Yunioshi Interview


Nick Lawford spoke to Yunioshi who play LeftLion at Brownes on Friday 21 November

 Yunioshi - photo by Vicki Smith (c)Yunioshi, a joyous union of three Nottingham souls (Rob Yunioshi, Lady Yunioshi Suzuki and James Yunioshi San), are a band with a delightfully upbeat sound. As bright and fresh as a big pink daisy, Yunioshi take a cut-and-paste approach to pop music, juggling breakbeat samples, hooky guitars, children's keyboards, and a singer with a voice "like the best ice-cream you've ever tasted".
They'll put a spring in your step and make you grin like a kid stuck in a jam sandwich factory. Make certain you get down to The Social on Thursday 16 th November to catch Yunioshi as part of the next Supernight shindig. You can't fail to be charmed by their super cool wide-eyed shuffle. And although they're not ones for boasting, when the inevitable happens and the zombie infestation begins, you could do worse than join the Yunioshi gang… 

So, who does what in the band?
Rob Yunioshi: I play mostly guitars, sing a bit and write stuff. I also hunt around for things worthy of sampling. I dabble on the 303, melodica, drums and anything that makes a noise. Oh, and I enjoy writing sliding bass lines for James too. Lady Yunioshi Suzuki is the singer, with a voice like the best ice-cream you've ever tasted. She also plays far too many things…we've had to make her a small electro compound to lurk behind onstage. She can also make her voice sound like a robot. And finally, there's James Yunioshi San, a man of bass. When he's not strumming that, he's perched over a guitar or a 303. He also shakes percussion things in a menacing way. And counts.

What's your favourite Yunioshi track?
Rob: It's usually a matter of "what song am I least sick of hearing"! At the moment I quite like a new one called Sue's My Beat and another new one which goes by the name of Lalala. It floats around and reminds me of the start of summer.
Suzuki: I really enjoy singing the mighty Leisure Rules! It makes me happy!

And what's your favourite track of all time?
Rob: Tricky, but it could be Robotic Samba Program done live by Fonda 500. It's great.
Suzuki: Ooooh, that's too hard…I really don't have just one, but I love Mushaboom by a lovely lady called Feist. I'll never get sick of listening to it.
Jim: I haven't heard it yet, but it's going to be I Think We're Alone Now by Girls Aloud, I just know it.

What are your favourite cities and venues to play?
Rob: Nottingham – it's got a great scene with great promoters and plenty of good people, and we're proud to be a part of it. We're all really looking forward to playing Supernight on 16 th November – the Social's our second home.
Suzuki: Yeah, Nottingham is such a good city to start out in because the music scene is huge - people are hungry for new music!

If you could get anyone in to play with you, who would you choose?
Rob: A chap called Mark Woods - and he's about to record a track with us so that one will be coming true soon. He used to sing in Do Me Bad Things before they split and he sounds like a bear with a cold. A great vocalist. Other than that, I suppose we would allow Beck or Bob Brozman to join in if they brought us Party Rings…
Jim: Fonda 500 too, although they might well be grumpy about it.

Have you got any tips for upcoming artists that we should check out?
Rob: I like Spaceships are Cool. A great chap from Nottingham making some beautiful music.
Suzuki: Yes, they performed at Oxjam when we were playing and their music made my ears tingle!
Jim: Junkyard Choir are great too.

Yunioshi - photo by Vicki Smith 

What can people expect from your show?
Rob: Three people trying to make complicated music sound uncomplicated in lots of complicated ways.
Jim: Three people desperately trying to remember which instrument they have to play next, but styling it out nicely.

That sounds like fun. What do Yunioshi listen to on the stereo at home?
Rob: Simple Kid, Tom Vek, Fonda 500 and all kinds of odd 'French Fried Pop' from the 60's and 70's.
Suzuki: At the moment, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan's Ballad of the Broken Seas.

What was the last album that you bought?
Rob: SK2 by Simple Kid. I've been waiting for it for yonks.
Suzuki: Regina Spektor Mary Ann Meets The Gravediggers And Other Short Stories.

How about the last book you read?
Rob: Either Casino Royal or Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster.
Suzuki: Mick Jackson's Ten Sorry Tales
Jim: Thud by Terry Pratchett

What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Rob: Seeing some paparazzi-style photos of my recent drunkenness.
Jim: Craig Bellamy.

Would you last long if the UK was over-run by zombies?
Suzuki: Yes. I know people.
Rob: I'm a little skinny so I'd probably be largely ignored. Plus I'm half asleep mostly - so it's likely that I'd fit in with the ol' zombie gang.
Jim: I've got a big front gate too, so yeah quite a while.

Do you have any advice that you'd like to share with LeftLion readers?
Rob: Never sniff someone's finger when they ask you to.
Suzuki: Never look a monkey in the eye.
Jim: Don't eat the yellow snow.

Yunioshi and Alberto Veto play LeftLion at Brownes on Friday 21 November.

All photos courtesy Vicki Smith (c)

Yunioshi on myspace

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