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Thursday, March 18, 2010

J-яоск яϋŁεѕ мγ ώδяĿם

It all started one day in 2006, when I was moping around the house on a weekend for something to do. My sis was watching TV upstairs, so I decided to join her. She was watching Music Station on Animax (back when it wasn't in the variety package =P) and at that time I hadn't real interest in Japanese music except for the songs from anime. At that time I was just watching out of boredom, though my sis kept insisting that it was a really good show. I was all 'what's the big deal' till Gackt was up next for his performance. He had dreadlocks and was dressed very ... dramatically, which you see less in the J-pop industry.

[2006] The single he was performing that episode? RETURNER Yami no Shuuen, a more hard-rock style single with a touch of Japanese. Right after watching his performance, I went straight to the PC, went to YouTube then sought out the music video. The samurai-armor clad Gackt really made me melt, though it was his eyes (contacts, rather) that brought my attention to him in the first place. I started searching Google for his pics (around 150 pages of results, I almost died XD) and his info.

Some fun facts about Gackt: he uses candles (or dim lighting, I think) at home and wears dark glasses to bright-lit places as he says the bright light hurt his eyes, he smokes, he loves tight pants, he speaks rather fluent Chinese, his favourite accessories brand is DARTS and he's done movies with Wang Leehom and hyde.


Gackt brought my attention to his former band Malice Mizer, led by the one and only Mana (I think =P). Malice Mizer has been through a few different band members, though finally disbanding at one point, going their separate ways. Mana created Moi dix Mois, while Gackt went on a solo career until creating a band with Yoshiki from X Japan called S.K.I.N. The superband consisting of Gackt of Malice Mizer, Yoshiki of X Japan, Miyavi of Due le Quartz and Sugizo of Lunasea. There are currently not working on any projects right now, said Sugizo in an interview.


[2006] Among the Gackt search results for his profile, I kept running into a certain hyde character. I knew he was a musician, but I didn't know for sure till I finally went through a head search into hyde's, um, musical history. He was formerly in a band called Jerusalem's Rod till 1991. He went solo for a while, then became part of rock band L'Arc~en~Ciel (French for 'rainbow'). He did two movies - Moon Child with Gackt and Kagen no Tsuki (The Last Quarter) which was based on a manga by Ai Yazawa. The first of his singles I heard was Countdown.

hyde's fun facts: he's coloured blind, he smokes, he's 160cm, he's married to Megumi Oishi and they have a son together, he's a damn good guitarist, he's the main lyricist for Laruku and he has a pair of angel wing tattoos on his back.


[2006] A couple of weeks after listening to hyde's first single, I came to witness L'Arc~en~Ciel performing their latest single at that time on Music Station - My Heart Draws A Dream. I was like 'oh gawd, you can't find a better voice to suit this song better'. Laruku consists of hyde, tetsu, ken and yukihiro, hyde composing and filling in the lyrics for many songs. For my 15th birthday, my older sis got me Laruku's Awake album for Rock Corner.


[2009] In collaboration with K.A.Z from Oblivion Dust, hyde created VAMPS in 2008. Like a little child I was helplessly curious and went all over YouTube to find their PVs. There were 3 very popular ones - Sweet Dreams, Trouble and Love Addict. Sweet Dreams was my fave, with nice soothing tones and beautiful lyrics, though I love the Love Addict PV - hyde with vampire fangs and red contacts~~ <3


[2007] I completely forgot about how I came across this wacko's name, but it remains in my mind all the time - Miyavi. The eccentric, joyful, self-loving guitarist formerly of Due le Quartz (he really loves his old band ... hello~! He has Due le Quartz tattooed on his inner wrist!) Armed with really good looks, multiple piercings & tattoos and great guitar skills, Subarashiki Kana, Kono Sekai was the first single to defeat my initial thoughts of him, though my fave is still Sakihokoru Hana no Youni -Neo Visualizm-~ =)

Miyavi oresama no fun facts~: he has a really nice lip piercing and a stretched ear piercing, lots and lots of tattoos, loves pink and often mistaken as a female by the non-visual-kei knowing people, is married to J-pop singer melody and they have a daughter, named Lovelie Miyavi Ishihara.


[2007] If you browse Miyavi videos on YouTube enough, you might find some videos related to this band called the GazettE (not 'The Gazette', not 'the gazette', not 'the Gazette', not anything but 'the GazettE'), consisting of vocalist Ruki , guitarists Aoi and Uruha (not 'you-ruha', ogei), bassist Reita (trademark's the noseband, people) and drummer + leader Kai . Previously, the band's drummer was Yune, but he left for some reason ... Anyways, each band member has his own trademark thing - I'm not so sure about Ruki ('cause his outfits and looks change from time to time...), Aoi's was previously the lip ring, Uruha's were his legs and eye makeup, Reita's was his noseband and Kai's, well, super cuteness. XD

One thing's for sure, this band really rocks it good. They each play their part good - Ruki's vocals are totally heavenly~!!!, Aoi and Uruha's guitar skills rock the earth, whether separate or combined, without Reita and Kai, the band wouldn't even exist~! (I think ... ... ... ) It was ultimately Uruha that made me make the decision to take up the guitar, though hyde and Miyavi had already given me that thought before. The single Cassis I heard mentioned a few times before, and the thing that finally made me listen to my first Gaze-single was an interview article of one of my Taiwanese idols (Jiro Wang) who also really like J-rock (namely Laruku and the GazettE) who said that Cassis was pretty good.

Fun facts: they are totally WACKY~!, they smoke, Uruha drinks a lot, Reita almost never takes off his noseband, they love 'the finger', Kai loves cooking but Reita doesn't like his cooking.


[2009] After the GazettE, I was almost completely out of visual kei music. I asked one of the people who posted a video I was watching to introduce me to some good visual kei J-rock. I was replied with a rather long list. Every band on the list was searched on YouTube, some of them not found as the names were too common. One on the list was called Versailles, consisting of Kamijo, Hizaki, Jasmine You (RIP), Teru and Yuki. They're easy to spot among the visual kei rockers - they don beautiful renaissance-esque outifts that goes with most of their music.

My first single? The Revenant Choir. So powerfully ... musical? I dunno, there's no words to describe Versailles' music. No fun facts here - I only love their music and Kamijo's eyes~ XD


[2009] Gensoukyoku -Eternal Silence- was my first single from Phantasmagoria (a real mouthful, huh? XD) You know that Riku (vocalist) has a pretty large number of lip percings? XD The other thing that I really love about this band is the gothic-ness. Almost all their pics look monochromatic, though there is colour.


[2009] This here is Vidoll. Check out the super hot vocalist in white, huh? XD Blue Star, my sis' only visual kei favourite I think... One thing that bugs me - one of the guitarists (the one with the roundish face on the right top corner) is constantly smiling ... ... ...


[2009] I had heard about Kagrra many times previously, but I was just too absorbed and obsessed with the GazettE and Uruha. XD Their latest music vid at that time (Utakata) really pulled me in, though part of the gravitational part was caused by Shin's playing the koto as well.


[2009] Last but not least, SuG -Heavy Positive Metal-. SuG is one of the most eccentric oshare kei bands I've seen, apart from Alice Nine and Antic Cafe. Love Scream Party really ... threw me off my seat. The beat was nice, the song was good, the PV was fantastic and the band members all so kawaii while being so cool~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <3

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