jrock news

Interview ~ RENTRER EN SOI: June 19, 2008

On the first day of AnimeNEXT 2008, Project: JRock Events (USA) got a chance to sit down with the members of Rentrer en Soi before their performance later that night. It was late afternoon and the room we sat in was dimly lit. The members seemed relaxed as we began the interview.

Please introduce yourselves and give us a quote that describes you.

Satsuki: I am Satsuki (vocalist). Um… America lover, Satsuki.

(everyone laughs)

Takumi: Umm…

Satsuki: (whispers) New York lover. (laughs)

Takumi: I came this time so I hope you guys come to Japan soon. I’m Takumi (guitarist).

Shun: I’m the guitarist Shun. I’m looking forward to tonight.

Mika: I’m Mika (drummer), the Japanese Otaku.

Ryo: I’m the bassist Ryo. I play the bass.

Last year Rentrer en Soi performed for the first time in the US. How was that experience like and is there anything new you’re looking forward to this time around?

Satsuki: I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in America again.

Takumi: From the last live that we have done, our songs have evolved also so we’re looking forward to being able to show that to everybody.

At Oni-con there was a dinner event scheduled with you guys. Unfortunately that event got cancelled. However this year you are going to have the dinner. How do you feel about meeting some of your fans in such a way?

Satsuki: If I get to have dinner with people that like us, dinner’s going to be very good. It’s going to taste well.

Oni-con was in Texas last year. How is the northeast different?

Satsuki: Because New York is close, everything feels very different. It feels very fresh. It’s a natural area.

So have you guys gone sightseeing yet?

Takumi: We don’t have the time.

Not even after the show?

Satsuki: We haven’t gotten the chance to but we do want to go. We have a very tight time schedule. Hopefully we can go tomorrow.

What would do in New York if you had the time?

Satsuki: Shopping!

Tomorrow, you guys will be doing a Q&A session with your fans. What question would you ask your fans?

Satsuki: If they could say what they like about each member.

What is the funniest question you’ve ever gotten from a fan?

Satsuki: If there’s a psychological question, we get very excited about it.


Translator: In Japan it’s call “Shinri Testo.” It literally translates to “psychological test,” which are questions like: What would you do?, with four choices to choose from.

I see.
What is your craziest fan experience?

Satsuki: In Japan we don’t really do photo-sessions. Last time we were here in Texas, having each fan sit between us and be there. That was such a crazy experience, funny but crazy experience that we had to deal with.

What is your favorite English word?

Satsuki: Alcohol.

Ryo: Beer.

Mika: Forest.

(everyone laughs)

Satsuki: (in English) He lives in forest. In Japan.

Shun: Neuron.

Very scientific.

Takumi: Propoganda.

(everyone laughs)

Satsuki: Kiss.

What is your favorite kanji?

Satsuki: Not sake? (looks at Ryo)

Ryo: Kobe. (note: kobe is eaten while drinking alcohol)

Takumi: Four.

Why four?

Takumi: I like the number 49.

Mika: Zen.

Shun: Kanji?

Takumi: … how about “itai”? (note: itai is a Japanese exclamation similar to the English word “ow”)

Shun: Shun.

Satsuki: Heart.

I knew someone was going to say that.

Satsuki: We want to be able to convey, translate what’s inside our hearts.

Earlier this year, you were supposed to come for Clash Against Commercialism but it was cancelled. You missed the chance to perform in New York City. Given the opportunity would you want to perform in NY and why?

Satsuki: Yes. Of course, yes.

All: Yes. We were really looking forward to it.

Takumi: I actually changed my cell phone to something that had a camera on it and I’m really happy this time that New York is really close.

That’s great. I hope you guys get to visit NY.
If you could pick any band to go on tour with, who would you pick and why?

Mika: Regardless of who it is, whether it’s an American band or Japanese band over here, if it’s a band that we’re friends with or that we think we admire in Japan, it would be really interesting.

Who in the music scene do you look up to and how have they influenced your music?

Satsuki: Kyo (vo. of Dir en grey). As a vocalist I’ve learned so much from him.

Now you’ve toured in both Europe and America. Are there any fun road trip stories you can share with us?

Satsuki: Every night Ryo has drinks and has gone crazy.

How have you recovered so well, Ryo?

(band members laugh)

Ryo: I don’t really recover. But if I sleep, I do.

(laughs) I remember in your blog, it often says that Ryo sleeps a lot.

Satsuki: (in English) Yes. Japanese Naturalist. Always sleep.

There is a lot of Christian or religious imagery in the PV and lyrics of your recent release, Stigmata. What brought this on?

Satsuki: When I heard the story about stigmata it actually related to the lyrics that I had already written. I didn’t really mean to use Christian or religious imagery at all but somehow it turned into that.

Can you tell us about your upcoming single, Unending Sanctuary?

Satsuki: We really think that everyone is going to like it. So everyone, please listen to it.

Are you looking forward to today’s show and can you give us a little preview of the setlist?

