Monday, October 19, 2009


Exist Trace (often typeset as exist†trace) are a Japanese metal band of the visual kei style, and comprised entirely of female members. They're from Tokyo, Japan, and initially formed in June 2003. To date, the band has released four singles, three EPs, and a compilation album Exist Trace has also appeared on two omnibus albums as well as one live DVD featuring several bands on the Shizuoka-based Sequence Records label. Exist Trace released a new EP on April 22, 2009, entitled Vanguard -Of the Muses-.
Exist Trace's music can be desribed as melodic death metal and vocalist Jyou growls throughout many songs, which contributes to the the dark undertone of many of the songs. Their guitar sound often features heavy distortion and technically virtuosic riffs and solos. Their sound is heavily focused on their bass and drumming, which helps define their musical style. The lyrics are mainly based on gothic themes, and their music style has resemblance to gothic metal.
Vocals: Jyou (ジョウ)
Guitar: Miko (ミコ)
Guitar: Omi (乙魅)
Bass: Naoto (猶人)
Drums: Mally (マリ)
Annunciation -The Heretic Elegy- (December 13, 2006)
Demented Show (September 9, 2007)
Vanguard -Of the Muses- (April 22, 2009)
Ambivalent Symphony (October 21, 2009)
Ambivalence (August 28, 2005)
Funeral Bouquet (February 2, 2006)
Riot (July 17, 2006)
Liquid (July 18, 2007)
Hai no Yuki (灰ノ雪) (February 22, 2004)
Kokumu (黒霧) (July 1, 2004)
Recreation Eve (November 19, 2008)
Drive Up!! vol. 1 (April 15, 2005) Corrosion
SUMMIT 03 (November 29, 2006) Mabushii Hodo no Kurayami no Naka de (眩しい程の暗闇の中で)
Silent Hill 2061125 Pavilion which deer barks (January 31, 2007)

Monday, October 12, 2009


Deathgaze (デスゲイズ, desugeizu) is a Japanese metalcore band with a visual kei style akin to many other contemporary Nagoya-based bands.
Deathgaze was formed in 2003 by Hazuki, Ai, Naoki, and Kanna, who was soon replaced by Naoto. After releasing their first single, "294036224052", vocalist, Hazuki, left in spring 2004 to form his own band, Lynch. As a replacement, Sou joined the group in late 2004. The band released several more singles and their first album, though Sou also left in late 2006 to marry. In March of 2007, the band announced a eighth-month long hiatus.
On November 11, 2007, the band officially ended their hiatus with the bassist Ai becoming the vocalist and newcomer Kosuke on bass guitar.
As of 2008, Deathgaze has released eight singles (one being a re-release) and two albums. Ai is the main composer and lyricist of the band, even when Hazuki was still a member. He is also in charge of art direction for their CD releases. The band also performed under the session name Knohhoso (野っ細), playing cover songs of older and popular Japanese rock bands. Knohhoso also featured Ai on vocals.
On April 26, 2009, guitarist Naoto retired from the band and from music, but he stated that if possible in the future he would return. Their current support guitarist is Takaki, ex.ASS'n'ARRow.
Ai (鐚依 or 藍) – vocals (2008-present), bass guitar (2003-2007)
Kosuke (孝介) - bass guitar
Naoki (直樹) – drums
Takaki (貴樹) - support guitar
Kanna (柑那) - guitar (2003)
Hazuki (葉月) – vocals (2003–2004, now in Lynch.)
Sou (宗) – vocals (2004–2006)
Naoto (直人) – guitar (2003-2009)
"genocide and mass murder" (July 16, 2006)
"AWAKE-evoke the urge-" (December 10, 2008)
"THE CONTINUATION" (September 9, 2009)
"「294036224052」" (February 22, 2004)
"CHAOS" (February 5, 2005)
"CHAOS Vol. 2" (August 17, 2005)
"DOWNER" (November 11, 2005)
"Fuhai to Fusei" (April 1, 2006)
"insult kiss me" (January 23, 2008)
"DEAREST" (February 20, 2008)
"I'm broken baby" (March 19, 2008)
"abyss" (July 24, 2008)
"BLOOD" (November 18, 2009)


Panic Channel (written パニックちゃんねる or PANIC☆ch, both pronounced the same way) is an independent Japanese Visual kei band signed to the label Mission Music Factory. They perform under two personas: パニックちゃんねる is their gothy, Visual Kei side, and PANIC☆ch is a light visual boy band side. Some fans consider PANIC☆ch to be Oshare Kei, however, the band itself claims not to be.
Panic Channel (known in Japanese as パニックちゃんねる pronounced as panikku channeru) was founded by Meguru (ex- GARASU), Kana, and Tara in November 2002. In January 2003, the line-up of the band consisted of Meguru (Vo), Kana (G), Tsubasa (G), Tara (Ba), and Yuusuke (Dr). After two months, in March 2003 the band decided to show their “second face.” The alter ego PANIC☆ch was born.
Panic Channel gave their debut in May of that year at the Osaka club Vijon where they sold their first video tape Panic Channel Kyouzai Video. After that event, the band started advance; they had one gig after another, always switching between the two egos during the long line of events.
The band had its first oneman at the Urawa Narciss on 21 September, 2003. It was completely sold out. One day later, they sold their first single Debutsen ~minna no chikai hen~ which sold out the same day, it has not been printed again. Panic Channel kept on performing, most of the time at the Meguro Rock May Kan. Towards the end of the year, they released their first mini-album.
In the beginning of 2004, the Shinjisen ~Yume ni mukatte hen~ tour was listed on Panic Channel’s schedule, it ended on St. Valentine’s Day, 14 February, in the Meguro Rock May Kan.
On March 18, there was another oneman in the same concert hall where both personalities of the band performed. After that concert, the drummer Yuusuke left the band. Takumi (ex- Aile) substituted him at first only as a support member, but he became the official drummer of Panic Channel on April 3.
In September, Panic Channel’s label Mission Music Factory arranged together with Undercode Productions (Kisaki) a two-man concert with Panic Channel and Undercode-band’s Karen. On September 23 and 26, the bands stood on stage together.
