Plastic Tree started in December 1993, and after switching drummers a few times, the line up finally settled on Ryutaro on vocals, known for his sweet voice and gloomy lyrics, which can often be quite worrying. Tadashi on bass, who took the position as leader of the band, and was responsible for most of the music. Akira on guitar, who also wrote a good deal of their music, and Takashi on drums.
Early 2001 Takashi left the band, and later that year Sasabuchi Hiroshi joined. It seemed like a new start for Plastic Tree. This wasn’t just because of the change of drummers, but also because their music started changing more and more, turning more into pop and they almost completely lost the gloomy sound they used to have.
Now they are generally described as alternative, although their beginnings tend to be labeled as Visual Kei, and are often compared with brit-rock bands.
While it has been popularly speculated that the band's name was derived from Radiohead's song, Fake Plastic Trees, the formation of the band and the release of this song do not coincide properly. Recently Ryutaro and Tadashi revealed the real origin of the name - they wanted to combine two words to form the band name; something artificial and something natural. After trying a few combinations, they decided on 'Plastic Tree'. Even though their name may not have came from the Radiohead song, Radiohead is still a major influence on the band. It is common knowledge that Plastic Tree's Rira no ki is a 'cover' of Radiohead's My Iron Lung. Ryutaro once answered the question "If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one album, which album would it be?" He responded with "Pablo Honey” by Radiohead." Also, on the DVD “Kuro Tento 2”, many of the live names are derived from works by The Smashing Pumkins.
Plastic Tree's sound ranges from rock to pop and has undergone many changes. Their sound is aided by Ryutaro's unique vocals and lyrics and is often described as very 'ethereal', and adds to the unique quality of their music. In recent years, there has been some dispute of the band moving in a more mainstream direction, though they still appear to be very devoted to their fans and remain faithful to their musical roots. Before the album “Träumerei“ was released, Tadashi wrote nearly all the songs, usually with Ryutaro writing lyrics. However, more recent releases have had Akira and Ryutaro writing both lyrics and music more frequently.