The old Shiroi Heya blog had a rough version of a “jrock family tree,” which was a diagram of a different Japanese bands from the 1980s and their impact on the visual kei and rock scene of the present day. It’s interesting how small the scene was, and still is.
We’ve updated the family tree and made a nice diagram for you! It’s in 3 pieces above because the large version is too wide to fit on tumblr. Click on the “seventhmoon.org” link in the corner of the dashboard view or on this link to access the full version
Many of the bands that existed can be traced back to one of two bands: X Japan and Malice Mizer. These are the artists who were and are most prolific, spawning one or more new groups after their main bands broke up. The farther down and right on this chart you look, the more visual the bands; most of the X Japan spinoffs are no longer associated with visual kei or were never visual to begin with.
WHITE lines represent a direct connection from artist to artist. These are the lines that connect band members of the same band, or members who started their own groups with other people. RED lines represent a business connection - if an artist discovered a band, produced them, signed them to a label, wrote songs, or even were roadies. For example, the red lines coming from hide’s box represent bands that he mentored (Luna Sea) or signed to his label (Transtic Nerve). Meanwhile, hide’s line to Spread Beaver is white because he actually played in the group. You’ll also notice it gets a little hairy towards the very center of the diagram where Luna Sea and Siam Shade cross over with Gackt. Hopefully it’s not too confusing.
You may notice there are a lot of bands missing from this chart. Most of the modern visual kei bands aren’t included (we ran out of room, and there are so many x_x). Also, there are many prominent bands, both visual and non, that didn’t spin off into any solo activities that involved the community at large. B’z, Boowy, Buck-Tick, Dir en grey, Glay, Plastic Tree, and Shazna are some examples of bands that were largely self-contained. (Dir en grey & Glay are included above simply because of their connection to Yoshiki, but none of their members have any major solo projects.) Please don’t be offended if your favorite band is not on this chart! There simply isn’t enough room to include every single band member that has appeared as a guest artist or backup band member for another artist in the jrock community.
Enjoy this piece of jrock history!