GazettE’s So TOXIC, I’m Slipping Under

…I don’t know who I’m more ashamed of, those of you who get the reference, or myself for making it. But what can I say; I mean, it’s the world we live in. Some things once seen, cannot be unseen, and for some reason they always come into focus when I’m typing in titles. Holy hell I’m corrupt.

Last we heard on SG in regards to The GazettE, I’d begun tentatively shifting positions from thinking the continued mystery of Reita’s likely-disfigured nose just isn’t enough to disguise the band’s obviously-disfigured sense of good music  into an amiable appreciation of their latest single, Vortex. The single’s bounty certainly whipped it up (after the band spent a good few releases dragging their creative heels, trying to hide their brewing incompetence by increasing the coolness of Ruki’s outfits and covering their heels economically by shipping poor Kai off to work in catering. Not cool.), for a refreshing change of pace, leaving those few left unglamored by The Goddess’s imperturbable charm while still unable to acknowledge Red‘s existence on musical-earth, at least back in the GazeRock conversation.

Whew that was a long paragraph.

Well, if nothing else, plenty can certainly be said for The GazettE‘s persistence. GazettE singles seem to drop with the frequency of lunar tides — the only thing left wanting (aside from maybe a break long enough to replenish their creative juices?) is the eclipse of releases, the original album.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They’ve been kind enough to give us a headstart so we can begin arranging the loans most of us will have to take out in order to actually afford the album (a nasty exchange rate, plus the fact that you’ll most likely want the ltd. edition with the DVD, paired with shipping costs from Japan will bring the album well over $60). So, literally, the release is so toxic we’re (economically) slipping under.

Just because we get a headstart doesn’t mean they’re cutting us any slack– if you want to be a true fan, you’ll most like want the single that’ll drop at the end of August, titled REMEMBER THE URGE. Released 8.31.11 in 2 versions (is the Auditory Impressions/Optical Impressions thing becoming a new trademark?), the single should tide Gaze-Minions over until October.

The GazettE‘s first original album since 2009’s DIM will overwhelm fangirls (and Reita still won’t take his mask off) on 10.05.11, in two editions (think more Budget and Luxury, rather than Auditory/Optical), and bears the title TOXIC.

I wonder if the title track is a collab? Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Pre-order the ill shizz here (TOXIC) & here (RTU).

Aoi Defies Dye Lot 335 “Asian Blonde”

“The New Look”, always a much anticipated release of information. In my experience, the disclosure of a Visual Kei band’s “New Look”, as organized for the promotion of a new album or single, is always a testament to rock bands’ abilities to create infinite variety with one or less colors.

In the past, I’ve found The GazettE to be satisfactorily edgy in their looks. Veering shockingly away from the standard black pants, black blazer, and the occasional, unnerving splash of gray, The GazettE‘s image always pops up in my head dressed in colorful velour suits with perfectly coiffed blonde mullets.

However, when black became the new, well, rainbow circa 2009, and the word on the street was “chic”, it seemed like Visual Kei started getting a little less, y’know, visual. The host-boy hair syndrome overwhelmed the industry as the standard hair-fare, and, that-which-must-not-be-named (oshare) aside (out of the discussion, where it belongs), the universally accepted Visual Kei uniform became the angry angura badass bad-lands look. That is, blackblackblack.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t worn color since 2009 either. But I will pass judgment here and say, I think that Visual Kei bands could stand to break out of the angura thing and at least give us a splash of something that’s not just black clothes and blonde hair. I’m pleased to see that one of the most universally accepted “cool-looking” bands have let at least one member go out on a limb this time¹. First of all, let me just say that I think the concept for these shots is pretty epic. The industrial, utterly lackluster backdrop contrasts with the striking paint-splatters smeared over each portrait, giving a creative twist to otherwise standard Type A new look portraits. I’m actually astounded by this “new look”, simply because they actually did something with Aoi’s hair. Gone is the ultra simple black coif of their past, and present now is a spiky, edgy, and very……purple… style that totally defies the “Asian Blonde” I thought it was illegal for a Visual Kei band-member to not have. Whether he actually had a hair color for past single Pledge cannot really be known, as the PV was monochrome, and I bet they stood behind a monochrome holograph for all their promotions. Can never be too careful– you never know when a splash of color might invade your cool, black-clad life and ruin everything with its recklessness.

The hair and high collar also bring across something of a hide-feel, which I think is probably a healthy direction to be moving in.

As usual, Uruha, with his tumbling golden locks and smoldering glare, just begs to be worshiped by men and women alike. Putting all androgynous Visual Kei creatures eternally to shame as he does, even after all these years I cannot reason with normies who say he looks like a woman. No disrespect- you have to be utterly and irreparably confused to even attempt to deny it.

I like what they’ve done with his hair– some edgy layers and of course a pretty little twist of the hair-iron produces that little iconic curl. That being said, from the neck down I can’t help but have this feeling that he’s wearing one of Ozaki Nana’s outfits from the anime Nana. The signature leather jacket and….please tell me that’s not a tulle dress?

