A type of Japanese Rock music (Jrock
) meaning Visual Style Music (also known as VK ). Members of Visual-Kei bands stereotypically wear large, elaborately decorated costumes, makeup and feminine accessories. The hair is often dyed and extremely styled, or the band members will wear wigs that are easier to manage.
Usually, the visual-kei image is kept by indie Jrock bands. They will slowly grow out of it as they become more well known.
Most of the time, Visual Kei bands slowly work their way out of their visual image. This is most often caused by the band being signed to a major record label. To dress more normally means they are more widely accepted, which in turn means gross profit for the band and label; therefore the change is usually encouraged.
Contrary to popular belief, Visual-kei band members are generally not homosexual but dress the way they do to gain fans, to bring attention to themselves and to build a following.
It is a stereotype that Visual-Kei music is crappy and the and makes up for it in looks. While it may be true that some bands sound similar, this is not true for all. Visual-kei too has it's sub-genres, and different bands may portray different looks and sounds from others.
If one doesn't take the time to delve further into Visual-kei, or Jrock in generally, how can one give a valid or unbiased definition of it?
By Saying only a few things, you are barely scratching the surface.
Some of the most common Visual kei bands are Dir en Grey and Malice Mizer. But both have different images.
Malice Mizer had an 18th century goth feel.
Dir en Grey sported a more urban goth look.
Malice Mizer has been broken up for a number of years.
Dir en Grey has since become more popular and have abandoned their Visual-kei look, since being signed to a major label.
X-Japan was an 80's glam rock band, but they can also be called Visual-kei. The leader of the and, Yoshiki, has since been producing bands in both Japan and America.
Some indie Visual-kei ands are CodomoA, Sugar Trip, Lolita 23q, Death Rabbits and Girugamesh.