Satsuki: We’re looking forward to the show and we’ll be doing new songs.

Unending Sanctuary? The new single?

Satsuki: (in English) Yes.

Can we look forward to your own headlining tour anytime soon?

Satsuki: We’re ready at anytime to do that. So please, all the American fans, support us.

Do you have any last messages for your fans?

Ryo: We can only come here once in a while, so please enjoy the live.

Mika: Where I live is far, so let’s make it a good show together.

Shun: I love you.

I’m sure the fans will be happy to hear it.

Takumi: Um, can you give me a minute?

Satsuki: You are so slow!

(everyone laughs)

Takumi: …I’ll be waiting… in Japan.

Satsuki: Please love me.

(everyone laughs)

Thank you very much. Good luck with the show.

interview by Sophia; translation by Midori Maejima; photos courtesy of JHouseRock

Thank you to Rentrer en Soi for taking the time to answer our questions, and thank you to JHouseRock and to Rentrer en Soi management for arranging this interview.

jrock news

Christon Café

by Sarah While visiting Tokyo I had the good fortune of visiting one of several “themed” izakayas (Japanese bars). The name Christon Café implied two things to me: 1). It’s cathedral or spiritual themed and 2). It’s a café, therefore I can get coffee there. Well, I was somewhat right on #1 but not so much on #2. café is really just a word when it comes down to it, and I suppose Christon Café sounds nicer than Christon Bar.

In any case, Christon Café’s theme is a cross between medieval, The Crusades, Catholicism, and 16th century vampires. I’m not quire certain if there’s a singular theme, but it was decked out enough that one would think all those things. The gargoyles on the ceiling were a nice touch. The stained glass windows? Also nice. Fans of gothic architecture will want to return to this place I’m sure.

That’s really the selling point of Christon Café–that it’s like dining in the Notre Dame. I’m pretty certain you can’t dine in the Notre Dame, so Christon Café is the next best thing. All themed izakayas have a menu of signature drinks. Christon Café’s original cocktails have some very interesting names. Brown Fruits is a powerful drink (careful if you get buzzed quickly – I wasn‘t) that contains chocolate and is tasty despite its alcohol strength. Sweet Devil is a fruity, creamy cocktail best suited for sweet tongues (as the name implies). Each original cocktail has a fancy mix-up of flavors, so experiment! The food is affordable considering the high quality. It’s not often you can get filet mignon for less than thirty-two dollars. These are small dishes however, and shared between any more than three people will leave each person with merely a crumb for a portion.

Most people would be sold on the atmosphere of this izakaya, but the food, the drinks, and the prompt service will further sell Christon Café. If you can manage, try for one of Christon Café’s lush, red velvet booths. They are intimate, luxurious and fit for royalty!


Christon Café Website


jrock news

Interview ~ LM.C: July 4, 2008

maya and Aiji of the band LM.C took some time to answer our questions the day between their US debut performance at Anime Expo and their second performance at Crash Mansion in Los Angeles, CA.

How are you guys right now?

maya: Super great!

Aiji: Feeling energized!

How did you feel the live performance went yesterday?

Aiji: Finally we’re here in the US and we could really feel the audience going crazy for us.

Do you feel it could have been improved?

maya: Weelll…

Aiji: No, but I wish we had time to play more songs. Then again there is tomorrow!

Yeah speaking of that, what do you expect for tomorrow’s live?

maya: The audience might feel really hot? (Laughs) But I’m expecting them to go crazy and show lots of energy.

Were you surprised at how energetic the audience was last night?

maya: Yes. But mostly I was just really happy. Really happy!

maya, you always have a lollipop in your mouth. You like them that much?

maya: Do I? Hmm… (Laughs) I’ve never thought about why. I guess I just really like candy. I’m still a baby. I always like to have something in my mouth.

Earlier in the Q & A panel you mentioned that there’s no free time for you during this visit. If you had free time, what would you like to do?

Aiji: Yeah, anything. Just, you know, regular sight seeing. But going out, anything’s fine!

Anything? How about clubbing?

maya: If we go we might like it. (Laughs) More like, we want to go to the beach.

Aiji: Yeah definitely the beach.

maya: We don’t fit!

Aiji: Not really but…(Both laugh)

Aww, that’s not true! Also earlier, you mentioned you both came here separately on private occasions?

maya: Ah yes, I came for an audition. Guitar. Ahh… Limp Bizkit? (English) Six years ago. (Laughs)

Aiji: I came here on a trip to Hawaii. Just to go swimming. (Laughs)

How did you like Hawaii?

Aiji: Saiko!

Saiko. How do you like California?

Aiji and maya: Saiko, saiko, saiko!

maya: Very saiko! California’s really fun and interesting.

Aiji: It’s the greatest!

So you really like it, I take it.

maya: Really like it! I love the west coast. Weather’s nice. (English) Beach too.

Ahh! So compared to Japan, can you say you like one place over the other?

