I've been waiting for this. Anyone that visited my old site Kaytronika will already know of my enthusiasm for Mika Bomb (at some points it seemed more like a Mika Bomb fansite than a general music zine), so when I designed Joy for the first time, it was with Mika Bomb on the front page, hoping to continue where I'd left off. Unfortunately the band then disappeared for six months.
So I guess my first question
is, where the hell have you been?
America this summer, but that was fucked up as well."
Thankfully, after this enforced absence, Mika Bomb are back, albeit minus drummer Ergi, who's resting up after aggravating a back injury (he had to be carried to his drum kit at their last gig). For tonight, Ergi is replaced by Danny, drummer with punk band Twofold who's a little nervous having only had 3 hours to practice with the band before tonight's gig.
And this should really be Mika Bomb's time, with the airwaves clogged with hundreds of retro garage rock chancers and bandwagon jumpers without an
thought in their heads, Mika Bomb stick out like a beacon of punk thrills;
Haruna - "We’ve been doing this sort of thing for a long time
and new bands come and get press for it. It’s just not fair."
Time to show the newcomers
just who's boss around these parts then, and the new EP, fronted by live
favourite 'Osaka' should be just the catalyst they need. It'll be the
first completely new material from Mika Bomb since the release of their
debut album 'The Fake Fake Sound of Mika Bomb' almost four years ago,
and they're looking forward to airing the new songs. "I’ve
been doing ‘Magic Boots’ for four years now" sighs Mika.
"‘Fake Fake Sound’ has been out for a few years now,"
says Nic "and the fans still like that, but I think it would be interesting
for people to hear fresh material and see where we go with that."
"It’s a little bit more complicated,
like 'Boomeranka'." adds Ann. "They're not really poppy-punky
more like garage rock."
Mika Bomb have faced a number of challenges in getting their new material out (they're still looking for a label to release 'Osaka' - hint to any record labels reading this interview), not least being a Japanese band. "It's very hard for Japanese bands in England, people don't take Japanese music seriously," Mika claims, "Even Melt Banana, they’re doing well in America, but not so good over here."
But the main problem has been
keeping a fixed line-up. Only Mika and Ergi remain from the sleeve of
'Fake Fake Sound', with a plethora of guitarists and bassists having filled
the void in between.
Mika – "We’ve had such problems keeping the same line up, so we can't really record or write. It’s so hard to get members that are oriental girls. Hisako was good, but she had to go back to Japan. But hopefully, these guys will stay in Mika Bomb forever."
Ann – "Still together,
playing until we’re very old and all Grandma’s."
And what's it like to be the new guy, joining a band that have been around for a few
years, with a full set of material to learn?
- "For me it’s a bit of a challenge, because I’m a guitarist,
this is the first band
I've ever played bass in, and hearing the record, where Mika Bass did
an amazing job. I’d seen Mika Bomb a couple of times before I joined
& I enjoyed what the band were doing, I was really excited about joining."
has Nic's joining has also changed the band's dynamic on stage, previously
consisting of the 'front-line'
of girls, with Ergi hammering away at his kit from the back.
So, there we have it: Mika Bomb, one of the most exciting, life affirming, vital punk bands around, blazing a trail for Japanese bands in Britain. We've missed you.
Interview by Paul Madden