|Boris formed in 1992 while all of the group's members were attending the same art school, bonding over their similar vision for music, which was to not be pigeon-holed into playing a certain sound or being perceived as a certain thing. They were originally a four-piece, with Nagata on drums. Nagata parted ways in 1996 leaving Atsuo to take over drumming duties and they have remained a three-piece since. "Having some kind of preconceived message or theme is very boring to me," noted Atsuo, the band's drummer. "It becomes a crutch. Just say what you want to say."
The band's influences are eclectic, with Sleep, Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Venom, and the Melvins being a few of the more important ones. The group quickly realized that they did not fit in with the Japanese hardcore punk scene that birthed them, although that was where their hearts stayed; their recent vinyl-only release, Vein, focused on a sound derived from classic Japanese noise/crust punk bands, such as Gloom, Confuse, and Gai. In the US, the band has been associated with stoner-rock, but they do not use illicit substances.
In Japan, Boris release most of their music on the indie label Inoxia Records. Though relatively unknown in their home country, a recent series of reissues on US label Southern Lord Records has seen their popularity in North America increase dramatically, even gaining them widespread recognition in the mainstream music press. Many of Boris's vinyl releases feature similar artwork for the inner label of the record (pictured). This is a parody of the original Roger Dean artwork that Virgin Records used for many of their releases (seen here).
2005's Pink was met with considerable critical praise when reissued in the US on Southern Lord Records, "breaking" the band in North America and exposing many Americans to the band for the first time, and "converting" a fair number of them. Blender magazine and SPIN magazine both named it one of 2006's best CDs. The album also topped the metal section of Canadian magazine Exclaim's 2006 Reader's Poll, and was in the top 10 of Pitchfork Media's Top 50 Records Of 2006.