Lareine is a Japanese visual kei band. They became very successful in the indie scene in the late '90s and had several lineup changes, eventually settling down with vocalist Kamijo, guitarist Mayu, bassist Emiru, and drummer Machi. On March 26th, 1996, they marked their first anniversary of band activity with a concert at Shinjuku Loft. On that same anniversary in 1999, Lareine left the indie scene with the promotional event "Romance Kakumei" (Romance Revolution) and their last indie concert in Shibuya, which was filmed for the live video "Chantons l'amour." That anniversary was such a happy memory for them that they continued to schedule commemorative concerts in the latter stage of their career. Lareine made their official major-label debut with Sony Musical Entertainment in May 1999 with the single "fiancailles."
In 2000, 3 members decided to leave. Emiru wished to leave due to musical differences; after his decision, Machi also decided to leave for the same reason. Mayu, feeling that Lareine would not be the same without them, also withdrew from Lareine. After their last concerts together, the "Miss Carmila" tour in 8/2000, Kamijo continued alone, still using the band name "Lareine." He released 1 single ("Grand Pain") and 2 albums ("Scream" and the fan club-only version "Vampire Scream"). After a concert at Shinjuku Liquid Room in 12/00, Kamijo took some time off and joined the band New Sodmy for a year and a half.
On March 26 2003, Lareine officially resumed activities with a concert at Shibuya AX. Emiru rejoined, and ex-Ribbon drummer Kazumi became a member. Former New Sodmy roadie Motoki (later of D'AIR) played support guitar. That same day, Lareine released a new version of "Saikai no Hana" and the 2-CD compilation of their indie work "Reine de Fleur." Mayu rejoined Lareine in May 2003. They released a series of 3 mini-albums -- "Majesty," "Knight," and "Princess" -- in the following year. As a present to fans, Lareine recorded some music box versions of their songs which were sent as a free CD to fans who sent in the coupons from those 3 mini-albums. In March 2004, the music box versions received general release as the CD "Crystal Letos."
On March 1st 2006, Kazumi left Lareine. The band noted in an e-mail message to fans about his departure that he'd wanted to leave on March 26th when they usually played their "Romance Kakumei" anniversary concert, but that the others decided to change the concert to a different day that year because they didn't want that happy anniversary to become a sad one. Lareine's concerts for the rest of 2006 were with Kazami (ex-Clavier) on support drums. There has been no news of Machi in several years. In May 2006, Kamijo made a solo appearance at the American convention "Fanime". Lareine as a band never performed outside of Japan.
Lareine officially stopped activies on October 31st, 2006. For several months, Mayu had not been in contact with Kamijo and Emiru, and the band was unable to continue with neither a drummer nor guitarist. Lareine played their last concert with Kazami on support drums and Hizaki (ex-Sulfuric Acid) on support guitar.
Lareine is a concept band and their "Chantons l'amour" performance was a continuation of their ongoing rock opera saga. The blonde girl who appears in the song "Tsukiyo no Kageki" represents the character "Lillie Charlotte," who first appeared in the 1998 mini-album/photo book set of the same name. Lillie Charlotte is the love interest of Jeremie Florence de Jarger, played by Kamijo. The album "fierte no umi to tomo ni kiyu ~the last of romance~" is a concept album telling the story of the lovers reincarnated in the modern era, as Justicia and Asphodel, and contains a booklet with diagrams and character descriptions to help fans understand the story line. Lareine later continued their stories in the even more complex "Majesty" saga, which has two romantic storylines woven through it as drummer Kazumi joined the cast playing the romantic hero "Sion." These operatic stories should not be confused with the band's real life, which the members do not discuss in interviews. The New Sodmy song "Audrey" was inspired by the actress Audrey Hepburn, not a wife or girlfriend.
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