Band-Maid is a Japanese Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band from Tokyo. Formed in 2013 and consisting entirely of women, their shtick is that they dress like the famous Maid Cafe waitresses that Japan is known for. This idea came from the experience one member had working in one. They've garnered a fairly large cult following around the world for their visual style and music, which features aggressive guitars and many solos. Already a popular live act back home, they made their first appearances outside Japan in 2016, initially playing at Seattle's Sakura-Con and London's Comic-Con before organizing solo US & EU tours each year since 2016.
- Saiki Atsumi (Vocals)
- Miku Kobato (Guitar, vocals)
- Kanami Touno (Guitar)
- Akane Hirose (Drums)
- Misa (Bass)
- Maid in Japan (2013)
- New Beginning (2015)
- Brand New Maid (2016)
- Just Bring It (2017)
- World Domination (2018)
They are often compared to BABYMETAL due to being female metal bands from Japan with clean vocal styles. However, there are three key differences — they formed independently rather than being created by a label, they play their own instruments, and they're all adults.note On the other hand, like BABYMETAL and many other Japanese acts, they do cultivate a stage persona they maintain even when off-stage.
Tropes that will thrill you:
- Animal Motif: Miku fancies herself a pigeon. She punctuates her speech with "po" and uses a lot of dove emojis on social media.
- Big Eater: Akane's Charm-Point is her huge appetite.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're a band wearing maid costumes.
- Fan Community Nickname: They call their fans Masters and Princesses, or Goshujin-sama and Ojou-sama.
- Genki Girl: Miku is very energetic in concerts and other public appearances.
- Girl Group: Often get called one. In reality, they share nothing in common with them except being made up entirely of women and wearing attractive costumes.
- Gratuitous English: It shows up a lot, though it's not as bad as some other bands.
- Hime Cut: Misa's hairstyle.
- Idol Singer: Miku used to be in a three-girl idol group called リル・クミン (Lil Cumin) under the name Mika Noguchi. She still exhibits some idol mannerisms when interacting with fans.
- Intercourse with You: "Don't Let Me Down" is in English and has some pretty steamy lyrics involving Sex Slavery.
- Lead Drummer: A rather literal case, drummer Akane is the official leader of the band.
- Meido: It's sort of their thing. This idea was from Miku's experience working in a maid cafe.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Around a 6 or 7.
- Ms. Fanservice: Well, they dress like maid cafe waitresses after all. The intention was to subvert the submissive maid concept.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Since their second album release, they customized their maid costumes according to their personalities. Only Miku and Kanami keep the full Meido uniform; Akane and Saiki ditched the apron and maid headdress, and Misa simply wears a long black dress, which she calls the "assassin maid" outfit.
- Only One Name: Misa is the only one without a disclosed surname.
- Pun: Maid in Japan, most obviously. Also, the name of the band itself being a pun on band-aid.
- The Quiet One: In public appearances, Saiki and Misa don't talk much.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: In the music videos, Saiki usually has a blue rose as part of her costume while Miku has a red rose. Saiki is usually quieter while Miku is very outgoing.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Inverted somewhat. Upon seeing them, most would assume they're a JPop idol group, not a heavy metal band. However, the music itself is very accessible.
- Surprisingly Good English: "Don't Let Me Down" is written in English and the two vocalists sing it pretty well, although with an accent.
- Third-Person Person: Kobato addresses herself as "Kobato". She might also mean "this little pigeon" by that.
- Trademark Favorite Drink: Misa's Charm Point is that she loves her whisky and carries a flask with her, and often has a bottle near her on stage while performing. When the band collaborated with Zippo to release limited edition lighters, her design included the words "Alcohol is Necessary".
- Tradesnark: Until 2014, the band's name was stylized as BAND-MAID®.
- Verbal Tic: Miku punctuates her speech with "po", the onomatopoeia for pigeon call, in every public appearance (but not when singing), because her surname Kobato means "little pigeon".*
- Vocal Tag Team: Saiki and Miku trade vocals with each other.
- Widget Series: Good luck trying to explain an all-female band who dress as maids and play heavy metal to someone not familiar with Japanese music.