YOSHIKI, the honored guest at OTAKON 2006

interview - 09.24.2006 08:00

Exclusive one-on-one interview with YOSHIKI on the third and final day of the OTAKON 2006 convention: August 6th, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Even though he didn't perform, Otakon (an anime convention in Baltimore, Maryland) was honored to have Yoshiki as one of its musical guests this year. At the convention, Yoshiki had a panel (question and answer with fans) and an autograph session.

First of all, thank you very much for meeting us. It's an honor to meet you in person.

Yoshiki: (bows) Thank you.

You had mentioned in your myspace blog that you were working on some anime or movie projects such as "The Rose of Versailles", can you tell us a little about these projects or anything anime related that you're working on?

Yoshiki: Yes, that's the one.

Would you like to elaborate a little more?

Yoshiki: Yes, it's interesting actually. Well, it's Japanese animation and they ask me to write the music for it. They didn't say anything really, they just asked "can you do this"? I asked them what kind of music or what kind of direction and they said "whatever you want". I was like "huh?". I asked if it should be in Japanese or in English and they preferred English. I asked why and they said they're thinking about international, not only Japan. I thought that was very interesting.

You mentioned in the panel yesterday that you were thinking of starting a band with Gackt, can you tell us any information about that, any news?

Yoshiki: Well, you know, we've been talking about it for several years and I don't know, I just didn't think the timing was right and I was just not ready. Then in the last few months we started talking more and saying "ok, let's do it".

When should we expect something recorded or released?

Yoshiki: I would say, the earliest would be early next year; probably about one year from now.

You were seen at last night's concert for Nana Kitade and MUCC. What was your experience seeing them and did you see both bands perform?

Yoshiki: No, I only saw MUCC perform. I also saw HYDE in Los Angeles.

What did you think of the two concerts of HYDE and MUCC?

Yoshiki: They were very good. I was also amazed at how the US fans reacted. I don't know, they're so enthusiastic. (laugh)

Did you expect there to be such a fan base for HYDE and MUCC?

Yoshiki: Yes, I knew what was going on, it's just if you see it, it's like ‘wow'.

So in other words, if you saw from everything the outside, seeing all the fans react to the band, you would see a different perspective of the concerts?

Yoshiki: Right.

What do you think about the Japanese success in America and Europe? Do you think the success is easier now, then let's say, 10 years ago?

Yoshiki: I would say it's all about music. Any fashion or something that just happens, then it could just die out. It could be that Japanese bands are having better timing than before, but I don't know how long it's going to last if the music isn't good. Yeah, they could have a better chance, but it's still all about music.

So you think that fans now are paying more attention toward the music, rather than the language used to write the lyrics?

Yoshiki: You see that's what amazes me. A lot of fans are learning Japanese, they sing in Japanese. I don't know, it's just so amazing.

According to your blog, you said that you don't get much sleep. How do you relax and where do you get all your energy from?

Yoshiki: I've had a sleeping problem since I was 10 years old or something. It's just, I can't sleep, but I'm pretty hyper though. (laughs)

At times when you can't sleep, do you find that you're more creative at night?

Yoshiki: Night time is always better, I'm very nocturnal. (laughs)

So sort of like, sleep during the day and work at night?

Yoshiki: Kind of, my schedule is like 26 or 27 hours a day. So I keep sliding, so my staff is very tired. I have two shifts, a day shift and a night shift. I have assistants with me 24 hours, but I keep sliding. So one day I'll wake up at 6 in the morning, the next day 8 or 9, the next day 10 or 11. Sometimes I'll start working at 2am. Yeah. (laughs) It's very weird.

You've met many important people in your music career, who do you think you've gained the biggest impression from?

Yoshiki: I don't know. It's so hard to say just one person. It's basically everybody and everything. I have to say the most important people would probably be my fans. Because I was really depressed after hide, and X-Japan broke up, I didn't want to come back. As an artist, I didn't want to do anything, but they kept sending me fan letters and everything. They made me come back to this scene.

So, I guess it's the same then, you've gained the biggest impression from your fans, but also your fans have received the biggest impression from you. When many artists are asked, "who are your musical influences", many of them say X-Japan. So how does that make you feel?

Yoshiki: (huge smile) I'm so lucky! I went and drank with MUCC last night and one of them told me that too. (laughs) I don't know, I'm just so lucky.

I'm sure that's also amazing for them because we read an interview where Miya, the guitarist of MUCC, he said one of his main musical influences was X-Japan. So I was hoping that sometime during this weekend, you all would meet.

Yoshiki: Yeah, we got drunk last night! (laugh) They're so nice too.

Were you able to meet Nana Kitade?

Yoshiki: Yes, she gave me a couple of her CDs. I haven't listened to them yet, but I will.

It's great you got to meet them because when we spoke with both of them earlier, they hadn't met you yet and have barely even met each other. It's wonderful you all were able to meet this weekend even though you all were very busy.

Yoshiki: Yeah (smile)

Thank you very much, Yoshiki, for this interview opportunity.

Yoshiki: Thank you (bows).

Many thanks to Yaz Noya from Tofu Records/Sony Music for arranging the interview!
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