New York City R’N’R band Baby Shakes will be coming for 4th Japan tour with their new album “Cause A Scene”. I got in touch with the band to talk about them music and Japan.
Japanese page here
–Your fourth Japanese tour starts this November. What things are you looking forward to doing in Japan this time?
This will be the first time we’ve been to Sendai so we’re super excited to go to the northern part of Honshu. Of course, we’re looking forward to all the great music, bands, people and food as well!
–What’s your best memory of Japan so far?
We have so many actually. The first time we toured and played at Koenji High in Tokyo, Fifi (Teengenerate, Firestarter, Poor Cow) came on-stage and sang with us. Tomoko (Tweezers, Supersnazz) also came up on stage to sing with us as well!! Also on the same tour, when we arrived to Miyazaki, we had the most badass crew of rock n rollers and punks meet us at the airport so that was super welcoming and exciting! Eating chicken sashimi, trying Fugu… Also, we always have the best time at Poor Cow with our friends. Some of our best memories have been from our time spent in Japan on to just drinking and singing to songs all night long.
–Do you have any favorite local spots in Japan?
Poor Cow in Shimokitazawa is definitely our favorite spot. We will be spending most of our time here- before, after, and between our Tokyo shows! They call it the “best rock n roll meeting place in the world”! We’re bringing a group of NY friends with us on this tour so we’re looking forward to letting them experience the magic that happens at Poor Cow 🙂. Record Shop Base in Koenji is also another favorite local hang out spot in Tokyo. Amazing selection of records/music, shirts, and other goodies. If not for the amazing shop owner, Toshio, Baby Shakes would not be in Japan so we’re incredibly thankful for everything he’s done.
–You’ve played with lots of Japanese bands in the past. What do you think about the Japanese rock/punk scene?
It’s like no other scene or place. There’s something very special about the bands and people in general in Japan. Everyone is just so passionate especially about music. People are incredibly sincere, generous and kind but also know how to really party and have a great time. It’s all good vibes and one of our favorite places in the world to play. We feel incredibly grateful and honored to tour in Japan.
–How do you feel about the NYC rock/punk scene?
There’s a lot of great bands coming out of NY as well. We love Dirty Fences, Brower, Daddy Long Legs, Trash Bags, The Josephine Network, Elevator Operators, Unknown Sender, Wyldlife, Cheap Sneakers…just to name a few.
–This month you released your fourth album. Congratulations! Do you have a theme in mind when you start making your albums?
Thank you! We don’t usually have specific themes to our albums, but we mostly write about having fun with your friends, being free, love, stuff like that. For this new album we still wrote about these things but also wrote about some bigger issues we have to deal with in the world, making a stand for yourself and what you believe in and not letting anyone get in the way or change your mind.
–There’s a song with Japanese lyrics on the new album. It was a nice surprise! When did you come up with the idea to do that?
We really admire and respect Japanese culture. Our friends and musicians in Japan are so inspiring that we wanted to add a little bit of the language in one of our songs. Carol is a Japanese band that we admire so we wanted to try and make a song that had a Carolish kind of vibe to it.
–Your new MV “Cause A Scene” is so unique and cute! Do you have a favorite story about the making of the video?
Thank you! Cause a Scene is about doing what you love and causing a scene wherever you go. People have called us “Baby Shakes hurricane” because we’ll just show up with a bottle of tequila and get rowdy. We thought it would be funny to depict us as giant monsters. At first everyone is scared of us but towards the end of the video they realize we’re just out to party and have a good time. Big thanks to our friends Scott and Claudia from A Cats on Broome Studio production for making the video!
–You always wear cool clothes and accessories. Do you have any stores in NYC that you can recommend?
Some of our favorite spots in Brooklyn are:
*Rebel Rouser (In “punk alley” awesome record shop with new, rare/used records,cool badges/pins, books, fanzines and other rock’n’ roll paraphernalia ) @rebelrousernyc on Instagram
*Plastic Age Shop is owned by a close friend and they have great vintage clothes @theplasticageshop on Instagram
*Le Grand Strip
*The Foxy Flea- pop up vintage flea market with lots of vendors that our friends Hayley (@heyjohnnyvintage – Instagram) and Ashley Jane (@scarlettwillowshop -Instagram) organize once a month at a bar in Brooklyn)
*L train vintage
–Can you also recommend some good rockin’ venues and record stores?
Some of our favorite bars and venues in Brooklyn include: The Gutter which is a bowling alley, venue and bar. Union Pool has great shows, 3 bars, and a taco truck in the outside area. A lot of new venues have opened up that we still haven’t even been to. There’s something new every month in this town.
*Rebel Rouser ( Best record shop in NY. They specialize in rare 45s, punk, junkshop glam, powerpop, r&b and soul, synth, garage, metal and everything in between.)
*Generation Records ( one of the oldest punk record shops in NY now)
–Finally, please give a message to your Japanese fans!
Wakarimasu ka? rock n roll!!
–Please tell us anything else you want us to know.
Favorite Japanese foods:
Ryan: One cup sake, okonomiyaki
Claudia: Spicy mentaiko onigiri, yakisoba, matcha shochu
Judy: Hamachi and chawanmushi
BABY SHAKES JAPAN TOUR 2019
Nov 1 (Fri) GIFU Nakatsugawa BIG DOOR
Nov 2 (Sat) OSAKA Namba MELE
Nov 3 (Sun) SHIZUOKA Hamamatsu G-SIDE
Nov 4 (Mon) TOKYO Shimokitazawa SHELTER
Nov 6 (Wed) TOKYO Shimokitazawa THREE
Nov 8 (Fri) TOKYO Shimokitazawa SHELTER
Nov 9 (Sat) NIGATA Ryuto SHOW CASE
Nov 10 (Sun) MIYAGI Sendai BAR TAKE