Praparat is on Japanese iTunes, whee~
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
look at it
it is flippin' cute
this thing is
(it is me)
Signed an extra 100 photos for the next batch of CDs the shops ordered BECAUSE THEY RAN OUT :D
I will have a little good news on the 1st.
Studio today. Wrote a few new songs in the process. I'll tell your our drummer for next show asap. ;)
Written by Elec at 11:31 PM
Wanna sell some stuffffffffffff
Dir en grey - Gauze
Dir en grey - Macabre
Dir en grey - Kisou
Dir en grey - Vulgar
L'arc en ciel - Singles Collection
all $30 + shipping
Dir en grey - Six Ugly
$25 + shipping
Also news on overseas sales of Praparat soon >_< We just came out of a string of national holidays so I'm sorry for all the delays!
Written by Elec at 3:38 PM
Thursday, September 24, 2009
So I mentioned that Praparat is selling well; that was kind of a cool thing to hear just before we went onstage.
Oh and before the curtains opened, they showed the Praparat video and the crowd seemed to like it, so that was neat. But the WAITING D:
Also... Japan tour with Steve Appleton!
October 5th, Osaka, Shinsaibashi Club Quattro
October 6th, Nagoya Club Quattro
October 8th, Tokyo, Ebisu Liquid Room
Way more important than any of that, though: the 8th is my birthday
THE 8TH. OF OCTOBER.
It'd be nice if it were a CP show instead, but oh well! :-P
Written by Elec at 4:39 PM
Last night the announcement went up on the CP website, along with official comments from FujiPro and the four of us.
It's difficult for me to express my emotions fluently in Japanese when I am hardly sure of what I feel in English, so my comment is short and vague.
Schwarz, I think, due to a few factors, has had (and for awhile, will have) a problem figuring out exactly how he wants to properly express himself with the talents he has. If we're going to mention music only, I feel like the CP-formula of heavy and blues played emotionally with nary a love song in sight suited his style just fine, but as a hunch I think he wants to walk a more traditional metal road.
And he has shown signs of restlessness for awhile now. At one meeting conversation quickly turned serious, and I remember thinking that I suddenly had no clue what anyone was talking about. This happened again a few months later, and, try as I might, I had no idea what was going on. Schwarz was pulling away, and I couldn't understand his reasons why. I thought the other two did, but in conversations with them later it turns out that they didn't quite understand.
Tenten and Schwarz discussed things like rambunctious brothers, sort of how I feel like with my own brother--to an outsider it might not look like we even like each other, but the affection for each other feels so obvious to ourselves. Joe tried very hard to get Schwarz to stay, and for a short while it seemed he was successful, but then he dropped the bomb, so to speak.
To tell the truth, I think we were very angry at first. Not only were our efforts to keep our buddy in the fold a failure, there was the timing question to look at. We had already filmed the Praparat video by this point, at the one-man. We hadn't gone into the studio to record it yet. There were all sorts of other things that made this decision a serious royal headache. But we worked out that he'd do the single with us and then that would be it.
Schwarz and Tenten have been working together since last year, before even Joe or I came into the fold. So it does feel a little strange in that sense. When Yue decided to leave Laverite, I have to be honest and say I felt a little relieved. I felt like I could only do so much there and I was looking for another shot. My initial feelings about Schwarz's departure aside, I also feel slightly relieved now, for some reason. Maybe because I just hope that he'll find enjoyment in whatever he does next, and also I have the feeling that we'll be all right.
CP will definitely be back. This is no BS activity pause. Unofficially the goal is to be back before the 3/14 one-man, and this is no vacation. We've been trying to get things in order ever since Schwarz first decided to part ways with us, so don't worry too much.
If you read Schwarz and Tenten's Japanese messages, they strike me as more honest than the typical "oh i am leaving over musical differences, it is so sad oh well" messages you see when someone leaves. Obviously we can't say everything; I don't like it when artists air their dirty laundry with each other, so I'm trying just to illustrate the humanness of these things. But I do want to stress: we still like him. He still likes us (I hope!). We're disappointed, but it's a rare, neat thing when you can get a bunch of dreamers to agree on a dream. And like I said in my Japanese message, it would be nice if both Chemical Pictures and Schwarz are able to keep traveling our respective journeys, keeping in mind the things we learned and the experiences we had together.
Be assured: we began planning out solutions to this the day after Schwarz first told us he'd be leaving, so we're doing our best to come back stronger than before.
