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むやみに不幸な男たち

I didn’t want to say anything until I heard them try and explain what happened, the breakup announcement was hardly enough, and at the same time I found it hard to put everything into right words. But Hizumi’s Rock and Read interview was the proverbial last straw. I understand that there are a lot of things he cannot say, but I still get so annoyed at the fact that he writes everything off as his throat problems. If only that was the only thing they had to deal with! The fact that I cannot shake off the feeling that he tries really hard to get things across without actually spelling them out, only aggravates me more. How Japanese of him.
But it’s all secrets of Polichenelle anyway. A conflict with the management and no rights over their music and their own name, which belong to the label, thus no royalties whatsoever from CD/DVD sales etc. Being paid months later or not at all like in the case of their share from goods sales at Yokohama Blitz final (at least that was the situation when I heard about it back in June, 6 months after the live). They were left with no income while the label cashed in from sales of Yokohama final DVD and another forced “Best of” album. So much for members’ designed goods! So much for “Buy CDs, support the artists”! Even Love Parade lives that reeked of desperation from the start to the end meant that whatever money they made playing under a different name was theirs and the management could not come and take it away. This is what they were reduced to or chose themselves over bending over and playing a farewell live as D’espairsRay: a cover band playing in a tiny live house with a bunch of shitty bands and even their staffs helped them out without any pay.
Asia’s showbiz, be it Korean or Japanese, is notorious for slavery contracts, exploitation of the artists and almost nonexistent royalties. Unfortunately D’espairsRay is a tragic example of a band worked to death and, when they no longer could or wanted to continue, they were discarded. It’s been two and a half months, but I still feel the same rage over what was done to them and I don’t think it will ever change. A part of me is also resentful of D’espairsRay for being so stupid, naïve or just so very desperate to make music that they got themselves into this mess and their only way out was the breakup, that they let some scum in business suits use me, their fan.
I do have hope that they will be back. Be it under a different name, with different songs and after who knows how many side projects, I don’t care. It will still be the four of them together. The fact that they posted on twitter about having a long UMBRELLA-related meeting together only fuels that hope more. Because if it didn’t go well, if they didn’t come up with some sort of a plan, I doubt they’d say anything.
In the end I can only repeat what I already said back in June: mediocrity and vulgarity prosper and flourish, while the ones with a heart and talent get crushed by illness and others' greed. But I hope from the bottom of my heart that they have strength to pick themselves up and, as Hizumi said, we will meet again one day. Strange how much they came to embody their name for me: 闇と光.
 
Hizumi’s Rock and Read interview translation is almost done, I just need to proofread it one last time. I’ll post it tomorrow, I just can’t bring myself to do it right now. But I needed to get this off my chest.

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
If things were only about Hizumi's illness, but on top of that they had their music taken away from them. No wonder Karyu is so depressed he slips and basically admits having thought of death.
Showbiz is a cruel industry and people are often treated as commodities.
Btw I wish people would stop referring to that "article", as far as I remember it was a few well known facts and lots and lots of fanfiction. Please.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - notafanboy - Sep. 3rd, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
i_am_kenryoku
Sep. 2nd, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU.

This sheds light on a lot of things. As a poor recipient of second hand information, thank you for this honesty.

Being a non-resident of Japan and noob when it comes to Japanese, we are only exposed to information that is shared by translators like you. But we still don't get to see the whole picture. A lot gets lost in translation (and not due to the skill of the translator at all!). And even more facts get to be filtered or worse, censored even before translator gets to them!

There are gaping holes in this whole puzzle and this post gives us some of the missing pieces.
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
A lot of stuff is being heavily censored. And who knows how much more there was, this is all just a tip of an iceberg ;( Though it annoys me I also understand that a lot of things they just cannot say. I know all too well what it's like to work in a small community, where everyone knows each other and even when things turn really ugly one still has to keep going.
lostscene
Sep. 2nd, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Sincerly thank you for writing this. I had my doubts and suspicions, I was thinking not even once about it and now it came up to the truth. Asia has a serious problem with all those slave contracts. Just really... I have no words.

