Zi:kill

major - disbanded (1987 - 1994)
Zi:kill were arguably one of the most well known bands of visual kei in the 90's. The band's music varied between punk and hard rock, though without drifting too much in the direction of one of these two styles. What they did take from punk-rock though, was that everyone in the group was responsible for the backing vocals. On top of that came the pleasant voice of Tusk.
author: Tanja - translation: Sefs (2009-05-12)
line up
The band was formed in 1987, then under the name of G-Kill, by guitarist Ken and bassist Seiichi. At the start of the following year, drummer Masami and vocalist Tusk joined the band. They changed their name to Zi:kill and gave their first concert on April 20th, which took place in Meguro Rockmaykan. Further concerts followed in Tokyo and the surroundings. Music-wise they were a mix of trash-metal and punk to begin with. In September and November they released two live videos, each video being limited to 50 copies.

At the start of 1989 their first album came onto the market, which was limited to 5000 copies. To promote this album the band started a tour, which lasted several months. After their performance at Meguro Live Station on May 3rd, Masami left the band. As a replacement for the following tour, which they named CHANCE OF KING TOUR, they fetched Yukihiro, who had previously stepped out of Guerilla. The year ended with a real stroke of luck for the band, since they signed a contract with Extasy Records, the label of YOSHIKI of X JAPAN.

On the 1st of March, 1990, came their next album, Close Dance. This was again followed by a tour, which was split into two parts due to its extensive number of concerts. After the last concert on October 10th at Shibuya Kokaido that has a capacity of over 2000 people, they signed a contract with the major label Toshiba EMI, which guaranteed them their own label called planet ground. Before they could draw back to work on new material, they started a new mini-tour, that lead them to London at the end. On the 28th of December Yukihiro left the band during a live at Kawasaki Club Citta.

Their first major album Desert Town appeared in March 1991. As always it was followed with a tour, and for the drummer position they fetched Tetsu (ex-Saver Tiger, D'ERLANGER). The year then went by with success. After a guest contribution to Kamaitachi, which Seiichi and Tusk were involved in, and a number of concerts, they held an event at the famous Nippon Budokan on the 1st of August. In the same month Tusk was taken to hospital due to angina (tonsilitis). Since his recovery was taking quite a while, the band had to cancel all their planned concerts for November.

On the 24th of September, Tetsu announced his departure from the band, though despite this three days later their single HERO was released. After Tusk's gradual recovery, they took part in the Extasy Summit event at the end of October. At this concert EBY (ex- Magnets) was introduced to the fans as a new drummer.

In the following year several best-of albums were released: Tomorrow..., on Extasy Records, and Disgrace - The best of Zi:kill, on Toshiba EMI. The band changed labels again, as Zi:kill left EMI to go in the direction of King Records. In October the band took part once again in Extasy Summit, which was extended to an extra concert in Osaka due to the popularity of X JAPAN.

The time following this was bound with a whole load of releases and concerts. In September 1993 Tusk made an amusing video with hide of X JAPAN during a shoot of the SHOXX magazine, which was released at the end of the month under the name of "SETH and HOLTH".

In 1994 the band decided to break up. One of the reasons was that Ken was starting a solo career. On the 7th of March the four members parted ways, this was accompanied by a batch of releases, mainly concert videos. In 1995 two best-of boxes were also released.

After the end of the band all the members took some sort of break from music, but all except EBY eventually returned to the music industry.

Tusk tried with Amnesia and The Slut Banks, before he joined up with Seiichi and their ex-drummer Tetsu in CRAZE. Tetsu spent his time between the disbanding of Zi:kill and start of CRAZE in likewise pretty successful band BODY. In the meantime, Tusk announced his departure from CRAZE, whereupon the band disbanded in 2006.

A further ex-drummer of the band also carried on to have a successful career. After he played with the unknown OPTIC NERVE, Yukihiro switched to the by far more successful band, Die In Cries. In 1998 he joined L'Arc~en~Ciel, where he plays to this day. Ken switched to Crybaby, though the band disbanded at the end of 1999.
author: Tanja - translation: Sefs (2009-05-12)
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