Aiji: Hmmm, one over the other huh? It’s very hard to say…

maya: At this moment I like it here better! (Laughs) This moment! The atmosphere is great here.

Yeah it’s summer! It’s nice. And it’s an anime convention. Did you get a chance to wander?

maya: We had time huh?

Aiji: Yeah, we went all the way around.

Ohh? What do you think of it?

maya: Oh it’s wonderful!

Aiji: It gives off a certain power. (Laughs) What I mean is, it’s like Halloween but more over the top.

A big version of a Halloween party.

Aiji: It seems very fun.

Did you recognize anybody? As in the characters they were cosplaying.

maya: We kind of knew most of them huh?

Aiji: Yes we did.

How about fans who dress up as you? There were a couple of LM.C cosplayers today.

maya: I’m really happy people did an LM.C cosplay. It’s pretty accurate too!

maya, you used to be a support musician. Why did you decide to form your own group?

maya: I had been wanting to do it for awhile, but you know, I finally found a way to make LM.C happen. It just came about naturally.

What was the hardest change to adjust to?

maya: Um, the amount of work we have to do!! (Both laugh) Yeah, it’s totally different.

You don’t like it?

maya: No, no, no, I like it. It’s still a lot of fun.

Last night you performed at the anime convention. Tomorrow it will be a live house. What’s the major difference performing between the two?

maya: Difference?

Aiji: Difference… Well, it’s a different place. (Laughs)

maya: There is a lighting difference you know. (Both laugh)

Last night’s live had an interesting lighting situation. Did you dislike it?

Aiji: There’s no like or dislike. It was just us having fun at the moment.

Well, your most recent single 88 is the opening of an anime. Do you like the series it opens for?

maya: We like it! It’s fun.

Aiji: It’s kind of weird that our song is the opening though. (Both Aiji and maya Laugh)

maya: Every week we record it!

Aiji: That’s true. We do.

That’s devotion. Well, I gotta ask… The masked guy. What’s his story?

maya: Well he does have his privacy. He needs his privacy! (Laughs)

Aiji: Yes! Limits, limits! (Both laugh)

OK, OK. Is he going to appearing in all the videos from now on?

Aiji: Yeah he’ll be in our videos.

maya: As long as his schedule is open.

Aiji: But he’s really busy. Busier than us.

It’s a shame he couldn’t make it to this interview!

maya: He’s just so busy!

Aiji: So busy!

maya: He’s working at Starbucks now! (Everyone laughs)

That IS busy! Lets talk about the titles of your songs. Bell the Cat? Sentimental Piggy Romance? How do you come up with these ideas?

maya: Hm? I just kind of thought of it… Maybe from space? (Laughs) Or a dream!

Did you aim to be different from other Jrock bands when you first started as LM.C?

Aiji: We just do whatever we want to do. So, we don’t feel like we’re unique. We don’t notice the difference between us and other bands because we don’t really think about it.

Jrock in general is getting popular here. How do you feel about that, since you are a part of its popularity after all.

maya: I never thought I could come to the US in the past. But (laughs) I want to be within the circle of Jrock artists performing here.

If LM.C had its own world, like LM.C world, what it would be like?

maya: Everything would be pink!

You like the color pink?

maya: Oh no no, it just popped into my head right now. And … (stands and looks around) The ceiling would be like…

Aiji: Outer space right?

maya: Yeah, make it like outer space.

Aiji: The floor could be tar. Like black tar. A long line of black tar all the way to the end.

You guys are really imaginative.

maya: Ah I’m sorry! (Laughs) (Aiji is laughing in the background)

Really! Is that how you guys coordinate when you create songs?

maya: Yeah that’s pretty much how it goes. (Aiji nods) (Both laugh again)

Is there ever any creative conflict between you?

Aiji: We’ve never had an arguement.

We can move on to the last question then. This is for maya. In the video for 88… your hair is really big. It’s really big. How did you get it to be that big?

maya: Ah that person over there who looks like an elementary school teacher. (Points to the hair stylist) (Everyone laughs)

(To the hair stylist) Hey good job!

Hair Stylist: (nods repeatedly in thanks and LM.C laughs louder) Maybe next time I can style your hair?

I’m looking forward to that! Thanks very much!

LM.C: (English) Thank you very much!

