Lovebites (stylized as LOVEBITES) is a Japanese all-female heavy metal band, formed in 2016 by former Destrose members Miho and Haruna. Its lineup consists of Miho on bass, Haruna on drums, Midori and Miyako on guitar and Asami on vocals. After signing to Victor Entertainment, the group released both their self-titled debut EP and their first album in 2017 before performing their first overseas concerts at the end of the year. With another EP and album released in 2018, Lovebites quickly garnered international attention and won that year's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award for Best New Band.

Lovebites
Lovebites - Wacken Open Air 2018-5949.jpg
Lovebites performing at Wacken Open Air on
August 4, 2018.
Background information
OriginTokyo, Japan
GenresPower metal[1]
Years active2016–present
LabelsVictor Entertainment (JP), JPU (UK), Sliptrick (NA), Arising Empire (EU, AUS)
Associated actsDestrose
WebsiteOfficial site
MembersMiho
Haruna
Midori
Miyako
Asami

HistoryEdit

Lovebites was formed in Tokyo in 2016 by bassist Miho and drummer Haruna. The two met while members of Destrose, another all-female metal band that disbanded in 2015.[2] After recruiting guitarist Midori and support guitarist and keyboardist Miyako (then known as Mi-Ya), the four chose vocalist Asami based on a demo she made.[3] Midori was in the band Gekijo Metalicche, Miyako was a member of A Drop of Joker and 21g, while Asami was a backup singer for Vamps and Uverworld.[4] During one rehearsal, the musicians performed "Love Bites (So Do I)" by Halestorm. Feeling that the song fit well with Asami's voice, it left an impression on all of the members and they chose Lovebites as the name for their new band.[5] They had their first concert on November 18, 2016 at Tsutaya O-West.[3][4]

Lovebites released their debut EP, The Lovebites EP, in May 2017 via Victor Entertainment. Miho explained that it was more of a demo to get the band signed, but the label liked it so much they had it properly mastered and released.[6] It was mixed by Mikko Karmila and mastered by Mika Jussila, who have worked with acts like Nightwish, Children of Bodom, and Stratovarius, at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland. The EP was released in the United Kingdom on August 25 by JPU Records and in North America by Sliptrick Records on August 31.[7]

Support member Miyako became a full member of the band in August 2017.[8] Their first full-length album Awakening from Abyss was released in Japan and North America on October 25,[8] and in the UK two days later.[9] It was again mixed and mastered by Karmila and Jussila and includes re-recordings of the four tracks from their debut EP.[2][9] The group played just a handful of shows before their first gigs outside Japan: two nights at Hyper Japan Christmas and one show at Camden Underworld, both in London at the end of November 2017.[2]

In 2018, Lovebites performed on the Japanese leg of Warped Tour and released their second EP Battle Against Damnation on June 6.[10][11][12] Days later, they won the 2018 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award for Best New Band.[13] They performed at Wacken Open Air on August 4,[14] becoming the first Japanese all-female rock band to appear at the German festival.[15] They also performed on the main stage at Bloodstock Open Air on August 10, 2018.[16] In November, Lovebites held their first European tour that saw them visit the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK.[17] The band released their second album Clockwork Immortality on December 5 in Japan. Limited editions of the album include a DVD or Blu-ray of the concert video Battle in the East, which was recorded on June 28, 2018 at Tsutaya O-East.[18] It was released in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand two days later by Arising Empire, and in the UK by JPU Records on January 18, 2019.[19][20]

Lovebites was the opening act for Arch Enemy at two shows in Shanghai and Beijing, China on March 23 and 24, 2019.[21] In June, they performed at the Download Festival in both Donington, UK and Madrid, Spain and at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium.[22] Their set at Donington was cited by its organizers and Metal Hammer as one of the festival's highlight performances,[23][24] including when Asami joined Halestorm on stage to sing her band's namesake song,[25] which she had also done earlier at Download Festival Japan on March 21.[26]

On July 10, Lovebites released their first standalone concert video and live album, Daughters of the Dawn - Live in Tokyo, recorded on January 27, 2019 at Mynavi Blitz Akasaka.[27] They were a support act on DragonForce's UK tour throughout the first half of November,[28] and opened for Halestorm in Tokyo on December 2.[29] The band's third studio album, Electric Pentagram, was released on January 29, 2020.[29] It will be supported by a seven-date Japanese tour from February 14 to April 12.[29]

Music and influencesEdit

Guitarists Midori and Miyako performing at Wacken Open Air 2018.

