dimanche 15 octobre 2017


While they have the same age as the traditional songstress Hajime Chitose, among others, it is through another style, more rock, but still as melodious and deep, that the 4 classmates of Bump Of Chicken (aka BOC) are regularly acclaimed, featured in many anime as well as karaoke or video games !


Heading to the stars

1st publication : 15/10/2017
Last update: 15/10/2017


BUMP OF CHICKEN, its a nice friendship story of more than 30 years between 4 boys from Chiba, a prefecture located in front of Tokyo et Yokohama:

Fujiwara Motoo (藤原 基央), born on the 12th of April 1979, comes from Akita in the North of Japan and moved very young to Chiba. He develops very early a taste for composition and songwriting. He is thus the core of the band he forms with his classmates and decides quickly to stop studying to concentrate on music. Between 1996 and 1998, he goes then through dire straits in Tokyo where he moved alone, playing in the street then composing for a small theater troop. He plays guitar and sings, with a remaquably warm and resoning voice. He is at the origin of the multiple reference to space in the opus of the band; he is fond of it since he received an illustrated book on the universe in his childhood. He also covered in solo the songs of the Tales of the Abyss game in 2006.

Masukawa Hiroaki (増川 弘明), born on the 20th of December 1979 in Sakura in the prefecture of Chiba, plays guitar too and writes the small hidden tracks of the albums. Shier but hard worker, he is the last to officially join the band in the place of a less motivated former 4th member. He entered the Chuo University and hold a side job as English teacher (!), but finally stopped his studies when the band started to gain success. While being left-handed, he plays like a right-handed.

Naoi Yoshifumi (直井 由文), born on the 9th of October 1979 in Sakura too, is the bass player of the band. His extraverted personality makes him a good public entertainer and the most active on the social networks. He is nicknamed Chama, from O-Botchama which designates the rich families' boys. This comes simply from a joke after he offered a can from an automatic vending machine to a friend with his pocket money. ^^ He followed studies in cooking after highschool.

Hideo Masu (升 秀夫) was born on the 10th of August 1979 in Kakudashi in the prefecture of Miyagi in the North-East of Japan (near  Fukushima). Fan of X JAPAN since very young, he strongly pushed to create the band with his mates; he was thinking about becoming bassist but found out second-hand drums and bought it, becoming thus the drummer of the band. He was dealing with the promo during the pre-indies period. After the highschool, he joined the Dokkyo universite to study the French language and culture. He owns a recording studio with the drummer of Dragon Ash.

Having the same age, they know each other since the kindergarten ! Motoo, Chama and Masu formed a first band band named "Hage Band" (ハゲバンド) with a 4th classmate at guitar as soon as 1994 for the event of their highschool, and start participating in contests; Hiroaki, who just started guitar, does not go on stage and his just "staff" at the beginning. But this 4th student does not seem to share the ambitions in music of the 3 others and gradually gives up the rehearsals. The 3 decide to replace him definitely by Hiroaki around the end of 1995. Their new name comes from one of their 1st original songs and is a loose translation of "Jakusha no hangeki" (弱者の反撃): the counter-attack of the wimps (or "chickens"). Their 1st live performance with this name on the 11th of February 1996 is then seen as their anniversary day.

The band's logo figures wings (of chicken^^)
and astronomy with 4 "stars"
After a break to allow Hiro and Masu to pass the University entrance examinations, they release their first self-produced album in October 1998, named Bump Of Chicken. They then join an indies label in 1999, High Line Records, where they release 2 albums: Flame Vein and The Living Dead.
They sign with the Major Toy's Factory as soon as 2000 and achieve success in 2001 with Tentai kansoku, their  3rd single (the 2nd in Major with Toy's Factory), which arrives 3rd of the weekly Oricon chart with more than 500 000 units, and the following album in 2002, Jupiter. Since then, all their tracks are highly awaited. In 2003, their well-named single Sailing Day is used for the animation movie One Piece - Dead-end adventure ; it appears in the album Yggdrasil in 2004 which includes too their 1st n°1 of the weekly Top Oricon: Only lonely glory. They also made tie-up with Doraemon, San-gatsu no Lion (Fighter and Answer) or the video game Tales of the Abyss (Karma)...

