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Truly crappy Western "visual kei" inspired music

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I don't think there is a problem with bands ripping of royzcore per say, it's just that it is fundementally impossible for gaijins to do it in a way that is tasteful. In fact gaijins have proven themselves to be such lousy composers that ripping off generally good things would be advised.

Just from one early Napalm Death or Discharge album the gaijins could grap a ton of sweet riffs that only require little alteration to pass for something The Piass could have done at one point. If that's not your thing, then just take some bouncy metalcore riff with pinch harmonics abundant and growl. There's a million crappy deathcore bands out there that while obnoxious in their sucking, at least pull off the fundementals. Now asking bands to do Christian Death like stuff is a stretch if even the previous mentions are somehow an impossibility, not to mention the poppy Moran and Amber Gris field. That's VK and it's influences at the most basic level, and even those things aren't happening so there's no reason to reach for the stars and reinvent the wheel.

Also lol at all those bands who claim to have their own sound and UNIQUE MIX all the while they sound like a really shitty linkin park as someone once put it.

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This may or may not be the topic to rant in, but in the absence of a general gaijin bijuaru topic. 

 

Weeaboo-kei will always without exception be shit until the lyricists and vocalists start revamping the formula and broadening their influences. Singing in a "traditional" VK fashion simply does not work when done by gaijins. It is made impossible by the fact that singing really bad emulations of VK lyrics in English reveals the their true nature: They're emo tripe that even filthiest goth of yesteryear wouldn't want to be associated with.  It will be a cold day in hell when the western scene gets a vocalist that is charismatic, unique and either a superb English/other gaijinspeak lyricist or extremely fluent in Japanese. Gaijins will simply have to get "less" VK to pull off VK. This doesn't apply just to Royzcore, but to any possible kotekote emulations as well where Japanese is half the charm. 

 

Weeaboo-kei is not the only scene that has had this problem. Finnish post-punk for example is nearly impossible to digest with the lyrics being translated carbon-copies of those from the legendary British bands. Language is a big deal, and as translating The Cure in Finnish doesn't work just as translating The Gazette to English doesn't work. 

 

I have had an interest in playing VK myself for ages, and I have often wondered how to surpass this problem.

Basically unless one is an immensely talented vocalist from the get-go, there's no other option but to either only do songs where the lyrics amount to EINS ZWEI DREI VIERJAJAU, or take influence for genres in which the vocals are sung in a more foreigner-friendly manner. For gaijins, hardcore or post-punk esque talking and shrieking should be the way to go, with "singing" cut to an absolute minimum. Lyrics also influenced by western lyric writing tradition, not the cheesy as fuck engrish choruses that seem to be the bread and butter of all swedekei. I'd like to think that when someone does this successfully and a proper foundation is established, others will follow build it from thereon.  

 

I have not encountered a scene that is in such a dire state as Visual-kei outside of Japan. While the number of weeaboos once easily rivaled that of the scenekids, and I even personally know weeaboos that are very apt with their instruments, so far there's only one musician of profile and not a single band with any promise. 

 

Your distinctions seem very arbitrary to me. There really is no method of singing that applies only to visual kei and can only be sung by someone who is Japanese. I mean, I guess there are physiological factors that determine the sound of a person's voice, but it's pretty silly to think that only one race/nationality of people can sing a certain way—and it's definitely a mistake to think that a person has to be an extraordinarily proficient singer to sing visual kei. Many visual kei vocalists absolutely struggle to sing on key and do any number of other things that make up a traditionally pleasant-sounding vocalist.

 

Yes, it may be ill-advised to attempt to sing in languages that you are not proficient in, but people have been using "exotic" languages in this decorative way for all of human history. Japanese is not somehow too sacred to be used in this way, either.

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Your distinctions seem very arbitrary to me. There really is no method of singing that applies only to visual kei and can only be sung by someone who is Japanese. 

