Billy

biography - 16.10.2009 03:41

Billy

Billy was created in November 2004 as Mi-ne, guitarist and leader, invited his friends and acquaintances from the indie visual kei scene to join him to form a band. Three former BaXtu members, vocalist YU-KI, guitarist Takuma and drummer Hiroshi joined him, as well as bassist Tsubuku.

The name Billy was chosen as the members felt that the letter ‘B’ was often found in famous bands such as The Beatles or BOØWY, but also because it is a clear, straightforward name to remember. The letter ‘B’ is also present in many of their songs and CD titles, in one way or another.

Billy kicked off their activities with their first but secret performance on November 26th, and five more secret performances followed. Their first releases came in 2005: two demo CDs, which were both distributed during their lives in January. Since then, the band made a habit of releasing special singles once in a while, which were distributed during their lives only.

Their first release that was also sold in visual kei CD stores, was the mini-album Babies, Goodbye, released in May. During spring and summer, the band was often performing at various events, and also held their first one-man concert. The live was recorded, and footage of it was released on the DVD Nikunda Egao, which came out that summer and also included their first PV. Late November, vocalist YU-KI changed his name to BAKU before the band launched into another series of lives which kept them busy throughout December.

The year 2006 brought more releases, namely the mini-albums [Babies, Goodbye] Saikai [RE-MIX] and William, as well as a number of live-only singles. Their number of lives had increased strongly during this year, and they toured in cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. For their concerts in summer and autumn, a rather controversial photo shoot was used to promote the tour, as the band members seemed to pose entirely naked. Though the concept might not have come across in its entirety, it certainly entertained their fans and drew a lot of attention to them!

The next year brought even more performances, and during the whole year the band was to be found on various stages across the whole country. Of course, a vast number of releases were put out as well: another mini-album, a live DVD and the single Butterfly United, which was the first CD they released on the AKATSUKI/J-ROCK label, which is also the label of Plastic Tree and Doremidan.

January 2008 brought their first full album, Bouquet. The band continued to tour extensively and later that year they released two new singles and another full album. Amongst the singles was Rockin’ Princess, which fared so well that it ranked 11th on the Oricon Indie Charts, which was quite an achievement for the band seeing as their releases had never hit the charts before.

November was supposed to bring their first overseas performance as they were invited to perform in Brazil and Chile with their label mates Plastic Tree. However, due to a variety of problems, the concert had to be cancelled and postponed to a later date, though this never happened.

February 2009 brought the announcement that on the 22nd of that month, Billy would be pausing activities. Instead of it being a euphemism for disbandment, it looked like they had plans to return soon, though they surprised their fans with a new, unexpected announcement in May.

As of May 2009, the five band members closed the Billy chapter and are now known under the name Hana Shounen Baddies and are continuing their activities in this way. They have an impressive five years to look back on as Billy and we are more than curious to see what path these talented musicians will take as Hana Shounen Baddies.
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