Interview by Sarah; photos by Kei

Thank you to LM.C for taking time to answer our questions; thank you to Pony Canyon Inc. for making this possible.

jrock news

Jasmine You Remembered

When Jasmine You, the charismatic bassist of Versailles known for wearing even more layers and frills than band-mate Hizaki, passed away, it left a gaping hole in the JRock community. The entire fanbase shared the same shock as Versailles themselves upon learning of Jasmine Youís passing. However significant the loss was, the JRock community rallied together and tributes around the world united fans in celebrating a life that was. We at JRock Events USA felt that the beauty of these tributes was worth spotlighting. Despite not knowing Jasmine You closely, despite the fact that he had been situated miles away on the other side of the world, the JRock community still took time out of their daily lives to show their remorse and their appreciation for this talented bassist. Faithful listeners of Tainted Reality were treated to a touching tribute to Jasmine You as fans spoke live their thoughts on the bassist, and a candle vigil featuring a photo of Jasmine during which the remainder of the program was silent delicately put into perspective the reality of his passing. In America there were vigils held across the nation. On August 16th there were vigils in two of JRockís most prominent cities: New York City and Los Angeles. Fans came dressed elegantly in remembrance of Jasmine. Some brought photos and magazines featuring Versailles. Others came simply with roses (Jasmine You was fond of flowers) and candles. There were vigils held in The Woodlands, Texas and Seattle, Washington as well. Organizers encouraged attendees to bring mementos of Jasmine You and signatures were collected for a banner with messages of support to Versailles as well as Jasmineís family. In Argentina, one by one, the fans approached Jasmine Youís memorial and left lilac flowers and candles eventually forming his initials, J.Y. Here, a video highlights the somber event. Perhaps one of the most touching tributes was held across Europe. In a remarkable tribute to Jasmine, fans released lilac purple balloons into the sky. Including Russia, Ukraine, and Germany over twenty countries participated in the event. The following video highlights this stunning tribute taking place in Russia. We are sure Jasmine You can hear and feel the love all the fans have given him. In retrospect, the JRock community uniting with the single purpose of paying tribute to him has been one of the more beautiful and poignant things to occur from this tragedy. It is a testament to how much love and support radiates from this community. We all share the same feelings and it is a reassurance to know that fans didnít let the memory of Jasmine You go without condolence.

Jasmine You passed away August 9, 2009. A “final farewell” (flower offering ceremony) was announced on Versaillesís official website. It will take place in Tokyo on September 22, 2009.

written by Sarah


Versailles Philharmonic Quintet Official Website
Versailles Philharmonic Quintet Official MySpace

jrock news

Project: JRock Events (USA) ~

Here you can find out about upcoming JRock-related events in the USA and check out other groups, organizations, etc, like ours. You can also read live reports and exclusive interviews with Japanese bands and artists. Please visit the about page to learn more about Project: JRock Events (USA)!

December 5, 2009: Win a signed Suicide Ali CD!

In light of our Suicide Ali interview last month, we’re giving away a signed copy of their latest album, Dai4 no Waltz! What do you have to do to get a chance at this CD? Send an email to with Dai4 no Waltz as the subject, along with your name, by December 19. If you’re the winner, we’ll contact you for your mailing address!

Good luck to all who enter!

November 20, 2009

Suicide Ali made their second appearance in the USA a year after their debut here. This time they appeared on the east coast, at Neko-con in Virginia. We got a chance to catch up with them to discuss their new member and latest album. Read more…

November 17, 2009

Halloween has passed, but we still wanted to bring you one more interview with a J-goth band. This time it’s Vanished Empire. This is the project of DJ Chihiro and Lt. Dee Lee (2Bullet), who recently released their debut album. Read more…

Tainted Reality is hosting a “Top Ten VK Albums of the Decade” and “Top Ten VK Songs of the Decade” countdown. We submitted a few of our own comments to the countdown, so be sure to check it out!

TR also just announced a tour with GPKISM and Seileen this winter! You can see those tour dates on our news section. For more information on this and the top ten countdowns, visit TR’s website.

October 29, 2009

Today we are revealing our second special Halloween interview. This one is with Gothique Prince Ken from GPKISM! You can read this interview here!

October 28, 2009

Halloween is near! And to celebrate, we’re sharing one of two Halloween-themed interviews! This first one is an email interview with Aci from THE ROYAL DEAD. If you are familiar with Tokyo Dark Castle, you probably know about them. Check out the interview here. And we have another special Halloween interview up our sleeves, so check back again soon!

We also did an interview with Kanon Wakeshima at Otakon, which you can now read here. And, don’t forget to check out our Twitter!

October 15, 2009

It’s getting colder and colder! But don’t think the cold will keep the music away. Miyavi’s added a few shows to his tour, including an appearance at PMX. Which means, this year’s PMX will have a very bright line-up with him, Uchuusentai NOIZ, and Takuya Angel. Also check out the indies band, MARBLE SHEEP, on their short US tour.

In addition, we here at JRock Events (USA) have FINALLY gotten a Twitter account! That’s right, we stopped having Twitter issues long enough to create an account! You can check it out @jrockeventsusa. Follow us to find out what’s new on JRock Events (USA), from new tour dates, to new articles, and our various musings.

September 29, 2009

Summer is coming to an end, but we aren’t done writing articles, and there’s still more tours being announced before the cold starts setting in! Dir en grey and miyavi both announced short US tours recently. We also suggest you check out FACT on their REVENGE 2009 tour.

Satsuki and auncia both appeared at Anime Expo as guests at the CURE booth, followed by a live at 2nd Street Jazz Bar in Los Angeles, CA. We had an interview with both artists–you can read auncia’s interview here and Satsuki’s interview here. And our live report for the show, here. Miss out on Satsuki? Check him out at Oni-con!

