INTERVIEW: Killer Japanese Punk/Garage band‏ Otoboke Beaver

Hi girls, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

O:Hello! We are Otoboke Beaver  from Kyoto, Japan  and all girls punk rock band. We are doing very well thank you!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Anata Ga Falling Love Shita No Ha Watashi Ga Kirai Na”?

O: Onnanoko! X) Like singing♪ It means “ The girl you fall in love is the girl I hate.” and many of our songs are in Kyoto slang so it’s maybe hard for even Japanese to understand.
This single is from the album Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver which means ‘Welcome to Otoboke Beaver’ and is our first release outside Japan. ‘Akimahenka’ is also the single as it’s AA. Listen here.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

O: It’s partly Accorinrin’s (the main singer)real life experience and partly inspired by Japanese 80’s new wave music which like Yapoos&Hikashu. They are maybenotwellknownoutsideJapanbut combine pop, rock and experimentaloravant-guarde ideas.

How was the film experience?

O: Fresh and the real ! We enjoyed making the video and it captures our live show very well. Often Accorinrin and Yoyoyoshie(lead guitarist) will invade orattacktheaudiencemidsong and itbreaksdowntheaudience/band barrier, Thewholeexperiencebecomes more engaging and electricforall. SometimesYoyoyoshie’s guitar lead becomeunpluggedbutshestillkeepsplaying. Sheislike Michael Myers from Halloween: UNSTOPPABLE!

You also released the Bakuro Book EP just after Okoshiyasu!! Otoboke Beaver’– what’s the story behind the title?

O: Bakuro book means “Revealing book” in English. It’s like when a celebrity has a ‘tell all’ story in a tabloid newspaper, so it’s playing with concepts around secrets and revealing. The EP has three songs ‘Bakuro Book’, ‘What do you mean youhavetalk to me at this late date ?’ And ‘S’ilvousplait (Please)’. S’ilvousPlait has beengetting a lot of radio play in the UK/US/Germany and Japan. It’sthemostcatchysongonthe EP.

How was the recording and writing process?

O: All lyricsare written by Accorinrin and she has firm ideas on how the guitars and bass should go, but in the rehearsal room all members add ideas and we choose the best.

We like to record locally atHanamauii studio in Kyoto. You can see some footage of us recording in this video here.

Known for blending different genres together – does one tends to shine out the most depending on the lyrics’ theme?

O: Hmm, maybe the sense or danceof language-a little influenced by the lyrical rhythms of hip-hop in Japanese.  It makes the song more interesting.Accorinrinarranges the words and delivery with the instruments, creates a vividrich sound that allows spacefor all in frequency. Completing is the work for all 4 members, but she is genius about these sense.

The music has elements of punk, rock, garage but inspired bymuch older Japanese acts, although we do love Afrirampo from Osaka who are our contempory. J

What role does Japan play in your music?

O: Only one! girls riot music!! But Accorinrin does write in Kyoyo slang and that is rare. There are many words and phrases that have unique sound and meaning and that is very much part of her writing and Otoboke Beaver.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

O: From our lives and those of friends. Some is imagination and some is based on real experiences.

Any plans to hit the road?

O: We just finished our debut tour of the UK where we played 6 gigs in 6 days, including 2 London festivals on the first day. That was incredible fun and we shared stages with many great bands including Shonen Knife, Wussy, Leggy, Good Grief, Bruja, Former Utopia, Kath Bloom, and Chorus Girl. It was our first time to play outside of Japan and we were surprised we had so many fans in each city and there was even a huge mosh pit at our London headline show.

We made a video of our tour here.

We all work in full time jobs, so touring is a little difficult but we have shows around Japan including some excitingfestivals. We just played ‘Non Stop Bus’ which is an all night festival with many bands in EIGHTHALL  in ISHIKAWA and in AugustweplaySai Music Festival in kyotowithmany local bands.

What else is happening next in Damnably Otoboke Beaver’s world?

O: We hope to return to the UK and play the other cities that we didn’t have time to play and also continental Europe where we have requests from good venues, and possibly a US tour.We want to play in SXSW Festival. That’s a goal we think now.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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