In the beginning of October, the band took part in the Mad Tea Party Vol. 4 which was sponsored by the band D. Afterwards, Panic Channel had a couple of performances again. From the 13th and 17th of December, 2004, performances at the Meguro Rock May Kan took place, arranged by Panic Channel. On those five days, Panic Channel played together with Iroha, Gift, HenzeL, and Luvie. The event ended with a “パニックちゃんねる vs. PANIC☆ch” oneman. After those concerts, Tara was brought to the hospital because of ear problems. Panic Channel continued performing and temporarily was supported by Gift's bassist, Saburo. Subsequently, the recording of their new album was rescheduled.
After more performances in 2005, Tara’s recovery was announced in February, the new album was eventually recorded. Tara's first performance after recovering took place in Nagoya’s Shinsakae MUJIKA on 10 March. Yet, after the UnderCode 3 Day event final on 22 March, 2005, in Osaka, Meguru announced that Tara had to go to the hospital again because of new ear problems. During the time in hospital, Tara announced that he would leave the band because of his ear, just as the fans suspected. The true reason is apparently that Tara already did not see himself as member of the band anymore because in the end of 2005 he started the new band project Betty with Yuu (ex-Never Crazy), they later formed the now disbanded 176BIZ.
After Tara’s departure, on 28 August, the band announced after a concert that Tsubasa and Takumi were going to leave the band. Their farewell concert was on 30 October. Meguru and Kana remained.
In the beginning of January 2006, Meguru announced that positions in the band would be replaced by MAYO (G), kiri (Ba), and KYO~YA (Dr). In February and March, the band had a nation-wide tour, seven secret concerts included, where they switched constantly between their alter-egos. In April 2006 and released two new singles, Plow~forward movement~ and Ishin.
It has been announced that they will be playing in AnimagiC Event in Germany on August 2009, meaning this will be the band's first time abroad, however MAYO may miss the event as he has been suffering from pneumothorax since April 26th, recovery depends on the extent of the injury, though average recovery time is around six weeks. However, MAYO has returned to the band and has almost recovered at the end of their Best Album Tour.
Right on 29th August, also known as Pani Day, the band released their first ever live DVD. This DVD features the live session from Omotesando FAB from both パニックちゃんねる and PANIC☆ch. And the band has kicked of their Live DVD Tour " After the tears" on 9th of September 2009.
MEGURU - Vocals
Kana (華那) - Guitar
MAYO - Guitar
Kiri - Bass
KYO~YA - Drums
Yuusuke - Drums
Tara (たら) - Bass (→176Biz)
Tsubasa (翼) - Guitar (→176Biz known as Toki, "時")
Takumi (たくみ) - Drums
TRICK (March 26, 2005)
THE LAST ~colors~ (March 18, 2009)
THE LAST ~infinity~ (March 18, 2009)
Shinjinsen"~yume ni mukatte hen~ (December 25, 2003)
Invisible Line (February 2, 2007)
Ray (August 29, 2008)
Debut sen"~minna no chikai hen~
Zenkoku taikai sanbon sen~Iyagarase~
Zenkoku taikai sanbon sen~Free Style~
829 Service Day Live CD
Zenkoku taikai sanbon sen~Kesshousen
Plow~forward movement~
Father's Expression
Mother's Expression
PV (PANIC☆VIDEO)~otameshi gentei hen~ (Apr. 24, 2004)
PV (PANIC☆VIDEO)~tsuujou hen~ (May 1, 2004)


Cali Gari (or cali≠gari) was a Japanese visual kei rock band formed with the concept erotic grotesque. It was founded in 1992 and named after the horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The band's debut single came out in 1994 and their first major single was "Dai 7 Jikkenshitsu Yokokuban -Maguro-" released April 2002. The band ceased its activities after their last concert on June 22, 2003.
Since the band's hiatus, Shuuji started a solo project called goatbed. Makoto and Ao went to form LAB. THE BASEMENT. Makoto has since quit the band to join Cyanotype. In 2004 Kenjirou went on to join Sex Machineguns for two years and now is a live support member for Coaltar of the Deepers.
As of April 2009, the band has announced a reunion with an upcoming greatest hits album and live DVD. Their official fanclub has also reopened until spring 2010.
The band has announced a brand new full-length album "10" which is set to be released on August 26, 2009 along with a double single "9 -tou- hen" and "9 School Zone hen" to be released a month earlier. This marks the first full length album from the band in 6 years.
Shuuji Ishii – vocals
Ao Sakurai – guitar
Kenjirou Murai – bass
Makoto Takei – drums
Former members
Kureiju, vocals [Quit: 1993]Shin, vocals [Quit: 1995]Shuuji, vocals [Quit:2000]Keji, bass [Quit: 1996]Kazuya, bass [Quit: 1995]Katsumi, drums [Quit: 1999]
Shuuji left cali≠gari on June 1, 2000 and was replaced by Shuuji Ishii of float. Due to their identical names there was some confusion in the beginning and the new vocalist, Shuuji Ishii, always introduced himself as "the OTHER Shuuji".
Dai 2 Jikkenshitsu (August 17, 1996)
Dai 3 Jikkenshitsu (June 6, 1998)
Dai 4 Jikkenshitsu (December 12, 1998)
Dai 5 Jikkenshitsu (June 27, 1999)
Blue Film (July 7, 2000)
Saikyouiku -Hidari- (January 1, 2001)
Saikyouiku -Migi- (January 1, 2001)
Dai 6 Jikkenshitsu (March 14, 2001)
Cali Gari Janai Janai (December 20, 2001)
Dai 7 Jikkenshitsu (April 4, 2002)
8 (March 5, 2003)
Good Bye (June 22, 2003)
10 (August 26, 2009)
"禁色" (Jan 1, 1994)
"Kimi Ga Saku Yama" (May 5, 2000)
"Dai 7 Jikkenshitsu Yokokuban -Maguro-" (April 4, 2002)
"Dai 2 Jikkenshitsu Kaiteiban" (July 16, 2002)
"Dai 2 Jikkenshitsu Kaiteiban -Kaiteiyokokuban-" (March 14, 2002)
"Shitasaki 3-pun Size" (October 30, 2002)
"Seishun Kyousoukyoku" (February 21, 2003)
"9 -tou- Hen" (July 22, 2009)
"9 School Zone Hen" (July 22, 2009)
Soumatou (VHS, August 8, 1998)
Fuyu no Hi (VHS, December 27, 1999)
Promotion 1 (VHS, May 19, 2000)
Kyuu (DVD, September 21, 2003)


Buck-Tick is a Japanese rock band consisting of five members: Atsushi Sakurai on vocals, Hisashi Imai on guitars, backing vocals, noises and theremin, Hidehiko Hoshino on guitars and backing vocals, Yutaka Higuchi on bass, and Yagami Toll on drums. They originally formed in 1984 and have been almost continuously active since then. Over the course of their career, the band have experimented with many different genres of music, including positive punk, post-punk style, new-wave, goth, industrial, electronica, and straight rock-n-roll. Along with X Japan, Buck-Tick are commonly credited as one of the founders of the visual kei movement. In addition to their long, productive career as a band, the five members have worked on individual projects and collaborated with many other famous artists, both Japanese and foreign, including Maki Fujii (of Soft Ballet), Issay (of Der Zibet), Kiyoshi (of Spread Beaver) and (Media Youth), Masami Tsuchiya (formerly of Ippu-do), Raymond Watts (of PIG), Sascha Konietzko (of KMFDM), Clan of Xymox, Robin Guthrie (of the Cocteau Twins), Cube Juice, and Kelli Ali (formerly of Sneaker Pimps).
