Nico Touches the Walls

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Nico Touches the Walls
Origin Japan
Genres Alternative rock, power pop, experimental rock
Years active 2004 (2004)– present
Labels Management:Senha and Company (-2010)
A-Sketch (2010-)
Recording:Ki/oon Records (Sony Music Japan)
Website nicotouchesthewalls.com
Members Tatsuya Mitsumura - vocals & guitar
Daisuke Furumura - guitar
Shingo Sakakura - bass
Shotaro Tsushima - drums

Nico Touches the Walls (stylized as NICO Touches the Walls) is a Japanese rock band formed in 2004. In the same year, they won the Lotte Prize at the Yamaha Teen Music Festival. Rising quickly, they signed to "Senha & Co." before signing to Sony Music Japan's Ki/oon Records in 2007. Their debut single, in a major label, "Yoru no Hate", was released in February 2008.

Along the career, the band has contributed to animes with their songs, such as "Broken Youth", "Diver" and "Niwaka Ame ni Mo Makezu", featured in Naruto Shippuden; their hit single "Hologram" chosen as opening theme for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, as many others.[1][2]

History[edit]

Early years (2004-2007)[edit]

Formed in 2004, Nico Touches the Walls won the Lotte Prize at the 2004 Yamaha Teens' Music Festival. The quartet’s success really picked up since they made their indie debut with Senha and Company in 2006. They released two indie mini albums that year: "Walls Is Beginning" and "Runova X Handover". In 2007, Nico Touches the Walls signed a deal with Ki/oon Records. They released their debut mini albums "Eden", in June, and "How Are You?" in November the same year.

Who Are You? (2008)[edit]

Main article: Who Are You? (album)

The band raised quickly from the indie scene to a top label.[3] In 2008, they featured in a television commercial for Glico’s Pocky.[4] Their debut single "Yoru no Hate" was released in February 2008, being an introduction single for the rock quartet, which reached number 64 on the Oricon Chart.[3] They kept raising, and later their second single "The Bungy" was released on June 4, being a very different song from their previous style.[3] The band also had the song "Broken Youth" featured as ending theme for the anime series Naruto Shippuuden, that year.[1][3] "Broken Youth" became one of the band's most popular songs, reaching 24 on the chart in Japan.[5] In the same year, their debut studio album "Who Are You?" was released on September 24 containing all their previous singles.[3] "Who are you?" almost entered in the top 10, reaching number 11 in its first week.[5] Later, Nico Touches the walls embarked on tour to promote the album, Titled "TOUR2008 Bon voyage,Etranger", the tour started in Shibuya, in a special concert named "We are NICO Touches the Walls. ~A Queen of the Night~", on October 15, and finished in Tokyo, on December 14.

Aurora (2009-2010)[edit]

A new single titled "Big Foot" was released on May 13, nine months after the first album "Who Are You?".[2] After getting people's attention thanks to their song for the anime Naruto, the band made the most of their record company's business network and provided the opening song for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, in August, with the song "Hologram".[2] The single became the band's highest ranking single on the Oricon music chart, and a steady stream of fans downloaded the song's ringtone version.[2]

During their performances in various summer music festivals, they proved why they have become known as one of the hottest bands in town. In October, they finished the recording of a new song. The track was released on November 4, titled "Kakera subete no Omoitachi he-", a mid-tempo song that was featured as the main theme for the Japanese TV drama series "Bocho Mania 09", on October 22, starring the popular actor Mukai Osamu.[2] Right after the single, on November 24, the second studio album "Aurora" is released.

To promote the new album, they kicked off the "Tour 2009-2010 "& Auroras", on December 27, holding their first ever Nippon Budokan performance on March 27, 2010.[6]

Passenger (2010-2011)[edit]

After their first experience playing at the Budoukan, Nico Touches the Walls took on a new challenge. On May 16, 2010, the band embarked on a live house tour named "Tour 2010 Michi Naki Michi", visiting all the locations they'd never been before and playing different songs at each show. In each one of these days they produced many new songs and anecdotes. The final day of the tour, June 12, at Yokohama Blitz, was recorded, where a new single was revealed. It was "Sudden Death Game" and was released on August 11, 2010. The song was chosen for the audience good reaction during the shows, being the only release that year.

In November, it was announced a split tour with the band Flumpool for January 2011.

"I've got a feeling that it's going to be an extremely thrilling Split Tour. Or shall I say, it definitely will be. Since the first time we performed together with flumpool at an event in Osaka, on one hand we became aware of the many similarities in the makeup of our bands, on the other hand flumpool's so refined when they perform that as a boorish bunch of guys we're sort of jealous...But given that we're born in the same generation, to be able to feel the music at such a close distance while on tour with others just like us, it makes me nervous, in a good way. If they’re going to toss a hard, straight ball our way…of course, we're going to step right up"[7]

