|Genres||Rock, pop rock, power pop, alternative rock, hard rock|
B-Gram Records (1993–2000)
|Associated acts||Makoto Miyoshi|
|Past members||Show Wesugi (vocal, 1991-1997)|
Kousuke Oshima (keyboard, 1991-1992)
Hiroshi Shibasaki (guitar, 1991-1997)
Shinya Kimura (keyboard, 1992-2000)
Jiro Waku (vocal, 1997-2000)
Issei Sugimoto (guitar, 1997-2000)
Wands (ワンズ) (stylized as WANDS) were a Japanese rock band formed in 1991 as a three-member group. The band, throughout nine years of activity, had two vocalists, guitarists and keyboardists. Show Wesugi (vocalist), Hiroshi Shibasaki (guitarist), Kousuke Oshima (keyboardist) are the original member of the band. Shinya Kimura joined them after Oshima separate early. In 1997, Wesugi and Hiroshi left the band, so then Shinya reformed the band with Jiro Waku (vocalist) and Issei Sugimoto (guitarist). However, the group was officially disbanded in 2000. Wands belonged to the Being music agency.
- Show Wesugi (上杉 昇 Uesugi Shō, born 24 May 1972) (1991-1996)- vocalist,lyricist,composer,arranger
- Kosuke Oshima (大島 こうすけ Ōshima Kōsuke, Real and former stage name: Kosuke Ohsima (大島 康祐 Ōshima Kōsuke), born 4 September 1970)(1991-1992)-keyboardist,composer,arranger
- Hiroshi Shibasaki (柴崎 浩 Shibasaki Hiroshi, born 13 December 1969)(1991-1996)-guitarist,composer,arranger
- nowadays member of rock band Abingdon Boys School
- Shinya Kimura (木村 真也 Kimura Shinya, born 28 July 1969) (1992-2000)-keyboardist, lyricist,composer,arranger
- Jiro Matsumoto (松元 治郎 Matsumoto Jirō, Former stage name: Jiro Waku (和久 二郎 Waku Jirō), born 11 December 1970)(1997-2000)-vocalist,lyricist,arranger
- Issei "Suginho" Ambo (安保 "Suginho" 一生 Anbo Sugīnyo Issei, Real name: Issei Anbo (安保 一生 Anbo Issei), Former stage name: Issei Sugimoto (杉元 一生 Sugimoto Issei), born 8 May 1972)(1997-2000)-guitarist,lyricist,composer,arranger
- Shinya Kimura (木村 真也 Kimura Shinya, born 28 July 1969)(1992-2000)-keyboardist, lyricist,composer,arranger
1991–1996: commercial success
The band founded in 1991 by main vocalist Show Wesugi, guitarist Hiroshi Shibasaki, and keyboardist Kousuke Oshima. Wesugi was a fan of Axl Rose and Oshima was a guest member of Japanese rock band Loudness. The band was named after wands of tarot. They made a debut with single "Sabishisa wa Aki no Iro" (literally "Loneliness is autumn color"). Their 1992 single "Motto Tsuyoku Dakishimeta Nara" (literally "If I Embrace You More Strongly") reached the number-one position and was charted for 44 weeks on the Japanese Oricon charts.
However, Oshima withdrew from the band and Shinya Kimura joined the band in 1992. Collaborating with Miho Nakayama, in October 1992, they released "Sekaijū no Dare yori Kitto" (lit. "Certainly more than everybody in the world"), which became one of standard "J-pop" songs. In 1992, they took part in Japanese famous year-end show called Kōhaku Uta Gassen by the song. Along with their songs, Wesugi wrote Deen's debut song "Konomama Kimidake wo Ubaisaritai" (lit. "Now, I want to make off with only you"), which was released in March 1993 and sold over a million copies. In April 1993, their album Toki no Tobira (lit. "Temporal Door") and single "Ai wo Kataru yori Kuchizuke wo Kawaso" (lit. "Let's kiss more than talking love") debuted at the number-one positions at the same time on the Oricon charts, making them the second artist to achieve this following Seiko Matsuda. "Ai wo Kataru yori Kuchizuke wo Kawaso" spent in number-one spot for four consecutive weeks. Toki no Tobira was charted for 33 weeks on the Oricon album charts. They sold over 4.11 million singles and 3.18 million albums in a year, winning the "artist of the year" award at the 8th Japan Gold Disc Award.
Their 1994 single "Sekai ga Owaru made wa..." (lit. "Until the End of the World...") reached number-one on Oricon charts and was certified as a million-selling single by Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). It was the ending theme of anime series Slam Dunk. However, Wesugi loved grunge and wanted to turn into alternative rock. "Sekai ga Owaru made wa..." became his last song written by his former style because he felt that many musicians around him were doing the same thing. The tune of their next single "Secret Night (It's My Treat)" was more shifted into power pop, creating controversies. However, their 1995 studio album Piece of My Soul also debuted at the number-one position on the Oricon album charts, with the first week sales of over 542,000 copies.
Wesugi's image continued to be changed with song "Same Side". His new style was said to be "painterly" and their new album was nearing completion. According to Wesugi, their new album was influenced by punk and blues. After they released single "Worst Crime (About a rock star who was a swindler)" in February 1996, however, Wesugi and Shibasaki withdrew from the band, which was said to have been its actual disbandment. Their withdrawals were officially announced in 1997.
Wesugi continued his music career and took part in the sixth anniversary of hide's death as the last singer in 2004. Shibasaki formed rock band Abingdon Boys School with Takanori Nishikawa in 2005. Oshima also associated with Nishikawa on the 2006 album Under Cover.
1997–2000: Alteration and disbandment
Shinya Kimura re-formed the group with vocalist Jiro Waku and guitarist Issei Sugimoto. Jiro Waku, whose real name is Jiro Matsumoto, was the first leader of twelve skateboarding boys (predecessor of SMAP) in Johnny & Associates. Their debut song "Sabitsuita Machine Gun de Ima o Uchinukō", written by Miho Komatsu, was adopted as the end credits theme for Dragon Ball GT. Their next single "Brand New Love" was written by Izumi Sakai. Sakai also wrote their song "Ashita moshi Kimi ga kowaretemo" (lit. "Even if you shatter tomorrow"), which was used as the ending theme for Yu-Gi-Oh!. Their next single "Kyo, Nanika no Hazumi de Ikiteiru" (lit. "Today, I live by some chance") was written by Nana Azuki, a future member of Garnet Crow. However, their first studio album Awake, released on 27 October 1999, was charted for only three weeks, peaking at number 18 on the Oricon charts. The band finally disbanded in 2000.
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