Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laverite origins, part 3

Once I got back from the States, we outlined a schedule: get our costumes fitted, get the photoshoot done, and get ready for the lives.

I forgot to mention that before I left for the states, we had been kicking around designs for costumes. I had a design sketched out, culled from elements of stuff I searched for frantically among the pages of VK mags on the racks of the bookstore on the corner, and a base color of green (since Yue was going with blue and Ryota with red).

The morning of the first day of my Honda commercial shoot, we met up in Shinjuku and went to the fabric shop where our costume staff gal worked.

She was going to make our costumes for free; she's a design student so it serves as good practice for her.

My design and color ended up changing completely as we discussed things; I went from green to black and white and gold. That's okay; they all know better than I do, for the time being. I forked over the money for the base materials and then I headed off to hang out with a robot and some kids.

So finally in January we went and met up with the Costume Girl and we got our fittings and last-minute adjustments done. It was this day that Ryota, Yue and I seemed to loosen up a little bit more around each other. Ryota really, really likes the Resident Evil series and had recently been talking non-stop about the 4th one. At one point he said, "Jimi, look!" and enclosed himself in that closet. Yue and I were a little confused, but I went over and opened the door, and he began to lumber after me making zombie noises. I pretended to shoot him down and made to stomp on his head (the only effective zombie killer!) and by this point he was just cracking up. I was cracking up because this seemed so unlike him.

Yue went down to the closest convenience store and bought a bunch of food for our dinner and pretty much refused to take repayment. Nice guy.

I like the costume for now but I'll be taking a more active role in my own designs from now own.

We met up for the photoshoot at a studio near Shinjuku, a fairly normal portrait studio but they also have specialized in visual bands as far back as '93. The genial older guy that was shooting us showed off his impressive collection of work; old fliers for Rentrer en Soi, Fatima (with Daisuke still in the band!), Yuki's old band way before Jinkaku Radio, and L'arc's first guitarist's next band. Also Exist Trace's first flier, when Miko was not yet the flower she is now. He also had the issue of Cure that Ryota was in back in October of '06 with his last band, RevieR.

We took loads and loads of shots. For the member shots we had to come up with thirty to forty unique poses. Yue and particularly Ryota had a difficult time coming up with something comfortable; I have experience in this kind of thing so I was finished very quickly.

Ryota really likes old Japanese music, not limited only to enka but also some older folk tunes and stuff, so the fact that photographer had the radio tuned to a station playing tunes like that seemed to have a calming effect on him.

We finished the shoots and changed out of costume as the photographer printed up the sample page. We had to pick shots for the website (group shots and profile shots), for the picture sets we'd be selling, for the flier--it was pretty intense. Oftentimes a group shot Yue would like I wouldn't like my positioning in, or if I liked one Ryota would express disapproval of his eyes, or things like that. Good thing there are only three of us for now, right?

Still, we settled on some good shots. We forked over the money for the shots and headed off: the next day, our site went public over here, linked through mixi and visunavi and the like.

By this time all our live dates were pretty much settled. All that was left was some more rehearsals, printing up the fliers, and then the first live itself.

On Valentine's Day, Ryota and I took the fliers and headed into Tokyo to distribute them.


First we hit Narciss...

Then all the way down to Meguro for Third Stage, and Rokumeikan...

In Harajuku we ran into Ryota's old boss and an old bandmate as well before we hit up the Closet Child there.

In Shinjuku, we went to Like an Edison...

Club Indies...

And the Closet Child there. We also went to the Closet Child in Ikebukuro.

This is the whiteboard in my apartment on which I wrote information about or first live for anyone wanting to come, not really thinking anyone would:

The last thing left to do was one more rehearsal on Saturday, and then the live the next day.

After the rehearsal on Saturday I started getting really nervous. I developed a headache and my stomach was acting up. I had originally planned to do some necessary shopping when I returned from rehearsal but I was feeling so awful that I ended up going to sleep at only eight in the evening. Still, it was nice to get enough sleep for the day ahead...


zytroop said...

The boots make you look freakishly tall compared to your band mates :P

I'm immensely enjoying these posts so don't you dare stop posting.

I look forward to a future post about shaving your legs because of your new stocking/garter look :)

zytroop said...

And also: AWESOME!

inertia said...

It's so interesting to hear how you came to join them. I'm surprised you're writing about it so openly and with so much detail.

Well, I'm looking forward to the concert. (and please save a CD for me ^^)

Xio said...

I lol'd verily at the Resident Evil hijinks. It seems like it came out of nowhere, I don't know if I would've realized what he was referencing as quickly as you did.

Lovin' these :D keep it up!

lenshie said...

your posts are very interesting and informative! Congrats on your debut. ive been following your posts since the honda cm one. Can't wait for the next one!

Ito said...

but no really, this is fsking awesome. I can't wait to hear more, and I'm excited to hear you music as well
(sorry, I read your blog a lot, I'm just usually too lazy to post XD)

Jen said...

your posts are very interesting :D its cool that you don't mind sharing so much. congrats! I found your blog while searching for info on exist trace, so thanks for that too :)

Rohan said...

Cliff hangers--Gah~!

But I'm also enjoying these posts! :3 Keep em coming, ja?

Asari said...

It is a great thing you're sharing this all. It is very interesting stuff to read. And I like the shots, the colors really blend in and you all look pretty cool as a band.

Congratulations on your first live ;).