By Michael Diana
Good day, my people out there in the mortal world! Existing and sh*t… You go gurl, you got this!!! And now, back to me.
There were too many bands I wanted to introduce in this column, but there’s just not enough time as next month is my last issue. I know you’ll all miss me. I’ve got a… substantial post planned which will probably result in a lot of tl;dr type reactions, but… I’m sure you’ll all read it as my dying wish…? Or something. It’ll be a gay old time.
With that, I’m going to just post a bunch of visual kei bands’ music videos for y’all to watch.
First up… “Eiki” by Mejibray
Mejibray formed in 2011 and, on May 10th, 2017, they announced that they would halt activities by the end of the year. Too bad, but I hope they all go on to be happier, better people. When I first heard them in like… 2012, I thought they sucked, but I’ve changed my tune. I love this video in particular because it’s beautiful and features one of my fave drag queens, Dita Starmine (the blonde one, she’s gorgeous and creative and cool).
“Alive” by Arlequin (Arurukan)
The singer is a clown. Like… serving very clearly clown-inspired looks, all the time. A decent singer, they have some good songs.
“Aya” by Kiryuu
Taking over the title of “consistently ~wa~ inspired visual kei band” in a post-Kagrra, world, Kiryuu is a much heavier and faster, you could argue metal, version of the Japonesque movement that Kagrra popularized. They’re lovely.
“Mousou Akuma Shinpan” and “Zettai Tenshi Ryouiki” by Sick2
These two videos were for a double release and as such are a set. I don’t really know anything about this band other than that they are currently active and I like their singer. Get into it (by which I mean the whole band and not just the singer).
“Flora” by Baiser
I’ve mentioned Baiser before because the singer, Yukari, used to produce Rentrer en Soi (I posted about them in September), and I always wanted to talk about them more extensively, but this is gonna have to cut it. This, and some of their most iconic hits, are from their album Hana, which is a wonderful album and a bit softer than their previous work (but there’s still plenty of that old zetsubou, never you fear!)
“Billet” by Lareine
Essentially the manga Rose of Versailles as a vkei band. They’re super fake-French inspired and I LIVE. They definitely did a cover of the Rose of Versailles anime theme song. They remained active (at some points as a solo act) until like 2005 or 6, and then they let it die and Kamijo (the singer) started the band VERSAILLES (also now defunct… he’s moved on). This was one of their many hits from late 90s/early 00s.
“Love is Alive” by SHAZNA
Shazna is perhaps one of the most famous Vkei bands of the 90s. They were famous enough for singer IZAM to have appeared in one of the Crayon Shin-chan movies, and if that’s not fame then, gurl, what is? IZAM is also one of the absolute fishiest (as in, looking like a real woman) of the late 90s visual kei bands, a true beauty. Married to a woman. SHAZNA also had four members originally until the drummer was stolen from them by BAISER, I believe.