THE DEMISE of Kagrra,

2010 has been an intense year, I would say pretty much across the board. While I don’t mean this in a negative sense, there has been a fair share of turbulence. A number of bands have announced hiatuses, disbandments, problems big and small, and changes (for better and worse) and upheavals of all other shapes and sizes. There have been some monumental moments, instances of celebration and acknowledgment; earth-shaking releases and wretched ones. With its equal share of the good and the not so good, 2010 has felt like a double-edged blade.

This past week, Visual Kei fans across the globe are experiencing the sharp pang of the other side of that blade, with several important announcements made by the neo-historical-heroes Kagrra,.

Although this year saw the clean-cut decade marker for Kagrra,’s career as one of the most unique and interesting PSC groups, and a resulting jam-packed schedule of various tours, shows, and releases, it will, it would seem, also see the poignant climax of their timeline. On November 11th, Kagrra, released the official announcement for what they have dubbed “their DEMISE (SHU EN)”, or, in layman’s terms, their disbandment.

THE DEMISE
(SHU EN)

Kagrra, the band formed on June 3rd 2000, has decided to cease their activity after the live concert in Shibuya C.C.Lemon Hall on March 3rd, 2011. Thank you for supporting the band for 10 years long. The members would like to express their sincere gratitude from the bottom of their hearts.
Meanwhile, the new album “HYAKKI KENRAN” will be released on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, and the nation-wide tour “ANGYA HAKKI YAKO ~YOU~” will start on February 13th, 2011. Their last activity, the live in Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 will be titled “SHUEN ~SAKURA MAICHIRU ANO OKA DE~”.

Although there is little time left, please keep your support up for the band until the very end.

November 11th, 2010
Kagrra,
President Tomomi Ozaki
PS COMPANY Co.,Ltd

Members of the GLOBAL PS COMPANY FAN CLUB will be in on the full story when an interview aimed at overseas fans is released, hopefully offering some more cohesive explanation of their reasons for disbanding, as well as insights from the individual members rather than the management and band as a whole. Although, especially after as hearty a run as 10 years, it can be easy enough to guess a bands’ reasons for breaking up, especially for a group that has been such a prolific runner for PSC all these years it would at least be interesting to get the full scoop. I, at least, have not heard of much dissension or trouble for the band; on the contrary it seemed to me, although I haven’t followed them incredibly closely the past few years, that they were doing pretty well. Their releases appeared to be consistent in timing, reception, and quality, and their tours were frequent.

As a figurehead of the neo-Japanesque Visual Kei movement, Kagrra, has long been one of “those”, one of those iconic Visual Kei bands that are totally pure in their style and mission without sacrificing quality or interestingness. Their sensitivity to the perfect blurring of the traditional and the edgy rock scene have made them an absolute Visual Kei staple that will, following March ’11, be sincerely missed.

One of their summer releases, Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Ame, clearly showcases this sensitivity with its sleek production and excellent design abundant with the avid storytelling themes (literally, in this case), sparkling koto overtones and heavy riffs.

The band will leave their last-words in the form of a full-length album to be released on February 2nd, 2011. The album, titled HYAKKI KENRAN, will blow through in regular and limited editions including 9 tracks, some new as well as previously released.

“HYAKKI KENRAN”
Hyakki Kenran [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / Kagrra,
Price: 3,990Yen (tax in.)
DVD Contents:  Chigiri Music Clip + Precious Off-Shot Footage

[Regular Edition (CD)]
Price: 3,150 Yen (tax in.)

[Track List]
1. Hyakki Choryo
2. Chigiri
3. Kakurenbo
4. Shiroi Uso
5. Kikan
6. Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Ame
7. Kiho
8. Manatsu no Yo no Yume
9. Shiki

Kagrra, will also grace the stage one last time with a final Japan wide tour Kagrra, TOUR 2011 ‘ANGYA HYAKKI YAKO ~YOU~’with 6 dates throughout February, saying sayounara with a final on March 3rd in Shibuya.