After the reedition of their 2 indies albums (featuring an additional song for Flame Vein) in Major in 2004, and the release of Orbital Period in 2007, they used all the songs Motoo had written since the very beginning and it takes him 2 years to manage taking the pace of new single releases. These ones are now mainly the occasion to promote the coming albums: Cosmonaut in 2010, Ray in 2014 and Butterfly in 2016. Proof of the impatience from fans, Happy and Mahô no ryôri released within 1 week of interval get ranked on 1st place of the weekly Oricon, a premiere for a non-idol band since Orange Range in 2005 ! They get more widely known too through their live duet with the Vocaloid (virtual) singer Hatsune Miku (cover of "Ray", in the eponym album), a premiere on both sides, and through numerous anime songs.


Motoo and Hatsune Miku (from the MV of  Ray)
With deep melodies and lyrics, BOC managed to enlarge his fan-base beyond the usual rock audience they had already conquered thanks to the nice voice of Motoo and to their musical talent in lives. Thus Tentai Kansoku is still a great standard of karaokes more than 15 years after its release and even inspired a drama !
They don't hesitate to innovate in music like in some tunes of Yggdrasil or Cosmonaut where their guitars and bass are tuned half a tone lower than normally, or through original instrumentation at the limit of pop and folk (small bells, mandolina...).
The band shows too a friendly side by dispatching cameo or easter eggs in their CD and DVD such as hidden tracks or particular recording lengths: for instance, Cosmonaut features 19 pistes lasting a total of 79min04s which recalls that the 4 members were born in 1979... 😉 In 2011, the income of their song Smile, released on purpose, and of their tour allowed to get funds for the victims of the great tsunami of Fukushima (which stroke in particular Masu, born if Tôhoku).
They also have a good synergy with anime and video games, which advertise the band as well as the band advertise them and if you're an otaku, you already heard them : from One Piece to Granblue Fantasy via Blood Blocked Battlefront, Parasyte..., the RPG Tales of the Abyss or the rhythme games like GuitarFreaks, BeatMania...
They "finally" were invited at the NHK's Kôhaku Uta Gassen in 2015 and still perform in the biggest halls.

Similar Artists

Japan: Spitz, Mr Children, Back number...

World: U2, The Police, The Beatles...
JMusic-Hits.com Kouhaku 2015 - Bump Of Chicken
BOC at the Kôhaku 2015

Great Standards :

Authors and 1st performers :

Tentai Kansoku
- Ray
- Snow smile

Selected Discography :

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02/2002: 1st album in Major; includes Tentai Kansoku, Halcyon...

04/2004: reedition of the 1st indies album; includes Glass no Blues (indies contest winner), Arue ("R.A": dedicated to the Evangelion heroine, Rei Ayanami !),

04/2008: reedition of the 2nd indies album; includes Lamp (1st indies single)...

08/2004: 2nd Major album; includes Only Lonely Glory (1st of Top Oricon), Sailing Days (One Piece), Snow smile...

orbital period / BUMP OF CHICKEN
12/2007: 3rd album; includes Karma (game Tales of the Abyss), Namida no Furusato and Hana no na (n°1 Top Oricon)...

06/2008: Best of faces B; includes Snow Smile (Ringing version), Present (titre original)...

12/2010: 4th album; includes Happy and Mahô no ryôri (consecutive n°1 of the Top Oricon)...

07/2013: Best of 1999-2004; includes Sailing days, Arue, Tentai Kansoku, Halcyon, Snow Smile, Only lonely glory, Lamp, Glass no Blues...

07/2013: Best of 2005-2010; includes Karma, Hana no Na, Namida no Furusato, Mahô no ryôri, Happy...

03/2014: 5th album; includes Ray (without Hatsune Miku, this version is available in download), Niji wo matsu hito, Smile (for the tsunami of 2011), Tomodachi no uta (movie Doraemon)...

Butterflies [Regular Edition] / BUMP OF CHICKEN
02/2016: 6th album, edition CD+BR (limited) or CD only; includes Go (anime Granblue Fantasy), Hello World (Blood Blocked Battlefront - Kekkai Sensen), Colony (Parasyte), Fighter (San-gatsu no lion)... The DVD includes a live of 2015 and 5 video-clips.


Other sources: wikipedia JP, reportages TV...

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