Atsushi Sakurai (櫻井 敦司): vocals
Hisashi Imai (今井 寿): guitar, theremin, backing vocals, and miscellaneous noise
Hidehiko Hoshino (星野 英彦): guitar and keyboard
Yutaka Higuchi (桶口豊): bass
Toll Yagami (ヤガミ・トール): drums and percussion.
Although they use different surnames, Toll and Yutaka are brothers.
Buck-Tick was originally formed in 1984 under the name Hinan Go-Go. All five of the band members lived in the town of Fujioka, in Gunma prefecture. Hisashi Imai originally had the idea for the band, and wanted to start despite not knowing how to play any instruments at the time. He recruited his friend, Yutaka Higuchi, and the two of them began to practice—Imai on guitar, Higuchi on bass. Then, Higuchi asked Hidehiko Hoshino, who had been his friend since their first year of high school, if he would like to join, too. Since Hoshino was tall and handsome, Higuchi tried to convince him to become the vocalist, but Hoshino was more interested in playing guitar, and didn’t want to be in the spotlight, so Imai’s friend Araki became vocalist instead. Atsushi Sakurai, a rebellious loner in Imai’s class who hung out with the bad-kid “Yanqui” crowd, volunteered to be the drummer.
Imai named the band “Hinan Go-Go” (“Hinan” means “criticism” in Japanese). Once they had practiced enough to be able to play, they began to perform live at small, local events. They started out playing covers of songs by the famous Japanese punk band The Stalin. From the beginning, they were conscious of their image and tried to differentiate themselves from the crowd. They performed in suits with their hair up and soon added white face makeup, as well. When Imai graduated high school, he moved to Tokyo with Araki and enrolled in design school. When Higuchi and Hoshino graduated a year later, they also moved to Tokyo—Higuchi for business school and Hoshino for culinary school. However, they returned home on weekends to practice together and play shows. During the summer of 1984, the band changed their name to Buck-Tick, which is a creative spelling of “bakuchiku,” the Japanese word for firecracker. They also began to perform original songs, written by Imai.
Sakurai’s parents wouldn’t let him move to Tokyo, so he was the only one left alone in Gunma, and became very depressed. He spent all his time alone, and to pass the time, he often went to concerts and watched bands live on TV, and he decided that he was sick of being a drummer and wanted to be a vocalist instead. Higuchi’s brother Yagami was also in a band, SP, and when SP lost their vocalist, Sakurai asked Yagami if he could be the replacement. Yagami politely refused his request, and SP broke up.
However, at the same time, the rest of Buck-Tick was becoming frustrated with Araki. As Imai’s composing skills improved, Araki became unable to carry the melodies to the songs. Though it was painful for them, the band decided to fire Araki, and Sakurai convinced them to let him take Araki’s place. Buck-Tick was now missing a drummer, but the hole was soon filled by Yagami, after Higuchi convinced him that the best way for him to get over the loss of his own band was to join theirs instead. This became the final lineup for the band, and has not changed since then.
Indies Period
After the change in the lineup, Buck-Tick became more and more serious about music. When Sakurai’s father died, he too moved to Tokyo. The five members worked during the day and practiced and performed at night. Then, in July 1986, they attracted the attention of Sawaki Kazuo, head of Taiyou Records, an independent label. He had seen the band perform at a live house in Shinjuku called “Attic,” and had been very impressed. He claimed to have clairvoyant powers and told the band they would succeed within a year.[1] The band signed to Taiyou Records immediately and released their first single, “To-Search/Plastic Syndrome Type II” on September 21 of the same year.
With Sawaki’s help they began promoting themselves very actively. They played the live house circuit in Tokyo and on April 1st 1987 released their first album, “Hurry Up Mode.” In conjunction with the release, they played a live called “Buck-Tick Phenomenon” at the 1,200-capacity Toyoto Public Hall in Ikebukuro. Everyone in the local music scene believed the hall was too large for the band and that the concert would be doomed to failure, but Buck-Tick used a very clever advertising strategy: they pasted thousands of eye-catching, black-and-white sticker advertisements all over Tokyo’s hip youth districts that read simply “Buck-Tick Phenomenon April 1st Toyoto Public Hall.” Their staff members were nearly arrested for defacement of public property, but the strategy worked. Buck-Tick sold over half the tickets to the show, which was a huge accomplishment. They were an instant success, and major labels began vying for the chance to sign them.
Major Debut
A number of major labels competed hotly for the honor of signing a contract with Buck-Tick. However, Buck-Tick was initially unmoved by their offers. They wanted to continue pursuing the band on their own terms, and they refused to sign unless the label would agree to their four stipulations: first, that the band would be able to make all their own decisions about their hair, makeup, clothing, and general image; second, that they would never be forced to change the band lineup; third, that they would never be forced to use session musicians; and last, that they would be able to do all their own production work. Most record companies balked at the idea of accepting such high demands from such a young and inexperienced group, but Takagaki Ken, of Victor Invitation Records, decided he wanted the band so badly he was willing to let them do whatever they wanted. He even offered them Victor’s Aoyama studio as a place to practice.