Languages will have different kinds of vocal melodies, and trying to imitate them literally in another language will not often sound very good, depending. When something might have a bit more unusual stresses, as visual-kei vocals tend to quite frequently - trying to imitate it in english or so will just not sound good.

 

I mean, I guess there are physiological factors that determine the sound of a person's voice, but it's pretty silly to think that only one race/nationality of people can sing a certain way

 

 

Rolf how about having a different native language. The language one grows up with and uses the most will definitely impact the manner of thought and speech of this person.  I think I made the points you bring up clear, so either I'm a terrible writer or your reading comprehension is piss poor.

 

The lyrics of gaijins thus far tend to be heavily if not exclusively influenced by the lyric writing of visual-kei bands to the point they sound translated. This in effect makes them awkward, hammy and straight up terrible. It requires and extremely convincing vocalist to make Japanese melodrama sound good in English, and we are not seeing this happening any time soon. 

 

 

and it's definitely a mistake to think that a person has to be an extraordinarily proficient singer to sing visual kei

 

 

You seem to think that somebody has to be a technically proficient vocalist to be classified as a good vocalist. VK is riddled with good vocalists, but some people are just too musically illiterate to understand anything beyond "HE IS NOT HITTING THE NOTES MAAAN". The fact is that all of these gaijin-kei vocalists sound like they are singing for their webcams with not even the least bit of confidence or character.

 

Yes, it may be ill-advised to attempt to sing in languages that you are not proficient in, but people have been using "exotic" languages in this decorative way for all of human history. Japanese is not somehow too sacred to be used in this way, either.

 

 

Well that's cute, but completely irrelevant. Where do you people get the impression that people hate on gaijin-kei because it's not by japs. Even though it may get people to exaggerate and some to write dumb shite, I doubt they would fail to recognize the greatness just due to prejudice. The stereotype of gaijin-kei being horrible was not born out of thin and racist air, but it was predominately conceived because all aspiring gaijin-kei artists suck. Sorry. 

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Languages will have different kinds of vocal melodies, and trying to imitate them literally in another language will not often sound very good, depending. When something might have a bit more unusual stresses, as visual-kei vocals tend to quite frequently - trying to imitate it in english or so will just not sound good.

 

I could see that trying to translate a song and sing it in another language with the same rhythm and melody would be difficult, but I can think of quite a few

,
. Again, there is no method of singing that is unique to visual kei, so there is nothing to imitate in the first place.

 

 

You seem to think that somebody has to be a technically proficient vocalist to be classified as a good vocalist. VK is riddled with good vocalists, but some people are just too musically illiterate to understand anything beyond "HE IS NOT HITTING THE NOTES MAAAN". The fact is that all of these gaijin-kei vocalists sound like they are singing for their webcams with not even the least bit of confidence or character.

 

Well, I think most people would recognize that a singer that is unable to sing in-key is not a "good vocalist." Whether or not you can "hit the notes" is part of singing, believe it or not.

 

The reason many "gaijin-kei vocalists" sound like they are singing for their webcams with no confidence is because that's exactly what they are doing. Most visual kei fans are young, and thus inexperienced in singing and playing instruments. The reason they are "bad" is because they lack experience, not because they aren't Japanese.

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omg.

 

How to do the music thing:
You play the thing, get better at the thing, be inspired by whatever thing you want, and do your thing.

How to handle not liking a thing:
Don't listen to or care about the thing.

 

There's really sh*tty japanese musicians, there's really sh*tty American musicians, Candadian musicians, Chinese musicians, cat musicians and dog musicians. Just like when it comes to races, there's shitty people in every country, every state, every city, every race, but there's good people too.

