Shonen Knife to tour the States with Nirvana in the winter of 1991. In 1992 things really broke open, as Shonen Knife released Let's Knife in the US and UK, and played at the UK's famed Reading Festival. In 1993 the band released Rock Animals, which was released in territories around the world, again toured with Nirvana, and in total played in ten countries that year. 1994 was also eventful internationally, as the band played the then very hot Lollapalooza tour, and participated in the Carpenters tribute album, which produced one of their most popular tracks, a cover of "Top of the World", which was later used in a Microsoft ad, and in a number of movies. By 1995 their popularity at home had also risen a great deal, and as a result they played more shows that ever before in Japan, and had their music used in various Japanese ads. 1996 brought Brand New Knife, their first ever shows in other Asian countries, and in 1997 they ventured to Australia and New Zealand. In 1998 they did what was billed as the first ever internet live, performing at Microsoft's HQ in America, and played for the first time at Japan's top festival - Fuji Rock. 1999 was a year of change as Michie left the band, and Atsuko moved from drums to bass. From then the band toured, using part-time female drummers, often Mana "China" Nishiura (who in 2005 died tragically in an auto accident while touring America as a member of DRMQ). In 2003 Shonen Knife released Heavy Songs and did an extensive tour of North America. Their first four albums were re-issued in America in January of 2005, and the band did a 29 date tour of North America two months later. On tour the band previewed some of the songs which appear on Genki Shock, their newest album, released in June 2005. In 2006 tiny but powerful touring drummer Etsuko Nakanishi became an official member of Shonen Knife.
Being the 25th anniversary of the band, 2006 was something of a special year, and saw the release of a Japanese artist tribute album called "Shonen Knife Fork Spoon", and their first ever live album "Live In Osaka". They also created a song about Kurt Cobain called "Like A Salmon", which was used on a compilation. Also from 2006 Atsuko became a sometime member of the band, as she relocated to Los Angeles and married. In 2007 the band again did an extensive tour of the States. In 2008 Shonen Knife released "Super Group",which was released in the States on the Good Charamel label, owned by Robbie Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls. Also touring bassist Ritsuko Taneda was made an official member. Also in 2009 the band did their first UK tour in many years.
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少年ナイフ shonen knife - RIDING ON THE ROCKET
starktz added the video "少年ナイフ - Super Group - YouTube" in February, 2013.
lazybone added self as a fan of Shonen Knife in November, 2012.
grahambaster added self as a fan of Shonen Knife in September, 2012.
Yoyogibair added self as a fan of Shonen Knife in May, 2012.
hudsonhawk1 added self as a fan of Shonen Knife in January, 2010.
Artist page created by: Keith Cahoon
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