This Harajuku-kei band is widely known for cheerful music, but they’ve played different genres of music from mellow ballads to hard rock. They are not widely known in Japan and while there are many teenagers within their fanbase, they make music all ages would enjoy. Perhaps lacking chart-topping hits like some bands, their expansive fanbase does extend around the globe and has been known as fiercely loyal.
Vocalist Miku, bassist Kanon and guitarist Bou formed Antic Cafe in May of 2003. Miku’s former band, Revirii, had disbanded in April. He searched the internet for other band-members, which is how he found Kanon and Bou.
The three members distributed 50 copies of their first demo-tape, Opungu, for their first live. Then they distributed 300 copies of their second demo-tape, Uzumaki senshokutai/Hatsukoi, on July 2nd. Despite the lack of an official drummer, An Cafe gained a decent amount of publicity. Teruki left his former band, Feather-blue, and joined the band as their dummer in August.
In 2004, the band released three maxi-singles. The first maxi-single, Candyholic placed second on the Oricon indie singles chart within a week of the release. The second maxi-single, Root of 69, was sold on the 9th of June. Kosumosu was released on November 25th and ranked 5th place on the Oricon charts.
In 2005, An Cafe launched their first mini-album, Amedama Rock. A month later they released Karakuri hitei, another maxi single. Finally the band sold their first full-length album, Shikisai Moment, in November. The album also featured a few singles they released over the summer of that year.
LiveCafe 2005 was released in March of 2006 and Magnya Carta in November. The second full-length album featured four older singles released earlier from that year. That December, they sold another DVD, LiveCafe 2006.
2007 was a year of opportunity for the band. However, shortly after the exciting announcement that they would appear at A-kon in America (June 1-3), the band made an unexpected follow up – Bou was leaving the band. The reason for his decision remained undisclosed. The guitarist’s last live was on April 30th and a documentary of it was made for it. Kanon, Miku, and Teruki appeared at A-kon for questions & answer sessions as well as autographs despite not performing. The trio assured fans that they wouldn’t leave and soon found two new members.
In May of the same year the band announced new additions to their line-up – guitarist takuya and keyboardist Yuuki. The year remained busy and the second generation of An Cafe released three singles, Kakusei Heroism – “The Hero Without a Name”, Ryuusei Rocket and Cherry Sakura Yuuki. The two new members introduced their own distinctive style to a now established band.
In 2008 the five members released a full-length album, Gokutama Rock Cafe. They had their first premiere in America and they toured Europe. In honor of their 5th anniversary the band held an outdoor event titled ANCAFEFESTA08 and released a DVD of the live in November. The celebration continued soon after through the release of a maxi-single, Koakuma Usagi no Koibumi to Machine Gun e.p. and a nation-wide tour.
Throughout the years, An Cafe has proven that despite the ups and downs that come along the rocky road of being a successful band, they’re more than willing to take the obstacles head on. Distinctive sound and style isn’t their only claim to fame, however. An Cafe fans are known as Cafekko, words such as ‘nyappy’ are used prevalently by both band and fans alike. They have even made o(≧∀≦)o into something recognizable and specific to them that non-Cafekko know on sight.
2009 started off bright for this energetic and unstoppable band with Harajuku style. March saw the release of Aroma along with the DVD Live Cafe Tour ’08 Nyappy Go Around The World. A world tour is in progress as we speak with stops in South America, Europe, and the United States. Where else will An Cafe take us? Perhaps after the world, only the sky could be the limit.
Article contributed by: Rose
Edited and contributed: Ali W.
For more An Cafe news: Check out 2009 tour information here