O!susume – tricot

Broadcast 17: tricot

For this month’s recommendation, I’m talking about tricot—an explosive alt/math/J-rock band that expanded and redefined what kind of music I wanted to listen to back in 2015. They inspired me to seek out more awesome Japanese rock bands with female vocalists and instrumentalists—so I can ultimately thank them for expanding the awesome music that I listen to (check out previous O!Susume RadioBeat posts for more of my recommendations!) 

\"Four

 

Years Active: 2010 – Present (2022)

Core Members: Nakajima Ikumi “Ikkyu” 中嶋イッキュウ(vocals and guitar), Kida Motoko \”Motifour\” キダ モティフォ(guitar), Sagane Hiromi \”Hirohiro\” ヒロミ・ヒロヒロ (bass), Yoshida Yusuke 吉田雄介 (drums, 2017-Present 2022)

Past Members: Komaki Kazutaka 小森 一孝 (drums, 2011-2014)

Point of Origin: Kyoto

 

Who is tricot?

tricot (a French word for knitting, pronounced tree-ko) is a J-rock/math rock band that started in Kyoto back in 2010. Singer and guitarist Nakajima Ikumi “Ikkyu”, guitarist Kida Motoko \”Motifour”, and bassist Sagane Hiromi \”Hirohiro\” started the band after getting to know each other through the local music scene in the area and in 2011 drummer Komaki Kazutaka joined the band as well. They started their own independent label called BAKURETSU records (meaning something similar to “exploding”) soon after, and released their first studio-length album THE in 2014, peeking at number 18 on the Oricon charts. 

Shortly after releasing THE, the drummer Komaki left the band due to musical differences, and the three core members continued to tour and make music with a revolving cast of drummers. In 2017, it was announced that Yusuke Yoshida who had been touring with them since 2016 would be their permanent drummer going forward. When I first got into the band in 2015, it seemed like everyone had an opinion about how changing drummers would change their sound, but I feel like the three core members have continued to rock regardless and Yoshida seems like a great fit for the band. Some fans will definitely have preferences on this point, but I’ve continued to enjoy their music throughout the years.

I was able to see the band live during their US tour back in 2018 with math rock artists Chon, Polyphia, and TTNG, hailing from America and England. While I would have loved to see tricot in a full length concert, it was great to see them touring with other math rock bands seemingly reaching international recognition within the genre. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “math rock,” it is usually characterized by complex rhythms with atypical time signatures and other elements that might change throughout a song. I’ve talked about math rock more in my toe O!Susume RadioBeat article here

Even though tricot has reached some success within the math rock genre, all of their official biographies say, “The band develops an unusual and distinctive sound that consists of harmonization of pop and emotional vocals with a complex rhythm. The members are not familiar with math rock and such harmonization is not created on purpose.” Instead, the band members try to make interesting music that subverts expectations, pulling from inspiration from various bands such as Fallout Boy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down, Sheena Ringo, Morning Musume and more. It’s often hard to put music into specific definitions of genres, so it’s refreshing to see tricot define themselves in such a way.

In 2019, tricot signed with major label Avex Entertainment, under the sub-label Cutting Edge with their own independent imprint called 8902 Records—which is apparently another way to say “bakuretsu,” which is the name of their first indie label. Since then, they’ve released 3 albums, including an album called 10, marking 10 years of the band\’s formation. I think that since their formation, tricot has been able to expand and explore their sound while still sticking to the 2015 Rolling Stone description of  \”adrenalized math rock sped up and given pop\’s candy coating.\”

 

Bakuretsu Panie-san

My first recommendation is “Bakuretsu Panie-san” (爆裂パニエさん – The Explosive Mr. Panie) off of the 2014 EP, Bakuretsu Torico-san (爆裂トリコさん – The Explosive Tricot). This song was my introduction to the band, and I think it’s a great place to start if you’re new to tricot. This was around the time that the original drummer left the band, but this song is definitely one of my favorites from them. I feel like this song really speaks for itself in a lot of ways, from the musical intro, to the way the vocals work with the complex rhythm, to just the overall jam. I’m also a really big fan of the spoken-word interlude around the 2:30 mark which in my opinion is a great example of how vocals can be integrated into math rock instrumentals. 

 

E

My second recommendation is the song “E” off of the E EP and the AND album from 2015. This was one of the first singles released after their first drummer left, and they featured guest drummers for each song on their recordings. tricot plays with this idea in the music video by having 3 drums in the middle of the room that the 3 members switch off playing on alongside of their own instruments. This is another music video of the band playing their instruments in a nondescript room, but it’s another one of my favorite songs from them. I love how this song changes tempo, building momentum throughout the song, with the lyrics “I have to hurry…” spilling out almost as an extension of the music itself. The vocals in the beginning and the backup vocals around the 2:00 mark add to the hurried feeling, and then the song ends on the awesome instrumentals again. 

 

Summer Night Town

“サマーナイトタウン” (Summer Night Town) is my third recommendation off of tricot’s 2020 album 10. At this point the band has drummer Yoshida Yusuke as a regular member as shown in the video. This song is different from their other music because guitarist Motifour and bassist Hirohiro feature on vocals alongside of their regular vocalist, Ikkyu. This song is a little slower than their other songs, but I really love that their style is still recognizable, and I love the way that their vocals work together. After listening to this album a few times, this seemingly unassuming song really became one of my favorites and I was really happy when a music video came out for this song! 

The three music videos I recommended today feature tricot in a room playing their instruments, but tricot is actually known for their more conceptual music videos as well. If you are interested in seeing more from them, I would recommend “potage,” “Melon Soda” and “Unou Sanou\” (右脳左脳 – Right Brain, Left Brain) as well as their Official Music Video playlist here. I’m excited to see how tricot will progress in the future and I’m happy to have access to their current discography of awesome music to always go back to, so let me know what you think!

 

ARTIST LINKS:

Website:https://tricot-official.jp/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/8902.tricot/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/tricot_band_jp/ 

Twitter:https://twitter.com/tricot_band

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Xp4bKmRn8cmAzi0cc66KQ

 

SOURCES:

https://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-radar/meet-japanese-rock-three-piece-tricot-and-watch-their-stylish-new-video-for-e-18213

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/10-new-artists-you-need-to-know-april-2015-10398/christopher-paul-stelling-20819/

https://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4152161-the-beginners-guide-to–japanese-post-hardcore

https://www.thefader.com/2015/10/24/tricot-gen-f-interview

https://www.nme.com/en_asia/news/music/tricot-announce-upcoming-sixth-album-jodeki-3056582 

https://www.bandwagon.asia/articles/tricot-inai-music-video-interview-new-song-curse-of-spring-bakuro-10-makkuro-avex-entertainment-june-2021

This Broadcast was written by Erin; you can find them on instagram at @thekniterin.