Day 2, well, this seems somewhat promising.
It has been a very productive day. I finished the formatting for the release and some other release related things. At the moment I’m working on some interviews I’m doing for my blog tour.
All this I wouldn’t have been able to do without one thing: MUSIC and not just any type of music, Visual Kei.
Visual Kei is not so much a music genre as a genre of clothing combined with over the top (in both positive and negative ways) music. It has a couple of sub genres that focus more on different types of “feelings” of music though Visual Kei is often seen as the main genre. The genre has been going on since the late 80s/early 90s and is said to be a Japanese descendent of the Western glam rock style, with which it does share quite a few elements.
I’ve known about Visual Kei (VK from here on out) for quite a few years. I used to listen to Malice Mizer and Gackt quite a lot a few years back but apart from a few mainstream-ish Jrock bands I barely knew about music from Japan (apart from female pop groups like Perfume and Hello! Project, but those are nothing like this). It wasn’t until I did NaNoWriMo last year that I really got out of my comfort zone and got to know new bands. A lot of people had mentioned bands that I only knew by name, but they were kinda big names and most of them I had listened to a few times but never really had any affection for. Until someone linked this clip:
I fell in love. The style, the music, the vocals, their combination of definite metal elements with elements one would expect of traditional Japanese music. And as I listened to it it didn’t end there, the range of the vocals still gives me shivers. Kiryu is now my #1 fav band and their live concerts are as awesome as their videoclips. And have I mentioned, they look great? 😉
The second band I really got to know was a bit more eclectic, it’s not everybody’s taste but I really love it.
Paradeis sadly enough disbanded last month, but that doesn’t stop me from loving them. They have a totally different music style and are often a bit more happy and have lighter colours in their outfits.
From there on out I don’t remember what I found in what order but I don’t care much. VK has been my main playlist for the past year and the huge range of types of music and style that I find in this mostly underground genre is amazing. A few examples:
Royz is in a lot of ways the babybrother band of Kiryu, the belong to the same company and most of them are a few years younger than the Kiryu members. Where Kiryu is dark and has a mix of Japanese and metal, Royz is more electric in sound and uses more clean vocals. They are great to watch both in live clips and in their music video’s.
Another one of my favourites is Aicle, they also disbanded in 2012. Aicle has an unique style in vocals and outfits. They have a more eclectic style but I really like it and they have songs about things like hearts (the one I linked), penguins and other crazy things.
For most of them I listed older video’s, that is because I tried to remember what the first video was that I saw of them.
One thing you probably realised while looking at the video’s is that a lot of them seem to consist of multiple guys and a girl. That is not a girl. All these bands are male only (as are most VK bands, I don’t know any mixed bands and there are only a hanfdul of female VK bands). It is common for most VK bands to have one girly member, this is not to degrade them or in any way negative. They often serve the purpose of being cute. In Japanese culture (what I’ve seen of it) people like cute things. They are no girls, they don’t want to be girls, they are not confused about their gender. They just like to dress up and be the cute one of the band, that is their place in the band (that they are also great musicians seems to get forgotten sometimes).
So yeah, I’m a big fan of a couple of VK bands, I might share more of them at some other point in the month, but this is it for now!