Who are The 5,6,7,8s?
The 18.104.22.168s are a garage band of spunky-punky Japanese girls whose music is fun and raucous, and they love their surf-manga fifties and sixties-influenced stage outfits. Oh, yep, and they wail.
Apparently these gals take their name from ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music, and all the influences they try to squeeze into their sound. They find many of the songs they cover on old records bought in Japan or America. Many of these titles can be found on the band’s recently released compilation, Early Days Singles.
The 22.214.171.124s first made their break in the West when a track of theirs was played on Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The deal is that Quentin Tarantino stumbled into a second-hand clothing store in Tokyo while making preparations for filming Kill Billand heard a record being played that caught his ear.
After some haggling, Tarantino managed to buy the record from the reluctant shopkeeper (for double its retail value, apparently). He ended up using the band (the 126.96.36.199s as you might have guessed) in his film, both as soundtrack material and as special guest stars. The 188.8.131.52s appear in Kill Bill Volume 1 as the house band at the House of Blue Leaves, the rock’n’roll izakaya bar – they’re the ones dressed in super-sharp yellow frocks wielding guitars just before the final swordplay showdown.
The 5678s might be recent as far as the West is concerned but they’re actually real veterans, having formed as a hobby band in 1986 and toured the world a few times since then.
Sisters Yoshiko “Ronnie” Fujiyama and Sachiko Fujii are now the long-surviving members of the 5,6,7,8’s. Sachiko lists Elvis, the Cramps, Ronnie Specter and the Ronettes and the Ramones among her favourite bands. “I like particular sounds and movements such as rock ‘n roll, doo-wop, rhythm and blues, girl groups and punk,” she says. “I guess this also relates to our name, the 5,6,7,8’s.