“I don’t see many bands like this. And I get to be a part of it.” — Kaori Tsuchida
ISSUE: Spring 2011
STORY: Jimmy Lee
The razor-sharp rhythms — which are undeniable invitations to shake your ass — are just part of the evidence that The Go! Team has impeccable timing. Just when it felt like the band from Brighton, England, had fallen off the pop music radar, they reappear with a new, better-than-ever album. Released in February, their third and latest, Rolling Blackouts, continues to bring the joyful noise — a meticulous mélange of styles, from indie pop and noise to game show themes and hip-hop — found on its predecessor, 2007’s Proof Of Youth, which followed the sample-heavy Thunder, Lightning, Strike of 2004.
For guitarist Kaori Tsuchida, the phone call she received in 2005 about auditioning for The Go! Team couldn’t have come at a better time in her life. Her previous band, Yumiyumi, had just broken up, and Tsuchida faced the prospect of returning to Japan. A lover of the Beatles and the Kinks, Tsuchida arrived in London with her Yumiyumi cohort and best friend from childhood, Yumi Okamura, with dreams of playing gigs in London. Before leaving their hometown of Kumamoto, Tsuchida asked her mom: Can you just give me six months before you start to worry?
That was in 2000.
“I lied to my mom,” says Tsuchida, her accent now a mixture of Japanese and British.
When Okamura became pregnant, that allowed Tsuchida to bring her talents to The Go! Team. And for Ian Parton, the band’s founder and creative force behind their sonic collages, Tsuchida offered not just guitar skills, but also melodica and rapping in Japanese, which she did for the single “Milk Crisis.” “Ian likes ’60s girl groups, that California-style sound,” says Tsuchida. “He had a stock of [poppy] songs … and [they] came out on this album.” One of those songs, “Secretary Song,” features Satomi Matsuzaki, the front woman of the San Francisco-based noise-pop outfit Deerhoof.
The band itself is an eclectic mix of genders and ethnicities, including fellow Japanese member Chi Fukami Taylor. “I don’t see many bands like this,” says Tsuchida, “and I get to be a part of it. And I can play lots of instruments; that’s a fun bit.”
— Jimmy Lee
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