Mitsumura Tatsuya (vocalist) about the tour

The single "Diver" was released on January 12, along with the DVD from the "Michi Naki Michi" tour, titled "You Say No Way, We Say Go Way". The song was used as the eighth opening for the TV Tokyo anime "Naruto Shippuuden", since October 2010, as their second contribution for the anime.[1] The single was the most successful, reaching number 7 on the Oricon chart in Japan, becoming the band's first top 10 single. The split tour with the band Flumpool also started in January. It took place at Zepp Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, which was the first time they embarked on a joint tour.[7]

On April 4, 2011, their third studio album "Passenger" was released, over one year since their previous record "Aurora". Also in April, the song "Matryoshka", from the new album, was featured as opening theme for the animeC, aired by Fuji TV.[8]

To promote the album, a national tour called "Nico Touches the Walls Tour 2011 Passenger: We Are Passionate Messenger" was launched. The tour started at the Kashiwa Palooza, on April 13, and had its final concert at Zepp Tokyo, on June 10.[9]

Humania (2011-2012)[edit]

Main article: Humania (album)

On the concert of June 10, at Zepp Tokyo, Nico Touches the Walls announced a new summer single called "Te o Tatake". The song was released on August 17 and was featured on the LISMO TV commercial. On August 21, they delivered a live program on Ustream, called "Minnade tsukurou Te o Tatake Network and Acoustic Live", towards fans who purchased the latest single,which the theme song "Te o Tatake" was shown in collaboration with the hand clapping videos sent by fans through the special website.[10]

In September, the band has the song "Endless Roll", written by the bassist Shingo Sakakura, featured on the movie "Switch o Osu Toki", released on September 17.[11] As of October, they provided the song "Bicycle" to be theme song for the drama "11 Nin mo Iru!". The drama was screen written by Kudo Kankuro and began airing in the same month.[12]

After only eight months from their previous record, they announced a new album, "Humania", to be released in December the same year, as a nationwide tour for 2012 titled "Tour2012 Humania".[13] On December 3, Nico Touches the Walls was one of the guests in the Fuji TV's music program "Music Fair". In the episode, the band performed the song "Dramatic Rain" with the singer "Inagaki Junichi",[9] and then the show also aired their performance for the song "Bicycle".[9]

On December 7, the fourth album "Humania" was released and debuted at number 10 on the Oricon Chart, being the band's first top ten album on career. On January 13, 2012, they started the first leg of "Tour 2012 Humania", in Yokohama Blitz. On March 10, the band kicked off the second leg, "Ground of Humania", in Nagoya. The tour ended on March 20, in Chiba.

Algorhytmique and Shout to the Walls! (2012-2013)[edit]

During the Chiba concert, on March 20, the band revealed the new song "Natsu no Daisankakkei" for the first time. They also have the song featured on the Calpis Water commercial, first broadcast on the same day.[14] On May 16, 2012, the single "Natsu no Daisankakkei" and the second music video collection "Library 2" were released. To celebrate the new single, that day, the band held an outdoor concert at Yoyoga Park, Tokyo, where they also recorded live a music video for the song "Rappa to Musume".[15] The concert was streamed live on Ustream.[15] The band was set to publish their first interview book titled: Nico Touches the Walls Trip Tragetory - Interview and Photo Chronicle 2007-2012, on May 25, 2012, but it was changed to July 25. It contains all their interviews from the indie "Eden" (2007) to "Humania" (2011).[15][16]

From September 27, Nico Touches the Walls started the Tour 2012 "Algorhytmique", being the largest tour on their career to date, in total of 23 concerts, from September to December.[8] During the tour, the band revealed their 11th single "Yume 1 Go" to be released in December; a concert on October 28 was also postponed to November 20, due to one member being in poor health.[6]

On November 16, they made a web broadcast in four different channels, to premier their new song, new music video and live performances of the tour, at the Zepp Tokyo.[15][17] On December 19, the single "Yume 1 Go" was released. On December 20, the Tour 2012 "Algorhytmique" had its final concert presented in Osaka. A new song, "Runner",written by Mitsumura during his high school years, was featured in the TBS program "Ekiden" and had limited release through digital download, from December 26 until January 8.

NICO Touches the Walls' first single in 2013 was announced during the regular web program Jamboriii Station, on January 25. "Mr. Echo" was released on March 27, along with the coupling track "Chain Reaction", previously played during the last tour, used as the New Balance collaboration song.[18] Following the single, in early April, a new song "Niwaka Ame ni Mo Makezu" is featured as the Naruto Shippuden opening theme, becoming their third contribution to the anime.

On April 24, the fifth album "Shout to the Walls!" was released. To celebrate it, the band held a special concert at Zepp Tokyo, which was broadcast live on internet via their official channel on YouTube. "Shout to the Walls!" became their first top 5 album on career, with over 10,000 sales in the first week. On May 16, to promote the new album, the band launched their first national tour in halls, sponsored by New Balance, titled: "new balance presents NICO Touches the Walls TOUR 2013 Shout to the Walls!", playing the last dates, at the NHK Hall, in Tokyo.[19] [20]

NICO Touches the Walls no Best (2013-present)[edit]

Near the end of the Shout to the Walls! tour, on July 10, the band released a new single "Niwaka Ame ni Mo Makezu", that was previously featured as opening theme for Naruto Shippuden.

