Saturday, 28 May 2011

Versailles (band)

Versailles (known as Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- in the United States) is a Japanese visual kei metal band formed in 2007.[2] Their key characteristics are their rococo-esque costumes, dueling guitar sounds and heavy but melodic arrangements.

2007: Formation

In March 2007, Versailles was formed by Kamijo (ex-Lareine), Hizaki (ex-Sulfuric Acid), and Jasmine You (ex-Jakura). Later, Teru (ex-Aikaryu) and Yuki (ex-Sugar Trip), who were recommended by the Rock May Kan venue in Tokyo, joined the band. Hizaki, Jasmine You and Teru previously played together as part of Hizaki Grace Project.
Kamijo and Hizaki created the concept of Versailles in the autumn of 2006 and spent six months gathering members to express it. Their band concept is "the absolute youshikibi (beauty of form) sound and extremes of aestheticism".[2] On March 30, 2007 the details of the band were announced. They released promotional material through the internet, set up an English language page on MySpace, and had several interviews with foreign press.
Versailles made their first appearance with a showcase on June 23, followed by their first performance on June 24. On these dates they also distributed their first single and DVD single, "The Revenant Choir".
The band signed a contract with the German CLJ Records label and released its first album, Lyrical Sympathy on October 31, both in Japan and Europe.[3] Their song "The Love From A Dead Orchestra" also appears on a compilation album released by Sony BMG in Germany on November 9, called Tokyo Rock City.

2008: Noble

In 2008, Versailles made their first appearances in Europe and United States. In March and April, the band performed cooperatively with Matenrou Opera across Europe.[4] Versailles was later invited by Tainted Reality to perform shows on May 30 at Project A-Kon in Dallas, Texas and on June 3 at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, California as their American debut.[5] The Project A-Kon concert pulled in more than 3,000 people and the latter sold out completely.[6][7]
On July 9, 2008, Versailles digitally released their first full album, Noble, exclusively on international iTunes Music Stores. This was followed by its general Japanese CD release on July 16 and its international CD release on July 30.[8] [9]
Versailles' Japanese record label announced on August 19, 2008 that they received notice of a musician in the United States already using the name "Versailles".[10] The Japanese band was compelled to create a new promotional name in order to proceed with their plans to tour in the United States again, so they called upon their fans to send in ideas.[10] On September 14, 2008 the band announced on their website that their new name for the US was to be "Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet-", whilst keeping their original name in countries other than United States.[11] "Prince" was the first song released under the new name and was available as a free digital download.

2009: Going Major

Kamijo announced at the December 23rd C.C. Lemon Hall one-man that Versailles would be going major in June 2009, both in Japan and internationally on Warner Music Japan. Their major debut single, "Ascendead Master", was released on June 24, 2009.
Versailles played their last nationwide tour as an independent band through March 26 to May 9, entitled "The Fragment Collectors". Further events such as the "Anthology of Revolution" marked their final concerts, finishing with five consecutive nights at Meguro Rock May Kan. Their final independent live took place on June 21, 2009.
Versailles announced that they would not be performing any more lives until they release their next album.

The Passing of Jasmine You

On August 3, it was announced that Jasmine You would temporarily suspend all musical activities due to unknown circumstances regarding his health and to recover. It had been announced that Versailles' new album was in the final stages of production and the bass tracks were being recorded. In the early hours of August 9, 2009, it was reported on the official site that Jasmine You had died. The translated announcement reads as follows:
2009.8.9 「Versailles」 Urgent Announcement: Though Jasmine You had taken time off in order to rest because of poor physical condition, we received a report that early in the morning on August 9, he died. Because of the extreme abruptness of this news, the members and staff are all dumbfounded and trying hard to accept this it. As soon as his family has been notified and updated as to the details and we receive their permission, we will further report to all of the fans. Moreover, with the current announcement, in regards to activity, please allow us to postpone it. [

2010: Jubilee

After a canceled performance, Versailles performed at "V-Rock Festival '09" on October 25, 2009. Yo of Matenrou Opera played as their support bassist. On January 4, 2010, Versailles held the "Jasmine You -Memorial Ceremony-" at Shibuya O-East, where themselves, Kaya and Matenrou Opera performed. Their major label debut album entitled, Jubilee, was released on January 20, 2010.
They also announced a world tour entitled "Versailles World Tour 2010 "Method of Inheritance"", which started on February 28, 2010, in Yokohama. Their support bassist for the tour was Masashi, a member of Cosmo and Közi's live band. The Japanese leg of the tour, ended with two final gigs, titled "-Jubilee-", one in Osaka at Midou Kaikan on April 18 and one in Tokyo at JCB Hall on April 30, 2010, these concerts were performed with a live choir.
Versailles then traveled to Latin America and Europe before returning to Japan for a special birthday event for Kamijo. The "-Grand Final-" of the tour was performed on September 4, 2010, at C.C. Lemon Hall, some of the concert was later broadcast on WOWOW. There they announced that Masashi officially joined the band as their new bassist, with Jasmine You being cited as an "eternal member". They also announced that live versions of their two indie albums, Lyrical Sympathy and Noble, would be released on September 1, 2010. The songs were recorded on December 23, 2008, at their "Chateau de Versailles" tour final at C.C. Lemon Hall, the same concert that appears on the Chateau de Versailles DVD. Lyrical Sympathy -Live- contains the bonus track "Sforzando -Original Version-" and Noble -Live- does not include "To The Chaos Inside" or "Episode".
Their next single was released in three types: two different limited editions (type A and B) and a regular edition. The single, entitled "Destiny -The Lovers-", was released on October 27, 2010.
In late November, Panasonic broadcast a 15 minute digest of one of Versailles' concerts in 3D at more than 8,000 retail stores nationwide. The concert was the "World Tour 2010 "Method of Inheritance" -Jubilee-" gig recorded at JCB Hall in Tokyo on April 30, 2010. Some fans caught an early exclusive 3D screening of the concert at the Panasonic Center in Ariake, Japan from November 8th to 14th.

2011: Present

In January 2011, Versailles started starring in their own TV mini drama called Onegai Kanaete Versailles (おねがいかなえてヴェルサイユ "Fulfill My Wish Versailles"). The show also stared Rina Koike and aired on Mainichi Broadcasting System and TV Kanagawa until March.[13] The theme song for the show was Versailles' single "Philia", which was released on March 15. Furthermore Versailles went on to release their second major studio album, entitled Holy Grail, in three editions on June 15, 2011.[14] The album includes "Vampire", main theme of the feature length movie Vampire Stories, which Kamijo produced the music for.