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Do As Infinity

Do As Infinity is a popular Japanese band which debuted on September 29 1999 with the release of their first single, "Tangerine Dream". Their name is sometimes abbreviated as D.A.I., revealing that Do As Infinity was named after the band's guitarist and composer, Dai Nagao. With the release of their A-side compilation album Do the A side, Do As Infinity disbanded on September 29 2005, after a career which spanned six years, six albums, twenty singles, seven compilation albums and eight live DVDs. The band reformed on September 29 2008, and reportedly will have their first new release in spring 2009.

Members

Main members

Other members (Great Tour Band)

The members listed below are not the only band members that DAI has gone through during their career, however, these musicians are the more notable ones because of their work for DAI.

History

Dai Nagao started out as a composer for an amateur band. After its disbanding, Nagao continued composing songs, sending demo tapes to more than fifty record companies in Japan. Nagao was eventually hired by Avex Records to work as a composer. He was immediately given a task to compose songs for Ayumi Hamasaki and Hitomi.

1999

Eventually, auditions were held, and he chose Tomiko Van as lead singer, and Ryo Owatari as guitarist. Ryo turned up for the auditions in a red tracksuit with a Fender Jaguar and his effects pedals. He was asked to perform a small segment, but instead played three songs. Tomiko sang "Heart" as a band member forty-two hours after the Avex staff read her application. On September 29 1999, the trio released their first single "Tangerine Dream", and held a live concert at the Shibuya AX. They performed almost daily at a number of locations, ranging from Shibuya's 109 (which is famous for street performers), to Yokohama Station and traveled to Fukuoka and other cities. Before "Tangerine Dream" was released, DAI and their fellow workers were giving out copies of their recordings for free to passers by. At their one-hundredth concert, held at Shibuya AX for free, the members of DAI recognized that the fans were the same bunch that bothered to listen to them.

The remainder of 1999 was spent performing both on the street and at in-store concerts at CD stores across the country. They also took part in choice events nationwide, including a festival in Tomiko Van's native Kumamoto prefecture. Their legendary streak of street concerts ended at one hundred, with a free concert for their fans, held at Shibuya Kokaido. Photos of some of their street performances were compiled into a PV for the song Field of Dreams which can be seen on the PV Collection 8 as well as in the background of the Live in Japan during a performance of the song.

Heart

Do As Infinity released their second single, "Heart", in December. They continued to do public appearances all the way up to the year-end Avex Millennium Count Down 1999-2000 held on New Year's Eve in Roppongi's Velfarre club. Heart was actually written before Tangerine Dream, but was recorded together in July due to the complicated drum samples. The band continued to appear on radio shows and at CD store events. Their third single, "Oasis", was released at the end of January. It was their first Top 30 hit and it was chosen as the official TV commercial song for Kanebo Cosmetics' Testimo line of products. This was the first time their song was chosen to become a theme song for advertising.

Love 2000

The next single, "Yesterday & Today" was chosen as the theme song for a drama series Nisennen no Koi, which starred popular actors Miho Nakayama and Kaneshiro Takeshi and was given the primetime slot. The c/w-track, Raven, was used as the ending song to the horror movie Uzumaki, which gathered more mainstream audiences for the band.

Break of Dawn

Their first album, Break of Dawn, debuted on number three on the Oricon album charts in March of the same year, only a month after "Yesterday & Today". They continued to make public appearances and do numerous live performances all over Japan. In August of that year, the band released the single "Rumble Fish", which was used as the theme song for the hit movie Kamen Gakuen; the cover of "Rumble Fish" was taken in Taiwan, and the trip provided the inspiration for "Shinjitsu no Uta". Also in August, the single "Summer Days" was released, which would go on to become a staple at all Do As Infinity live concerts, and was used as a theme song for Fuji TV's OL Police. "Summer Days" is also notable for being Do As Infinity's most well-known all-English song (following their first, "Break of Dawn", from their debut album). During the November of that same year, the band released the festive single "We Are.", which Tomiko has often said is one of her favorite DAI songs. The band would end the year with another countdown live held at the Velfarre club in Roppongi.

Moving on to the bigscreen

2001 was a whirlwind year for the band. With an album and six singles under their belts, the trio was well on their way to becoming seasoned veterans in the business, but they still had not appeared on national television. That changed with the release of their first single in the new millennium, "Desire"; "Desire" was once named M-42, which was used in their street performances. The single was performed on the hit TV show "Music Station". However, for some reason Van represented the band by herself. Nevertheless, the song and the band got national exposure. The televised performance brought Do As Infinity to an even wider audience, and helped to make their new album, New World, debut at number one on the Oricon charts.

