Flashback Friday’s back again! Our band this time around may not be super familiar to some of you, but the events surrounding the group and the members involved should definitely ring a bell.
The Visual Kei scene was undergoing some major changes around the mid-2000s, with the genre shrugging off the commercial decline of the late 90s. New bands and new styles were being born, combined with an increased interest in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Indies stalwarts UNDER CODE Productions, the label of Phantasmagoria bassist Kisaki, also had big plans for their yearly compilation series “Cross Gate.” For Cross Gate 2008, the Under Code stable would go head to head with a new label: Sherow Artist Society. This was none other than the label of former Lareine vocalist Kamijo, who wanted a new label to showcase his and Hizaki’s highly anticipated new band “Versailles” as well as the newly-signed Matenrou Opera. The decision was eventually made that Kisaki and Kamijo would team up with VK magazine Shoxx, and help usher in a new era for indies Visual Kei.
Each label would also introduce a brand new band to debut on this compilation. On November 20th, 2007 Under Code’s new band was revealed to be chariots, a band that had only formed a month before and would become a staple for the rest of the decade. For SAS, the new band would be…
Vocal – Juka (ex. Moi dix Mois)
Guitar – Tetsu (ex. Gimmick)
Guitar – Cecir (ex. CHELSEA)
Bass – Kazuno (ex. Moi dix Mois)
Drums – Mikage (ex. Babylon)
Juka, who was known to many as the original vocalist of Malice Mizer guitarist Mana’s band Moi dix Mois, had previously started on a solo career, and also participated in Hizaki Grace Project and Node of Scherzo. Joining him would be another former MdM member, bassist Kazuno. Mikage, in addition to his involvement in numerous bands throughout the years, had supported Hizaki Grace Project at the same time as Juka. Their next step would be a full-fledged band, and together with guitarists Tetsu and Cecir, they planned a highly anticipated debut. In addition to appearing on Cross Gate, all 6 bands would play on a 4-stop tour to promote the release. Prior to that, Seventh Sense’s first show was to be December 23rd at Omotesando FAB.
Unfortunately, as suddenly as things came together, the band fell apart. On December 12th Juka announced that in addition to the band’s debut being canceled, he would suspend all musical activities before the end of the year. Fans were crushed, but looked with curiosity to his two remaining shows: on December 23rd and a new year’s live December 31st at Holiday Shinjuku. Would the band still make their debut?
Well sort of. This lineup played both shows, but only as Juka’s backup band. They played no new songs, just Juka’s solo material, and then faded away. At the December 23rd show, fans apparently were told that Juka was diagnosed with throat polyps, and did not know whether or not he could return to making music. The group’s spot on Cross Gate would be replaced by the new Juka solo track “Suimenka.” Finally, a best-of album, entitled “Seventh Sense” would be released the next year, thus ending this chapter of Juka’s career.
This series of events, while a downer, was not quite the end of this little saga. Not even two years later, Juka, now calling himself “Shaura” returned with a new band! Their name? Can you guess?
“VII Sense” also included drummer Mikage, and Cecir’s former bandmate in CHELSEA, Erina. The band was much more prolific, with numerous releases before their breakup in 2012.
Where are they now?
Juka/Shaura went quiet again afterwards, although he still blogs actively. Recently he has participated in a session band with former Vidoll guitarist Shun, and has hinted that he may return to a more active role in the music business someday.
Tetsu’s activity was also somewhat limited until recently. Then, in 2015 he joined new band Betty, under the name Rune.
Cecir joined Under Code band E’m Grief, and after their breakup stayed active in session projects with his former Under Code labelmates. You can check out his comings and goings HERE.
Kazuno did support work for X Japan member Heath, but stayed mostly under the radar until just last year, when he joined new band PROJECT TO EVIL along with another Moi dix Mois member: original drummer Tohru.
Mikage has been busy as always, and recently joined the newly reformed chariots, of all bands, along with former VII Sense guitarist KAZ. Small world, huh?
Seventh Sense, as a band, were active for less than a month. They released nothing and in all likelihood didn’t even write any songs together. However, the band’s place in the middle of a quickly changing industry just goes to prove what is so appealing about VK to many: bands are never truly broken up, and VK musicians are never really retired; they are like one big family, and the endless permutations of these individuals into new and exciting groups continues to this day to the delight of fans all over the world.
Just like the genre which it covers, Flashback Friday will also never die! Check back soon for the next one!
Source: vkdb, Under Code OHP, UCP blog, Sherow Artist Society OHP, BMA Blog