Vamps was formed by Hyde (L’Arc-en-Ciel) and K.A.Z. (Oblivion Dust) in 2008 under their own label, Vamprose. Vamp’s first material and single was ‘Love Addict’ on July 2nd 2008 and reached number 2 on the Oricon charts.
Their first nationwide tour, Vamps Live 2008, started at Zepp Tokyo. The band, despite only having released one single, performed songs mainly from Hyde’s solo career. Between August 1st and October 28th, they played 48 shows at the Zepp live houses in Japan. 6 to 10 shows were played at each venue with every show sold out. Vamps second single, ‘I Gotta Kick Start Now’, was released on March 13th 2009 and was then followed by ‘Evanescent’ on May 13th.
In July 2009, Vamps went on their live tour, Vamps Live 2009 USA Tour. The tour covered 10 cities in the US from July 11th to August 1st. On June 10th 2009 they released their self-titled debut album, ‘Vamps’, followed by their fourth single, ‘Sweet Dreams’, on September 30th. On January 31st 2010, the band was awarded the ‘Billboard Japan Ranking International 2009’ award for their efforts and success with their tour in the US. The DVD release of the tour was on March 17th with their next single, ‘Devil Side’, on May 12th. Their 6th single, ‘Angel Trip’, was released on June 9th, followed by their 2nd album, Beast on July 28th 2010. Vamps then held a free concert in Roppongi Hills on July 30th, which was streamed live on several websites.
In autumn 2010, Vamps embarked on their first world tour making stops in the following countries; Taiwan, US, Spain, France, China and Chile. ‘Memories’, their 7th single, was released on December 15th 2010 and contains the B-side, Get Up-Japanese Version, which is an alternative version of Get Up that translates some of the lyrics from English to Japanese.
This recording of that song then went on to be used in the anime, Bakuman, which features a fictionalized version of Hyde, also voiced by himself as well. July 13th 2011 marked Vamps 4th DVD release, Vamps Live 2010 World Tour Chile, which was recorded in Santiago on November 6th 2010 at the Caupolican Theatre.
In February 2013, Vamps announced that they were changed record labels to Universal Music Group’s Delicious Deli Records. The first release on the label was the home video, Vamps Live 2012, on April 24th, which was recorded at Zepp Namba in 2012. Vamps then performed at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan on June 22nd and this was their first performance of the songs from their double A-side single, ‘Ahead/Replay’, which was released on July 3rd, exactly one year and one day since their debut 5 years ago.
The duo released the best-of album, ‘Sex Blood Rock N Roll’ on September 25th 2013, which includes re-recordings of their songs, all in English, and is also their first world-wide release. They supported the record with a world tour that took them to Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, London and finished with shows in LA and New York.
Vamps headlined the U-Express Live 2014 event at the Saitama Super Arena on March 1st 2014 and played their 2nd show in London on March 28th. June 14th 2014 also marked Vamps performance at the Download Festival.
Vamps are a great band and deserve more recognition world-wide! I’m sure Vamps fans from all over the world won’t hesitate to show their support for the band and encourage them to return to countries such as London, Spain, France and the US!
Kirsty H. – August 2014