Band-Maid (stylized as BAND-MAID and formerly as BAND-MAID® until March 2016) is a Japanese rock band formed in 2013. The band combines a rock sound with a maid image modeled on Japanese maid cafés. Originally signed to Gump Records (an imprint of the Platinum Passport artist management and talent agency), they switched to major label Nippon Crown‘s sub-label Crown Stones in 2016 and later moved to new sub-label Revolver Records in 2019. For international releases they have been with JPU Records since 2016.
Band-Maid’s image is modeled on maid café hostesses, with the standard uniform adapted to match each member’s personality. In interviews, they explained the concept came from founding member Miku Kobato who had previously worked at a maid café in Akihabara. This theme is reinforced by the band, who refer to their male fans as “masters,” their female fans as “princesses,” and their concerts as “servings.” The band’s “submissive” maid appearance is meant to contrast with their aggressive rock style. They decided to have two vocalists to allow a larger variety of music with two different voice types.
Kobato loved Japanese enka music when she was a child, and Tokyo Jihen led her to rock. She attended a vocal school around 2012, but started playing guitar with the formation of Band-Maid the following year. Atsumi started singing when she was 14 and Band-Maid is her first band. Tōno is a big fan of Carlos Santana, has played classical piano since she was a child, and began playing guitar when she joined her high school band club. Hirose is a fan of Deep Purple and Maximum the Hormone, particularly the latter’s female drummer Nao Kawakita, and also played trombone and piano. Misa likes Paz Lenchantin, The Smashing Pumpkins and Jimi Hendrix; she started playing piano at around 3 or 4 years of age, and also played trumpet, alto horn, and guitar.
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