Now let's believe in UMBRELLA.
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
This country is fucked up in so many ways ;(
Be it Umbrella or something else, let's hope they will make music together again one day.
matsumura_san
Sep. 2nd, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
When you're an overseas fan there's a lot of things that just get past you without even knowing... (losing track already at the beginning)
but... the past few years wit them touring more, all these extra releases and what not, things really started to feel off, from how they handled stuff in their earlier days.
All those releases, the more than unnecessary second best off album that you already mentioned, and... not to mention that last photoalbum that already went on sale before it was even produced...
I give a lot of thought to things like that and what you wrote sort of just gave proof of what was going trhough my head. The way the japanese music business is run, is just insane and the genre doesn't really matter in that case.
And it's just sad and... makes you angry that you can be so easily robbed off the things that you have created, that are YOURS by definition, but no longer by paper once you signed the contract.

Right fromt he start or... end, with Hizumi making all these excuses, about not being able to become healthy, apologizing again and again, hell that made me angry too. Or rather this one oh so typical japanese thing.

So let's keep up hopes that they will find a way of getting together again someday and... lost track again *facepalms*

Take your time with the rest of that interview.
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(no subject) - blaackpeaarl - Sep. 2nd, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
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gazerockyo
Sep. 2nd, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
o_o
It does explains....a lot. I mean, a lot, a lot. Because they stopped doing some of the activities that involved more fan involvements such as their radio show. Then they were releasing insane amount of CD's. I knew they didn't always get the money from the goods (especially since they apparently got hassled by a poster deal during the US tour). ETC ETC

I feel like the little boy that just discovered that Santa isn't real.

Anyways. I'm looking forward to your translation. As always thank you in advance for doing this. <3
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
Well, first of all, radio show has nothing to do with it. It was a temporary thing tied to Redeemer's release and it lasted exactly how long the tour lasted.
But their situation was a horrible mess and I just hope they will managed to get back on their feet.
(no subject) - gazerockyo - Sep. 3rd, 2011 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
mairi92
Sep. 2nd, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
I felt very awkward when they announced their disbanding at the same day when they've decided about this, thank you for telling all this, now I know at least what has happened for real. >< thank you.
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
They didn't announce disbandment the day they decided that's for sure. Already in May some people in the media were made aware of the breakup. And though I cannot say for sure considering how things were progressing with blogs, FC, official online store and how everything came to a sudden halt in April, I think that's when the decision was made.
(no subject) - mairi92 - Sep. 3rd, 2011 10:23 am (UTC) - Expand
killerkeks
Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this.
I've heard exactly the same from people who should know it, but then again I was like a little kid that just wanted to believe that Santa is real, no matter what everyone says...
This makes me so angry, especially since I play in a band myself (though we're too unknown to even have a label or anything) but I know similar things even from tiny label's bands...and they don't even have to be Japanese. But from what I know, the pressure the labels put on the artists is insane compared to what they do in Europe, and believe me, I have seen some crazy shit here.
It's sad to know that these things even happen, or especially happen to my favourites as well.
I just hope they find the strength to continue...a band like this simply doesn't deserve to be treated as slaves.
Well...I just just realized how much of Monster's lyrics could actually refer to that situation. I obviously didn't ask them so I can't be sure but I really got this feeling that's like a subtle way of telling the fans what's going on...
But still, this somehow makes me believe in D'espairsRay as the persons they are. This situation made clear that D'espa never intended to be their label's marionettes and fools...they actually are authentic and not actors.
I really hope one day they'll find a label that treats them like they deserve one day...they are talented musicians, not replaceable slaves.