I will be glad when we can put this behind us, though.
Oh hey, look forward to our support drummer for the 10/4 show. :)
Written by Elec at 3:51 PM
Up at 4, office at 6, Rokumeikan at 12, filmin' somethin' i dunno shut up, then just sitting around being nervous.
Those of you who have seen us live before, bless your hearts for thinking nothing but nice things, and I'm glad it doesn't look like we're struggling up there. Because ever since May I feel like we've been very hit-or-miss. Some shows were great, others not so great, and sometimes we all agreed whether it was a good or bad one and sometimes we didn't. That might be more frustrating than the quality of the show, actually; the inability to come to a consensus.
But last night was awesome!
-Welcome to our CHAOS-
1. Jibaku Souchi
3. Yamu Sora
4. Black Box
6. Walking Ashland
7. Stand By Me
-fast riff from old website-
Jibaku Souchi, a very demanding song, executed pretty much flawlessly; Walking Ashland whipping everyone into a frenzy; Joe going absolutely bonkers, Tenten giving his all, Schwarz bein' cool as a cucumber... and I certainly felt collected and in control, and it feels good to hit that pocket.
In all honesty, I feel like some of it was the new costumes. So much easier to move around in than the other ones, bizarrely. Lighter, less restrictive. At first glance they don't look very CP-ish, but we had the opportunity to strike a great deal with BtSSB. Even though our glam aesthetic and their gothic aesthetic are worlds apart, they were very easy to work with, and it's the first time I've had a costume designed to the specifications I laid out in the first place, as opposed to sort of ignoring what I had in mind. Also, the new CP logo looks really neat; we had pins for sale and I stuck mine on my strap so I'll show those to you later.
The call for an encore came, and it was Shota's last show with us, and we knew we had to make an announcement...
Tenten started with, "We didn't really want to do an encore tonight."
The fans called out "Why?"
And then he just blurted it out. Pause. Schwarz is leaving. Shouts of shock, more than a few tears. I got emotional in a numb sense; I've already made my peace with his decision but watching the fans find out for the first time was not pleasant. And during Praparat, the words took on another more prescient meaning.
How are you supposed to smile? Ridiculous.
And as we went to the car, fans were respectful (we'd been told not to stay around and chat by management, and I think they could sort of see we weren't necessarily in the mood for a chat, given the news)... but I felt bad for them. I made sure to at least say thanks and smile, and thank those who just wanted to tell us they bought the CD.
By the 4th I hope it's sunk in, and the in-stores should go fine, I hope. More thoughts in my next post.
Finally though thanks to Nemo who came all the way from Nagano to come see us play! That was crazy nice of her.
Written by Elec at 3:04 PM
Sales of Praparat are exceeding expectations, so. There's that.
Lots to talk about. First sleep, work, tell you.
Written by Elec at 12:03 AM
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tonight was Shota's last show with us. After our next show on the 4th, Schwarz is leaving the band. We will be doing the 2 in-stores as a 3-piece. And we have no lives planned between then and 3/14/10.
That said, we'll try our best to resume activities ahead of schedule.
Report, and my thoughts, later.
Flowers from Baby The Stars Shine Bright, to us. Why? you may ask. Well,
Written by Elec at 11:42 PM
Written by Elec at 9:59 AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I'm from California and I've never seen these before but they are GREAT.
ignore the 90 calories bit cuz you'll eat them all and not share
ah, the perks of loooonlineeeessss (・ω・)
Written by Elec at 3:45 PM
Monday, September 21, 2009Labels: Chemical Pictures
Ito asked if I had any other thoughts about the West show.
I do, actually. And I've been having these thoughts ever since our show at Cyber, and then Boxx.
For those two shows, we were playing with bands unlike us. It's the light, easy-to-understand and easy-to-get-into music for the modern Visual age. For West, it was all the drop-D heaviness bands, and they do what they do very, very well, and the audience goes absolutely bonkers.
I watched from the balcony after our set, with Karyu and James. It's inspiring, and I wonder if we ARE getting those reactions and I'm just too distracted to notice, or we're not quite solid yet, or what.
That said, though, people start moshing wall-to-wall across the entire front of the live house when we play our up-tempo 12-bar-blues pop song, so. So I guess even in a genre chock-full of unabashed musical cliches, there's still so much you can't predict about what people will enjoy across different bands, even if they're doing the same things.
