Teru (vocal, Hokkaido Prefecture, 1971- )
Takuro (guitar, keyboards, Hokkaido Prefecture, 1971- )
Hisashi (lead guitar, Aomori Prefecture, 1972- )
Jiro (bass, Hokkaido Prefecture, 1972- )
The Japanese band Glay ("not black, not white but something in between"), are so cool that they don't care what people think about their name. "We know it's not how you spell the color in English, but it's our way of being different." They are so popular that Japan's telephone system was disabled on February 15, 1998 as thousands of fans tried to book tickets for their concert tour.
Vocalist Teru, lanky composer and main lyricist Takuro, guitarist Hisashi, and baby-faced bassist Jiro started Glay when they were in high school in Hakodate, Hokkaido. Soon after graduation, the band moved to Tokyo, where they developed their sound.
They have a punk-rock style mixed with melodies and philosophical lyrics. "We don't want our music to sound like everyone else's," says Takuro. "So we take from lots of different people." The hard-rock style upset some listeners, but attracted others who were tired of teenage idol pop stars, many produced by Komuro Tetsuya.
Osaka radio station FM802 noticed the trend in 1997 and had a Komuro-free "Hot 100 Special." At the top of the music list was Glay. Fans seem to agree with the station's choice. Glay's best-hits album, Review, sold more than 4 million copies and was the top-selling album ever in Japan. "Glay's really, really cool," says Mika Kohno, 19, from Tokyo. "They've suffered a lot to get here, and you can hear it in their music. Plus, they're really cute." In the summer of 1999, Glay played to a sell-out crowd of 200,000 at an outdoor venue on Tokyo's waterfront.
During the last couple of years, Glay have become a bit more low profile. They played the biggest rock concert ever held in China but otherwise the biggest headlines have been for Teru's marriage to Onuki Ami of the pop duo Puffy.