“Brown Mushrooms.” “Strawberry Cream Puff.” “Mayonnaise Addiction.” “Mango Juice (for George Harrison).” No, they’re not dishes from some edgy new fusion restaurant: They’re songs by legendary Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife.
“I’m ashamed to sing about love, but I can sing about food or animals. Eating is a universal topic, and people all over the world could understand,” says singer-guitarist Naoko Yamano. Shonen Knife, which just released their 22nd album, Adventure, has toured with Nirvana, and their songs have been covered by the likes of Redd Kross and Sonic Youth. The Osaka band has been crafting tunes so sweet you could bite into them for more than 30 years, and now they are finding a new way to combine their love of eating and playing music on their 2017 Ramen Adventure tour. “How wonderful it is to fuse music and food! It became a good opportunity to introduce delicious American ramen to people in the world,” Naoko explains.
Along with all of their songs about bananas and wasabi, Shonen Knife also has a tune called “Las Vegas,” a fittingly swinging little number in which Naoko croons, “At buffet, I eat so much food/ Breakfast, lunch and dinner every time.” So, where will the ladies of the Knife be dining before their gig in Sin City? “At Jinya Ramen Bar,” she says. “I can’t wait to eat there!”