Kagrra, TOUR 2011 “ANGYA HAKKI YAKO ~YOU~”
2011/02/13 (Sun) Sendai darwin [OPEN/START] 17:00 / 17:30
2011/02/15 (Tue) Sapporo KRAPS HALL [OPEN/START] 18:00 / 18:30
2011/02/21 (Mon) Umeda Shangri-La [OPEN/START] 18:30 / 19:00
2011/02/23 (Wed) Fukuoka DRUM Be-1 [OPEN/START] 18:30 / 19:00
2011/02/25 (Fri) Nagoya ElectricLadyLand [OPEN/START] 18:30 / 19:00
[Price] 4,725Yen / DRINK FEES Extra
*No entry for preschoolers

SHUEN ~SAKURA MAICHIRU ANO OKA DE~
2011/03/03(Thu) Shibuya C.C.Lemon Hall [OPEN/START] 18:00 / 18:30
[Price] All Designated Seats 5,250Yen
*No entry for preschoolers
Sources: MusicJapan+

A Matter of Life & Death

This post was inspired and instigated entirely by a comment left by J.D. a while ago (my sincere apologies for taking a long time to respond). When I sat down to compose my reply, I realized it was turning into a post unto itself. Since this is a conversation I feel it is important to have, this seemed like a golden opportunity to get it on the table.

J.D. asks:

I just want to know that if its very hard for VK bands (acts) to stand out in Japan’s music industry. The only reason why I am asking this is because many of the VK bands (acts) are starting to tone down their style (or at least those I know of).

Examples:
Girugamesh (toned down toooo much, where’s their old self?)
SID (they look like an idol group now, yet they are still classified as VK?)
the GazettE (SHIVER veered them slightly off-course from their original style)
Angelo (almost same situation as Giru, and the fact that they were a chip of PIERROT makes me more worried)
D’espairsRay (not really much now, considering the fact that Kishi saved them recently)
MUCC (they are going pop, OMG)

Has the “Parental Advisory” label taken its toll on them in any way? Just curious.

gacktpause responds:

It’s certainly true that many of the Visual Kei bands, most noticeably because they are primarily those that have been labeled hardcore or ultimately dark, that we respect and follow have been taking a major turn…not necessarily for the better. It seemed to be starting out as “experimentation” and “new horizons”, and has now plummeted into something of a disaster of identity crisis expressed in sound, and some musical massacre by…by whom, we can’t say. Is it the record label? The composers? The band itself?

I think the short answer to J.D.’s question is yes, it is difficult for Visual Kei bands to stand out. I imagine, especially as the industry has become extremely inundated with bands all struggling to get noticed and gain recognition with few of them actually expressing any particular innovation or individuality, that it’s becoming more and more difficult to get recognized. Veteran bands have to stay afloat, while new bands have to somehow work their way out from under the heavy shadows of Luna Sea, XJapan, D’espairsRay,  and the PSC crew that hit at the right moment and, basically, got lucky by being the right people in the right place at the right time.

Many of the bands have, yes, softened and toned down their sound. My own personal theory, based simply on observances and hypothesis, is that the main way that bands are able to reach a wider audience now is through outlets such as anime and video games (a huge advertising scheme in Japan). However, I think that as they begin working into this mainstream field, they’re taking the tack of conforming and doing what everyone expects in the hopes they can reach out to the people who drop loads of money on ARASHI and other such idol-groups and boy-bands. I believe that, with groups such as SID, Kra, and girugamesh, they’re more or less morphing into staple boy-bands, leaving behind the hardcore (giru, at least) and genuine music they started out with. My guess is it is primarily commercially driven, as many of these artists have proven through trial and error (or lack thereof) that they are sincere, passionate musicians who are channeling their creativity and innovative visions through their work.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard this talk about “Visual Kei is dead”, but I, at least, have been hearing it a lot – too much- this year. First of all, it has a bad feeling to me. Of course you could say it has a bad feeling because Visual Kei is the axis upon which the bulk of my life turns. However, the reason it has such a bad feeling is primarily guided (although I won’t deny the other fact either) by a sense of fans and faith, and something missing in the equation.

