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The Back Horn is a successful Japanese rock band, noted for the inclusion of nu-metal and indie rock elements into their music, which, however, displays enough commercial savvy to allow the records regular entries into national charts. The band, initially named Gyorai, was started in 1998 by a bunch of countryside youth who met in Tokyo, where they all moved for various reasons. Within a year of their formation the Back Horn, who by then had one EP out (Doko e Yuki, 1999), already played Fuji Rock Festival, Japan's biggest rock event, and a year later released their debut full-length, Yomigaeru Hi, which got them signed to Speedstar Records. That success cost them the original bassist Hirabayashi, who left after the major-label deal, but that didn't stop them from releasing the album Ningen Program (2001). The vacant slot was filled by Okamine Kohshu, who worked on the band's third offering, Shinzou Orchestra (2002), before becoming an official bandmember. This album was a commercial success, and in 2003 the Back Horn scored their first movie deal, contributing the song "Mirai" to the Akarui Mirai feature. Their fourth album Ikiru Sainou (2003) also provided the song "Requiem" for the Casshern movie, out the same year, and helped to pump the band's popularity high enough for their supposedly conceptual fourth album Headphone Children (2005) to become a bestseller. Its release led to the song "Kiseki" picked for the horror movie Zoo, as well as the band's debut in Europe (on a Barcelona fest) and the free acoustic tour delivered by Yamada and Suganami right in the streets of several Japanese cities. The group also kept on writing new material, with Taiyo no Nakano Seikatsu released in 2006, and the eponymous sixth album in 2007, the latter providing the track "Wana" for another installment in the mega-popular "mecha" anime franchise Mobile Suit Gundam 00. ~ Alexey Eremenko

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