Sunday, June 29, 2008

Live Report 6/24/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, OZxBONE, Ray, Velllapis


A band had canceled at the last minute, and we were asked to play in their stead with short notice on a Tuesday afternoon. I got my afternoon covered, worked my morning shift, and rushed over to Narciss to find myself only 15 minutes late and still significantly earlier than many other bands' members. (From now on, I'll work my morning shift and then go to the live, instead of taking the whole day off.)


We went smack dab in the middle, 3rd band of the evening.

There were four people there for us. And in total there were probably eight people in the whole place.

It was dead. As were we:


That's an accurate depiction of how we felt in our heads, but actually when we got out on stage we had quite a bit of fun and played well.

Ray were nice guys with a really cool singer who exuded masculinity, and OZxBONE are our live buddies. Their bassist quit, but honestly with just the 3 of them it seems to work well. Masahiro (v&g) plays lefty so he and Ken-Ken make this nice-looking V-shape between them that highlights the drummer in the back. You can't plan that sort of thing. And even with only four people for them as well, they played fantastically. Masahiro appealed to those of us band members sitting at our merch tables, and we all got into the set with him, having more fun than we thought we would. It was almost touching.

I'm just glad we didn't have to pay that night! It was a special request direct from Narciss so we only had to pay for equipment rental and recording and stuff.

Next one is on Tuesday, free, and I have no clue who's playing with us. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

On the Lookout #1


LAVERITE is going to be in "V ROCK STAR" magazine (003), on sale 7/20!

A few days ago we got interviewed questionnaire-style, so there will probably just be our picture, a brief bio, and then our dinky little Q&A. :D

If you can, please pick it up!

So, there's one of the surprises down. The other one I'll let you guys know about in July. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Live photos


Marius got some shots of us!




And him, Wolf, and me at the end of the night. Thanks guys!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Live Report 6/15/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Atomic Tornado, OZxBONE, Diz-, Denial, Zack's Hidetora Stargazer


First things first: the day before the live, I met up with Shuurei and his pal Mike, both formerly of Okinawa, for some chill out/make new friends time.

From L to R: Shuurei, pizza, Mike

That was a lot of fun, and it was a great way to get psyched for the next day's show.

We went up first, again, although with a setlist that I was really proud of, and a new song at the end ("Solidarity") that most of the crowd seemed to like. I was having a lot of fun, Ryota was moving more than usual (that is to say, moving at all!), etc. Coming off stage, it was the first time that all three of us were at least somewhat satisfied with ourselves.

We came out after our set to meet up with Faith, Shuurei, Mike, and then Marius and Wolfgang, who had some awesome tales of run-ins with Vagu Project and Danger Gang to tell me about. It was awesome to see those guys again. Marius took some live pictures of us so I hope I get to see those sometime!


Next was Diz-, hard and heavy, and their guitarist was a big, big guy. Go big guys in VK.

Then OZxBONE, who are our buddies, and way nice, and they're jokey and silly and SMG-y and there's some cutesy manzai in the middle of their set, so good job, boys.


Atomic Tornado was extremely talented. The guitar solos and twin parts were great, and they all had good presence, and the vocalist had this great 80's metal voice, strong and pure like harsh winter sunlight or something overblown and power-metally like that.

A band called DENIAL was after them, and I really like crisp 7-string guitar playing, and they were solid performers, but there was no bassist, although there was a bass displayed predominantly on stage.


Then uNruSt, who came out to this brutal intro music and then for their first song played something down-tempo, light, and sorta limp, but they got better over their set.

And finally, Zack's Hidetora Stargazer, with Hidetora on vocals, formerly of G.O.ZVII, a band that Yue really respects. Hidetora actually works at Narciss, and he's such a nice guy and gives us fantastic advice and encouragement. They played some GOZVII songs, some Akira songs, and a cover of the Pillows' "Hybrid Rainbow".

The other 5 Americans all had to jet so we made our goodbyes. I was so glad they came out to support me; I'm often quite overwhelmed by how nice people can be.

There's supposed to be a video of me, Ryota, Yue, and our staff girl trying the chocolates that Miss Thrillz sent us, but youtube is not being friendly and that's sad because it's a quaint little thing.

I got a bag full of snacks from one fan, which was really great. We sold quite a few photo sets, and people wrote really nice things on the questionnaires. Also, one fan bought this for Yue:

One thing that's a little bit of a bummer about going first is that we spend all our time in the downstairs backstage area instead of the 3rd floor one with all the other bands of the night, so there's much less interaction. Ah well.

So we got asked to play a special live on 6/24(a band canceled, so other than equipment rental we play for free), which should be interesting. I wonder if anyone will come out on such short notice.

There are a couple of little Laverite-related surprises coming up, so I'll let you all know when I can give away more details.

On 7/26 we're playing with Byakura again (yay!) and in August we'll play with a band called Az:Madius, and at least one if not all of the members are ladies, so it seems. And, on 9/24, we will play our first show at Takadanobaba AREA! :D

Thursday, June 12, 2008




Why hello little feather-brained American piggy; what joy do your contents bring?...


Why, they bring a buttload of ecstasy is what they bring! Postcards in the back, super-interesting chocolate that I can't wait to share with the guys, more killer fanart, and an incredibly sweet letter that came as perfect encouragement at a perfect time... also three myyyyyysteryyyy boxes!!!


