XENON LA is no stranger to hosting some amazing live stream events, but the recent one involving Visual Kei band Mejibray was one of the most heavily attended ones yet! Dozens of fans filled the store in Little Tokyo to capacity and eagerly waited for the chance to speak to the band who who's appearnace was being streamed directly into the store from Japan.
Owing to the fact that the band had an in-store event to attend immediately following the stream, they jumped right into it. After brief introductions and some promotion for their new single and mini album, the band moved into questions for their fans.
Tsuzuku asked the fans where they should go if they ever came to the US, LA specifically. While there were the usual funny answers, most of the answers revolved around having a live event in the US! Mentions of next year's Anime Expo as well as several live house venues made this wish clear. It soon became apparent that it is in the wishes of both the band and the fans that they come to the US and meet in a face-to-face setting, be it an event or a full live. Besides these answers, it was at this point that MiA put up his hands in the air (with palms touching forming a sort of "A") and began something that is likely to become an inside reference to all those who attended the event!
Speaking of MiA, it was his turn for a question! To the shock of everyone his question was whether those in attendance thought about Kentucky Fried Chicken. Following a rather lackluster response, the crowd offered up alternatives. Most of these referred the MiA to In-N-Out. An old favorite to mention to foreign visitors of the West Coast. A hint to all fans should Mejibray ever make their way out here!
Koichi followed this up by asking if any of the fans had gone to Harajuku before. There were only a few in the audience who had, but those who had been said that they enjoyed the visit. Did you know there was a store called "Condom-mania" in Harajuku? Well, the band was sure to let the audience know about it!
In typical Meto fashion, he didn't speak and had his question prepared before hand. He wanted to know if there were stores in the US that carried CURE Magazine. While one cannot stroll into a mainstream book store and find the magazine (Yet!) there are many places to get the magazine such as XENON itself. It should be mentioned that XENON events are usually preceded by a photo snapshot event. Participants are encouraged to check out the magazine as they just might find themselves within its pages!
Returning to Tsuzuku, he asked what kind of alcohol the fans liked to drink while listening to Mejibray. Bourbon, vodka and absinthe sprinkled the answers before the more popular sake and Asahi were mentioned. With the band and the audience now fully excited, all were united further with in a "kanpai" when Tsuzuku decided he wanted to take a drink right then and there! For those curious, Tsuzuku has a preference to red wine. MiA mentioned "Love Shot" and was sure to show all in attendance what it was!
MiA is clearly a fan of ESP guitars and asked questions about them. Besides confirming that lots are sold in the popular music instrument stores, a couple of the fans were able to discuss their personal guitars.
Koichi asked about Hello Kitty which brought up comments about the recent Hello Kitty Expo that took place in Little Tokyo. While not too many attendees went to that event, one of them did mention that she worked at a Hello Kitty store in the airport and was glad to mention some of their best-selling items (A sheep plush and a chef version).
When Meto asked if there were other living dolls like him, there were a couple who mentioned that they thought that they were. While these people might or might not have been right there was more interested in the front row which was rather full of Mejibray cosplayers!
Next came the time many attendees had been waiting for, the part of the event where the fans get to ask the band questions!
The first had to do with some of the band's favorite non-Japanese bands. Tsuzuku mentioned Ozzy Osbourne and Koichi mentioned Maroon 5, but it was Meto that stole the question. Holding up a buzzer for yes and no questions the audience asked if he was a fan of Kiss (No) Marilyn Manson (Yes) and Cradle of Filth (Didn't know apparently). The buzzer was a nice touch and both amused and shocked the audience.
The next pair of questions had some interesting answers. When asked how the band members met we learn that Koichi was apparently found floating down a river! When asked the origin of the name "Mejibray", everyone knew they were in a for a treat when the answer started with "mukashi mukashi"! According to the story Koichi was also a good samurai who bestowed the name on the band while fighting the good fight!
Want to learn Japanese better? The band's advice is to get engaged to a Japanese person! While we can wonder if that was sound advice or not, we can be sure that it make sense. Also, Meto's favorite color is in fact pink! At least that's what his buzzer would have us believe! Elsewhere those in attendance heard the band mention they did not have pets, though we they were shown one of their fan's pets instead.
When asked what kind of emotions the band wanted to get from their fans we eventually got some answers from the band (Tsuzuku's hand to indicate the emotion he wants people to feel?) but before we got the answer we got a nice dance-off between MiA and one of the attendees! The night was definitely coming to life and both the fans and the band seemed to be having lots of fun with the time they had left.
Breezing through some more questions (MiA's guitar set-up and favorite songs to perform live) we learn that the song "Hakuraku" was inspired by sex! After this the event wrapped up with some amazing fan-made artwork that impressed both the band those in attendance!
In the closing messages Tsuzuku thanked everyone for coming out and urged everyone to come out to a Mejibray show if they ever found themselves in Japan. Both Koichi and MiA expressed their hopes of playing a show in LA and asked the fans for their continued support in seeing this goal to fruition. Meto seconded this idea with his buzzer. Here's hoping this is something that can be done in the near future! With that the band moved onto their in-store event and bid their US fans goodbye!
Be sure to keep up with XENON to hear about future events and live stream sessions!
● Vocal: Tsuzuku
● Guitar: MiA
● Bass: Koichi
● Drums: Meto
Official Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/837920569635014/
XENON Official Site: http://www.xenon-la.com
Mejibray Official Site: http://mejibray.com/
Below are some pictures from DJ Meirlin's pre-show set and other shots from before, after and during the live stream event.
◆ Tom Kiryu