Oh wow guys, here's some j-rock news that I jumped on before JAME got to it cuz holy crap I can read Japanese :P
As was announced on mixi news today, Dir en grey's singer Kyo has been diagnosed with vocal nodes and vocal cord damage and ordered by his doctor to take a break from singing. Dir en grey's planned March-April American tour has been canceled and all further band activities are currently on hold. The band offers their sincere apologies to the fans and everyone else, and begs for your understanding. Kyo hasn't been ordered to alter his lifestyle, except he's been advised to not to raise his voice.
I can't say this is surprising, but it does come as a slap in the face to a band that's been struggling lately, here's hoping Kyo recovers from vocal nodes as quickly as Ryuutaro recovered from Guillan-Barre. But about vocal nodes, as a singer myself, I'll say this: you get vocal nodes if you're using your voice incorrectly. Vocal nodes are injuries resulting from misuse and overuse of the voice and throat. To anyone with vocal training it's always been clear that despite his extreme power as a singer, Kyo takes supremely poor care of his voice. I don't know how much formal training he may have gotten over the years, it's possible that he did study how to use his voice better but the style of singing he does is the kind of thing that will wreck your throat no matter what you do.
However, a lot of singers who don't shriek and growl at the top of their lungs on 50-stop world tours get vocal nodes anyway, because they lack sufficient training. Once you learn how to use your voice correctly, if you are singing in a melodic style rather than screaming your lungs out, there is no reason why you should ever develop vocal cord damage. Singing should never hurt. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong and you'll reap the consequences. Buck-Tick fans can hear where Sakurai started taking voice lessons: it was right around the time the band was working on Taboo. If you don't know what I'm talking about, listen to "Dream or Truth," then listen to "Jupiter." Hear the difference there? And Sakurai has had some issues with his voice over the years but he's got damn sight better vocal technique than a lot of rock singers out there...why? Because he got voice training. It's a big reason why he sounds so good. A lot of rock singers never get any training and however good they sound at first, they live to regret it.
So I guess where I'm going with this is, if you are a singer but you haven't had formal voice training, you should seriously consider getting some, especially if you're planning on singing a lot in the future. It doesn't have to be Julliard. Even a few short lessons can work wonders for your sound and your throat, so you don't end up sounding like this guy.