A Japanese alternative rock band.

Members:

-Kirito - Vocals
-Jun – Guitar (lead, synth)
-Aiji – Guitar (rhythm)
-Kohta – Bass
-Takeo – Drums

Major Releases:

-1994: Kikuri Piero
-1996: Pandora no Hako
-1997: Celluloid EP
-1999: Finale
-2000: Private Enemy
-2002: Heaven: The Customized Landscape

History:

Pierrot was formed in 1994 and was signed to an independent label, Mystic Child, in December of that year. After a few lineup changes, the band settled into its current form and released two albums before being signed to a major label (Toshiba/EMI) in 1998. This contract expired and the band is now signed on with Universal Music. Pierrot have held 5 major concerts in Japan, titled Dictator’s Circus I-V, and have been on ten nationwide tours. They have played at some of Japan’s most prominent venues including the Nippon Budokan and the Seibu dome, a testament to their growing popularity. The band’s reputation and fanbase has grown steadily since their forming, and their musical style has grown and evolved as well, with the latest of their albums being considered their best.

Observations and commentaries:

I was introduced to Pierrot by a friend who had been living in Japan for a year, and had made friends with some of the goth population in her area and absorbing at least some of their tastes. She handed me an unmarked videotape when she got back, saying “trust me, just watch it.” It turned out to be a recording of their Dictator’s Circus V concert, and I was very very impressed. Expecting to like them for the sheer novelty value of oh-they’re-singing-in-another-language, which is why I like most J-pop, I was amazed by their musical talent and songwriting skill. While it may pass as heavy metal in Japan, it comes across more like just plain goth rock here, but very good goth rock at that. Their music is not the sort of thoughtless pap that comes from the vast majority of bands nowadays, Japanese or otherwise, but has a level of care in the composition and performance similar to that of bands you may have actually heard of such as the Cure or New Order. Although I cannot understand the lyrics, as all of their songs are in Japanese, I am reliably informed that they are meaningful and significant. From what I can gleam from translated interviews and watching the behind-the-scenes portion of the video they are also worthwhile and interesting characters, which always adds a little bit more cred to a band, at least as far as I’m concerned. Generally speaking, it would be worth the while to try and check these guys out, if only to prove that not all music from japan is either irritating pop or loud noise.

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