About the Band
Who IS Guitar Vader? They're a Japanese underground rock band, and probably the best at what they are. A lot of people in the US discovered them for their tracks featured in Sega games: "Magical Girl" and "Super Brothers" in Jet Set Radio for Dreamcast, and "Baby-T" and "I Love Love You [LLSD Mix]" in Jet Set Radio Future for XBox (I Love Love You was remixed by WaveMaster Hideki Naganuma).
The best way to sum up the history of GV is to copy-paste (bah...) from this factual description of their history from Guitar Vader Online:
"In summer of 1998, they performed their first recording session at the Berry Records studio in Tokyo. They released a small cassette containing only 4 songs, entitled "Guitar Vader Volume 1". It was distributed to a small store called "High-Line" in Tokyo. Amazingly, all 1000 copies of it were sold very quickly. Empowered by their success, they quickly released Vol. 2 and Vol. 3. All told, they sold 3000 cassettes, a very impressive number considering how obscure they were at the time. Then, in 2000, they released a 2-cassette set called "Die Happy". It contained 8 songs from Volumes 1 and 2, as well as 6 entirely new songs. Finally, their works were distributed to more well-known music stores all over Japan, like "HMV" and "Tower Records". Later, they released their first CD, entitled "Wild at Honey" in May of 2000. Soon after, they came out with Beach Panic, a single CD. Their fame finally spread to the U.S. and the rest of the world in August 2000 when two of their songs, "Super Brothers" and "Magical Girl" were featured as part of the soundtrack in the Sega Dreamcast game, 'Jet Set Radio'. (aka Jet Grind Radio in the US). Sadly, this is the only place many people outside Japan ever get a taste of the myriad works of Guitar Vader. In May of 2001, they released an interesting CD entitled "Remixes GVR", containing four Guitar Vader songs remixed by other sources (including Hideki Naganuma (Wave Master) and Taichi Ohira), as well as the two most popular Guitar Vader songs, "Super Brothers" and "Magical Girl", both for the first time on CD. Currently, they mostly do promotion gigs. There is another album planned for release in August 2001. We can only hope!"
Since then, GV changed record labels from Berry Records to Plugs House and released 3 new CDs: FROM DUSK under Berry Records in 2002, DAWN, it's sequel, under Plugs House in 2003, and HAPPY EAST, their 2004 release. They also have a new drummer, Yoshifumi Suzuki, and a new keyboard player, Steve Laity.
So what's so special about them? Just listen to their music. Great rock 'n' roll, great lyrics, and all-around great fun to listen to. I do hope that they have much success in the future - and for them to come to the US and have a concert in New York. I'll be there, I swear! X) They've been such a great inspiration to me, I felt I had to do SOMETHING to show how much I love them... so here we are. :)