Spitz (band) - About Spitz

About Spitz

Spitz’s musical style is influenced by Donovan, using electric guitar played with arpeggio, and a steady rhythm. Their simple melodies are influenced by popular songs and use Kusano’s soft voice.

The band's name was proposed by Kusano and means "sharp and pointed" in German. Kusano liked the "sp" sound (as in "special" or "crispy"). He had wanted to use this name since he was a high school student, but members of his band disagreed with him. Their fan club is named after the Norwegian island Spitsbergen.

In 1995, the album Hachimitsu sold more than one million copies and became very popular. After that, the singles "Sora mo Toberuhazu" (空も飛べるはず?) and "Cherry" (チェリー?) sold more than one million copies each.

Spitz's music is often seen as conventional pop ballads. However, the band initially started as a hard rock band. They love rock music, and view themselves as a rock band. They say that their music is "rock and popular music."

All of the members went to art school. Kusano and Tamura went to Tokyo Zokei University. Miwa and Sakiyama went to Bunka Fashion College. Miwa and Tamura were classmates in junior high school.

Their connection with their audience is very important to them. Their policy is not to give a performance at a stage bigger than an ordinary concert hall. After becoming a famous band, Kusano said "We are not thinking of giving a performance at Nippon Budokan." However, he also said "I didn’t say we won’t do it forever."

In spring 1986, Kusano met Tamura at Tokyo Zokei University and they formed a band, the "Cheetahs" with drummer Atsushi Ono. The band was heavily influenced by punk rock, so they arranged "365 Ho no March" (365歩のマーチ?) as punk and played "Ichigo Hakusho wo Mou Ichido" (いちご白書をもう一度?). The band eventually evolved into "The Spitz" with a new member Taku Nishiwaki. However, Kusano realized that The Blue Hearts had already done the music that they wanted to do, so this incarnation of Spitz broke up.

In 1987, Kusano transferred from Tokyo Zokei University to Musashino Art College, but he continued to play Nintendo with Tamura, so they stayed friends. In the meantime they planned to form a band again. Tamura invited Miwa from his junior high school, and Miwa invited Sakiyama who belonged to the same folk song club at Bunka Fashion College. These four members formed the new incarnation of Spitz and gave performances at venues such as Shinjuku Jam, Shibuya La Mama, Shibuya Yaneura from that autumn. At first they were influenced by The Blue Hearts so greatly that the booking manager of Shibuya La Mama said to them, "You have no future." In addition, Kusano began to think his style wasn't suitable, so he started to play acoustic guitar. At that time, they composed "Koi no Uta" (恋のうた?) or "Hibari no Kokoro" (ヒバリのこころ?) which they often perform even now. Spitz’s style was beginning to take shape.

In July 1989, they did a live show for the first time at Shinjuku Loft, which 300 people attended. In March 1990, they released a mini album, Hibari no Kokoro (ヒバリのこころ?).

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