Thursday, 6 November 2008

Vice Interview: Japanese Motors

Here is an interview with California indie-rock guys Japanese Motors for Vice v6n11. They are like a really addictive version of an even more surfier Strokes.


Japanese Motors Friends Don’t Wear High Heels

Japanese Motors are great. And not in maybe I’ll go check ‘em out at the bar tonight kind of great. More great in a just can’t no matter how hard you try ever get their songs out of your head kind of way. An old lady asked me to stop humming along to ‘Single Fins & Safety Pins” on the 243 the other day. They sound kind of like The Mummies playing Chantays tracks but with the taught energy of early Strokes bathed in a beautiful So-Cal glow. They are from Costa Mesa and though I have never been nor know anything about the place I can say with all confidence that it is the kind of beachside town where everything’s fine, the sun shines every day and there is always a barbeque to be at. Or at least that’s what a Japanes Motors song would have you believe. We like ‘em so much that we signed them.

Vice: Pitchfork’s market front, Insound, have labeled you "the most exciting band to emerge from Orange County since the heyday of Social Distortion and TSOL".
Alex Knost (guitar):
It’s hard to judge any critic or critique. Getting just as many fans of the tunes writing good things, as we do critics writing us on or off is great. Besides, I question free press these days as a whole. Who knows who is telling who to write what.

Who do you think told me to write about you?
I don’t know. Your boss?

No, I actually just like your songs. You are on our label though so I guess maybe that might be it.
Not that I am blowing smoke up your ass ‘cos of where this interview is appearing but everyone at Vice Records and Vice in general is cool, they work their asses off and flex like no ones business. We just saw it as like this big party where everyone hangs out and socializes and has similar tastes and ideas so it was logical to go with you guys.

Talking about parties is there any truth whatsoever to all this talk of your infamous all night parties in Costa Mesa?
I don't know where that rumour came from. I like to get up early in the mornings. After being in New York and seeing how no one leaves bars ‘till like five am, I'd have to say it’s a web of rock and roll lies that they span to consume us.

Who is that girl on the cover of your record? I would like to be friends with her.
Her name is Sneakers. We would see her every night for years at local shows and bars, but none of us ever talked to her. We thought she had an attitude problem. Since no one knew her we started calling her Sneakers due to the fact she never wore heels, or pumps. Just sneakers, every night. She would be in Dunks or wino's or whatever. Then finally after meeting her and talking to her we realized she was just shy and was a total sweetheart. I took that photo of her just a week later as she was sat on the couch in our practice space drinking a beer. We are glad we are friends with her now.

Jam 69

Japanese Motors debut album “Single Fins & Safety Pins” is available now on Vice Records

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