Creator’s of the Rock Band franchise had approached Jrock Revolution asking which Japanese rock bands fans would want to see added to their playable track list. A great opportunity for Japanese music to entertain us, those who don’t live in the land of the rocking sun. Yes. And hell no. Harmonix has glossed over (perhaps accidentally) the fact that JRR is a site dedicated to the promotion of primarily Visual Kei bands. As a listener of VK (I’m listening to 9GOATS BLACK OUT – TANATOS while writing this), I’m not self loathing here, just simply pointing out the fact their question needs to go out to additional people. Results from the JRR fan poll:
1. the GazettE
2. Dir en grey
3. X JAPAN
6. An Café
10. Versailles ~Philharmonic Quintent~
Okay, if Rock Band is going to add a VK Shock Pack with primarily VK artist, then hell yeah! But what I do know about the Rock Band folks is that they try and cover as many genre’s as possible to include as playable tracks as long they are fun to play and, well, rock. If Harmonix is looking for Japanese rock, they looked in the wrong place. Why not talk to the JaME folks or cruise last.fm? Well both are not exclusive to the US Japanese music fanbase. Judging from the reaction to Beatles: Rock Band, global community input would be a plus.
I decided to grab some data from Last.fm.
Ranked by number of listeners and using the larger of numbers for bands listed under different spellings:
1. L’Arc~en~Ciel 11,774,711 plays (184,009 listeners)
2. Dir en grey 22,851,599 plays (180,294 listeners)
3. ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION 9,646,907 plays (157,400 listeners)
4. the pillows 9,488,349 plays (142,707 listeners)
5. X JAPAN 5,395,297 plays (116,097 listeners)
6. GACKT 11,093,197 plays (115,575 listeners)
7. Maximum the Hormone 5,879,766 plays (91,725 listeners)
8. Polysics 2,931,644 plays (87,277 listeners)
9. Nightmare 2,885,468 plays (84,215 listeners)
10. ‰ë-miyavi- 7,955,352 plays (81,931 listeners)
Miyavi 4,348,297 plays (55,203 listeners)
11. Shiina Ringo 5,713,815 plays (80,611 listeners)
12. ƒ€ƒbƒN 8,041,826 plays (78,557 listeners)
13. PUFFY 1,243,935 plays (69,196 listeners)
14. D’espairsRay 7,065,326 plays (65,559 listeners)
15. the GazettE 7,508,947 plays (50,781 listeners)
ƒKƒ[ƒbƒg 7,679,897 plays (63,238 listeners)
16. OLIVIA 2,408,932 plays (62,947 listeners)
17. Mr.Children 3,890,571 plays (61,640 listeners)
18. Dragon Ash 1,382,356 plays (61,568 listeners)
19. B’z 3,797,961 plays (59,996 listeners)
20. GLAY 1,831,737 plays (55,517 listeners)
21. Versailles 1,945,444 plays (43,559 listeners)
22. ‚‚é‚è 3,500,454 plays (36,226 listeners)
23. An Café 1,407,565 plays (32,879 listeners)
ƒAƒ“ƒeƒBƒbƒN-àÛàè“X- 2,559,837 plays (33,589 listeners)
I just grabbed random artist that tend to be popular in the US. Well not random, I didn’t include hip hop, R&B, or pop which would pepper this list with Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru, Kanno Yoko, Johnny’s, and Hello! Project’s. I picked bands that Rock Band would consider.
L’Arc is listed as #9 on JRR’s poll while here they are #1 with three times as many listeners as The Gazette which is their #1. Adding non-visual artist pushes only four of their poll’s artists out of the top 10 which proves that JRR’s poll is still influential and shouldn’t be discounted.
Many Japanese artist are adored outside Japan and I’d love to see them in Rock Band.
I sincerely hope that Harmonix isn’t using only JRR’s community as their only source of possible artist suggestions.
Harmonix, hit up JaME, they tend to cover a wider variety of genres. Also cruise last.fm.
And to the folks at JRR, I still love you! Keep spreading the word on the music we love!
And for me, bands (non-indies)I want to rock the fuck out to on Rock Band:
Dir en grey, MUCC, Blue Hearts, BUCK-TICK, The Tigers, Kuroyume…
Though my last.fm may tell you otherwise.