back number
back number

back number

About back number

Rock trio back number incorporate swooping string sections and chugging guitars in swooning ballads about new love or desperate desire. Lead vocalist Iyori Shimizu longed to start a band while still living in his home region of Gunma Prefecture in 2004 and within a couple of years he recruited bassist Kazuya Kojima and drummer Hisashi Kurihara for the project. The next few years found back number honing their skills around Gunma, performing small live shows and eventually winning a competition to appear at the 2008 edition of the Shonan Music Festival Vol. 2. It proved a good introduction to the style they had been polishing over the previous months: midtempo rock pushed forward by folksy strumming and leading to hooks showcasing Shimizu’s urgent, impassioned singing. Their breakthrough, though, came in 2011 when they started adding splashes of piano and violin to their rock ballads, amping up the emotions central to numbers like “Omoidasenakunaru Sonohimade.” The three-piece embraced this new sonic approach even more, crafting heart-tugging songs that incorporated bell chimes (“Christmas Song”) or an expanded orchestral sound (“Happy End”). These added instrumentations provided a dramatic backdrop for back number’s celebration of love in all its forms, with Shimizu proving his knack for finding new ways of expressing deep affection again and again.