5 Songs, 20 Minutes


About Mix Speaker's,Inc.

Perhaps the most visual of all visual kei bands, this Tokyo sextet posed and even performed in fantastically elaborate and cumbersome costumes (the nearest Western equivalent would probably be GWAR). Unlike many "manufactured" VK bands, they were entirely self-contained, writing, producing, and self-releasing their own records, designing their own costumes, and directing their own videos, building a global cult following in the process.

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. was formed in December 2006 by former members of the band Isabelle: vocalist Miki, guitarist Keiji, drummer S, and guitarist Aya and bassist Seek, who had previously played in the hugely popular and successful visual band Psycho le Cému. They recruited vocalist Yuki from the band Egurigori, making them at the time the only VK band with two vocalists. From the outset the members envisaged the band as a Gesamtkunstwerk incorporating music, theater, and visuals. Each member played a character with his own history, and each album was a new "story" with a theme based on a specific concept, with characters and costumes to match -- their 2011 album It’s a Dream World, for example, saw each member sporting not just one but two different interchangeable costumes, cute "pierrot" and "zombie" versions of different animals including a lion, a sheep, and a condor. Musically, they fit very much into the oshare kei bracket, their super-catchy, melodic, punky pop/rock thick with synth pads and featuring occasional detours into metal and jazz. On their albums, the songs were interspersed with surreal skits performed in character with funny voices.

Their first concept, revolving around mythical monsters such as vampires, zombies, and mummies, incorporated their first single "Mix Speaker's Box" in December 2006, their 2007 mini-album Friday Night Monstime, and their 2008 debut full-length Monsters: Pocket no Naka ni Wa Junk Story (Junk Story in My Pocket). Later in 2008, they traded in the monsters for a new concept for the mini-album Wonder Traveling, which told the story of an intrepid crew of explorers voyaging through outer space. Their unique concepts, zany costumes, and catchy music quickly gained them a dedicated fan base in Japan and beyond, as their fame spread by word of mouth via the internet. In 2009 they were approached by the German label Gan-Shin with an offer to tour and release Monsters in Europe. The tour was a great success, and the band went on to play at a number of anime conventions in the United States. Gan-Shin also released their second album, 2009’s Big Bang Music, which continued the sci-fi story.

In 2010, they released the best-of album Never Ending Story and started a new concept with the mini-album Animal Zombies before teaming up in 2011 with the multimedia corporation Happinet for the release of their third album It’s a Dream World. For their 2012 releases, the single "Shiny Tale" and the mini-album Sea Paradise no Hihou (Sea Paradise Treasure) they adopted an aquatic theme, with the members dressed as sea creatures and pirates. ~ John D. Buchanan

    Tokyo, Japan
    December 15, 2006



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