The Band that Changed My Life and the Song that Awoke my True Passion

GAZETTENow that I have free time. I’m going to be dedicating this post to my ultimate favorite band: The Gazette. I want to start off by saying, the first songs I heard by The Gazette, I was NOT a fan of. I hate to admit that when I heard “Anata no Tame no kono inochi” I HATED it. I wanted to give them another chance, so I found a couple more songs and watched the PVs, but HATED the music. One day, as I was watching some Nightmare PV, there was a link for a similar artist. The uploader didn’t put the name of the band up or the song title! I think it was titled something like “visual kei” or “new Jrock song” or something like that. I clicked on the link and watched the PV. I remember seeing the black guitar and hearing the gentle melody of the guitar before the instruments kicked in. I was spellbound by the melody. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen as I watched the guitarist with the lip piercing play that intoxicating melody. To be honest, I didn’t notice HIM per se, but what I noticed was him PLAYING the guitar. Not only was the melody captivating, but there was something about the way he played the guitar that held my attention. It was as if the guitar was a part of him, an extra appendage. I was mesmerized.

I didn’t pay attention to anything except the lyrics and the sound of the guitar as well as the piano. During the shots of the guitarist, I saw the way he moved with his guitar and it was almost magical. He was graceful and he worked with the guitar in such a way that made it seem like he was dancing with it. I remember by the time it was his solo near the end of the song, my mouth dropped open. There was something so different about the solo compared to American music that had me blown away. It had feeling, it had a delicacy that I found Western music and guitar solos to be lacking. I don’t remember how many times I replayed that video, wishing I knew who the band was.

After that day, I swore that I would teach myself guitar again. I had tried to teach myself when I was in grade six and even bought my first acoustic, but I failed miserably. I gave up quickly. However, this guitarist caused something deep inside of me to awaken. It was an intense passion to learn how to play the guitar, except, I was going to learn the electric.

One day, I was searching for more Gazette songs, because I wanted to give them another chance. So many people seemed to like them so, I wanted to see why. Then, in one of the searches, I found the video that looked EXACTLY like the video of the nameless band and guitarist that I loved. The song was called “Cassis.” I watched it and nearly laughed at myself for not noticing the band members until now. I looked up more information about them and found out that my favorite guitarist was named Aoi and the other members were Ruki, Reita, Uruha, and Kai.

A couple years later, I met someone who was a drummer, but could play guitar by ear. He taught me how to play power chords and gave me a list of chords for the acoustic that I could learn. I went out and bought my first electric guitar as well as an amp. I wanted to learn power chords first. I showed him the video of “Cassis” and, the next time I went over to jam with him, he had learned the song. He taught it to me, and after three hours of torturing myself to learn it, I was able to play it, with mistakes of course. The next week, when I went back to show him how much I had learned, I was able to play along with the whole song without any mistakes. The very first song that I had learned to play was “Cassis” by The Gazette.

If it wasn’t for Aoi’s beginning and ending solo, I’m not sure if I would as passionate about the electric guitar as I am now. Since that day I saw/heard “Cassis” I never lost my passion for playing guitar, but I just became busy and didn’t have time for it. However, every time I looked over and saw the guitar on the stand, I was itching to play it again.

So, thank you, The Gazette and especially Aoi for writing such a beautiful song with amazing guitar solos that awoke my true passion for guitar again. Thank you, thank you!

After this song, I soon found other songs that I liked by them. One of the other ones that I really liked was “Reila.” That’s probably the first time I actually “noticed” how incredibly beautiful Aoi was. Or maybe it was the fact that since he awoke my passion and I admired his beautiful skill that I had already become entranced by him without knowing it. Either way, that’s when I actually noticed that I found him attractive. Totally not important, because it didn’t change ANYTHING about their music for me. It didn’t make me like them more or less. In fact, I still hated “anata no tame no kono inochi,” “cockroach,” “discharge,” etc. It wasn’t until I watched RCE (Repeated Countless Error) that I fell in LOVE with them even more. Watching Ruki on stage, full of emotions clearly on his face and in his voice was spine-chilling. Watching the entire band’s energy on stage and hearing things that were “raw” just caused me to adore their music even more. In fact, after witnessing the headbanging for “Discharge” and how the fans reacted to the music, it made me LOVE the song. Since then, I re-listened to all their old songs and fell in love with them, even “Anata no tame no kono inochi.” Actually, that song makes me smile now.

