By Sunil Sadarangani
Heavy Metal Rock Legend and Co-Founder of #XJapan, #Yoshiki talks about his journey from classic to heavy metal music, his influences and special message to all his fans!
The documentary feature traces the origins of #XJapan, the most successful heavy metal rock band in Japan founded by childhood friends #Yoshiki and #Toshi, has been receiving critical acclaim at the festival and rightfully so.WE ARE X had its star-studded world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Park City Utah on January 23, 2016. Supporting this critically acclaimed documentary film at the premiere were celebrities Josh Grobin, Balthazar Getty, Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, A.J. McLean, to name a few.
The powerful opening introducing founder and lead drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi, Director Stephen Kijak establishes an exacting approach tracing the arc of X - from phenomenal origins through tumultuous super-stardom and premature dissolution up to present day, as the band prepares to reunite for a show at the legendary Madison Square Garden while struggling to reconcile a past haunted by suicide, injury and cultish extremism with the insatiable thirst for perfection that has made them legendary.
It has been documented in public records of X Japan’s historic split, devastating millions of fans and leaving enigmatic leader Yoshiki to battle physical and spiritual demons in a solitary campaign to bring their music to the world.
Representing X Japan was Yoshiki at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Observing his past and seeing where he is right now in the present, I decided to have a quick chat to find out more about Yoshiki, the person, rather than the phenomenon the world knows. As we settled down, he grinned, “It’s freezing here!” That set the tone for the interview and revealed Yoshiki, the person. I was happy!
Were you attracted to music since you were a child?
Your father passed away when you were very young. Did his passing make you change your path musically from classical music to heavy metal? Well when I was young my parents made me learn piano when I was four years old. For some reason I knew that I was going to be doing music. When my music teacher started teaching me musical notes, I learned it very easily without difficulty. So I kind of knew I wanted to be a musician.
Yes, my father’s death completely changed me. My family really didn’t talk about how he died but I was old enough to know he committed suicide. Then there was the the big question mark, “Why?” Only he knew. I had this anger and became very depressed, I didn’t know what to do. But music was beside me. Then my mother bought me a drum set because my father used to buy me musical instruments every year on my birthday, sometimes trumpet or guitar. So my mother carried on the tradition. No, wait actually I asked her I want drums. And later I found out that it was my father’s dream to get me drums. I didn’t know that! That was…wow, it could be that he is there with me in spirit.
The lyrics to your songs are very profound against the heavy metal music you compose. Tell us about that.
Well I couldn’t write any more love story lyrics (laughs), I was done. So I began writing more about pain, death, blood. It just came naturally. But still the underlying message is about love through these emotions.
Was there a gradual transition from classical music to heavy metal when you started out or was it immediate?
When I was in classical music and jumped to heavy metal that was immediate. At the same time when you listen to classical music of Beethoven and Bach for example, it is kind of close to heavy metal. In the sense there is some dark, heavy stuff around its symphony as well. So it was kind of a natural transition for me. Some people say, “Classical and Rock??” But I feel it’s kind of the same thing.
About your look, with the wild hair pieces and make-up. Did you plan it?
Well, I wanted to do something different. I was though influenced by David Bowie a lot and his androgynous look. So I experimented with the look in my own way and it worked.
Are working on a new album?
Yes, I am working on a new album and will come out definitely this year.
What is one message you would like to give to your fans around the world?
Thank you so much for being so supportive. Without you, I would not be here. Without you probably I wouldn’t be alive. It has been unconditional love and support from my fans. That’s why I am here. That’s why XJapan is here.
WATCH "WE ARE X" TRAILER HERE :
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