GLAY （グレイ） is a popular rock/pop band from Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan formed by guitarist Takuro and vocalist Teru during high school in 1988. Takuro was heavily influenced by bands such as BOOWY and The Beatles, and took a great interest in composing original songs and lyrics at a young age. Although GLAY primarily composes songs in the rock and pop genres, they have also composed songs in everything ranging from reggae to gospel. They are an extensively successful and well known band in Japan and other parts of Asia.
Officially, the name "GLAY" is a deliberate misspelling of the word "gray", representing the style of music they wanted to play; a mixture between rock (black) and pop (white).
"We know it's not how you spell the color in English, but it's our way of being different." - GLAY
It is thought by some English speakers that the misspelling of the band's name may actually have been due to a genuine grammatical error, and the official reason was only decided in retrospect. In support of this, they point out the R and L is a very common mistake amongst Japanese speakers of English and on English signage in Japan, as there is no differing pronounciation between them in words containing these letters.
During GLAY's early years in high school, members (particularly drummers) were constantly joining and leaving the band. Upon the unexpected resignition of their vocalist, drummer Teru made a tape of his singing to give to Takuro and was immediately recruited as the new vocalist. On the search for another guitarist, Hisashi was asked to join but turned down the offer, as he was already part of a locally well-known heavy punk/rock band called Ari, which better suited his taste in music. When Ari disbanded, Hisashi accepted Takuro's offer and became the lead guitarist of GLAY.
By the time of Takuro and Teru's graduation, GLAY had become quite popular in their hometown of Hakodate and were playing in full live houses. Following Hisashi's high school graduation in 1990, the three of them moved to Tokyo to try and further expand their musical career. However things did not seem to improve for them in Tokyo. Their gigs only attracted a few people, and sometimes none at all. When their bassist quit, Takuro had heard that Jiro, who was also from Hakodate and had played with the indies band Pierrot (different from the now disbanded Japanese rock band PIERROT, that enjoyed mainstream popularity), had moved to Tokyo and invited him to join GLAY. He too declined the offer, insisting that he was already heading in the right direction for himself. It wasn't until Takuro asked him to play at just one show to fill in for their missing bassist that he decided to go. Following that show Jiro continued to receive invitations to play with GLAY, and in 1991 he had become GLAY's official bass player, finalizing the official four member lineup.
They promoted the band by handing out flyers on the street and giving out demo tapes. Eventually they became more and more well known on the Tokyo live house circuit, and began drawing larger crowds. During one of these shows in October 1993, Yoshiki, the former drummer for X JAPAN, saw their show and offered them a contract to his label Extasy Records. In 1994 their debut single "RAIN" was produced.
From the time of their debut GLAY steadily became more widely recognized by people all over the country. Their 4th single "Freeze My Love" made it onto the Oricon, debuting at #19. Two months later their first album "SPEED POP" debuted at #8. Their first #1 hit was in 1996 with their second album "BEAT out!" which was marked as a major turning point in GLAY's career. From then on they became increasingly popular at an extremely rapid rate, and in August 1997 they released the hit single "HOWEVER" becoming their most well-known song to date. The next two years to follow were arguably GLAY's most active years, in which they were constantly touring Japan in sold out stadiums and continuously producing one #1 hit after the other in a short time span.
On July 31th, 1999 GLAY held a concert called "GLAY EXPO 1999 SURVIVAL" at Makuhari Messe, gathering a total audience of 200,000 people making it the largest single concert to ever be held in Japan. There was an huge amount of publicity leading up to this concert, including having their faces printed on the sides of Japan Airlines jumbo jets. In 2001 and 2004 two more GLAY EXPOs were held. GLAY EXPO 2001 was divided into four separate performances at three different locations (Tokyo, Ishikari, and Fukuoka), and accumulated a total audience of over 280,000. GLAY EXPO 2004 celebrated their 10th anniversary, and was held in the parking lot of Universal Studios Japan selling out the 100,000 tickets in under 15 minutes.
On October 2007 TAkuro and model wife Seri IWahori gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. You can view a picture of the babys hand on her official website http://www.seri-i.net/p/index.html in her diary section.
Throughout the years GLAY has appeared on countless numbers of TV programs, and graced the front covers of every famous band/music magazine in Japan at least once (and some more than fifteen times), such as GIGS, What's In?, BPASS, ongaku to hito, PATIPATI, NEWSMAKER, etc. Kadokawa Shoten has also produced two special edition GLAY only books, and every member of GLAY (excluding Teru) has written a book of their own (Jiro has made two). Besides appearing in magazines and on TV, Teru, Hisashi and Jiro each have their own personal weekly radio shows (aired on bayFM, FMFUJI, and FM802, respectively).