biography - 10.31.2008 08:00


The history of MONORAL begins with Ali Morizumi and Anis Shimada, both of whom were previously working as VJs on MTV Japan and are half Japanese, deciding to launch their music careers and create their own band. Anis (vocals and guitar) and Ali (bass and guitar) celebrated the start of the band with several live performances and won the hearts of numerous fans through their mature sound and closeness with their audience.

Their first mini-album, in stereo, was released on July 7, 2001 under the indie label MYCO RECORDS and contained five tracks written and produced by the band. Despite this release, the band's main focus seemed to be on performing lives rather than releasing new material.

Also in 2001, they started the tradition of organizing Halloween lives every year. The popularity of this event saw its peak in 2005 when they played at HALLOWEEN OF THE LIVING DEAD, which was organized by HYDE and also featured performances by Olivia, HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR and Mika Nakashima.

For three years fans could enjoy seeing the band on stage, not only alone, but also alongside SONS OF ALL PUSSYS and HYDE during the Bubble Festival organized by S.O.A.P.. Aside from this, Ali worked as a DJ and played with Eric Zay (FAKE?) in his other band, Bloom Underground, Anis also acting as vocalist for a project called Belt and working on the English translations for HYDE's 666 album, on which you can hear Anis' voice in the song Masquerade. Anis, who is also half Moroccan, in addition to speaking Japanese and English, speaks French and Arabic, which listeners can hear examples of on Sugizo's C:LEAR album and Fantastic Plastic Machine's zoo.

In March of 2003, MONORAL's ue no sora was released on a compilation album entitled Tachytelic Night and Anis sang for MONDO GROSSO's song Graceful Ways.

In 2004, their second mini-album, ammonite, came out and reached #3 on Tower Records' weekly indie charts and stayed in the top 50 for seven months. The album deserved attention not only because of the outstanding musical arrangement and lyrics but also because of participation from support artists such as Rie Eto (backing vocals) and Eric Zay (drums).

Fans had but to wait about year for another new a MONORAL release. Their full length album, Petrol, hit shelves on July 13, 2005 before the announcement from Anis and Ali that they were ready to go major, their next release coming out under HYDE's HAUNTED RECORDS label.

In November, MONORAL's first single, VISIONS IN MY HEAD, was released. Surprisingly, the music was not composed by the members this time and, in some ways, it made it sound untypical of the band. Nonetheless, the new, upbeat songs were positively accepted by the fans and were great live songs as well. Still, MONORAL didn't lose their original style and perfectly showed it through their next song, kiri, an iTunes release that was all their own. It was released on the soundtrack for the anime "Ergo Proxy" and caused many anime fans to fall for the band.

Tuesday, the band's next single, was released just shy of a year later, in May of 2007 on HYDE's new VAMPROSE label. This release was true to MONORAL's style, showing off the band's catchy rhythms and rich vocals. Only a couple of months later, in July, the band released their second full length album, Turbulence, celebrating and promoting the release with parties and in-store performances at various venues and Apple stores throughout Japan. That year they also participated in the Fuji Rock Festival.

They didn't skip on their customary Halloween party and went on their Magical Turbulence Tour 2007 in November and December of 2007, the last show of which was held at CLUB CITTA on Christmas Eve.

The first half of 2008 was fairly quiet for the band, though the early part of July saw MONORAL performing at a show they called MONORAL TANABATA FESTIVAL 2008. They started their MONORAL CIRCUS TOUR 2008 on August 4th and August, September and October also had the band performing one night of each month at VAMPROSE's ROSE NIGHT events in Sendai, Nagoya and Osaka.

As for new releases for 2008, on July 30th, MONORAL released a new iTunes single, CASBAH, which was followed by another, SAFIRA, on September 3rd.

The band also participated on dates of VAMPS VAMPS TOUR 2008 and threw their usual Halloween party on October 26th, followed by two more Halloween lives on the 30th and 31st.

MONORAL's latest release, a new album titled Via, came out on October 29th and has received great reactions so far.

Next on MONORAL's agenda? The band is taking their first trip overseas to perform in Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Argentina in November and December. This band certainly keeps busy, so who knows what they have in store for the new year. Whether it's recording more rockin' music, touring the globe or preparing for their next Halloween bash, MONORAL is sure to please and surprise no matter what they do.
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