Chapter I: Pre- and Post-MALICE MIZER

MALICE MIZER was a legendary Japanese visual-kei rock band that existed from August 1992 to December 2001.
On these pages, you will find a full biography of MALICE MIZER and the related bands. This is the index page, click on any link to learn more!


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Chapter I: Pre- and Post-MALICE MIZER

The story of MALICE MIZER doesn’t completely start in August of 1992, when the band was formed. Before MALICE MIZER existed, all of its members were already actively playing music in different bands, each developing their own musical skills, and acquiring a lot of live experience. This page lists all the previous projects of MM’s members, but also some of their projects after MALICE MIZER.

I-1 – Mana

Mana started his musical endeavors in 1986, when he was just a 17-years-old highschool student, as the guitarist for a band called “Ves.tearge”. Only one other member of that band is known, “SHIGE”, the bassist, who had an extensive, semi-successful career in the visual-kei scene later. No recordings and photographs of Ves.tearge are available anywhere, and it is unknown if they even released any demo tapes. No song titles, or the names of any other members than Mana or SHIGE are known either.

In 1988, when Ves.tearge stopped its activities, Mana and SHIGE formed the visual-punk band called “GIRL’E”, and were joined by vocalist JAIL, drummer EYE, and later guitarist NAO. They released one very rare, and often-faked demo tape. It is rumoured more demo tapes exist, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Mana was actually known as “ST,SERINA” in GIRL’E, and maybe also in Ves.tearge, but after GIRL’E disbanded in 1990, he changed his stage name from “ST,SERINA” to “Mana”. And in 1991, he joined the band “摩天楼”, or “Matenrou”, not as a guitarist, but as a bassist, since 摩天楼 (Matenrou)’s original bassist left in 1990. There he met Közi, who replaced 摩天楼 (Matenrou)’s original guitarist.

After MALICE MIZER, Mana formed Moi dix Mois, a band that’s also his solo project. It’s still active and successful today, just like his fashion brand Moi-même-Moitié. He likes the letter M.

I-2 – Közi

During the late 80s, guitarist Közi started his leap in the music industry by working as a roadie, or technical staff for the goth band “THE ZOLGE”, fronted by vocalist “HARUHIKO ASH”. And while Közi would eventually depart as a roadie to form/join his own bands, the connection between HARUHIKO ASH and Közi didn’t end there. 13 years later, after MALICE MIZER, the two would work together as a gothic darkwave duo called “EVE OF DESTINY”, that was active inbetween 2002-2006. HARUHIKO ASH left the music scene after the end of EVE OF DESTINY.

Back to the 80s. After leaving his position as a roadie of THE ZOLGE, Közi was active in the band “Beyond The Rein Sight” from 1989-1991 and in the band “GIRL” (NOT the same as Mana’s “GIRL’E”) in 1991. No photographs of both bands have surfaced. Közi recently shared a picture on Twitter of a 4-track music release of Beyond The Rein Sight, but no audio files of it have surfaced. It is unknown if it ever released as a demo tape, or if it’s just a file collection Közi made for himself. Only one commercial Beyond the Rein Sight tape is known, titled “INJURIOUS INJECTION”, containing one track.

After his short time with GIRL, Közi was invited to join 摩天楼 (Matenrou) in 1991 as one of their new guitarists, since their original guitarist left. Közi met Mana during that time, since the original bassist of 摩天楼 (Matenrou) also left, which led to Mana being invited there too to replace him.

After MALCE MIZER, Közi has formed and joined in many, many different musical projects, including a solo project where he also sings. The most successful of these projects is the band “ZIZ”, where he plays guitar and sings (amazingly!).

I-3 – 摩天楼 / Matenrou

Briefly touched upon in the two previous chapters of this page, the pre-MM band that is the closest to MALICE MIZER is “摩天楼”, or “Matenrou”, since the two founding members of MALICE MIZER, “Mana” and “Közi” were already playing together in that band. Közi was one of 摩天楼’s guitarists, and Mana was the bassist, opposed to being a guitarist in his two previous bands, and after 摩天楼 (Matenrou), he switched back to guitar permanently.

Nothing proves the connection between MALICE MIZER and 摩天楼 (Matenrou) more than the fact that Matenrou often played a song live called “迷宮の扉” or “Meikyuu no tobira”, which was later reused by MALICE MIZER under the slightly different title “終幕への扉” or “Shuumaku e no tobira”.

摩天楼 (Matenrou) was formed in 1990 by vocalist KAIE who already had connections in the goth scene, drummer JUN, and an unknown guitarist and bassist. When these last two left, they were replaced by guitarists Közi and KENICHI, and bassist Mana in 1991. After recording and releasing two extremely rare demo tapes, the band split in early-to-mid 1992.