The past two years haven’t been the best for Visual Kei, this is true. Exceptional releases have been spotty, “changes in sound” have been, at times, cringeworthy; bands have struggled, split up, flourished and failed. It has been, for lack of better words, a bit of a mess. And then some time back, that interview containing “insider’s insights” on the Visual Kei industry hit the web (of which we will not go into detail here. I have yet to feel the need to even humor that article, and its response, with a comment.) and suddenly this phrase surfaced: “Visual Kei is dead”.

Now, I will say this. I am not asserting my opinion as if it is fact. Truly, your guess is as good as mine. These are my own suppositions, opinions, and beliefs. I do not have any magical insider’s insights into the industry. I only have insights into the industry of fandom– and given that as long as there is fandom, no thing can ever die or disappear, that would seem to be the most relevant in this situation anyway.

Visual Kei will only die when it dies for you. Like believing in the Easter Bunny, or being a huge fan of The Rolling Stones or disco, the genre will only “be dead” when your own lack of faith kills it. Many people laugh at Western followers of certain branches of Japanese fashion, such as Lolita, saying “Nobody wears Lolita in Japan anymore, you stupid whities.” You may not see hoards of Lolita at every Shinujuku street corner anymore, sure, but that does not mean “Lolita is dead”. There are many incredible and passionate followers of Lolita in Japan and elsewhere, and many successful designers that, somehow, flourish making nothing but Lolita clothing.

In the same way, I would say in many respects Visual Kei is no longer “the next big thing”. Visual Kei has found its niche and become, on some level, its own facet of the mainstream rock scene. It is no longer particularly shocking or unbelievable. It, like punk music or legwarmers, is no longer what will make the earth shake and fire rain from the heavens. This does not mean Visual Kei is dead.

Visual Kei is still expanding and developing. It has begun busting down borders and taking acts overseas, including and expanding its international audience. Many acts are struggling or producing mediocre music– is this something exclusive to Visual Kei? Many acts are also flourishing and rapidly uplifting their work to higher standards of excellence. Incredible albums and singles have hit shelves, and we are still on the edge of our chairs, waiting for the next releases from artists we continue to respect and recognize for their dedication, talent, and innovation.

girugamesh released some duds, and The GazettE hit us hard with b-average SHIVER. Of course that immediately necessitates the revelation that Visual Kei is dead. Of course it does. I perceive tension in the world of Visual Kei as the bands and artists work hard to figure out how they can fulfill both commercial and creative callings. As Visualists do we throw in our towels, roll up our posters, and sell our CD collections in some fit of indifference? Or do we crank that one exquisite Visual Kei single that came out this past year and head down memory lane, remembering what it felt like to be showered by Zero’s spit, to be embraced by the aura of 雅ーMIYAVI’s sincere words in the painfully hot club? Remembering the choking thrill of hearing about GACKT’s European debut, still clinging to those fragments of inspiration you drew from seeing those lives this summer…holding onto those living, breathing experiences, can you really tell me that Visual Kei is dead?

All Things In Nature…Such as SCREW, Kra …and others?

There’s a ton of Visual Kei action rocking Japan this summer, involving a ton of awesome bands. I translated the main announcements, and compiled them in one complete announcement here for your viewing pleasure and masochistic enjoyment, eheheh.

Quick guide: there are certain things I refuse, for the sake of my limited reserves of sanity, to type out eighteen-thousand times per post. “Drink charge separate” and “Tax included” are a few of those particular ones (“Big Hall” just made that list as well). As a result, for my ease and yours, “D” in parentheses ie: (D) means that a drink charge is separate from the base price, and will be required at the door. Tax is always included, since this is glorious Japan– land of ease and graceful shopping, therefore I won’t bother stating its inclusion repeatedly. To do so would be like the emperor, the crowning glory, of reiteration.

As usual, I did not include all the purchasing codes and contact numbers. I will not be held responsible if you start calling ticketing agencies throughout greater Japan. If you need or want to see this information, you must comment on enough of my tour announcements in order to get me to even consider translating every ticketing agency and their information.

NOTE: “…and others” IS A LITERAL NOTE FROM THE ORIGINAL TEXT. IT IS NOT IN ANY WAY DESCRIPTIVE OF MY LAZINESS. I DID NOT OMIT ANY LISTED NAMES FOR EASE OF TYPING (much as I wanted to).