From January 14, 2014, they toured for 3 dates, under the title "NICO Touches the Walls no Fest.", along with the bands BIGMAMA, [Champagne] and Kuripu Haipu.[21] A new song "Pandora" was featured in the Japanese movie "Genome Hazard", released on January 24.[22] As of February 1, they kicked off their project "Himitsukichi "KABENIMIMI", performing live 20 concerts, in Tokyo, during the whole month, releasing their first best-of album "NICO Touches the Walls no Best", on February 5.[23] On March 5, the song "Rawhide", from the latest album, was released as a single, while the song "Tayou ga Warattera", used in the movie 7 days report, was its coupling track.

As an ending theme for the anime Haikyuu, since April, NICO Touches the Walls released their song "Tenchi Gaeshi" as the 15th single, on June 11. A new song titled "Bakemono" had its music video unveiled on June 19, on the band's official YouTube channel. The song was featured as theme song for the dorama "Hensachi 70", starting on July 2, and had a digital release on July 1.

On August 19, the band played for the second time at the Nippon Budokan, with a special concert titled "NICO Touches the Walls no Budokan", gathering more than 8000 people, in a sold out venue. According to the members, the concert was supposed to be a revenge to the previous one, held in 2010. A day later, on August 20, a new single "TOKYO Dreamer" was released, while its title track was featured in the anime Captain Earth, by TBS.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
Compilation

Live performances[edit]

Tours[edit]

  • TOUR2008 Bon voyage,Etranger
  • Tour2009~2010 "& Auroras"
  • Tour2010 Michi naki michi
  • Tour2011 PASSENGER ~We are Passionate Messenger~
  • Tour2012 HUMANIA / Ground of HUMANIA
  • Tour 2012 "ALGORHYTMIQUE"
  • new balance prensentes NICO Touches the Walls Tour 2013 Shout to the Walls!
  • NICO Touches the Walls no Fest.
  • Himitsukichi "KABENIMIMI"
  • NICO Touches the Walls no Zepp

Single-day performances[edit]

  • "Walls Is Auroras" at Nippon Budokan
  • Day of Apollo / Night of Luna
  • NICO Touches the Walls no Budokan

Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2004 Themselves Yamaha Teen Music Festival: Lotte Prize[24] Won
2013 "Yume 1 gou" Space Shower Music Video Awards: Best music video[25] Nominated
2014 "Niwaka Ame ni Mo Makezu" Space Shower Music Video Awards: Best music video[26] Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "NICO Touches the Walls、新曲が『NARUTO -ナルト- 疾風伝』オープニングテーマに決定". August 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "NICO Touches the Walls sing for Full Metal Alchemist". minu-net.com. July 9, 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "NICO Touches the Walls bounce in with "THE BUNGY"". June 5, 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  4. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls rock with Pocky". SparkPlugged.com. April 24, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  5. ^ a b "NICO Touches the Wallsの作品(CD)". Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  6. ^ a b "NICO Touches the Walls anuncia novo single". Gin. September 27, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "BFF flumpool & NICO Touches the Walls Touring Together in 2011 flumpool to hold Split Tour in 2011 with NICO Touches the Walls". November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "NICO Touches the Walls announces new single, "Yume 1-gou"". ustar. September 25, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "Lineup for December 3rd’s ‘Music Fair’". ustar. November 27, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  10. ^ "NICO appears in Ustream Live made together with fans with sense of unity..". jp-musicet.com. September 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  11. ^ ""NICO Touches the Walls sings theme song of ""Switch wo Osu Toki""". warerock.com. August 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  12. ^ ""New single by NICO Touches the Walls featured in "11 Nin mo Iru!" drama"". tokyofever.com. September 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  13. ^ "New Album by NICO Touches the Walls Humania". ustar. October 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  14. ^ "NICO、話題CMソングDL購入者をチャット対バンに招待". March 21, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d "「ホントに幸せなバンド」NICO熱狂の代々木フリーライブ". May 14, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  16. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls to release their first interview book.". tokyohive.com. March 8, 2012. 
  17. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls ニューシングル「夢1号」初披露!Zepp Tokyoより生中継!!". Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  18. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls、ニュー・シングル「Mr. ECHO」を3月発表!". Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  19. ^ "new balance presents NICO Touches the Walls Tour 2013"Shout to the Walls!"". May 18, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ "“天賦の才”に磨きをかけて到達した、圧倒的なサウンド体験". 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls、初の自主企画ツアーでBIGMAMA、シャンペ、クリープと対バン". October 10, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls新曲 西島秀俊主演映画イメージソングに!". January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  23. ^ "NICO Touches the Walls 前代未聞の篭城型ライブ「カベ ニ ミミ」の内容が明らかに!". January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  24. ^ "TEENS' MUSIC FESTIVAL 2004 全国大会. RIAJ. Retrieved on 2013-2-06. (Japanese)
  25. ^ "Nominees. Retrieved on 2013-02-06. (Japanese)
  26. ^ "Nominees. Retrieved on 2014-02-05. (Japanese)

External links[edit]