Last updated: September 15th 2013
Back-on is a Japanese rap, rock and punk band with 4 members.
- TEEDA (MC)
- KENJI03 (Vocals/MC/Guitar)
- SHU (Guitar)
- GORI (Bass)
Their main breakthrough to the mainsteam music scene was through their song Chain, which was featured as the main opening theme for the fairly popular anime Air Gear. Since then, BACK-ON‘s music has gone on to feature as the opening theme to the 6-part Murder Princess OVA, as well as both the opening and closing themes of the anime Eyeshield 21.
Two of their lesser known songs (Drive and the forthcoming Colors) have also featured as the main theme for a late night weekly TV Tokyo entertainment show “Tokyo Mayokara” for consecutive years. Their activities have also expanded to beyond the shores of Japan: Back-on have been invited to perform as the main feature band at at least 3 anime conventions – to date – one in America in April 2007 for Anime Matsuri, the next in Canada in August 2007 for Anime Evolution, as well as Anime USA during November 2007. It is probably worth noting that their live performances have been very highly rated by the attendees!
In addition to visiting the North Americas, the band have recently completed a successful debut in Asia at Formoz Festival 2007 in Taiwan, performing to a roaring crowd at one of Asia’s most popular outdoor rock events.
However, BACK-ON have continued to actively promote their music around Japan by headlining gigs with other bands, although their first ever solo performance was actually only held in July 2007.
Their unique musical style has won them numerous fans both at home in Japan, as well as abroad – some people describe their music as similar to the likes of e.g. Linkin’ Park, although the band has assured fans (in words and in practice) that their music style is actually very different, or more importantly very diverse!
In a recent interview with Anipike, Back-on were asked about bands that inspired them, and a few artists that they mentioned included: The Police, Smashing Pumpkins, Linkin Park, and the Fugees. Each band member also has their individual favourite artists.
They have released several albums, mini-albums (EPs) and singles – mini-albums have 6-7 songs in the tracklisting and usually 3 for singles, although one or two ‘signature’ pieces can be found in more than one release. The CD artwork is purportedly handled by band member TEEDA, not unlike the role undertaken by Joe Hahn of Linkin’ Park.
Their first full album YES!!! was released in November 2008 and included some of their previous hits such as Chain, flower and Sands of time – the album was mixed in LA.
flower, the single, was their last release of 2007, where BACK-ON released 2 singles on the same day, which came as a great surprise (and joy) for many. The title songs from both singles – flower and Butterfly were new theme songs for Eyeshield 21 and the 6-part J-drama Shinjuku Swan respectively. The theme song for the latter is actually quite electronic in style, a new frontier for the band, and judging by the reaction to the preview so far, it is striking the right balance.
It seems the positive feedback (we hope?) from the fans encouraged the band to experiment a little with their music, as their most recent release – a single entitled Sands of time – showcased a musical style that have never been heard from the band.
The controversial song in question is fifty/50, which features Teeda as the solo voice, and has a heavier sound (if a little electronic) than their other releases. In addition to this, the lyrics are far darker, which contrasts particularly with the two other songs on the single (message for kidz is meant to be a message of encouragement to everyone) and songs such as Hikari Sasuhou and New World.
However, the tune is really very catchy, and along with Sands of time (which features as the ending theme for the 51-episode Jdrama Keitai Sousakan 7) have become the two most favourite songs (it seems) of fans from the single.
The theory going around is that Teeda is the main influence for the songs in this single, and actually, interms developing music individually, he is probably the most well-known band member for his work with a number of other artists in the music scene.
BACK-ON originates from Adachi and the band aims to showcase the street flavour of Adachi, Tokyo. Each song is meant to deliver a message (I think?), with an ‘explosive‘ impact … hence their band name. BACK-ON‘s name comes from the sound of an explosion “爆音“, which has the romaji pronunciation “baku-on” .