Ryo, ex-9GOATS BLACK OUT and GULLET (now the vocalist of HOLLOWGRAM) has been having a rough year.
As many fans know, 9GOATS BLACK OUT disbanded back in February of this year, after their sold-out final One Man, “Silence”, at Akasaka Blitz. However, it seems that there was much drama under the surface of this legendary band, which includes serious accusations of theft, embezzlement, and other potentially catastrophic accusations. The ramifications for some of these accusations may potentially be heading in the direction of legal indictments against Ryo and even other members of 9GOATS BLACK OUT and staff members.
Information in regards to the accusations as well as a translation of Ryo’s response earlier today are below.
According to Ryo’s response, fans and others have been speculating for months in regards to accusations of embezzlement of funds for the Japan Red Cross after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, as well as prior allegations of photography theft during his time in GULLET. It seems this is something that has been building up for months not only between fans and gossip, but from those working in the industry and fellow musicians. Ryo has been not only one of the most known vocalists in the indies visual scene; his work in visual art and design has been well known. His original entrance into 9GOATS was due to his work in the field.
The first charge comes during Ryo’s time in GULLET (2002-2004) where he has been accused of stealing photography for the creation of GULLET’s first single “desert”. While only 1000 copies of the single were distributed, the photograph was illegally obtained. Thanks to the brilliant resources of the internet, tracking down the original photograph was not difficult for this reporter.
The artwork, taken from “Deathtopia” by Shinichiro Kobayashi, is pictured below in a top-down comparison to Ryo’s album cover.
In addition to the accusations during GULLET’s time, the most recent accusation has many people worried, as this is not the first time accusations in regards to embezzling money from Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami relief funds has occurred in the visual scene. Shattered Tranquility readers will remember when we broke the story that Gackt was accused of embezzlement back in September of 2012.
The accusations include misuse of funds collected from fans for moving livehouses due to their livehouse being damaged in the earthquake. Unfortunately, 9GOATS’s website has been stripped of all old news articles, so it is impossible to be certain, but according to S-T’s original article on March 8th, 2011, 9GOATS BLACK OUT and Inugani Circus Dan were slated to perform at Sendai MACANA on April 24th. However, there is also a chance that this has something to do with a charity live around that time. This reporter is currently looking for further information in regards to this matter. Additional funds given to the band were reportedly sent to the Japan Red Cross, though all documentation has disappeared.
However, there are two sides to every story.
Ryo’s letter addressing the accusations has been translated below by Shattered-Tranquility’s Shannon.
From ryo, to all of my supporters
I’m borrowing this space to tell all of those who aided in my works about me and the activities I’ve participated in until now.
There has been a lot of talk on the internet about the contents of my past activities and works,
and as for the affairs that caused these discussions on the internet, I have never responded to them regardless of corrections to those contents.
However, what I am going to tell you is only from me. To those involved, and to all of those who have supported me until now – it’s not a good thing to continue with this speculation, and so I have decided that I ought to respond to that.
In regards to the work used on the jacket design: At the time, I was in a band called GULLET. I was in charge of design.
Someone pointed out, “You don’t have the rights to use that?” in regards to the photo used for the CD jacket of “desert” released in 2002.
In regards to this incident, I received the rights to use that photo via the owner’s company. However, the consent was given after the release.
I apologize for the suspicious thoughts this caused to those involved and the fans.
In regards to the disaster relief donations: When I was in 9GOATS BLACK OUT, the donation money used in order to aid in the Tohoku Disaster was assigned just for that purpose, right up until we sent it.
While we made announcements about it on the band’s official site, at the livehouse where we were moved to because of the threat of building collapse due to the disaster,
we set aside only enough to pay the usage charge at the livehouse. The leftover money was sent in full to the Japan Red Cross.
By all rights, we ought to prove this. But after the band ended, we have confirmed that the credentials have been lost.
In that state, no matter what explanation it was, we didn’t explain the reality and caused new misgivings;
and we have been criticized for our error in not providing the credentials at the time.
We have contacted the Japan Red Cross a number of times, but since they can’t release any specific credentials,
they said that they also can’t reissue them.
I understand that this kind of situation will cause you to think we embezzled the funds,
but we did not commit any acts like appropriating the funds to the band (instead) or swindling.
I have made these announcements in this manner upon the understanding by the members of the bands involved: GULLET and 9GOATS BLACK OUT.
I deeply apologize for all of those who were involved and to those whom I have caused worry.
GULLET – Ryo, Reo, Satoru, Yukino, Aki 9GOATS BLACK OUT = ryo, uta, hati
Even though I’ve had some troubles and considerations with the songs, melodies, lyrics, and themes that I’ve had during my band activities until now,
I don’t bear any ill will towards them.
And of course, my feelings towards the members and staff that have accompanied me until now have not changed.
I can take whatever criticism that is made personally towards me, but please accept my dear friends that I have worked as a band with and made songs filled with our memories of living to the fullest.
I apologize for the distrust this will cause and for taking so long to make an announcement like this.
I also apologize to my friends and staff members for my recognition and criticism and for causing them to also think this way from the bottom of my heart.
PS: I thank the band members who have put this announcement up on the 9GOATS BLACK OUT server. It has been approved by the members of both bands.
Also, we will be saving the domain and contents for 9GOATS.net, which will close after December 2013.
The entirety of the accusations has left sour tastes in many fans mouths, and it is currently impossible to know whether the accusations will be pursued in the Japanese court system. Despite this, many are calling for justice against Ryo for his part in these scandals.
Ryo, who is currently in Hollowgram and set to begin performing for the new year with Stereo C.K and defspiral on January 17th at Shibuya WWW, does not seem to be letting the accusations change his or HOLLOWGRAM’s current plans for the future.
Shattered Tranquility would like to thank para_para_noia from twitter for telling us about this story. If you ever find news, please feel free to send it here, through email, or one of our many social networking sites.