The band began in 2002 with Ruki (vocals), Reita (bass) and Uruha (lead guitar) in Kanagawa Prefecture. After being involved with other bands in the visual kei movement, the trio decided that the GazettE would be their last band. They recruited Aoi (second guitar) and Yune (drums) from disbanded visual band Artia and formally became the GazettE in January 2002. They released their first single, "Wakaremichi", and first music video on April 30, 2002. In October 2002, they played their first solo live. In early 2003, Yune left the band and was replaced by Kai who volunteered to be the leader of the band. In the midst of October 2007, the GazettE embarked on their first European tour, performing in England, Finland, France, and Germany. In December 2018, The GazettE announced their WORLD TOUR 19 THE NINTH PHASE which began in April 2019, including performances in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, and Russia.
Visual Kei is a style among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of varying levels of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics similar to Western glam rock.
Some Western sources consider visual kei a music genre, with its sound usually related to glam rock, punk rock and heavy metal. However, visual kei acts play various genres, including those considered by some as unrelated to rock such as electronic, pop, etc. Other sources, including members of the movement themselves, state that it is not a music genre and that the freedom of expression, fashion and participation in the related subculture is what exemplifies the use of the term.