Maki of Osaka Punk Band Foodie: “The first time I listened to The Raincoats, I thought I want to make my original music…”

Original photo courtesy of Foodie. Handmade collage by B.

Foodie play bouncy, melody-laden, catchy, poppy-punk. Hailing from Osaka, Japan they’ve been on our radar for the last few years with their super fun, energetic songs. We interviewed guitarist-vocalist Maki to learn more about Foodie. Maki has also started her own label and promotions/touring venture, TOGE; before the worldwide pandemic and lockdown she was in the works to tour another Gimmie favourite, Crack Cloud!

Foodie are from Osaka, Japan; what is it like where you live?

MAKI: Osaka is the second big city in Japan. There are many cool record stores, used clothing stores, restaurants and music venues. People speak Osaka dialect.

What were you like growing up? How did you first discover music?

MAKI: When I was a high school student I met punk like everybody else. I am very influenced by their music and fashion.

Who or what made you want to start playing music?

MAKI: The first time I listened to The Raincoats, I thought I want to make my original music like them.

Photo courtesy of Foodie.

How did you start the band?

MAKI: When I started to try making songs, I found the cool guitar at the same time. It’s my first guitar and still playing it. Then I invited some friends, girls only, to make my own band. 

Why did you call your band, Foodie?

MAKI: Not so meaningful…we just love delicious foods!

Being a “Foodie”; what are your favourite things to eat?

MAKI: Sushi, Gyoza, Yakitori and Tacos.

Can you tell us something about each member of Foodie?

MAKI: Bass player is Masaki. He is also a vocalist of the band called BRONxxx. Drum player is Haruro. He is also a vocalist and a guitarist of the band called manchester school≡.

You recently released cassette Storks Talk; can you tell us a little bit about it?

MAKI: New member Masaki joined us and we totally changed our style. (We used to play with switching instruments.) We stopped playing old songs, and make new songs with him. Storks Talk is the 1st recordings of new Foodie.

One of our favourite songs on the EP is ‘Do My Best’; what inspired that song?

MAKI: I think many people interfere in other people too much. I wanted to say leave me alone.

The last song on the EP ‘星屑’; what is it about?

MAKI: 星屑 is stardust in English. It’s a song about nameless great artists.

What bands have you been listening to lately?

MAKI: The World, Table Sugar, Crack Cloud and The Goon Sax.

Can you tell us about one of the most fun shows Foodie has ever played?

MAKI: We had 5 shows in Southern California in 2016. Honestly bad thing happened too, but it was a great experience. Every bands we played with were so cool. We met many lovely people. We miss them.

What do you do when not making music? What’s your day job?

MAKI: I’m working at my friends’ restaurant. (He is from US.) Serving foods and helping him making bagels. I also started my own label / promoter named TOGE.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Foodie?

MAKI: We planned to go to US and have some shows in May, but we couldn’t. I think every music venues are in difficult situation now. We want to save them. We wish we will be able to have shows not only in Japan but also other countries soon. We are making new songs for next time we can see you.

Please check out: FOODIE. Foodie Tumblr. Maki Foodie on Instagram.

Los Angeles band P22 make “Protest tunes sung in punk’s tomb”

Mixed media collage by B.

Californian band P22’s latest release Human Snake is an exciting, offbeat, underground post-punk offering, a collection of songs written between 2017 and 2019. The band – Sofia Arreguin, drums; Nicole-Antonia Spagnola, vocals; Justin Tenney, guitar and Taylor Thompson, bass – collectively answered our questions in isolation.

P22 are from Los Angeles; tell us about where you live? Did you grow up there?

P22: We all grew up scattered across Los Angeles County. Now we each live at the foot of different mountains around the city, Glassell Park, Hollywood, and Mt. Washington.

How did you first come to punk rock?

P22: As adolescents. We’re all around the same age but occupied different spaces in different scenes prior to this band, so there’s a real mix of histories that are somewhat unique to LA—the power-violence contingency of the early to late 00’s, the Smell, bands at Calarts, East 7th, etc.

Why is it important for you to create?

P22: Everyone’s always making things in one way or another. This project is probably more invested in thinking about how things are created or how certain methods, like punk, can be worked through differently.

Who or what inspired you to make music?

P22: We are united by an interest in creative practices that operate communally. The band’s namesake is a mountain lion that gained notoriety for his dispersal across the major freeways of LA. He survived a bad bout of mange and is always ending up in inopportune places. Animal liberation remains the main underlying incentive.

How did P22 come together? You started in 2015, right?

P22: We (Justin and Nikki) started the band as a recording project in 2015, during some sweltering months in a garage in Val Verde. At that point, we were still working up the courage to ask Sofia if she wanted to play drums. Sofia introduced us to Taylor, who had just moved back to LA, and we commenced in a practice space in Vernon, next to the infamous Farmer Johns slaughterhouse. The pungent odour helped drive the song-writing sentiments. We played our first show as P22 in 2016.

What inspired you to call your latest release Human Snake?

The title was lifted from a painting titled Human Snake, by the German artist Sigmar Polke.

How would you describe it?

P22: Protest tunes sung in punk’s tomb.

The EP is a compilation of materials written between 2017 and 2019; can you tell us a bit about what was inspiring your writing for this collection of songs?

P22: We often work at a glacial pace because there’s not one person guiding the writing. There are instances where it takes months for a song to come together, even though it’s like 80 seconds long. There are some songs that yield more hastily. We really adore each other’s company which feels integral to the songwriting structure. This collection of songs wasn’t produced with any overarching thematics in mind; it was more of an opportunity to assemble something with sensitivity to each of our different perspectives while playing with the limits of a genre.

What do you feel was one of the most experimental things you tried musically while recording the EP?

P22: Sofia and Taylor’s harmony at the end of the EP.

The artwork for Human Snake reminds me of when I was a kid and I’d find interesting coins or embossed things and I’d take a piece of paper and rub a crayon or pencil over it to replicate the pattern/image/object on the paper; what’s the story behind the art?

P22: Exactly, it’s a rubbing of an etched block. Justin made the album art, the rubbing on the front, and the drawings on the back. The design riffs on the sanctity of different punk emblems and their homespun means of distribution.

Who are your creative heroes?

P22: Japanese pufferfish. Unfortunately, they are also a delicacy.

What are you working on now?

TAYLOR: Writing new music with a different project, sitting on an unmixed album, and working on my new bicycle.

NICOLE: A dissertation, making some videos, and spending more time with inter-species companions.

JUSTIN: Making cyanotypes in the garden.

SOFIA: My physical health.

Please check out: P22. Human Snake is available from Post Present Medium.