On June 16, 1987, Buck-Tick played a show called “Buck-Tick Phenomenon II” at the Live Inn in Shibuya, to bid farewell to their indie days. The small venue was packed with people and the crowd grew so overexcited that the concert had to be interrupted multiple times so that the venue staff could try to get the fans to calm down. Afterward, a video of the concert called “BUCK-TICK at the Live Inn” was released, reaching #4 on the Japanese music (Oricon) video charts.
On September 3, Buck-Tick opened their personal administrative office, which they named Shaking Hands, Inc., in honor of all the musical connections they hoped to make in the future. Soon after, they embarked on their first national tour. They released their first major label album, “Sexual XXXXX!” on November 21, and it climbed to #33 on the Oricon charts, which was completely unheard of for a debut album. Tickets to their large year-end live in Tokyo at the Japan Youth Hall sold out in two days.
With success came new difficulties, though. The reporters who interviewed the band for magazines seemed to only be interested in the band’s appearance, and asked questions like “Why do you put your hair up?” “How long does it take you to put your hair up?” and “Do you put up your hair in order to attract attention so you’ll sell records?” The band members only put their hair up because they thought it looked cool. That was the only reason, they always answered, but eventually got so tired of the questions that they refused to answer them anymore. They had become popular enough that they could only play at large halls now. They missed small live houses, so they organized a secret gig under the false name “Bluck-Tlick” at Shinjuku Loft on January 24, 1988, and used it as an opportunity to play their older songs.
“TABOO” Period
In September 1988, Buck-Tick went to London to record their fourth album, “Taboo.” They even played a gig there, at the Greyhound music club, and amongst those who attended were members of the band Der Zibet, who were also recording in London at the time. The members of Buck-Tick loved London, especially Sakurai, who felt that the music scene there was more welcoming of dark and serious music. Indeed, with “Taboo,” the band broke into a darker, more serious sound which took a fair amount of criticism from members of the Japanese music scene who had previously thought of Buck-Tick as little more than idols.
However, the song "Just One More Kiss", which appeared on “Taboo”, became Buck-Tick’s first hit single. The band made their first live television appearance performing it on the popular music program “Music Station.” The song was also used in a series of television commercials in which the band appeared advertising Victor's CDian Stereo, with the slogan "The super bass will firecracker." This was a pun on Buck-Tick's name, which means "firecracker." At the end of the year, Buck-Tick won “Rookie of the Year” at the Japan Record Awards.
Hiatus and “Aku no Hana”
In March 1989, the band started their “Taboo” tour. At this point they had stopped putting their hair up so much, and Sakurai had even given up on dyeing his and let it be black. He has not dyed his hair since. The tour was scheduled to run through May, but it was cut short when Imai was arrested for heroin possession. The incident was covered in newspapers and tabloids at the time, but since, the band has kept it very quiet. Information is difficult to find, but it appears that Imai’s sentence was suspended and the band was forced to take a 6-month break. Imai did, however, have to appear at a court hearing, which was attended by hundreds of concerned fans, and was covered on television.
Fans and reporters alike wondered whether Imai’s arrest spelled the end for Buck-Tick, but in the fall of 1989, the band went back to the studio and recorded their fifth album, “Aku no Hana” (“The Flowers of Evil”) which they named after Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal (a favorite book of Sakurai’s), because the album dealt with similar themes. With “Aku no Hana,” Buck-Tick went much further into the dark and gothic image they had begun to explore in “Taboo” and which would later become their trademark. “Aku no Hana” remains their best-selling record.
Before the album was released, however, they played a huge concert at the Tokyo Dome on December 20 in front of 50,000 people, in order to celebrate their return. It was the largest concert the band had ever played, and it catapulted them to legendary status. Since then, the band has held a large concert nearly every year at the end of December, usually at the Nippon Budokan, to celebrate the anniversary of their reunion after Imai’s arrest. Since 2001, they have named the concerts “The Day in Question,” and the shows have often been broadcast live on TV.
“Kurutta Taiyou” and Continuing Musical Maturity
In 1990, the band threw themselves back into touring, and over the summer, released an album called “Symphonic Buck-Tick in Berlin,” featuring orchestral versions of some of their songs performed by the Berlin Chamber Orchestra. In the fall, they went back to the studio to work on their sixth album, “Kurutta Taiyou” (“Crazy Sun.”) They spent much more time on this album than any of their previous ones, and the difference was noticeable. The sound was much deeper and more sophisticated, and used many more studio production effects than they ever had before.
It was at this point that the direction of the band began to change subtly, as Sakurai began to write almost all of the lyrics, and exert his creative influence more. Around this time, Sakurai was married to the band’s stylist, Sayuri Watanabe, but they quickly divorced (the band later got a new stylist, Mr. Takayuki Tanizaki, who is still working for them). Sakurai’s mother, who he had been very close to, also passed away, and due to the band’s busy touring schedule, he was unable to visit her before the end. In interviews, Sakurai said that the pain he felt from these events strongly influenced his lyrics, and that this was when he started writing about real emotions, rather than what he thought was cool. Subsequently, he changed the first kanji in his name from the standard character 「桜」(“sakura”) to the older version 「櫻」, and since then has brought a continuously evolving sense of melancholy and psychological depth to the band’s lyrics.
“Kurutta Taiyou” was released on February 21, 1991. On February 24, the band performed a unique concert called “Satellite Circuit,” which was recorded in a studio with no audience and then broadcast on television and at special concert halls around the country.
In 1992, Buck-Tick released their first compilation album, titled “Koroshi no Shirabe This is Not Greatest Hits” (“The Songs of Murder This is Not Greatest Hits”) As the title suggested, it wasn’t a typical best-of album. Instead, the band had spent many hours in the studio re-recording (and in some cases radically changing) songs they had already released. A tour followed the album, culminating in a two-day live event called “Climax Together,” which took place at Yokohama Arena on September 10 and 11. The event had been put together specifically to be filmed, and great care had been taken with the lighting and design—for greater dramatic effect, the stage was even set up along the long side of the hall and obscured by a gigantic scrim which was dropped partway through the set.