Some things may change, but Reita will forever look the same.

I can’t say I’ve ever disapproved of a Ruki look, unless you consider that one time he tried to be totally gangster, which I think was succeeded by The Perm….Which I think was succeeded by…Nah, just messing with you guys. The slight wave to his hair is acceptable, and all the clean lines and simple details make for a solid vocalist ensemble. No big shockers here.

Who is this ninja musician, and when will the waiter be here with my check?

All together now:

 

¹ – Would like to take this moment to also mention Jyou of exist trace who is rocking some fiery locks.

images from http://gzrock.wordpress.com & google

Pledge Allegiance to GazettE 12/15

I’ll admit, The GazettE is, much like girugamesh, one of the mainstream Visual Kei bands whose releases I don’t procure religiously anymore. I more or less skipped over Red, although in retrospect it was a pretty decent single. In many ways, I’ve enjoyed their earlier work to such an extent that I’m pretty content keeping NIL in heavy rotation, and if something utterly mind-blowing is released, that’s okay too.

Heading into mid-November now, a new wave of release dates are being announced for the December and January rounds of economic Visual Kei worship. I find it quite fascinating when I’m paying the bills…There’s always Rent, Cellphone, Internet, List of Visual Kei singles to pre-order for [insert month]. It’s one of the few I pay cheerfully and with a sense of great reverence. Coming up to reward your December tithe is new single Pledge from The GazettE on 12/15, just in time for their first Tokyo Dome performance on Dec. 26th. I bet that leaves no mystery as to how I want to spend my holidays.

Check out the preview for the heavy ballad (Yeah, I wasn’t surprised either), and Gazerock fans, censoring any spewing of “Reita omg kawaii kawaii!”, let me know what you think.

Mug Shot

Finally the stylists stopped being on strike, recognized that Kai is, in fact, part of the band and not a misplaced member of the catering crew, and outfitted him accordingly. For once in their career he is actually starting to fit in with the band, and it’s working wonders for him. The sharp black outfit (what can be seen of it, anyway) is…a…y’know, sharp black outfit for which too much can never be said. The extreme layers and long hair bring me way back to Visual Kei in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before Host Boy Hair Syndrome (HBHS) took over the scene.

Mug Shot

Best part of my weekend: when The GazettE changes their look, and all the fangirls spam comment all over our lives with “Oooh omfg Reita kawaii kawaii!” When…his look never changes. Ah, a world without GazettE fangirls would be a sad, sad place indeed.

Mug Shot

Aoi always tends to pull off these minimalistic chic looks, with simple hair and normal-ish outfits to which he lends his natural enigmatic charm and makes everyone else look like they’re trying way too hard. He, like Reita, never surprises me. At least it’s in a good way.

Mug Shot

Uruha says, If my face ends up on another British T-shirt ever again…..at least send one to all of my band members.

Nosebleed

I’m not too much of a man to admit that I got a nosebleed.


The GazettE Invitation to OS Fans

The fairness and good qualities of The GazettE should really receive some serious praise somewhere. The fact that they want us OS fans at their Japan tour dates is worth a gold-medal in my personal opinion. Let me just say it, then: these guys rock for making it easy to get to their shows.

It started with their fan-club only tour that just barely ended, and will continue on into their next round (which will be extensive, so if you’re planning a trip over there, check the dates first!): all ticket sales will be available to overseas fans. However, it is important to remember that you have to “apply” to get tickets, and the window is limited, so if you want them, think fast!

Here’s the information about how to buy tickets:

7/22, 7/23
Nippon Budokan(General Sales Start (in Japan):6/12)
[Application period] 5/12 (Wed) 12:00 – 5/20 (Thu) 23:59 (Japanese Standard Time) for overseas purchase
[Payment Period] 5/22 – 5/29
[Confirmation Time] 5/30

Application Site URL
http://www.ticket-reg.com/thegazette/
(From the stated link please access via [Overseas Ticket Sales])
*The site will be available from May 21th 2010!

*Ticket Sales thereafter:
・7/28Nagano – 8/31 Nagoya(General Sales Start (in Japan):7/10)
[Application Period] 6/1~13 for overseas purchase
・10/1 Ishikawa – 11/2 Mie(General Sales Start (in Japan):7/17)
[Application period] 8/1~15 for overseas purchase

If you have any questions, or need help with anything, just leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to give you a hand.

Information: MusicJapan+

The GazettE Are Nameless Liberals In Ticketing

It was announced this morning that tickets for The GazettE‘s massive nationwide tour TOUR10 Nameless Liberty Six Bullets 01 will be made available to overseas fans.

Although the exact information, and where to purchase the tickets if you live overseas, isn’t available yet, it should be up soon.

So if you’re going to be in Japan while the tour is going on BUY TICKETS. GO. This is an incredible band, and it’s an awesome opportunity for any Visualist travelers to see some rockin’. Need a translator? Take me with you. I know just about every livehouse and arena in Japan by heart after translating Remioromen‘s tour schedule….

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. ++

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)