“Sorry we’re not The Tomboys, we’re just boys,” singer and guitarist Shohey jokes as he and the rest of Bahboon start their support set at The Tomboys London headline show. It’s certainly a good way to break the ice with the crowd, which is mainly comprised of The Tomboys’ male fans.
The trio is made up of guitarist Shohey Suyama, bass guitarist Yasuhiro Shimizu and drummer Chihiro Takahashi, and this is their second time in the UK. Their songs take many forms, one moment it’s grunge the next there’s a reggae breakdown, all of which just adds to the band’s appeal as they blast through their songs. There’s no denying that there’s something about them that’s special. MyM Buzz had the chance to meet Shohey before the show began to learn more about the band and their hopes for the future.
Let’s talk about your origins. You were originally Tsukumonokami and then you changed your name to Bahboon. What was the transition and evolution of the band like?
“When we were switching things around we all thought that we didn’t want to continue the band as it was, so we decided to completely change the name of the band. At the same time, when it came to my songwriting I wanted it to compliment all the other members of the band so it was better to know which members were going to be in the band because then I could write a song that would complement their skills and abilities. That’s why we wanted to change the name of the band and start afresh.”
Did your musical style change a lot?
“Yes, it’s changed completely. Beforehand I only wrote my part for the guitar in a jamming way of writing, but because I wanted to change the writing style I now think of the others parts as well.”
Was that challenging for you then?
“Yes, it was challenging. The main difference was that beforehand our drummer was performing hardcore metal so the writing was faster and aggressive. But now with our new drummer he is trained in jazz drumming so it’s much softer so that’s influenced the songs we can make.”
You now describe your music as being hardcore psychedelic – what do you mean by that?
“We’ve predominantly been described as stoner rock by those looking at us from the outside. The reason why we call ourselves a hardcore psychedelic band is because it sounds cool! When we assessed our music, it wasn’t punk and we thought it was more psychedelic, and it had hardcore elements so we thought that we could incorporate the two and that’s how it happened. We don’t aim for one sound, we just write a song and it follows a specific style so stoner rock and grunge are what’s best used to describe us, especially in Japan.”
What kind of bands influence you? Any British bands?
“Yes! Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cream and The Beatles are some of the ones we like. In Japan, there’s Unicorn, Super Car and Boris that we’ve been listening to a lot, and Boris has been doing well internationally as well.”
In terms of your most recent albums, Super Science Part One and Two, what was the inspiration for your lyrics?
“Science Fiction films were the main influence. It’s a concept album describing a science fiction film. Part one is about a person escaping a ruined planet but who then gets lost in space afterwards. Part two is about the people left over in the dying planet and how they struggle to survive. In the end, no matter what the characters do everyone dies, and that’s how we’ve been writing it. It’s like Interstellar but if both sides had a bad ending!”
Are there any other science fiction films that you are influenced by?
“Mission To Mars and Star Wars are big influences. In Japan I like mecha anime like Gundam and Space Runaway Ideon. That anime has a bad ending because all of space disappears!”
This is your second time in the UK, and you’ve already been doing some shows here over the past week. How has the experience been?
“We’ve had a few struggles with equipment gear and things like that but in terms of the sound quality and the reception of the crowd it seems to be better here than in Japan. If we ignore the equipment problems, it’s been a great experience.”
So, in the future would you like to come back to the UK more often to tour?
“We’re planning towards coming next year to tour. The main reason why we are here now is that we sent a few emails to event organisers and we didn’t get much of a response so we felt it would be better to come to the people directly. We’ll use the experiences we have on this tour, take it to Japan and come back next year.”
Will you also be working on any more music?
“We are going to be recording a new album in the summer. Using that album, we plan on touring in Japan and hopefully in the UK as well!”