Yoshiki - X Japan

Yoshiki of X Japan talks to Kirin Works in a rare phone call about the upcoming tour, girls & guilty pleasures...

So this is your first concert in the UK and the first for your Europe tour... What expectations do you have of the fans on this tour?

Let’s see… When we started the band, we always had Europe on our minds, We have been doing this band for a long time, and even in the 10 years we weren’t performing we were still influenced by the U.K. It is an honour to be able to play live there… I am very excited!


You have a new single (JADE) on the way, should fans expect old-school X or something different?

Well it will be a combi really… there is a heavy X element but it is also a bit edgier as well.


Where are you most looking forward to playing and why?

England and everywhere! London, Paris, Utrecht… I went to London. I used to go to London a lot. What did I do? I drank a lot of beer! I used to also go to Paris a lot… But I’ve never been to Berlin before.


What are your current ambitions for the future of X Japan?

Right now, I want a full tour for Europe.


In England there is a saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’, what is the funniest thing you have heard recently?

Hahaha! Well my fan sent me the other day… an interesting photo… We do this figure in Japan, doing an X sign… and she sent me this photo and it was, very different to how we usually do it. I laughed my fucking arse off! And she sent it through Twitter too!



X Japan obviously has had a lot of attention from females, what has been the worst way that you have been rejected by a girl you wanted?

Oh that’s a funny one! Haha, Have I EVER been rejected? Uhhh. I think I was at Junior high school? But since then I don’t think I have been. I haven’t been rejected for a very long time now…



Obviously hide is still a big part of X Japan for fans, how are you hoping to bring the spirit of hide to the UK?

Since we reunited, we were first talking about X coming back together, and I said “I cannot do it without him. hide is not here.” But obviously we feel he is with us. He is with us for every show, even without his video or sound. We are still performing with him.


What is your guilty pleasure?

I don’t know! I don’t feel guilty, how should I feel it? Maybe I should… Wait what is your guilty pleasure? (I like the Spice girls…) I like the Spice girls too!!!


What has been the worst thing to happen onstage to you?

Nothing really that bad has happened, although when we first reunited, we did a reunion show tour in Tokyo Dome. The first four songs I got so stressed. I don’t even know why I did… but I just got so stressed I just dived into my drums. I hurt myself. But after that, the shows were great… I only cut my body in a few places too.


What memories do you have from your first performances?

I first met Toshi when I was 4 years old, we did our first show when I was 12...or 13/14 I can’t remember, but even when we were in school, we used to say we would be Rock Stars. Just before we started to record our songs, these are good memories.


What band are you currently listening to or would recommend?

I listen to a lot of dance music, I love Massive Attack!  I listen to a lot of cool songs. I end up dancing my fucking ass off! (Are you a good dancer?) I’m not a good dancer, I dance when I drink… always when I’m drunk!


Oh! I just remembered, you asked about me being rejected? If I have been… it could have been when I was drunk, I can’t remember a time though!


What did you do last time you were in London then?

I think I saw a fashion show, and I went to see London Philharmonic Orchestra. (Did you enjoy it?) I can’t really remember if I did. (Were you drunk then?!) I don’t think so… but yeah, I’ll say yes I enjoyed it very much anyway!


What British TV shows have you watched?

Is the X factor British? (Yes, now it’s gone to America) Oh yes! Cheryl Cole got kicked out! HAHA! (I think Nicole Scherzinger replaced her?) I actually worked with her. I wrote a song in 2005 and she sang the song for me. Are we friends? Uh, she hasn’t spoken to me in a while…


Why did you move to L.A from Japan?

I wanted to live in Europe, and when we worked with Sony Records, they said ‘Choose anywhere you want to live’, so I went to London, and then Paris, but the other members went to L.A and New York. For our second album we decided to record outside of Japan, I was in London and everyone else was in L.A, so being a democrat I went to L.A, there were so many studios to work in, so I bought one there! Without even thinking of the consequences… I spent a lot of time in that studio so then just bought a house as well. I don’t know if I’ll be here for a very long time though…


Do you not miss Japan?

Well I visit all the time, I am always flying there. I am used to the long flight, like last year I visited, I stayed only 20 hours, I didn’t even sleep there! I went for hide’s anniversary and came back.




----- New Single JADE is out from 28th June 2011 -----