1. Real name: Hayashi Yoshiki (林 佳樹)
2. Date of birth: 1965.11.20
3. Place of birth: Tateyama, Chiba prefecture
4. Blood type: B
5. Height: 175 сm
6. Zodiac: Scorpio
7. Band status: leader Х JAPAN, S.K.I.N. (drums, piano)
8. Place of living: Los Angeles, California, USA
9. Record Label: Columbia Japan, Extasy Records
It’s difficult to find words to describe exactly the person named Yoshiki Hayashi: the unity and struggle of oppositions, vessel of different talents, eccentric, emotional, unique, cosmopolitan, creator of new type of music, the person who made a revolution in public point of view regarding Japanese music, bright star and outcast the same time, he is adored as strong as he is hated. But noone stays indifferent – it can be continued endlessly. But all of these is Yoshiki as he is such a person till now.
You are perfect.
Your every vice
Is defined exactly.
Your every defect
Is in right place.
Your every insane act
Is perfect in right time.
Only God could do so,
That this nonsense
But let’s begin from the start.
Yoshiki was born on November 20th, 1965 in coastal Tateyama city, Chiba prefecture. There is no much information about his family. If pieces of this information from Yoshiki’s interviews of all times are gathered together, so we can understand that family was wealthy. There is information that his parents had a store selling cloths, shoes and accessories for shows and ballroom dancing because his father used to be tchettchotka-dancer. Another doubtful information says that Hayashi has an younger brother but he doesn’t confirm this, in interviews he usually tells about his mother only. She was that person who taught him to play piano (studying begins at the age of four, the same age as Mozart started his education). Hayashi-san imagined the future of her son as a classical composer and musician, father wanted him to become drummer. Fortune decided it in very unusual way mixing both these wishes.
At the age of 33 Yoshiki’s father committed suicide because of financial problems. It was Yoshiki who found him hanging himself out in his bedroom. Shocked child was sitting in room with dead father for almost all day long until he was discovered in the evening. At that moment Yoshiki was 10 and that tragedy was a hard hit on his state of mind. Because of this accident he still suffered from insomnia.
In father’s memory Yoshiki started playing drums with improving his piano play at the same time.
Yoshiki couldn’t be called obedient child. He is the one who later is said to have been a trouble-maker teenager. Here was everything: awful marks at school, constant violence of discipline and outrageous behavior. Hayashi revolted against all established rules and broke rules one after another: instead of usual black school uniform he flaunted in white suit, created unimaginable hair-cuts both in color and in form, twice he shocked the public by cutting his hair close to the skin. He constantly got into conflicts with teachers and classmates, and also he was first and not the last participant in different fighters. Once Yoshiki was warned by his music teacher that if he wanted to play more, he would have to take care about his hands. Well, Yoshiki found the way out easily and since then he fought using only his legs.
Unlike any other, revolting against traditions and the public, rioter, he didn’t want to be like the others. He dreamt about fame and that’s why his old friend Toshimitsu Deyama and he decided to form their own music band.
As the starting point of his way to music Olympus we can take 1982. Once Hayashi’s mother and he was called to school, the reason was questionnaire that must be filled up by all pupils at schools before graduating. In that list in line for future occupation Hayashi wrote simply: “I want to be a rock star.” Teachers tried to explain that it was fully stupid, at those times there was impossible to earn enough money by making music, but Yoshiki was stubborn. He broke all the arguments with the same phrase: “Noone? Well, I’ll be the first”.
Since that moment Yoshiki’s fortune and fortune of his band were so close that they became a one thing. After graduating Hayashi refused to enter the Music university and by that he didn’t leave for himself the extra wayout and right to fail. Since then he had only one way in life.
Later, in one of his interviews, he said: “I didn’t want to create an extra wayout for a case of failure. It didn’t matter to me what would be with me, if my band would fail”.
Since 1982, when his own cover-band X recovered the hits of rock stars such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, and till the time when this band became the band number one, taking first places in all charts, there were lots of events. Not once band members, images and even band title was changed. (to know details see: History of the band Х JAPAN), but the one thing stayed unchanged: Yoshiki, constant leader of the band, leaded it to the high peak of success and when it was reached he managed to hold on.
