Janne Da Arc

biography - 10.11.2008 08:00

Janne Da Arc

On record, Janne da Arc began their activities as a band in 1991. However, the truth is that Yasu, Kiyo and Ka-yu had started the band 2 years prior. It was nameless and only became Janne da Arc when You joined in 1991. The name was chosen one day after reading Go Nagai's "Violence Jack" manga. Janne is one of its main characters and is inspired by the famous historical French heroine.

Between the years of 1992 and 1997, the band released 4 demo tapes and performed in numerous live-houses in hopes of making it in the Japanese music scene. However, things failed to pick up and the only people who really knew about the band were the live-house regulars.

Things began looking up in 1998, however, as the boys performed their first one-man at Hiragata Blow Down. They managed to snag an indie contract with it, leading to their first mini-albums, DEARLY and RESIST. Both spawned a small tour that managed to get their name out on the scene, which in turn lead to a third mini album entitled CHAOS MODE.

Mild indie success was not enough to calm the boys' souls, however. They needed something more. They wanted a major contract so that their music would reach every home in the Land of the Rising Sun. Seeing an opportunity in visual kei, the band changed their look to match more popular bands at the time.

Although their music remained the same, their first single as a "visual" band sky-rocketed into the top 50 of the Oricon charts, where it remained for three consecutive weeks. It was official; Janne da Arc was finally getting the recognition it deserved. They even snagged their coveted major contract in 1999 from Cutting Edge Records, a sub-division of Avex Records.

Their first major record, D.N.A., blew Japan away and cemented itself in J-rock history as one of the best records of the new millennium. Having found the fan base they sought, the band slowly abandoned the "visual" look and returned to their rock roots, sporting buttoned shirts, leather pants and a lot less makeup.

Things just progressed exponentially for the outfit afterwards, leading to countless albums/singles/DVDs and hundreds of sold-out concerts. Regardless of one's personal musical preferences, it's hard to ignore the powerhouse that is Janne da Arc. Spanning more than 17 years of musical excellence, they stand as a testament that hard work and perseverance can definitely pay off.
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