Chapter 10 ~ 2000
On January 19th, a double A-side single was released, featuring the two new songs played at their millenium live: "NEO UNIVERSE" and "finale". This single was of course insanely popular, and it featured yet again a few new tracks from yukihiro. A new, instrumental song, titled "hole", and a remix of "trick". This single became the first work from L'Arc of the new millenium.
By March of 2000, the band had won a few more awards. "HEAVEN'S DRIVE" picked up song of the year, "NEO UNIVERSE/finale" nabbed single of the year, and "ark" and "ray" took home album(s) of the year. It was certainly an exciting time, not just for the band, but for all the fans as well. Never before had L'Arc~en~Ciel been such a widely recognized name.
For reasons somewhat unknown, the fanclub "Ciel" suddenly turned into "LE-CIEL" in April. Other than this seemingly minor technicality, the band layed low for awhile, exhausted from all the shows and releases of 1999. Activity started right back up in June however.
At the end of this month, on the 28th, yukihiro released an album titled "ectomorphed works", a collection of remixes of L'Arc~en~Ciel's songs. It contained ten new remixes, though many were just slightly altered versions of the remixes he had been doing on their singles recently.
This odd release was followed quickly by a new single, "STAY AWAY", on July 19th. Finally, a single written by a tetsu, and another one of his instantly catchy songs. The c/w was a new song by yukihiro called "get out from the shell", and two remixes of "STAY AWAY" were also featured, though neither were done by the drummer. News of a new album was out by this time and people were already getting excited.
Eighth album "REAL" dropped at the end of August, closing the summer. The band had become increasingly experimental, using more synthesized sounds or going towards a more grunge style. "REAL" did not sell as well as either "ark" or "ray", but still sold over a million copies. It's hard to say exactly what kind of style Laruku was going for with this album, or if they were going for one at all. Many of the songs sound very different from anything before, yet still retaining some of that old L'Arc~en~Ciel flavor.
Instead of touring the usual venues, Laruku did something different this time. They played at small clubs like Akasaka BLITZ for their tour "CLUB CIRCUIT 2000 REALIVE", which played only 10 shows. The band did this so they could have a more intimate experience with their fans, rather than the huge arenas played during GRAND CROSS and "HEART ni hi o tsukero!". However, after REALIVE had finished, they began another tour in November titled "TOUR2000 REAL", which played in various domes throughout Japan. It was a more "usual" tour for the band than REALIVE had been. The second to last stop on the tour was broadcast for free over the internet, while the last stop, broadcast over SKYPERFECT TV!, cost about $20 to watch. However, the last show was split into five different channels: one for each member, and one for the band.
Once again, Laruku found themselves playing at Kouhaku Utagassen, this year with their song "STAY AWAY". Also, on December 25th, hyde married Ooishi Megumi, whom he had known for some time now, becoming the first member of the band to be married that we know of.
To Chapter 11...