Because I am a gentleman, I did not peek into the two boxes not meant for me. In my box, there was that cute piggy LED keychain (which is seriously going to be useful on stage if something's wrong with mics or speakers), a sweet card-themed lighter (which is eerily reflecting my current obsession with card manipulation), and a startlingly beautiful necklace. I then realized that the thing could open, and I started thinking about what I could put inside...


...but there was already something in there! And it was the absolute most appropriate picture she could have put in there. I literally laughed with delight when I saw it.

This was all from our very own Miss Thrillz, who really did not have to send me even a letter, let alone a WHOLE BOX full of stuff. I was so, so, so happy to get it, to open it, and be affected by the surprises, and the other boys just cannot WAIT for the live on Sunday to get their shares. So a HUGE thanks to her, because things like that help you keep going forward. :)

The next live is this Sunday, and Shuurei, M., and Wolf will be in attendance because they have nothing better to do. ^_^ (Actually, apparently there's a Versailles live they could go to, but instead they're coming all the way out to Saitama! :'))We're going first though, again, which is kind of frustrating but so it goes.

There's also a small Laverite-related surprise in the works, so I'll update y'all when I'm allowed to.

Man, there be some good people in the world. :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

First fanmail!


Look at this awesome envelope from "Kagami"--


--it's been all over the world and stuff and if you don't like it well you can go soak your fat head

Let's look closer, too; what's that drawing...?


What is UP you guys, that is a drawing of Jimi, and for once I look huggable!

Ryota with his maki-maki hair...

And Yue, who dyes his hair so constantly in real life that this depiction is already indicative of a time now past!...


The included letters are so, so sweet; it's been a rough couple of weeks and this letter totally made my day. I was very, very surprised to find that in my mailbox.

So get your fanmail in early while I still have time to respond to each and every single one! :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Live Report 5/31/08, Urawa Narciss: LAVERITE, Vagu Project, Mamono, Rakan, Karate Bakabon Sono Go, Murasaki, Mezmerize


Saturday was a long night that started off quite promising when this arrived at Narciss:


Yue's company had sent that to us, and it was beautiful, smelled wonderful, and caused a bit of buzz.


We were scheduled to go first, so I took the opportunity before we went on to do a little video interview:

Yue and Ryota have been ill with Bubonic something or smallpox maybe, and it really showed in their performances. I tried to make up for things, but that can be tough on your own. The crowd was a little less energetic than we've had in the past, but honestly as long as there are smiling faces I'm more than pleased.


In fact, Alicia and a friend were there, which was just so awesome! She and I have been to many-an Exist Trace live and it's always good to see her. Also in attendance was blog commented Lisa who is now officially the coolest Rock Japan Elec-tric reader (although I welcome other contestants). She is just here on vacation and she managed to fit in a dinky little Laverite show in between stuff like, you know, Dir en grey and D'espairsRay and stuff. I cannot bow low enough to express my thanks to those who have and who will come out to support me, and often more than once! It was great meeting her finally.


After us was Rakan, whose drummer took a liking to me and especially my staff girl, and at the end of the night after I'd washed off my makeup finally noticed that I was not Japanese. I don't look Japanese in the slightest so I'm constantly baffled as to these band guys' reactions. Maybe just because we all look so funny to begin with.
Anyway, from the brief bit of their set I saw, Rakan was a bundle of energy. I was envious.


After them were mah dawgs Vagu Project, whom I hadn't seen in a long time, and they were very, very pleased to see me. It was great hanging out with those guys in a totally different context; backstage Yui hung out with us and he showed me his cool mixing board... he was putting finishing touches on a new song they were debuting that night, and it sounded really, really good. It was a slower-tempo'd rock ballad sorta thing, with some really fantastic lyrics and great vocal harmonies from Ryo... it was a very tightly-constructed song.


Mamono was next, and as you might predict, they were completely normal, gentle guys outside of costume and absolutely insane on stage. They probably had the biggest crowd of the night, I'd wager. They used a lot of smoke and lights in their set, and created a neat little world on stage. They reminded me a lot of Schwarz Lilie, with some of that overly Tim Burton-y layer removed.


Murasaki played "Zan", I think, and then a cover version of "Nagori Yuki" (Mucc's was better) and I went and changed clothes and took care of money stuff.

But then there was a session band called "Karate Bakabon Sono Go", and Dan (formerly of Ensoku, also mah dawg) was on drums. The guitarist had a goatee and he generally had a goat-like appearance and that was neat. They were very strange.


Last was Mezmerize, who formed in January and are breaking up next month. If we last past July we can officially say, "hey, at least we outlived Mezmerize." Also they played a Kagerou song.

The Narciss staff wanted us to take the flowers home, so we wrapped up 4 bunches in brown paper and Yue, Ryota, our staff girl, and I each got one. On the way to the station from the live house, as we ran into various girls who had been at the live, I gave each one a white rose from the bunch.


These are a couple of the things a couple of fans brought for us... the akafuku was delicious! (The Aquarius was already ours, though. :-P)

Nachi, my buddy from all the ET lives (and who told Miko that I'm in a band when I pretty much expressly didn't want to tell her what a jerk even though he's awesome) came out to see us and I was so happy! I seriously love that guy and wish you all could meet him.

And then I got seriously ill coming back home and man yesterday did not feel good at all. But that meant I got to stay home and look for jobs, so that was nice I guess?

Our next live is on 6/15, and we're playing a new song. The guys say that with the bassline I wrote it sounds "L'arc-ish", which I take as a compliment.

Everyone who came out to see us is a winner! And just by reading about it, you're a winner too. :)