L’Arc~en~Ciel

by Leanne on September 3, 2005 · 68 comments · AddThis

hyde hyde
vocals
Birthday: January 29, 1968*
Height: 158 cm*
Misc: colorblind, married, artist
ken ken
guitar
Birthday: November 28, 1969
Height: 178 cm
tetsu tetsu
bass, leader
Birthday: October 3, 1968
Height: SHORT
Misc: Gundam freak
yukihiro yukihiro
drums
Birthday: November 24, 1969
Height: 165 cm
Misc: Chocolate freak

L’Arc~en~Ciel (French for Rainbow) is very different than the everyday rock bands you hear today. There is something about them that sets them apart. They, along with the band GLAY, are the last of what some people refer to as the “Early 90’s Greats”. The band currently consists of hyde on vocals, ken on guitar, tetsu on bass, and yukihiro on drums. Yes, all their names are lowercase.

L’Arc~en~Ciel (Laruku for short) have been around a long time, 12 years on a major label (since 1994), and almost sixteen if their indie days are included. Since the beginning they were different from most bands, dressing with a Mediterranean gypsy fashion rather than the black and gloomy clothes that was so prevalent in the indie rock scene at the time. They don’t like to play by the rules; they like to make them up. L’Arc~en~Ciel is one of those bands that go beyond a rigid genre of rock, just as their name suggests, they explore every color of the rainbow, from punk to metal to pop. They can be dark and haunting at times (finale), light and fun (Driver’s High), or slow and beautiful (Pieces). This may be cause for their large fan base in and outside of Japan: the visual rocker and the pop listener will both find something they enjoy. Their music transcends the language barrier. And there is no doubt that L’Arc~en~Ciel has left a big mark on, not only the Japanese music scene, but also Japanese culture, from video games to manga to fashion.

The band was formed in 1991 by tetsu, or rather the band’s concept. He only had a guitarist, Hiro, at the time, and he had all intentions of becoming the vocalist. During this time, hyde and Pero were having trouble with their band “Jersalems Rod” and tetsu decided to recruit them after hearing hyde’s voice. hyde was reluctant at first to become the vocalist and wanted to be the guitarist because he thought girls liked guitars better. After pushing by tetsu, he agreed and tetsu finally had his band, naming it “L’Arc~en~Ciel” after a French movie he just watched with the same name. They held various lives during that year in Osaka and became very popular in the indies scene. In 1992, Hiro left the band, and tetsu called up ken. ken and tetsu had formed a band in high school, but ken went on to architectural studies after graduation. Again, tetsu pushed ken to join, and after much persuasion ken quit school to join the band. Supposedly, he left without the blessings of his parents and haven’t talked to them since. With ken in the band, they recorded a song for the omnibus album “Gimmick”, and soon after released their first single “Floods of tears” with a limited pressing of 1000.

Later that year, Pero decided to leave the band, supposedly to follow Hiro, and tetsu was in search of another member again. He had seen a drummer, sakura, in many lives and called him up to offer him a job. sakura was not an official member of any band and just played with whoever needed him. Being from Tokyo, he never heard of L’Arc~en~Ciel, but decided to check them out. He traveled to Osaka to hear them play and decided that this was the band for him. In 1993, “DUNE” was released through special mail-order and was printed in limited copies. The mail-order only version had only nine tracks and special packaging. Then, later in the year, a regular version of “DUNE” was released and contained ten songs. It hit #1 on the Oricon Indies Charts. The band was being recruited by many major labels, but they continued to travel from Osaka to perform lives in Tokyo. Later that year, they all moved to Tokyo and signed under the Ki/oon Records division of SONY MUSIC. A video single “nemuri ni yosete” was released, followed by their major debut as “Tierra”, arguably considered their most consistent and focused album. The song “Blurry Eyes” was being used for the anime DNA^2 and therefore was released after “Tierra” and is often considered their debut single. In 1995 the band released one single, “Vivid Colors” and the album “heavenly” based on a lighter European rock sound.

In 1996, their first million seller, “True” was released, and the band had reached the level of popularity that they always dreamed of. A good deal of their songs were used for TV, their faces covered magazines and billboards, and they became regular guests on music programs. This all came to an end in 1997 when sakura was arrested for heroin possession. tetsu was extremely upset at this incident and never seemed to get over it, most likely never being able to forgive sakura for almost destroying his band. hyde was very close to sakura and suffered a depression. Many fans agree that the whole event was blown out of proportion: their theme songs were replaced, their CDs pulled off shelves, and their images no where to be found. The release of the single “the Fourth Avenue Cafe” was cancelled. The band seemed to disappear overnight. The rest of the band was put under house arrest by their record company after undergoing a drug test themselves. This was the lowest point of the band’s career, but helped to shape their future direction.

