Considered veterans of the Japanese music scene, the GazettE have recently staged a comeback of huge proportions. Following on from a large European tour in September 2013, which saw them return to the stage after six years away and playing to audiences of up to 20,000 people a night, they went on to make shockwaves in the charts.
Their latest album ‘Beautiful Deformity’, released digitally on October 23, broke into the top 10 of 2 album charts – peaking at Number 4 on the iTunes Metal chart and number 7 on Amazon’s list of hot new releases in hard rock and heavy metal.
With a solid fan-base across the globe, social media users were quick to share their delight and love for the new release, while Twitter ignited with the hash-tag #BEAUTIFULDEFORMITY soon standing top of the worldwide trends and listing in those of several other European countries.
The success of the album saw the band use YouTube to tease out the announcement of a new tour, which saw them perform across Japan, with the final date completed in January of this year.
‘Beautiful Deformity’ is considered to be an album all but solidly identifying what it means to be an outsider, not that the band seem to mind such a tag being attached to their latest release. For more than a decade, the quintet has blurred the boundaries in more ways than one. Their singles, despite their huge selling power in Japan, are far too aggressive to be considered pop, while their androgynous demeanour marks then as an irregularity in the worlds of both rock and metal.
They’re also a band who take great pride in their artwork. Take the cover of BD for example. “We’re five distinct but individuals,” says vocalist RUKI. “Our creativity depends on the individuality of all five members. Our art is a distilled combination of audio and visual.”
This spring, the band announced the release of their first English language documentary – 100 minutes of behind the scenes, on stage and personal footage shot across a number of dates. It might be argued that fan mania is these days only for the Directioners, but having been ambushed at airports, The GazettE has a strong enough following of their own.
Many bands find they struggle in one market when they succeed in another. The GazettE are one such band who are a break from such happenings. Winners of the Best Musical Act in the Awards held the UK Neo Magazine, their success is as strong here as anywhere. “We’ve always felt that there have been a large number of fans for us in the UK,” the band said in a statement upon winning again. “We can rock out with you the next time we’re there.”
So what do the band think helps them be so successful? “We’re a band that never compromises when it comes to the way we express ourselves,” explains RUKI, while bass player REITA is also firm in her opinion. “If you listen to just one of our singles, such as Fadeless, it offers just a glimpse of who were are – and that entices people. Each track is very different, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Different is one way to describe their music certainly. Covering themes of filthy desire, loss and sex addiction to name just three, they’re not for everyone. However with more than 60,000 subscribers to their YouTube page, 190K likes on Facebook and a steady stream of their music being regularly downloaded around the world, they have a fan-base and a strong one at that. Six years away may end some bands, but for the GazettE, it’s been their second coming.