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07 Aug 2010 - EXCLUSIVE: The Black Mages Have Been Disbanded

Nobuo Uematsu confirmed today on a radio station (thanks Cedille) that The Black Mages have been disbanded. Established in spring 2003, the band were principally dedicated to arranging and performing Final Fantasy battle themes.

The six member band — featuring guitarists Tsuyoshi Sekito and Michio Okamiya, keyboardist Kenichiro Fukui, organist Nobuo Uematsu, bass guitarist Keiji Kawamori, and drummer Arata Hanyuda — have produced three studio albums together and appeared at multiple concerts around the world. Their last appearance together was at The Black Mages III Live "Darkness and Starlight" on August 2008, commemorated with a DVD release.

The Black Mages Back in their Heyday

The reasons for the disbandment still remain mysterious. However, in an interview with SEMO last year, Nobuo Uematsu revealed that it had become difficult for the band to make time to rehearse together, noting Kenichiro Fukui's university post and Tsuyoshi Sekito's move to Osaka. It is also believed that the band's links to Square Enix have resulted in copyright issues and have limited the range of material they can play.

Nevertheless, Uematsu has recently assured fans that he will continue to perform rock arrangements of his music. He recently established the Earthbound Papas, which debuted on the Distant Worlds II CD. In a new interview with SEMO, Dog Ear Records' producer Hiroki Ogawa said to expect much more activity from the band later this year.
Written by Chris Greening

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