Yoko, Saki, Hitomi and The Gooch are four Japanese girls who laugh and yell at each other all the time. The riff-heavy, post-punk anthems of Hard Nips coalesce from jabbing, overdriven guitar and bass lines, big straight beats, and Yoko’s prepubescent straining.

Each of the Nips came to live in New York at different times, from different parts of Japan. And, as conspired by the ever-dexterous hand of fate, they were to cross paths and become fast friends. Yoko ran a Japanese bar/restaurant in Brooklyn which conveniently gave the girls a place to meet, unwind, and escape the English-speaking world. They quickly formed a cult-member-like bond whose rituals all included drinking a lot of alcohol and uncontrollably running their mouths in some unintelligible language (some say it was Japanese). The wine flowed like Kool-Aid and, somehow, they found themselves buying into the delusion that they were capable of forming a kick-ass rock band. Granted, it’s not exactly a divine revelation for four musicians, but remember, at that point (except Hitomi), none of them were musicians.

End of 2009, it was there that the girls picked up instruments for the first time, and, with all the sonic grace of a crop duster crashing into a pet store, they officially declared themselves a band. They played for months with no intention of ever performing live, they just had a lot of fun getting together, hanging out and making noise, sometimes even attempting to not sound like shit. Then a strange thing happened: somewhere in the collective mind of the band, music was being heard, music that they did not have the ability to play, but very badly wanted to.

Hard Nips have released two albums, two EPs, one vinyl, and “Fortune cookie MP3” (you can eat the cookie!). The latest EP is “Bunny” (December 2017), they are going to release a new album “Master Cat” in the summer of 2021 and it has drawn increasing attention via their colorful and kinetic live performances.

“People call Hard Nips [a] band, but I think, for us, it is [a] type of creature”

Keith Sirchio


@hard_nips (