We also would like to thank CURE for their help at AX. They asked us to promote their new venture, Cure Media USA, so please check it out!

September 15, 2009

Congratulations to everyone who won tickets to see GLAY in California! Cristina and Rick both won a ticket to see GLAY in San Francisco, and Claudia and Miriam both won a ticket to see them in Los Angeles!

We also of course attended one of GLAY’s concert–you can read our live report of their show at the House of Blues in Los Angeles on September 12 here.

Last month, as we mentioned before, the JRock community lost Jasmine You, bassist of Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~. Many fans banded together to mourn his passing–we were touched by this and decided to do our own spotlight on Jasmine You–and the love shown as fans rallied together. You can read that article, Jasmine You Remembered here.

And finally, during her recent trip to Japan, our west coast representative, Sarah, visited a few “themed” izakayas (Japanese bars), and did a review on Christon Café in Tokyo. You can read that here.


home: Main page

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news: Upcoming events, tours, etc.

articles: Misc. articles including cultural articles, etc.

live reports: Live reports written by our team.

interviews: Interviews with Japanese bands/artists

reviews: CD and DVD reviews

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links: Links to affiliates and partners, as well as other links we have found useful

jrock news

Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~ at Anime USA ~ private interview

Back to the USA for their second tour, this time on the east coast, Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~ took some time out of their busy schedule to sit down with us for an interview.

This is your second time in the USA, and in the same year. Again you’re doing an anime convention, followed by a concert in a different city. How do you like this schedule?


We can promote ourselves, and also have a full live. So we are very thankful for this opportunity.

How does performing at a convention differ from performing at a live house?


When we’re at a live house, usually there are more people who come just because they love the band. At the conventions, there are a lot of people who have never heard the band before, so it’s a very different feeling.

How’s your experience at a convention? Do you get to walk around at all, or see the cosplayers?



Too busy?


If you roll out the red carpet, I will walk around.

Are you looking forward to doing anything while you are in America this time?


I’d like to compose a song.

Your recent album, Noble, also has the subtitle, Vampires Chronicle. Why is Versailles so fascinated with vampires?

Kamijo: We are decendants of the rose. Our concept is that we are decendants of the rose, and the rose is the blood running in human veins. That comparison is our aestheticism. The rose takes power and energy from our blood. Vampires Chronicle is the bloodline of our aestheticism.

Kamjio, you especially like Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, right?



You have many similarities to the main character in those books, Lestat. Is there a reason for that?

(everyone laughs)

Kamijo: Because I like him. I like his beauty and his character.

What about the rest of Versailles, have any of you read Anne Rice’s books?


I am halfway through The Vampire Lestat.

Do you like it?


Yes, I do!

Are there any other vampire stories that you like?


(English) Mmm….no. Only Anne Rice.

You released the special song Prince recently, available as a free download, and also available on the re-release of Noble. What were you trying to convey with this song?


It’s a bonus track on Noble, and it’s connected to the album. It is a continuation of that story.

Speaking of Noble, it’s now available in the USA, through Maru Music. How do you feel about that?


We are very happy. Though, if you download it, you can’t see the CD jacket, which is a vital part of enjoying the music itself.

Versailles’ costumes are very elaborate and even a little bulky. Does that make it hard to travel?



How do you overcome that?

Jasmine You:

Not all the costumes fit in the suitcase…so…I use magic! (everyone laughs)

For the rest of you who don’t have magic, how do you do it?


I wear it on the plane.

(laughing) What does security say?


It’s ok. There’s so many people all dressed up like us in Japan, so it’s no problem.

Is there a difference between your onstage and offstage personalities?


The way I look on the outside is the same as who I am on the inside.

Teru: There is a difference, but I’m not willing to say.

How do you guys deal with the long flights?



Yuki: Watch movies and drink alcohol! There were no individual screens, only one big screen, so it was hard for me to have my own time with the movie.

What movies did you watch on the way here?



Jasmine You: Kung-Fu Panda.

Versailles is French. What would you say is your favorite French food?


I don’t like French food at all.



I like American steak better.

And the rest of you?

Jasmine You:

I like French dressing on my salad.

Teru: France? Escargot!

It’s good, isn’t it?


I’m joking! (everyone laughs)

Yuki: I really love French bread!

Do you guys have a final message for our readers?


Simply, we will always be there for you. Hizaki: America and Japan are far in distance, but if we can bear the long hours of the flight, and we have patience, we can always come and see you guys. If you read this, we will always be there for you, because we love to see your smile.

interview by Melony; photos copyright Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~

Thank you to Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~ for taking the time to answer our questions; thank you to Anime USA and Tainted Reality for making this possible.


Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~ Official Website
Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintet~ Official MySpace


jrock news

Project: JRock Events (USA) ~ news

Dazzle Vision ~ Sakura-con 2010

April 2-4 – Seattle, WA – Sakura-con – more info

links ~ Dazzle Vision Official Website

Dazzle Vision Official MySpace
Dazzle Vision music on JapanFiles

Dir en grey ~ All Visible Things 2009 November 2 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live – 7pm November 3 – Dallas, TX – Trees – 7pm November 11 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre – 7pm November 13 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre – 7pm November 14 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre – 7pm November 16 – Chicago, IL – Metro – 6pm November 18 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre – 7pm November 20 – Los Angeles, CA – House of Blues Sunset Strip – 8pm November 22 – Los Angeles, CA – House of Blues Sunset Strip – 7pm November 23 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore – 7pm

links ~ Dir en grey Official Website

Dir en grey Official MySpace

GPKISM ~ 2010 tour with Seileen January 30 – San Antonio, TX – Atomix – 8pm January 31 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East – 2pm February 1 – New York, NY – Santos Party House – 7pm February 3 – Philadelphia, PA – Digital Ferret February 4 – Philadelphia, PA – TR Takeover – 8pm February 5 – Philadelphia, PA – Polaris – 8pm

links ~ GPKISM Official Website

GPKISM Official MySpace

Presented by Tainted Reality

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR ~ Sakura-con 2010

April 2-4 – Seattle, WA – Sakura-con – more info

links ~ HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR Official Website

Kaya ~ Anime USA 2009

November 20-22 – Arlington, VA – Anime USA – more info

links ~ Kaya Official Website

Kaya Official MySpace

MELT-BANANA ~ MELT BANANA with MELT-BANANA Lite USA Tour 2009 October 29 – Visalia, CA – Cellar Door October 30 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s November 1 – San Diego, CA – Casbah November 3 – Tucson, AZ – Plush November 4 – Phoenix, AZ – Hoolywood Alley November 6 – Denton, TX – Haileys November 7 – Austin, TX – FFF Festival November 8 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit November 9 – Houston, TX – Walters November 10 – New Orleans, LA – Republic November 11 – Pensacola, FL – Sluggos November 12 – Birmingham, AL – Bottle Tree November 13 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt November 14 – Gainsville, FL – Common Grounds November 15 – Tampa, FL – Crobar November 16 – Orlando, FL – Back Booth November 18 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern November 19 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 November 20 – Washington, DC – R and R November 21 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar November 22 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church November 23 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom November 24 – Boston, MA – Middle East November 25 – Hamden, CT – The Space November 27 – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk November 28 – Detroit, MI – CroFoot November 29 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop November 30 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge December 1 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry December 2 – Madison, WI – High Noon December 3 – Iowa City, IA – Picadur December 4 – Sioux Falls, SD – Nutty’s December 5 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room December 7 – Denver, CO – Bluebird December 8 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court December 10 – Missoula, MT – Badlanders December 11 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey December 12 – Portland, OR – Dante’s December 15 – Pomona, CA – Glasshouse December 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour

links ~ MELT BANANA Official Website

MELT BANANA Official MySpace

quaff ~ Anime USA 2009

November 20-22 – Arlington, VA – Anime USA – more info

links ~ quaff Official Website

quaff Official MySpace

Seileen ~ 2010 tour with GPKISM January 30 – San Antonio, TX – Atomix – 8pm January 31 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East – 2pm February 1 – New York, NY – Santos Party House – 7pm February 3 – Philadelphia, PA – Digital Ferret February 4 – Philadelphia, PA – TR Takeover – 8pm February 5 – Philadelphia, PA – Polaris – 8pm

links ~ Seileen Official MySpace

Presented by Tainted Reality

Utada Hikaru ~ In The Flesh 2010 Tour January 15 – Honolulu, HI – Pipeline Cafe January 19 – Los Angeles, CA – House of Blues Sunset Strip January 20 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues January 21 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market January 24 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore February 2 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues February 5 – Boston, MA – Paradise February 8 – New York, NY – The Fillmore at Irving Plaza

links ~ Utada Official Website

archives ~ past events

click here to view archives

jrock news

Interview ~ D’espairsRay: February 22, 2008

D’espairsRay are no strangers to America; they’ve played several concerts here, and now they’re coming back for a full US tour as part of the Rockstar Taste of Chaos. Before leaving Japan for another excursion onto American soil, D’espairsRay took some time to answer a few of our questions.

For those of our readers who may not be familiar with you yet, please introduce yourselves and the part you play.

Vo: HIZUMI / Gt: Karyu/ Ba: ZERO/ Dr: TSUKASA

D’spairsRay has performed in America quite a few times before: at various anime conventions and at JRock Revolution, where the audiences had a particular interest in Japanese music or culture. What sort of reception do you think you’ll get from audience members that may not be as open-minded about Japanese music or culture?

Actually, we don’t know what sort of reception we will receive…… but we want them to accept us as a rock band, not as just some fashion.

Since you do have a few years of experience doing lives overseas, have you noticed any changes in the Japanese music scene in America?

