Underground’s Artists : VAMPS


One simple word: HYDE! And I didn’t even cap it to make it exciting…that’s how his name rolls, that or lower-case.  But it is exciting!  VAMPS is HYDE’s side project away from his solo career and L’Arc- en-ciel with guitarist and fellow musician K.A.Z.  It’s currently signed under HYDE’s production company Vamprose.  Now that’s all that technical background stuff…let’s move on.

First off, HYDE (or hyde depending on what band he’s fronting) is a veteran of sorts in the jrock world.  He’s been around since the early 90’s and has managed to stay afloat ever since!  He’s also the first Japanese musician who was known in the US due to the fact that (happily) most of his songs are either English or what I like to call half-English (a language commonly spoke in many Japanese songs if the singer can pronounce his r’s and l’s.).  he and his band L’Arc-en-ciel were the first Japanese band ever to play Madison Square Garden…by the way.

The name of the band is a derivative of vampires which HYDE believes he is.  To be honest, this is not an uncommon practice on the Japanese music scene.  Many artists fancy themselves as a vampire of sorts…Gackt, Kamijo (of who will soon become formally) of Versailles.  The streets of Tokyo are littered with what westerners would considered cheesy or “old school” vampire styles!  Only HYDE uses it just every so often as a marketing tactic (as does the other ones I mentioned).  I think it’s cool since his music is about 75% of the appeal…but that extra 25% goes a hell of a long way for fans!  As a matter of fact, there are a lot of people who know HYDE…but not any of his music!  A tragedy people!  Try to find his stuff, it is amazing!

To date, VAMPS has only released 2 albums but has managed 2 US tour.  Though K.A.Z. and HYDE have been collaborating since HYDE’s first solo albums, it wasn’t until 2009 that they cut their first album as a “group”.  There are a whole lot of technicalities when discussing any form of Japanese music so try to keep up. Since there are only two albums, I can post the track listings as well…happy day!

The Albums

Vamps

  1. Bite
  2. Love Addict
  3. Cosmos
  4. Secret of my Heart
  5. Evanescent
  6. Vampire Depression
  7. Redrum
  8. Deep Red
  9. I Gotta Kick Start Now
  10. Time Goes By
  11. Sweet Dreams
  12. Hunting
  13. Sex Blood Rock n’ Roll

Beast

  1. Plug In
  2. Devil Side
  3. Angel Trip
  4. Memories
  5. Euphoria
  6. Vamp Addiction
  7. Revolution
  8. The Past
  9. Piano Duet
  10. Rumble
  11. Get Up
  12. Samsara
  13. My First Last

From personal experience these are really awesome albums!  Don’t take my word for it…go buy the damn things and find out for yourself.  I am never disappointed by ANYTHING they do!

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