Siam Shade

Last updated

Siam Shade
Also known asAtæru
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Years active1991–2002, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015–2016
Associated acts
  • Acid
  • Detrox
  • Binecks
  • Big Bites
  • Bull Zeichen 88
Past membersAtaru

Siam Shade (stylized as SIAM SHADE) was a five-piece Japanese rock band, formed in Tokyo in 1991. The classic line-up of Hideki on vocals, Natchin on bass, Kazuma and Daita on guitar, and Jun-ji on drums broke onto the visual kei scene alongside a multitude of other artists in the early 1990s and enjoyed a decade of relative popularity before disbanding in early 2002. The members have reunited several times since 2007 for one-off concerts and short tours. Outside Japan, Siam Shade is best known for "1/3 no Junjō na Kanjō", which was the sixth ending theme of the Rurouni Kenshin anime. Daita's work on their song "Triptych" was named the 83rd best guitar instrumental by Young Guitar Magazine in 2019. [1]



1989–2002: Formation and career

In March 1989, high school friends Hideki (then known as "Chack") and Natchin (then spelled "Natin") formed a band called Power. They won the Summer Grand Prix Award at that year's Yokohama High School Hot Wave Festival. [2] However, due to many member changes, including the brief enrollment of guitarist Daita, Power disbanded. After befriending guitarist Ataru, singer Hideki and bassist Natchin formed a new band with him called Atæru in 1991.

In 1992, the members met Love Jets vocalist Kazuma at a talent show, and later recruited him as guitarist. [3] Drummer A completed the lineup and Atæru began touring, playing small clubs and local venues. They changed their name in 1993, settling on Siam Shade. The band released a free demo tape on May 1, shortly after which Ataru left. [3] In July, Hideki and Natchin called on their former schoolmate and one-time band member Daita to fill in the lead guitar slot. The group distributed the single "Doll" in December 1993. The band became close with Luna Sea, with Ryuichi Kawamura promoting Siam Shade in 1994 by playing their demo tape on his radio show. [3]

Siam Shade had another small lineup change in 1994 when A left the band and was replaced by Jun-ji in May, solidifying the group's final lineup. [3] Jun-ji was a roadie for Luna Sea drummer Shinya Yamada. [4] At the end of the year, the band released their first self-titled album. In 2004, it was named one of the top albums from 1989-1998 in an issue of the music magazine Band Yarouze. [5]

In October 1995, Siam Shade released their major label debut single "Rain" on Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Their second album Siam Shade II followed in November. [3]

The band burst into the mainstream in late 1996 when "1/3 no Junjō na Kanjō", a single from their latest album Siam Shade IV, was selected as an ending theme for the Rurouni Kenshin anime series. The song's popularity led to increased ticket sales, concert DVDs, and television appearances.

The band continued to release albums and DVDs well into the next decade. In 2002, while touring in support of their recently released compilation albums, the band announced that they would be disbanding. Siam Shade's ten-year career came to an end on March 11, 2002 at the Nippon Budokan. [3] Later that month, the band released their final album, Siam Shade X, a compilation of all their previous releases.

Post-Siam Shade activities

After the disbandment Hideki quickly begin his solo career. In 2003, he joined the band Acid, before leaving in 2006 to focus on his solo career again. However, in 2007 he formed Detrox with KAZ (Sads) and they released a large amount of material before going on hiatus after their show on April 18, 2012. [6]

Kazuma also started his solo career after the disbanding. In 2003, he performed a duet with Vivian Hsu, "Moment", which was used as the second opening theme to the anime Mobile Suit Gundam SEED . He has also played support guitar for Anna Tsuchiya and Damijaw (solo project of Janne Da Arc member Ka-yu).

Daita started a solo career, wrote the soundtrack for the movie Volcano High, and played support guitar for Kyosuke Himuro. In 2005 he formed the band Binecks. In 2012, he formed the American-based band Broken Arrow with vocalist Nik Frost, who sang on the Siam Shade Tribute album. [7]

Natin, now going by the stage-name "Natchin", has a solo career and in 2008 formed the band Big Bites with Anchang (Sex Machineguns) and Annie (The Yellow Monkey). [8]

Junji has a solo career, was support drummer for Takanori Nishikawa a.k.a. TM Revolution, and in 2008 formed the band Bull Zeichen 88. He is also a regular support member for Acid Black Cherry.

2007–2016: Reunions

Siam Shade held a reunion concert, titled Heart of Rock, on November 18, 2007 at the Nippon Budokan, in honor of their manager who died the previous April. The band stated that the reunion was a one-off event, and would not pave the way for a new single or album release.

On October 27, 2010 a tribute album to Siam Shade was released, Siam Shade Tribute . It is composed entirely of Western artists such as Sebastian Bach, Richie Kotzen, Mike Vescera and George Lynch. [9]

Siam Shade's song "1/3 no Junjō na Kanjō" was covered by Nogod on the compilation Crush! -90's V-Rock Best Hit Cover Songs-, which was released on January 26, 2011 and features current visual kei bands covering songs from bands that were important to the '90s visual kei movement. [10] "Glacial Love" was covered by Guild on its sequel, Crush! 2 -90's V-Rock Best Hit Cover Songs-, that was released on November 23, 2011. [11]

On April 29, 2011, Siam Shade announced on their new website, which went online on the same day, that they would reunite once again. This time for a free concert on July 17 at Zepp Sendai, entitled Siam Shade Spirits ~Return The Favor~, "to bring hope" to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. [12] [13] A second concert was held on October 21 at Saitama Super Arena. [14] The band released the album Siam Shade Spirits 1993 on April 14, 2012, which includes their entire first album, the new "opening" track called "Light For Closed Your Eyes" and two previously unreleased songs from their indie years. [15]

The group released their first new song in 12 years "Still We Go" digitally on September 18, 2013, with a limited physical release following the next month. [16] Siam Shade performed their first nationwide tour in 12 years at the end of 2013, titled Heart of Rock 7. [17] The three date tour began on October 27 at Saitama Super Arena and went to Zepp Nagoya on November 11, before ending on November 12 at Zepp Namba. [17]

Siam Shade performed at the first night of Luna Sea's Lunatic Fest at Makuhari Messe on June 27, 2015. [18] In celebration of the 20th anniversary since their major label debut, the group held The Abiding Belief concert at Saitama Super Arena on October 18, 2015. [19] The six date The Ultimate Fight Series tour continued the celebration and took place in February 2016 at various Zepp venues. [20] The anniversary celebration ended with three Final Road Last Sanctuary concerts in October 2016; the Osaka International Convention Center on the tenth, the Nakano Sun Plaza Hall on the fifteenth, and the last taking place on the twentieth at the Nippon Budokan. [21]


Former members


Various artists compilations
Tribute albums

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