BUMP OF CHICKEN, The Coldplay of Japan


        BUMP OF CHICKEN promoting their 2014 tour Willpolis after winning the “Best Your Choice” award at Space shower Music Video Awards 2014

Bump of chicken, stylized as BUMP OF CHICKEN, is an alternative rock band from Japan formed in 1994. While they may not be widely popular in the world as other rock bands like X Japan, SPYAIR or ONE OK ROCK, they are well known in Japan as one of the leading groups in rock, pop and alternative music.

Having sold over 6 million copies of albums and singles BUMP OF CHICKEN is still topping charts up until today and they’ve been doing so for over 15 years now with their first entry on their chart dating back on 2000 with their single “Diamond” from their best-selling album “Jupiter”. BUMP as their fans usually call them is formed by former kindergarten friends Motoo Fujiwara (vocals, guitar, composer, lyricist), Hiroaki Masukawa (guitarist, lyricist), Yoshifumi Naoi (bass) and Hideo Masu (drums). Knowing each other from their early youth, primary and secondary school periods and early adult ages, BUMP members are all close and very bond to each other. This is something that defines the core of the whole band as they seem to connect easily and are very open to themselves, usually expressing this through their songs which most of the time are upbeat, calm, relaxing songs with a happy or carefree untroubled mood. Here listen to relaxing calm “You Were Here”.

If I had to say in what terms or artistry BUMP is, I’d say they are clearly similar to British rock band Coldplay in many ways. In fact the first time I listened to BUMP OF CHICKEN the first thing that came to my mind was Coldplay, because they’d remind of them so much. Their music style is not the same, but there are points where both bands look extremely similar in performance and looks, although I’d say the Japanese band resembles more the old Coldplay before the release of their more pop like album Mylo Xyloto. Have a look at BUMP’s Niji wo Matsu Hito and Coldlay’s Charlie Brown so you get the idea of what I’m saying.

Now there other songs that are pretty much alike Coldplay’s but there is something that one must always have in mind while comparing both bands, although they are similar, they are also different and true to themselves. Don’t misunderstand this and say, hey BUMP is a copy of Coldplay because they simply aren’t. Fact is BUMP of chicken made their debut and hit mainstream success years before Coldplay did.

BUMP OF CHICKEN are now veterans of Japanese music and have made history in Japan’s music industry. They are a truly good band that can go from soft calming rock ballad songs to rocking upbeat hit songs like “Karma” which is personally one of my favorites songs.

Lately BUMP is been more active, releasing a total of 4 digital singles in a row last year and starting their nationwide tour WILLPOLIS with an extra show in Taiwan. The WILLPOLIS tour started back in the last quarter of 2013 and was successfully wrapped up in July 2014. Overall BUMP has now made a total of 18 tours, 7 albums and 23 singles in their whole career.  A few of their singles have been used as openings and ending themes for different anime series and videogames. Final Fantasy Type-0 used BUMP’s single “Zero” as the ending theme song. “Sailing Day” and “Karma” were used as ending and opening songs of TV anime One Piece and Tales of the Abyss respectively.

WILLPOLIS Final Show in 2014 in Tokyo Dome.

Now with the new year coming ahead BUMP is expected to either release a new album (probably in the last quarter) or a bunch of new singles after a long well deserved rest. Here I leave their hit song Tentai Kansoku to finish it off. Wish them the best to come and yet more success in their future! 🙂


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