YOSHIKI press conference at Tokyo Dome

interview - 04.02.2008 08:00

A short interview with YOSHIKI after the first X JAPAN reunion concert.

There was a press conference exclusively for foreign media about half an hour after the X JAPAN live at Tokyo Dome. YOSHIKI appeared at the press conference after his enthusiastic performance and answered questions from foreign press.

Which bands were you mainly influenced by?

YOSHIKI: I don't know but I have a lot. I like punk music. Let me see...I liked The Sex Pistols before the reunion and I like classical music, such as Bach, Beethoven and Rachmaninov, so...I don’t know.

How has that changed? What influences your music now?

YOSHIKI: I don’t know. I guess everything. We’ll get back to the first question. There are a lot of great British bands these days, like I love Radiohead, you know...I like a lot of British rock. You know, usually I could think of a lot more names, but right now...

Your name is often mentioned in the same genre as visual kei. How does it feel for you today? How suitable is it for you?

YOSHIKI: I think I’m very lucky because we started a long time ago and you know, we didn’t want to be bored and we wanted to be very different. We just wanted to be original. We were like the blackest sheep of the family, right? Of course, we had thick make up and everything. We had real hard time because we started twenty years ago, but now there are a lot of visual kei bands, all over the world. It’s very unexpected and there are lots of great bands. Because of these bands some people heard about X JAPAN, so I’m appreciative of it.

Are you still conscious of belonging to visual kei?

YOSHIKI: Well, I guess I’m still in visual kei. I don’t know...when we say "visual kei," it’s not only about make up. I think it’s more about spirit. Being original is very hard these days. When you’re growing up, it’s very easy to just stay inside one area, but breaking the wall and getting out of the box is so hard. So I think that is the real meaning of visual kei...

YOSHIKI, you entirely changed my life. So many people in Hong Kong are expecting you to come here. Are you going to do any big concerts in Hong Kong?

YOSHIKI: I had never thought about doing X JAPAN again. As I said, I feel very lucky because we didn’t just have a reunion, nor were we reunited without requests from passionate fans, so thank you for changing my life as well (laughs). So, yes, I’d love to go there, to Hong Kong. Right at this moment though, I have to finish the next two days and I’m not sure if I’ll still be alive four days from now...I don’t know. But I just want to do everything I have to do right now and use all my energy for the next two days. I may think about it on Friday if I am alive enough to recover.

How was today’s concert? What impressed you the most?

YOSHIKI: Well, when I heard the audience cheering, I was so moved. I’ve played at Tokyo Dome quite a lot of times, so it felt like I had came back to my home. Like, "home sweet home" (laughs). I was moved somehow when I entered here.

Do you have any plans for a world tour?

YOSHIKI: As I said before, yes, for sure. But I don’t know how many days I will be able to continue doing a show like today, so I want to concentrate on doing my best for two more lives right now. But we definitely want to do a tour.

Today you used a lot of videos in which hide was playing guitar. Did you think about hide tonight?

YOSHIKI: Of course, yes. Before we got to this point, I had to edit the footage and I was editing hide’s guitar and video to try and synchronize with him. I like playing with the five of us. I still have a hard time, as you know. I felt like crying.

Unfortunately, you didn’t make it big in foreign countries last time. Do you think that will change this time? Will you take over the world?

YOSHIKI: Well, we had that dream more than ten years ago. I don’t know if we are doing this whole X JAPAN thing for that purpose, or for something...how do you say...I don’t know. We have been lucky to have this audience. If this, our reunion, can make an impact or become an influence around the world, that would be great. But I just wanted this reunion for us and for our fans.

I like to think you have more fans than ten years ago.

YOSHIKI: As I said, I’m lucky.

You showed an image of hide on stage. Was it the real hide? The computer-generated image was really detailed. How did you do it?

YOSHIKI: When I thought about this concert, I thought of doing a hologram and I researched various techniques all over the world. Then I chose the best technique which can be done right now. It’s the same technique which Al Gore used, but he did it in front of a green screen. hide doesn’t exist now and we had to create his image, so it was large scale work. But I really wanted to do that. Of course it wasn’t the real hide (laughs).

Now that you have played Without you on stage, how do you feel about it?

YOSHIKI: Yeah, I wrote that song right after hide’s death. But I thought that TOSHI was only person to sing it. Yes, it was the first time we’ve performed this song in front of an audience. And TOSHI’s voice worked perfectly.

Are you pleased that it made its appearance on stage?

YOSHIKI: Ah, we do have a different version. But we wanted to do this one today.
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