Glasgow’s Nanobots will be taking their unique brand of Space Pop to Japan later this month for three shows in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. Earlier this week Dear Scotland spoke to Jimbot and Shonabot about their previous Japanese trips and after-parties with Ted McKenna, a Rezillo and 500 bikers:
Dear Scotland: Where are you now and what did you do last night?
Nanobots: At home in Glasgow, recovering from last night. We were DJ-ing in Glasgow’s MONO at an annual night we do every January to celebrate the birthdays of David Bowie and Elvis Presley. We’ve been doing it for nearly 10 years now. We just play records by them and the odd Shirley Bassey tune (cos it’s hers too!). It was a brilliant night, really busy despite the weather, a very strange mix of people, some silly dressing up (not just us) and  lots of dancing (and drinking). Apparently we were “event of the night” in The Guardian. We wish they’d say that about our gigs!

DS: Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?
Jimbot: I could never imagine being fulfilled by any job other than something involving music – and playing it is the best of the lot. Everything I tried subsequently proved this and I love it now more than ever.
Nanobots – ‘Why, Robot?’

DS: What is your favourite song of yours to play right now?
Shonabot: It’s a new one called “Frenetic Genetic”. It’s got a really good riff that you just want to keep playing over and over again. So we do.

DS: You’ll be touring in Japan later this month, have you played there before and are there other places you’d like to visit?
Nanobots: We’ve both been to Japan as sound engineers for other bands. Jim initially went with “bis” who were HUGE there but more recently we’ve been with bands like El Presidente and The Rezillos. We are vibrating at a molecular level with the anticipation of actually playing there ourselves. The Japanese really know how to run a gig and it is like visiting the future!

We love playing in Europe generally, the attitude to gigs and bands is so much more friendly and helpful. We’d love to play in Russia or the Far East and of course, outer space. Perhaps Mr Branston could hire Nanobots as on board entertainment, imagine trying to play guitar in zero gravity!
El Presidente in Japan

DS: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?
Shonabot: I’m not sure I feel more Scottish, but I like to see how other countries do things.
Jimbot: I can’t help feeling more Scottish abroad and yes, we do adapt, we’re programmed to. When I’m not in Scotland I really miss the fighting, the rubbish everywhere, the deplorable regional television, being dug up in the street for the slightest “abnormality”, the bigotry, the macho-ism… Well, no! Actually I DO miss the best patter in the world, the cheese, the genuine warmth towards strangers (despite my previous comment) and the swearing. No one swears better than Glaswegians!

DS: What will be your first words on stage at The Cellar in Osaka?
Shonabot: “Konichi Wa, Osaka! We are small bottoms!”.
Jimbot: But hopefully our universal translator will be fixed by then.

DS: Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?
Nanobots: Millions! The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Rezillos, bis, Chou Pahrot, Average White band, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Shamen have all been musical influences but there are lots of great Scottish artists who’ve been influential as much by their attitude and achievements such as Lulu, Liz Fraser, Teenage Fanclub, Camera Obscura, The Proclaimers and the sheer mental fearlessness of the KLF. Also lesser known bands who’ve just inspired and blown us away with their performances – Desalvo, Macrocosmica, We See Lights, Pink Kross, lots of others
The Shamen at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party

DS: How do people react when they discover Nanobots are Scottish?
Jimbot: Firstly they’re surprised that we’re human. Then they’re impressed that we’re not English. Finally, they’re confused that we no nothing about football.

DS: What should the Scottish national anthem be?
Nanobots: There are so MANY! The old Star Trek theme (“Wheee-ooo…!”) or Star Wars would be great before the rugby! But for mainstream populism, Dolly and Kenny’s “Islands in The Stream” would be a belter, “Ye Cannae Shove Yer Granny Aff The Bus” is a great tune and everybody knows it, “Auld Lang Syne” is an obvious contender with the added bonus that at least once a year the rest of the world would be singing OUR national anthem. And of course, Alex Harvey’s “Anthem” is ready to go, straight off the shelf!
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Anthem

DS: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?
Nanobots: Tricky, usually the best ones are the ones you can’t remember! Last summer we played at a Vintage Indian Motorcycles rally in the grounds of Traquair House in the borders. Right after we played, Jimbot went back on to do an impromptu covers set with Eugene Reynolds of The Rezillos, Ted McKenna of SAHB amongst others and Shona did the sound. Then after that, Eugene kept the bar open all night while we sat around a fountain with guitars and little battery amps, backing Mercy Breheny at the insistence of about five hundred Dutch, German, Russian and Australian bikers who didn’t let us stop till about 4 in the morning! After shows in Holland are usually pretty good too.

DS: And finally, many many years from now, when you finish your farewell world tour, is there one place to where you would like to retire?
Nanobots: Hopefully by then the space-lift will be built and we can spend our retirement weightlessly in orbit. If not then France, they have cheese AND wine there!

Nanobots debut single “Hairy Hands” & “Why, Robot?” is available from itunes, mychoonz, emusic, 7digital and resonance music
Photo Credit: Nanobots Facebook