If you’re a fan of extremely fast grindcore, a lot of noise, and songs entitled Mouse Is A Biscuit, Scissor Quiz and Candy Gun, then you should already own some of Japanese duo’s Melt-Ba- nana’s back catalogue. Beloved by John Peel and Napalm Death alike, they’ve been going for 24 years and will be at the Arts Centre this month. I spoke to Yasuko, the founder of the band, and Agata, guitarist, about what annoys them about each other and why they chose to cover Wordy Rappinghood. Don’t forget your earplugs.

What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up? Y(Yako): I grew up listening to pop music, like the music on the Billboard chart. A(Agata): I grew up mainly listening to rock music. Which other bands, singers and musicians do you enjoy listening to? A: I enjoy listening to bands who we played with. For example, we toured with Napalm Death and Melvins in USA and Daikiri and Zeus! in Europe last year. Y: And Torche and Hot Nerds in USA two years ago. A: Hot Nerds just put out a new album this year and I enjoy listening to it. You’ve always been popular in England ‒ sizk Zip Everywhere was nominated for MTV UK’s best video and John Peel was a big fan of yours. What do you think of the UK and your fans here? Y: It’s great that people in UK enjoy our music. John Peel was like Santa Claus for us. Tere still are people who found out about us from his radio show coming to our shows now. A: I think John Peel changed our life, and we always like UK people. Yako and Agata, you are a

great songwriting team ‒ are you also good friends? Do you spend much time together when not working or touring? Y: Yeah, we are good friends but when we write music we always have arguments. To get the best result, it’s usually needed, you know. A: Sometimes she makes me very irritated. For example, when I am navigating when she is driving and say turn left, she often turns right. I have no idea why it happens so many times! What’s the best thing about being a part of Melt-Banana? Y: I have not thought about it before. It became quite normal thing for me to be a part of Melt-Banana as we’ve been in the band a long time. I’ve forgotten how it was like not being in a band. A: Te best thing is that this band lets me play guitar as I like to. You’ve recorded some very special cover songs like Monkey Man, Wordy Rappinghood and What A Wonderful World. How do you choose which songs would be good to cover? A: It depends on each song. We put out a split record with Big D and the Kids Table which is a ska band from Boston, so we did Monkey Man. And they


did a cover of a Ministry song. Y: Tere was a compilation of 80’s pop music, so I picked Wordy Rappinghood. But I don’t remember why we did What A Wonderful World. You have supported Napalm Death live and last year released a special split 7” single with them for Record Store Day. Which other bands are you friends with that we might know? A: Napalm Death were very very nice. We supported them for a month and enjoyed seeing them and Te Melvins every night. Maybe that was one of the best thing about being a part of Melt-Banana! Y: Talking about UK artists, when Wire came to Japan, we went to Shibuya with Colin and had some tea. And Karl Hyde from Underworld often come to see us when we are in the UK. A: When Wire or Underworld come to Japan and if we’re in Tokyo, we always try to go to see them. Tell us a secret about Melt- Banana. A: Once I stepped on dog shit and didn’t notice it. Ten we started to soundcheck, so I walked around stage and venue floor with the shoes. When we finished soundchecking, the stage and

floor and actually even my pedals smelled really bad and I had to clean all of them after soundcheck. Y: And he kept saying that the venue smells very bad during the soundcheck. Ha! We’re looking forward to seeing you play here at Norwich Arts Centre. What’s the secret to having enough energy to perform with such stamina for you when you play live? A: Even if I’m really tired and think it’s difficult to play, once I hear the loud guitar sound from Marshall speakers I forget about that and I can play music. Y: Yes, that’s right. When the show starts and we hear the sounds, we are fine. And also we get power from the audience! When we see the faces who are sharing our musical joy we feel happy.

LIZZ PAGE Read this interview in full at

INFORMATION Melt-Banana play Norwich Arts Centre on 6th June. Tickets available from

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