On May 21, 1993, Buck-Tick released the single “Dress,” which became one of their best-known and best-loved songs, and was re-released in 2005 and used as the opening theme for the anime series “Trinity Blood.” Soon after, on June 23, Buck-Tick released their seventh studio album, “Darker Than Darkness –style 93-” a loose concept album focusing on death. The album confused fans because after the last recorded track (track 10), the CD skipped 83 tracks and picked up at track 93, which began with strange buzzing noises and slowly evolved into a song, “D-T-D”. This technique was rare in Japan at that time, and apparently some fans tried to return their CDs to stores, claiming that they were broken. On this album, the band also began to experiment with different instruments—Hoshino played keyboards, and during live shows, Sakurai tried his hand at the saxophone. Both Sakurai and Hoshino played these instruments on the band’s next album, “Six/Nine,” as well.
Released on May 15, 1995, “Six/Nine” was an even more psychological, conceptual album than “Darker Than Darkness” had been. Before the album was released, the band had another set of video concerts, featuring equally conceptual music videos for each song, directed by Hayashi Wataru. One of the songs, “Itoshi no Rock Star,” featured Issay (formerly of Der Zibet) on backing vocals. Issay also appeared with the band on the tour.
Label Management Changes, “Cyberpunk” years
In 1996, Buck-Tick broke from Shaking Hands, Inc, and started their own management company, Banker Ltd., of which Toll is president, and started their new fan club, Fish Tank. On June 21, they released their ninth album, “Cosmos,” which featured a brighter sound than was usual for the band and also marked their first foray into electronic, cyberpunk-influenced music in such songs as “Living on the Net.” Unfortunately, the tour for the album had to be cancelled halfway through. Sakurai, while in Nepal doing a photo shoot for the band, fell seriously ill with peritonitis. When he was told how serious his condition was, he begged to be flown back to Tokyo so that if he died, he could die at home, but once back in Japan he felt so relieved that he was able to recover.
In 1997, following on the heels of Sakurai’s illness was more upheaval for the band as they changed labels from Victor Invitation to Mercury/Polygram. They played make-up shows for the concerts that had been cancelled the previous year. On December 10, they released their tenth studio album, “Sexy Stream Liner,” marking the maturation of their new cyberpunk style, which emerged in their visual image as well, with the band sporting tattoos and electronic gadgetry on their costumes. Imai began to incorporate the use of theremin into Buck-Tick’s live shows and even into their recordings, beginning with the song “My Fuckin’ Valentine.”
On May 13, 1998, Buck-Tick released the single “Gessekai,” which was used as the opening theme to the anime series “Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective.” Shortly after this, on the wave of the anime boom, Japanese music began to gain popularity on the Western internet, and “Gessekai” was the song that first introduced Buck-Tick to many foreign fans.
Later in 1998, and continuing in 1999, the various Buck-Tick members involved themselves in many collaborations with other artists (more info in the collaborations section.) However, they continued to release singles as a band.
In 2000, Buck-Tick changed labels for a second time, leaving Mercury/Polygram for BMG funhouse, which remains their current label. Their popularity had been growing overseas, especially in Korea, and the band went to Korea for the first time. They were greeted enthusiastically by fans at the airport, and they held a formal interview, but did not perform live. Later, in 2001, they returned to Korea and played at the SoYo Rock Festival in Seoul. It poured rain on the day of the festival and the band were drenched during their set, but nonetheless, the crowd was ecstatic.
On September 20, 2000, BUCK-TICK released One Life, One Death, their first studio album in nearly three years, and played a tour to support the album. In addition to this, Sakurai and Imai became involved in a supergroup called Schwein, with Raymond Watts and Sascha Konietzko, which released two albums and toured Japan in August 2001.
On March 6, 2002, Buck-Tick released their twelfth studio album, “Kyokutou I Love You”, which was initially scheduled to be released as a double album with “Mona Lisa Overdrive.” Ultimately the two were released separately and “Mona Lisa Overdrive” came out the following year in February. However musically, the two albums feed into each other in a continuous loop. The last track on “Kyokutou I Love You” is an instrumental which becomes the bottom musical layer of the first track on “Mona Lisa Overdrive.” Likewise, the last track on “Mona Lisa Overdrive” contains samples from the first track on “Kyokutou I Love You.” The album title “Mona Lisa Overdrive” is an overt reference to the William Gibson novel of the same name, cementing Buck-Tick’s place in cyberpunk culture.
Solo Projects and Gothic Years
In 2004, Buck-Tick largely suspended activities in order for the band members to work on individual musical projects. The only band member who did not release music during this time was Hoshino, who went on to form the band dropz in 2006. Buck-Tick did play a few shows together, though, including two huge concerts at Yokohama Arena that were a reprise of their “Climax Together” shows 12 years before. The 2004 shows were appropriately named “Devil and Freud –Climax Together–.”
April 6, 2005 saw the release of “Juusankai wa Gekkou” (“13th Floor with Moonshine”) which also happened to be the band’s thirteenth major label studio album. “Juusankai” was a concept album inspired by Sakurai’s solo project that focused on the idea of “Goth,” and despite the residual gothic image Buck-Tick had been cultivating for years, it was a significant departure from any of their previous work. Special care was taken with the sets and costumes for the tour. The live shows were very dramatic, and the band even hired a clown (Gaetano Totarou) and a ballerina (Becky Janik) to perform with them at some of the shows. At this time, visual kei and Gothic & Lolita had been growing significantly in popularity and with “Juusankai wa Gekkou,” Buck-Tick gained a large number of new fans among teenage girls domestically and overseas who admired the visual gothic style.
20th Anniversary
In 2006, Buck-Tick prepared to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a major-label band, and released a tribute album containing covers of their own songs performed by 13 different artists, including Kiyoharu, J, abingdon boys school and Rally (composed by members from Glay and ex-members from thee michelle gun elephant and The Mad Capsule Markets). They also released a single, “Kagerou,” which was used as the ending theme for the anime series “XxxHolic.”
In 2007, they released their anniversary single “Rendezvous,” and embarked on a tour celebrating their anniversary and tribute album. The tour had a unique format: at each show, a different artist from the tribute album performed with Buck-Tick. The tour culminated in a giant festival called “Buck-Tick Fest 2007 on Parade,” which was held on September 8 at Minato Mirai in the Yokohama port. It lasted all day and featured all 13 artists off the tribute album. Each of the guest artists and Buck-Tick played a set, and as a grand finale, there was a fireworks show over the bay.