Sure, the bands might not be good, but i'm pretty sure the japanese bands weren't that great when they first started out either. NEWS FLASH: NO ONE IS JUST BORN WITH IT, IT'S NOT MAYBELLINE. Unfortunately, the STYLE (visually) of Visual kei that we see now and influences most foreigners to be "VK" is more popular in Japan, and I feel that's the only thing one really needs to define as "VK" or "VK inspired" since music from the visual kei scene (as mentioned before) is composed of several different mainstream and not so mainstream genres. Literally any popular music genre is an evolved form of another genre (which is probably evolved from another and another and another....), nothing is original. There's not a single note or beat that hasn't been created, played, and over used in music (PERIOD.) 

I think the main problem (which was dully mentioned early) is that foreign vk inspired musicians are young, inexperienced, and simply rushing in to things. But at least they have something to look up to.

You don't have to be any race to do music. Music is about expression and just because you don't like the way someone wrote their lyrics doesn't mean everyone else is going to follow in suit.

And yes, don't you dare say it's not because of this reason: Foreign fans are set on the belief that if they're not Japanese it's not worth my time and it sucks. Even if the band is good. I've known a few good western vk-influenced bands that sounds 10 times better than indie shit in the vk scene in japan, but no one looks at them twice because they're not Japanese.

I remember reading an interview from Jimi (Originally in chemical pictures) and he had stated that the Japanese fanbase were very open to him and very excited and welcoming, most of the hate mail he had received was from foreigners!

I will gladly search to the end of the earth and back for that link.... actually no...

I'll find it now.
(30 min searching frenzy....)

 

LOOK

 

and in case you don't want to read through the whole interview to find it:

 

Jimi: I don't get any criticism anymore (or at least I don't see them!) but in over three years I have had only one Japanese person say anything even remotely mean. I got a message on my old Chemical Pictures Japanese blog from a Japanese girl that said, “Go back to your country!” which is just laughable, harmless xenophobia. The vast majority of criticism I received was from western people. They said I was ugly, they said I was an idiot or a jerk, they were all-in-all highly against the idea of a non-Japanese in a Japanese band. The truth is that I am not the first, not by a long shot. Ben from the old Chaos System, the brothers from MONKEY MAJIK, Shen from Def Tech, and Jero. So there's precedence. Why was it different when it was visual kei, and a more visible visual kei band?

 

 

So that's what I think. Jimi is actually a good musician though, but even so it was because he wasn't Japanese that a lot of foreigners didn't accept him :/ 

and i swear to lord jeebus if you say this irrelevant you are incorrect because it so is. >:'[


this post is intended for heated debate and not arguing or insults so please keep it mature <3

 

Edit: On a side note about vocal talent, there's so many aspects on how to judge whether or not someone is a talented singer or not. I've heard vocalists that can hit amazing ranges and hold solid notes while flawlessly staying in key, on the technical side, they're a great vocalist, then you have the ones who just go balls out and sing whatever and hope they hit one correct note, and some people dig that uncontrolled sound (which a lot of vk bands have, sorry not sorry), then you have the medium of someone who has a pretty good technique, stamina, and emotion etc etc. and then you get in to actual vocal styles.... i think it's all based on personal preference... for the most part.

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For fuck sake

 

I could see that trying to translate a song and sing it in another language with the same rhythm and melody would be difficult, but I can think of quite a few 

 
. Again, there is no method of singing that is unique to visual kei, so there is nothing to imitate in the first place.
 

 

 

You obviously have zero idea what I'm going on about, for whatever reason it may be. What you're saying about "Visual Kei not being restricted to only one type of vocals" - well no fucking shit. I even said that I'm specifically talking about bands that sound like Mejibray, Royz, The Gazette, ScreW etc. and that includes practically all the bands from Europe. Overworld, Desier, Jenlayn, Karmia, Seremedy, Yohio, and others. This is almost the only kind of gaijin-kei that is still around, even moreso if we only count bands that are actually active which would exclude a lot of the South American ones. These bands rip off the formula that their Japanese counterparts have already beaten to the ground, and they're stomping down it even further without actually making it work. 

