Maximum the Hormone
|Maximum the Hormone|
Maximum the Hormone performing at Knotfest in USA, 2014.
|Origin||Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan|
|Labels||Sky, Mimikajiru, VAP|
Maximum the Ryo-kun
Maximum the Hormone (マキシマムザホルモン Makishimamu Za Horumon?) is a Japanese rock band from Hachiōji, Tokyo. Their lineup has consisted of Daisuke-han, Nao, Maximum the Ryo-kun, and Ue-chan since 1999. Each member alternates singing lead vocals, often within the same song, with the exception of Ue-chan, who provides backup vocals almost exclusively.
The group is best known for their unconventional and experimental style of alternative metal music. Over their career, they have found success incorporating elements of heavy metal, hardcore punk, pop, funk, hip hop and ska into their sound. Stylistically, their music runs the gamut from being dark and serious, to ironic or humorous, often with drastic shifts in tempo and mood over the course of a song. Their music videos often have a tongue-in-cheek aspect as well, such as "Rolling1000t00n", which features an underdog (with the requisite karate training montage) facing up to a bully, or "Koi no Mega Lover", which features an awkward young man whose clumsy amorous advances are rejected by a beautiful girl at a party.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1998–2001: Formation, early days, line-up change, and the meaning of their name
- 1.2 2002–2005: Mimi Kajiru, Kusoban and Rokkinpo Goroshi
- 1.3 2006–2007: Bu-ikikaesu and commercial success
- 1.4 2008–2010: "Tsume Tsume Tsume" and first and second hiatus
- 1.5 2011–present: Return, "Greatest the Hits" and Yoshū Fukushū
- 2 Musical Style
- 3 Members
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
1998–2001: Formation, early days, line-up change, and the meaning of their name
Maximum the Hormone was formed in 1998 by vocalist Daisuke Tsuda and drummer Nao Kawakita. After recruiting guitarist Key and bassist Sugi, and having played some regional shows, the band signed a contract with the Japanese rock label Sky Records. A.S.A. Crew was the first album released under that label and was the only full length album released with the original lineup. At that time Daisuke wrote his lyrics completely in English, and 'Maximum the Hormone' was also written in Latin letters. However, Key and Sugi left the band in 1999.
The band then recruited Nao's younger brother Ryo, who had played the guitar since junior high school and could also sing. From then on, Ryo became the band's co-lead vocalist, handling clean vocals while Daisuke was responsible for the harsh vocals and raps. The lineup was completed by bassist Ue joining shortly after Ryo. After that major change the band decided to write their band name in katakana to reflect the change in the band members, and the band also started incorporating Japanese into their lyrics. In 2001, the band released an EP, Hō.
When asked about the group's name in an interview, Maximum the Ryo-kun stated "Take it as you like, it means anything from the Japanese cuisine for cooking animal innards to the sensation of the maximum amount of your hormones coming to the boil! Although when we go abroad people think we’re just some sorta sexual energy drink."
2002–2005: Mimi Kajiru, Kusoban and Rokkinpo Goroshi
After their first full album as a band, the band took a more traditional approach to recording, releasing two singles, followed by an album. Their next album, Kusoban in 2004, was closer yet to the contrasting heavy music mixed with light pop that has gained them mainstream attention.
After recording another pair of singles, the band released another album, Rokkinpo Goroshi. The release caused a surge in their fanbase, as they began to sell out more shows, playing many rock festivals, and eventually releasing a live DVD, Debu Vs. Debu. In addition, "Rolling1000toon" was featured as an ending theme for the Air Master anime, as well as being featured in DrumMania 10th Mix as a playable song. The song's title, is actually a play on words. Combined, the number 1000 (pronounced "sen"), and "toon" (pronounced "ton") form the phrase "rolling senton". A senton is a leaping move, in pro wrestling, that often includes somersaults. The concept is illustrated at the end of the music video, when the protagonist (bassist Ue-chan) fells the bully character by leaping into the air, doing several mid-air flips, then landing the final blow.