After 摩天楼 (Matenrou) disbanded, KAIE formed the band “Düne××××” in 1996 after a break(?) from the music scene, and JUN formed the band “翡翠” or “HISUI” in 1994, also after a short break. 翡翠 (HISUI) remained active until 2002, with moderate success.

KENICHI immediatly formed a new band after 摩天楼 (Matenrou) disbanded, called “Jesus+Christ” in May of 1992, but left after just four months. In September that year, he formed “KNEUKLID ROMANCE”.

Mana and Közi noticed their musical visions were similar, so decided to bless the world by staying together after 摩天楼 (Matenrou) disbanded, and forming MALICE MIZER in August of 1992, with Mana going back to guitars. They were quickly joined by Tetsu, Yu~ki and GAZ.

I-4 – Yu~ki

Yu~ki started his musical journey as bassist of the band ZE:RO, where he was known as “Yû-KI”. The formation year of that band is unknown, but its last live before disbanding was on the 26th of June, 1992. He didn’t have to wait long before MALICE MIZER was formed, and quickly joined Mana and Közi as MM’s bassist. It is unknown if ZE:RO released any demo tapes or not. They did make a handful of flyers though, which are all extremely rare.

After MALICE MIZER went on hiatus, he didn’t join any other bands ever again. Now he creates jewelry under his two brands Abstract∞A and Mother of Life.

I-5 – Tetsu

Tetsu, MALICE MIZER’s first vocalist, was in one band before MALICE MIZER, that was called “Ner-vous”, which lasted from 1991 to March of 1992. Inbetween March of 1992 and the summer of that year, he wasn’t in any bands, but everything changed when he joined MALICE MIZER shortly after its formation. There’s another visual-kei band named “NER-vous”, that was active from 1992-1994 and released one demo tape, but this isn’t the same band. It is unknown if Tetsu’s Ner-vous released any demo tapes. No other members or photographs are known.

After leaving MALICE MIZER on the 27th of December 1994, Tetsu joined many different musical projects, and is still very active as a singer to this day. He’s extremely musically productive and still has moderate success. But it’s important to know that none of these projects after MM were/are visual-kei. They’re “normal” J-Rock instead. Guess he was sick of the make-up!!!

I-6 – GAZ

GAZ was MALICE MIZER’s first drummer. He joined the band together with Yu~ki and Tetsu either in August or September of 1992, shortly after its formation by Mana and Közi. Before MALICE MIZER, he was in a band named “DATURA”, which released one demo tape. GAZ left MALICE MIZER right after a live on March 15, 1993, so he was only a half year in the band. All of the tracks on the four demo tapes except for Lafflesia were recorded with him on drums.

The demo tape “SADNESS” released after he left, but since he recorded the drums on it, he is credited as “Thanks for GAZ” on the lyrics card of that tape. He’s not credited anymore on “THE 1TH ANNIVERSARY”, even though it’s still the recording with him.

After MALICE MIZER, he joined “KNEUKLID ROMANCE”, the project of KENICHI from 摩天楼 (Matenrou) mentioned earlier, in May of 1993, after Kami had left that band. He went on to have a semi-successful career in KNEUKLID ROMANCE until he left in 1998.

He was also very briefly the support drummer for the band “BAISER”, from December 1992 to October 1993, which means he was both in MALICE MIZER and BAISER at the same time from 1992 to 1993, during the stages of infancy of both bands… That both would become super mainstream and successful in 1998 Japan…

After leaving KNEUKLID ROMANCE in 1998, he had a humble career in a few other bands until his tragic passing due to illness on December 22, 2017. RIP.

I-7 – Kami

Kami was MALICE MIZER’s second and final drummer. He originally joined as a support drummer on March 17, 1992, only two days after GAZ left, but officially joined MM as a “real member” very soon after.

His first band was 3P MAYONNAISE or 3Pマヨネーズ, a punk band that lasted from 1988-1992, and released only one known demo tape.

After leaving 3P, he joined KNEUKLID ROMANCE as their original drummer in September of 1992, and released two demo tapes with them, until he left KR in May of 1993, to join MALICE MIZER, to replace GAZ who left MM, who in turn replaced Kami in KNEUKLID ROMANCE. (It’s confusing, I know! But basically: MM and KR switched their dummers: GAZ and Kami.)

Kami remained the drummer of MALICE MIZER until the very end. He suddenly passed away on the 21th of June, 1999, from a brain hemorrhage, aged 27. RIP. He is still fondly remembered and missed by all.

Kami was never officially replaced, but the two last years of MALICE MIZER saw a support drummer named Shuu (愁).

I-8 – Gackt

After Tetsu left the band in 1994, MALICE MIZER didn’t instantly find another singer. It took almost a year for Gackt to be found by the band. He performed his first live with MM on the 10th of  October, 1995.

