It Came From Japan is an agency running tours and showcases that bring the freshest, creamiest Japanese bands to the UK. ICFJ's podcast is our way of saying thanks to the fans who come to our shows, and a way to expose new Japanese artists to music-lovers in the West. Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. We want to hear your comments, and we hope you love it!
Hailing from Nagoya (or Neo-Nagoya as they call it), new-wave five-piece Budo Grape are gearing up for their very first tour of the UK on 26-28 October. The band are Quminco Grape (vocals), Nagai Grape (guitar, songwriting), Matsui Grape (bass), Naho Grape (keyboard) and Taichi Grape (drums). We crammed into their tour van when they were in Tokyo for a show last month to find out how they expect a UK audience to react, how cruel they are to new recruit Naho, and why Quminco’s mum hates to hear her swear. Listen to episode #016 of the podcast to hear the interview and an exclusive live recording of their song Kiss Too Shy, or read the transcript below!
The Girl is the new-ish band of Aiha Higurashi, formerly of the bands Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her and The Loves!, as well as a solo artist under her own name and a songwriter for artists such as Yuki (of Judy And Mary) and Aikawa Nanase. Aiha chatted with us on episode 14 of the It Came From Japan podcast about her exploits, why humming is the purest form of music and how she gains access to the various rooms inside her head. Listen to the podcast to hear the interview and The Girl’s song Benjamin, or read the transcript below!
Cantoy are a four-piece band originally hailing from Nagoya, now based in Tokyo and signed to Splatter Records, the label owned by Dai Kato from Ketchup Mania and KillKills. Vocalist miri-pow, guitarist Catherine, bassist Haga-Chang and drummer Ken joined us on episode 13 of the It Came From Japan podcast to talk about their new album, Kill (due out late July 2012), and their obsession with beer. Listen to the podcast to hear the interview and new song Tenkaippin, or read the transcript below!
Garage band Detroit7 have been a revered fixture on Japan’s live circuit for a decade and have recently gone from being a trio to a duo, with the departure of long-standing bassist Nobuaki Kotajima. Rather than replace him, guitar-vocalist Tomomi Nabana and drummer Miyoko Yamaguchi decided to carry on as a no-bass duo, sort of like a much louder and faster White Stripes or Black Keys, and rework their songs to suit. The result is a more dynamic and even tighter sound and a flurry of new material. Nabana appears on June 2012’s It Came From Japan podcast to talk about the new version of Detroit7 and to play us a song so new it hasn’t even got a name yet.
Interview with Gen Kitajima of the band Mont Blanc (comprising Gen and his twin brother, Dai). We chatted in Shibuya’s Centre-gai shopping street the day before Mont Blanc flew to England for a recording session and festival appearance.