Neither Japanese nor Androids but a duo from Vancouver made up by singer/guitarist Brian King and singer/drummer Dave Prowse. Japandroids have been creating a big stir in North America with their garage punk rock noise. They have at last brought their rocking selves to the UK for the first time and with one gig plus one in-store show at Rough Trade, we caught up with them just before hitting the stage at a largely unsuspecting London crowd at Hoxton’s Bar and Grill.

R13: How did you meet?
DP: We first met at university, University of Victoria, which is on the west coast of Canada
BK: Which is about as far west of Canada you can get
DP: So we met there in our first year at university when we were 18, so we have known each other for about 10 years now, which is crazy.

R13: How did the name Japandroids come to be?
BK: Basically when we were coming up with band names Dave wanted to name the band Japanese Scream and I wanted to name it Pleasure Droids and neither of us wanted to name the band either one of the other persons names so I just combined Japanese Scream and Pleasure Droids…
DP: Smashed together
BK: … into Japandroids and I felt Pleasure Scream sounded too much like Primal Scream so it became Japandroids and we were just kind of like fine. We just needed a band name quickly to start playing and that was it.

R13: Who are your influences?
BK: I would say our influences separately are quite different from one and another and a lot of them don’t have affect on the music we make at all. We picked a handful of bands that we both liked and decided that those were enough to start a band and kind of sound like them. So what would those bands be…Wire..
DP: The Constantines are another big one…
BK: McLusky, we actually cover a McLusky song on our first EP, so we are playing that in Cardiff for sure, What else, The Sonics from Tacoma, Washington and bands like that, we kind of picked bands that we both liked and was like right lets rip off these bands and that’s enough to start a band.

R13: How would you describe your live shows to someone who has not seen you before?
BK: Noisy…
DP: We just try to play as loud and with as much energy as we can muster between the two of us. You should probably bring ear plugs maybe…
BK: Very loud, very noisy, a lot of energy but a lot of passion too, trying to give as much as you possibly can for 30 or 40 minutes of playing so that when people leave they really felt like you gave them something and you weren’t just up there kind of being whatever, just another gig. We play every show like it is the last one you will ever get to play.

R13: You support A Place To Bury Strangers here in the UK, this surely is going to be an awesome tour?
DP: Yeah, should be a lot of fun, we actually opened for them quite a while ago in Vancouver, our home town, when they came through and it was quite a show they put on..
BK: They’re quite a bit louder than we are.
DP: We thought we were loud until we saw them play. Yeah, I think it will be a lot of fun. We’ll learn from them too, it will be fun to watch them play every night too. Try and steal some ideas or what we can.
R13: They sometimes play with just one strobe light
DP & BK: Really?
DP: I wonder if they will let us borrow it?
BK: No, then we will blow their whole set before they even play anything.

R13: You have to make sure you are playing SXSW next year
DP & BK: We are!
BK: It’s on the to do list.

R13: You have only played one gig and one in-store (at Rough Trade), how do the crowds differ from back home?
DP: It’s a little more sedate, we’ve had good crowds where people have come out to our shows but it’s funny we were just talking to someone who said last night was a pretty lively audience for an in store, to us it seemed like everyone was politely standing there nodding their heads a little bit, it wasn’t really like a rowdy livelier crowd by any means for us.
BK: I think our record has been out in Canada and America for a little bit longer and we are much better known there. A lot of the cities we play we have played one or two times before, so when we play the bigger cities in America the crowds are really out of control, they are really wild now and it’s where I think it will take us a few trips here before we get that kind of reaction from the crowd and I think they’re not sure what to expect but I have heard the crowds get wilder the further north we go in the UK, I’m looking forward to playing those cities.
DP: Plus in Canada and USA you play about an hour or two after you do here so people have 3,4,5 more beers…
BK: People get more drunk by the time you go on.
DP: A little more lose, you know, a little more ready to rock on.

R13: Favourite city you have played?
DP: There’s a few, New York for obvious reasons, great city and great music city and it’s just an amazing place to go to, there’s so many great venues, etc, etc, etc and Montreal is in my opinion, like the New York of Canada, the music scene there is so strong. We’ve played a festival in Montreal the last couple of times we have gone through and we’ve played some venues there which have been really great. I think one city is kind of the biggest surprise to me each time we play there and one of the most fun cities is Boston. We’ve played Boston twice now and both times has just been this crazy party, I don’t know how it developed but all of a sudden everyone in Boston knows that when we are coming it is going to be a party. We have played the same bar both times, it’s a tiny little bar called The Great Scott and it’s been packed with people and people just lose their minds, they buy us drinks while we are playing, they just wont let us leave the stage, just want to hear more music, that city is amazing, it’s been a lot of fun both times we have played there.

R13: Describe ‘Post Nothing’ in three words?
BK: (Lots of thinking) Live, Raw and cheap (laughs) as in how much it cost to be made.

R13: Where can you see yourselves in five years time?
DP: After the last year we would never have thought we would be here doing this interview.
BK: If we carry on like we have the last year we probably won’t be around in five years time.
DP: Hopefully we will still be doing this at bigger bars, or based on the last years change, we’ll probably be on Mars.

R13: This is your first trip here, hope we do not have to wait long for next trip?
BK: We are back in February for a full European tour including UK nights, so we will be back real soon.

Brian and David then went off to get some Thai food before their gig. Thankfully there were plenty in the crowd who knew Japandroids and finally gave them an indication that UK crowds can rock too! You can catch Japandroids supporting the awesome A Place To Bury Strangers (a true win / win tour), maybe borrowing their strobe light too at the following dates:
6th Nov �" Nottingham
7th Nov �" Birmingham
8th Nov �" Cardiff
9th Nov �" Dublin
11th Nov �" Belfast
12th Nov �" Glasgow
13th Nov �" Edinburgh
14th Nov �" Manchester
15th Nov - Leeds