Before MALICE MIZER, Gackt was in one previous band, CAINS:FEEL. Almost nothing is known about CAINS:FEEL: No live dates, nor a formation or disbandment date is known, and there’s only two known photographs of the band. They released three demo tapes, but it’s possible that more exists. A band logo sticker also exists.

His time with MALICE MIZER from 1995-1999 is called the “Gackt era”, and is the favourite of most fans. The Gackt era had two albums, “Voyage sans retour” (1996) and the masterpiece that is “merveilles”, from 1998, which was also the year where MALICE MIZER had mainstream success in Japan. Gackt left MM at the peak of their popularity in January of 1999.

After MALICE MIZER, Gackt’s popularity did not diminish at all. In fact, it seriously augmented, as he instantly started a successful solo career. As a solo artist, he released 9 studio albums and 48 singles, with most of the singles reaching the top 10 of Japan. He sold over 10.000.000 records in total.

Many people discover MALICE MIZER through Gackt’s solo career. Welcome!

All of the other members of the previously-discussed CAINS:FEEL would later be the support band for Gackt’s solo project. This support band is called GacktJOB.

It is said that inbetween CAINS:FEEL and GacktJOB, the members were in different bands under different names, but these bands and names aren’t known, and this info is unconfirmed.

I-9 – Klaha

Klaha first recorded vocals for MALICE MIZER in 2000, on the single “白い肌に狂う愛と哀しみの輪舞” (Shiroi hada ni kuruu ai to kanashimi no rondo). At first, it wasn’t revealed who this mysterious vocalist was… After this, he recorded most lead vocals on MALICE MIZER’s final studio album, “薔薇の聖堂” (Bara no seidou), which released a month later, remaining anonymous.

It was only revealed who this mysterious voice was during the legendary two-days concert 薔薇に彩られた悪意と悲劇の幕開け (ara ni irodorareta akui to higeki no makuake).

It was “Klaha”, formerly known as “Masaki Haruna” (春名 真樹), who was the singer of the darkwave act “PRIDE OF MIND” from 1993 to 1996.

PRIDE OF MIND released five demo tapes and one VHS, and all of these are so rare that you’ll have to wait years to find any for sale just once, and when you find one, so many people will bid against you that you’ll have to sell your kidney to win.

Other than that, they released a CD album in 1995 named “SYSTEMS OF ROMANCE”, which is on sale from time to time, but always quite expensive. PRIDE OF MIND was never really popular, but some of its members were friends with some members of MALICE MIZER, and this is why Masaki (Klaha) was chosen.

After MALICE MIZER, Klaha wanted to step in the shoes of Gackt, and also become a J-Pop solo singer.

Even though his album from 2002, his single from 2003 and finally his mini-album from 2004 contain great music, it never really catched any mainstream attention. He did some tours, released some merch, and had a small but loyal fanbase.

In 2006, his website went down, and nobody has heard of him or seen him ever since. He never made any social media accounts, never released any other music, and his disappearance has been so extreme, that even all of the other members of MALICE MIZER confirmed they don’t know where he is, unable contact him anymore.

As usual with the internet, many rumours emerged, claiming a lot of different things about his whereabouts, but the truth is that we don’t know anything about him.

All I can say is that I hope he’s living a great life now, walking from time to time through memory lane, rewatching and listening to his old musical works. He is dearly missed by so many people.

A photograph (not my scan) of GIRL’E. From left to right: ST,SERINA (Mana), JAIL, SHIGE, and EYE. There’s no NAO, since he joined after the photograph was taken.


A photograph (not my scan) of EVE OF DESTINY from around 2004. From left to right: Közi and HARUHIKO ASH.


A photograph (not my scan) of Matenrou. Mana is on the top left, and Közi on the bottom right.


A screenshot of the short Matenrou video message included on the omnibus (various artists) VHS tape “NERVOUS NIGHT”, which contains a short live performance of Matenrou containing two songs.


A photograph (not my scan) of ZE:RO, taken from an unknown magazine or from a flyer. It contains member names.



A photograph (not my scan) of KNEUKLID ROMANCE from 1993 (I THINK!). GAZ is the blonde guy on the bottom.



Another 1993(?) photograph (not my scan) of KNEUKLID ROMANCE.



One of the two only known photographs (not my scan) of CAINS:FEEL. I don’t know who Gackt is in this photo.


GacktJOB during the beginning of Gackt’s solo career, containing members of CAINS:FEEL. Not my scan.


A photograph of PRIDE OF MIND, included with their “SYSTEMS OF ROMANCE” album. From left to right: Atsushi Fukuyama (福山 敦司), Masaki Haruna (春名 真樹) (Klaha), and Masanori Ito (伊藤 まさのり)


Photograph of Klaha during his solo project. Taken from a post card released in 2003, around the release of the single “Märchen”.