I’m interpreting the prompt as “Why do VK bands disband so quickly?” and I’m going to come at it from an unconventional angle. As always.
Band members have the most agency over whether their band stays together or disintegrates but they can’t do everything. If the band leader and main songwriter leaves, a band is done for even if they don’t want to admit it. If someone gets sick and/or dies suddenly, that’s an unexpected blow they can’t recover from. Crime and drama can force someone out of a band. The rare traffic accident can also bring an end to someone’s career. And finally there are the unreliable, flaky kusomen who don’t make good band mates. Visual kei is a local scene, and local bands self-destruct. It’s what they do.
But another large component of visual kei are the fans, international fans included. Even more so, in this case. If the fans are not actively talking, spreading, discussing these acts in their language then there is no scene. There’s a reason why this site is called JROCK ONE and not VKEI ONE. There is no scene for indie Japanese rock and metal music. I’m sure the die hard J-Pop fans have a realm of their own, but that’s because those fans are just as passionate as us visual fans are.
My theory - which I have lots of anecdotal evidence for - is that there are very few indie fans of Japanese rock and metal today because during the boom from 2005-2009, those fans did not do the job of spreading the music they were into and cultivating a community. In fact, they did the exact opposite and hoarded releases. There was no front door because they were busy building brick walls.
Remember how I left a bit of a rant in Random Thoughts Thread about how I think trading in the visual kei scene is dead in 2022? That ties directly into this! The whole indie scene was built on the backbone of trading, private servers, and exclusivity. It was all about what you had and what others didn’t, and what you could get for what you have. @CAT5 can speak more authoritatively on his experiences in these waters.
From my perspective, when an entire scene trends towards trading, you have a Catch-22 where new people can’t break into the community because no one will give them the ability to join because they’re not already in. How are you going to trade with anyone if everyone only trades with people who have rarer things than them and the people at the top are only looking for goods rarer than live distributed blank DVDs limited to 10 copies of Kar+te=zyAnose’s third live at IKEBUKURO CHOP? Half the members that I converse with daily on JRO are relatively new on the scene, and if it wasn’t for the people that came before who built the foundation and left behind yesterday’s music and music videos for today’s fans to enjoy, then I doubt that many people would even be reading this message. Y’all would probably be listening to something else entirely.
The whole concept of exclusivity and trying to strike a balance between “rare and valuable” and “obscure and worth less than nothing” over music you don’t even own is the highest form of ego-tripping. Maintaining a list online of all of the music “for trade” is right below it. No one wants to talk music with an egomaniac who will yammer away about all the music they won’t share. No one would chill around here if the moderation team were condescending dicks. You either have a warm and welcoming community or nothing.
You see what happens to an entire scene when the fans choose nothing. Indie fans congregate here because there’s nowhere else to go - and you are most welcome to stay! - but that’s the reality of the situation. There’s no separate international forum to go chat about indie rock! It’s here or nothing. It’s a prime example of what happens when elitism gets in the way of enjoying music and there are and were fans that just don’t get it. Ask the few who lurk around here and listen mostly to non-visual music - they probably feel very isolated in that no one wants to talk about TK or Sailing Before The Wind, but they have nowhere better to try!
Don’t get big mad when the promising indie visual kei band whose music you went out of your way to withhold disbands without anyone ever hearing of them. Most people aren’t fans of and won’t buy music from bands they don’t know and have no connection to. That’s the part we have to play. We have to build that connection or the ones we have will wither away.
Word of mouth - and the music to back it up - is essential for bands in 2022. All bands are competing for the attention of the same fans. Not everyone is going to get heard. Not everyone will be liked. Not every band will be good. And even the good ones might not make it before reality settles in and hard choices have to be made. That’s music.