One-of-a-kind rock band Buck-Tick got their start in the mid 1980's as an iconic product of Japan's "band boom." Maintaining the same lineup of members for the entirety of their 30-year career, Buck-Tick have had an enormous influence on the subsequent development of Japanese rock and rock-n-roll culture.
In 1989, the band scored their first chart-topping hit with their third album, Taboo. Just two years after their debut, they joined the ranks of Japan's top artists, playing to sold-out crowds at the Nippon Budoukan and the Tokyo Dome.
Never content to rest on their laurels, the band followed their initial success by deepening their pop sensibilities with a darker worldview, and expanding into more experimental territory, taking chances on radical new performance styles and technology in a process of continuing evolution.
In 2012, the band established their own new label, Lingua Sounda, in conjunction with their 25th anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, the band held a festival on September 22nd and 23rd entitled "Buck-Tick Fest 2012 on Parade" in Chiba Port Park at an outdoor venue designed specially for the occasion. In addition to two hour-long headlining performances by Buck-Tick, the festival also featured a complete roster of artists who contributed tracks to Buck-Tick's second tribute cover album, Parade II -Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick.
In 2013, a double-feature documentary film about the 25th anniversary, The Buck-Tick Phenomenon, was released in cinemas throughout Japan to great acclaim.
In 2016, the band returned to their original label, Victor Entertainment, after 20 years of work with other labels. New World, the band's first single since rejoining Victor, was released on September 21st, followed by a new album, Atom Miraiha No. 9 on September 28th.
In 2017, Buck-Tick celebrated their 30th anniversary, and were awarded the Inspiration Award Japan, a special prize given to music artists who have had an outsize influence on the development of pop music in Japan. The band accepted their award on September 27th at MTV Japan's live music video awards show Video Music Awards Japan 2017 -The Live-,” where they also gave a special live performance.
On September 20th, the band released a 30th anniversary best album entitled Catalogue 1987-2016. Following this, on September 23rd and 24th, the band performed a pair of concerts, Buck-Tick 2017 The Parade -30th Anniversary, "Fly Side" and "High Side," at Tokyo's Odaiba Special Outdoor Event Area J, attracting a crowd of more than 20,000 people over two days. Then on November 15th, the band released its first 30th anniversary single, Babel.
Before releasing Babel, the band embarked on an 18-stop national tour, The Day in Question 2017, opening at Omiya Sonic City on October 21st and featuring a stadium performance at Takasaki Arena in their home prefecture of Gunma, before concluding with a pair of finale concerts at the Nippon Budoukan on December 28th and 29th.
In 2018, the band released another single, Moon Tell Me Goodbye, on February 21st, followed by a new album, No. 0, on March 14th. The band are currently in the middle of a new tour, Buck-Tick 2018 Tour No. 0, to promote the new album.
One-of-a-kind rock band Buck-Tick got their start in the mid 1980's as an iconic product of Japan's "band boom." All hailing from the small rural town of Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture, the five band members met while still in high school, bonding over a mutual love of records during informal gatherings at the home of band founder, lead guitarist and main songwriter, Hisashi Imai. Though the band's original lineup featured a different vocalist and Atsushi Sakurai on drums, after graduating high school and moving to Tokyo to pursue their dream of becoming professional musicians, the band soon switched Sakurai to vocals, and bassist Yutaka Higuchi recruited his older brother Toll Yagami to play drums instead. The band have maintained the same five members since that time.
After being signed to the indie label Taiyo Records, the band rocketed to stardom, making their major label debut on Victor Entertainment within a year, and taking the Japanese music scene by storm with their infectious punk melodies, spiky bleached hair, bold costumes, and theatrical stage shows. Within two years, they topped the charts with their third album, Taboo. Recorded in London, Taboo marked a turning point for the band, from a teenage pop sensation into something darker. Buck-Tick continued into darker territory with their next album, Aku no Hana (The Flowers of Evil), named for the poetry of Charles Baudelaire.
Never content to rest on their laurels, Buck-Tick followed their initial runaway success with a push into more experimental territory, spending many more hours in the studio to create ever deeper, more layered records. Koroshi no Shirabe -This is NOT Greatest Hits- (The Song of Murder), a self-cover album featuring heavily reworked versions of the band's earlier material, was followed by another album, Kurutta Taiyou (Crazy Sun), now regarded as a classic of Japanese rock and roll. From this album forward, vocalist Sakurai took a greater role in the band's creative output, penning darker, more introspective lyrics based on personal experience rather than the romantic fantasies of the band's previous works. While lead guitarist Imai remained the band's main composer and creative director, rhythm guitarist Hidehiko Hoshino also began to contribute more to the songwriting, cementing the band's mature sound.
Over the next two decades, Buck-Tick continued to evolve, exploring a diversity of genres ranging from new wave to industrial, shoegaze, punk, electronica, dreampop, surf rock, rap, Latin dance, goth, and symphonic metal. Drawing on both Western and Eastern influences, the band developed a unique style instantly recognizable despite their continuous genre-hopping. Layers of minimalist riffs, melodies, and electronic tracks synergize into an immersive, kaleidoscopic sonic experience far more than the sum of its parts. Tied together with the tight grooves of the Higuchi brothers' bass and drums and the bold simplicity of Hoshino's rhythm guitar, Buck-Tick's songs feature Imai's instantly memorable guitar licks like a second vocalist, even as Imai often adds eccentric backing vocals to Sakurai's rich baritone lead vocals. Cosmic themes of love and death abound in the piquant, poetic lyrics, which traverse as many genres as the music, overflowing with inspiration from art, literature, and philosophy.
The result is something utterly original, which continues to exert a tremendous influence on the progress of Japanese rock music to this day. Maintaining a large and wildly devoted cult following, the band continue to perform for sold-out crowds at Japan's most well-respected music venues, and are regularly cited as an influence by younger Japanese artists. A number of Buck-Tick's songs were also used as themes for popular anime series, expanding the band's fame internationally among fans of Japanese pop culture in dozens of countries around the world.
The band's recent achievements include establishment of their own new record label, Lingua Sounda, in 2012, and a 25th anniversary festival held in September 2012 at a special outdoor venue in Chiba Port Park, featuring an all-star roster of artists who contributed tracks to Buck-Tick's second tribute cover album, Parade II -Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick-. In 2013, a double-feature documentary film, The Buck-Tick Phenomenon, was released to great acclaim in theaters across Japan.
In 2016, Buck-Tick returned to their original label, Victor Entertainment, after 20 years of separation, releasing a single, New World, followed by Atom Miraiha No. 9, their first new studio album since 2014.
In September 2017, the band cemented their legacy as Japanese rock legends by celebrating their 30th anniversary with a two-day outdoor concert series, Buck-Tick 2017 The Parade -30th Anniversary, "Fly Side" and "High Side," held on Tokyo's Odaiba Island before a crowd of more than 20,000 people. The next week, the band took to the stage again at MTV Japan's Video Music Japan awards to accept the Inspiration Award Japan, a special prize given to music artists who have had an outsize influence on the development of pop music in Japan.
In October 2017, the band embarked on a national tour, The Day in Question 2017, performing a selection of hits from their back catalog to celebrate their anniversary, and featuring a stadium performance at Takasaki Arena, near the band's home town.
Entering their 31st year of major label activities, the band show no sign of slowing down. Two new singles, Babel and Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete (Moon Tell Me Goodbye), preceded the band's 21st studio album, No. 0, and the band are currently in the middle of a new tour, Buck-Tick 2018 Tour No. 0, to promote the new album.