D’espa Takes Their Bow

There’s a list of bands in the links page, mostly bands that appear on this blog, or that don’t often show up here, but who I listen to– every day, or once in a while-. I’m working on compiling as many as possible. It’s becoming a kind of menu; if a Visualist doesn’t know where to go from here [wherever they are], they can move through the menu, picking out names that attract them. Perhaps they can find a good band that way.

When a group goes on hiatus or disbands, I usually note their status. It’s like a warning: this group comes with the handicap that it is gone now.

When I wake up in the morning and check the blogs, check Twitter (the Visualist’s version of the Morning Paper), a red flag goes up whenever the words “hiatus” and “disband” appear, much the same as the words “natural disaster” and “earthquake” solicit concern and horror in the hearts of normies. Obviously it’s not the same– no one has lost their lives. Actually, that’s not true– a band has lost its [continuous] life. Visualists have lost a lot of lives, if you know what I mean.

I don’t usually have emotions– like a good villain, I wouldn’t actually be able to recognize one if I had it. (Which I think is actually known across the web to be untrue, given that I wallow in a lot of soul-searching emoism through my life as a Visualist) That being said, there are some occasions when I have reactions to things. A text message at 8:30 this morning saying, in effect, that D’espairsRay is no more,  is one of those occasions.

As much as I hate to say it, as much as I hate to put a red marker by that name, it was announced today, June 15th 2011, that after 11 years of solid, honestly badass Visual Kei, D’espairsRay will be disbanding immediately.

 The following messages were posted on their OHP and MS this morning:

Thank you for your continued support of D’espairsRay. Due to Hizumi’s throat troubles, we had decided to take a hiatus immediately following our show at Yokohama Blitz on 30 Dec. 2010. However, after further discussions amongst the four members, we have decided to disband as of 15 June 2011 and cease all activities under the name D’espairsRay. To our loving fans and supportive staff members, who have followed us diligently from our founding on 9 Sept. 1999 until now, we deeply apologize for such a sudden and troubling announcement.All four members are deeply thankful, from the bottom of our hearts, for your enthusiastic support and encouragement. Thank you.
15 June 2011 D’espairsRay HIZUMI Karyu ZERO TSUKASA

“For the treatment of my throat we have gone on an infinite hiatus and while having undergone acupuncture, chiropractic and Qigong, even now the restoration of it is not yet in sight. As a result of the talks with all four members and since we can’t revive activities like this, it is like a natural extinction. We came to the conclusion that we should break this up with dignity.
Please, everyone, who had hoped for our return, forgive us this betrayal it has become.
Unfortunately we also can’t be doing a final live, but I hope we can return something to you in a different shape.
With the beginning of this band, a number of meetings have come about and through joyful, sad and tough times, there hadn’t been a single superfluous experience.
Thank you to everyone who loved D’espairsRay for these 11 years.”

The dream of D’espairsRay we drew has to be given up halfway through.
I am so sorry for the sudden announcement to everyone who has believed we would return.
In this situation that it’s unable to do a final gig, please understand to end like this
without telling our feelings to you.
I’m proud of the bond between you and D’espairsRay which will never change.
I’ll go on to fill the empty space in my heart little by little and to meet you again with a smile.
To all our fans who have loved us, thank you.
Thank you indeed.


I’m so sorry for the sudden announcement.
Thinking back now, I promised everyone that we would come back in the bus during fan club trip before hiatus.
In the interviews and various writings, I also promised we would meet again.
So sorry we couldn’t keep our promise, everyone.
However, this is a positive decision that all 4 members of D’espairsRay took after deep consideration,
so I ask for your kind understandings.
Now the situation still remains the same before hiatus, so we would disband without final tour or final gig.
As a result, there might be some discussion about whether it is good or bad not to do final gig,
but we judged it was impossible to do it with the best quality of our music which we had made as D’espairsRay
for ten years with all of you, so we decided to bring an end without any concerts.
Personally, I haven’t painted a vision of the future yet, but I’ll keep facing forward and look back a little bit.
Thinking of the days in which I can see your smile, I’ll think what I can do myself from now on.
To the most passionate staffs who have supported us all the time,
To all the best “MANIA” who have always believed and loved us,
Thank you so much.


