Started by Kenji Ueda in 1987 as The Coinlocker Babies and later renamed sometime after he resigned as Japanese punk band Kenzi & The Trips' bassist, The Pillows were originally Sawao Yamanaka (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar) from The Potato Chips, Yoshiaki Manabe (Lead Guitar) from 80's hair band Persia, and Shinchiro Sato (Drums) from Kenzi & The Trips. After their first two 1990 mini-albums releases called Pantomime, a re-recorded version of their old demo tape with the same name, and 90's My Life with Captain Records, the decision was later made to release Ame ni Utaeba, their debut single, and Moon Gold with Pony Canyon in 1991. A year later, the band released their second album called White Incarnation and Kenji Ueda bid farewell to his bandmates following their moderate success the previous year. Tatsuya Kashima from the band SUPER BAD was brought aboard as a guest bassist for the two experimental albums Kool Spice (1994) and Living Field (1995) that were released under King Records. Both gained only little more than extremely limited attention inside the rapidly changing Japanese music scene and the band turned their attention to putting on extremely entertaining live shows, side projects like Shinichiro Sato's involvement with The Pees, and recording new songs for two full years. After five incredibly sucessful MAXI SINGLES, The Pillows offered the emotional Please Mr. Lostman album early into 1997, and finally got a true taste of the high life. Sawao Yamanaka and company didn't slow down with the incredible hits either, this proven by the great sales of Little Busters (1998), Runners High (1999), and Happy Bivouac (1999). More success came their way both in Japan and across the world when Gainax hired the trio to provide a large majority of the background music for their hit OVA series FLCL. Their first "Best of..." compilation, Fool on the Planet (2001), and more singles followed before all the band members began to seek out other careers in music to fill the creative gap live tours and recording their new album Smile (2001) didn't quite fill alone. Sawao Yamanaka started his own production company, Delicious Label, Yoshiaki Manabe experiemtned with reggae music as Nine Miles, and Shinchiro Sato became the drummer for Yo-King. Thank You, My Twilight (2002), an incredible sounding foray into rock music mixed with loads electronic sounds and distortion was released the same day as their two disc B-Side collection Another Morning, Another Pillows. Terminal Heaven's Rock, a promising MAXI SINGLE, new DVD called Dead Stock Paradise, DVD re-releases of their two old VHS tapes Hello, Welcome to Bubbletown's Happy Zoo (Instant Show) and We Have a Theme Song are coming next in 2003. Also expected in 2003 is Nine Miles' second release named Return of The Polar Bear and the first mini-album from O.P. King, another band Shinchiro Sato is now drumming for.
Not covered above are the extremely rare fan club releases including "the pillows presents special cd", a special Christmas cassette filled with cover songs, Jun Suzuki's appearance in the brand new Terminal Heaven's Rock promotional video, a first for any bass player that has ever played with The Pillows, and much more.
"Any fan of The Pillows is called a Buster."
December 17, 2003