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Founded: 1981

Headquarters: Osaka, Japan

Website Link(s): Official Site

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Shonen Knife formed in 1981, influenced by bands like The Ramones, XTC, Buzzcocks, Jonathan Richman (among others; in interviews, Michie Nakatani has said her favorite album is Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica). When they started, they had very rudimentary skills at their instruments -- it was common for early basslines to be two notes back and forth. As the band progressed they got better and got more of a following, even outside of Japan. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was a huge fan, as was Jad Fair of Half Japanese (who was even involved with their fan club). In 1999, Michie Nakatani left the band, and Atsuko Yamano moved up from drums to replace the departing bassist. (Michie remains friends with the Yamano sisters; Naoko Yamano says the two talk on the phone every day.) Since then, they've had a revolving door drummer position. On the records, the Yamanos typically will play drums (usually Atsuko, but sometimes Naoko), although when they tour, they hire a touring drummer. Mana Nishimura (of DMBQ) was one of these drummers between 2001-2003, although she died in 2005 in an auto accident in the US.

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