Band-Maid

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Band-Maid
BAND-MAID (left to right; MISA, Kobato Miku, Akane, Saiki, Kanami) at SALA show in Mexico City in 2016.jpg
Band-Maid performing in Mexico City, 2016
Background information
OriginJapan
Genres
Years active2013–present
Labels
Websitebandmaid.tokyo
Members
  • Miku Kobato
  • Kanami Tōno
  • Akane Hirose
  • Misa
  • Saiki Atsumi
The band's logo from 2014 to 2017

Band-Maid, stylized as BAND-MAID and formerly as BAND-MAID®, is a Japanese rock band formed in 2013. The band combines a rock sound with a maid image modeled on Japanese maid cafés.[5] Originally signed to Gump Records, an imprint of the Platinum Passport artist management and talent agency, itself a division of Avex Group, they switched to major label Crown Stones in 2016.

History[edit]

The band, first known as BAND-MAID®, formed in July 2013. Singer/guitarist Miku Kobato, formerly an employee of a Japanese maid café, envisioned forming a band that juxtaposed the maid image with rock music. Kobato recruited lead guitarist Kanami Tōno after an Internet search. Tōno had performed as a singer-songwriter and suggested her occasional backing drummer Akane Hirose for the new band. Hirose in turn suggested bassist Misa, with whom she had attended music school.[6] On July 24, 2013 they had their first live performance at the PP Audition held at Osaka Deep, as a quartet with Kobato on vocals.[7] The band then decided to add an additional lead singer and selected Saiki Atsumi during auditions.[8] Their first performance as a five-piece was at the P Festival at Shibuya-AX on August 22, 2013.[7]

Since their formation, Band-Maid has regularly performed live at various venues around the Tokyo area.[9] The group released their debut mini-album Maid in Japan in January 2014, written in collaboration with musicians Masahiko Fukui[10] and Kentaro Akutsu[11] (the latter formerly of the musical group Zero). In August 2014, they released the maxi-single "Ai to Jōnetsu no Matador" (titled "Love, Passion, Matador" internationally). In November 2015 they released their sophomore mini-album New Beginning.[12] The album was their first chart placement, reaching #64 on the Japanese Oricon weekly albums chart.[13] The band undertook a tour of Tokyo venues to promote the album through February 2016, culminating in a sold-out concert on February 14.[14] In March 2016 they had their first overseas performance at Sakura-Con in Seattle, Washington.[5][15] The group released their third mini-album and major label debut, Brand New Maid, in May 2016 on the Nippon Crown sub-label Crown Stones.[16] That album reached #19 on the Japanese Oricon weekly albums chart.[17] In October and November 2016, they went on their first world tour that took them to Mexico, Hong Kong, and six countries in Europe.[18][19][20][21]

In January 2017, Band-Maid released their first full-length album titled Just Bring It. It was preceded by the single "YOLO," released in November 2016. Just Bring It reached #16 on the Japanese Oricon weekly albums chart.[22] Band-Maid appeared at the 2017 Golden Melody Awards and festival in Taiwan on June 23-24.[23][24] The maxi-single "Daydreaming/Choose Me" was released in July 2017.[25] They covered "Honey" for the November 2017 Mucc tribute album Tribute of Mucc -En-.[26] They released their second full-length album titled World Domination on February 14, 2018 (2018-02-14).[27][28] World Domination reached #9 on the Japanese Oricon weekly albums chart.[29] Also on February 14, 2018, they reissued their 2014 debut album Maid in Japan with two bonus tracks.[30][31] While the original version of that album did not chart, the reissued version reached #26 on the Japanese Oricon weekly albums chart.[32] On April 1, 2018, they performed at Warped Tour at Makuhari Messe,[33] as the first date on a world tour.

The maxi-single "Start Over" was released on July 25, 2018.[34] CD singles "Glory" and "Bubble" were released simultaneously on January 16, 2019.[35]

Image and music[edit]

Miku Kobato and Akane Hirose (back) performing in 2017.