Although hailing from Tokyo, Lovebites' music is heavily influenced by the new wave of British heavy metal which led their music to be compared to Iron Maiden and Rage.[2][30] Miho said she always wanted to play a combination of power metal and "a little bit of old school [heavy metal]."[2] She also noted that their decision to wear all-white clothing, as opposed to the genre's stereotypical black, was made to contrast with their old school sound and have them stand out.[2] Their lyrics are written in English even though the musicians do not speak the language fluently.[3] An exception is the Haruna-penned song "Bravehearted" on their debut EP, which was written in Japanese and intended for Destrose.[31]

The group frequently collaborates with former Light Bringer keyboardist Mao on composing and arranging songs.[3][32] All of their releases have been mixed and mastered by Finnish audio engineers Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila,[27] and all of their album cover illustrations since Awakening from Abyss have been created by Spanish artists David López Gómez and Carlos Vincente León.[33] These album covers all feature a wolf to symbolize that, by playing the non-mainstream genre of heavy metal, Lovebites are a "lone wolf" in the music scene.[34] The wolf is a mascot to represent the band, like Eddie for Iron Maiden or Vic Rattlehead for Megadeth.[34]

Miho likes Iron Maiden, Pantera, Mötley Crüe and Anthrax. She referred to her playing as more showmanship than technical, and cited Steve Harris as a particular influence alongside the style of Nikki Sixx.[31]

Haruna has played drums since she was thirteen years old, and began writing songs on a keyboard at fourteen.[31][35] She bought a twin drum pedal after seeing a metal band use it during her first visit to a live house.[31] From elementary school up to high school her favorite band was B'z, and Helloween's Master of the Rings was the first metal music she heard.[35][31]

Midori's playing on Lovebites' debut EP was influenced by Kiko Loureiro.[31] Generally speaking, she said that she plays the "flashy and aggressive" guitar solos in the band, while Miyako plays the "slower, more melodic" ones.[34]

Miyako has played classical piano since she was three and guitar since high school.[31] At first she listened to Yngwie Malmsteen, but she was inspired by Disarmonia Mundi's Ettore Rigotti to begin composing and arranging songs.[31][36]

Asami comes from a R&B and soul music background and likes artists such as Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin.[31]

Band membersEdit

  • Miho – bass, backing vocals, bandleader (2016–present)
  • Haruna – drums (2016–present)
  • Midori – guitars, backing vocals (2016–present)
  • Miyako – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals (2017–present) as a support musician (2016–2017)
  • Asami – lead vocals (2016–present)

DiscographyEdit

Lovebites discography
Studio albums3
Live albums1
Video albums1
Music videos5
EPs2
Singles1

Studio albumsEdit

Year Album details Oricon[37] Billboard Japan
Hot Albums
2017 Awakening from Abyss 18 33[38]
2018 Clockwork Immortality
  • Released: December 5, 2018
  • Label: Victor Entertainment, JPU Records, Arising Empire
21 23[39]
2020 Electric Pentagram
  • Released: January 29, 2020
  • Label: Victor Entertainment, JPU Records
9 12[40]

EPsEdit

Year EP details Oricon[37] Billboard Japan
Hot Albums
2017 The Lovebites EP
  • Released: May 24, 2017
  • Label: Victor Entertainment, JPU Records, Sliptrick Records
27 40[41]
2018 Battle Against Damnation
  • Released: June 6, 2018
  • Label: Victor Entertainment, JPU Records
20 24[42]

Live albumsEdit

Year Album details Oricon[37] Billboard Japan
Top Albums
2019 Daughters of the Dawn - Live in Tokyo
  • Released: July 10, 2019
  • Label: Victor Entertainment
53 44[43]

Video albumsEdit

Year Album details Oricon
DVD[44]
Oricon
Blu-ray[45]
2019 Daughters of the Dawn - Live in Tokyo
  • Released: July 10, 2019
  • Label: Victor Entertainment
13 12

SinglesEdit

Year Single details Oricon
2020 Golden Destination
  • Released: February 19, 2020
  • Label: Victor Entertainment

Music videosEdit

Year Song Director
2017 "Don't Bite the Dust" Naoki Takeyama
"Shadowmaker"
2018 "The Crusade"
"Rising" Takanori Yamada
2019 "When Destinies Align"

Awards and nominationsEdit

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2018 Lovebites Best New Band[46] Won

