Ahh Flashback Friday, the most nostalgic day of the week! And if you ask me, nothing is more nostalgic than full-on 90s Visual Kei! Looking through old pictures of indies bands of the period, it seemed that they had a certain look that just completely died with the coming of the new millennium. And if we’re talking about “look” no group of bands had it more than the guys on Key Party. This label, the brainchild of Speed-ID frontman Henry Lee Euro, was known as much for their sound as their decadent all-out visuals; typified in bands like Aliene Ma’rriage, Eliphas Levi, and…
MISSALINA REI is:
Blood type: A
Blood type: O
Blood type: A
Blood type: A
2 mini albums
月花白麗 (Gekka Hakurei) – 7/23/98
虹色した飴玉のもたらした幸福なひと達の生誕からその顛末まで (Nijiiro shita amedama no motarashita koufuku na hitotachi no seitan kara sono tenmatsu made) – 11/21/98
ト☆キ☆メ☆キ (Tokimeki) – 12/16/99
兎 (Usagi) – 7/28/00
ハレ(Hare) – 9/29/00
Missalina Rei was a fun-loving group of newcomers that began sometime in late 1997 on a bit of a down note. You see, originally, both Arisu and Aya wanted to be the vocalist of the band. This spot was first given to Aya, which apparently resulted in Arisu (originally the bassist) quitting the band for a time. When Aya left the band, Arisu came back as the vocalist. Not long after, Aya returned as well, and reverted to playing bass. Confused? Well, other than a few VERY obscure demo releases, band activity was mostly limited to lives, until the release of the band’s first album, Gekka Hakurei, in the summer of 1998.
The music and look of Missalina Rei shows off their more gothic roots while at the same time reveling in the craziness of the individual members, especially vocalist Arisu. Another theme of the band was…rabbits. During one of the bands signature tunes, “Tokimeki,” Arisu and the audience would engage in their signature “Rabbit Dance.”
…and, of course, eat bananas.
This fun-loving attitude set the band apart from their labelmates, and the rest of the scene at the time.
In the next two years, the group gained in popularity, becoming one of Key Party’s signature bands. The single “ト☆キ☆メ☆キ” (Tokimeki) was released in December of 1999 and ranked number 85 on the Oricon Charts. At some point Missalina Rei moved from Key Party to Enamell Records, itself another subsidiary of Tears Music. Things were looking bright for the band, however, they broke up following one last live on November 17th, 2000. Enamell and Key Party both folded in 2001.
Hiro joined JackPot☆CHERRY around 2005, however his current musical activity is unknown.
Aya stayed active after Missalina Rei’s breakup. In the span of 2-3 years, he joined Zero and Candy Crunch Speaker, as well as forming a band with this guy….
Longtime visual kei fans might recognize this gentleman as none other than Jrocknyc’s Go! Back in the early 2000s, when visual kei was still not very accessible to a foreign audience, Jrocknyc was, along with glamjapan and others, instrumental in introducing the genre and many bands, major and indie alike, to an English-speaking fanbase. The work of this early group of bloggers was a big reason for VKs burgeoning popularity overseas, and of course, for the founding of websites such as this one!
In addition to his work at jrocknyc, Go was actively involved in the VK scene, first auditioning for THIS band, and then actually forming a band together with Aya. While the band was seemingly short-lived and information is scarce, it is quite possible that it influenced Aya’s future activity in some way. The year 2006 saw the formation of Key Party Supergroup Deflina Marriage, featuring the trifecta of Aliene Ma’rriage’s Kyouka, Noir Fleurir’s Tomo, and Missalina Rei’s Aya! Most recently, Aya played bass for Tamaiyasu Rock, who stayed around for 8 years before disbanding in 2015.
Kazui briefly joined the band WOOL, and then moved around to a few other projects before joining Arrival Art in 2012. They are still active to this day!
Missalina Rei did not completely die either. They reformed briefly in 2005, 2007, and most recently in 2011 to play some shows and appear at Key Party reunion events. Hopefully we’ll hear from them yet again sometime soon!