Seeing “Taion” live from RCE was incredible. Ruki banging on the grate and his haunting voice without the music, especially his scream as the music started, gave me goosebumps. I had already heard the song before and read the English translation, and it had helped me through a tough time. Actually, I was affected by the song even more after I saw it performed live during RCE. The first time I actually heard the album version of the song, I liked it, and looked up the lyrics. When I read the lyrics, I had interpreted it as dealing with a rape, because of my own experience of being raped and sexually assaulted. Any time I felt the strange sickening feeling of what I went through, I listened to “Taion” with headphones, loud and just let myself release with the song. I would sing along to the song over and over again, feeling like every time I was releasing a negative energy that was stuck deep within my soul. “Taion” really helped me through a negative time in my life. I felt emotionally spent by the time the song was finished, but it was my way of releasing my emotions, since I refused to cry.

Not only through “Cassis” and “Taion” was I able to find emotional release, but I also found a couple more songs to be truly helpful and meaningful to me. The first is “Pledge.” When it was released, I was actually aware that my relationship was coming to an end. My boyfriend at the time had left for Japan and Korea for a month. I saw him two weeks before he went on his trip, and the entire trip he didn’t email me not even once. I knew in my heart and soul that we were going to break up. I knew that it was better that we break up, but I couldn’t help but feel immense pain because we had been together for 11 months. When the maxi album for this was released, I listened to it, unaware of what would happen when I heard the song. I understood some of the lyrics when I heard the song, but as soon as I heard the chorus and the words “kanashii” I couldn’t hold in how I really felt anymore. I started crying and couldn’t stop for hours. I would listen to the song over and over again and let myself cry.

In January, when he came back, he ignored me for a week before I finally texted him and told him that we needed to talk. I broke up with him and he agreed. After we broke up, I couldn’t cry, but I felt terrible. I was listening to music, lying on my bed and snuggling with my dog, Pepper, when by chance, “Pledge” came on. As soon as I heard the gentle piano playing, I started crying. I listened to this song probably for a week straight at night, before I went to bed, so I could release everything I was holding inside all day long. I would pretend everything was okay, and I knew that it was really bad for me, but I refused to cry in front of other people, so I had to find a way to release, and this was it. I am truly grateful that I could turn to music to help me through tough times, because in the end, they always made me feel better.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/44254207″>the GazettE – PLEDGE PV</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/m2ntouching”>m2ntouching</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Another song that helped me through a hard time is “Untitled.” After Bob broke up with me, I was upset for a really long time. The album Toxic was released a month after we broke up, and I would listen to it in the shower. The first time I listened to the album was when I was in the shower, and “Untitled” came on. I had been feeling like a zombie, I lost six pounds (I’m only 5 feet tall, so six pounds was a lot). I went from 106 pounds to 100 pounds after a month of not being able to eat properly. I was incredibly depressed over this relationship, although it had only lasted three months, the relationship was the kind that I had always wanted. I thought the song sounded really nice and I really liked it, but as soon as I heard the chorus, I immediately began sobbing and fell to my knees. I don’t think I ever cried as hard or as loud as I did the first time I heard this song. There was something so powerful about it that brought me to tears. Actually, it had been a long time since I last listened to this song, but when I stumbled across the video below, I remembered it again. I was doing perfectly fine, I was happy when I heard it, but as soon as the chorus kicked in, I burst into tears for no apparent reason. Even listening to it now, brings me to tears. I can be in a perfectly good mood, but whenever I try singing along, as soon as I try to sing the second part of the chorus, I break down in tears. This is the first time that a song has had that much power for me, enough to bring me to tears no matter how happy I am.

I’ve known about Gazette since 2006, it’s been seven years that I’ve been listening to them and I love all the songs that are on their albums, but I don’t think I ever really appreciated them as much as I do right now. I’ve “grown up” into adulthood with their music by my side, but it wasn’t until early last month, when I listened to “Untitled” and was moved to tears when I was HAPPY, that I looked back and realized how much their music has actually helped me through some of the toughest situations in my life. Not only that, but Aoi awoke the desire to play guitar again and they even helped me laugh and forget about the pain when I watched their lives as well as interviews.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/42119144″>the GazettE – UNTITLED</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user11677984″>Riuki</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

I have never seen them in concert, but one day, I hope I can. It’s been my dream for a long time and now that they are coming to Mexico, I was hoping I could go, but I know that I can’t! Unfortunately, Mexico City is a VERY dangerous place, especially since I’m from Guadalajara. The two cities have immense animosity against each other, although I have Canadian Citizenship, what Spanish I DO know I speak with a “Guadalajaran” accent. It’s also too far of a trip for me and despite being able to see them, I’d only be there for a day and it wouldn’t be worth it. I’d much rather fly all the way to Japan for a week or two and see them live and experience the concert with Japanese fans, whom I have heard are incredible!

It’s too bad that I’ll never get to meet them. I would love to thank them in person for their music helping me through some tough times. I am truly grateful to The Gazette for their music, as silly as it may sound to some people. However, this is one of the reasons why I love The Gazette so much, plus they have so many other songs that are just pure awesome. Gazette, 本当にありがとうございました!

Leave a Reply