Bo Ningen


Written by Johny Chhetri
Photos and illustrations by Burak Cingi
15 Monday 15th November 2010
 If you haven’t heard by now, Bo Ningen are hot property. At last year’s Offset festival they stole the show with their assortment of psyched out riffs and mad acrobatics and have since then been lauded for their live shows.
They’re also fans of improvisation and have supported none other than former can frontman Damo Suzuki, more than once; which is pretty fucking rad. With an album due now and a set at Dollop alongside Factory Floor on November 24, Don’t Panic talked to the guys about how they met and recording their album with horses and roosters.
Would you like the introduce yourselves?
Yuko: I’m Yuki, I play guitar.
Kohhei: I’m Kohhei, on guitar too.
So how did you guys form?
Y: Taigen, our singer and bassist was in another band and he was running a Japanese music night in London with Japanese bands playing about three or four years ago. That band was the first Bo Ningen – a proper noise rock band. Then Taigen asked if me to join the jam sessions and did it for a while. We did our first gig with a different drummer – after that he quit. He was some half French guy.
K: I think he just went back to France.
No bad blood?
Y: I think Taigen still talks to him.
K: Yeah, they’re still friends.
Y: And then we needed a new drummer. Our friend said he knew a drummer with really long hair that was Mon-Chan (current drummer). He came down to our second show and then we rehearsed with him and he’s still with us today and that’s how we formed.
Did you have musical upbringings?
Y: I was in a band in high school, but that was just for fun. We were just covering songs and stuff.
K: I started playing guitar when I came to London.
Do you remember the first record you bought?
K: (laughing) That’s a hard question!
Y: I think I bought a Christina Aguilera one, when I was 13 or something.
K: I probably bought some mainstream J-pop single or some Bon Jovi.
Who or what are main influences?
Y: As a whole we obviously have a lot of similar tastes, but some aspects are very different. We’re influenced by a more guitar-orientated sound and even improvisation bands or heavy psyche or prog and stuff like that.
Speaking of improvisation how was your show with Damo Suzuki?
Y: It was really good.
K: He’s still got it.
So who are you listening to at the moment?
Y: Harmonia, they’re one of the legendary Krautrock bands. I listen to some piano music too.
K: We also listen to Bach songs, it’s really complex structure-wise.
You’re debut album has just been released! What was making it like?
Y: We recorded in a small studio called No Recordings – quite a lovely studio, it’s on a farm.
Did you get any animals involved?
Both: Yeah, horses and stuff!
What about any roosters?
K: (laughs) Yeah!
Y: It was a really peaceful place, we just stayed for four or five days and just drank recorded, it was really fun.
Was it good to be in an actual studio?
Y: We’ve never used an actual studio in London before so it was really good.
Future plans?
Y: We’re going back to Japan for a couple of months at the end of this year. We’ll play some gigs there and release some records too.
What’s the fan base like there?
Both: We have a few! (laugh)
Y: We formed here so obviously no one there knows who we are really.
Any parting words of wisdom?
Y: Psyche out.
K: Psyche out- far out.
More info on Bo Ningen at

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