 

What I originally said was that the fact that they are trying also trying to emulate the type of vocals these bands have, and not to mention the lyrics, is not very wise. The lyrics sound AS_IF_JAPANESE VISUAL KEI_ LYRICS_ WERE_ TRANSLATED_ to make it absolutely clear to you. It may work when Asagi sings about Alice or when Kyo croons about endless zetsubou, but it sure as shit doesn't work when these Western bands try it. It's simply sounds tacky, and if you couple that with a saccharine Mejibray-esque backing music for the chorus, it becomes even worse. So far no band has managed to make these types of vocals work, although with Yohio being the least embarrassing out of all of these. To avoid this hurdle, I simply advised them to look for influence in the west. I do acknowledge that it is possible to make this type of song and dance work, but one has to be an immense talent to do so.

 

 

edit: Okay, here's and example. 

  Lyrics in the description. Those are obviously heavily influenced by Vk, and they would sound awkward even if they wouldn't have that terrible vocalist making everything infinitely worse. The lyrics just are different to those often found in western music like post-punk and such and such that influenced VK back in the day.

 

Perhaps they shouldn't try to make lyrics akin to translated The GazettE ones, but instead examine lyrics from bands that do speak their language and just maybe do what they did. 

 

 

Well, I think most people would recognize that a singer that is unable to sing in-key is not a "good vocalist." Whether or not you can "hit the notes" is part of singing, believe it or not.

 

 
 
Technical proficiency can be only be used as means to an end, and is no way an end itself. I'm not telling this to you as I presume you are aware of it, but I wrote it just to clarify.

 

The reason many "gaijin-kei vocalists" sound like they are singing for their webcams with no confidence is because that's exactly what they are doing. Most visual kei fans are young, and thus inexperienced in singing and playing instruments. The reason they are "bad" is because they lack experience, not because they aren't Japanese.

 

 

 

Couldn't care less. Nobody should give anyone a break for a lack of experience. Not to mention the forum would crash if I was to list all the bands that were great from day one. How is it possible that 16 years old can do a decent debut releases in every other scene ever except this one.

Which is why I think the problem is in the fundamentals, as in how to play visual-kei without speaking Japanese as a native language and where to take inspiration from for riffs and melodies. 

 

 

 


 

endless vomit being regurgitated for the millionth time

 

 

There's your mature

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@Disposable

 

Clearly there's some kind of breakdown in communication here. You're saying I don't understand you, and then you repeat the same thing. In regards to the example, I see that the band is from Finland—I think part of the reason that the lyrics sound awkward is for that reason. Obviously there is some influence from bands like Gazette, but I would bet the pronunciation sounds similar because of the singer's accent.

 

Technical proficiency can be only be used as means to an end, and is no way an end itself. I'm not telling this to you as I presume you are aware of it, but I wrote it just to clarify.

 

I'm trying very hard to derive any meaning at all from this. What is your point here and how is it relevant? You were previously saying that singing on-key is not relevant to whether or not a vocalist is considered "good." No, a vocalist doesn't have to possess perfect pitch, but generally speaking, a vocalist that sings off-key consistently is not pleasant to listen to. The only exception I can think of would be someone like Chino Moreno from Deftones, that purposefully sings melodies that are not necessarily in the key of the song, in order to create intentional dissonance.

 

 

And of course people should be given breaks for a lack of experience. Yes, there are individuals that are "naturally gifted" and learn very quickly... but the majority of people do not fit that description. The reason there are 16 year olds that are excellent musicians is because they either started learning early or they are naturally gifted. Again, most people do not fit this description, and it doesn't make sense to hold most people to that standard. 

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Fair enough. Although I don't agree at all, I'm satisfied.

As for the vocalists issue, I don't really care one bit what kind of vocal acrobatics they're able to do or how by the book their vocals are, but instead what they are trying to represent with the performance. I love those rough amateurish vocals.

Granted, I was being provocative by saying it doesn't matter literally at all. Reason for that being the constant slander perfectly good vocalists receive in the VK community.

