A Western-sounding Japanese band, Fujifabric have scored several Oricon Top 20 singles and albums with their blend of alternative rock and Weezer-styled power pop, which also features elements of disco, surf, and rockabilly. Formed in 2000 by several high-school friends including guitarist Shimura Masahiko and drummer Takayuki Watanabe, Fuji Fabric indeed took their name (initially spelled as two words) from a textile factory owned by Watanabe's father. Initially a cover band, Fuji Fabric became a serious project when Masahiko and Watanabe moved to Tokyo in 2001, joining up with Tadokoro Sachiko, Kato Yuichi, and Akira Hagiwara and renaming the group Fujifabric. The lineup didn't last for long -- the new additions dropped out in 2002 -- but Fujifabric still debuted with the EP A la Carte (2002), followed by another EP, A la Mode (2003), recorded with keyboardist Daisuke Kanazawa and bassist Shinichi Kato already as permanent members.
The records were good enough to make the major labels court the band, which signed with Toshiba-EMI in 2004 at the cost of losing founding member Watanabe, who left citing "creative differences" and was replaced by Adachi Fusafumi. The group completed its "A la..." trilogy of EPs with A la Molto (2004), and then recorded its eponymous debut album, which made the Oricon Top 20 in 2004. A second LP, Fab Fox, followed in 2005, peaking at number eight on the charts. It was preceded by three successful singles, and the song "Shinkirou" was featured in the movie Scrap Heaven. After that Fujifabric took a two-year creative hiatus, during which Fusafumi left the band, but the rest of the lineup returned in 2007 with singles "Aoi Tori" (number nine on the charts), used in the movie Nightmare Detective, and "Surfer King" (number 23 on the charts), recorded with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. The tracks were included on Fujifabric's third studio album, Teenager, which came out in early 2008 and charted at number 11. ~ Alexey Eremenko