After the announcement of hiatus, I think both every MANIA”and we might spend every day awaiting our comeback.
However, I’m afraid we came to this definitive conclusion.
I’m so sorry to everyone waiting for our returning.
Although we’d continued our musical activities together for over ten years pointing in the same direction,
the feeling is beyond words to bring an end for both ourselves and every “MANIA”.
Because it’s our treasure for a lifetime.
As you know, I apologize you it’s unable to do a final concert because of such circumstances.
D’espairsRay will stay the best band in the world which will be long remembered by everybody even if it disbands.
Feeling proud that I had played as a drummer of this band and also proud of our “MANIA”,
I’ll spend the rest of my life. I’ll live with a positive attitude.
Also all 4 members of D’espairsRay are going to stay the same as before, having a party and celebrating our birthday,
so don’t worry!!
It’s often said that the reason for disbanding might be due to discord, but it’s NOT!
I would like to thank all the “MANIA” and all the people who have followed and supported us.
When D’espa announced their hiatus on September 22nd of last year, due to HIZUMI’s unfortunate throat condition, I think I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that I, along with many other dedicated followers of the band, were thoroughly confident in the band’s ability to bounce back. It was a momentary hitch. HIZUMI would take time off, and definitely get better. I suppose that’s partly why this is so shocking. I really, honestly believed that they would be able to find a cure to help HIZUMI– there was little doubt in my mind. It seemed inconceivable to even think that Visual Kei would lose one of its greatest, most respected, and most unique bands. That one of the industry’s greatest set of vocal chords would be, due to conditions entirely out of his control, be forced to retire indefinitely. I’m not sure what else to say. I think all the Visualists and followers of D’espa already know, and are already experiencing everything I might put into words here.All I really can say in response to this, is that from hereon out, every time I listen to the epic collection of music the band left as their bequest to fans across the globe– a gift deliverable despite barriers of language and location, or degrees of separation–, I will experience the profound gratitude that I feel at having been able to see D’espairsRay perform live in New York City in summer of 2010, barely months before their hiatus.

Before I close out this post in order to cancel my appointments for the rest of the week so that I can wallow and mourn– throughout this post I’ve been trying to figure out, there’s something, some kind of message, that I want to express here for Visualists. That, through the myriad of disappointment, sadness, and regret, perhaps there is something, some glimmer, that can provide some kind of vertebrae from which we can build and sustain the backbone of D’espairsRay‘s following.

This is all I got.

Although there won’t be new releases. There won’t be exciting news. There won’t be more tours, more lives, more events. All that constant, continuous North Star of anticipation and tension that carries Visualists from tour to tour, single to album, has, in so many ways, flickered and gone out– all of which is, especially in this case, a loss that can’t really be expressed– that, really, D’espairsRay as a collective unit and its members as individuals, probably need our support now more than ever. Although it feels conclusive, this “disbandment”. Although it rings as synonymously as “The End” as probably we could imagine. They only disappear from the industry, they only vanish from the constellation in the creative universe that is Visual Kei if we let their light go out.

As long as we carry on, hearing their music over and over again as if it’s the first time. As long as we carry on supporting them. As long as we rally together and, as I said before when they announced their hiatus, continue to support and rally around D’espairsRay and HIZUMI, causing such a universal uproar that his condition has no choice but to completely and permanently heal, bringing the band and their epicness back to us. Although we probably can’t bring them back anymore, we can be a a sky that lets the stars of their legacy shine on– and as long as that light never goes out in our hearts, it can never disappear.

 Right now my greatest wish is simply that D’espairsRay move on to find the next step in their lives as individuals. That each member, whether together or apart, be able to dive into their passions and follow their dreams once again. And most of all, that HIZUMI is able to find a cure that, even if it can’t reconnect them as a band, can bring relief and restore his health and well-being.
 Here’s a box of tissues and a song. You now have my permission to be depressed for as long as you see fit.

Thanks to Kaxxina.