-OZ-

-OZ-Nationwide TOUR’10「Volt.Age」


06/03(Thur) Osaka MUSE
■LOOP ASH PRESENTS -OZ-Nationwide Sponsored TOUR’10「Volt.Age」
Performances:SCREW/-OZ-/DEATHGAZE/LuLu/Lycaon
OPEN17:00/START17:30
Advance¥3,675(D)/Day-of¥4,200(D)

Date of Sale: 4/17(Sat)
【Sponsor】LOOP ASH
【Planning】-OZ-

——————————————————————————————
06/04(Fri) Nagoya Bottom Line
■LOOP ASH PRESENTS -OZ-Nationwide Sponsored TOUR’10「Volt.Age」
Performances:SCREW/-OZ-/DEATHGAZE/LuLu/Lycaon
OPEN17:00/START17:30
Advance¥3,675(D)/Day-of¥4,200(D)

On Sale: 4/17(Sat)
【Sponsor】LOOP ASH
【Planning】-OZ-

——————————————————————————————
06/16(Wed) Kanezawa AZ
■LOOP ASH PRESENTS -OZ-Nationwide Sponsored TOUR’10「Volt.Age」
Performances:SCREW/-OZ-/DEATHGAZE/Virgil/【_Vani;lla】
OPEN17:00/START17:30
Advance¥3,675(D)
On Sale: 4/17(Sat)

——————————————————————————————
06/18(Fri) Sendai darwin
■LOOP ASH PRESENTS -OZ-Nationwide Sponsored TOUR’10「Volt.Age」
Performances:SCREW/-OZ-/Virgil/【_Vani;lla】】/…and others
OPEN17:00/START17:30
Advance¥3,675(D)
On Sale: 4/17(Sat)

——————————————————————————————
06/19(Sat) Niigata LOTS
■LOOP ASH PRESENTS -OZ-Nationwide Sponsored TOUR’10「Volt.Age」-TOUR FINAL-
Performances:SCREW/-OZ-/Virgil/【_Vani;lla】】/…and others
OPEN16:30/START17:00
Advance¥3,675(D)
On Sale:4/17(Sat)

——————————————————————————————

SCREW

++ 森羅万象~”All Things In Nature” tour ’10 #13 ++

07/30(Fri) Shibuya O-EAST
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra/VIDOLL …and others
Cast:Doubt/R指定[R-Shitei]

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed) A Tickets:WEB Priority(Postal-transfer accepted)
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:Leica Ejison Tokyo Branch・ZEALLINK (Shibutani Branch)
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets :Ticket PIA・Lawson Ticketsト・EPlus


08/01(日) Gunma CLUB#9
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra/DuelJewel …and others
Cast:R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Sun)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:Pia・Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/02(Mon) Sendai darwin
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra/DuelJewel …and others
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed) A Tickets :WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:little HEARTS.
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets:Pia・Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/04(Wed) Sapporo KRAPS HALL
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:GURUGURU
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets :Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/05(Thur) Sapporo KRAPS HALL
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:GURUGURU
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets :Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/10(Tue) 長野CLUB JUNKBOX
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra …and others
Cast:R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets- Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/11(Wed) Niigata CLUB JUNKBOX
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra …and others
Cast:R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~BTickets- Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/12(Thur) Kanezawa AZ
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra ..and others
Cast:R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets- Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/14(Sat) Kyoto FANJ twice
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra …and others
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:Leica Eijison Osaka Branch・DEADONE
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets :Ticket PIA, Lawson Ticket, EPlus

——————————————————————————————
08/15(Sun) Okayam CRAZY MAMA KINGDOM
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra …and others
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:Pia・Lawson・EPlus

——————————————————————————————
08/17(Tue) Kagoshima CAPARVO HALL
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra/vistlip …and others
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(土)~B Tickets:Lawson

——————————————————————————————
08/18(Wed) Hakata DRUM LOGOS
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra/vistlip …and others
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed)A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:SKULL ROSE
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets:Pia・Lawson
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets:Pia・Lawson・EPlus

