I’ve mentioned before my great love of the Japanese rock band the GazettE. (And the reason the ‘e’ is capitalized is just because it looks cool).
(Left to right: Aoi, Reita, Kai, Uruha, and Ruki is sitting).
I first was ‘introduced’ to them by my friend Mirriam Neal’s blog. She had pictures of Aoi and Kai (with the awesome hair pictured above) and I was curious. When I first looked into their music, I was a little confused and weirded out. I thought they were okay, but they weren’t anything I’d come in contact with before. But I still went foraging through the internet to look for their clean music. (While I don’t speak Japanese, the overall theme of a song is still very apparent in the music even if the words are foreign to the listener.)
I acquired a bit of a collection, but I branched out into other types of j-rock. A lot of them are good, but I quickly realized that the GazettE is one of the cleaner bands. It’s so hard to find songs even in my native language that are clean and it frustrates and angers me to no end. So I was certainly impressed and proud that the Gazette didn’t block me out of their artistry. That’s not to say that all of their stuff is perfectly clean — it’s not. But something that I love about them is that if they choose to make something inappropriate for someone with my standards to listen to, the content usually includes only swearing or themes of violence. In today’s world sexuality is glorified. It’s pathetically hard to find a song that doesn’t highlight this in some way. That’s one reason why I don’t listen to a lot of modern pop music (plus it’s not really my thing). One has to search diligently on the internet and be prepared to wade through things no one should have to come in contact with just to find a good song. It’s pathetic and disgusting. But for the most part, the GazettE stay away from involving that particular theme in their music.
(Aoi and Reita).
The GazettE get life. None of them have had it easy, perhaps Ruki, the vocalist, in particular. He was treated very poorly by his family to the extent that he had nothing to do with his father until the band began to get popular. These guys have seen sadness and pain but not only has it made them fuller, better people, they’ve been able to help others through their experiences. That’s how hardships should be used. So many of their songs are uplifting, and many of them deal with harsh topics such as abuse and death. One of my favorite songs is Miseinen, and to paraphrase the song, it’s basically a story of growing up. In youth, you rebel and your pride lifts you up, but that’s not really how it’s supposed to go. It’s okay to rely on friends and family, to be broken, because it makes you stronger. I think it not only sums up the amazing mentality of the band, but the hope we can have for our own lives.
The GazettE have helped me very much in my life. I have a very hot temper and their music is one of the few things that calm me down sufficiently. As anyone who knows me understands, I struggle so much with math. (And my dad’s an accountant. Sad, right?) I would get so wound up that my emotional state would be on the range between ‘frustrated’ and ‘angry’. I don’t like being mad. It leaves a bitter feeling that’s hard to shake. So as I studied up in my room, I’d turn on Baretta and Best Friends. It really helped. One fan has said, “They understand what my family doesn’t.” And while I don’t share those feelings about my family not understanding, I love that I can listen to a couple of songs by the GazettE and then be calm enough to express myself to those close to me. ‘Cause it really stinks to be so frustrated that when I try to speak, all of it boils up and I wind up doing something I regret. Or even if I’m feeling down, listening to Cassis calms me and gives me hope. To me, that’s really the GazettE’s message: hope. Both in their music and how they live their lives.
They’re actually really shy, private people. My dad avoids the topic of them because I think they make him wary, which, in my opinion, is kind of funny. Mirriam and I talked quite a bit about them the other day, and the way she described them when her mother looked askance at them was that they’re sweet babies. And she’s right. They have such sweet spirits. Their music is downright awesome — they’re a highly talented bunch. But their spirits have the opportunity to speak through it. They try so hard to be tough, but they’re polite and funny and just genuinely people who make me smile. When I’m upset in any way, they’re one of the things with the highest percentage of cheering me up and giving me hope.
I could go on about them forever, but I’ll just keep this short and sweet. The GazettE have reached into my heart and give me confidence and help me strive toward who I want to be. I have a very strong fear of failure and they help calm me down and let me see more of my potential. I don’t know them and they don’t know me, but the hope and strength they give me will forever be something I treasure.
P.S. New album in August! Someone tell me how it is, as I’ll be on a mission.