Psycho le Cému

They always say that you'll never forget your first love (even if that first love is an absolutely silly cosplay rock band from Japan). I don't think I will ever love a band again in my lifetime as much as I loved Psycho le Cému in their heyday. I fangirled many bands during my years in the Visual Kei fandom, but none of them ever captured my heart the way superhero Daishi and the way his crazy crew of colorful, costumed bandmates did. I was absolutely smitten with a band that came from halfway across the globe. (My poor, poor mother...)

This domain should stand as a testamant to this, but I have always been pretty fanatical about the things that I'm into: Psycho le Cému was absolutely no exception. I celebrated every release and waited eagerly for the newest PVs to come out. Because of Psycho le Cému's concept as a "cosplay band", they were always vibrant and magical—telling the stories I connected to anime or Japanese folklore. You weren't simply looking forward to a new song when it came to PLC: you were looking forward to a new concept, a narrative, an adventure into a world that they had created with music and visuals. It was because of this concept I fell head over heels for their lead singer, Daishi, who always played the super hero despite his short stature and angelic voice.

Much like you'd talk about your first lover, Psycho le Cému as a band was my first everything in regards to fandom: I laughed at all their stupid videos, whether I understood them or not. I ordered limited edition versions of anything and everything that came out: CDs, DVDs, Photobooks. I'd participate in group orders to get my hands on special pins and toys that you couldn't get easily outside of Japan. I worked on fansites, fanlistings (hilariously, used to run Daishi's!), I made 100 icons for a livejournal challenge. I participated in birthday fanbooks, I even begged my mom to let me fly across the United States to see them perform live for a weekend and get autographs. I'd never gone on a trip alone before, let alone to see a crazy looking Japanese rock band. You can bet that as a young teenager that weekend was the time of my life: I saw a band that I never would've dreamed of seeing perform right before my very eyes. Dancing and singing along to the music, pushing myself to the front of the small crowd to brush fingertips with the hands of the band members I adored. Being a fan of Psycho le cemu really shaped how I celebrated fandom as kid.

In 2005, when it was discovered that the Daishi I loved so deeply had been caught using methamphetamines and the band had to cease all activity, everything I had loved and celebrated for so many years came to a screeching hault. I was devastated. I remember worried friends messaging me and calling me asking if I was okay: looking back on it we were just a bunch of dumb kids reacting pretty dramatically/hilariously. But it was because at the time being a PLC fan was such a big part of my identity. I was incredibly broken hearted, I remember crying reading the news, desperately hoping that it wasn't true! And honestly, after PLC disappeared from the visual kei scene I slowly phased myself out of it as well. It was really one of my first experiences with heartbreak in the music industry (and was just one of many that would follow, for anyone who is familiar with the visual kei scene, haha). Though they disappeared, their songs never left my playlists. The other members continued on to their own projects—even Daishi himself continued in the music industry after serving his time. But for me, I had always loved them most as Psycho le Cému.

"We’ve known each other since we were very young. We grew up in the same area of Japan and came to Tokyo together, so we’re very close. Even during our activity pause, we often went out to eat. We never felt like we were really apart. We’re like family."

Fortunately, and much like Psycho le Cému's music videos, this story doesn't have a sad ending. Only just recently in 2016 Psycho le Cému reformed and began releasing music once again. As an adult who hadn't heard new music from her favorite band in almost 10 years you can imagine my reaction: I watched their silly "comeback" video, all middle-aged men wearing wigs and stupid costumes, with tears in my eyes. In all honesty it was one of the greatest gifts I felt I had ever received from musicians who I had invested so much of my time, money and heart in. When everything happened during their disbandment, the fanbase was left with a really sour taste in their mouth. What was happening behind the scenes with a band that seemed so positive and happy, who were finally seeing the fruits of their labor on a major record label? It was as if PLC returning to the industry, together as five, was an apology for everything that we as fans had suffered for back then and a celebration of them as a band that they never got to have.

Much to the dismay of my wallet, I'm back to ordering limited edition versions of everything they put out. And even though they may be visual kei grandpas, releasing music of another era, and back to low-budget music videos, the heart of Psycho le Cému still beats in their songs, and genuine smiles have returned back to their faces. To have these things, to able to look forward to their music, when it was something I never imagined would happen again: all of that is more than enough for me as a fan!

Literally everything. But one of their most iconic songs is Gekiai Merry Go Round (I used to be able to do all the para-para to this song). I also love Omoide Aruki for its lovely melody and references to Journey to the West, and Yume Kazaguruma for its upbeat & distinctly Japanese sound, plus Daishi's cute as hell Momotaro costume! Yume Kazaguruma had just been released when I saw them live, so this song is really special to my heart because the band wore these costumes when performing. (Also... everyone must watch the hilarity that is King of Toohan.)