ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Created by Japanese rock superstar YOSHIKI of X JAPAN, Jrock Revolution, the first multi-artist music festival in North America to exclusively showcase Japanese rock music (Jrock for short) straight from Japan, launched May 25 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. Hosting a variety of artists, some of which have already performed and released albums in Europe, the U.S., and Japan, Jrock Revolution answered the wishes of curious music lovers and tens of thousands of Jrock fans alike. The sold-out festival ran from May 25-26 featured alice nine., Vidoll, DuelJewel, Kagrra,, Miyavi, D’espairsRay, Merry, girugamesh, and MUCC.
The Jrock Revolution Festival spawned as the brainchild of YOSHIKI. With his ear for talent and intent to please audiences, YOSHIKI sensed the desires of Jrock fans and the desire for new music by all music fans. As the mentor and producer of globally successful Jrock bands such as Dir en grey, YOSHIKI is also responsible for introducing this pool of Japanese rock talent to an ever-growing stateside audience. Jrock Revolution Festival 1 was managed by event production company 4 Fini, Inc., which produces the popular Vans Warped and Rockstar Taste of Chaos festival tours.
Once an underground commodity, Jrock is now a very real musical alternative for audiences everywhere. Thanks to the accessibility provided by the Internet, it has never been more popular than it is now. Flaunting pure musicality, immaculate artistry, and a remarkable rapport with listeners, Japanese rock artists have sparked international interest as they tour other countries, music festivals, and culture conventions outside of Japan. Jrock Revolution simultaneously reflects Jrock’s increased popularity overseas, fulfills the dreams of existing fans, and creates a stylistically diverse entry point for alternative concertgoers by presenting a smorgasbord of the scene’s hottest names in one place. Japanese artists are expressing their desires more and more to play outside their homeland, so putting two and two together was, naturally, the only choice! Jrev, as the fans call it, was the first event of its kind, and it certainly will not be the last one seen in the U.S., as more and more artists continue to venture out abroad.
How rapidly our Festival artists have outpaced themselves. For now, read what we had to say about the artists:
DuelJewel – Being the first visual kei pioneers to tour in the United States back in 2002, DuelJewel had a rightful place at Jrock Revolution‘s first Festival. Their attractive rock sound has provided them seven years of successful career and a devoted fanbase. Despite only six singles, two mini-albums, and two albums, they are a staple of the overseas Jrock diet.
Kagrra, – Kagrra, delights in being Japanese, they adore their culture, language, and history and pour it into their music. Although they recently shed their elaborate kimono fashions, Kagrra, dug them out of their closests for their first overseas live to represent their nationality. The beauty was breathtaking. A decade of music making behind them, Kagrra, is enjoying their recent major status via the landmark single Utakata.
Miyavi – A kaleidiscopic curiousity, ex-Due le Quartz screamer and guitarist Miyavi has shot up to popularity with rocket speed ever since he went solo. Having rose from indies to major through PS Company for a couple years now, he collects more fans with every widely diverse release. Miyavi‘s current mix of Japanese culture plus hip-hop shocked and awed fans at the Festival has left a permanent impression on the visual rock scene. He recently released a single, Hi no Hikari Sae Todokanai Kono Basho De featuring LUNA SEA‘s SUGIZO.
Vidoll – A visual kei favourite, Vidoll have released an impressive slew of singles and releases to keep their fans busy. In 2005, two of their members suddenly departed; however, this has not stopped such a tenacious band such as Vidoll! Their popularity is gaining fast. Since the festival, Vidoll has returned to the United States through anime convention Mega-Con (Florida).
alice nine. – alice nine. was the youngest band to perform the first night of the Festival, and they whipped the crowd into a flurry of excitement. A shining star of the PSC Label, this unique visual kei ensemble is quickly gathering massive attention both fans overseas and in Japan. They have also performed the theme songs to the anime Meine Liebe which earned them spot #4 on the Oricon charts. Radio friendly, easy to love, musically gifted, and physically attractive, if you don’t like alice nine., get out of the way cause they’re making a name for themselves!
Merry – Merry is rather popular not only for their music which mixes both rock with blues, but for the vocalist’s barefoot tendancies and abrobatics on stage. Merry has close ties with overseas giants Dir en grey, Balzac, and look to Kiyoharu for inspiration. Their dark, somber colors hardly reflecte their inward personalities of the band. For fun, they become the alter ego group called Super Merries!
girugamesh – Every release they put out is better than the last, earning girugamesh high respect from their fans. As some of the band members have been friends since elementary school, girugamesh is perfectly in sync with themselves and their music. Their angry and beautiful music caught the eye of European label Gan-Shin, and girgugamesh has enjoyed an overseas release to match their overseas performances in both Europe and the US.
D’espairsRay – D’espairsRay join DuelJewel in the ranks of veterans to play in the United States. Although it took D’espairsRay a while to gain altitude, they overhauled their sound and completely tore through their set list at Jrock Revolution Festival 1 featuring songs from their smash album MIRROR. D’espairsRay has been welcomed back to the United States as guests on the Rockstar Taste of Chaos parading through the United States during the spring of 2008. This is matched with having MIRROR released overseas through the JSHOCK label in March 2008, catching up to a domestic release (and lives) in Europe through Gan-Shin as well.
MUCC – Enigmatic and powerful, MUCC climaxed and swept up the Festival’s Saturday lives in what was later rated as one of their most perfect performances to date. MUCC joined the ranks of bands like L’Arc~en~ciel to play at anime convention Otakon in 2006, which permanently marked them as an ace band to usher in a wave of Jrock to the US. Sure enough, the predictions were right. MUCC partnered up with D’espairsRay (and the Underneath) on the Rockstar Taste of Chaos, and celebrating a domestic release in the United States as well. With all the attention gathered from their last single, Fuzz, their upcoming album, Shion, will no doubt sell in impressive numbers.