Lamia Cross: as names go, it is not as unusual as others of the J-Music scene. However, to anyone knowledgeable in world mythology and/or theology, it strikes an odd tune. Lamia on one side, one of the most feared legendary monsters of ancient Greece and the cross on the other, universal symbol of Christianity. While it is a stretch to believe that these symbolisms were the reason behind the name, it successfully depicts the particular character and sound of the band. Following a rather triadic approach of thesis, antithesis and synthesis in their musical philosophy, Lamia Cross—a Japanese/French band—has managed to find its singular voice through a series of opportunities and circumstances, which can only be described as “hitsuzen:” a thing that happens by universal necessity.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Their tale, as any good narrative, begins “once upon a time”…
The year was 1993, the specific time being August and a young Japanese student’s vacation in France. Over the course of her Parisian night outings in Clignancourt, during a Gothic-themed event, she meets a young Frenchman named Fab, whereupon a spark is struck. After a year of back-and-forths between Japan and France, the girl, Lamia, finishes her studies in Japan and decides to go and stay with Fab in France.
Over the course of three years, initially they are content to pass their afternoons with Lamia singing and Fab playing his guitar and then they start playing regularly at a Parisian boite, which leads them to write their first songs. In time, they start uploading their music on the internet and the feedback they get convinces them to begin their efforts in self-production.
In 1999 Lamia Tenebrae (at the time), record their first demo in Tokyo. Among the first songs recorded, is “That Day,” which would later become their very popular “Hiroshima ce jour-là”, a song dedicated to the tragedy of the Hiroshima bombing, during WWII. However, their actual musical career does not begin until 2004, when they put out their first album, “Inquisition,” under their own label, Lamia Production. The recording sessions started in January and the album went into circulation in December. However, just two months before the album’s circulation, Lamia Cross were to find their third member.
During an evening in October, when Lamia went to deliver some flyers for the upcoming album’s release, she was approached by Druid, former guitarist of DCA (from Boulogne), who was looking to join a new band at the time. Lamia and Fab took an immediate liking to the Briton (from Bretagne in northern France—not the U.K.) and so their band became a trio. Finding their voice in what they call “chic and heavy,” a mix of electronica and metal with J-pop, their songs being at times dreamy and melancholic and at others, energetic dance hits, they rename themselves Lamia Cross. Beyond the combination of the different music styles, the deliberate mixture of Japanese, French and English also gives a unique air to their songs.
In November of 2005, the founder and program manager of 98 KUPD FM out of Phoenix, Ariz., discovers Lamia Cross on MySpace and starts airing their songs in the U.S. Over the next 7 months their songs air in Phoenix, in Gainsville, Calif., and on Belém FM in Brazil.
In March 2006 they put out a double single, “Chic & Heavy,” and their songs start being distributed through the FNAC, Virgin and i-Tunes networks. However, it is also a troubled year, since a family emergency forces Druid to quit the band and Lamia Cross to revert to a duo. Despite everything, they put out two more singles that year: “The Children’s World” and “Memory of Rose”. In December they participate in the Boulogne-Billiancourt Telethon, in order to raise funds for rare child disease research. Among the songs played there, is the new “Merry X-Mas to the Streets.”
In February 2007, they put out a new single, on digital distribution, “Enkyoli LenAi” and in May they play as guests at the Paris Anime & Game Show. That is where they have another fateful meeting, with Kuroi Kitsune, leader of La Team Kogyaru performer ensemble. After a successful gig together, they start discussing a more regular cooperation: La Team Kogyaru (Kuroi Kitsune, Death Angel and Lilehanna) accompany Lamia Cross as background chorists, as of the Telethon 2007 show and are now a permanent addition to the band.
Since July 2007, the video-clip of “Hiroshima ce jour-là” containing various images and footage from the Hiroshima Memorial Museum, is up on MySpace and YouTube, with the blessings of the museum itself and the Japanese newspaper, Asahi-Shimbun. This song, as well as the video-clip, are prime examples of Lamia Cross’s creative talent, being at the same time evocative and musically beautiful. It takes a really heartless person to watch the video-clip without at least getting a tight knot in their throat…
As of early 2008 their second album, “Yamazakura” is out, containing the title song, as well as a selection of old and new hits. In July, just as they were preparing two new songs for the JMCM event in Greece, they were happily surprised by the return of Druid to the band!
They have recently been invited to all the major Japanese culture shows and conventions in France, such as Mang’Azur in Toulon, J-Music Festival in Lyon, Dijon Saiten and they will be giving a concert at the Toulouse Game Show on the 29th of November. Things are really looking up for them and there are a number of other projects under way, but they have requested discretion, readily granted.