Sources: MusicJapan+, D’espairsRay OHP, and D’espairsRay Official MS


8 responses to “D’espa Takes Their Bow

  1. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! I believe they put on their best performance this last tour… which we were lucky enough to see! And, heck, if *Baroque* can reunite for a show (how I wish I were there!), I’ll continue to hold hope in my heart that the beloved ones, Karyu, TSUKASA, HIZUMI and ZERO, will return! They must! I will not let the dream die… nap, yes… die, no! :)

    Keep up the therapies, HIZUMI! Something will work!
    KaXXiNa, the somehow-entirely-too-optimistic-in-the-face-of-such-horrible-news

    • Well, I think optimism is good. Otherwise what else can we do, let the news just drag us all into the dark pits of sorrow and depression? Yes, it’s sad and difficult to accept…But eventually accept it we must, and keep optimism and positivity in our outlook towards, and concerning, D’espa. Whether a reunion of some kind is in the future, we won’t know until we get there. But in the meantime, I at least am going to continue listening to and appreciating their music with unyielding hope, and not let their disbandment distract from enjoying the work that they have already done, the successes they have achieved.

  2. I haven’t been a fan for a long time, but I knew their name even before liking Visual Kei.

    Its so sad, and I feel so much for all the Mania who were there the moment they had been active.

    I said the same thing you did: Their music won’t die as long as we listen to it.


    • Well, we will all certainly continue rooting for them–again, as a band and as individuals. May they all go on to find new outlets for their creativity and passion, and continue living their lives with the energy and power they exhibited through their music as well as their performances.

  3. It’s a sad day in the VK world when you lose one great band and I’m hoping for the members to stay in the music biz in some way so at least they will continue to do what they do best. I will definitely continue to listen to their music and be happy that they made it for us to enjoy and connect with.

    • It will certainly be interesting to see if they go on to work with other bands or artists– although it’s ultimately regrettable that HIZUMI won’t be able to continue his music career, at least for the time being, it would be somewhat strange if the other members retired from the industry as well. I hope that won’t be the case, and I look forward to seeing what projects they might take on.

  4. In the year and a half that I’ve listened to VK I’ve seen a lot of good bands disband, many of them ones that I loved, but this hurts so much worse.
    They were truly my favourite band. It’s only in the past few months that I’ve really come to realize how much they and their music means to me. To see it come to this hurts worse then I could ever put into words.
    It’s hard enough for me to deal with this myself – but I also have a ten-year-old sister who adores Karyu to no end and she’s not taking the news well.

    Even though it doesn’t look likely, even though it goes against reason, I can’t help but continue to hope that one day we will see them together again. If HIZUMI were to recover, nothing in the world would be able to keep them apart.
    My biggest regret is that had I found them sooner, I could have seen them live. I’m going to regret that for the rest of my life. I’m not ashamed to say I’m jealous of you – you were so lucky to see them.

    I’ll never let their light go out. I’ll never stop loving their music. For me, D’espairsRay will never die.

    Thank you for providing the translations.
    Take care~

    • For better or for worse, and sad as it may be, it’s a fact of life that everything is impermanent. We live mostly under a false sense of security, thinking that this or that won’t or can’t happen, simply because we can reason against it. Although unfortunate things, foreseen as well as unforeseen, may strike and result in circumstances such as this that bring a lot of people pain, the birth, life, and finally death of a thing is the inevitable course that all things take.

      Due to circumstances beyond their control, D’espa was required to dissolve. However, I would encourage that we try our best to let go of the regrets or hopeless feelings their disbandment may cause to arise. The best thing I think we can do, for ourselves and for D’espa, is to hold onto the hope in our hearts– our hope for HIZUMI’s recovery, our hope for the possibility of a reunion someday…a hope for whatever it is you can hope for. Continue on enjoying their music and focusing on the good memories and excellent experiences that have been the result of their work, and all of them and all who have been involved with them cannot help but feel that hope, as it is something that transcends all distance and crosses all borders.

      And of course, it’s not like anyone has died– they’re all still in Japan right where we left them. So it’s not like they’re *gone*.

      Hope your sis is holding up. Good job starting them young.

      Take it easy.

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