And then I get really nice messages out of the blue, from all over the world, and it gives me a little hope.
hahahaha wait until you see these new costumes haaahahaha
Written by Elec at 10:17 PM
Sunday, September 20, 2009Labels: Chemical Pictures
Post got eaten by Firefox, which has been crashing more than ever, by which I mean it has never crashed until the last couple of weeks.
I almost forgot we had a show! I should probably talk about that.
West is a huge stage, but by Japanese standards; I'm used to 200-cap live houses so I sort of had a hard time getting into the groove, but apparently it was okay. Fan reaction was good and I've received some sweet messages already. More foreigners than usual; keep comin'! :)
James came, which was neat. With foreigners I've met through work I tend to be hesitant to invite them to come see me play, but James works in music professionally (well, video, really) so I'm glad he can come see me in not-a-blonde-wig. And also, playing for real.
Karyu came as well, which was really nice of him and unexpected. I need to stress just how nice and grounded D'Ray are. They are good people.
Also got introduced to Michiru (Mask, Aioria, S to M), who is easy to pick out of a crowd but otherwise unassuming, pleasant and business-like, and I think he assumed I couldn't speak Japanese or something, but he was nice. My manager knows everyone apparently.
We are currently working on getting Praparat available for sale to you over-the-ocean peeps! I'm sorry it's taking this long. No one expected the interest this has generated so far and our management hasn't dealt with this sort of thing before so please be patient just a little while longer;;
Here's a picture of the CD and DVD:
Next is my first show at Rokumeikan. Hope I meet a ghost!
Written by Elec at 10:25 PM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
So if I were willing to part with a slightly used Ganesa, would anyone be interested?
Written by Elec at 2:42 PM
Friday, September 18, 2009
Also, Kamiyu is helping out today and while waiting he showed us old Jakura video tapes and talked about old times. We made Shota guess which one he was.
We're mentioned in a little blurb in this month's Shoxx, aaaaand maybe today I can announce something? lemme ask my manager real quick
Written by Elec at 1:54 PM
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We're playing with born, skull, oz, nega, and lulu tmr and I'm worried about fan reaction. We're no crazy heavy band and we either play with those or light cute bands. I think we stick out but not necessarily in a good way yet.
If Sugar was still around, or Moran weren't pausing, that might be a better fit, but their atmosphere is much more confident.
Hope we hit a stride sometime!
Written by Elec at 12:10 PM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
From today, you can download the Praparat ringtone.
well not you non-Japan-living peeps :(
Seems silly to me! Ringtones.
Written by Elec at 5:51 PM
Saturday, September 12, 2009Labels: Chemical Pictures
Here is the spot in Tokyo where our commercial is playing; the Donki in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. It plays once every 15 minutes, all day. (click for big)
It is nice to have something out there being promoted that I am actually a part of, that I get credit for, as opposed to the stuff I do for Tommy or Steve or Becca, which, while loads of fun and I love doing it, isn't about me at all. :-P
So on James and I headed to AX to see D'espairsRay's FREE 10-year anniversary live. James had been hired by them to go on their Europe tour and take the tour document video; James is actually a video guy by trade.
When Tommy decided she was going to keep using me as guitarist after letting the other guys go, we were getting ready to do the February video. James was on the production crew for that one, and when she found out his name was James, she thought it would be funny to have two Jameses in the video. sure whatever just pay me
But we hit it off and then she added a 3rd James, in JJ, and we're set, but he didn't come so he's not a part of this story, I'm just tellin' you how James and I met. Wow, I am not on point this morning.
ANYWAY AX. Flowers from Marilyn Manson.
OH so before the doors opened up, James and I were walking toward the desk to give our names for the passes, and this girl came up and said "hey are you Jimi from Chemical Pictures?"
why yes i am
Seriously, I couldn't have been more tickled, or humbled, and she was super-nice and had a good head on her shoulders and was rockin' out in the Kanto plain and I thought she had had some neat Japanese adventures. We've been in the country for similar lengths of time so I think we were in the same mental place. I forgot her name but she was really nice and cool, so thanks for saying hi, and if I hadn't had to go to work early in the morning we shoulda stayed out for drinks!
