What does it take to make a legend? For this band: passion, dedication and a dash of good luck. Over their twenty year career, GLAY has risen from their humble beginnings in high school to sold out shows, festivals, and an increasingly large international fanbase.
To say GLAY has had it easy suggests that every high school band can rise to the same heights. Some can—if they have what GLAY has had in spades from the very beginning.
Music was something all of GLAY had in common. Each member had played in different bands and enjoyed listening to different styles of music before the four members became one entity, performing music full of passion. Despite every obstacle, GLAY has persevered, dedicating themselves to their music and their dreams. In 1993, it was Yoshiki of X JAPAN who signed them to his new label: Extasy Records. When their first single, “RAIN,” made an impact, the climb to the top seemed inevitable. “BEAT OUT!,” their second album, became their first #1 hit and marked a well deserved accomplishment for a band who couldn’t be easily defined as rock or pop. In fact, wanting to make rock (black) as well as pop (white) music spawned their name. They wanted to be “gray” or GLAY.
Defying labels is something GLAY does very well, not only in their music, but in their other endeavors as well. But in the end, what matters is that GLAY has become a band with a strong foundation: Takuro and Hisashi on guitar, Jiro on bass, and Teru on vocals.
Where else will GLAY take us in the future? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, we’ve been excitedly anticipating their US shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
GLAY played at The Filmore on August 12 in San Francisco and will continue their tour with two dates at the House of Blues Sunset Strip on August 15 and 16 in Los Angeles.
GLAY’s official biography:
GLAY was formed in 1988 by TAKURO and TERU.
In 1990, TAKURO, TERU, and HISASHI moved to Tokyo: joined by JIRO, the four-member GLAY made it’s major-label debut with the single "RAIN" in 1994.
In 1996, their 2nd album, "BEAT out!" entered the Japanese Hit Chart (called Oricon) at No. 1.
In 1997, the best-of album "REVIEW" made Oricon history by selling 5 million copies. GLAY’s 1998 stadium tour attracted over 500,000 fans and the 1998 dome-stadium tour drew over 750,000 in four venues. In July 1999 the band played at Makuhari Messe to a record crowd of 200,000.
"GLAY-ONE LOVE in Beijing," a special concert held Oct. 13, 2002 at the Beijing Worker’s Stadium to commemorate the 30th anniversary of normalized ties between Japan and China, was one of the biggest concert in that country’s history.
In 2004 (July), the 10th anniversary of their major-label debut, GLAY played to an audience of 100,000 at Universal Studios Japan. The major-stadium tour that kicked off in Feb. 2005 was also a great success.
In Feb. 2006, the group performed on a circular stage at Nippon Budokan, and on July 12 they released "G4," their first single in 19 months.
In Jan. 2007, to promote the new album "LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL" (released on Jan. 31), the band embarked on "GLAY ARENA TOUR 2007 LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL." This was followed on Nov. 9 by "GLAY HIGHCOMMUNICATIONS TOUR 2007-2008" (52 performances at 42 venues in Japan), which lasted five months.
On Mar. 17, 2008, streaming of "STARLESS NIGHT/-VENUS" began; at the same time "HIGHCOMMUNICATIONS TOUR 2007-2008" ended successfully with six additional concerts held in April at three arena-call venues.
The single "VERB," released on Junes 11, includes (in addition to the title track produced during the latest tour) "STARLESS NIGHT" and "-VENUS," both streamed in advance of release, and a cover of "WITH OT WITHOUT YOU" by U2, whom GLAY have always admired.
Keep an eye on JrockRevolution.com for more exclusive GLAY coverage!
Article by: Ali
Editing by: Kara, Maria
GLAY’s biography courtesy of their official MySpace