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Aug. 18th, 2014

So it seems that Alice Nine is leaving PSC. I have to admit that I was kind of stunned by the news. I figured if any band was going to bolt the mothership, it would probably be BORN, the one PSC group that's failed to land a major deal (other than the two new acts).

How do I feel about this? I think it's going to be good for them in the long run. They'll have fewer restrictions on them (no "keep to the PSC release schedule and have something to put out every February or March"), they might be able to do a true world tour now and they'll definitely get more magazine coverage, because Alice Nine haven't gotten any covers in the back end of forever. (I'll have reason to buy SHOXX again! There haven't been any PSC acts on that cover in well over a year!) If they get a lenient new management, they might be able to do side projects - session bands, acting, modeling, etc.

Plus, you have to admit that the marketing of their last album and its associated singles was terrible. Supernova supposedly was the band's first flop album - that's because PSC released just about the whole damn thing in advance. You had the three singles in three months - Daybreak, Shadowplay and Shooting Star. (Let's not even get into the absolutely ludicrous notion of NINE versions of the Daybreak single. NINE.) You then had the iTunes Japan-only "album preview" consisting of Kaisen Zenya and Exist (which overseas fans got hold of anyway). And then came the Shining single. That is now SIX TRACKS of a 12-track album that were available to the public in advance. Of the remaining songs, one was an SE and the other a one-minute instrumental interlude, leaving just FOUR full songs we hadn't heard when the album came out. That's an EP's worth of new material for a full, limited-edition price. Can you blame everyone but the most devoted Number Sixes for saying, "I have most of this anyway, I'll just rip the other four tracks from a friend's CD" (or even download them)?

And, yeah, if being free of PSC means a U.S. tour? I'm not going to complain one bit. XD

Seriously, I want the best for this band. GazettE may be my greatest J-rock love, D=OUT my newest J-rock love, and SCREW the steady love that never goes away, but Alice Nine was my first J-rock love (and Shou my first bias). That means something.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2014 12:51 pm (UTC)
do you believe that once i saw the news about Alice Nine leaving PsCompany i came to live journal a thousand times see the comments about it?
First of all you are very right in every thing you said. I always felt that Alice Nine is a very talented band, with very talented musician, but I always felt that Pscompany was exploring their image more than their talents. since they were the only ones with nico nico chanells (which suddenly change from a regular one to a two, one of them were payed), their albums were bad explored, 9 only had 4 singles and Supernova had only 1 (yes I know that other singles were out, but I never thought they will part of the the album) and it was like they had to wait for a Gazette break so they can record or do something.
I love both bands and I only pity Gazette now, because they will be the were left alone in the company and now they will be more used and explored than before, because they will have to make for Alice fault. I truly hope that they leave pscompany too and that all members of Alice be able to have a normal life with weddings and babies and families and everything. (which I hope to Gazette too since Aoi is dying to be a father).
Aug. 19th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC)
You’re right about them being exploited by PSC for money – some of the stunts they pulled were ridiculous. Forcing them to do two Alice Nine Channels a month (one premium) was definitely one example, and the nine versions of Daybreak was probably the worst. Not to mention all those “multi-angle” videos just so you could offer three versions of a single, when GazettE is able to release just two versions – one with the PV, one with a bonus track. If there’s no content for a Type B, don’t put out a Type B!

I don’t think the brunt of their absence is going to fall on GazettE, though. I think the Gazemen have something of a sweetheart deal with PSC – as the only act the label has that’s big enough to play Tokyo Dome, they have pull and are able to dictate the terms of their contract. (Notice Gaze records a lot less than other PSC groups, has never had to do their own stunt-filled web show and Ruki has a lot more freedom with outside projects). I think it’s going to fall on the younger bands – particularly ViViD, who will now step into the role of “the new Alice Nine.” As the only other PSC band to have done a oneman at Budokan, they are now officially the company’s biggest group that isn’t named GazettE. Look for ViViD to inherit the two streaming shows a month. (Well, Reno did say during Battle Royale that he wanted a Reno Channel – he should be careful what he wishes for!)

