Japanese Band No Buses keeps the garage-rock-revival from the 2000s going in Tokyo. Due to Youtube’s algorithm I came across their single Tic. If everything goes according to plan No Buses will put out their first EP (Boring Thing) in December. I spoke with singer Taisei about the band’s influences and what it’s like being a garage rockband in Japan.
How did your band came to be?
“We first started playing together as a band in October 2016. There was a strong drive to form a band since high school, but I couldn’t find anyone who was interested enough. That was until I entered college and met Nontan, our lead guitar player. One day we went to a McDonalds and I gave him a demo called Rat. We were both getting excited to the idea of starting a band together. We found a drummer and bassist, and at last No Buses was born.”
How would you describe No Buses?
“We’re an indie garage rock band. Easygoing and nice to bob your head to. Nice melodies and gritty chords are our essentials.”
What is your main inspiration for your music?
“All our songs are inspired by our own experiences. The songs are written in English, so there’s always a slight difference in how we experience a situation and the language barrier. Japanese and English just aren’t the same. We also draw a lot of inspiration from bands from the US and the UK.”
Could you name some of those bands?
“Definitely. Bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Smiths and The Cribs are our favorites. Bands from the UK are usually really good.”
Could you tell me something about the underground band scene in Japan?
“We do not belong to the underground scene previously known in Japan. You could say that there’s a new wave of bands, but I think the quality in the Japanese underground scene is better than before. We feel like bands that get started today’s Japan got an easier route ahead of them, which is a good thing. First of all it’s easier to look up music than before because of the internet. Secondly, people in the scene will help you a lot more than they used to.”
Can you handle as an indie band in Japan, where your hit parade is mostly filled with J-Pop?
”We really don’t care about the J-pop scene. We just want to make music that we want to make, not music that people want us to make. For Japanese people, band music is not mainstream at all. It’s nothing ordinary, which is why we need to start a platform for bands in Japan. I think that people in the US and UK look at bands differently than we do in Japan.”
What was your coolest gig yet?
“We played at Summer Sonic in 2018. That’s one of the biggest festivals in Japan. Many people saw our performance and they seemed nice. It felt good to see so many people actually enjoy our music.”
Your Youtube video ‘Tic’ has over 161 thousand plays, some people even reposted your songs on Youtube. How do you feel about that?
”That really surprised us, because apparently a lot of people seemed to enjoy our music. Some even posted our lyrics in the comment section. The fact that the song got reposted by people made us even happier. We just want our music to reach as many people possible.”