I am a new fan to Japanese Rock , specifically Visual Kei styled bands. I was happily introduced to it by a simple question I posed. “Who is The GazettE?” and I was rightfully told to “look them up!” when I did , that’s when the Pandora’s box opened to Jrock, I was a gonner!
And what a way to go! With that came a lot of questions. My mind was curious. Wikipedia and Youtube did help me some. But, to better describe for you new fans, Curiousers and even long time fans what Visual Kei is, I give you peek into History of Glam Rock/Hair Bands in comparisons to the Visual Kei of Today.
Visual Kei (Vijuaru Kei means style or system) is originally from Japan, a style movement associated with Japanese Rock. Although the Whole of the JRock genre is sometimes labeled Visual Kei, it is a characteristic that enhances the musical genre visually, but not all JRock is of that style. Many of the VK bands play a variety of Music Categories from Pop to Punk Rock even Operatic style Metal (see X Japan). They are in the most part start off as indy.
Visual Kei consist of elaborate and unique accessories, make up and hairstyles, having androgynous elements. All for the Rockers to stand out and be unique along with their music.
You can also check out a small list of Bands at this link Visual Kei
In the 1986, the movie Labyrinth, King of the Goblins Jareth’s (David Bowie) style has similarities of the Visual Kei look. Jim Henson created a world of Fantasy. That film was ahead of its time, and Bowie my first Rock Crush. But I should have known that He is no stranger to this look, for he was one of the pioneers of Glitter Rock (Glam Rock)
I can almost say in a social scientific observation that VK is a fusion of Goth, and Glam Styles.
The Gazette “Suicide Circus” PV(Promotional Video) All rights belong to Sony Music Japan and The GazettE
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I am still ‘studying” Visual Kei, learning about new bands and styles, branching out to other genres of music as well. It has inspired my quirky art brain and most definitely influenced my personal visual kei. I now get tons of questions, Why am I into this type of music, look etc… ? or the (you know it was coming) question, Why do those guys look like Girls? I like the difference they present to me, and the music has touched. It’s extraordinary art that clicked for me. I can’t lie and say they don’t phase or sting me, they do, But I learned to pick my battles. Let me know if we are in the same boat, we can paddle together so If you have any questions or want me to look up anything on Visual Kei- Japanese Rock, or to talk about it in more depth, drop me a line on the comments.