——————————————————————————————
08/22(Sun) Nagoya E.L.L
■SPEED DISK PRESENTS~森羅万象tour’10#3
Guest:SCREW/Kra/vistlip/DuelJewel
Cast:Doubt/R指定

Tickets:
●5/17(Mon)~26(Wed) A Tickets:WEB Priority
http://xxxrecords.jp/speeddisk/
●6/5(Sat)~B Tickets:Leica Eijison Nagoya Branch
●6/5(Sat)~C Tickets:PIA・Lawson・EPlus

++Further info++

ALL TICKETS: By Advance Sale only ¥4,000(Drink charge separate, tax-included)

First day sales for all Leica Eijison tickets and DEADONE are by telephone reservation only. The number can be found at the official announcement (Japanese), or I can possibly be bribed to find it for you.

ALL SHOWS: OPEN17:00/START17:30 [Except Osaka BIGCAT -see detailed description]

PS COMPANY PRESENTS 『Underground Tower-チチュウロウカク-That 120』

[…”That 120″? your guess is as good as mine…]

●07/25(Sun) Takadababa AREA
Performances:SCREW/R指定[R-Shitei]/UnsraW/【_Vani;lla】/HERO/born
OPEN17:00/START17:30
Advance¥3,000(D)/Day-of¥3,500(D)
04/25(Sun) Lawson Tickets on Sale

R-Shitei

Source: SCREW official website

All translation: gacktpause

Next Scene for The GazettE

Big news for The GazettE, who just finished their latest tour THE END OF STILLNESS for fan-club members across Japan. About 30,000 people made an attendance at the 13 dates scheduled through March. Following the conclusion of THE END OF STILLNESS tour, the band announced that they will be moving on to the “Next Scene” of their career, literally, with a brand new single titled NEXT SCENE, as well as a new DVD release “New Music Clips : Film Bug II”.

NEXT SCENE will start on July 21st (details pending), and the DVD will be out August 4th, for JPY4,800.

Not only that, but this “next scene” isn’t a still-shot. The band also announced a second, much longer, 2010 tour Tour10 Nameless Liberty Six Bullets 1 & 2. The tour kicks off at Nippon Budokan on July 22nd, the day after NEXT SCENE hits shelves, and will run for around 40 dates, with the final on December 26th. The band stated that last year they performed a New Year’s live to welcome in the year, and that perhaps this year they will do a “Big Bonenkai party” (End Year Party) to bid sayounara to 2010.

I’m relieved that they’re starting a new thing called NEXT SCENE, as Dim Scene, cool a name as that may be, is hardly a motivational tagline for moving forward.

THE GAZETTE ++ TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 01

07.22(thu) NIPPON BUDOKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:30]
07.23(fri) NIPPON BUDOKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:30]
07.25(sun) NAKANO SUNPLAZA HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
07.28(wed) SAPPORO SHIMIN HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
07.30(fri) HACHIOJI SHIMIN KAIKAN
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.02(mon) IBARAKI KENRITSU KENMIN BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.03(tue) TOCHIGIKEN SOGO BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.05(thu) KIRYU CITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SILK HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.08(sun) AKITA CITY HALL BIG HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
08.09(mon) AOMORI CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.11(wed) YAMAGATA CIVIC HALL BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.14(sat)KOCHISHI BUNKA PLAZA CARPORT
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]

+POSTPONED DATES+
08.16(mon) HIROSHIMA ALSOK HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/15 (Mon) Hiroshima ALSOK Hall
OPEN 18:00 /START 18:30
08.17(tue) OKAYAMA CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/12 (Fri) OKAYAMA CIVIC HALL
OPEN 18:00/ START 18:30
08.19(thu) FUKUOKA CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/22 (Mon) FUKUOKA CIVIC HALL
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30
08.21(sat) CHIBAKEN BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]

11/11 (Thu) CHIBAKEN BUNKA KAIKAN
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30
08.22(sun) ATSUGISHI BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]

11/8 (Mon) Atsugi-shi Bunka Kaikan
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30

INFORMATION + TICKETS:

7/22,7/23 Nippon Budokan
[Price] ..6,800(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales]6/12日(sat) Japan wide sales start
*”HERESY” Fan club members will receive pre-sale information at the beginning of April by mail.
*People, who applied for membership until 2010/4/12 (Date of the postal stamp) will also be included.

