[07.08.25] YOSHIKI's interview at SHOCK WAVE～アポロ～vol.4
YOSHIKI's interview at SHOCK WAVE～アポロ～vol.4
I: Firstly, please tell us your view on the S.K.I.N. live which took place on the day before yesterday.
Y: I would like to ask you how was it?
I: It was awesome. I was overwhelmed.
Y: So somehow or other, it was great?
I: Firstly, the songs were good, and Yoshiki’s long-awaited drumming was awesome. All four of you have a great presence on stage, so when the screen was split into four parts during the third song I was overwhelmed.
Y: Ah, that part. A lot of people have told me that ‘That part is great’ but I was facing the front so I have no idea what it is like.
I: What do you think about it?
Y: It was okay… I think I didn’t fully expand my energy as a drummer. We didn’t rehearse enough so the songs were still not completely in my head. I was looking at the music score as I drum. But halfway through the live I couldn’t take it anymore and I thought ‘just let it be’.
I: How was the response from the audience?
Y: It was great. I’m grateful to them for gathering together like that. The last time I drummed was at Tokyo Dome (X Japan’s final live, 10 years ago) so the place felt surprisingly small. Before that, for about 10 times it was always at Tokyo Dome. After that, I never played drums in front of an audience. It felt like a livehouse. Besides that, when I look from the back, I thought that the members were cool. Everyone was really cool.
I: It may have been a long time since you played drums at a live, but you did play them in the studio, didn’t you?
Y: Yeah. But I didn’t play them that intensely in the studio. This is really the first time I’ve played in front of an audience since The Last Live. Well, it may have been 10 years ago, but I totally thought that I can still play. I may not have been playing the drums constantly, but I’ve always been training my body.
I: In the first place, how did you start thinking about putting together this band?
Y: About 4,5 years ago, I said to Gackt, ‘Let’s do something together’. After that, the recording company which Gackt is under asked me formally ‘Wouldn’t you do something like a project?’ and I answered ‘Of course I’m interested’. But I had a lot of producer work at that time, so it’s like every moment I have was filled up. At that time, Violet UK was still wondering around and I was looking for a suitable timing. This time, I thought that the time has come and I said ‘Let’s do it’. Gackt said ‘Really?’ and I replied ‘Let’s do it. In any case, if we’re doing it, let’s not make it a project. What about doing a band?’ I really do like bands after all. After that, I talked to a lot of people. Sugizo’s and Miyavi’s names were brought up and it felt like the members were already decided.
I: When was that?
Y: Last year. I discussed with a lot of musicians ‘What kind of people do you think will be suitable?’, but I personally think that a person with a unique personality would be better. First, Miyavi’s name was brought up and I thought he was good after meeting him. I also asked Gackt ‘Why don’t you meet him and see?’, and it was decided after that. I knew from before that Sugizo is a good guitarist, but we weren’t very close. We had a meal together and he was very surprised when I talked about the band. At that time, he said ‘Let me think about it’ but after that, when he went to LA on holiday, we discussed about various things and he was very interested in it. I introduced him to Gackt. After I went to LA, the three of them met each other at their own convenience in Japan. Just like that, it slowly became a certain thing.
I: You didn’t announce all the members in one go, but introduced them one-by-one instead, didn’t you?
Y: The first time was in last year, when I was attending a convention in Baltimore, what I said came out in the news. ‘It seems that Gackt and Yoshiki are doing something together’. It spread in the news in Japan. After that, Sugizo joined in and the three of us had an interview in a newspaper. Last month, during the Japan Rock Revolution (Festival, hence referred to as JRF), I announced that Miyavi would be a member too. So, the order in which they joined and the order in which they were announced are different. I wanted to announce Miyavi’s participation earlier but there wasn’t any suitable timing for it. We still haven’t decided on our bassist yet.
I: This time, Ju-ken joined in as a support member, but as expected, you still want to search for a permanent member?
Y: Of course. That’s because this is a band. I really like bands, so I want to choose the members properly. But Ju-ken’s bass was splendid.
