BUMP OF CHICKEN
Genres: Pop rock, Electronica, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
BUMP OF CHICKEN, alternatively nicknamed バンプ (BUMP), and otherwise abbreviated to BOC (BUMP OF CHICKEN) is a four-piece Japanese rock band under record label TOYS FACTORY (2000-), having previously been under record label HIGHLINE RECORDS (1998-2000). Since their formation back in 1994, they have released eight albums and twenty-three singles. Through all these releases they've become quite popular in Japan, seeing as every release since their third single, "Tentai Kansoku", has managed to reach the top ten in the Oricon Weekly Charts. Their music has also been used in various video games and as theme thongs for movies, television shows and anime. The band's name has its initial meaning from 弱者の反撃 (which when translated means counterattack of the weak).
"Let's form a band and change the history of rock.", suggested 14 years old Hideo Masu to classmate and friend Motoo Fujiwara during their 2nd year at West Usai Junior High in 1994. Along with the two other childhood friends, Hiroaki Masukawa (g) and Yoshifumi Naoi (ba), they saved up their money to buy instruments; Fujiwara even says he saved up his lunch money instead of using it to buy food. However, due to his strict parents, Fujiwara asked Masukawa if he could hide his guitar at his house instead of bringing it home.
Their first performance wwas in 1994, during their ninth grade cultural festival, where they would play a cover of The Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout". At first they just played covers like this, but later they began writing their own songs that were in English.
In 1996, their song "Danny" won a prize on 96TFM. They were only 17 years old at the time. In the same year they also won more awards with the song "Glass no Blues" and even released a demo tape during a live performance in 1997, which sold out in a whopping 10 minutes.
The band, however, was put on hold while the members attended college...
BUMP OF CHICKEN resumed activities in 1998, and in the year 1999 they released their first album, "Flame Vein". They also released their first single, "Lamp", later on in the same year. In the year 2000, the band saw their first promotional video for "Glorious Revolution", and the release of their second album "The Living Dead", as well as the release of their second single "Diamond". This was also the year that they did their first tour.
In the year 2001, their popularity was on the rise with the release of their third single "Tentai Kansoku". This song caught the attention of the public, becoming an incredibly popular song. Their third album titled "Jupiter", released the following year, enjoyed good sales from this new popularity.
In the following years came more live tours, more singles, and then came 2004. On August 25th 2004, Bump of Chicken proudly released their fourth album, Yggdrasil. Interestingly enough, Fujiwara himself did the album art for this CD, as he did with The Living Dead. The song Sailing Day, featured on this album, was used in the anime movie One Piece Movie 4: Dead End Adventure.
(Contination of their biography can be read here: wikipedia.org)
Motoo Fujiwara （藤原基央）
Motoo Fujiwara "FujiKun" is the composer, lyricist, guitar, and main vocalist of the group. He has written most of the music, and has also drawn the artwork for their albums 'The Living Dead' and 'Yggdrasil'.
Hiroaki Masukawa （増川弘明）
Hiroaki Masukawa "Hiro" is the guitarist of the group, and also writes most of the hidden joke tracks for albums. He is referred to as the shy member of the group, and calls himself pessimistic.
Yoshifumi Naoi （直井由文）
Yoshifumi Naoi is the bassist of the group, and is referred to as the "crowd pleaser". Also known as Chama. He jokes that he "falls ill exactly four times a year." He also calls himself an anime and game otaku, and a "rare genius".
Hideo Masu （升秀夫）
Hideo Masu is the drummer for the band. He describes himself as an introvert. He also mentions that he has good eyesight, cannot write kanji well, likes to go outdoors, and often gets headaches.