For the most part, the Japanese music scene has been a reflection of the American music scene. But that’s starting to change to where styles are originating from Japanese music first.

Also, is there anything you miss about America when you’re in Japan?

We miss the people we met in America. They were very kind and nice when we talked.

Last May at JRock Revolution, you only played songs from your album, MIRROR. Can we expect you to play music from earlier releases during this tour?

We may play songs from earlier releases if we want to. We always play whatever songs we want to.

MIRROR was also your last CD release, released last March. When can we expect to see your next release?

We will release a new CD around May.

In your own words, how do you think your music has changed since you first started?

When we started, we played just to spit our feelings out, but recently we play to tell something we feel to our listeners.

Do you have any goals for this year, either personal goals or goals as a band?

We don’t think about goals much. We just want to do what we have to do now.

More and more, the internet is becoming a tool for bands to gain fans. Especially for bands that have an international following, the internet is crucial. Do you think that you are using the internet to its full potential? Please explain.

We can’t say we are using its full potential. We use it to find out information we need.

One thing that Japanese bands often say when they’ve played in America is that there’s a big difference between Japanese audiences and American audiences. What’s your take on this?

It must be true because Japan is different from America. But we can’t change our music so want them to feel our music as it is.

Besides the audience’s reaction to the live show itself, there are many cultural differences between Americans and Japanese in general. For example, Japanese give gifts to band members more often than Americans. But there are still American fans that bring gifts. What’s the strangest gift you have ever gotten?

Emergency rations.

Is there anything in particular you’d like to receive as a gift from your American fans?

We prefer fans to just come to our concerts rather than give us gifts.

Turning the tables a bit, if you could give any gift to your fans OTHER than your music, what would it be?

Just two words: “Thank you.”

What hopes or expectations do you have for the Rockstar Taste of Chaos tour?

We hope that many people who don’t know D’espairsRay will come to this tour and listen to our music.

How do you feel about having the chance to do a tour like this?

A. We are looking forward to doing this tour and of course we will perform better than the other bands.

How do you feel about playing with American bands?

We have played with American bands a few times before and we got good energy from them.

Are you looking forward to doing anything in particular on this tour? Are you excited about any particular tourstop?

We are excited about the places we have never been before.

Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

Please enjoy yourselves together when you have a chance to come to our concerts.

interview by Melony; thanks to Kara for editing; photo courtesy of TOC

Thank you to D’espairsRay for taking the time to answer our questions, and thank you to Rockstar Taste of Chaos for arranging the interview.

jrock news

Interview ~ Versailles: June 1, 2008

On the last day of the convention, the members of Versailles sat down with us to talk about their upcoming album, Noble, and about performing overseas.

How do you balance all of your solo works and other bands and projects?

Kamijo: Currently everyone is doing Versailles, and nothing else.

In what way has touring in Europe helped your performances? Is there a difference?

Kamijo: I think our basic strength as a band has powered up.

If you could play in any other band, which band would you play in?

Kamijo: Versailles only.

Is it difficult to play in your clothing on stage?

Kamijo: Yes

Hizaki: Very heavy.

Teru: On the other hand, our costumes help intensify the mood.

Kamijo: If the costume is not heavy, I don’t feel like I’m standing on stage, so I add extra weights. (indicates the bottom edge of his coat where he has weights sewn in)

Hizaki: We also wear these costumes when we practice, so we don’t have problems during lives.

Jasmine: I always wear this costume, so it feels natural. To me, this is normal, so even during lives, it’s still normal.

When listening to the upcoming album, Noble, what would you like your fans to listen for?

Kamijo: The album is not completed yet, but it is a continuation from our previous album, Lyrical Sympathy, so we would like them to listen to it in connection to that.

Does having overseas fans affect the way you write your music or the way you perform?

Hizaki: On our new album, Noble, some of the songs were made after we completed our European tour, so surely we were conscious of the fact that it would be sold all over the world.

Kamijo: By playing in not only Japan, but in Europe as well, and by touching all kinds of music, we have found that our melodies are really beautiful. So on the new album, we’re trying to make the melody part even more beautiful.

What are your thoughts about attempting to connect with overseas fans?

Kamijo: Of course, from the beginning, we were aware that people from other countries were listening, and with help from the staff, we were able to debut in other countries quickly. We’re very happy about that.

Can you give us a quick description of Noble’s music?

Kamijo: For Versailles, the more we make longer songs, the greater we become. So far, I made the song The Love from a Dead Orchestra, which was eight and a half minutes long, and that was the best. But Hizaki made a song that was almost ten minutes long, and that was vexing, so next time I will have to surpass that.

Perhaps with a song longer than X JAPAN’s Art of life?

Kamijo: That’s impossible!

Hizaki: As I continue to make songs, compared to before, the things that I want to convey start to grow. Of course, I think a song that lasts for four to five minutes is easier to listen to. But there are too many things that I want to say, so it ended up being ten minutes long.

Yuki: He actually wanted to make that song even longer, but we stopped him!

