Light at the end of the tunnel?

I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but somewhere along the way I stopped announcing new releases and scathing reviews of Jrockian hairstyles, and went off on some however-many-months-long soul-searching tangent of meaningful posts that I hope had something to do with Visual Kei.

I’m not sure what exactly happened. All the bands I like started disbanding and going on hiatus or coming down with strange medical conditions, and then we saw the negative polarity of role-model-ism, whereupon all the bloggers started following suit. Half the blogs on my RSS menu haven’t updated in months. I haven’t been excessively active myself, this is true, but I’ll say this now, it’s always harder to self-motivate. And if I’ve learned anything about myself through all this soul-searching, it’s that I might have some issues with self-motivation.

Last year I remember quite a few fledgling blogs popping up that I enjoyed watching grow and develop, their readership expanding– many of the people who read my blog would show up on the other blogs as well, on Twitter, etc., and there was something inspiring, motivating, and just sort of cool about seeing this bona fide Visual Kei community growing, and it was def sweet being a part of it.

There’s something good about the feeling of a new release dropping and knowing that a week later you’ll have a dozen different reviews to read and your own to write. There’s a velocity to it, an energetic surge that really brings the whole process to life. That’s cool.

But that being said, I’ll be the first to sympathize with the fact that juggling a functioning real mundane life and a blog can be difficult. (By the way, if you’re starting to feel depressed reading this, don’t give up yet. I promise to feign positivity before this reaches 1,000 words. In the meantime, I’ll keep typing myself into ennui). But I suppose what I started asking myself recently was, have I been slacking? Or are we simply experiencing some serious industry down-time? (The former only applies, by the way, if the latter is not applicable. You see, if we are experiencing industry down-time, then my feel-good [this one doesn’t count] rantings actually make me come appear productive).

They’re both distinct possibilities, but I have a feeling if anything really exciting had happened (such as a D’espairsRay comeback or the advent of some mind-blowing new band), I have a feeling I wouldn’t be waking up in such a state of confusion every day, wondering why CDJapan hasn’t made me go bankrupt yet.

Another possibility is that I haven’t totally worked through my quarter-life-crisis yet.

There may, however, be at least a single glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel. While we’ve been scavenging good grades and looking for day-jobs, GACKT has been finding time between fundraising outings to compose some new songs and put out a brand-new single right in time (well, a little belated, but happens to the best of us) to celebrate his birthday. The single, title  yet to be announced, will drop on July 13*. You can pre-order the limited edition with DVD through the link below:

*Please note, CDJ had originally listed the single for release on the 6th. The date was re-confirmed for the 13th. Hopefully we’ll get a title next. Thanks for reading.

4 responses to “Light at the end of the tunnel?

  1. Well, if you want my opinion (and even if you don’t…), I would say this has definitely been something of a ‘down-time’ for Visual Kei as a whole. With so many bands disbanding, losing members and going on hiatus, it’s hard for us bloggers to find anything good to write about.
    So as a result, as you pointed out, we see those same things start to happen to the online Visualist community too. It’s sad, yes, but perhaps in time it will turn out better then you think. Call it a ‘thinning of the herd,’ if you will.
    It’s heartbreaking to see one of your favourite bands disband forever, but you have to ask yourself, if they were in such a state of disagreement that they felt their best option was splitting up, would they really have been able to continue releasing the quality music their fans expected from them? I think that in most cases the answer to that is probably “no.”
    If some time down the road they choose to get back together, it’s because they were able to mature enough in that time apart to work out their differences and once again fulfill their fans expectations. On that note, the occasional hiatus is a good thing – when you think about it, many of the older bands still active in the scene today (BUCK-TICK, for example) have at some point in their history taken a break from working together as a band and went on to pursue their own individual interests. When they returned, it was as a more cohesive, skilled, and inspired group then before.
    I think that these same principles apply to Visualists everywhere. It’s sad to see a blog you enjoy suddenly stop updating, but if they’re no longer interested in running a blog, will what they continue to post be as exciting and thought-provoking as before? Once again, I think the answer is “no.” So then, perhaps this plague of hiatuses is a good thing indeed. In the end, the Visualist community may grow smaller, but also stronger and more devoted. And surely at some point we will see new blogs (and bands) pop up that have what it takes to become the next big thing.

    I have already posted a return date for my own blog. So if you should need something to read while figuring out how to proceed with Secret Garden, you’re welcome to come visit VisualKakumei for as long as you like. =)
    I wish you the best of luck in trying to work out this “quarter-life-crisis.” Maybe that new single will help cheer you up. ^.^

  2. Greetings, GP. It’s been a while.

    This year has been absolutely dreary for me. The j-rock scene feels virtually non-existent to me at the time, and it’s had me down in the dumps. Seeing that GACKT will be releasing soon gives me a little glimmer of hope.

    Like you’ve said, I don’t know what happened or why but everything in the world of VK has come to a screeching halt and it’s sad!

    I apologize for being one of those absentee blogs, but lack of anything happening as well as personal issues that I won’t delve into have kept me silent. I couldn’t bear to update when I’ve had nothing of value to say for so many months, but it hurts me to keep away. J-rock is a big part of my life and I loathe feeling it slowly slip away.

    Sorry for the disheartening comment, but it’s cathartic to come out of the shadows after all this time and say what I’ve been feeling for far too long. It’s good to finally get in touch with you. I hope you’ve been well.

    Take care,

    • Thanks for stopping by; I was starting to wonder if you would be returning to the blogsphere at all, or whether I was going to have to rally the T-list to hunt you down, bearing our sullen opinions about the lacklusterness of the Visual Kei scene and its uninspiring releases– mostly provided, it would seem, by Alice Nine, who I have honestly come to listen to only when I am feeling particularly ancient- and a care-package full of D wristbands and iTunes giftcards.

      Actually, I’ve come to change my mind about the state of the Visual Kei scene, at least somewhat. I’ve realized that Visual Kei has only “come to a screeching halt”, as you said so poetically, as long as we, also, come to a halt with it. Most of the bands that I, at least, listen to may have reached a momentary pause in activities, this is true, but I think that it would be potentially punkish of us to lie on our backs kicking at our bed-posts like small children demanding that Hizumi recover and Deluhi get back together so we have something to listen to— there’s an entire industry out there, and I think there’s at least one or two other great bands that we have yet to discover and learn to appreciate as much as our current playlist. If we really want the light that is VK to go out of our lives, then yes, we can keep waiting and kicking that bedpost. Or we can try some new stuff, expand our horizons, give some other, active, bands a chance to fill our aural IVs.

      I’ve been looking into it. If you like, I’ll pass on some of the names I’ve been trying out.

      Also, no worries about the depressing comment. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been going through some rough times. If I may be so bold as to venture that, at least in my own experience as a Visualist, Visual Kei has pulled me through some pretty thick BS, and if you’re anything similar, it could bring even a little relief to return to even one song you love. A GACKT song a day keeps the doctor away– ignore anything anyone may have said about apples.

      Take care of yourself, and don’t be a stranger.

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