I: How were the songs arranged?
Y: We all composed our own songs, then we gathered at LA and spent about two weeks on pre-production. At that time, we did the songs together.
I: What about you?
Y: I couldn’t compose more than one song. I composed a long song. At that time, we decided on seven songs. So after 1, 2 more rounds of pre-production, we’ll have enough songs for an album. For the rehearsal this time, I went back to Japan and we combined it all together. I thought it would be better for me to move there rather than the three of them coming over. But for me, no matter what I do it becomes huge (laugh). This time too I was editing a video, so when I came to Japan all the staff moved here too. A lot of people had to come over here, so it was bad.
I: What video was that?
Y: (X Japan’s) ‘Blue Night, White Night’. Rather than to call it editing, it’s more like to check it. I brought the whole set of equipment for the video into the studio for S.K.I.N.’s rehearsal, and you couldn’t tell what the studio was for anymore.
I: There were seven songs, but only four were played for the live, right?
Y: We wanted to play more but we couldn’t make it in time. Well, this is just to announce our band so it’s okay.
I: There is a rumour that Yoshiki’s song has been completed.
Y: The song is complete, but the lyrics were done too late. Even the lyrics for the third song, the one Sugizo wrote (Beneath the S.K.I.N.), was only done five days before the live.
I: All the members composed the songs and wrote the lyrics, but did you write the lyrics for anyone else’s song?
Y: I thought that would be interesting. But I did write the lyrics for hide’s song (Sadistic Desire) last time. I don’t just write lyrics for my own songs; I also write lyrics for other songs. Once we have a bassist, there’ll be five of us.
I: When the four of you were gathered together, did you discuss about what kind of songs you want to do and what kind of band you want to be?
Y: We talked about a lot of things before we reached that stage. Things like what kind of songs we like, fundamentally going ahead with an intense feel, having a gothic atmosphere for our band, we gradually discussed those issues while talking normally. Generally, we planned our band’s atmosphere. Everyone was there to listen when we chose the songs, and we chose them while saying things like ‘not like this’ or ‘not like that’. It’s just like how every other band chooses their songs.
I: What about the direction of the songs?
Y: They will be intense.
I: Just now, you mentioned the word ‘gothic’?
Y: That’s about the atmosphere of the band, taking into account our appearance. Other than that, I think it’ll be good to insert some punkish elements. Rather than what is normally called gothic, we’ll be a bit more intense, and I think it’ll be good if we can insert some element of madness.
I: Is this what you want to do the most right now?
Y: Hmm…. I wonder. I think that I don’t really want to push my own opinions onto this band too much. Even during X, especially during the earlier days, everyone worked together to come up with the songs, doing it while saying things like ‘not like this’ or ‘not like that’. The live this time is the first step for this band so I don’t know what will happen from now. I wonder if it can continue on properly? (laugh)
I: Will it continue?
Y: It may be shattered tomorrow or it may continue for 10 years, we don’t know, do we? (laugh)
I: What do you think?
Y: Well, I do have this personality of mine (laugh). I do want it to continue and I think it’ll be good if it becomes my new family. But I’m not thinking of continuing it if it becomes shaky. It should be done properly, shouldn’t it? This is the way I am since before. Even during X (laugh). Even when it comes to concerts or the way I live, I do it while thinking that it’s fine even if I die tomorrow. That won’t change. It’s not just S.K.I.N.; it’s the same for everything.
I: Where did the name S.K.I.N. come from?
Y: That’s a secret! You’re understand it sooner or later. S.K.I.N.’s condition, when the band was announced, there was a website and the release was decided, it wasn’t a situation where we could just do anything. Rather than saying it was vigorous, we just did what we had to. There were things we had decided on and things we had yet to decide on. I wanted to release the news one-by-one. That’s how it was even when the members were announced. We haven’t even decided on a recording company.
I: So it’s a huge indies group?
Y: Yes, yes (laugh).
I: You have always been doing Violet UK alone, so it must be different having comrades around you.
