Alice Nine fans might have a hard time believing this, but it’s been almost ten full years since the band came to existence. In ten years, we’ve seen several stylistic changes to their name – from アリス九, to アリス九號., to alicenine., to the current Alice Nine – , and we’ve seen dozens upon dozens of image changes, but the lineup has remained the same since guitarist Hiroto‘s addition. What began as merely a session band, bringing together former members of Givuss and ヴィガル (VIGAL), evolved into one of the dominant visual acts of today.
As far as visual bands go, Alice Nine has remained remarkably consistent over their decade-long career.
Now, it’s time to celebrate their first real landmark anniversary.
Alice Nine began in April of 2004 as a session band, started by drummer Nao, who at the time had drummed for Fatima, then RusH, and then the short-lived VIGAL, where he met bassist Saga. In March of that same year, Givuss – which still commands something of a cult following – had just barely disbanded, and vocalist Shou and guitarist Tora were already anxious to get back on the scene. With these four members, Alice Nine, then stylized as アリス九, began to play together as a session band, releasing their first maxi single, 名前は、未だ無ひ。 (Namae wa, Mada Nai.), on July 5th, 2004. (This single was so unexpectedly popular, they were forced to hastily release a second pressing in August!) Later in July, they went on a coupling tour with another rising band, 彩冷える (ayabie), who themselves are celebrating a 10th anniversary this year.
At the end of that coupling tour, on August 24th, 2004, the band adopted relative newcomer Hiroto as their second guitarist, and アリス九 the session ceased to exist, replaced by アリス九號., the formal band. A week later, the band was picked up by a relatively new label, PS Company, who now has a rightfully earned reputation of catching promising new bands while they’re still fresh and helping them climb to the top of the charts. By November of 2004, they’d released their first mini-album and first PSC release, 祇園盛者の鐘が鳴る (Gion Shouja no Kane ga Naru).
Come January of 2005 and アリス九號. was already performing their first solo live, and at a 1000+ capacity venue, no less. Through their early days, アリス九號. continued to perform and produce aggressively. July 2005’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND mini-album was swiftly followed by November’s 華想夢想紙 (Kasou Musou Shi), which then led to several singles and, not long after, their first album: the wildly popular masterpiece of their early career, 絶景色 (Zekkeishoku). But before Zekkeishoku, アリス九號. ended 2005 as openers for the first Peace & Smile Carnival tour, “皆そろって笑顔でファッキュー。” (“Minna Sorotte Egao de FUCK YOU”). Zekkeishoku dropped in April of 2006, at which point they began to stylize their name as “alicenine.”.
In May of 2007, alicenine. joined labelmates Kagrra, and 雅-MIYAVI-, as well as a host of other headliners, and made their overseas debut at J-Rock Revolution in Los Angeles, California. To date, this has been the biggest visual kei festival in the Western hemisphere, and alicenine. were one of only 9 bands to share the stage. Returning to Japan, they played at consistently larger venues, including Hibiya Yagai Dai Ongakudou, NHK Hall, and eventually the famed Nippon Budokan as one of the acts in PS Company’s 10th anniversary Peace & Smile Carnival redux.
The rest is, as they say, history. Alice Nine has rocketed to the top of the visual scene, becoming one of PS Company’s best selling acts. In their ten years, they’ve released 25 singles, most in multiple editions; 8 full albums, among them a greatest hits compilation; 3 mini-albums; at least 10 DVDs, including live recordings and PV compilations; plenty of unique band goods; and several band scores – inspiring scores of fans and rising musical acts alike.
After 10 long, prolific years, Alice Nine will finally get their moment in the sun.
After a mysterious countdown on their homepage finally struck 0, PS Company released a “trailer” for Alice Nine’s upcoming tenth anniversary live which, itself, “counts down” to the actual concert, listing the 2014 events leading up to the celebration with live clips in the background. The highlights of 2014 include their February 27th single, SHINING, their March 19th album, Supernova, and their subsequent Japanese and East Asian tours.
The video ends with the date and location of their 10th anniversary premium live, August 23rd at Fuji-Q Highland Conifer Forest! Fuji-Q Highland is an amusement park, so it’s something like having their 10th anniversary at Disney World.
So far, there are no further details available, and somewhat understandably so – after their numerous releases, Alice Nine has just two weeks left to prepare for the Japanese and international legs of their Supernova Symphonia tour. But we’ll be here to let you know where, when, and how you can purchase tickets when they do become available. This concert is sure to be one of the can’t-miss moments of 2014, with buckets of fun to be had and irreplaceable, once-in-a-lifetime memories to be made.
Source: Alice Nine OHP (warning: video autoplay)
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