Looking at Versailles, one might think that they have stepped into a world of the Renaissance era, and expect their music to be more classical than anything. But one listen dispels these llusions, for they are masters of metal music with elements of a symphonic band.
The concept was formed in late 2006 by already-established Visual Kei musicians, Kamijo and Hizaki, with the theme of the extremity of aestheticism and beauty in mind. They spent half a year recruiting members, and the final lineup for Versailles was announced, with the addition of Jasmine You, Teru and Yuki.
They had a lot of overseas media attention from the start, and in time they began to receive media attention from home as well, with their unique concept and style. They also released their first DVD single The Revenant Choir, a live-only release which was sold out at all venues. They received offers from foreign labels, eventually signing with German label CLJ Records, thus making the release of their first mini album, Lyrical Sympathy, in both Europe and Japan simultaneously possible.
They won the J Rock Award for Best New Artist in 2008, held by the companies Tainted Reality, JRock Revolution and Purple Sky. They also began to receive attention in the U.S. and did several shows both at home and overseas, even playing at the hide Memorial Summit in May. They attended A-KON in the U.S. from 29 May to 1 June, thus receiving even more attention from U.S. audiences. Soon after they released their first full album, NOBLE, in Japan, with releases in Europe and the U.S. shortl afterwards.
They played another sold-out show in the U.S. after an appearance in "Anime USA" in Washington, DC. At the live on 23 December at Shibuya CC Lemon Hall, they announced that they would be making their major debut in June 2009. They played their last independent tour from March 2009 to May 2009, and a final independent live was played on 21 June 2009, with their major debut single, ASCENDEAD MASTER, being released three days afterwards.
Versailles' major debut album was set to be released in September. However, tragedy struck in August. On 3 August, it was announced that bassist Jasmine You would be taking a break to rest and recover. However, it was on 9 August that the news of Jasmine You's passing was announced on the official website. The band suspended their activities until further notice, in light of the news.
Versailles resumed activity as a four-piece band on 25 October at V-Rock Fest, a performance that was reputedly powerful and highly emotional for everyone. You of Matenrou Opera played as their support bassist. The postponed album was announced for a 20 January 2010 release, titled Jubilee, and they will start a world tour on 28 February 2010.
One of Versailles's main concepts is the essence of beauty and aesthetics, which is expressed with the elaborate costumes, heavy makeup and elegant headwear that they usually wear. One cannot help but be awed at how beautiful they are as people and musicians. Another defining factor of Versailles is their music, best described as symphonic metal. Heavy, complex melodies drive the band's sound, with plenty of notable, dueling guitarwork. Of course, drums and bass are not overlooked, and together they create a strong sound that further comes to life with Kamijo's deep, expressive voice.
Versailles has proved themselves strong in the face of adversity as well, and they are greatly admired by their fans for continuing on despite Jasmine You's passing. His spirit lives on in Versailles, and together they will continue to overcome all odds together and become one of the greatest Japanese bands of all time.