I never thought I'd be found out just walkin' around :| ... :3
(so if you see me say hi)
(or if youre gonna be in the area hit me up and i will do my best to hang out with you)
So the set. For some reason a lot of their newer material sorta blends together to me, but then again I'm not as familiar with it as the old stuff. A lot of it does have to do with the fact that DRay's hit upon a songwriting formula and a solid, yet unadventurous playing style, that works for them. They played "Fuyuu shita Risou" and "Tatoeba Kimi ga Shindara" and "Facism" I think but I wanted to hear more stuff like the Garnet or Born stuff; that time period. That's just nostalgia talking though, and I understand that.
Stuff I remember: "Horizon", "Yozora", um
I really liked their first full album, and they played "Infection", and "Forbidden" was the final song of the encore, and those were really nice surprises for me.
They have great stage presence; Tsukasa is solid as a rock, and with a huge stage Karyu and Zero were running around and spinning around for nearly the entire set. They were so energetic during the very first song, in fact, that I bet myself they wouldn't be able to keep it up, yet they did.
For the encore, Tsukasa came out on vocals. He has a very interesting manner of speech, and a lot of his gestures and posture remind me a lot of my buddy Yumeji, but he was very funny. Karyu sat at the drums, Zero at the guitar, and Hizumi on bass.
Hizumi is funny to watch because he really does not come across as a rock star vocalist. He sort of shuffles around, slouches, and sorta seems like an old man.
After meeting him after the show, though, I think it is more appropriate to compare him, in looks, mannerisms, personality, and thought process, to L from Deathnote.
Think about it.
Anyway, with the bass on, he struck no poses, he made no faces, just looked at his fretboard.
Zero, on the otherhand, could be Dray's guitarist if he wanted to. He did not seem out of place at all and everything sounded great. Karyu was also surprisingly skilled. And Tsukasa really can sing.
Anyway, this shifting of members, he said, was called Sparking D'espairsRay, and everyone's name now had 'Sparking' affixed to it. They then played "Hollow" which is easily my favorite song they've written in the last few years.
They did these little silly solo breaks: Karyu pretended to suck at drums but at the end he was actually impressive; Hizumi stopped and started over a terrible bass solo several times, Zero did his best Yngwie impression, and Tsukasa sang this gorgeous enka tune, and he was very very good. He has the style down pat. He should be the first VK enka singer. :|
Anyway, after the show met up with the guys, all very cool. James had already told them all about Chemical Pictures when they were in Europe and Karyu seemed interested in that; Zero and I talked about gear and he was very fun.
All that said, though... this was the FIRST concert I've been to where I thought "ow too loud!"
Written by Elec at 9:39 AM
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
(Picture is Shota
n me from Narciss)
Seein' a band I saw in San Francisco in...'04? Riz was there! And the back of me was briefly in the subsequent DVD.
More later, very, very thankful you guys like 15 seconds of Praparat. :-P
Written by Elec at 6:26 PM
Sunday, September 06, 2009Labels: Chemical Pictures
i have no idea what this is for or when we agreed to this
(our clip is from ikebukuro cyber, judging by ten's hair)
Written by Elec at 10:35 PM
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Written by Elec at 9:06 PM
Friday, September 04, 2009Labels: Chemical Pictures
Here it is, the cover for our first single, Praparat.
It's funny; over the recording process I got very familiar with the lyrics to the lead song and it's neat to see some of those ideas reflected on this jacket.
I also saw a mock-up of the whole CD case--the pictures printed on the discs themselves, the booklet, the back--man. I did something. Well, I mean, I didn't do anything; just, someone realized our silly little ideas and made it into something we can hold.
We are working hard on a way to make this available for purchase overseas and we're pretty close!
Also, today I previewed the music video, and maybe I'm biased but I think it looks really awesome, considering the constraints we were under for it. :3
Written by Elec at 10:38 PM
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I forgot to mention.
Cyber does this thing sometimes where each band or certain members create a unique cocktail for the bar to serve. They give us this big list of spirits and stuff that they have, ask us what sort of taste we want it to have, what color, blah blah blah... here's how that went.
Staff: "Have you made your way through the options?"
Joe: "Do you have pint glasses?"
Staff: "Pint glass?"
Joe: "Yeah. The Chemical Pictures cocktail is a cold beer. ^_^"
Staff: "...just beer?"
The Rest of Us: "..."
Joe: "...you can put in a little tequila I guess. o_o'"
cp cocktail is the best cocktail out of all the band cocktails that have ever been cocktailed
Written by Elec at 11:00 PM