Cibo Matto (meaning crazy food in Italian) is a New York City-based band formed by two Japanese women, Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori.
After working together in the noise rock band Leitoh Lychee, they formed Cibo Matto in 1994. The band name is an Italian phrase that roughly translates to “Crazy Food”, a twist of the name of an Italian movie from the 70’s called “Sesso Matto”. In 1995, Cibo Matto released a self-titled EP on El Diablo Records. The EP caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records, who signed Cibo Matto later in the year. Under Warner Bros., the duo released their first major album, “Viva! La Woman”, produced by Mitchell Froom, which stayed at #1 on CMJ college chart for six weeks. Their songs featured lyrics that played with food-related ideas, including “Know Your Chicken”, “Apple”, and “Birthday Cake”. Their single “Sugar Water” was a modest college radio and dance hit. The song was accompanied by an innovative split screen music video directed by Michel Gondry, wherein each side showed the same footage – one side going forward, and one backwards, meeting mid-song in a sort of visual/narrative palindrome. Cibo Matto made appearances on various television shows such as Oddville, Viva Variety, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “Birthday Cake” was heavily featured in the videogame Jet Set Radio Future. In 1996, Cibo Matto contributed their version of the Jobim classic “Águas De Março (Waters of March)” to the AIDS benefit album “Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin”, produced by the Red Hot Organization.
In 1997 Cibo Matto released an EP entitled “Super Relax” which included remixes of the song “Sugar Water” (including versions by Mike D of Beastie Boys and by Cold Cut of Ninja Tune) alongside rarities and oddities such as their version of “Águas De Março” and The Rolling Stones’ “Sing This All Together”.
Cibo Matto went on to release their second (and final) album “Stereo ? Type A” in 1999. Although it was a departure from the much-loved sound of “Viva! La Woman”, “Stereo ? Type A” was well-received by fans and the music critics alike.
The group continued to tour until disbanding in 2001.
All of the members of Cibo Matto have gone on to release solo material and continued to collaborate with each other.
Miho & Yuka announced their reunion on March 18th, 2011 when they performed as part of a benefit concert for victims of the 2011 T?hoku earthquake and tsunami. The concert, which took place on March 27th at Columbia University in New York City, also included YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND, John Zorn, Sonic Youth, and Mike Patton. Following the success of this show, Cibo Matto performed again at a second benefit on the 29th of the same month, which also featured YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND and Patti Smith Group. Lou Reed and Antony of Antony and Johnsons were surprise guests at this event.