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"Birds of Tokyo" is a five-piece alternative rock band from Perth, Western Australia. Their debut album Day One, gained them domestic success with it reaching No. 3 on the AIR Independent Album charts, spending a total of 36 consecutive weeks in the top 10. In 2008, the band released Universes, which made it to No. 3 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart. 2010 saw the indie band's self-titled third studio release Birds of Tokyo, spend over eight months in the Australian Top 20, peaking at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The double platinum album received the 2010 ARIA Award for 'Best Rock Album' and in early 2011 the band's anthemic breakthrough hit 'Plans' ranked #4 in Triple J's Hottest 100. The album's follow up single, 'Wild At Heart', reached #1 on the country's National Airplay Chart and won the band an APRA Award. Most recently, in 2013 the band released their fourth studio album March Fires. Spearheaded by the album's first two singles 'This Fire' and 'Lanterns', March Fires debuted #1 on the National ARIA Album Chart – the band's first ever #1 record. The album was certified gold within four weeks of release and the triple platinum single 'Lanterns' was the most played song on Australia radio for the first six months of 2013.
Birds of Tokyo formed in 2004 from a collaboration between members of another Perth act Tragic Delicate and Karnivool, from which Ian Kenny came.
In 2005, Birds of Tokyo released two EPs. The first was released in January as a demo and the songs received airplay on Triple J, 96fm, RTRFM, Base FM, FBi and PBS. The second, a double A side single recorded in Melbourne with acclaimed producer Forrester Savell (Helmet, Full Scale, Karnivool).
The band formed when guitarist Adam Spark asked Kenny to sing on some demos intended to be sold for publication rights. The results were so good, they decided to form a band and release the songs themselves. They took their name from an article one member had read about the absence of birds in Tokyo's high-density CBD due to pollution and overcrowding. "We thought that was interesting, no birds in Tokyo — we thought, we'll be the birds of Tokyo", he says.
Day One (2006–2007)
2006 saw the band touring regional WA on a three-week tour in January, before returning to Melbourne to finish working on their debut album, Day One. The album was released on 3 February 2007 and debuted at No. 88 on the ARIA album charts and No. 3 on the AIR album charts.
Directly following the release, the band embarked on extensive touring, starting with their "Day One" tour, playing in five capital cities around Australia. Birds of Tokyo also performed at the Perth leg of the 2007 Big Day Out and the at Blackjack 2007 (the relocated Rock-It festival).
Birds of Tokyo were nominated for two awards in the 2007 AIR Awards (Australian Independent Record Association) for 'Best Performing Independent Album' and 'Most Outstanding New Independent Artist'. "Wayside" was voted in at No. 61 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2007.
They were also recognized in Rolling Stone magazine as 'Artists to Watch' in 2007.
The band recorded their second album Universes in Margaret River, Western Australia, which was mixed in Los Angeles, California by Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, Porcupine Tree). The debut single from the album, "Silhouettic", was released as a free download on 14 April 2008. The album was released 5 July 2008 and debuted at No. 3 on the ARIA album charts and at No. 1 on the AIR album charts. The album reached gold status in Australia in January 2009.
The band played all Australian shows at the Big Day Out in 2009. "Broken Bones", "Silhouettic" and "Wild Eyed Boy" were voted in at No. 20, No. 22 and No. 51 respectively in the Hottest 100 of 2008.
In late 2009 the band embarked on the 'Broken Strings' tour, which featured acoustic interpretations of a selection of their work to date, accompanied by a string quartet and grand piano arranged by producer Anthony Cormican. The supporting artist was Glenn Richards (lead singer of Augie March). A CD and DVD featuring recordings from the tour was available to preorder at the shows, and was released in early 2010. Birds of Tokyo were nominated for the 2009 Channel V Oz Artist of the Year.
Birds of Tokyo (2010–2011)
In early 2010 the band returned to the studio to work on their third, self-titled album. In March 2010 the band released the single "The Saddest Thing I Know" and announced an Australian tour by the same name. They are touring with the New Zealand-based band Midnight Youth. The second single "Plans" was premiered on Sunday 20 June. The album was released on 23 July 2010. They toured with Silversun Pickups in September and October 2010. Birds of Tokyo received six 2010 ARIA Music Awards nominations. The band is also named to play at Big Day Out in 2011 for their third time. "Wild At Heart" was announced as the album's third single. "Plans" was voted at No.4 in the Hottest 100 of 2010, while "Wild at Heart" and "The Saddest Thing I Know" also appeared at No.47 and No.87, respectively.
In March 2011 the band announced, via their facebook page, that bass player, Jackson, was leaving the band. Whilst no replacement was announced speculation is that Ian Berney (Sugar Army) will fill the position.
In April 2011 they played alongside Art vs Science, The Jezabels and local Joshy Willo at the Triple J One Night Stand at Tumby Bay, South Australia.
The 2011 West Australian Music Industry Awards (WAMi) Nominations have been announced and Birds of Tokyo are nominated across five different categories. These include Most Popular Artist, Most Popular Album, Best Male Vocalist, Best Instrumentalist and Best Bassist.
In late April/early May 2011, Birds of Tokyo played at the annual Groovin' the Moo Music Festival alongside other Australian artists like Gotye, Washington, Art Vs Science and Architecture in Helsinki.
The band will be touring in September and October 2011, which will be their final national tour for the year. The tour is called the "Closer Tour", due to the fact that they have opted to play smaller venues than they have played in recent times.
During an interview on Radar, Adam said that the band will be heading back in to the studio to record their new album over the summer
March Fires (2012–present)
On 1 February 2012, the band announced that they had finished writing their new album and would start recording the week after. In October 2012, the band released an EP titled "This Fire" which featured two songs ("This Fire" and "Boy") from the album. On January 14, 2013, "Lanterns" was released as a single, with its video coming out on 8 February. After being available for preorder on iTunes for 3 months, March Fires was released on 1 March 2013. "When the Night Falls Quiet" was released as a single, with its video coming out on 22 April.
Creating the new album was a journey of exploration and reinvention for Birds of Tokyo. It's a story of burning down the old and coming together to build something new. Spearheaded by the first two singles 'This Fire' and 'Lanterns', the band's fourth studio album 'March Fires' debuted #1 on the National ARIA Album Chart – the band's first ever #1 record. The album was certified gold within four weeks of release and the triple platinum single 'Lanterns' was the most played song on Australia radio in the first six months of 2013.
Birds of Tokyo completed a sell-out national Australia tour to accompany the release and received rave reviews for shows across their 'March Fires' album tour. They also performed at Splendour in the Grass 2013 and were announced as the sole supports for Muse on their national Australian tour across November and December.
Ian "Whitegoods" Berney — bass (2011–present)
Ian Kenny — vocals (2004–present)
Glenn Sarangapany — keys (2007–present)
Adam Spark — guitar (2004–present)
Adam Weston — drums (2004–present)
Anthony Jackson — bass (2004–2011)
Birds of Tokyo