But it will be later, and in the middle of 80s Yoshiki had to bustle much in order to find studio for recording his songs. But noone wanted to deal with a kind of a band which was out of the all accepted traditions according to every feature. Then in 1986 Yoshiki founded his own record label - Extasy Records. The question is: where did he get money for it? The answer is simple: Hayashi-san for the sake of her favorite son sold all that left from the family business and all gotten money became a starting capital. Released album of indies band was very popular. In 1987 Hayashi gathered the first constant line up under his leadership, and now united group with double force broke through to wished aim.
In 1989 the first stone was laid in the base of band’s future with a great help of CBS/SONY, that got X under their ruling. Yoshiki finally got his own way for his band to get a major status.
Since that Yoshiki’s talent was shining brighter and brighter. Exceptional sensuality of music, brand new depicted visual images and all of this magically draw attention of new and new fans. Hayashi with his untired tending to high peak of music made his band unlike any other band. Rivals couldn’t compete with a new star.
Brand new and unusual Yoshiki’s manner of playing drums made his band almost out of any competition. And Yoshiki plays almost on the strength limit. Once members joked: “If you want to kill Yoshiki, write more fast songs”. Later Yoshiki himself said in interview: “I play on strength limit, I can die anytime, my physical powers are exhausted, but I can’t stop.” It was said when tour began… But these words were fatal. On November 23th, in the middle of Rose & Blood Tour, there must be a performance in Shibuya Kohkaido, but before it Yoshiki was injured seriously and the performance was canceled. This happening caused the panic among the fans but, fortunately, Yoshiki recovered fast and on February 4th 1990 the band continued the tour and even got the prize Dai Yonkai Nihon Gold Disc Taishou Best Artist Shou later.
The most exact comparison with to such unique person as Yoshiki is comparison with energy itself. Yoshiki is inimitable, his talent can be called many-sided. He plays piano, drums, guitar, bass-guitar, also he can conduct the orchestra. Yoshiki is composer, producer and very successful businessman.
Beside this he is very emotional person, feeling hearty everything beautiful, his special gift is possibility to express magic of feelings through the music. It is the thing that makes Yoshiki’s songs inimitable and unique in its own way. Tint of mistery and fascination of uncertainty is always very close to this person. Yoshiki likes to entwined himself with different kinds of secrecy, for example, he often points “x” instead of his real birthdate and he affirms that his blood is amethyst-colored.
Sometimes Yoshiki uses the nickname. In early works there several songs wish were written and composed by a Hitomi Shiratori. But later it became known that this name hided noone but Yoshiki himself. Later he would explain that songs under his own name and under the nickname have different emotional and meaningful aspects and using the nickname let to accent on this difference additionally.
Creativity of Yoshiki is not bound by only band work. Some of his works were made in collaboration with quite world-famous people.
But everything in its time.
In 1990 May Yoshiki together with his friend and vocalist of X Toshi took part in recording of album Shake Hand for band L.O.X..
In 1991 October Yoshiki together with famous Japanese artist Tetsuya Komuro, leader of the band globe, formed a project called V2. On December 5th the band held the only live dedicated to 200 anniversary of Mozart.
It’s necessary to point out that at the same time Yoshiki continued to improve his classical music skills, developing his craft of playing the piano and on December 12th he released album Yoshiki Selection, including classical works performing by himself. The music was chosen by Yoshiki according his personal tastes.
1999 may be considered the year of birth of one more project that is still worked out. We mean VIOLET UK, the most secret and unclear child of Yoshiki. According to Yoshiki’s words, he doesn’t know how this project can be characterized so in interviews he calls it “amoeba”.
At the same time the band wished to record a new album Jealousy in California and then Yoshiki decided to move into Los Angeles. He bought record label there and built his own house at the coast. Since then Yoshiki has lived in two countries: Japan and USA.
It’s worth saying that Hayashi continued to use visual style and for his solo works.
On June 25th, 1992 photobook Nude was realized and it leaded a scandal not only among his fans. That book contained a set of rather provocative photos, and also there was a big and not less provocative interview. Nude is still demanded by Yoshiki’s fans. Not less popular Starlight Yoshiki which were on sale on October 25th, they are Barby-size dolls imitating a certain prototype (so, it’s Yoshiki) and including three versions: Silver, Amethyst and Purple. Every elegant copy was made according on its own draft, to order, and in individual shapes, used only one time so they are different from each other. Series of the dolls were released in limited output. It’s known that Yoshiki keeps all three dolls by his side. It’s worth saying that there is a real hunt for Starlight Yoshiki dolls. At Internet-auctions lot is given to buyer after long and hardened trading and for the price several times more than starting one.
