Photo via Bo Ningen’s fb page.
It’s not easy making it as a band in the UK with non-english lyrics, but ten years in the making, London based Japanese noise rock four piece Bo Ningen is still going strong, stronger than ever! I had a quick chat with them discussing their Savages collaboration, the advantages and disadvantages of Japanese lyrics, and of course – if we can expect new music from them any time soon…
You’re one of few bands in the UK music scene that has managed to get a following with non-English lyrics, was there any ever a moment where you wanted to give English lyrics a go to make your music more accessible to people?
Taigen: Yeah, I often change the lyrics to English when we perform live. I feel like singing in English is like using a different instrument, an instrument I’m happy to learn more about.
Do you feel that your lyrics being in Japanese is an advantage, disadvantage, or maybe a bit of both?
Taigen: I think it’s a bit of both. The advantage is that people can focus on music itself, and I give them space to use their imagination to connect to their own experiences or inner world. If we play for 1000 people, that could be 1000 people having different interpretations of the song. The disadvantage would be accessibility, especially when it comes to radio and stuff like that.
You collaborated with Savages on ‘Words to the Blind’, how was that whole experience of working so closely with another band? Is that something you might do again in the future?
Monchan: We did this project three times, and we always have fun with Savages. We did a month long UK/EU tour earlier this year, and I feel we all got really close. We will definitely do something like this again in the future, which will be something else, beyond previous collaborations.
It’s been two years since you last released an album, have you got a new one planned any time soon?
Monchan: We’ve actually releasing a new EP, 「Kizetsu no Uta」in June, but only in Japan. That said, we are currently writing new songs, so you will see something in the next year.
What’s next for Bo Ningen?
Yuki: We’ll head back to Japan for a bit to play Fuji Rock festival in July. Apart from that, we’ll be quiet this summer focusing on making the new album. Next year will be big for sure.