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Album review: Lovebites' Clockwork Immortality is the sound of power metal's future". Loudersound. 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "New Band Of The Week: Lovebites". Loudersound. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  3. ^ a b c d "LOVEBITES – Interview (2017)". JRock247. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  4. ^ a b "LOVEBITES プロフィール・バイオグラフィ・リンク". Barks (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  5. ^ "Interview: LOVEBITES". Saetori. 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  6. ^ "INTERVIEW: Lovebites". Distorted Sound. 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  7. ^ "LOVEBITES - All Girl Japanese Band To Release Debut EP In North America Next Month; "Don't Bite The Dust" Music Video Streaming". BraveWords. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  8. ^ a b "LOVEBITES Release More Details For Their Debut Album". BraveWords. 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  9. ^ a b "LOVEBITES Unleash Shadowmaker Music Video". MusicJapanPlus. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  10. ^ "超豪華!「Vans Warped Tour Japan」出演アーティストをまとめてチェック". AndMore! (in Japanese). 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  11. ^ "LOVEBITES "Battle Against Damnation" for demonic mini-album". JRock News. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  12. ^ "LOVEBITES - Battle Against Damnation erscheint in Europa". Otaji (in German). 2018-02-28. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  13. ^ "LOVEBITES Named Best New Band at The Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2018". JaME World. 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  14. ^ "WACKEN OPEN AIR mit Neuzugängen". Powermetal.de (in German). 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  15. ^ "LOVEBITES zu Gast auf dem Wacken Open Air 2018!". Sumikai (in German). 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  16. ^ "Bloodstock festival 2018: The big review". Loudersound. 2018-08-11. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  17. ^ "LOVEBITES to tour Europe in Autumn this year". JRock News. 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  18. ^ "LOVEBITES、「進化が凝縮された」2ndフルアルバムをリリース". Barks (in Japanese). 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  19. ^ "Japan's All-Female Metal Band LOVEBITES: Listen To 'Pledge Of The Savior' Song". Blabbermouth.net. 2018-12-07. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  20. ^ Munro, Scott (15 November 2018). "Lovebites return with video for blistering new single Rising". Loudersound. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  21. ^ "LOVEBITES on Twitter". Twitter. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  22. ^ "LOVEBITESがベルギー『GRASPOP METAL MEETING』に出演決定&夏の東名阪ツアーのチケット抽選先行スタート。". Burrn! (in Japanese). 2019-04-06. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  23. ^ "Download Festival 2019: Highlights from this year's Drownload!". Metal Hammer Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  24. ^ "Download Festival 2019 - Saturday Highlights". Download Festival. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  25. ^ "HALESTORM Joined By LOVEBITES Singer For 'Love Bites (So Do I)' Performance At U.K.'s DOWNLOAD (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  26. ^ "LOVEBITES Singer Joins HALESTORM On Stage At DOWNLOAD JAPAN (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  27. ^ a b "LOVEBITES、19台のカメラが捉えた初ライヴ作品リリース". Barks (in Japanese). 2019-03-08. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  28. ^ "LOVEBITES、ハーマン・リからオファー受けDragonForceイギリスツアーに出演". Natalie (in Japanese). 2019-07-19. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  29. ^ a b c Cirone, David (2019-11-01). "LOVEBITES announces third album Electric Pentagram". J-Generation. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  30. ^ "Lovebites - Awakening From Abyss album review". Metal Hammer. 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i "男勝りのヘヴィ・メタルを掻き鳴らす! ガールズ・メタルの新星、LOVEBITESの1st EP". EMTG Music (in Japanese). 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  32. ^ "LOVEBITES 激ロック インタビュー". Geki-Rock (in Japanese). 2017-10-20. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  33. ^ "Lovebites". theeasyrabbit.com. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  34. ^ a b c Pasman, Kevin (2018-11-01). "Interview – Lovebites' international metal ambitions". Kevy Metal. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  35. ^ a b Thorley, Andy (2019-02-07). "MY FIRST TIME: HARUNA – FROM LOVEBITES". Maximum Volume Music. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  36. ^ "Lovebites: "We're not here to be cute, we're here to be heavy"". Loudersound. 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  37. ^ a b c "LOVEBITESのアルバム売上ランキング". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
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  39. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Albums│Charts│Billboard JAPAN". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  40. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Albums│Charts│Billboard JAPAN". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  41. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Albums│Charts│Billboard JAPAN". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  42. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Albums│Charts│Billboard JAPAN". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  43. ^ "Billboard Japan Top Albums│Charts│Billboard JAPAN". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  44. ^ "LOVEBITESのDVD売上ランキング". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  45. ^ "LOVEBITESのBlu-ray売上ランキング". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  46. ^ "Golden Gods 2018: Judas Priest, Code Orange, Maynard James Keenan amongst winners". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 2018-06-12.

External linksEdit