Cheap Trick reflect on how Japan gave them their first big breakthrough in a new preview clip that AXS TV has shared from this week’s episode of The Big Interview.
The episode airs this Wednesday, October 9th at 8pE/5pP and features original members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson sitting down with host Dan Rather.
In the preview clip, Nielsen reveals, “We started getting fan mail from Japan, because of the Japanese press talking about us at a Queen show…. Normally they wouldn’t mention the opening act.”
Zander said, “In Japan, they have these comic books and they’re thick ones and Queen and KISS were always in there. And all of a sudden, we were in there as like their young brothers. So that helped promote us in Japan before ‘[Cheap Trick at] Budokan’ even came out.”
Petersson added, “They kind of like that quirky cartoon character thing going on, which Queen has, which KISS certainly has. We were like cartoon characters. None of the other audiences, our record company in the states and stuff, they thought ‘boy this is too weird.’ But the Japanese, they got a kick out of it. That’s how they learned English. They listened to records over and over and learned how to pronounce English words. It’s kind of demented nursery rhymes.”
Zander concluded, “Not everyone in rock during that time was in these comic books. It had a lot to do with the caricatures of ourselves, but the music had to be there too.”