Tag Archives: Translations
One of the more curious oddities in B’z lore and its accompanying fandom is the origin of the name “B’z“. A great many explanations have been proffered over the years (including both competing and supporting explanations by Tak and Koshi themselves in various interviews after being asked the question innumerable times). As many now no doubt know, “B’z” is pronounced the same as “bees” and occasionally as “bi-zu” (ビーズ) as a phonetic replacement by fans in Japan though the band use the former.
In 2012, as part of the B’z LIVE-GYM 2012 -Into Free- tour that saw the band play both coasts of the U.S. and Canada, a camera crew from WOWOW followed the action and recounted it in the documentary Only Two. The title of which originates from Tak, who stated when asked about the founding of the band:
“In the beginning, I wanted to found a band with four members, but… [after meeting Koshi] I thought, ‘Only two is enough.'”
Later, when asked if he had a clear vision of the path B’z would follow, he added:
“I had a clear vision from the start: I wanted to form a band that could succeed in making hit songs, you know. That’s why I started a band with just two. In general, every member of a band is egotistic. I didn’t think it’d be well organized with so many opinions.”
As for the name they later took as their own, the most prominent explanation over the years became that B’z wanted to be an “A to Z” sort of band, a band from which you could expect any sort of music. This was shortened to “A~Z” and then “A’z“, but the poor connotations quickly made it an unfavorable candidate, which led to “B’z”. Tak also mentioned in a 1989 interview that the idea of having a “Z” at the end was the result of a casual remark by a staff member whilst they were recording their earliest demos. Another article quoted Tak as saying he liked the idea of using a “Z” in the name and thought having a “B” would be appropriately masculine, with the number of associated B” rock artists out there. Thus, adding the two together formed “B’z“. Another related rationale that emerged in the press was that the band wanted to be inclusive of their favorite rock artists, and thus the name “B’z” included “B” for The Beatles and “Z” for Led Zeppelin.
As it turns out, there’s an element of truth to most of the popular explanations out there. From the aforementioned documentary, in their own words, here is an English-subtitled account of the band explaining the way the name came about:
Tak Matsumoto & Daniel Ho’s joint album Electric Island, Acoustic Sea was released in Japan today, and is available worldwide on iTunes as well! The album retails for $11.99 for the entire 12-track album, or $1.29 per track. The release is available on all iTunes storefronts internationally with similar pricing.
For those that missed them, the duo also released additional short music videos for “Island of peace” and “Sunny Tuesday“:
Additionally, we have translated Tak’s release message commemorating the occasion:
The pair will go on tour for Tak Matsumoto & Daniel Ho Live! 2017 -Electric Island, Acoustic Sea- on February 25 in Tokyo and will play their final show a month later on March 19 in Hawaii.
As is customary for both his B’z and solo efforts, Koshi Inaba has provided a written message for today’s release of his collaborative effort with Stevie Salas CHUBBY GROOVE. We have translated the message below:
Given the rising popularity of lyric videos in today’s internet music culture, we decided to try our hand at creating one featuring a B’z song. The song we decided to work with was the English tune “Love Bomb“, itself being a new rendition of the 2005 Japanese single “Ai no Bakudan“.
(Update for 2017—This edition of the song was previously released in 2012 as part of the band’s debut English album but was recently delisted from international iTunes stores with the coming of the new year. A similar delisting followed after five years of availability for the band’s 2007 International EP. It bears noting that “Into Free -Dangan-” remains available worldwide as a single.)
As a bonus: You can also now download a collection of eight custom wallpapers inspired by this project right here. Each wallpaper was created for a resolution of 1920×1080 but should scale nicely to any widescreen resolution.
We at OFF THE LOCK wish everyone a happy new year! Per usual, B’z have released a message for their fanclub members to celebrate the beginning of a new year. It appears that this year we’ll be able to look forward to a new B’z album! But first, Tak and Koshi will be embarking on their solo collaboration projects. On September 21st, 2017, B’z will celebrate their 29th anniversary since their formation in 1988, and enter their 30th year as a band. For sure, preparations for the 30th anniversary Pleasure 2018 tour are already underway and will be announced around that time.
Check out the subtitled video below for more details!
Yesterday in Japan, Koshi Inaba and Stevie Salas appeared on the J-WAVE radio program 「SAPPORO BEER OTOAJITO」 for a live interview on LINE LIVE. The event, hosted by Japanese-American radio personality Chris Peppler, was facilitated in English and Japanese and can be viewed in archive form here. Keep in mind this is for the pre-show segment, which does not include the usual live audience.
The stream began with the below commercial for the album that featured two new songs: 「AISHI-AISARE」 and 「OVERDRIVE」. Notably, the program closes with an alternate version that swaps the order (also included).
Peppler kicked off the segment with introductions prior to asking the two whether they felt this was a “project” or a “band”. Salas jokingly interjected to add that, “I don’t know if you know this, but he has a pretty big, famous band already.” He continued by responding to an inquiry about the origin of the project, saying, “Sometimes as musicians you want to get together between your regular work to get re-inspired.” The source of the album’s title was described by Salas as something that has a groove that’s “chubby”. Stevie compared the etymology of the phrase with “that’s phat“. The idea of depicting a pig on the cover came from the Nashville, Tennessee recording sessions where the studio owner’s pet pig chased Koshi around at one point.
Stevie also humorously recounted the time when he and Koshi first hung out over twenty-five years ago: “Many, many, many years ago [in the early 90s], he came to my house with Tak, in the Hollywood Hills. Tak and I used to go out and do a lot of drinking. Koshi doesn’t drink so much, but he was drinking with us this time. Me and Tak were talking, talking, talking and next time I look over, Koshi is asleep—in the night club. So I carried Koshi, on my shoulders, while he was asleep, all the way out and up the hill to my house. I laid him on my couch on a pillow and gave him a blanket.” Koshi laughed and clarified, “But, no blanket.”
“Koshi is one of the greatest rock singers in the world and I’ve worked with the biggest rock singers in history, if you think about it,” and went on to mention some of those he’s worked with in the past, including Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and Justin Timberlake. “Koshi is one of those greats that mostly only people in Japan know about because he sings in Japanese. But, if you really are an artist, then you know he is one of those top, top guys.”
The new INABA/SALAS collaborative album CHUBBY GROOVE is due for release on January 18, 2016. You can pre-order the album at the usual places: [YesAsia] [CDJapan] and [Amazon Japan]. Their joint tour “CHUBBY GROOVE TOUR 2017” kicks off January 25 and runs through a showing at Diamond Hall in Nagoya on February 20.