After sakura left the band, the rest of L’Arc~en~Ciel decided to keep on going. They created a “L’Arc~en~Ciel cover band” called “the Zombies” and played in small venues. They then travelled to Europe to film the video to their comeback single “niji“, hiring yukihiro as a temporary replacement of sakura. In February 1998, tetsu announced yukihiro as permanent drummer to the band, and their next album “HEART” was later released, which included their first #1 single “winter fall“. L’Arc~en~Ciel was not forgotten by their fans. “HEART” was followed by the double release of “ark” and “ray” which peaked at #1 and #2 respectively and which gained them a plethora of music awards. In 2001, they released “REAL” and announced that they were going to take a break as a band. The members each pursued their own solo projects, and fear of a break-up arose.

In 2003 the band went on a seven day tour saying that there would be a very important announcement at the end of the tour. While some suspected an announcement of break-up, fans’ fears were eased with an announcement of instead a new album! “SMILE” was released in March of 2004 and was also released in the United States under TOFU Records, a division of SONY created in 2002 to promote JPop in the US. They also surprised US fans with their first American concert at Otakon, an anime convention. 12,000 fans attended the event and it became the largest performance by a Japanese artist in American history.

Their most recent release is the album “AWAKE” which, for the first time, contains 12 full length songs. It will be released in the US in September. All of their recent singles from “jiyuu e no shoutai” have had appearences from their second alter ego band “P’UNK~EN~CIEL”, which consists of TETSU P’UNK on vocals and guitar, HYDE P’UNK on guitar, YUKI P’UNK on bass, and KEN P’UNK on drums. P’UNK~EN~CIEL does punk covers of L’Arc~en~Ciel songs. Their latest single is the summer song “Link” which is being used as the opening theme song for the Full Metal Alchemist Movie.

Related Posts:

  1. flashback to “heavenly” The album “heavenly” by L’Arc~en~Ciel is oft abandoned by new fans. It doesn’t maintain the importance that “Tierra” had as their debut, nor is it distinguished as being a million seller as with the band’s first #1 junior effort “True”. It’s the middle child of the sakura-era albums that’s lacking much needed attention and needs to be recognized. Let's see how this much forgotten album fares.........
  2. the Fourth Avenue Cafe the Fourth Avenue Cafe Release Date: 2006.08.30 Peak Position: #5 Label: Kioon/SONY RECORDS Product Code: KSCL-1027 First Press: Picture-labeled disc On August 30th, L’Arc~en~Ciel had finally released a new single. Yet, unlike most other singles, fans weren’t wondering how it would sound or what the lyrics would be about. They weren’t waiting for the PV to air. Instead, they were [...]......
  3. COUNTDOWN: are you in? After only reuniting with L'Arc~en~Ciel for two years, HYDE returns to us with "COUNTDOWN" a hard rock number being used as the Japanese theme song to the movie "STEALTH" (staring Jamie Foxx) and lyrics crying out for peace. 13.12.11.10.9.8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1, Let's review!......
  4. HYDE’s debut: “evergreen” In 2000, much to fans' surprise, L'Arc~en~Ciel announced that they were going to be on a brief hiatus. hyde was the last of the members to release solo material, and his can be considered as the most experimental of the group. In October of 2001 he released his debut single as HYDE titled "evergreen". No doubt many fans of the band were surprised at the direction HYDE had chosen for his solo project. Let's see how the (then) new HYDE fairs. ......
  5. A Suite Gift From TETSU69 After L'Arc~en~Ciel's announced hiatus in 2000, the members started solo projects in 2001. tetsu's solo project is TETSU69, and according to him, the "69" stands for his birthyear and the all caps is for aesthetic reasons. His CDs were to be released under the name "SPROUSE", which became his new (but now seemingly defunct) record label. His first single was the double a-side "wonderful world/TIGHTROPE" which peaked at spot #5 on the Oricon charts. In November 2002 his first, and to this date only, album was released entitled "Suite November". Let's see how L'Arc~en~Ciel's bassist and leader fares on his......

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

joey MALAYSIA March 2, 2009 at 7:51 am

L’Arc-en-Ciel is another JRock band that I listen the most beside Bump of Chicken. hyde vocal is very good and their compositions are mostly brilliant. It is nice to see them from the early age till now. My favourite would be Honey and The Blackrose.

Reply

reita chan February 14, 2009 at 1:43 am

Yupz!!! laruku maybe the best band in Japan, my friends love them sooooooooo…..much……..do u hav everything bout them?? call me…
owh, i love nexus….

yukihiro…..i love ur hair!!!

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Adeu May 10, 2008 at 6:33 am

The concert in Paris (at Le Zénith) was terrific!! There will be a DVD release out of the performance.

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hitokiri_roxy PHILIPPINES April 22, 2008 at 7:37 am

Guys! We’d like to announce that WE HAVE 4 EXTRA $580HSD (hong kong dollar) TICKETS FOR SALE to the L’Arc concert in Hong Kong. If you guys are interested or if you know anybody who’d like to avail of them, pls send me an email, thanks a lot!t!

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hitokiri_roxy PHILIPPINES February 21, 2008 at 8:56 am

Laruku won for Best Group at the Yahoo Japan Music Awards!!!

