Q&A: Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori On Food, Fun, And Fans Who Were Too Young Back In The Day

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The '90s revival has been going on for a couple of years now, and it's hard to imagine a trendier time to be a food-obsessive. Surely there is no better time for a Cibo Matto reunion? Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda's 1994 debut Viva La Woman! still feels like a singular slice of 1990s culture, a playful record that blended trip-hop leanings with unexpectedly affecting melodies, a Beastie Boys-like sense of wonder at the possibilities of New York's melting pot, and—most strategically— the liberating possibilities of focusing lyrics on food. Cibo Matto recorded two albums, worked on individual solo careers and recently reunited for a benefit concert for Japan; they've played a handful of shows since and will headline Brooklyn Bowl tonight.

I spoke with Miho Hatori over the phone on July 4, a few hours before she would meet Yuka Honda to celebrate Independence Day.

On getting back together to perform a benefit concert in the wake of the Japanese earthquake:

That was, I would say, a major inspiration to play again, because of those two benefit concerts in New York City, and we were very happy to be a part of it. It was a very organic flow, and I feel like it happened in a very organic, natural way, but at the same time, it was very in a positive reaction to this distraught time for all of us...

Still, we have the aftershocks in our minds, and we need to deal with it.

I remember right after that, Yuka and I talked, and we had a weakened view from here. And good actions actually helped a lot, to feel a little bit better... So I think in those kind of difficult times, actions kind of helped us. I do feel like we want to do more, you know, for our sake as well, actually.

On the recently completed tour of the west coast:

I think the Cibo Matt-ness is still there... The taste of Cibo Matto is definitely there. Our chemistry is still there. But we have new working members, new to the Cibo Matto band. This time we have Yuko Araki, [who] played drums for Cornelius. And Jesse Murphy, he plays bass, and he's from Brazilian Girls.


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