Sorry for that weird long comment x_X I just needed to get this off my chest.
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
It is heartbreaking to see something so horrible happen to talented people who deserve so much more that they ever got. But that's exactly why I don't want to play this sickening game of pretending to be "positive" and "looking forward to the future". Saying nothing would be like agreeing that such treatment of the artists is justified.
Karyu did say a few times in the interviews that Monsters was like "their last stand fighting a loosing battle" though he only explained in a relation to Hizumi's voice problems. But all their problems must have been tangled into such a fucked up mess.
I too hope that one day they will find a way to make music together again and it seems that's what they really want despite everything that happened.
I don't mind long comments, a ranty post deserves ranty comments ;)
gilly_niikura
Sep. 2nd, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)

I know that will never happen - but I would love to know the contents of the contract one has to sign to go major in a record label like their former one.

I thought it was strange they entirely broke up over Hizumi's throught problems. But giving it a second thought and now reading this entry it does make sense. I have already heard here and there that major contracts and working conditions for musicians in Japan are pretty shitty. I didn't have an idea that it was this bad though. No royalties at all, what's that?! *fights urge to kick someone*
And I must say I understand your resentfulness for them being naïve or whatsoever enough to get themselves into this mess. No idea if their contract really was this bad or illegalties were going on there. I'll never know anyway.

I'd die to know what that umbrella-related meeting was about. *sigh* It does give hope that after side projects and a lot of time the four of them might be back in the same formation. But still I'm kind of scared of hoping.

I'm looking forward to the R&R interview ♪(´ε` ) I'm glad that you are translating it - and so fast! The magazine has barely gone on sale! XD

notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Me too, but I'm sure we will never know.
Things are really bad, artists get 1% royalties at best or none at all. I don't know if it's Japanese corporate mentality at work here or something, "work for the company" you know. Show business is an ugly industry everyone, but in this part of the world it's fucked up in so many more ways.
Me too! But the fact that they talk about it, gives me hope that they have some sort of a plan what they are going to do next and just bid their time.
Hey, I'm good at this and it's a fairly short interview too ;)
toujin1
Sep. 2nd, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
I'm sort of almost not surprised, because as an artist I see BS like this far too often. Young people who are desperate and who need a food in the door sign contracts without reading them, and end up losing all copyright of their work etc. I think I almost got caught in the same sort of thing but having a copyright lawyer for a friend really drilled some things home. I feel like grabbing the guys and SHAKING THEM!!
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
It happens way too often! What's worse, the whole industry here works that way, it's like a norm.
Never let any money-making scum take advantage of you and your art!
silentcarnival
Sep. 2nd, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
Amen. I knew it would be bad because that's pretty much how bizworks there, and I, like you hate it to see such turmoil happening to the band we love the most. D'espairsRay really isn't the band who deserves such disrespect like that.

Sometimes I wonder what would it be like if they could have formed their own label but of course that's extremely difficult to do. I KNEW something was fishy when I heard news of antique; it was a sign they were in a desperate jam for money. And then there was Luv Parade and in my heart, I knew they were falling far behind.
Getting ranty here, but I'm so sick and tired of people believing that Hizumi's throat problem is so easy to cure, all these comments on their official FB I see going like "Drink more tea!!" It really makes me rage because I think not many people are truly getting how much Hizumi has sacrificed to make music. And to think that's ALL they disbanded for really makes my blood vessels pop.

Thank you for writing this, as well as that RnR you're going to post! I don't want to expect them to return because no one knows when that will be. I just want to say they that if they will in the future, it's better late than never. They are always the same D'espairsRay we know and love.
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
I know, it heartbreaking to see something so horrible happening to talented people deserve so much more than they never got. No one deserves to be treated like that and robbed of their music.
Making a label is not an easy thing, it requires money and I don't think they'd make good businessmen. I do hope however that they just bid their time now and make plans and look for opportunities of making music together again. But it's not going to be easy at all.
I doubt many people realize what it all cost them, Hizumi's voice, their music. I cannot even begin to imagine what it feels like, what moving forward costs them.
yinhsaihsui
Sep. 3rd, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)
oh my god. Ok. I was one of those fans who was completely oblivious. Yeah I believed that illness stuff. which may be part of it of course. But wow. How do you come to find out about all this? is it news? like I'm just so uneducated about the real shit that goes down behind the media. Thanks for sharing. Great to know.
notafanboy
Sep. 3rd, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, sadly that's the way things are, but you're not going to read it in the news and anyway visual kei related news are more of PR than anything else. Japanese don't air their dirty laundry in public.
(no subject) - yinhsaihsui - Sep. 3rd, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
jigoku_shoujo64
Sep. 3rd, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
I have to say that I agree with everything you say. It's really ironic that they didn't get royalty for what they have done, even though by law they should be paid in terms of royalty instead of monthly salary. That's what make me feel sad at first. Second, since they're paid in terms of salary, they're imposed with high tax rate which again, they're not supposed to be paid on a salary basis. If this is the case, they're better off working as a salary man.

