The GazettE is a visual kei group active since 2002, formed by members of other bands as their last band. Featuring Ruki (vocals), Uruha (guitar), Aoi (guitar, backing vocals), Reita (bass) and Kai (drums), their sound here is a nu-metal/electro fusion. Lyrically, the song ‘Inside Beast’ begins as an invitation to intercourse followed by a dark trip of insight, mirrored in the decadent imagery the PV serves up.
The first shot we see is a door at the end of a hallway complete with peephole, as the song title transposed on the image. We’re taken outdoors, to the front of a mansion where party goers linger. A luxury car pulls up to the house, carrying Ruki and a pair of young twin girls. From a geographical perspective, the scene appears to be set in the US, as the car pulling up has the driver seated on the left.
The vocal performance is split; the twins have a few lines, most go to the lead singer and a couple come from a butler/servant figure. From this I take the twins to represent the other side of Ruki’s internal dialogue and the caretaker of the mansion as an ‘enabler’ of sorts for the release of the titular ‘Inside Beast’. We see further into the house and find the band performing in a red room, already part of the soiree although removed from the rest of the guests. The lyric “My feeling is not cheap at all / You don’t know it / You will turn your fang on me someday” implies an exploration of desires that one might keep from otherwise trusted lovers, lest they be repulsed by the darkness of the truth. The black candles in the performance area underscore the sinister air of the show.
Ruki is seen dressed in pyjamas on a bed, flanked by plush animals and a large hookah pipe. While we don’t have a clear insight as to what substance might be smoked from the pipe, the eye-makeup on Ruki indicates that it’s a mind altering concoction of some potency. The PJs are black with white dots, calling to mind the night sky. His expression and actions seem unhinged alongside the composed figure who pulls up to the vast dwelling. This dual depiction would imply a before/after scenario occurring in the narrative, though the implication amounts to misdirection.
As Ruki exits the limo and proceeds through the crowd, the twins are equipped with drums, the kind associated with marching bands seen in parades. An earlier association recalls the drummer boys that accompanied western armies into battle, granting Ruki’s progression through the mansion a militaristic aspect, as though there’s a battle to come. As he makes his way upstairs quick cuts return us to the band, and the upstairs hallway has the twins calling to mind shots from The Shining. This association may be colored by my recent viewing of related documentary Room 237, an exploration of theories about Kubrick’s masterwork of horror.
The rooms upstairs show the band engaging in fetishistic acts, beginning with the blindfolded bondage of Uruha. The B&D aspect is on the ‘lighter’ end of the sexual spectrum of BDSM, lacking the elements of physical pain of the other side. Another room depicts a Reita burning a piece of paper over a candle – some desire written and destroyed, or perhaps binding a sigil in an act of chaos magic as to make the desire truth? More the latter than the former, as in the lyrics “Don’t give the
secret away to anyone / No matter what”. The doors of these rooms are equipped with peepholes, an abnormal device to find in a residential building’s interiors, casting the house as warped pleasure palace in enabling the voyeuristic visitor and the kinky inhabitants.
We see Aoi dancing with a masked woman, clad in corset and skirt. The dance ends, and she’s thrusted to sit still on a couch, as though a discarded doll. The concealment of identity and ‘discarding’ as the dance ends evokes an objectification of the lover through anonymity and action, apparent D&S activity. Kai is shown in another room, accompanied by an anonymous man in a leather hood and leash, subjected to a degree of S&M brutality. Perhaps appropriately, the percussionist is cast as the
sadist, beating this subject for pleasure as he might pound the drum kit. Whether these activities are requirements for gratification as in fetish, or kinky preferences is left unclear, although the ‘Inside Beast’ title leads to consider them constant fascinations.
The range of BDSM behaviour is explored as Ruki continues with the twins down the hall, and he’s also in the bedroom cavorting with his plush pals, pulling from the water pipe. As he nears the end of the hallway, we’re shown Reita’s room again, this time a canvas depicting him is destroyed by burning. There’s an implication of self-destruction inherent in the image as we get closer to Ruki’s ‘Inside Beast’.
As Ruki reaches the end of the hallway and opens the door, we see his bed-time self looking ecstatic. The door is opened and we see Ruki in both forms from above, the hookah-smoker training a camera on the entrance, to catch his other-self’s reaction to this paradox. That Ruki has arrived at himself in this journey to the center of depravity implies a narcissistic desire on his part, or perhaps he’s a drug-addled overlord of
the whole house representing all aspects of his internal desires. His self-encounter seems to be the only outlet for these wants, supported by the lyrics “I have a headache / I’m about to go crazy / Nobody helps me / Erase my dirty beast inside.” The reveal in the final shot is reminiscent of the work of David Lynch to my eye in its impossible duality.
The driving electronic sound coalesces with the beat of the march and metal as an appropriate soundtrack for the tour of kink we take to arrive at this ‘inside beast’. We all have some thrill or want that nags the idle mind, and The GazettE have put forth a conglomeration of possibilities as to their own erotic mysteries in this clip.
If you have any interpretation to share or add, your commentary is welcome and appreciated!