Ante Alice - Visual Kei from Toulouse

It all started around 2005, when Visual Kei and J-Rock become an famous subculture around the globe. Many bands from Japan have toured to western countries during that time and inspired by this fascination, many western fans as well created their own vision of J-Rock-inspired music. But around 2016, more and more bands from the scene, in and outside from Japan disbanded. So it´s really rare these days, go get to know groups outside from Japan, who still continue to keep up this old vision. One of them, is Ante Alice.



Baroque and queer epic saga, Ante Alice is a metal band who is a fusion between Jacques Demy's Peau d'âne movie and Final Fantasy saga. Based in Toulouse (France), the trio borrows aesthetics from Visual Kei, approaching glam rock, and draws inspiration from classical music, films, Japanese bands and video games in order to tell stories of love and war in a romantic, dreamlike and tragic world.

On March 22nd, the group released with 'Far Beyond' Ante Alice's 4th single. Produced at Nekopolis Studios in Toulouse, this captivating track is the collaborative brainchild of Bloody, who conceived the theme, and Netsu, who masterfully arranged the music, with X Japan as one of the influences of this piece. Hiroki contributes evocative lyrics inspired by Bloody's concepts. The narrative of the song unfolds a poignant romantic tragedy. It centers around Alice and their lover, the prince killed during a brutal assault on his castle. Determined to avenge their beloved, Alice reminisces about their tender moments, as they plan vengeance upon the murderer. This song delves into the depths of love and mourning. "Far Beyond" is yet another piece of the epic and baroque story, written by Hiroki, that Ante Alice is depicting in its songs.



5 questions to the band

1) Q: Would you like to introduce yourself in your own words?


Hiroki : Hi ! I'm Hiroki, the vocalist, manager and storywritter of Ante Alice.


Netsu : I'm Netsu, bass player in Ante Alice. I also manage the music production, and some of the artistic direction.


Bloody : Hi I'm Bloody, Guitarist of Ante Alice. I've ben playing guitar, piano and accordion for 15 years now, through years I've been playing all sorts of music, from blues, american rocknroll and country, via thrash metal, visual-kei, to french traditionnal music or french church songs. I'm passionate about japanese language and culture thats one of the reason behind the creation of the band with Hiroki. For me music is all about creating a connection between different musiciens so that we can create the energy necessary for sharing our own story with the audience.




2) Q: At the beginning of this article, I explained a bit about the Japanese rock music scene. How have you started your interest and which artists have inspired you til today?



N : I discovered Japanese Rock music because of Video Games, especially the Final Fantasy saga. I started my journey with Gackt, Dir en Grey, then my life took a turn when I discovered the GazettE, this band made me a musician. For the band I discovered Malice Mizer, which became my main source of inspiration for Ante Alice.




B : I've been mainly inspired by The Gazette which is my favorite vkei band. But inspiration for melody, structure and arrangement of the songs comes from a bunch of different genres, like french baroque music (Rameau), rock ballads (Metallica, Judas Priest) power metal (Dragonforce, Babymetal), and vkei (l'Arc En Ciel)




H : I'm a big fan of J-music, I listened to it since I was in kindergarten, and my interest grew more when I discovered Hatsune Miku and idolm@ster in 2007. I came to know Visual Kei on the biggest french-speaking Vocaloid forum, where a friend posted Serenade from Versailles, and when YOHIOLOID, voiced by Swedish VK artist Yohio, was announced. One of the first artists who inspired me to sing was Piko, I guess he was a bridge between Vocaloid and VKei music ? Kamijo had a great influence on me too. I also listen a lot to french composers such as Saint Preux and Michel Legrand. And, more recently, all the people behing NieR Series OST inspires me a lot. I cried so much when I went to NieR : Orchestra Concert this year in Barcelona !


3) Q: How exactly have you as members found each other and decided to create the band? Could you explain the meaning of your band name?




B : I meet Hiroki at university as we were in the same study plan (japanese studies). We used to meet once in a week in the piano room of our campus and we found a good music connection so we decided to create the band. Ante Alice refers to the story plot created by Hiroki behind the lyrics of our songs.




N : I met Hiroki around 2014, we became quickly friends. 4 years later, when he was ready to officially launch the band project, I offered him my help with the bass part at first, then became fully a part of it.




H : I just thought "Ante Alice" sounded like a cool Visual Kei band name... That's all ! Now it has more meaning with the story.



4) Q: How is the Japanese Fan Culture/ Anime Convention scene in France? Please explain in words, which events are a must-see.




N : there is a LOT of anime/games conventions in France. You can find a convention almost everywhere, in big or small cities. The biggest one is of course Japan Expo in Paris, but you can find lots of big or smaller conventions that are as great elsewhere.




B : Nowadays japanese culture is spreading like crazy in france. Here in Toulouse they even built a japanese style garden. But I think you go whereever you want in France, even in remote places or small towns, and find some day an event celebrating japanese culture. Events like this usually (rassemblent) japanese martial arts sportsmen, cosplayers, anime and manga lovers, street j-food trucks, and videogamers. The biggest event in France is the Japan Expo and it's hold in Paris during summer.




H : I recommend smaller cons, it is easier to meet cool people and not get overwhelmed !




B : We would like to play in conventions. We are also looking for a drummer.


5) Q: What are your future plans for the band?




H : To play on stage ! I really want to express our music in front of people and meet fans ! Also, I think we reached a point where doing many things ourselfs is overwhelming, so maybe we will need some staff now ! (laughts) Lots of people helped us with Far Beyond, I'm very grateful !




N : More music !



B : We would like to play in conventions. We are also looking for a drummer.




Thank you for the short interview!


Past Events :

• 2018 - Futuring Festival - Carcassonne

• 2021 - Futuring Festival - Carcassonne

• 2021 - Japan Sun - Montpellier

• 2021 - Décroche le Son - Toulouse

• 2021 - PAM! (Pop Asia Matsuri!) with Neokyo - Online


Releases (singles) :

• 2018 - 戦士のバラ

2020 - 天使の旅 ~falling~ (+MV

2021 - UTOPIA (+MV)