Recent Activities and Future Plans
Soon after this, on September 19, Buck-Tick released their fifteenth studio album, “Tenshi no Revolver.” Though they continued using gothic elements, they discarded the use of synth for this album, the concept for which was “band sound.” The band held a long national tour to support the album, which lasted until December. Also in December, the Japanese cellular phone company SoftBank released special-edition Buck-Tick mobile phones that had been designed by the band members.
The band recently finished work on a new album. This album's name is "Memento Mori" and it was released on February 18th, 2009. According to Sakurai, this album will continue to explore the idea of “straight rock."
After the release of new album, they then went on to perform an extended concert tour spanning three months. The final concerts were held at Tokyo’s NHK Hall.
Buck-Tick was most strongly influenced by Western rock, especially British post-punk from the 1970’s and 80’s, though they cite a few Japanese influences as well. The influences that the band members collectively name the most often are Love & Rockets, Robert Smith, and Bauhaus (the band admitted to going together to see Peter Murphy live.) They also mention the Sex Pistols and XTC. Imai was especially influenced by Love & Rockets, and this is very evident on BUCK-TICK’s album “Kurutta Taiyou.” He was also influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra, Kraftwerk, Ultra Vox and other new wave and electronic acts, and the Japanese band The Stalin. Sakurai was hugely influenced by David Bowie, and he even played a cover of David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” at his solo live in 2004. He is also influenced by post-punk/first wave goth acts such as The Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Clan of Xymox, and the Japanese artists Der Zibet and Masami Tsuchiya. He claims to love “dark” music in general. Hoshino and Yagami love The Beatles. Yagami is also a fan of Led Zeppelin and other classic punk/metal acts like Kiss and The Clash.
At this point, Buck-Tick have influenced as many bands as they have been influenced by. They are regarded as one of the major founders of the visual kei movement, and many prominent visual rock artists openly admire them. Kiyoharu (formerly of Kuroyume and SADS) interviewed Sakurai twice on his personal radio show in conjunction with Buck-Tick’s anniversary festival and declared Sakurai to be “so hot” and “a wonderful person.” Takanori Nishikawa, apart of T.M.Revolution, is another open fan of Buck-Tick, and interviewed the entire band on the TV program Pop Jam. Well-known visual rockers Tatsurou (of MUCC), Yuu (of Merry), Aie (of deadman), Lay (of Fatima), and Tsuyoshi (of Karimero) even formed a Buck-Tick cover band called Bluck-Tlick. Kyo, vocalist of Dir en grey, has also mentioned that he was inspired to become a rock star when he saw a picture of Atsushi Sakurai on the desk of a junior high school classmate.
Musical Style
Buck-Tick’s music has changed and evolved hugely over the course of their career. They called their early work “positive punk.” It used simple rhythms and chords, with the songs mostly in major keys and the lyrics most of times using some English words. Starting with “Taboo,” they experimented with a darker sound, which grew more mature with “Kurutta Taiyou.” With “Darker Than Darkness –style 93–” they delved into a harsher, more hard-rock sound, which has persisted in their work ever since, and which they combined with electronica on all their albums up through “Mona Lisa Overdrive.” More recently, with “Juusankai wa Gekkou,” they have deliberately adopted a “goth” concept, which they combined with a retro rock-n-roll sound for their most recent album, “Tenshi no Revolver.”
Some elements that persist throughout their music are resounding, jangling guitar chords, throbbing, prominent bass lines, harsh roars of electronically distorted noise, and ambivalent melodies that wander between major and minor keys, as well as Sakurai’s distinctive rich baritone voice. Sakurai is famous for the erotic decadence of his lyrics (which are now predominantly in Japanese), but he also often addresses existential psychological themes. Imai has written many songs that read like science fiction stories, involving genetic engineering and computer hackers, but more recently has branched out into simple love songs.
Members' Solo Projects
Hisashi Imai
In 2004, Imai formed a band called “Lucy” with Kiyoshi (of Spread Beaver and Media Youth) and Okazaki Katsuhige. The concept was rock-n-roll, and the band was very influenced by hide’s music. They have released two albums to date, “Rockarollica,” and “Rockarollica II,” and they have toured in Japan multiple times. Both Imai and Kiyoshi did vocals and guitars, and wrote music and lyrics for the group.
Atsushi Sakurai
Atsushi Sakurai is the only Buck-Tick member to have released material as a solo artist under his own name. In 2004, he collaborated with a number of artists to produce a solo album, “Ai no Wakusei” (“Planet of Love.”) He wrote all the lyrics and performed all the vocals, and his collaborators each wrote a song or two for him. Most of the songs express Sakurai’s personal preferences—they are dark, jagged, and atmospheric. Some of the composers on the album include Wayne Hussey (of The Sisters of Mercy), Robin Guthrie (of Cocteau Twins), Xymox, Jim Foetus, Okamura Yasuyuki, Cube Juice, Raymond Watts (of PIG), Masami Tsuchiya (formerly of Ippu-Do), and Taiji Satou (of Theater Brook.) In addition to releasing the album, Sakurai released three singles and a DVD of his solo live performance. He also starred in “Longinus,” a short vampire film directed by Ryuuhei Kitamura.
Toll Yagami
Yagami Toll released a solo album “1977/Blue Sky” with a band called “Yagami Toll and the Blue Sky.” The album consists of one long continuous track of largely instrumental electronica, and was a concept album that dealt with the death of Yagami’s older brother in 1977. Yagami’s brother had played the drums, and it was his death that had inspired Yagami to become a drummer.
Yutaka Higuchi
Higuchi’s solo project was a band called Wild Wise Apes, and included Higuchi on bass and Okuno Atsushi (formerly of Rogue) on vocals. The group released an album, “3rd World,” and performed two live shows near Buck-Tick’s home town in Gunma.
Hidehiko Hoshino
Hoshino didn’t have his own solo project until 2007, when he started dropz, a band including Hoshino on guitars, programming and keyboards, Kelli Ali (formerly Kelli Dayton of Sneaker Pimps) on vocals, and Cube Juice on programming and synthesizers. Hoshino started the band because he wanted to experiment with electronic music. He wrote all the music in an electro-pop style with a slight trip-hop influence. Kelli Ali wrote the lyrics in English. The group released one album, “Sweet Oblivion,” but has not yet performed any live shows.
