Hi, I'm new to the community and I would like to introduce myself.
My name is Aimi and I am an amateur guitar player who once tried to learn Shamisen (off of a cheap Asoviva Sanshin), gave up, and now has a revived interest in the Shamisen. My main thing is vocals, but guitar and Shamisen have also become interests. I got into the Shamisen through a video game soundtrack and ever since, I was captivated by traditional Japanese music of all types. I've wanted to play many traditional instruments, but it always goes back to the Shamisen for some reason. Through traditional Japanese music, I was introduced to VisualKei. (For those who don't know, VisualKei is this visual movement among Japanese Heavy Rock musicians, especially in the indie scene, that is characterised by heavy makeup and crossdressing, very similar to Kabuki theatre. Some of the most famous bands are X Japan, Dir En Grey, and Kuroyume). A lot of the VisualKei bands I listen to have this folk element to them, many influenced by styles of Japanese art, such as Eroguro. There is this specific style of Vkei known as AnguraKei, which can be described as “Japanese nostalgia”. The bands are quite diverse, but all are known for using archaic language and are often unconventional in instrumental delivery. For exampe, Kiryu is known for the lead singer's very emotional vocal style, which takes influence from Traditional Japanese music, and their influence from 90's Alternative Rock and Alternative Metal. They also use traditional instruments like Shamisen, Koto and Shakuhachi. Their lyrics often play on themes of Japanese horror, and their visuals are quite influenced by Kabuki theatre. Then there is GossiP, which is known for it's Taisho-Showa era theme, and the lead singer's aggressive vocals, often including a lot of R trilling. Fittingly, the band plays an experimental mix of Punk Rock and Nu Metal. Their lyrics often take on themes of pre-war and early post war era Japan, and their visuals often make them look like they were taken out of a piece of Suehiro Maruo's work.
Recently, my interest in Shamisen has been revived after remaining dormant for some time. IDK why, but it just is. It's something about the sound that captivates me.
My dream is to start a VisualKei band, that experiments with different genres of heavy rock and sometimes uses Japanese instruments like the Shamisen. I'm mainly a vocalist, and my vocal skills range from Androgynous vocals, heavy vibrato, harsh vocals (screaming, growling, etc.) and often, including archaic elements of the Japanese language. While I'm not a speaker of Japanese, I've studied the archaic forms of Japanese and notice that often the singers of my favourite bands use some archaic phonemes, and I've studied which words contain those sounds. (I.E the Japanese word for paint, “e”, used to be pronounced as “we”).
At the moment, I don't have a proper Shamisen to learn on, but I'm going to get a job over the summer so I can make money toward a Nagauta Shamisen (Nagauta is my favourite style).
So that's it on my introduction. I hope I'll have a great time here. Thanks!
Welcome! Personally I like that sort of chiptune vibe in some of the clips that were linked to above …
Hey Aimi and welcome to Bachido. If you are into the fusion of Metal ish elements and Shamisen you should check out this band called God of Shamisen. You might dig some of their music. Even though their bandleader is a total loser and an egotistical jerk who likes to take every opportunity to promote himself and was high most of the time while making the music of God of Shamisen. But still you might dig some of the music as it is somewhat amusing at times, haha.
(Samurai Death Metal Shamisen vid)
Oh yeah! I remember God of Shamisen! I forgot how awesome their music was
Aimi, we're excited to have you here on bachido! Aimi, I have the same feelin as your concerning waakki band, since I mainly don't see something really oriinal regarding the singer. I really cannot understand wht Yuuko performs a strange shigin style… when I firstly listened she was a shigin performer, I really was surprised, but I'm a bit deluded…
To be fair, the production of Wagakki band is a bit, well, overproduced (That Avex production xD). Yuuko actually sounds way better in her old group, Hanafugetsu, which showed her voice in a more raw way. What I like about Kiryu is how Mahiro (The lead singer) combines modern techniques with older singing techniques to create such an emotional sound.
I have Hanafugetsu albums, and I really like their songs, because we find another face of Yuko. The music also covers other styles, somewhat more unique than the repetitive songs of waakki band, except some. I'll perform a song by wagakki called tori no you ni, with a nijuugogen performer, a shakuhachi performer and a wadaiko performer. I hope it will be really fine, and i also shows the mission of a unit I'm involved in, which, like kiryu and others, fuses traditional Japanese musical styles/singing techniques and mothern music, but expanding other genres