Band-Maid's image is modeled on maid café hostesses. In interviews, they explained the concept came from founding member Miku Kobato who had previously worked at a maid cafe in Akihabara.[8] This theme is reinforced by the band, who refer to their male fans as "masters," their female fans as "princesses," and their concerts as "servings."[36] The band's "submissive" maid appearance is meant to contrast with their aggressive rock style.[37] They decided to have two vocalists in order to allow a larger variety of music with two different voice types.[8]

Kobato draws inspiration from Japanese enka music; she attended a vocal school around 2012, but started playing guitar with the formation of Band-Maid the following year.[38] Atsumi started singing when she was 14 and Band-Maid is her first band. Tōno is a big fan of Carlos Santana, has played classical piano since she was a child, and began playing guitar when she joined her high school band club. Hirose is a fan of Deep Purple and Maximum the Hormone, particularly the latter's female drummer Nao Kawakita, and also plays trombone and piano. Misa likes The Smashing Pumpkins and Jimi Hendrix; she started playing piano at around 3 or 4 years of age, and also plays trumpet, alto horn, and guitar.[36][6][8]

Related acts[edit]

Akane Hirose and Kanami Tōno also perform as guest members of the acoustic group Mochi to Cheeze (もちとちーず) (roughly translated as "Rice Cake and Cheese"), a sub-unit of the Platinum Passport group Predia.

Band members[edit]

  • Miku Kobato (小鳩 ミク) – rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Kanami Tōno (遠乃 歌波) – lead guitar
  • Akane Hirose (廣瀬 茜) – drums, percussion
  • Misa (stylized as MISA) – bass guitar
  • Saiki Atsumi (厚見 彩姫) – lead vocals

Discography[edit]

Band-Maid discography
Studio albums5
Music videos17
Singles6

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
JPN
Oricon

[39]
JPN
Billboard
Maid in Japan
  • Released:
    • January 8, 2014 (2014-01-08)
    • February 14, 2018 (2018-02-14) (re-issue)
  • Label: Gump Records, Crown Stones (re-issue)
  • Formats: CD, digital download
26 (re-issue) 22[40]
New Beginning
  • Released: November 18, 2015 (2015-11-18)
  • Label: Gump Records
  • Formats: CD+DVD, digital download
64 49[41]
Brand New Maid
  • Released: May 18, 2016 (2016-05-18)
  • Label: Crown Stones
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, digital download
19 15[42]
Just Bring It
  • Released: January 23, 2017 (2017-01-23)
  • Label: Crown Stones
  • Formats: CD, digital download
16 20[43]
World Domination
  • Released: February 14, 2018 (2018-02-14)
  • Label: Crown Stones
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, CD+BD, digital download
9 7[40]

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
JPN
Oricon

[44]
JPN
Billboard
"Ai to Jōnetsu no Matador"
(愛と情熱のマタドール, "Love, Passion, Matador")
2014 Maid in Japan
(2018 edition)
"YOLO" 2016 36 Just Bring It
"Daydreaming / Choose Me" 2017 20 World Domination
"Start Over" 2018 16 65[45]
"Glory" 2019 12 11
"Bubble" 14 13

Digital singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
JPN
Oricon

[44]
JPN
Billboard
"Secret Maiko Lips"
(as Band-Maiko)
2018

Music videos[edit]