Actually, they can always choose to go independent just like what Miyavi did but I know this is easier said that done. As far as going independent is concerned, I doubt they actually would choose this path because choosing this path will lead them to be disconnected with whatever comfort they used to have. This is indeed a scary path but I would rather see them take this path instead of disbanding. It's not that they don't have the courage, it's just that it's scary to take this path when you know nothing about business.

I guess I do understand why Karyu decided to join Angelo, thanks to you. I'm not sure whether people noticed it or not that the company managed Angelo is owned by Kirito. This could mean that they don't have to follow entertainment's bureaucracy and they're paid based on a industry standard.

Entertainment industry is still mysterious to me but the more I learn about it, the more I find it's a cruel industry. It's even cruel than the typical labor-intensive industry such as manufacturing.

I can't seem to put my words properly *sigh*
sads666
Sep. 4th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
I was going to ask notafanboy how does this fit into Karyu joining Angelo cos that's another potential shithole that he might be jumping into; thanks for clearing my doubts! And to think Despairs Ray used to open for Pierrot; funny how things turn out. But I personally think that it should be impossible for Despairs Ray to get back together, given that Angelo is HUGE in Japan (they played Budokan and Saitama Super Arena, prestigious nad super big concert venues) and really, the man has to eat and you don't go "hey, Kirito, im going back to my band. See ya!" to Kirito. He's a vengeful, vengeful man, if you are aware of what he did after Pierrot disbanded.
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millenniere
Sep. 3rd, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
I just looked it up now, but its no freaking wonder the last song they ever played together was TRICKSTER :(((