Y: It’s different. I received a great motivation. I think that it’s quite a big deal around use, but it is fine. I have a strong personality so I’m trying as much as possible not to force my views (on the band). I’m the type to run around wildly and can’t be stopped so I’m careful about working hard.
I: After the live, it was the first time you destroyed the drums in a long time.
Y: It has been 10 years since I really played the drums, and the last time I destroyed the drums was also at Tokyo Dome. I wanted to destroy it to splinters even more. That’s because I’m a person who destroys, not creates. The creating will be done by the next generation, I will destroy and die (laugh).
I: Sugizo also destroyed his guitar.
Y: That’s because I said ‘I might destroy my drums at the end of the live but it’ll be lonely if I’m doing it alone. Won’t you destroy yours too?’ So we vigorously destroyed them together. Since it has been 10 years, so to destroy the drums alone…
I: After it was over, you said ‘It would have been better if we had rehearsed more’.
Y: I was the worst one. Well, everyone has their own schedule, and my compilation of the X Japan DVD clashed with S.K.I.N.’s rehearsal schedule… I didn’t want to worry my members so I didn’t tell them but my friend passed away at that time… Well, it was my own personal problems… I think that if we had rehearsed more we could have put on a better live. On the other hand, I also think that it was great that we could put on that live with just that amount of rehearsing. I think that everyone has a strong personality and a high level, and that’s why we could do a live that great with just that amount of rehearsing.
I: The scene where Gackt and Yoshiki was playing the piano, Sugizo the violin, and Miyavi the shamisen, everyone was holding and playing a different instrument, was really overwhelming.
Y: That’s because we intend to do things that have never been done before. The duet with Gackt was good, Sugizo’s violin and Miyavi’s shamisen were both good too. It was really interesting. I initially planned to only be a drummer (for this band) but I somehow thought of wanting to play the piano. If I just play the drums I’ll gradually get heated up, so I thought of inserting an interval somewhere to cool my emotions. Then, Gackt said he will play the piano too so it became something like ‘Well, let’s do a duet’. Then Sugizo said ‘I’ll play the violin’, Miyavi said ‘What should I do?’ and he ended up playing the shamisen. It’s like it was all decided in an instant, and it was decided on with vigor. It was decided just before the rehearsal, so the staff had a hard time.
I: Listening to it, a lot of unbelievable things happened there.
Y: That’s what it is. For most people, the fact that these four people are standing on the same stage is by itself unbelievable.
I: Just now you mentioned that there are seven songs, didn’t you?
Y: At a pre-pro level. I finished the lyrics for my song at the last minute, so it didn’t make it in time for this live.
I: The band played four songs, but the live took about an hour.
Y: That’s because we did things like the members’ introduction. The call-and-response during Violets was long, and there was a mistake at the final part so it lasted about 30 minutes. But everyone still played on with a smile although there was a mistake, it was fun not doing it hastily. They might have felt hasty inside, but it was cool of them to perform boldly without showing it. I think that each of the members have their own opinions, but basically everyone thought it was good.
I: What are your plans for an album?
Y: We aren’t making one (laugh). I’m staying in LA and everyone has their own things to do, so even meeting up is hard. I might be the worst one… It might be better if I moved back to Japan after all… Even if I think this way, there’s nothing I can do (laugh). It’s really hard now. Right now, I’m directing the soundtrack for two movies. The contract for one of them isn’t 100% fixed yet, but I’ve already begun work on it two weeks ago in a studio in LA… The schedule for that clashed with S.K.I.N. so it was really tough.
From translator: The ‘...’ parts probably indicate where I skipped some questions. As for the cut text... I think Yoshiki mentioned that the JRR performers were invited to his house in LA, and everyone somehow ended up jumping into the pool. Then the interviewer asked if the S.K.I.N. members jumped into the pool too when they were at his house.
(c) ongakusenkasha.co.jp & SHOCK WAVE magazine
ThanX for English translation chikotori
| Категория: Interview | Translated by japan-x | 2008.08.31
| Author: chikotori
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