Song Year Director(s)
[46][47]
Link
"Thrill" (スリル) 2014 Unknown [1]
"Real Existence" 2015 [2]
"Don’t Let Me Down" [3]
"Alone" 2016 Ryoji Aoki [4]
"The Non-fiction Days" [5]
"Before Yesterday" Unknown [6]
"YOLO" Ryoji Aoki [7]
"Don't You Tell Me" 2017 [8]
"Secret My Lips" Unknown [9]
"Daydreaming" Ryoji Aoki [10]
"Choose Me" [11]
"Domination" 2018 Toshikazu Tamura [12]
"Dice" Unknown [13]
"Secret Maiko Lips" Ryoji Aoki [14]
"Start Over" [15]
"Glory" [16]
"Bubble" 2019 Unknown [17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Band-Maid Japan Next Generation[48] Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hard-rock maid band BAND-MAID to start world tour in 2 weeks". Japan Today. 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  2. ^ Morton, Luke (2016-10-14). "5 things we learned at Band-Maid's first ever UK show". TeamRock.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  3. ^ "BAND-MAID Overview". JaME USA. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  4. ^ "メイド服着用ロックバンド BAND-MAID(R)、日本を背負った新作MV公開". Barks Japan (in Japanese). 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  5. ^ a b Aoki, Emiri (2016-03-11). "Maid in Japan — Japanese rock group BAND-MAID to debut overseas at Sakura-Con". Northwest Asian Weekly. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  6. ^ a b "BAND-MAID – Interview (2015)". jrock247. 2015-07-24. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  7. ^ a b "Band-Maid History". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  8. ^ a b c d "Interview with BAND-MAID". jame-world. 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  9. ^ "Band-Maid Live". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  10. ^ "Fukui Masahiko". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  11. ^ "Akutsu Kentaro". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  12. ^ "New Mini-Album from BAND-MAID". jame-world. 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  13. ^ "Oricon: New Beginning". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  14. ^ "下北沢LIVEHOLIC(ライブハウス)on Twitter - Band-Maid show sold out update". Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  15. ^ "BAND-MAID to Release New Mini-Album and Appear at MCM London Comic Con". jame-world. 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  16. ^ "BAND-MAID to Make USA Debut at Sakura-Con 2016". jame-world. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  17. ^ "Oricon: Brand New Maid". Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  18. ^ ""Brand New MAID" Release Tour World Series: 1st Europe Tour Decided!". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  19. ^ "New single "YOLO" set for release on November 16! & "Brand New MAID" Release Tour World Series: Additional shows in Italy & Spain!". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  20. ^ "BAND-MAID Announce First European Tour this October". 27 July 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Hard-rock maid band BAND-MAID to start world tour in 2 weeks". Japan Today.
  22. ^ "Oricon: Just Bring It". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  23. ^ Koh, Jocelle (2017-07-11). "2017 Golden Melody Awards Showcase Announces Performances by William Wei, Crowd Lu, Eli Hsieh, Band-Maid and More". HelloAsia.com.au. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  24. ^ "今月末、台湾で行われる"Golden Melody Awards & Festival 2017金曲獎頒獎典禮暨國際音樂節"の詳細発表!". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  25. ^ "See BAND-MAID's New 'Choose Me' Video, Tour Dates". Billboard. 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  26. ^ "Tribute Of MUCC -en-". CDJapan. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  27. ^ "Japanese Rockers BAND-MAID Release New 'Domination' Video: Watch". Billboard. 2018-02-10. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  28. ^ "BAND-MAID、来年2/14にメジャー2ndアルバム『WORLD DOMINATION』&インディーズ時代の音源のリマスタリング盤リリース決定!東名阪ツアーも開催!". December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  29. ^ "Oricon:World Domination". Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  30. ^ "BAND-MAID to Re-Release First Album 'Maid in Japan'". JRock 24-7. January 6, 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  31. ^ "BAND-MAID Announce Second Album Release & Unveil New Band Logo and Symbol". Moshi Moshi Nippon. December 12, 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Oricon: Maid in Japan reissue". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  33. ^ "【フェス】4/1(日)WARPED TOUR JAPANにBAND-MAID出演決定!". February 23, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  34. ^ start over | BAND-MAID Official Web Site
  35. ^ 【NEWS】BAND-MAID「Bubble」ドラマ「パーフェクトクライム」の主題歌に決定! | BAND-MAID Official Web Site (in Japanese)
  36. ^ a b "Meet BAND-MAID, The Maid-Themed Rock Band Who Love Bitter And Rocked Comic Con". Rock Sound. 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  37. ^ "Who are Band-Maid and what do they want?". Teamrock.com. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  38. ^ "BAND-MAID – Interview (2015)". JRock247.com. 2015-07-24.
  39. ^ "Band-Maidのアルバム" [Band-Maid albums] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  40. ^ a b "Billboard Japan Top Albums Sales | Charts" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  41. ^ "Billboard Japan Top Albums Sales | Charts" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2015-11-30. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  42. ^ "Billboard Japan Top Albums Sales | Charts" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2016-05-30. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  43. ^ "Billboard Japan Top Albums Sales | Charts" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2017-01-23. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  44. ^ a b "Band-Maidのシングル" [Band-Maid singles] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  45. ^ "Japan Hot 100". Billboard. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  46. ^ "Band-Maidのミュージックビデオ情報" [Band-Maid music videos information]. Space Shower TV (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  47. ^ "Band-Maikoのミュージックビデオ情報" [Band-Maiko music videos information]. Space Shower TV (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  48. ^ Lach, Stef (November 11, 2016). "Jeff Beck, Joe Perry and All-Star Band triumph at Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo". TeamRock.com. Retrieved October 17, 2017.

External links[edit]