"anger" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about this. And even listening to their songs now makes me feel dirty, if I enjoy the thing that was taken away from them </3 but, what can we do about it anyway? ;_;
yinhsaihsui
Sep. 3rd, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Hey~
think of it as, in a sense they are the heroes who did escape. Even if thru disbandment. Maybe their music was so angry because of all that bullshit? their music is the fight against that kind of shit. Very clearly so. Of course its productions may have been ugly and wrought with deceit but the heart behind it. The music itself. Its not dirty :) its a sacrifice
*hugs* and at least the guys seem pretty ok? well at least Hizumi. I had feelings that karyu may have been depressed..
(no subject) - millenniere - Sep. 4th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
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(Deleted comment)
notafanboy
Sep. 4th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
Religiously? ahaha
Showbiz is cruel and artists are often treated as commodities. I don't know if it's Japanese corporate mentality at work here, like "work for sake of the company!", that it's so much worse here than in the West. But no artist deserves to be treated like that.
Just looking at what artists occupy TV channels etc. makes me gag, it does not even deserve to be called music sometimes. Soulless corporate machines can only produce money-making products without a heart and soul to them.
Sadly even if I talk about what happened and how D'espairsRay were treated it won't change anything, but at the very least I'm not going to keep silent and pretend it's nothing. It'd be the same as admitting that such a treatment of artists is justifiable.
The interviewer was really trying to lead the conversation in the direction of other problems than voice and Hizumi sort of answered, but neither ever said anything straightaway. This country drives me up the wall sometimes >_<;
You're welcome and thank you for reading.
iwasaki_momoko
Sep. 4th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
oh my goodness. I did not realize that there was all this behind their disbandment. I haven't read the interview yet but I hope that Hizumi doesn't blame himself for it. Business contracts are never ever fair, especially when it comes to royalties, but knowing them, they would have stuck with it to the bitter end because of us fans. In the end, it may be a blessing in disguise that they had to dissolve because now it gives them a chance to take a well-deserved break and come back stronger and savvier. I'm proud to see how they and their staff have stuck together through this crap. Reading this made me really mad but also gave me a strong feeling of hope. Even though it was a rant, thank you so much for letting us know :) I think that all fans deserve to be made aware of the existing problems in the industry although how we can change it, I really don't know :s
notafanboy
Sep. 4th, 2011 04:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, on top of Hizumi's throat problems there was a lot of other crap going on. I hope they will get back on their feet. At this point I don't even care if they ever play together, even if I hope it happens one day, as long as they are happy with whatever it is they are doing.
There is really nothing we can do to help them or change the way Japanese show business works, but at the very least I'm not going to keep silent.
(no subject) - iwasaki_momoko - Sep. 4th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - notafanboy - Sep. 6th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC) - Expand
ar_ish_a
Sep. 4th, 2011 01:10 pm (UTC)
Если честно, меня не обрадовало присоединение Карю к Angelo. А после прочитанного выше совсем грустно. Не знаю, что хуже - босс, который не платит, или не сильно талантливый (мягко говоря) босс, указывающий, что и как тебе делать, к тому же влиятельный =(
notafanboy
Sep. 4th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
Я не поклонница Кирито и его групп, н-ное количество лет назад попробовала слушать Pierrot, но они были совершенно не в моем вкусе, голос у Кирито все-таки слишком специфический. Но у меня и не было впечатления что дерьмо музыка, просто не мое. Я честно говоря тоже не в восторге от Карю с Angelo, потому что это все-таки группа с определенным стилем, и видением куда они движутся, и Карю придется с этим считаться. А там все может пойти в двух направлениях либо Кирито его совсем подомнет под себя и ничего хорошего из этого не выйдет, или все-таки получится плодотворное сотрудничество. А проект качественно сделанный и оставивший всех довольными открывает новые возможности. И я думаю это именно то что Деспам нужно сейчас, потому что они зашли в тупик. С проблемами с голосом Хизуми, с дерьмовым лэйблом, который только забирал себе все деньги но и пальцом о палец не ударил что бы хоть как-то продвигать их. У них ведь не было никакого промошена, альбом, тур, сингл, тур, пара интервью в вижуал кей журналах и все. Я все-таки хочу надеяться что что-то хорошее из этого всего в конце концов выйдет.
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(no subject) - notafanboy - Sep. 6th, 2011 10:16 am (UTC) - Expand
noctariol
Sep. 18th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
-.-
I always wonder what some of those Management think they are...after reading that I just was shocked.
Can I ask where you always get those informations?

And was their an interview with Karyu where he talked about his feelings?xx

Guess I am confused.

But I really thank you for all your hard work.

It makes me sad to read all this and I really hope that all will be going well for the members now. And that they will find their way together some day...
notafanboy
Sep. 20th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: -.-
So far there has been no interview of Karyu, but next month's Rock and Read is going to have a long interview with him. I will be the first time he talks about what happened, but don't expect him to say too much. Japanese don't air their dirty laundry in public.
Re: -.- - noctariol - Sep. 21st, 2011 10:36 am (UTC) - Expand
mind_cell
Mar. 17th, 2012 01:20 pm (UTC)
Hi there, and thanks for your LJ and all the info you've posted here about D'espa! I'm new to them but already head over heels in love with their intense music (and incredibly upset about their disbanding and how complicated the whole situation was, judging by your entries on the topic). Somehow i got to know D'espairsRay, Kaggra, and Deluhi almost simultaneously... And all 3 bands are now associated with a kind of bitter-sweet underlying feeling in my head, though of course they faced very different situations.

Gonna cull through your translations and everything D'espa-related now, and i hope you're doing fine! This LJ hasn't been updated for quite some time..
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