Notable Collaborations
One of the things Buck-Tick is most famous for is their numerous collaborations with other artists, the most notable of which are detailed below.
Genet, vocalist of Japanese goth band Auto-Mod, is good friends with Yagami and occasionally writes about him on his blog. Yagami supported Auto-Mod at their live in Shinjuku Loft in 2006 (the live was part of a set of shows celebrating the venue’s 30th anniversary.) Selia, the backup vocalist, was introduced to Buck-Tick through Genet and performed backing vocals on the songs “Mr. Darkness and Mrs. Moonlight” and “Revolver” on Buck-Tick’s 2007 album “Tenshi no Revolver.”
Buck-Tick played a “double booking” live alongside Kyosuke Himuro, formerly of Boøwy on October 6, 1990, at the Maebashi Green Dome in Gunma prefecture. Other former Boøwy member Hotei Tomoyasu remixed Buck-Tick’s song “Muchi no Namida” for their “Sasayaki” single. Both bands hail from the same town in Gunma and Kyousuke Himuro went to high school with the Buck-Tick members.[25]
[edit] Cube Juice
Cube Juice, a solo electro artist who made his debut in 1999, is still not well known, but has collaborated with Buck-Tick members multiple times. He wrote the music for “Fantasy” and “Tensei,” two of Sakurai’s solo songs. He also appeared as a guest at Sakurai’s solo live to play synth during “Fantasy.” In 2007, he was part of dropz, along with Hoshino and Kelli Ali.
Guniw Tools
Guniw Tools was made up of Full on vocals and Asaki and Jake on guitar. Imai wrote the music to the song “Grazing” on their album “Dazzle” (1998). Full also directed the music video for Buck-Tick’s single “Candy” (1995). After the breakup of Guniw Tools, Asaki went on to form Age of Punk with Okazaki Katsuhige, who was the drummer for Lucy and former support drummer for Guniw Tools. Age of Punk performed with Buck-Tick on the Okinawa stop of their Parade tour in 2008, and they also performed at the On Parade festival in 2007. Jake (born Masatomo Kawase) went solo and went under the name CloudChair. He arranged the song “Neko” for Sakurai’s solo album “Ai no Wakusei” (2004) under this name, and also played guitar in Sakurai’s session band during his solo tour.
Issay, formerly the vocalist of Der Zibet, had Sakurai as a guest vocalist in several of his releases, including the song “Masquerade” off Der Zibet’s album “Shinshunki II –Downer Side–” (1991) and the song “Koi no Hallelujah,” off his solo album “Flowers” (1994) on which Hoshino also played guitar. In addition, Issay did guest vocals on the song “Itoshi no Rock Star” on BUCK-TICK’s album “Six/Nine,” and participated in the album tour. Issay is also a great friend of Sakurai and the two have been interviewed together many times.
Luna Sea
Buck-Tick toured with Luna Sea and Soft Ballet on a five-stop tour in 1994 called the “LSB tour,” which also included the band Schaft.
Marilyn Manson
Buck-Tick opened for Marilyn Manson when he played at Tokyo Bay NK Hall and Osaka-jo Hall in September 2003.
Raymond Watts
Raymond Watts, of PIG, has collaborated with the members of Buck-Tick on numerous occasions. He participated in the creation of Schaft’s album “Switchblade” (1994), and he wrote the music to the song “Yellow Pig” for Sakurai’s solo album “Ai no Wakusei” (2004). PIG opened for Buck-Tick on their 4-date “Energy Void” tour in 1999. In addition, Raymond Watts was also was a member of Schwein and participated in the Schweinfest tour in 2001.
Schaft was an electronic music group consisting of Hisashi Imai, Maki Fujii (of Soft Ballet), and Motokatsu (of the Mad Capsule Markets). They released songs for the omnibus albums “Dance 2 Noise 001” (October 21st 1991) and “Dance 2 Noise 002” (March 21 1992) as well as their own solo album, “Switchblade,” (September 21, 1994) in which Raymond Watts participated. They also performed with the “LSB tour.”
Schwein was an industrial rock group formed in 2001, consisting of Atsushi Sakurai, Raymond Watts, Hisashi Imai, and Sascha Konietzko (of KMFDM.) Lucia Cifarelli (also of KMFDM) helped write some of their lyrics. They released one studio album, “Scheweinstein,” and one remix album, “Son of Schweinstein,” both in 2001. They also performed a short tour in Japan, in which Konietzko did not participate (their support band consisted of Bryan Black, Jules Hodgson, Andrew Selway, and Arianne Schreiber).
Soft Ballet
Maki Fujii has collaborated with Buck-Tick on a number of occasions. He appeared in the band Schaft along with Imai, and also played in the session band that performed with Sakurai at his solo live concert. Ken Morioka played the keyboards on Buck-Tick’s album “Seventh Heaven.”
The Stalin
Back in the days of Hinan Go Go, Buck-Tick played covers of songs by The Stalin. Much later, in 1995, Imai made a guest appearance on the Stalin album “Shinda Mono Hodo Aishite Yaru Sa” (“I’ll love you as much as a dead thing”). Stalin frontman Michiro Endo covered Buck-Tick’s song “Sasayaki” for their tribute album in 2006. He also performed alongside Buck-Tick on the Fukuoka stop of their Parade tour in 2007, and he appeared at the ON PARADE festival, where he played a song called “Illusions of Warsaw” with Imai as a guest guitarist.
Theater Brook
Taiji Satou, vocalist and guitarist for Theater Brook, wrote the music to the song “Taiji” for Sakurai’s solo album “Ai no Wakusei” (2004). Sakurai performed “Taiji” live as a guest of Theater Brook at the Niigata Live Aid event on January 23, 2005. Theater Brook also appeared at the On Parade festival in 2007.


BLOOD was a Japanese band that was active from 2002 to 2009. BLOOD's aim was to create music that expresses the meaning of human emotion that breaks the musical frame. They were closely associated with visual kei, but the band referred to themselves as a "gothic band".
They have toured in Japan, Europe, the United States, Mexico and Australia. They're one of the first Japanese visual kei bands to tour in Australia. BLOOD was regularly featured in the Gothic & Lolita Bible and they have been featured in western magazines, including Astan, Rumore, and Gothic Beauty.