Still concur with what I said previously about the age and talent issue.

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I like rough vocals as well, but there is a threshold as to what I would consider tolerable. Personality and quirkiness will only get one so far.

 

For instance, Kyouka sings off-key most of the time, but it seems intentional and is part of Aliene Ma'riage's sound. Most people wouldn't call him a "good singer" but he has an interesting technique and makes the band what it is. Syndrome's first vocalist sings off-key quite a bit, but it seems accidental and uncontrolled. The band sounded much better to my ears once they replaced him with Asagi, and while he doesn't have perfect pitch, he has a pleasant tone, powerful voice, and unique sound. 

 

Unless you are just trying to be a contrarian (which I think you are), there is no reason to think that being able to sing on-key and being able to convey emotion are two mutually exclusive things.

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Unless you are just trying to be a contrarian (which I think you are), there is no reason to think that being able to sing on-key and being able to convey emotion are two mutually exclusive things.

 

I don't think I ever said one excluded the other. What I'm tired of is people people thinking that technical proficiency is a necessity ( just to clarify this is not directed at you obviously ).

Doesn't matter to me if it's there. If it fits the music, it fits.   

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I think really the problem with singing in Japanese is you're stigmatizing and stereotyping your band. If you're going to form a VK band what kind of audience are you trying to appeal to anyway?

 

Western VK fans are probably going to hate you, Japanese fans aren't going to care unless you can actually get to Japan but good luck immigrating as a musician and so that leaves you with your local audience. Singing in Japanese will most likely alienate any potential listeners but that's if you're music is either worth listening to in the first place. Sing in your native language and if you have a rich daddy like Yohio that can get you signed to Universal Japan then sing in Japanese because you'll be singing to an audience that is relevant. I admit, when I saw the name Pinku Jiatsu I immediately thought it was going to be shit because they were dumb enough to name themselves that.

 

It's fine if you like singing in Japanese but leave that for karaoke. 

 

I agree that there's some bias hate towards these bands though, no denying that. If they were Japanese people would love them, stuff like Pinku Jiatsu could have been a DEViL KiTTY song and Romantica seems like something the Kote KKK would circlejerk all over. I don't think Sada's solo stuff is terrible at all and more Kote KKK circlejerk material, Jet Set Gypsies are really good except for the awkward silly Japanese verses and chin vaginas and I liked Abaddon and wished they had more music. 

 

I love Visual Moon, at least what's been on the internet so far.

Mongolian is not just a beautiful language, I think their culture is very interesting and I'd love to travel there someday.

Maybe the band should put more traditional stuff into their songs and MVs...

Well don't listen to manufactured garbage like Visual Moon. There's probably loads of Mongolian folk influenced music but if you only just look at the over produced pop music you're going to have a bad time.

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I think really the problem with singing in Japanese is you're stigmatizing and stereotyping your band. If you're going to form a VK band what kind of audience are you trying to appeal to anyway?

 

Western VK fans are probably going to hate you, Japanese fans aren't going to care unless you can actually get to Japan but good luck immigrating as a musician and so that leaves you with your local audience. Singing in Japanese will most likely alienate any potential listeners but that's if you're music is either worth listening to in the first place. Sing in your native language and if you have a rich daddy like Yohio that can get you signed to Universal Japan then sing in Japanese because you'll be singing to an audience that is relevant. 

 

I think you are right, but most people don't form bands because they are directly trying to appeal to anyone in particular. Most people form bands based on their influences, and because they are inspired by the bands they like. Trying to appeal to an audience is usually an afterthought.

 

Western visual kei fans hating western visual kei bands seems to be a situation that is unique to the visual kei scene. No Americans, that I've known at least, hate on Lady Gaga for her gratuitous (and undoubtedly poor) French, for instance. She probably just thinks that it sounds cool or exotic, which is the same reason an American visual kei band would attempt to sing in a language they don't speak (Japanese). 

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