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(1996~2003 | 2012)

La'Mule were a pretty influential band from the late 90's that I know has a fairly large fanbase here, which has me surprised that there wasn't already an artist thread for them. They're mostly known for their bloody costumes and catchy melodies, although their first and last looks were much more subdued than what I usually associate with their name. Their album CLIMAX is often considered one of the best albums released in the turn of the century visual-kei scene.

 

Vocals:  紺 (Kon) (→ノイズの神経(Gu)→La’Mule→RED CARPET→NightingeiL→Cell)

Guitar: NAO (→Si・es・ta→If→La’Mule→Cell)

Guitar: SIN (→LAIZE→If→La’Mule→Cell)

Bass: ISUKE (→La’Mule→スマグラー)

Drums: YOU-YA (→La’Mule→RED CARPET→number mouse)

 

Former Members:

Guitar: Yuki (→La’Mule→kreuzenvaize→引退)

Guitar: Fumi (→La’Mule)

 

 

What are your favorite releases by them?

 

 

Some examples of their songs:

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Peace Heavy mk II

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So I know this is pretty much a dead thread, but I've been getting into La'Mule a LOT recently. Everyone credits Dir En Grey for influencing the modern Vkei scene, but I personally think La'Mule is just as important. After all, they were one of the first to go with the macabre imagery. And Kon was known for his stage acts, including pretending to hang himself (Not unlike how Kiyoharu used to crucify himself on stage).

Also, their second PV for Curse pretty much started the floating calligraphy and random pop ups of Feng Shui charts among AnguraKei bands like in Kiryu's "Tsuki No Hime" PV xD. 

Also, it's worth mentioning that even though their first popular release was in 1998, they were very well known among the indie scene already by then. Back then, in the 90's, releases didn't make you popular. It was live performances. 

La'Mule was a little bit of everything. You had Metal pieces like Sterilization, catchy Alt Rock pieces like Curse, and drenchy gothic rock songs like Wing. And they're one of the few bands I would actually call "Gothic Metal", as songs like Mirror Mirror actually mixed Gothic Rock and Metal

Edited by AimiGen7

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I still have their songs on my circulation.

Sometimes I even have a binge-listen to their best album, Eyes Bloodshed.

I definitely agree that they really a little bit of everything.

 

Still haven't gotten over with how trippy Fantasy is.

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On 14.3.2017 at 11:06 PM, AimiGen7 said:

So I know this is pretty much a dead thread, but I've been getting into La'Mule a LOT recently. Everyone credits Dir En Grey for influencing the modern Vkei scene, but I personally think La'Mule is just as important. After all, they were one of the first to go with the macabre imagery. And Kon was known for his stage acts, including pretending to hang himself (Not unlike how Kiyoharu used to crucify himself on stage).

 

As you already mention Kiyoharu, it's was probably Kuroyume who started it all. I am sure someone more well-versed with VK history can even state an earlier example of the Macabre/Eroguro imagery usage. But in the end most of 90s VK bands ripped off old Kuroyume in some form. With Dir en grey it's confirmed, as well as Laputa or any other Nagoya band whose bandmembers where Roadies for Kuroyume or played in cover session bands.

 

But it's true that La'mule were far more influential and important for the late 90s scene as they are remembered. At least most oldschool VK loving japanese people I have come across have a very high opinion of the band. 

 

Wasn't the company that did La'Mule's PV the same that did PVs for other very important groups of that time (including Dir en grey)? That might explain the influence on modern bands' PVs.

 

Also I feel it's a shame that their revival didn't last long and that CELL too disbanded before they even released a proper album. .___.

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8 hours ago, Ikna said:

 

As you already mention Kiyoharu, it's was probably Kuroyume who started it all. I am sure someone more well-versed with VK history can even state an earlier example of the Macabre/Eroguro imagery usage. But in the end most of 90s VK bands ripped off old Kuroyume in some form. With Dir en grey it's confirmed, as well as Laputa or any other Nagoya band whose bandmembers where Roadies for Kuroyume or played in cover session bands.

 

But it's true that La'mule were far more influential and important for the late 90s scene as they are remembered. At least most oldschool VK loving japanese people I have come across have a very high opinion of the band. 

 

Wasn't the company that did La'Mule's PV the same that did PVs for other very important groups of that time (including Dir en grey)? That might explain the influence on modern bands' PVs.

 

Also I feel it's a shame that their revival didn't last long and that CELL too disbanded before they even released a proper album. .___.

I'm not exactly sure about the companies, but I definitely think it is possible.

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What do people base themselves on when they call a VK band influential? Gut feeling? Observation? Or something sourced from actual members of the visual kei scene back in the day? You can draw parallels between La'mule and early 2000's bands all you want but how much of it is actually rooted in VK history?

