If you look at LAREINE when they started in 1994 and compare it with the way you know them now, you will fail to find many similarities.
When you go back about a decade, you will find a lot of interesting information, but unfortunately a lot of this information is incomplete or unconfirmed. However, the following is a summary of how the band started.
In 1994, a band by the name of LALIENE was created by the vocalist Shoki, who had been a roadie of Malice Mizer, together with the guitarist Mayu. Don't let the name trick you: Shoki was simply KAMIJO with a different name and it seems that Mayu went by the name Kaito then as well. They found some other members to complete the band: guitarist Hirono, bassist Sakureu and drummer Kyoka.
This new band started to write songs, played some gigs and recorded a few demo-tapes. The line-up continued to change in the first year, but in 1995 it seems they had settled down on the line-up that would stay the same for a long time: KAMIJO, Mayu, Emiru and Machi. They also changed their name from LALIENE into LAREINE, somewhat signalizing that they were now ready to start for sure!
And indeed, in 1996 they proved themselves by releasing their first single and the mini-album Blue Romance, which is still a popular item amongst old and new LAREINE fans.
In the following years, the band released single after single, becoming more and more successful. In 2000 they released their first full album Fierte no Umi to Tomo ni Kyu but a few months after it's release the band made a sad announcement. Emiru, Mayu and Machi had decided to leave the band. Emiru left because of musical differences, and because Machi and Mayu felt like the band was incomplete without him, they quit, too.
KAMIJO however did not want to give his precious band up, and continued by himself. Although he was alone now, in the same year he released a single, and the album Scream (with a limited edition called Vampire Scream). One could notice the difference between their former work and KAMIJO on his own easily. It simply sounded less optimistic, less grotesque and more like straight rock songs without any of the flourishes it used to have before.
In 2001, KAMIJO also stopped working on LAREINE, too, putting the band on hiatus. The ex-members worked on their own projects and bands now such as New Sodmy and Ribbon.
A lot of fans feared that this was the end of LAREINE for sure now. After all, 'an activity break' is often used as an euphemism for 'disbanding'. Fortunately for the fans, LAREINE is a band that likes to amaze and surprise people and unexpectedly, two years later in late 2002, they returned!
They had the same line-up except for the drummer, Machi, who had decided not to come back and instead Kazumi joined the band. He had also been working together with Emiru in the band Ribbon.
They continued to release various singles and albums and were even more active then they had been before. Though, it seemed that even though they kept releasing item after item, they never got as successful as they used to be and didn't even reach the charts anymore.
In March 2005, the band turned ten years of age, which was of course a reason to celebrate. They held a special memorial performance and later they released a number of memorial and best-of CDs.
About a year later new problems started to arise and snowballed quickly into bigger ones. At first, the band announced that Kazumi would leave the band and would stop making music in general. In March 2006, they performed as a quartet for the last time. A number of new releases were put out, mostly more compilation albums and re-releases, but then in October it was announced that LAREINE was putting all their activities on an indefinite hold seeing as Mayu seemed to have disappeared and KAMIJO and Emiru did not think they could continue the band without the guitarist.
On October 31st, KAMIJO and Emiru, together with the help of a support guitarist played their last live as LAREINE. Currently, KAMIJO is the vocalist of the band VERSAILLES and Emiru has started a band called ANUBIS.
LAREINE is a disbanded visual kei band that was around for more then a decade, led by the charismatic vocalist KAMIJO.
They are mostly known for their romantic approach to music: most of their songs are connected to each other by a dramatic story-line and sometimes the songs are close to being too grotesque with their many flourishes but LAREINE still manages to find a suitable musical balance.