In the following month they would release their first promotional video collection on DVD, simply titled 9, and would go on tour throughout the month of May. After release of New World, Tomiko Van was contracted to advertise for Japanese haircare company Lavenus. Van took part in all six commercials, including one which she rode a Harley-Davidson motorbike. Van can also be seen riding the Harley-Davidson in the "TAO" promotional video. The B-side of "Tōku Made", "Signal" was used as the theme song for the first commercial. Six commercials were made in total, the other three songs included "Tsubasa no Keikaku", "Boukensha Tachi", and "Nice & Easy"; "Boukensha Tachi" was used three times.

Their ninth single was released at the end of May, "Week!". The following month would see the release of "Fukai Mori" (Deep Forest), which was chosen as the second ending theme song for the hit anime series InuYasha. The song was a huge hit, and would soon become the band's signature song. The remainder of the year was spent in preparation for yet another live concert tour, which would begin in November, not long after the release of their eleventh single, Boukensha Tachi, and their third album, Deep Forest, which debuted at number one on the charts.

Asia tour

January 2002 started with Van appearing on the Avex charity album Various Artists Featuring Songnation, and the release of the band's twelfth hit single, "Hi no Ataru Sakamichi", the following month. Then the band went global. After releasing a best album, Do the Best in March, the band traveled to Taiwan and Hong Kong in April for a special campaign. Their following overseas was almost as huge as in their own country, drawing 500 fans to their in-store event held at the HMV CD store in Hong Kong. They were nominated for the seventeenth annual Gold Disc Award in Japan for the best Rock & Pop album of the year and won. The band took a short break upon returning to Japan, but released their thirteenth single in July, the double A-sided "Under the Sun / Under the Moon". In August the band participated in Avex's A-nation tour, performing in eight venues all over Japan.

True Song

Do As Infinity's fourteenth single, "Shinjitsu no Uta", was released in October, and sparked the beginning of a new project for the band. "Shinjitsu no Uta" was also chosen to be the fifth ending theme for InuYasha. "Shinjitsu no Uta" became famous in China in July 2002 and was also translated into Mandarin. In the booklet of Do The A-side, Kawamura stated that "Shinjitsu no Uta" was actually written two years before the actual release. Dai said that he left it as a demo because he felt that something was missing in the song. Despite their success, Do As Infinity wanted to show their fans that they had not forgotten them. They advertised on their website for fans to send them short stories using the band's previous releases as themes and using the word shinjitsu (truth) somewhere in the story. Entitled Your Truth, these stories are now available in book form. The band closed out the year with another live tour, understandably titled Do As Infinity greatest year 02 ~ALL STANDING~, and the year-end release of their fourth album, True Song.

Gates of Heaven

The band got busy on the concert tour of True Song and new recordings, their fifteenth single, "Mahou no Kotoba ~Would You Marry Me?~" released as their first single in 2003. It became one of the most frequently played songs at weddings in Japan, becoming one of the band's most publicized singles of the year. "Honjitsu wa Seiten Nari" followed the popularity of its precedent single, it was previewed in their annual summer activity, a-nation. During this promotion period it was the first time the vocalist cut her hair short and with a bright blonde dye, she changed it back to a dark brown dye after the release of this single. The single's promotional video was filmed during their a-nation 2003 activity and combined many different a-nation 2003 visits in different areas in Japan, marking another success for the band. "Hiiragi" was released in November of the same year and the announcement of the fifth album followed. Tomiko met with famous American singer, Michelle Branch, during her visit in Japan to promote her album Hotel Paper, for a magazine interview and photoshoot. After the release of Gates of Heaven the group took a short break and performed in New York City, New York and Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2004 as a small warm-up for their next album; footage of this can be found in the DVD LIVE YEAR 2004. They performed in Korea during the Korea & Japan Friendship Week in JEJU along with JTL.

In early 2005, the band were in the midst of yet another live concert tour, showcasing their brand new album Need Your Love. Along with video collections and recorded live concerts, Do As Infinity were still going strong. Although Dai Nagao was not as active as he was in the beginning (he did not participate in promotional events anymore, such as video clips or photo shoots) he was still the main composer and the brain behind the band. He did, though, appear in concerts from time to time.