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I will admit that I passed on giving La'mule a listen years ago, as Kote Kei was not something I listened to back then.

"Memory of Flow" was a wonderful surprise listen, as it was randomly played on my drive to work this morning.

 

Looking forward to previewing the rest of their discography.

 

 

 

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I thought they were pretty generic at first but their music has a very hypnotic element about it that keeps me coming back. They were really good songwriters but you don't realise until you give them a few proper listens.

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On 6/30/2017 at 1:37 AM, Milayou said:

What do people base themselves on when they call a VK band influential? Gut feeling? Observation? Or something sourced from actual members of the visual kei scene back in the day? You can draw parallels between La'mule and early 2000's bands all you want but how much of it is actually rooted in VK history?

I base it mostly on how much similarities I see between looks, sound, concept, etc.

For example: The 2nd PV for Curse has a lot of cursive hiragana calligraphy going up and down the screen. This has been emulated by bands such as Kiryu.

Also, before La'Mule, there weren't that many Vkei bands that made horror style PVs (at least ones that most people remember). Suddenly, La'Mule and Dir En Grey begin doing such, and then, a little later, other bands do the same.

Also, there is the amount of influence they've had on the music and concept of other bands. While La'Mule wasn't the first to do their type of music, they do have a certain feel and concept that made them stand out. Other bands since have done similar. For example, Diaura, and AvelCain have done similar songs to "Lepra". (Lost November and Beni respectively. Though the influence in Lost November isn't as obvious). There are many others I could list, but these are the ones that come to my mind first.

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On 6/30/2017 at 2:37 AM, Milayou said:

What do people base themselves on when they call a VK band influential? Gut feeling? Observation? Or something sourced from actual members of the visual kei scene back in the day? You can draw parallels between La'mule and early 2000's bands all you want but how much of it is actually rooted in VK history?

Number of publications they were featured on, how well kept their history is (if no one cared, they'd be an empty last.fm profile with one or two blurry pictures), amount of times people have tried to be them (whether subtly or explicitly), general rate at which they released material, and, in this case, the reaction to their revival were indicators I personally use. The grain of salt with this though, as I'm sure you're hinting at here, is that it is a mix of gut feeling + observation, but distorted through the eyes of a Western fan looking backwards. I am open to learning about if this bias in incorrect.

 

Of course, influence is a spectrum. Obviously someone at Glay's level will have much more influence on a macro scale than La'Mule, but that doesn't mean the latter's efforts are lost to the void.

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I think this is hard because even during La'Mule's heyday, they were not exactly popular overseas. I had a lot of trouble getting their releases back in the day beyond sending Japanese yen cash in an envelope to Brand X... CD Japan did not carry many indie releases at the time. This was partially because the indie VK reservation system was more complicated and generally were less pressings and a lot of live-only distribution stuff.

 

Some good indicators back then (and seconding some of these already mentioned):

 

- Live venues used and live attendance

- Magazine feature count including did the members have their own column in a VK mag?

- TV / radio appearances

- In store / taiban / misc. event invitation count including what bands did they often play with? Back then bands would mostly play with other bands on the same scale as them unless it was a label event

- Flyers (Back then most bands did not use colored flyers, but more well off bands did)

- Release packaging and/or extras (Ex: Was there a first press? Did pressings come in digi packaging or have other high quality features?)

- Were "bootleg" candid shots sold of them in Harajuku?

- Number of cosplayers (Because at the time, VK fandom was still very much tied to Harajuku, cosplaying on Yoyogi bridge, etc.)

- And last but not least, how big of an influence they had on the scene/their contributions to the scene

 

La'Mule checks off a lot of these. Also they were on the Soleil label, which had a lot of the best (read as most popular) VK indie acts at the time signed, including La:Sadie's. While Soleil didn't ultimately survive, their sub label Matina did. Of course Matina would then basically become Undercode Production.

 

La'Mule had nowhere near the advertising, financial backing, number of fans, etc. of bigger bands like L'Arc, GLAY, etc., but mainstream music and its success has almost always been a reflection of labels and bands being able to ride a trend with bands just below being able to create the undertow influencing these trends.

 

This is why La'Cryma Christi, Malice Mizer, Shazna, and Fanatic Crisis are considered the "4 god bands" of VK in the 90s, despite the fact they were not the most popular and their music hasn't endured as well as aforementioned GLAY, L'Arc, etc. Malice Mizer's and X Japan's influence was especially prolific as it's only in more recent years that most VK bands have made the move from 5 person bands (one singer, two guitars, one bass, one drummer) to different member counts (more often 4 now), and you no longer see someone designated as the "girl"/"onnagata" of the band.

 

Anywho, when I was a teen this was my favorite La'Mule song:

 

 

 

And over the years, this has become my favorite:

 

 

 

Edited by jaymee

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