The story behind one of J-rock’s most prominent vocalists, 平 一洋, is rather convoluted and long. However, I will do my best to break down his activities, his bands, and what he is up to. (For the sake of continuity, I will be calling him Tenten throughout the article.)
2000-2003: The 餞 years
平 一洋 (Taira Kazuhiro), better known as his stage name “Tenten”, is a vocalist that started his career with the band MADARA. While little is known about the band, or what I can even find, he really didn’t gain much recognition until his next band 餞 (hanamuke). The group formed in 2000 and signed with indie label “PS Company”. The label (also being a branch of Free-Will – known for Dir en grey) was only formed a year prior and signed other bands like Dué le quartz. After releasing several singles and mini albums, 餞 would eventually disband in 2003.
2004-2009: The KuRt years and solo endeavors
About a year later in 2004, Tenten would form a new band called KuRt. The band would also include ex-餞 guitarist 癒茉. The band would sign with label “Speed-Disk”, home of bands like +D’espairsRay+ and ナイトメア (nightmare). KuRt was very well received and until their disbandment in 2007, released a good amount of singles, mini albums, and really good best-of album. KuRt is what I would consider one of Tenten’s staple groups. The band showcased and highlighted his incredible vocal capabilities. Sadly, he left the group at the very end of 2006. This would result in the band disbanding in very early 2007.
The next few years were rocky for Tenten. He attempted a solo career under the name 朱ィ。(beni) in the summer of 2007. He would end up releasing two singles before calling the project off. In 2008, Tenten would attempt another solo project titled MY BactEriA Heat iSland. While nothing was officially released from this project, the name itself will make an emergence in the coming years.
2009-2012: The ケミカルピクチャーズ years
In 2009, Tenten would end up forming one of his biggest and most ambitious projects yet. That project is none other than ケミカルピクチャーズ (chemical pictures). Signed by “Speed-Disk” once again, the band was a force to be reckoned with. With a brand new sound including elements of jazz, ska, and a rock sound that is somewhat KuRt-like, the band would go on to release a bunch of singles, a mini album, and two full-length albums. The band was active until the end of 2012. It’s also worth noting that in the same year, Tenten also had two side projects as well that also ended at the end of 2012. One was a limited side project called kiss my way. The project would put out two releases – a single (in two forms – both having different B-sides) and a mini album. The secondary project was yet another solo project attempt titled 骨. The solo project would only put out one single.
2014-2016: The My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND years
Tenten would be pretty quiet until the spring of 2014. Remember his solo project titled MY BactEriA Heat iSland? Well, the project officially re-formed – as a full-fledged band. Another interesting note is that this time around, the spelling was My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND. The band would end up signing to “Speed-Disk”. The band was very different from Tenten’s previous works in that it was more of a hardcore/metalcore sound with a lot of heavy screaming. The band would end up releasing a few singles, albums, and before its disbandment, a “best-of” album as well. The band would call it quits after the members ended up leaving in the summer of 2015. Leaving Tenten by himself, he re-named the band as Re:MY BACTERIA HEAT ISLAND and, once again, re-formed it as a solo project. The solo project would end up releasing two singles in 2016 before pausing the project indefinitely that autumn.
2016-2019: The ラッコ years
Around that time, Tenten formed a new band ラッコ (LACK-CO. ) featuring other members from My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND, NEGA, D.I.D and Moran. Swaying away from the metalcore sound of his previous band, this project would introduce familiar sounds and stylings of chemical pictures with the jazz, funk, but also some hard rock songs. The band would sign to “GLK MUSIC”. While unfamiliar, the label did have notable bands including Black Gene For The Next Scene (ex-XodiacK vocalist band) and Leetspeak Monsters. LACK-CO. would end up releasing many singles, mini albums, and full-length albums. The project, while not as popular as chemical pictures, was proof that Tenten was still on his peak performance vocally. The band would end up going on a hiatus in the spring of 2019.
2020-Present: The 3470.mon years and beyond…
After taking a year break, Tenten would come back in the summer of 2020 with a new solo project titled 凄い人達 (sugoi hitotachi). He would end up releasing two singles under that name before re-naming the project as 3470.mon almost a year later. While having support members along side him, this project is still technically considered a solo project on his behalf. Since its re-naming, the project has released a few singles and one mini album. The projects latest single was released this February 2022 and the band itself is also going on tour this summer in support of the one-year anniversary of its re-naming.
While continuing on with his solo project, Teten also has a apparel/clothing company he started in 2020 called 9b2. The company stands for “9th back, two outs, bases loaded”. From his website, you can purchase 9b2-branded hoodies, hats, jackets, and t-shirts that are designed by Tenten himself.
My Final Thoughts
So, now learning this history of Tenten, all his side projects, bands, and so forth, I decided to make this article to give you a further insight of this vocalists incredible resumé. He is honestly one of my favorite vocalists of all-time. His talent is unmatched. How he can belt out beautiful harmonies while also screaming at the top of his lungs. It is very impressive. However, I will never understand his sporadic dissolution of bands and projects. If you think about it, HANAMUKE, KuRt and chemical pictures all lasted no more than 3 years. I will not count LACK-CO. only because they are technically on a hiatus. There have been rumors that the band members themselves never really got along and that Tenten is honestly hard to work with. However, those are rumors and I don’t want to spread any misinformation.
Regardless of how his projects and bands have ended up, Tenten himself has an incredible back catalog of music. It’s really amazing what he has done over decades and I am happy to see he is still very much active in the music scene. Thank you so much for reading about Tenten.