This Tokyo band, formed in 2006, was part of Japan's visual kei scene, renowned for its often flamboyant looks and genre-mashing rock music. Their dark, romantic look and heavy, often brutal sound -- inspired primarily by western metal and hardcore punk, but always sugared with addictively melodic choruses -- meant they were always less popular than the brightly colored oshare (fashionable) bands, but developed a devoted cult following among fans of the scene.
Like every other musician in the VK scene, all the members of Screw go by mononymous stage names, often chosen as much for the aesthetic impact of their kanji character as for the way they sound. The band was formed when singer Byou and bassist Yuuto, who had played together in the band Joker, were introduced to guitarist Kazuki. The band was completed when they recruited drummer Jin through the internet. They started their career with the respected indie label Speed Disk, who put out their first singles, the mini-album Nanairo no Reienka ("Cold Ballads in Seven Colors") and their debut full-length, Fusion of the Core. The band's vicious, aggressive, metallic sound and Byou's ability to switch from gentle croon to anguished shriek in a heartbeat earned them an instant hardcore following.
The band's popularity spread when, at the end of 2007, they jumped ship to the newly formed Indie PSC, part of the management firm PS Company which had some of the biggest names in VK on its books, and wielded much power in the industry thanks to its links with many major labels. At this time they were also bolstered by the permanent addition of their live support guitarist Manabu to their lineup. They released three singles in 2008 which showcased a transition to a faster, more punk-like sound with more melodic choruses, and made a big impression on European fans with their performance at the J-Rock Invasion festival in Köln, Germany.
The next year they put out the mini-album Racial Mixture and their second full-length album, X-Rays, which had a darker sound than before. It was also released in Europe through a deal with the German label CLJ which specialized in visual kei and had already released albums by several PS Company bands. Shortly after the release of X-Rays, Yuuto announced that he was leaving the band due to "musical differences"; the other members decided to carry on without him. ~ John D. Buchanan