Best of 2007

file - 31.12.2007 12:00

The most important events of 2007 as presented by the JaME team.

Looking back on all that happened in Japanese music during 2007, it seems that the year was rather crazy! A lot of good things happened; more and more artists performed overseas, there were many new releases and new bands formed. It was also sadly full of less happy events, such as the number of bands who split up and a few loved artists passing away. Also, it seemed that 2007 was the year of the revivals, as legendary bands such as LUNA SEA and X-JAPAN became active again, to the delight of countless fans.

As for JaME, during this year we have been busier than ever before working to cover the bands who performed overseas. We also received more requests from bands in Japan to feature them. This year an amazing total of 105 interviews have been added to the English version of JaME, 55 live reports, 167 reviews and countless new artist files. Moreover, various team members have actually started to work as concert organizers or event managers making it has been an incredibly busy but successful year!

We would like to present to you our run-down of 2007, with a number of articles selected as the most important of the year.

January: ANTI FEMINISM & Hagakure Europe Coupling Tour

One of the first tours in Europe this year featured the two indie visual kei bands, ANTI FEMINISM and Hagakure. An unusual combination seeing as their styles were wildly different with one a rather aggressive punk band with an outrageous, violent stage act and the other an upbeat rock-pop band with a happy message.

Nevertheless, the tour, which was organized by two members of the JaME team, turned out to be a success. Unlike other bands that were mostly visiting only two or three countries during their European tours, this coupling tour took place in six different countries. Since then, the two bands have developed a love for performing overseas, resulting in another Europe tour in the summer and an USA tour in December.

JaME interviewed the two leaders of the band twice during their January tour: at the beginning in Belgium and at the end in Finland.

February: miyavi in Las Vegas, USA

A vague announcement on the website of a club in Las Vegas, USA, caused quite a stir amongst miyavi’s fans. Would the immensely popular rock star really perform in the USA? The answer was yes, as miyavi gave a short show in February at a nightclub in Las Vegas. JaME was one of the very few media present and was offered an interview with him; an opportunity we gladly took!

After this rare performance in the USA, miyavi was later also part of the JRock Revolution event, at which we also had the chance to talk with him. In July he performed in Los Angeles as a part of the band S.K.I.N.. Europe also got its share of miyavi when he performed at a German convention. This time the German team was present to have an interview with the multi-talented musician.

April: BACK-ON in the USA

Hip-hop/rock band BACK-ON performed for the first time abroad as they were invited to an American anime convention, which took place in Houston, Texas in April.

Until that point, the band hadn’t been receiving much attention from overseas. They needn't have feared as their appearance turned out to be a huge success, so much so that in November they were ready to perform on American soil again at another anime convention and performed in Canada too.

May: JRock Revolution in the USA

An important event for JRock fans in the USA was the JRock Revolution festival on May 25 and 26, organized by Yoshiki. Over two days, a total of nine JRock bands performed in Los Angeles. It was the first time for most bands to perform in the USA and of course, JaME was there to cover the event.

In addition to interviewing the complete line-up of Merry, MUCC, alice nine., Vidoll, DuelJewel, Girugamesh, Kagrra,, miyavi and D’espairsRay, we also had the chance to interview the organizer, Yoshiki and the American organizers of the JRock Revolution event.

June: the studs in France

A remarkable band that started in 2007 were the studs. The band deadman disbanded in 2006 and Kagerou in 2007 and it was a surprise when two former members of these bands started a band together.

After playing a mere one concert in Japan, the band came over to Europe to give a performance in France and we took this opportunity to talk with this brand-new band.

June: An Cafe in Germany

2007 was also an important year for the cheerful JRock band An Cafe as their guitarist left and was replaced by two new members. Their live schedule contained overseas performances for the first time as they travelled to the USA at the beginning of June for an appearance at an anime convention, although during this time in the USA, the two new members of the band weren’t present.

These new members turned up at the German event J-SHOCK though, when the band performed there later that month and JaME had an in-depth interview with all members to inquire about the departure of their old guitarist and the new band members.

Moreover, the event at which they performed, J-SHOCK, was an important event in Europe as it was the very first JRock event with various bands performing: An Cafe, bis, Girugamesh and Guitar Wolf.

June: S.K.I.N. Live Report in the USA

There had been speculation about the so-called “super band”, which had been formed by Gackt and Yoshiki. The complete line-up was eventually announced at JRock Revolution; both miyavi and Sugizo would join the two artists to form the band S.K.I.N. Shortly after their announcement, the band performed for the very first time, at the convention Anime Expo in June.

Despite the fact that the show was rather delayed, and the set-list was short, everybody had a blast watching their favorite musicians live. Unfortunately, the musicians all seem to be focusing on their own projects and bands and since then S.K.I.N has hardly been active.


2007 was also the first time that ORESKABAND crossed the ocean to perform in the USA. Compared to other bands performing in the states, this all-girl sextet was quite a change with their merry ska music.

Their first performance was in March as they took part in the SXSW festival in Austin, at which the other Japanese bands, HY and GO!GO!7188 performed as well. We had the chance to briefly speak to the band there. Then, in June they returned to the USA to perform at Anime Expo where we took the opportunity to have a longer interview with them.They seemed to enjoy performing in the USA a lot since the band even returned once more for a short tour.

July: HALCALI in France

Another important event that took place in Europe and in France this time was Japan Expo. Previous Expos had seen a few musical guests but this year it stepped up quite a bit with a number of artists present: OLIVIA, HALCALI, Nana Kitade, Hakuei, Kana, Gari, Yoshiki, Ichirou Mizuki and DIO.

HALCALI performed at Japan Expo and the female duo managed to attract around 3000 people with their blend of pop and hip-hop songs. We took the opportunity to have an interview with the two girls, who were both very enthusiastic about their appearance abroad.

July: Yoshiki in France

Yoshiki, former drummer of X-JAPAN and the brain behind many projects, was very active during 2007. After appearing at the event JRock Revolution in the USA, he made an appearance at Japan Expo in France. For the organization of Yoshiki’s visit to Paris and the Japan Expo, he asked JaME, a request we gladly complied with!

Due to this, we got the opportunity to have an interview with Yoshiki and also organized an Q&A session with questions asked from JaME readers.

October: the GazettE in Finland

After so many bands had already performed in Europe, it seemed only a matter of time before the immensely popular band, the GazettE would perform on the continent. And indeed, in October the band performed six concerts in four European countries selling out the majority of them.

After meeting the GazettE in Paris for a short chat with them for our weblog, we interviewed Aoi and Reita before their final concert of the tour in Helsinki, Finland.

November: Charlotte in Brazil

Things were also beginning to happen in South America, as it was announced that the two visual kei bands Charlotte and Hime Ichigo would perform in Brazil. However, due to some mishaps with the organization the whole event was cancelled.

At that point, the Brazilian JaME team took over, straightened things out and managed to save the event. Though it was only possible to have Charlotte perform, the two events that were organized became a huge success and managed to attract a total of 2000 people.

In 2008, a number of new features have been added to JaME, which include the Zy section, which features articles from Zy magazine, our partner and the JaME weblog. Also the JaME forum has been added this year.

The JaME team would like wish you a lovely 2008; hopefully it will be filled with even more Japanese music!
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