Shonen Knife formed in 1982. Yamano sister Naoko (guitar) and Atsuko (drums) teamed up with Nakatani Michie (bass) while all three worked as office clerks.
The group released a series of albums on independent label Zero Records, which eventually licensed its catalog worldwide.
In 1991, a group of bands including White Flag and Redd Kross recorded a tribute album for Shonen Knife. That same year, Shonen Knife opened for Nirvana during a three-week U.K. tour, right around the time Nevermind became a huge hit for the Seattle band.
Shonen Knife signed a major label deal with Virgin Records, releasing its debut album Rock Animals in 1994. Rock Animals, according to McClure, sold more than 100,000 copies outside of Japan, compared to the 50,000 copies sold domestically.
Shonen Knife performed at Lollapalooza, recorded a cover of "Top of the World" for a Carpenters tribute album and released two more albums, Brand New Knife and Happy Hour.