BLOOD was formed in February 2002 in Osaka, and has separate "periods" defined by changing concepts. The band was formed when members Kiwamu and Kaede recruited Dai and Taichi to their duo project. During the first period they released three singles, "Bloodtype", "Morphine/Collector", and "Tsuioku ~I Remember You~".
On February 10th 2003, the vocalist Dai left. BLOOD began their second period with new vocalist Takeshi and released the mini-album "Blood". BLOOD performed twice in the USA at Fanime in 2003 and Anime Expo during the same year. They also released their third and fourth demo tapes. On February 29th 2004, Taichi and Takeshi left the band. BLOOD performed again at Fanime in May with their new vocalist Fu-ki. This was his first time performing with the band in America.
With new vocalist Fu-ki's entry into the band, BLOOD began to move their music in a more hard rock direction. The third period had a vampire concept. Their next series of albums would follow a vampire story much in the vein of Anne Rice's novels, with the story penned entirely by Fu-ki and music writing handled solely by Kiwamu.
In the winter of 2004, they released "VENGEANCE for BLOOD" and began their worldwide tour, starting in Europe. Soon after, BLOOD was interviewed on the radio show Bad Transitions on 91.7 WIXQ FM, a college radio station based in Millersville, Pennsylvania. The show was also broadcast by internet webcast.
During a tour in May 2005, played three shows in Mexico City. That summer (July 2005), they released "VENGEANCE for BLOOD 2" and another European and Mexican tour followed. During the Mexican tour, they filmed their first full-length live DVD "VENGEANCE for BLOOD - Live in Mexico". Early in 2006, they released the final chapter in their vampire concept, "VENGEANCE for BLOOD 3". 2,000 copies were pressed, and it sold out in 4 days.
In November 2006, they did another interview on WIXQ FM, this time on the newly formed J-Rock show, Tainted Reality, hosted by former Bad Transitions host Roger Shackelford. The following month (March 2006), they did their last tour with the vampire concept though Europe and a special live event in Japan.
Shortly after, they announced a US and Mexico tour (Les Fleurs Du Mal). The USA tour sold out at both stops in Los Angeles and New York City.
With the vampire concept finished, BLOOD was faced with a new beginning. They continued in the Hard rock direction and they started a new concept based on the poetry of the French poet, Charles Baudelaire.
They released their first mini-album under the french poetry concept entitled "Spleen ~Despair~" on October 7, 2006. Another tour of Europe followed, as well as and an announcement of a US mini-tour for March 2007. "Les Fleurs du Mal" was released on July 7 2007 in both Regular and Limited Edition, The Limited including the Darkest Labyrinth Vol.1 tour documentary. In this period, Kiwamu opened Cure distribution (Now known as Darkest Labyrinth) which aims to distribute foreign CD's in Japan, with GPKISM, Spectrum-x, Virgins O.R Pigeons and Noir du'Soleil being some of the artists currently signed.
Almost a month after the release of "Les Fleurs du Mal" BLOOD released "Best Collection 2002-2007", composed of 4 songs from the first 2 era's of the band and the 12 from the present period.
Afterward, the band worked on their concept, "Symphony of Chaos", which follows a Gothic Industrial sound. EP "Dead-Hearted" was released September 9 2007 and is the first of their works in the Symphony of Chaos concept. The track 'Blood' being a cover of a previous era and also includes Exo-Chika of Aural Vampire as a guest vocalist. Their single "Chain" was then subsequently released in December 2007 and other than a limited re-release of a "VENGEANCE for BLOOD" CD. In early 2008 the band activities were relatively silent.
Breaking the silence, the band released "The Reaper Behind Me", the first full length album from the new concept. The CD contained two discs in which the second contained 10 remixes of songs from and prior to the album.
Following the album's release the band toured Australia with GPKISM and Aural Window.
In September 2007, Kiwamu joined GPKISM headed by GPK (Gothique Prince Ken) of Australia as the guitarist. The band recruited Ryonai (Blam Honey) on live keyboards and have released 1 album and 1 single, gaining them some notoriety.
It was announced on November 20, 2008 through their official MySpace page that BLOOD will cease activities after their 2009 album Lost Sky and their final tour, entitled "La Fin de la Journee".
Kaede and Ryo did not participate in the final tour. Gothique Prince Ken (better known as GPK) filled in on keyboard.
Fu-ki – vocals
Kiwamu – guitar, programming, VJ
Kaede – bass guitar, synth-bass
Ryo – keyboard
Former members
Dai – vocals
Takeshi – vocals
Taichi – guitar, programming
Guest members
Yuu – guitar (of Suicide Ali)
Juya – guitar (of D'Air)
Noa – guitar (of Brand 0)
Emily Rose – vocals (of Hallows End)
Exo-Chika – vocals (of Aural Vampire)

1st Period (1 April 2004)
1st Period DX (23 July 2005)
2nd Period DX (23 July 2005)
Vengeance for Blood DX Limited Edition (1 July 2006)
Les Fleurs Du Mal (7 July 2007)
Vengeance for Blood Integral Edition (26 March 2008)
The Reaper Behind Me (7 May 2008)
Lost Sky (28 Jan 2009)
Blood (7 February 2004)
Vengeance for Blood (17 December 2004)
Vengeance for Blood 2 (9 July 2005)
Vengeance for Blood 3 (14 February 2006)
Spleen -Despair- (7 October 2006)
Dead-Hearted (15 September 2007)
"Bloodtype" (8 August 2002)
"Morphine/Collector" (15 November 2002)
"Tsuioku -I Remember You-" (追憶~I Remember You~, 30 January 2003)
"Blind" (6 August 2004)
"The Funeral for Humanity" (10 September 2004)
"Brumes Et Pluies -Mist and Rain-" (14 February 2007)
"Chain" (12 December 2007)
"Morphine" (14 February 2002)
"Tsuioku" (追憶?, 14 March 2002)
"Kuroki Chi no Zensoukyouku" (黒き血の前奏曲?, 3 May 2005)
"Hyakuoku no Hikari to Senoku no Kage" (百億の光と千億の影?, 1 July 2003)
Darkest Labyrinth (with "Fountain of Blood", 17 March 2007)
Blood Films #01 (music videos, 15 March 2003)
Live in USA -Infected with Blood- (live performance, 20 October 2003)
Vengeance for Blood Live in Mexico (live performance, 23 March 2006)