major - active (1997 - )
SUGIZO will always be best remembered as LUNA SEA's flamboyant, energetic lead guitarist/violinist, but he is also an accomplished solo artist. His solo work is best described as an eclectic mix of rock, pop, electronica and soaring guitar solos. Also known for his love of makeup and flashy accessories, he always takes the "rock star look" to the next level.

An experienced musician who enjoys all genres, SUGIZO has also seen action as a member of many different bands, including Juno Reactor, X JAPAN and THE FLARE.
author: Scottie Wolfe, vulpix (2012-12-27)
line up
  • Vocals, Guitar, Violin: SUGIZO
SUGIZO was born on July 8, 1969 in Kanagawa, Japan. His parents, both members of the Tokyo-to Orchestra, passed their knowledge and appreciation of music on to him. He began playing the violin at a young age and continued through his adolescent years. He eventually discovered the American band KISS, and a love for makeup and flashy outfits ensued.

In high school he fell in love with bands such as YMO, Culture Club and Duran Duran. He began playing the guitar and formed the group Pinocchio with classmate Shinya. Years later, on January 16, 1989, they joined LUNA SEA with Ryuichi, INORAN and J. It was with this band that SUGIZO’s unique style was first exposed to the mainstream public.

In 1997, SUGIZO released his first solo album, TRUTH?. It was met with mixed reviews, as it was a dramatic change from his work with LUNA SEA. After starring in and scoring the musical film "Soundtrack", SUGIZO returned to his solo career in 2002. His music returned to its rock roots, and many fans welcomed the return of this more familiar style. During this fertile time, SUGIZO gathered a diverse group of musicians to form SUGIZO & The Spank Your Juice, which lasted until 2004. The band was well known for their exciting live performances, but they would only release a few singles during their time together.

Soon after the end of his run with The Spank Your Juice, SUGIZO teamed up with vocalist Yuna to form THE FLARE. The band was well received and released four singles and one album. However, for unknown reasons, they broke up in 2006. SUGIZO then took a short break from the music scene.

He returned the following year, participating in a number of different projects. In June, he became a member of the supergroup S.K.I.N, performing at the Anime AX event in the US. Additionally, on Christmas Eve, he took part in a one-night reunion concert with his former band LUNA SEA entitled LUNA SEA GOD BLESS YOU ~One Night Dejavu~ at the Tokyo Dome.

2008 brought more live performances, as well as SUGIZO appearing as a support member for the legendary X JAPAN. He also supported Juno Reactor on a lengthy international tour. Between these live appearances, SUGIZO also stayed busy in the studio, performing as a guest on recordings for artists such as MIYAVI and Acid Black Cherry.

He went on to release two more solo albums in 2008: a remix album called SPIRITUARISE and a best of album entitled COSMOSCAPE. SUGIZO also played a special concert called ~RISE TO COSMIC DANCE~, which was held at Shibuya AX in Tokyo on December 19, 2008. This concert was released as a DVD in 2009, showcasing SUGIZO’s vision of the ideal visual and musical performance.

2009 also brought the announcement that SUGIZO had been formally inducted as a member of X JAPAN. However, SUGIZO’s focus on his solo career returned stronger than ever that December as, beginning with MESSIAH, he released a stream of digital singles that continued well into the next year.

January, February and March 2010 each brought a new digital single, while July saw him join YOSHIKI for an appearance at the American anime convention Otakon. The duo participated in a Q&A session and performed a short acoustic set. LUNA SEA also announced a full reunion and world tour, which kept SUGIZO occupied for a while.

Not allowing himself to slow down after completing both reunion shows with LUNA SEA and a North American tour with X JAPAN, SUGIZO released another string of digital singles. This series culminated with the simultaneous release of a pair of albums on December 14, 2011. As FLOWER OF LIFE was an instrumental album and TREE OF LIFE featured mainly collaborations and remixes done by other artists, these albums clearly showcased the two main attributes of his solo work: instrumental mastery and a desire to explore new creative partners, genres and sounds. 2011 also saw SUGIZO release a book entitled "SUGIZO: Half a Stormy Lifetime of a Man Loved by Music", which he claimed was not an autobiography, but a record of his experiences intended to help share some of the wisdom he has acquired with others.

As of winter 2011, SUGIZO is working with both LUNA SEA and X JAPAN, but he has shown throughout his long career that his solo work remains a high priority and an important creative outlet, even during the busiest of times. He is currently in the middle of a solo tour entitled SUGIZO TOUR 2011 STAIRWAY to The FLOWER OF LIFE.
author: Scottie Wolfe, vulpix (2012-12-27)

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