In 1993 Yoshiki began to produce a singer NOA. Her song IMA WO DAKISHIMETE in classic version became a b-side to single AMETHYST, released on March 11th.
That year also was marked by output of personal series of perfume Larme and by releasing the album Eternal Melody, recorded in collaboration with London Philharmonic Orchestra and produced by George Martin (ex-producer of The Beatles).
In 1994 Hayashi worked with lots of celebrities. He participated in recording tribute album Kiss my ass of KISS band that was released on January 13th. We need to say that KISS played an important part in Yoshiki’s life. It was the band whose music and image made young Hayashi, who was at their Tokyo live, think over the career of musician and rock-artist. Influence of this band, particularly the manner of performing and behaving on the stage, could be clearly seen in X’s early works. So the classical version of song BLACK DIAMOND, ending the album, is a kind of respect to the work of great musicians. Later, when Yoshiki met with members of KISS, he said that that song is very important for him because it was the song that impressed him mostly.
Another world celebrity whom Yoshiki was lucky to work with was famous drummer and member of band QueenRoger Taylor. They wrote a song Foreign Sand and re-made song Final Destination that became a b-side for single Foreign Sand released on June 1st, 1994.
The same year Yoshiki became to produce Glay.
In 1995 Yoshiki drowned in work on new album of Х JAPAN and there was a break in his solo work. The end of the year was pointed out by great event. Yoshiki radically changed his image: he cut of his splendid hair and on November 26th at one of the TV programs he appeared in front of the fans with different more man-like and less provocative image.
March 1996 brought serious problems: on 13th Dahlia Tour was stopped because of Yoshiki’s illness. He was hospitalized during the concert in Nagoya. The fans were announced that Yoshiki stretched his back muscles out and the band hardly finished the concert. Next day shooting of TV show Music Station on 15th of March was canceled. On 15th they announced that the band wouldn’t participate in POP JAM on 18th and Nagoya concert was postponed to 30th, but later it was canceled as well. On March 19th at press-conference the band announced that tour would be stopped for uncertain period of time and that all the money paid for five concert (they were totally sold out) would be returned.
Later there was a statement about Yoshiki’s health: strangulation of intervertebral disk hernia, the result of old traumas.
Almost a year Yoshiki had been recovering after trauma, but on November 4th he presented his new album Yoshiki Selection II. He was able to play drums again only on December 31st at the final concert of the tour. It’s worth saying that doctors prohibited him to play without neck corsage fixing injured spin.
On August 1997 Yoshiki began to produce a singer Hideki Saidjo.
But the trauma was the first in the line of sad events. On September 22d 1997 at official press conference Yoshiki announced about X JAPAN dissolving because of Toshi’s leaving.
That event together with tragic death on May 2d 1998 of his close friend and ex-lead guitarist hide got him into frustration. He’s so emotional person so it was hard for him to survive such a sad event. According to his words he still can’t completely recover from this loss.
To get rid of painful memories Yoshiki moved to Los Angeles, in his new house built on northern part of Beverly Hills in Enchino district and also the main office of Extasy Records was moved into LA. Since then Japan was associated with pain and tragedy.
To avoid sad thoughts Yoshiki drowned in work and in June he started producing new singer Shoko Kitano. But it didn’t help and Yoshiki was getting into depression more and more. He couldn’t take part in tribute concert dedicated to hide and later he announced that he left the stage. Since then Yoshiki didn’t play drums, didn’t compose music for himself and didn’t performed in front of public. He was only a producer and businessman, stage was not for him.
The long period of his voluntary isolation began, but sometimes some really persistent journalists could reach him and interview him, but Yoshiki didn’t give up: he wouldn’t return to the stage despite the wishes of fans.
In October Yoshiki presented a song Sane composed under VIOLET UK project for the In God's Hands movie directed by Zalman King. But to tell the truth music is sounded only for a few seconds there.
After that Yoshiki disappeared from public for the whole year.
In 1999 he became a producer for the beginning (very popular now) band Dir en Grey, and November 12th he suddenly appeared at the celebration of Emperor Akihito’s 10th anniversary of reign that was held in front of Imperial palace. Yoshiki was honored to compose a song Anniversary and then to perform it accompanied by symphonic orchestra in front of Imperial spouses. That melody was so liked by Emperor that later He wrote tanka about it.