2006–2007: Bu-ikikaesu and commercial success
In 2006 the band entered popular culture with the song "Koi no Mega Lover", which reached number nine on the Oricon charts during the summer – their first top-ten hit in Japan. The band had two of their songs featured in anime series; "What's Up, People?!" and "Zetsubō Billy" are featured as the opening and ending tracks, respectively, in the second season episodes of the Death Note anime series, and "Akagi" is featured as the ending theme for the Akagi anime series.
After the promotion from two singles, and the songs featured on television, Maximum the Hormone released their next album, Bu-ikikaesu. The album was a record for the band, debuting at number five on the Oricon charts; their first full album to rank. Also, in Japan the album went Gold.
2008–2010: "Tsume Tsume Tsume" and first and second hiatus
In 2008, the band released their second live DVD: Deco Vs. Deco, and made their first overseas appearance in a short tour through the United States and Canada in support of Dropkick Murphys. On May 3, Maximum the Hormone performed at the hide memorial summit alongside many other artists, in memory of the deceased musician. A new single titled "Tsume Tsume Tsume/F" containing those titular songs and "Kill all the 394", was released at the start of the "Tsume Tsume Tsume" tour in July, and reached the number 2 spot on the Oricon weekly singles chart. The tour continued through to October 16, 2008, with an additional tour finale, which took place on November 30. The subject of the song "F" is Dragon Ball character, Freeza.
On October 27, Maximum The Hormone made their first UK appearance supporting Enter Shikari at the Bournemouth BIC. They continued to tour with Enter Shikari until November 3, playing venues in Exeter, Southampton and Folkestone, before ending with 2 nights at the London Astoria. However, prior to the Enter Shikari dates, it was announced that Daisuke would require corrective surgery on his throat, causing the band to go on temporary hiatus while he recovered. The hiatus started in December and lasted for several months.
After Daisuke had recovered from his throat surgery the band went on to headline several shows in Japan with support from Bring Me the Horizon and Blessed by a Broken Heart in May 2009, as well as going on to win the award for "Best Rock Video" for "Tsume Tsume Tsume" in the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.
On November 19, 2009, the band released a statement via their official website stating that Nao was pregnant, but after discussions with her fellow band members and staff, had decided to continue with all shows. However, on November 3 Nao fell ill and was transported to the hospital, where she was told that it would be unhealthy for her and the baby to continue performing. This resulted in the band going on hiatus until Nao had carried the baby to term and forced them to cancel all shows including an appearance at the Soundwave Festival 2010 in Australia.
On May 6, 2010, the band released another statement through their website stating that Nao gave birth to a healthy baby girl and that they would no longer be on hiatus. The band members appeared as extras in the live-action adaptation of BECK.
Notably, in 2009, Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman performed an instrumental cover of Tsume Tsume Tsume on his tribute/cover album Tokyo Jukebox. Though not mentioned in the title, near the end of the track, he segues into an abbreviated version of Maximum the Hormone's Louisiana Bob.
2011–present: Return, "Greatest the Hits" and Yoshū Fukushū
Later in February 7, 2011, the band released a video for the songs "Chiisana Kimi no Te (小さな君の手)" - translates to "Your Little Hands" - and "Maximum the Hormone" on their official website.
The band's single titled "Greatest the Hits 2011–2011" was released on March 23, debuting at number 1 spot on the Oricon weekly singles chart. In June of the same year, they toured Europe. In early August they played at Pentaport Rock Festival in Incheon, South Korea.
