Your Daily News from the GazettE

On the topic of “Visual Kings”, the obvious poster-band for the section would have to be rising-star Visual rockers the GazettE. No. It’s not a daily news column in the Mainichi News.

Arising out of the elitist Visual Kei club PSC company, the GazettE have been pioneers in creating a very approachable, mainstream niche– despite being youngsters.

Their prettiness, badassness, unfairly excellent fashion sense and wardrobe, and musical talent enough to give anyone, male or female, a frightful nosebleed, these may be new kids on the block, but they’re tearing up the international (and Japanese) Visual rock scene like an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.

Perhaps their greatest gift to the world of VK? They revolutionized the Japanese annual favorite, The Suit, as the coolest rocker uniform of the decade.

(…That was a joke. Sort of.)

the GazettE, 2009

the GazettE is (from left-right): (gu)葵/Aoi, (ba) れいた/Reita, (v) ルキ/Ruki, (dr) 戒/Kai, (gu) 麗/Uruha,

Referring to themselves as a heresy from their generation, the band certainly does stand out from their PSC peers, in that they have a harder sound and more hardcore look, delving into a more solid grunge-metal and thrasher sound compared to fellows Alice Nine, Kaggra, and Kra.  However, don’t let this give an impression of one-dimensionality. The band is experimental and varied in their repertoire, with a handsome collection of ballads, hip-hop ornamented screamo, and now and then a dirty mouth they can probably only get away with because they’re singing entirely in Japanese and swearing entirely in English. I should have thought of that ages ago.

The band has become, throughout their road to fame and fandom, a bit of a “personality” group. I.E., a band whose individual members are almost as famous on their own as they are as a collective force.

Reita

This is apparent especially in the fact that this is one of the few bands (aside from perhaps L’arc~En~Ciel) where the bassist is actually more admired than the vocalist…

This is made possible, of course, because the members have developed their sense of self to the point that they are personalities, worthy of curiosity and attraction. Not to mention, they have built up airs of mystery, with Reita who is never seen without a band across his nose, or a bandanna covering his lower face. Remember to recommend this technique to any single and hopeless guys you know– it worked for Reita!

Sigh. You really know you’re starting to feel the strain of being an elitist when you start feeling irritated with bands for being too exceptionally prolific. “Sorry, I don’t have time. I have to read through the GazettE’s biography…” Is becoming one of my most practical excuses. The more illustrious they become, the longer it takes to credit a discography!

That gripe session should set the precedent for what their career has looked like since they started up in 2002, originally with a drummer named Yune. They signed with indie label Matina (now obsolete) under the name ガゼット[Gazette], and released Wakaremichi, their first single. 2003 brought exodus of Yune, advent of Kai, ensignment to PSC, and their first tour, along with indie band Hanamuke. Although a slew of DVDs, concerts, and a mini-album were all released, it wasn’t until 2004 that fans were able to satiate their hunger for more daily GazettE with the official opening of their fanclub and the whopping release of first full-length album, Disorder.

In December of the same year, they performed at Visual Kei publication Fool’s Mate‘s Visual Kei festival, Beauti-Fool’s Fest.

2005 was a year of intensive nationwide touring, and thus resulted (although happily!) in a limited number of releases, including their first photobook. They finished off the year with a finale performance at the PEACE & SMILE CARNIVAL TOUR 2005, and the release of long-standing hit single Cassis. Cassis would mark the end of Gazette, and the beginning of a whole new thing entirely.

In 2006 they switched from the Japanese characters, to the roman letters: the GazettE. They debuted their new name with killer album NIL & Nameless Liberty Six Guns, an intensive nationwide tour with over 30 shows, finishing off with a sold-out performance at the Nippon Budokan (one of the largest arenas in Japan), and an international appearance at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany.

They continued to stun international fans with an official European tour in 2007– hitting every nation and venue except where you live, I bet. They certainly didn’t come to mine. 2008 brought OriCon chart topping, and an aggressive rise in popularity. This was exposed in their promotional tactics for the single LEECH. Black buses parked in trendy locations in Japanese cities, blaring LEECH and playing the PV on screens which were installed in the bus windows. To promote the release, they also planned a “secret gig” outside of the Shinjuku train station in downtown Tokyo. They originally estimated an attendance of about 250 people, but 7000. 7000. Seven-thousand. Thousand. Seven. Showed up, and as a result, traffic flow was so congested that police were forced to shut them down after only 2 songs.



More recent news include the release of album DIM
in 2009, and the GazettE‘s participation as the KO finisher of a finale concert at the V-Rock Festival ’09, held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba city, Kanto, Japan. On December 24th they held their A HYMN OF THE CRUCIFIXION performance at Tokyo Big Sight. They performed 22 old and new songs over a 3 hour span.

I tell you what, this is getting about as hard to bear as any cross… If someone doesn’t get me over there, and fast, I’m going to need a hymn of the deprivation!

The GazettE @ PSC (Japanese, Chinese, Korean)

The GazettE Official MySpace (English)

PS COMPANY Official Website (Japanese)

A Comprehensive and Complete year-by-year/month-by-month breakdown of activity @ MusicJapan+ (English)

Advertisements

3 responses to “Your Daily News from the GazettE

  1. Don’t ask me how the fuck I came here but damn….DAMN!!! I love your writing XDD I loved what you wrote about Sadie[Dress] and this just rocks my socks. You’re extremely witty and funny and I had to laugh at some things XD Your wording!!! <///333

    I just have to know you my fave lines of this:

    "-but they’re tearing up the international (and Japanese) Visual rock scene like an 8.0 magnitude earthquake."

    "-now and then a dirty mouth they can probably only get away with because they’re singing entirely in Japanese and swearing entirely in English. I should have thought of that ages ago.
    (LOVED LOVED LOVED THAT ONE XDD I had to think about Red motel and Ruki singing 'Suritoriku' xDD That little pervert)

    "-but 7000. 7000. Seven-thousand. Thousand. Seven."
    ( XDDDDDDDDDD)

    And I totally get the personality thing. I feel the same with A9 and Sadie, where I cannot pick one man I just like the most. They are all amazing in their own way (Although from Sadie, I only follow Mizuki's (fashion) blog xDDD)

    Laughed alot and wanted to say THANKS!!

    • Well, thank you very much for your feedback and kind words. It’s good to hear that you are enjoying what you read so far, and I hope you’ll stick around for more to come! As bidden, I won’t ask how you found your way on here, but I’m glad you have!

      Yes, I do find it really adds dimension to the whole experience to be able to actually perceive the individual members’ personalities and styles. Good call on both those bands– I especially find it helpful nowadays when there are so many Jrock and Visual Kei bands, and many of them begin to blend together. It’s often the personalities of the bands and their populace that draws my attention in and holds it, on through all the bands emerging into infancy and crawling awkwardly after the more mature heels of their PSC predecessors.
      Take it easy, and I look forward to seeing you around more often. Thanks for reading.

  2. I just dropped by your post on L’ARC EN CIEL and as Bellcheria has said your writing is much love. Interesting indeed.

    Thank you for this post, i finally get to know about GazettE properly XD
    Your post is consice and in order . Easy to understand with sense of humor!:D

    Truly agree on the personalities part. Something like L’arc en Ciel, it’s so hard to pick a favourite member, all I know is that i love all of them and I’m feeling the same towards GazettE. And apprently I’m one of those that admires the bassist moar..maybe a bit moar than the vocalist for these both bands XD (uhhh i shouldnt talk much about Laruku on the GazettE’s post. Sorry!m(._.)m
    I’m looking forward to moar of your posts !!

    (sorry for double comment. the one before this was incomplete)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s