TAO

TAO became Do As Infinity's twentieth and last single, released on July 27 2005. The lyrics of TAO described about friends parting ways and this caused many rumors among the fans about the disbanding of Do As Infinity. TAO was also the main theme of Tales of Legendia, an RPG video game released in Summer 2005 and developed by Namco. The band announced on September 14 2005 that they would disband on September 29 2005, exactly six years to the day since their first single, Tangerine Dream, was released. Their last concert was at the Nippon Budokan on November 25 2005. Three days before the final concert, Dai Nagao released the Do As Infinity last song called Trust on the official website through internet streaming. The vocal featured in this song is sung by Mizushima Utana from one of Nagao's side project artists I-lulu. Many fans hoped for a CD release of the song recorded with Do As Infinity, however, it has yet to happen.

Tomiko Van, the lead singer, is pursuing a solo career. She debuted on March 29 2006 with her album, Farewell. Ryo Owatari, the guitarist, is currently working on his band, Missile Innovation, and released their first single on February 1 2006. Ryo has also been working with other Avex artists such as Ayumi Hamasaki, Ai Otsuka and AAA. Dai Nagao currently works with Amasia Landscape and other artists under the True Song Music label, writing songs for various artists.

A-nation 2008

The band is set to play a reunion show at the final show of 2008's A-nation, as stated on the official BBS and blog entries of supporting musicians. Reportedly, Do As Infinity rehearsed for a month. As "secret guests" during the A-nation live concert on August 30 2008, the band announced they will officially reform on September 29 2008 and they will be holding a free concert in Yoyogi Park on September 30 2008.

Discography

Albums

Title Release date Ranking Copies sold
Break of Dawn March 23 2000 #3 319,970
New World February 21 2001 #1 353,660
Deep Forest September 19 2001 #1 609,290
True Song December 26 2002 #5 272,000
Gates of Heaven November 27 2003 #3 294,000
Need Your Love February 16 2005 #3 137,000

Original Album Sales: 1,986,000 copies
Total Album Sales: 3,158,000 copies

Note: Each album starts with the final letter of its previous album (besides Break of Dawn).

Singles

Title Release date Ranking
"Tangerine Dream" September 29 1999 #58
"Heart" December 8 1999 #56
"Oasis" January 26 2000 #25
"Yesterday & Today" February 23 2000 #10
"Rumble Fish" August 2 2000 #20
"We Are." November 29 2000 #16
"Desire" January 24 2001 #8
"Tōku Made" April 25 2001 #12
"Week!" May 30 2001 #8
"Fukai Mori" June 27 2001 #5
"Boukensha Tachi" September 5 2001 #7
"Hi no Ataru Sakamichi" February 27 2002 #5
"Under the Sun / Under the Moon" July 31 2002 #5
"Shinjitsu no Uta" October 30 2002 #5
"Mahou no Kotoba ~Would you marry me?~" June 11 2003 #4
"Honjitsu wa Seiten Nari" September 25 2003 #4
"Hiiragi" November 6 2003 #7
"Rakuen" December 15 2004 #2
"For the Future" January 19 2005 #6
"TAO" July 27 2005 #11

The first four singles had names of famous rock bands. All the singles starting from "Mahou no Kotoba ~Would you marry me?~" were released in CD and CD+DVD versions. Each DVD that was included contained the promotional video to the single they were released with. They also include the credits of each video that was included with it. Each CD and CD+DVD singles contained different but similar covers.

Compilations

  1. Do the Best (March 20 2002) — 832,000
  2. Do the Best + DVD (March 31 2004) — 12,000
  3. Do the B-Side (September 23 2004) — 49,000
  4. Do the A side (September 28 2005) — 140,000
  5. Do the A-side + DVD (September 28 2005) — 150,000
  6. Do the Best "Great Supporters Selection" (March 15 2006) — 16,000
  7. Minus V (March 15 2006)

Live

Box set

Others

  • again / TOMIKO VAN from Do As Infinity (from the Songnation album)
  • Drive me nuts / Cyber X feat. Tomiko Van — #27
  • El Dorado / atami (Guest Vo. tomiko Van, Guest EG.ryo Owatari) (from the Doppler album)
  • COME ON NOW! / NORTHERN BRIGHTS (Participation on Chorus by Owatari)
  • I miss you? / Do As Infinity for BLACK STONES (from the album LOVE for NANA ~Only 1 Tribute)

DVDs

DVD singles

Video clips

Live

VHS

Video clips

References

External links

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