BUMP OF CHICKEN [i](バンプ・オブ・チキン Banpu Obu Chikin)[/i] is a Japanese rock group from Sakura, Chiba, Japan. Their members are Fujiwara Motoo, Masukawa Hiroaki, Naoi Yoshifumi, and Masu Hideo. Since their inception in 1994, they have released fourteen singles and five albums. They are a popular group in Japan; every release since their third single, Tentai Kansoku, has charted in the top ten on the Oricon Weekly Charts. Their music has been used in various video games and as theme songs for movies and television shows in Japan.
The members first met in kindergarten and were classmates throughout their primary and secondary education. BUMP OF CHICKEN's first performance was in 1994, during their ninth grade cultural festival, playing a cover of The Beatles' version of Twist and Shout. In 1996, their song, DANNY, won an award on 96TFM.
In 1999, BUMP OF CHICKEN released their first album, FLAME VEIN, on HIGH LINE RECORDS. Later that year, they released their first single, "LAMP". In 2000, they released THE LIVING DEAD, their final release on HIGH LINE. They also held their first live tour, "Tsuaa Pokiiru (ツアーポキール, Tsuaa Pokiiru?)", during March and April.
Later in 2000, the group switched to TOY'S FACTORY, releasing their first single on the label, "Diamond", in September. BUMP OF CHICKEN's first big success occurred when their single, "Tentai Kansoku", appeared on the Oricon Weekly Charts in 2001. They held two live tours, "Star Porking Tours (スターポーキングツアーズ Sutaa Pookingu Tsuaazu, Star Porking Tours?) 2001" beginning in March and "SURF PORKIN'" beginning in July. In October, they released "Harujion".
They released their first album on TOY'S FACTORY, jupiter, in February 2002 and was their first number one on the Oricon Weekly Charts. In the summer of 2002, their music was featured on the Japanese TV drama, "TENTAI KANSOKU", giving them more exposure. At the end of 2002, the group released the single "Snow Smile". 2003 saw the release of the double A-side single "Lost Man/sailing day". "sailing day" was used as the ending theme to the animated movie, One Piece: Dead End Adventure".
The beginning of 2004 saw a slew of re-releases. "Arue", from their album FLAME VEIN, was released as a single in March. They re-released their first two albums in April. FLAME VEIN received an extra song and was re-released as FLAME VEIN +1. THE LIVING DEAD received no modifications. In July, the group released "Only Lonely Glory", which became their first single to chart at number one on the Oricon Weekly Charts. A month later, they released their fourth album, Yggdrasil, which was their second album to reach number one on the Oricon Weekly Charts. Shortly after, they released "Sharin no Uta", from Yggdrasil, as a single.
In 2005, BUMP OF CHICKEN released two singles, "Planetarium" and "supernova/Karma". Karma was used as the theme song for Namco's "Tales of the Abyss. The band's next single, "Namida no Furusato" was used in a commercial for Lotte Airs. It became the group's second number one single. In 2007, they released the singles "Hana no Na" and "Mayday" on the same day. The two singles reached number one and two respectively on the Oricon Weekly Charts.. BUMP OF CHICKEN released their second latest album, orbital period, on December 19, 2007.Their latest album is "present from you", released on June, 18, 2008. This album is a compilation of b-sides and other non-album tracks.
Motoo Fujiwara is the composer, lyricist, guitar, and main vocalist of the group, also acting as the leader of the band. He has written most of the music, and has also drawn the artwork for their albums 'The Living Dead' and 'Yggdrasil'. He was born April 12, 1979 with blood type O. He enjoys doing laundry, cannot eat spicy foods, has poor eyesight, likes to eat chicken, and enjoys playing the harmonica. In March 2006, he released a solo album titled "Song for Tales of the Abyss," which included "Karma" and instrumental versions of songs from the game Tales of the Abyss. Uses Gibson 1960 Les Paul Special Single Cutaway, Sonic fender, Gibson J-45.
Hiroaki Masukawa is the guitarist of the group, and also writes most of the hidden joke tracks for albums. He was born December 20, 1979 with blood type A, and is left-handed. He is referred to as the shy member of the group, and calls himself pessimistic. His hobbies are largely anime and games. His nicknames within the band are "Hiro," "Hose," (meaning "very thin"), and "Nikke". Uses Gibson Les Paul Standard, Fender Stratocaster.
Yoshifumi Naoi is the bassist of the group, and is referred to as the "crowd pleaser". He was born October 9, 1979 with blood type A, and jokes that he "falls ill exactly four times a year." He also calls himself an anime and game otaku, and a "rare genius". His hobbies are photography and drawing; he has released an artbook containing his works, and helped with some of the album artwork. His nickname within the band is "Chama," a play on the Japanese phrase "Obotchama" referring to a rich family's son. Uses Sonic Bass, Fender Jazz Bass 65.
Hideo Masu is the drummer for the band. He was born August 10, 1979 with blood type A, and describes himself as an introvert. He also mentions that he has good eyesight, cannot write kanji well, likes to go outdoors, and often gets headaches. Uses Canopus Maple Shell.
Songs in popular culture
Their single Arue is a song dedicated to the fictional character Rei Ayanami, from the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. The song is listed as R.A., the initials of the aforementioned character.
Their song Sailing Day is used at the end credits of the anime movie One Piece: Dead End Adventure. The same song is also featured in the Guitar Freaks and Drummania series of arcade games.
The songs "Tentai Kansoku", "K", "Sailing Day", "Karma" and "Mayday" were later used in the musical arcade game by Bemani in GuitarFreaks,DrumMania and Pop'n Music. "Tentai Kansoku" was also featured in Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS: 7tsu no Shima no Daibouken.
The song "Karma" from their Supernova / karma single is the main theme for Namco's Tales of the Abyss video game.