Chapter 12 ~ 2002
A wandering satellite
2002 started slowly. In February, HYDE released his third single, "SHALLOW SLEEP". Finally utilizing some electric guitars, this song wasn't as quiet as his first two songs, but still very gentle. At the end of March, the 27th, HYDE finally released a full album: ROENTGEN. With 10 songs, all of a very soft, quiet nature, it was definitely a different album than anything L'Arc~en~Ciel had done. It reached #5 on the Oricon. It was also learned that HYDE would be starring in a movie with fellow J-Pop artist Gackt, in the movie "MOON CHILD".
2002 dragged on with no news of activity from the band nor any of its members. Finally, August brought news. On the L'Arc~en~Ciel news page, an announcement was made: Ken starting SONS OF ALL PUSSYS. On ZIGZO's website, who had disbanded earlier in 2002, another announcement was made: SAKURA starting SONS OF ALL PUSSYS. That's right, the same sakura who had played drums for L'Arc~en~Ciel all those years ago! He had come back, joined in the band ZIGZO, but then they disbanded. And now, he would be playing with his former bandmate ken once again.
The initial news regarding SONS OF ALL PUSSYS (SOAP for short) was that they would be playing a live at SAPPORO KARAPS HALL. The band was composed of Ken on guitar and vocal, Sakura on drums, and Ein on bass. Ein is a half-German/half-Japanese living in Japan, and was once a model and has appeared in a few of Laruku's music videos, which is how ken met him. For the remainder of 2002, SOAP played a total of 6 gigs in 6 different locations.
For those outside of Japan, the news of SOAP didn't really affect many people, since they seemed to be a live only band. However, August also brought news of a new TETSU69 single, after over a year of inactivity. Single "shinkirou" appeared on August 28th. It ranked #3 on the Oricon, higher than his previous effort. It was a fast, rockier number, unlike tetsu's usual compositions. He moved his SPROUSE label from Ki/oon over to Dream Machine, due to some problems he was having with Ki/oon.
Now under the name acid android, yukihiro had also been keeping busy throughout 2002. He followed the band "crow" throughout the entire year, performing as a guest musician. However, in September, we finally got our first taste of "acid android" - a self-titled, 10 track album. Released on the 25th on his own record label "tracks on drugs", it was only available through order online, which didn't set back too many foreign fans. Four days after it's release, he performed "acid android in an alcove 2" once again at Shibuya club asia.
The rest of the year focused on TETSU69. A third single, "15 1/2", came out in October. This one was a ballad, and also ranked #3 on the Oricon. Not long later, in November, he released his album "SUITE NOVEMBER". It contained 8 songs, including the four singles, and a bonus track hidden away on track 69. With the exception of "wonderful world", the lyrics on basically all of these songs are quite unhappy, surprising to many fans considering tetsu's often playful music. TETSU69 was almost entirely serious though. Since this release, the only activity of TETSU69 was a book he put out in March of 2004, titled "tetsugaku.", as well as a post-album single "WHITE OUT ~memory of a color~", a ballad version of one of the album tracks. His label SPROUSE has disappeared, since the website no longer exists.
So with tetsu now seemingly finished with his solo projects, the month of December continued, once again, in silence, with the exception of a handful of SOAP lives. No word had been heard regarding activity as a band again, and fans headed into 2003 once again in confusion as to what was really happening.
To Chapter 13...