7/25-8/31 Performances
[Price] ..6,000(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales] 7/10 (sat) Japan wide sales start

THE GAZETTE ++ TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 02

10.01(fri) HONDANOMORI HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.02(sat) TOYAMA KENMIN KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
10.05(tue) WAKAYAMA MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.06(wed) KOBE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.08(fri) NARA PREFECTURAL CULTURAL HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.11(mon) OSAKA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER MAIN HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.12(tue) OSAKA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER MAIN HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.14(thu) TAJIMISHI BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.16(sat) YAMANASHI KENRITSU KENMIN BUNKA HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
10.17(sun) SAITAMASHI BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]
10.20(wed) MATSUYAMASHI SOGO COMMUNITY CENTER CAMELLIA HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.22(fri) SUNPORT HALL TAKAMATSU BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.24(sun) SENDAI SUNPLAZE HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.27(wed) KUMAMOTO PREFECTURAL THEATER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.28(thu) KAGOSHIMA TANIYAMA SAZAN HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.31(sun) YOKOSUKA ARTS THEATRE
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]
11.02(tue) MIE CENTER FOR THE ARTS BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

INFORMATION + TICKETS:

10/1-11/2Performances
[Price] |6,000(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales] 7/17 (sat) Japan wide sales start

[TOTAL INFORMATION]
BACKSTAGE PROJECT: TEL03-5786-2400(Mon – Fri 12:00~19:00)

SEE: This Page for more details concerning overseas ticket purchasing.

Need any more information? Just leave a comment. ++

D’espairs Dances On

The full PV for D’espairsRay new single LOVE IS DEAD hit youtube a few hours ago. I have to admit, I haven’t listened to these guys in ages, and I’ve basically only heard clips of most of their new stuff. Seeing this video definitely inspired me to get back into D’espairs‘ stuff, so for that I’m glad.

 The video is pretty cool. Note how the band-members don’t actually wear the bird-masks, but pass them off to backup people. You also hardly see anyone but Hizumi, though, and a few glimpses of Tsukasa rockin’ out. Maybe Zero is embarrassed about the hash his makeup person made of his innocent eyebrows.

 I’m not sure where this electronica/dance Visual Kei trend is coming from, but, as I already mentioned the other day, it’s hitting quite a few releases this quarter. We all know PSC boys alice nine. have always done this stuff, but lately it’s been the vets, like BUCK-TICK and now D’espairsRay. Which seems sort of strange. I’m not complaining, though. I find it really refreshing, especially since I am not the kind of person who uses “different” synonymously with “bad”.  I say keep it coming, it’s about time people started branching out and doing some fun and different things.

Video Credit: YukariKisaki

Alice in Wonderland…Move over!

Seriously! For Visualists, there’s a new Alice now. Although not a bland blond promenading through psychedelico and British humor nobody else understands, Visual Kei has a new aural wonderland and an Alice to go with it, the Visual boy-band PSC Company offspring, Alice Nine is taking the Jrock world by storm.

They will summon up a (sort of) new wonderland for us on March 24th with the release of their greatest hits album, Complete Collection 2006-2009. The album will feature their hits songs released during the respective years of activity….The happiest news of all is, CDJapan is offering an exclusive promotion for the release. Not only will pre-orders placed before March 18th win the external bonus poster (while first-press is available), but they will also include a band photo, and a member photo of your choice. (Photo size: 18.0 x 12.8 cm)

In addition, the members of Alice Nine will autograph the band photo for 40 lucky purchasers who preorder the CD before March 18, 2010 11:59pm (Japan Standard Time). AWESOME! The 40 lucky winners will be chosen at random from orders placed before March 18th etc, and will not be announced.


**Click: Alice Nine greatest hits release promotion**

Good luck!

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)