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>MIKA BOMB

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?
"Just being lazy." offers singer Mika Handa, whose unparalleled stage presence is one of the reasons the band fired my musical devotions in the first place.
"We recorded a few songs too." That's Nic, one of two new additions to the Mika Bomb team, along with Ann on guitar.
"Yeah", adds Mika "We did some recording for an EP, but we had a bit of a problem." What with? "Everything. We couldn’t play, we couldn’t release the record. We had a record company for the EP thats why we did the recording. And then we had bad luck again, the record company shut down. Everything’s fucked up, we’ve got material, but we don’t have a record company. We were supposed to go to

 

MIKA BOMB ARE:
Mika Handa - Vocals
Ergi Ahmed - Drums
Ann - Guitar
Wataru - Bass
Mel - Guitar
Ex-Members
Nic Tse - Bass
Haruna Hayashi - Guitar
Hisako Otani - Guitar
Tomy - Guitar
Mika Kanayama - Bass
Agi - Guitar
Taku - Guitar
Danny Barns - Drums
Yumi Okamura - Bass
Yuki - Guitar
Tomoko - Backing Vocals
Pippa - Bass
Yosuke - Bass
Tomo - Guitar

DISCOGRAPHY
Albums
The Fake Fake Sound of Mika Bomb

Singles
Contact Tokyo
Heart Attack
Super Sexy Razor Happy Girls
Hey Man

REVIEWS
London Metro
London Upstairs at the Garage

INTERVIEWS
Joyfest

LINKS
Official Site
The Mika Bomb Archives
Damaged Goods

Garage Superstars

 

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

original 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."
"The whole London scene is a bit weird, because all the American bands can do well, you know, even if they’re shit they can get good press & people go to see the bands," says Mika "I quite enjoyed the bands at first, but now there’s too many."

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 stuff,

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."
Haruna – "A lot of them go back to Japan for family."
Nic – "It’s mainly because of the nature of what Mika Bomb is, and the idea of a bunch of Japanese girls playing in a band and most of the don’t call in on home. After their studies or whatever, they get tired of London."

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?

 Nic - "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."

But 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.
Mika - "He looks like a girl anyway! Nic is the prettiest part of Mika Bomb."
"I attract the same fanbase." grins Nic, "I think that’s as far as we’ll go though. Another girl gets replace by another guy, and it starts to change the band & lose its appeal."

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