Their newest album Yoshū Fukushū was released on July 31, 2013, their first full album in 6 years. It was their first album to reach number one on Oricon's charts the week after its release. The CD features unique packaging, as it is approximately the height and width of a standard DVD case, and bound like a manga. According to the band's official website, it is "A frantic 156-page book with "Our Merciless Home'war'k" descriptions, a dialogue style track-by-track rundown for all 15 songs by Maximum the Ryo-kun, Ryo-kun's inner world is exposed by professional manga artists"
On June 2, the group released the video for the song "A-L-I-E-N", but as a prank, they placed it on a randomly relocating URL, so page visitors would only have a random chance of seeing the video, depending on luck. The music video for the album's title track, "Yoshū Fukushū", was released on July 26, 2013. In 2011, prior to release, the album track "Benjo Sandal Dance" (Toilet Sandal Dance) was used in a Stride gum commercial, "Evolution Rock", featuring the band in full special effects makeup as early primates. In keeping with the band's quirky aesthetic, the song Benjo Sandal Dance lyrically references Maximum the Ryo-kun's habit of wearing toilet sandals, traditionally strictly only for wearing in the bathroom, at all times. As referenced in the song's lyrics, as well as their FAQ, he exclusively wears toilet sandals sold under the brand name VIC, made by Nishibe Chemical Co. Ltd. Dunhill. In September, the band announced a special merchandise package, including both a t-shirt, and limited edition VIC sandals with the Maximum the Hormone logo stamped in the heel.
In November 2015, the band released their third live album, Deka vs. Deka. The album also came with a complete re-recording of their 2002 album Mimi Kajiru as a bonus disc. The re-recording, entitled Mimi Kajiru Shinuchi, was also released alongside a book containing sheet music for the songs on Yoshu Fukushu, which was released in February 2016. Around this time the band also entered a short hiatus as Nao announced her intention to try for another baby.
Maximum the Hormone performs nu metal and hardcore punk but incorporates many elements of pop, funk, ska and extreme metal into their music as well which helps to distinguish them from many typical nu metal and hardcore punk bands. The band is also labeled as alternative metal, funk metal, groove metal and more recently metalcore by some critics. Allmusic's Alexey Eremenko writes that Maximum the Hormone is distinguished by "a general lack of the teenage angst and self-importance characteristic of true nu-metalers". Their funky sound, heard in many songs such as "Maximum 21st Century", is mostly produced by bass player Ue-Chan using the slapping technique, often referred to as "The Chopper" by the band (both in their FAQ, and their song A-L-I-E-N). 
- Daisuke-han (ダイスケはん Daisuke-han?) – screaming vocals, rapping (1998–present)
- Nao (ナヲ Nao?) – drums, backing and lead vocals (1998–present)
- Maximum the Ryo-kun (マキシマムザ亮君 Makishimamu za Ryō-kun?) – guitar, backing and lead vocals (1999–present)
- Ue-chan (上ちゃん Ue-chan?) – bass, backing vocals (1999–present)
- Sugi – guitar (1998–1999)
- Key – bass (1998–1999)
- A.S.A. Crew (1999)
- Hō (2001)
- Mimi Kajiru (2002)
- Kusoban (2004)
- Rokkinpo Goroshi (2005)
- Bu-ikikaesu (2007)
- Yoshū Fukushū (2013)
- Alexey Eremenko. "Maximum the Hormone". allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- Maximum the Hormone at Sputnik Music
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- "Voice (Maximum The Ryo-kun) | TENGA Official Site". Tenga-global.com. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "Bu-ikikaesu profile on Oricon charts". Oricon.co.jp. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "RIAJ". RIAJ. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "hide Memorial Summit Day 1 - Part B". jame-world.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "Tsume Tsume Tsume tour". 55mth.com.
- ustar (2013-08-07). "Oricon Weekly Charts for 7/29 ~ 8/4". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "MAXIMUM THE HORMONE -Official English Website" (in Japanese). Maximumthehormone.jp. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- "ホルモンCM初出演！｢ストライド｣CM". YouTube. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- マキシマムザホルモン (in Japanese). 55mth.com. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- "マキシマムザ亮君愛用のV.I.Cニシベケミカル製のサンダルが、... - マキシマム ザ ホルモン( maximum the hormone )". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
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