Punk rockers Otoboke Beaver pack a punch. Their music is loud and in-your-face, and they are an all-round brilliant live band. Formed in Kyoto in 2009, the band features members Accorinrin (lead vocal & guitar), Yoyoyoshie (guitar & vocals), Hiro-chan (bass & vocals) and Pop (rums & vocals) and are named after a love hotel in Osaka. They have built a strong fanbase in Japan for their fierce music, and in the first week of May the band made their UK debut, playing six shows across the country, including a show at the Pipeline in London. There, MyM BUZZ was able to meet the band and, despite the band not speaking much English and a translator not being available, we pushed through the language barrier to talk to us about themselves and their music.
How did you guys meet, and decide to start a band?
Yoyoyoshie: “In college school days we met and decided to start playing music as a band. All the members are the same age, and only four girls. But our bassist changed to Hiro Chan three years ago.”
Your band is named after a love hotel in Osaka. Why did you decided to use this name?
Pop: “My high school was near a love hotel that was named Otoboke Beaver in Osaka, and I thought this could be a good band name.”
You’re a new type of Japanese band where you are open feminists. How do you portray it in your music?
Y: “Almost all our songs are made by Acco, and are constructed by all the members.”
Accorinrin: “We write songs about girls’ talk – Japanese girls’ talks which is shown through Otoboke Beaver’s songs. We sing all love songs, girls’ love songs.”
Knock out band
Y: “It means that we are sexy and strong!”
You recently released your first album outside of Japan, Okoshiyasu!!! Otoboke Beaver. What inspired your music on the album?
P: “Japanese ’80s bands.”
A: “I haven’t listened to musicians that aren’t Japanese. They’re all ’80s Japanese bands.”
What are your musical influences?
A: “Japanese ’80s music. I like that kind of music and techno pop, Hikashu, Japanese techno pop.”
P: “I like the Japanese underground scene in Osaka. There are many garage and rock bands there that I like.”
Hiro chan: “I love a Japanese band which have split up already, but they are very cool psychedelic band. I also like the lo-fi indie scene in the US. I like Oasis too! [Starts singing “Wonderwall”]
Y: “I like classic rock music like Iggy Pop, I love pulse too, US indie, emotional music, and electronica.”
Accorinrin, you write the lyrics for your songs. What do you base them on?
A: “They are love songs –it’s difficult to explain in English: love is love. I am writing about girls in love, who are trying to get a man’s love, and all girls fight over it.”
Do you write about your life?
A: “It’s 50/50 – half is my life and the other half is imagining what others girls are thinking.”
This is your first tour in the UK, how has it been so far?
Y: “It’s been very exciting!”
H: “We have done six gigs, together.”
Do you like the UK?
A: “Of course, of course.”
How do you feel about the show tonight?
Y: “It’s very exciting, our support bands are very cool and we thought they were amazing. In the UK, all of our gigs are very cool.”
The band’s latest album Okoshiyasu!!! Otoboke Beaver is out now through Damnably.