Omedetto Laruku-chan!!!

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eva CHINA February 19, 2008 at 10:21 am

oh~today is a special day!

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hitokiri_roxy PHILIPPINES January 31, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Konnichiwa minna!

According to Le Ciel, Laruku’s official fanclub, here’s a list of concerts they’re having this 2008.

Kyaaa!!!

2008.4.19 上海 源深体育場 Shanghai Yuanshen Sports Stadium
2008.4.26 台湾 中山足球場 Taiwan
2008.5.09 パリ ルゥ ゼニット アリーナ Paris Le Zénith Arena
2008.5.17 ソウル オリンピックパーク体操競技場 Seoul Olympic Park
2008.5.24 香港 アジア ワールドエキスポ アリーナ Hong Kong Asia World Expo Centre Arena
2008.5.31 東京 東京ドーム Tokyo Dome
2008.6.01 東京 東京ドーム Tokyo Dome
2008.6.03 東京 東京ドーム Tokyo Dome
2008.6.07 大阪 京セラドーム大阪 Kyocera Dome Osaka
2008.6.08 大阪 京セラドーム大阪 Kyocera Dome Osaka

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reita chan February 14, 2009 at 1:46 am

u love laruku too??? wow!!! laruku influence the whole world…..

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yunrlei BAHRAIN January 6, 2008 at 5:10 am

Happy New Year. Now count down to 23days before my birthday… also Hyde’s birthday and Oprah Winfrey’s birthday. Wishing all a great year & best wishes to Hyde, L’arc en ciel & all the fans.

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nonick January 3, 2008 at 4:45 am

well, I loke Laruku so much
Actually I knew them from my friends in college. She’s the biggest fan of Laruku.
I like Hyde most, but I also like others.
D U know that Laruku inspires me so much by their songs although I have to translate the songs in Indonesian?
I hope they will always exsist 4ever and ever.

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ej November 19, 2007 at 8:02 pm

I know that the band is solid..they will never disband…but I also like their solo..especially the kens soap..funny and tough..LOL! … true, theres something about them that sets them apart from other rock bands including jrock peeps…hmm..their style is unique..after hearing the 4th ave. cafe, which is the first song that I did like, I started hearing drivers high..and the rest is historyyyyy……. : )

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H@Ries INDONESIA September 12, 2007 at 7:49 pm

if i remember at t’past. since i was heared 4th avenue cafe at Rurouni Kenshin sound track. Then, thats my first “love” to Laruku. then, i start to search all bout laruku. songs n lyrics, profile i’ve to collection it.
but i still didnt have laruku fans from others countries. :(
Laruku fans that i can share each others with it…

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hitokiri_roxy September 1, 2007 at 10:41 am

keiyuki,

i was thinking the same thing, its just like an ad for unicef and the world wildlife fund combined, with a touch of united colors of benetton, hehe! i sent you a reply email by the way.

oh the event wouldn’t push through? that is soo disheartening to hear…i was so looking forward to it ever since i missed the 1st one…sigh, oh well. I hope its not final though. i’ll keep my fingers crossed and pray to the kami at the same time, ooohhh!

anyway, i’ll see ya around, ja!

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keiyuki PHILIPPINES August 31, 2007 at 10:17 am

hitokiri_roxy:

kyaaa~ they made it, sou ne~!

I’m just saddened, thou’, that even if we buy the single here it won’t be from japan unless we had it shipped, but that’s too expensive, I guess…? *le sigh*

wala atang event this september… haven’t heard from my friend from juujiro. x___x shame, shame… fuu.

have you seen the PV? Oooooh it so wins~

UNICEF should use Laruku to promote Child welfare around the world for this song’s PV! ^0^

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hitokiri_roxy PHILIPPINES August 29, 2007 at 10:46 pm

hello keiyuki!

unfortunately, i wasn’t able to go last sept…but if the next one pushes through, i’ll be there!

by the way, my heart draws a dream is at number 1!!! way to go Laruku!!!

They made it!!!

http://www.oricon.co.jp/rank/js/d/

exile and utada are at number 2 & 3.

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keiyuki PHILIPPINES August 13, 2007 at 9:28 am

hitokiri_roxy:

Soooo maybe I’ve seen you around Juujiro’s L’Arc~en~Ciel event last September~! *le gasp* I was there and I had to commend the guy who karaoke-ed ‘Hitomi no Juunin”. Whew.

I’ll email you off-list, I promise. Damn I feel so good right now! ^___^

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hitokiri_roxy PHILIPPINES August 5, 2007 at 10:51 pm

wahoho and keiyuki:

pls feel free to email me anytime, or if you have friendster (hitokiri_roxy@yahoo.com)

mga kababayan, we have to spread the laruku love! the next larc phil fan event is gonna be this sept i think. :)

Reply

Kosse UNITED STATES August 1, 2007 at 10:00 pm

I’m so happy ! i was finally able to download the full virsion of my heart draws a dream

Reply

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