It’s entirely possible that Alice Nine might have families already, they’ve just had to keep them quiet. (I’ve long suspected that Nao, in particular, might have a wife and children). We probably won’t find out right away – most non-PSC acts, like Royz and Sadie, don’t share their personal lives either. The illusion of being available is a visual kei thing, not a PSC thing, I think. Miyavi is an exception rather than a rule.
Aug. 19th, 2014 02:57 pm (UTC)
I am so proud of Alice Nine for not renewing their contract with PSC. It takes a lot of courage for a band to leave the label that made them famous. And honestly, PSC is shit. They only care about the money. And Alice Nine members has shown signs or said some things that clearly screams they haven't been having the freedom. Like Saga. He said he was tired of making songs and recently it's only been a job to him and a deadline. Now that they're off PSC's collars, I really think he would be able to make more music freely. And with that I assume, he'll be making really, really amazing songs that truly represents Alice Nine since he has more time to do so. PSC should realize they're treating their bands like idol groups.

Also the thing with PSC, I feel like they're giving too much credit and attention to the GazettE just because they're the biggest money makers in the company. That's also one of the many possible reasons they left. Just like SuG. Takeru mentioned that it seemed as if PSC lost interest in them so they left. I get it. Gazette is really famous but still. They should know that they'll be losing other bands if they keep their eyes on their favorite.

Have you read Saga's blog entry? It was really touching. (He also mentioned that they had problems with the company pres and staff). Oh and Shou's tweets were also very reassuring.

Edited at 2014-08-19 03:00 pm (UTC)
Aug. 19th, 2014 03:51 pm (UTC)
Treating them like idols is very accurate. I’ve noticed every PSC band seems to be on a specific release schedule – Alice Nine is expected to put out something every February or March, SCREW in July or August, GazettE in September or October. (Gaze got a free pass this year – probably by putting out not one, but two DVDS). That’s ridiculous – it’s counteractive to creativity to put a deadline on it. That explains why so much output from the company’s acts has been hit-and-miss lately – even GazettE. (One word: Division).

I’m sort of hoping Alice Nine’s boldness spurs a mass exodus from the company – or at least puts the fear of losing all of them into the higher-ups. BORN has the most reason to leave – they joined the company at the same time as ViViD and D=OUT and watched the other two get major contracts while they languished as the company’s only indie band (at least until the newbies came around). SCREW took so long to get a major deal that they’d almost given up hope. And while I’m not into ViViD – they’ve always been too generic J-rock to me – I’ve been told by longtime fans of theirs that they used to be a lot better, and that they haven’t been the same since PSC rushed them into Budokan before they were ready.

I think GazettE was able to negotiate a sweetheart deal with PSC based solely on their status as the company’s biggest band. I could see where that would breed resentment, especially among the B-level bands – those who have gone major but not played Budokan or a similarly sized arena. (That would be SCREW and D=OUT, and possibly Kra. I’m not even sure Kra’s being released by a major label anymore, but they do have special status as the longest-lived PSC band).

I read what both Saga and Shou wrote – they were definitely reassuring. They’re going to go silent for awhile, the way SuG did, but then they’ll reemerge – and when they do, we’ll get the band as they were meant to be. Everyone will benefit – except PSC. Their loss, and they asked for it.
Aug. 19th, 2014 06:40 pm (UTC)
Have to admit I was quite surprised to see this news on Tumblr... I guess I just didn't think they'd be disgruntled enough to leave. Then again, what little I know about them is from watching them from afar, not reading blogs and stuff.

The whole 9 versions thing was really insane, I think. It's just not clever at all!

I hope they'll get to do things they want from now on. :)
Aug. 20th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC)
There have been some rumblings of discontent in the past - Saga especially had dropped some serious hints that he was unhappy with the songwriting schedule that PSC had them on. (Alice Nine was pretty much expected to produce some sort of product every February/March, at the very least - at least one album or a couple of singles a year). There were also some fan theories that the company was interfering with the band's music. I don't think anyone really expected this, though. The fan reactions have been a mixture of shock and pleasure - PSC isn't exactly well-loved. (Well, I don't think they're well-loved by ANY of their bands' fans).
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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