Italian Japanese

Italian Japanese

 San Diego, California, USA

This indie band combines elements of dance, folk, electronic and pop and makes it their own. Similar artists include: Doves, Grizzly Bear, Phoenix, MGMT etc...



While most developing indie bands write their success stories in a typical, linear fashion, S.D./L.A. based alt rockers Italian Japanese keeps putting the proverbial cart before the horse�with incredible results. Even before the official release of their debut album The Lush, Romantic Weirdness to iTunes and other outlets, the collection debuted at #47 on CMJ�s Top 200 (with airplay on legendary L.A. station KROQ and two major stations in San Diego). While The Lush, Romantic Weirdness approaches two months in the Top 200, Italian Japanese is going beyond even the cultural borders of its clever moniker to places Down Under. MTV Australia PUSH recognized the album as �the future of indie music. Combining elements of folk, pop, electronic and dance, these California upstarts will have you tapping your toes, while singing your woes.�

This unusual road to renown isn�t surprising considering that band founders Allen Nicholas (lead vocals, guitar) and Chris McLaughlin (guitar, keys) did things a little out of sequence from the get go. Introduced to each other by a mutual musician friend, the two multi-talented singer/songwriters�who each had been playing in other bands for several years�hooked up at a taco shop in San Diego and began talking about animal rescue, veganism and music. With a mild contempt for corporate radio and a desire to create timeless and melodic music without boundaries, they began to collaborate almost immediately. Their collaborations continued as Allen moved to L.A.�s Silverlake area, and they began laying the groundwork for a possible album in his makeshift apartment studio.

When a friend who ran a stage at South By Southwest invited them to play, they put together a powerhouse backing band to perform there. Their SXSW set included rough original versions of �Minus� and �Le Pony,� which would eventually make it onto The Lush, Romantic Weirdness. Returning to L.A., the band which would ultimately be called Italian Japanese (after Allen�s unique dual ancestry) began developing their unique sound. Several false starts and personnel changes occurred before the chemistry and material was just right; producer Ryan Greene (Nofx, Jay-Z) helped put the finishing touches on their debut. Italian Japanese�s lineup now includes drummer Justin Greene, guitarist Sean Rodriguez (who also plays keys and creates effects) and bassist Noah Willis. Collectively, through past projects (Weatherbox, Lance's Hero, The Color Turning, Lucky 7), the members of Italian Japanese have performed across the U.S., U.K., Europe and Canada, appearing at such major music festivals as Reading, Leeds, Pinkpop, Puklepop, Rock Am Ring, Rock Am Park, Livid, Big Day Out, Terra Moto, Warped Tour, Bamboozle and numerous radio shows. They have shared bills with such superstar bands as Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Queens of the Stone Age and Vampire Weekend. Now building a following of its own, Italian Japanese has played such SoCal hotspots as the Silver Lake Lounge and Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles and the Hard Rock in San Diego; they also have an upcoming KROQ sponsored event at The Roxy.

Largely inspired by the band�s passion for film, the 11 songs on The Lush, Romantic Weirdness feature provocative lyrics that allow people�s imaginations to run wild and come up with unique visual imagery. The original version of the title track, a love song about having the courage to move on when you�ve had enough of a relationship, was created with a lot of electronic elements; Italian Japanese decided to scrap those original sessions in favor of a more organic, drum and bass driven vibe. Allen began writing the poignant ballad �Jeremiah� in the studio on the acoustic guitar while working on overdubs one day, waiting for Chris to come over; the melancholy flavor of the music inspired lyrics about Allen�s best friend Alex's little brother, who died of leukemia. Like many of the other songs, �Le Pony� is a spirited, uptempo song whose lyrics tackle a dark theme�in this case, being in a relationship with someone addicted to painkillers.


The Lush, Romantic Weirdness LP - 2009

Set List

1. Jeremiah
2. Minus
3. Naming Plants
4. Jaguar Paw
5. Paper Tigers
6. Le Pony
7. Untitled(New Song)
No Covers
30 min plus set list