major - active (1993 - 2002)
While SIAM SHADE may be best known to overseas audiences as the band behind the "Rurouni Kenshin" ending theme, 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou, in Japan they are famous for their catchy songs and charismatic members. They're also known for being one of few bands to concentrate on their music, at a time when many other bands were more concerned with their visual image.
author: Bow (2009-05-20)
line up
  • Guitar: Ataru [1993 / 1993 - gone]
  • Drums: A [1993 / 1994 - gone]
In 1991, high school friends and classmates NATIN (bass) and Chack (vocals) decided to start their own band. After being joined by Ataru (guitar) and A (drums), their new band which was called Power at that time, was complete.

1992 was an exciting year for the band, as they placed first in a competition for new rock bands. At this same competition, they met KAZUMA, who was then a member of the band that took second place. He soon agreed to join the band as a guitarist and back-up vocalist. Around this time, they changed their name from Power to Atae:ru. They finished up the year by playing various small lives with other up and coming bands, such as Malice Mizer.

The next milestones for the new band came in 1993, when they changed their name to SIAM SHADE, and released their first demo tape. Shortly after the release of their demo, Ataru left the band, and was replaced by Daita, a high school friend of NATIN and Chack’s. Around this same time, they won the support of LUNA SEA’s Kawamura Ryuichi, who promoted them on his radio show.

The final line-up change for SIAM SHADE came in 1994, when drummer A left the band and was replaced by Junji. Later in the year, they released their first, self-titled album, SIAM SHADE. The album was listed in the Oricon indies charts for nine weeks, with a high point of spot number two.

The next several years saw many important moments for the band. Vocalist Chack changed his name to Hideki. They frequently opened for LUNA SEA and their popularity in the indies scene grew. They were signed to SME Records in 1995, and released their first single, Rain. The release of their first major label album, SIAM SHADE II, secured the band’s spot in the Oricon charts, and all their future albums would place well.

After the release of the single, 1/3 no Junjou na Kanjou, in 1997, the band’s popularity boomed. They continued to release a quick succession of albums and singles, and played important charity events, such as the Act against Aids annual benefit concert.

In December of 2001, the band played what would turn out to be their most famous concert: Legend of Sanctuary, at the Nippon Budokan. This performance lasted an exhausting two and a half hours, and included some of their most difficult songs and many fan favorites. The air of the concert was heavy with emotion, and it seemed to the fans that something big was about to happen. Just two weeks later, the band announced that they would disband after their short spring tour.

As it had long been a goal of the members to play a gig at the Budokan, they decided that their dream was realized, and their time as a band had come to a close. Their final concert, Start and Stand up, was March 11th, 2002, again at the Nippon Budokan. An emotional SIAM SHADE bid their fans farewell and called it quits while their popularity was still high.

On November 18, 2007, the band briefly regrouped and performed at the Nippon Budokan, in order to honor SIAM SHADE’s chief manager Shinichi Nakamura, who passed away in April.

Though the band is no more, each member continues to make music individually and since their split, all of them have gone solo and have started various new bands.
author: Bow (2009-05-20)

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  • Chaotic Harmony