Kumiko Takahashi, Akiko Fukuoka & Eriko Hashimoto performing live in Texas, 2010.
|Genres||Indie rock, power pop, pop rock|
|Labels||Ki/oon Records (2005-present)|
|Members||Eriko Hashimoto - Guitar, Vocals
October 17, 1983
Akiko Fukuoka - Drums. Bass, Chorus
April 16, 1983
|Past members||Kumiko Takahashi - Drums, Chorus
April 10, 1982
chatmonchy (チャットモンチー chattomonchī?) is a two-piece all-female rock band which consists of Eriko Hashimoto (guitar, vocals), Akiko Fukuoka (bass, chorus), and formerly Kumiko Takahashi (drums, chorus) who are from Tokushima Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Japan.
2000-2004: Band formation
In 2000, Hashimoto formed chatmonchy in the city of Tokushima, Tokushima Prefecture. Having been to see her brother perform at the first concert she attended, she became keen on forming a trio. Although part of a brass band throughout junior high and high school, her brother began teaching her guitar.
Hashimoto formed her first trio in high school, and it was then that the name chatmonchy came about. According to Hashimoto, "one of the members insisted on using the word 'monchi,' like 'monkey'." The name derived from an image of a cute monkey doll named "Monchhichi", from the Hiroshi Jinsenji-directed animation series Futago no Monchhichi, which ran 130 episodes through 1980. The group then picked the word "chat" randomly from a dictionary to make the name. However, after graduation, the three members went their separate ways.
Fukuoka, then in the same grade and at the same high school as Hashimoto, joined as an acoustic duo, and performed one show when a male drummer pulled out right before a concert in April 2004. Takahashi sat in the audience of the show and at the time was in another band, but was known to the duo via the Light Music Club of their university in Tokushima, Shikoku.
The band independently produced an album, entitled chatmonchy ni Naritai (チャットモンチーになりたい?) (out of distribution) and sold it themselves, chiefly by hand in the Tokushima area, achieving as many as 1500 sales and record label solicitations.
On 23 November 2005, with Supercar's Junji Ishiwatari as producer, chatmonchy released chatmonchy has come, their first album under the Ki/oon Records label. The album sold over 20,000 copies. The group then moved permanently to Tokyo.
In March of the following year, the band released the single Koi no Kemuri (恋の煙?), but it did not chart. In July 2006, the band released the album Miminari (耳鳴り?) which debuted at number 10 on the Oricon album charts. The following November, the single Shangurira (シャングリラ?) debuted at number 6 on the Oricon single chart.
In April 2007, the band released the single Joshi Tachi ni Asu wa Nai (女子たちに明日はない?) but it failed to chart. The following June, chatmonchy released the single Tobi Uo no Butterfly / Sekai ga Owaru Yoru ni (とび魚のバタフライ/世界が終わる夜に?) and it debuted at number 9 on the Oricon single chart. September 2007, they released the single Daidai (橙?), meaning bitter orange. This song was used as the 12th ending theme of the anime series Bleach. Daidai also debuted at number 12 on the Oricon single charts. In October of the same year, the band released the album Seimeiryoku (生命力?) which debuted at number 2 on the Oricon album charts. November 2007, chatmonchy released their first DVD, Chatmonchy Restaurant Appetizer (チャットモンチー レストラン 前菜?).
In February 2008, chatmonchy released the single Hira Hira Hiraku Himitsu no Tobira (ヒラヒラヒラク秘密ノ扉?) and the live DVD Chatmonchy Restaurant Soup (チャットモンチー レストラン スープ;?). The single debuted at number 11 on the Oricon single chart. Later that year in June, the band released the single Kaze Fukeba Koi (風吹けば恋?) which debuted at number 8 on the Oricon single charts. Then in November, they released the single Somaru Yo (染まるよ?), which debuted at number 10 on the Oricon single charts.
On February 4, 2009, chatmonchy released the single Last Love Letter which debuted at number 7 on the Oricon single charts. That March, they released the album Kokuhaku (告白?), and the BD Chatmonchy Restaurant Main Dish (チャットモンチー レストラン メインディッシュ?) The album debuted at number 2 on the Oricon album charts.
On March 19, 2010, chatmonchy played at the prestigious SXSW festival in Austin, Texas as part of the Japan Nite. The band also took the chance to do a mini-tour of the US, visiting New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Later that year, their song "Koko Dake no Hanashi" (ここだけの話?, "Just Between Us") was used as the opening of the anime series Kuragehime.
On July 29, 2011, Kumiko announched that she would be leaving the band, on friendly terms, at the end of September 2011 after the last of the band's current gigs had finished. The band continue as a duo as of October 2011.
- Robert Michael Poole (2010-02-12). "Chatmonchy go south by southwest". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
- "A Conversation with Chatmonchy - A J!-ENT Interview by Dennis A. Amith" (PDF). J!-ENT. 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "チャットモンチー高橋久美子、9月でバンドを脱退". (In Japanese) natalie. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
- "チャットモンチー高橋久美子(Dr)脱退「音楽に向かうパワーがなくなった」". (In Japanese) Barks. 2011-07-29. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
- "NINSHIN". (In Japanese) Chatmonchy Diary. 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- "Chatmonchy's Hashimoto Eriko gives birth to her first child". Tokyo Hive. 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- "The long-awaited 3rd album & Live Blu-ray to be released on March 4, 2009!" (in Japanese). Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Archived from the original on 2008-12-24.