Later Yoshiki said in one of his interviews that he wanted to refuse from participating in this event but he had doubts that his decision was right so he asked his mother for advice. Hayashi-san assured her son that this event is really important and necessary. Thanks to her Yoshiki appeared in public at first time after long isolation.
It’s worth pointing out that Yoshiki was honored to be invited by Emperor and Empress. For that time it was a hanami celebration (holiday of enjoying the sakura in bloom) on April 24th 2000 in Akasaka palace. Yoshiki together with his mother and accompanied by prime-minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi had an audience of Emperor and Empress. To that celebration about 2600 outstanding people of Japan were invited.
The special attention must be paid to Koizumi. Not every star can say that his friend and great fan of music is prime-minister of Japan (now ex-prime-minister). Hayashi can say this.
2000 was a crucial moment in Yoshiki’s life. Appeared in public he understood that he was still loved and waited for, his music still touched the hearts of listeners as it was before.
Very carefully Yoshiki began to prepare the base for his return.
In summer on TV advertisement with Yoshiki and music of VIOLET UK at the backsound for line of 24-hour stores 7-11 appeared.
On July 7th site www.yoshiki.net started its work and on that day 5000 people were registered there.
In July 2001 at the press-conference Yoshiki presented a song I'll be your love that would become the official theme song for opening ceremony Aichi Expo 2005 and also he presented a singer Dahlia who would sing the song.
In August 2002 mobile page Yoshiki Mobile was started. It was done to make it more convenient for Japanese fans because most of them use cell-phones to connect the Internet.
In September of the same year it became known that Yoshiki was invited by Tetsuya Komuro to join the band globe. But after releasing several CDs Yoshiki left the band what make glad all old fans of the globe because line-up of the band wasn’t changed at all since band was formed. In November ex-member Yoshiki was invited to wedding of Tetsuya and Keiko (the female vocalist of globe). At the ceremony he performed the piano version of song Seize the Light to just-married.
At the same time on site PARCO two humoristic ads videos with Hayashi appeared.
On December 3d, 2002 Yoshiki returned on the stage after five-years break. Two days show got the name Symphonic Concert and it was held in Tokyo City Philharmonic but in sense it was long-waited debut of VIOLET UK.
Now Hayashi not so often as it may be wanted but appears in public and takes part in different TV and radio-shows.
In 2004 Yoshiki drowned in work. He continued to produce and also he recorded and edited the song for his new album Eternal Melody II. Album was released on March 23th, 2005 after 12 years after first Eternal Melody release.
On March 24th Yoshiki conduct the international orchestra which played I'll Be Your Love at the opening ceremony of World EXPO 2005. At the ceremony Imperial spouses were.
On March 30th album Love the Earth was released, it was dedicated to World EXPO. The song I'll Be Your Love was sung by vocalist of VIOLET UK Nicole Scherzinger.
On April 23th Yoshiki started his own blog at MySpace.com where he communicate with his fans from all over the world. The next official blog of VIOLET UK was opened.In June 2006 Yoshiki announced in his blog that he would be as a VIP guest at Otakon'06 in Baltiomor on August 6th.
At the official press-conference on August 6th for the question regarding his work plans Yoshiki carefully hinted that he was involved in project, on which he worked together with Gackt. As the result by May 25th 2005 it would become known that Hayashi started new project called S.K.I.N.. This new band involved famous musicians: Gackt, SUGIZO, Miyavi. Debut concert was held on June 29th 2007, the band played the live at Anime Expo'07 at Long Beach Arena.
This project is closely related to another child of Yoshiki - Jrock Revolution. Information about it appeared on April 12th 2007 on Yoshiki’s blog. The aim of this project is to introduce world publicity with such a kind of music as Japanese rock and such a phenomena as visual kei. The first festival of JRR was held on May 25th and 26th in Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, where popular visual bands performed in front of American listeners. This event was extremely successful.
Returning back to 2006 – on September 17th Yoshiki announced on his blog that he worked on soundtrack for new Hollywood movie. Later, it became known that he wrote Blue Butterfly song for Сatacombs movie. It was released under VIOLET UK name. The second premiere took place in Japan on October 6th 2007.
On June 25th 2007 at the official site of JAPAN EXPO 2007 (festival was held in Paris) there was an announcement that Yoshiki would be present at this event. On July 8th he conducted an official press-conference and also autograph session.
To be continued…
| Категория: General information | Translated by Sonette | 2008.03.22
| Author: His Majesty Queen
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