Hizaki: This time there are many different songs, so we would like everyone to listen to all of them.

Jasmine: I think the quality of this album has increased compared to the last one, because more soul went into it.

What is the hardest part of recording a full album?

Kamijo: The lyrics.

Yuki: Every time we make a new album, we try to challenge ourselves with new techniques. So, raising our levels until we are able play it during recording is very difficult.

What expectations do you have of America?

Kamijo: Instead of expecting, we thought that we were the ones who were being expected of, so we felt that we should try very hard to answer those expectations.

Do you feel you achieved it?

Kamijo: (in English) Yes!

Hizaki: Hai!

Will Versailles ever play with an actual orchestra on stage?

Kamijo: Someday, maybe.

What was most difficult about starting out as a musician?

Jasmine: Music is the thing that I want to do most, so I don’t think it’s difficult. Even if I have to sacrifice everything, I still want to play music.

Hizaki: To create a new song, to select songs, is very difficult. But even though I know that it’s painfully difficult, somehow I still end up doing it.

What is your most embarrassing moment on stage?

Teru: (hides his face by Hizaki) There’s too many….

Jasmine: During a Versailles live, I jumped from a step and fell. Whenever that happens, the other members help me.

interview by Elffys and Andrea; photos by Elffys

Thank you to Versailles for taking the time to answer our questions; thank you to A-Kon and Tainted Reality for making this possible.

jrock news

Kanon Wakeshima ~ interview at Otakon 2009

Kanon Wakeshima made her US debut at Otakon in Baltimore, MD. She took some time out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions.

Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Kanon Wakeshima. I have been playing cello since I was 3 years old, and now I’m a cellist-vocalist.

This is your first time in America; how is it so far?

So far I’m very happy, and Baltimore is such a beautiful city. The ocean is beautiful, and the food is so good, and the people are so nice!

How do you feel about performing in front of such a large audience for your first performance in the US?

In America the audience gets so excited, so I had fun. The people were also in really cute costumes, and I really liked that.

Aside from playing your first concert in America, you’ve also played in Europe, and of course Japan. How are the audiences different?

In Japan, the audience tends to stay quiet, and tries to concentrate on the music, and to feel the music. But here, and also in France, the reaction is similar. The fans are trying to enjoy the music together, and they get very excited. That gives me energy on stage, and I really enjoy it. My songs are not really for making people getting excited, like rock is. So I was really surprised they got so excited, and it made me happy.

What kind of impression do you want your fans to have of your latest album, Shinshoku Dolce?

I want my fans to feel the mixture of classical and electro elements in it. Also, the title, Shinshoku Dolce. Dolce describes something sweet, and shinshoku means illusion, having a dark image. So it’s a mixture of those things. It would be good if fans feel those things.

Has your life changed since coming into the music industry?

Since my childhood, I’ve lived with music, so the environment is not really different from that.

Did you enjoy playing cello when you were younger?

When I was younger, I was just playing cello. I didn’t really think if I liked or not. I have always been playing cello.

When did you first start singing?

When I was in Junior High, I started listening to JPop. I wondered what kind of music I could create, so I started singing at that time.

Does playing cello come naturally to you?

Playing cello is something as natural as brushing my teeth.

Have you ever tried playing other instruments?

I’ve tried playing the piano and guitar, but…I realized that cello is maybe better.

Do you have any aspirations breaking into the music industry outside of Japan?

I want to have my break in Japan before I take on the world.

What influences your music?

Right now, I only write lyrics. Children’s stories and fairy tales… like the Brother’s Grimm and Mother Goose. I like that kind of thing because even though they are for children, they also have darkness to them. Those things give me inspiration.

Do you have a favorite musician or group?

In Japan, I like Mayumi Kojima, and in America, Lady Gaga. I like Lady Gaga’s costumes.

How would you categorize yourself musically?

I would say something between a little girl and a slightly more mature girl.

Many fans really like your clothing. Who makes them?

My producer, Mana-sama, designed the costume I wore today.

How did you feel when you found out you would be working with Mana?

Mana-sama is really sincere, and a gentleman choosing music and in music creation. He never gives up on what he wants to express, and I am learning a lot of things from his attitude.

Do you think any of Mana’s projects have influenced your current music?

I feel that the songs composed by Mana for my music have a similar image to the songs by Malice Mizer, Mana’s former band. Malice Mizer also tried to express the combination of light and dark, so I like the emphasis on that.

Your performance here is at an anime convention; do you like anime? What is your favorite anime?

Vampire Knight, definitely!

Any reason why you like that one?

I like the characters, and their costumes are so cute!

Can you give a message to your fans?

I am Kanon Wakeshima! I want to do as many live performances as possible, and I want to return to America, so please support me so I can come back!

interview by John; transcribed by Melony photos courtesy of Sony Entertainment

thank you to Sony and Otakon for making this possible


Kanon Wakeshima Official Website
Kanon Wakeshima Official MySpace