by californialiving
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English translation of YOSHIKI’s interview at JAPAN EXPO 2007

Orient-Extrême : First, about your career. I would say there are two main periods in X Japan : the "aggressive rock" era of the 80’s, with Blue Blood and Vanishing Vision ; and the more "romantic" era, initiated by Jealousy. To you, does one of these two eras represents more X Japan than the other ?
YOSHIKI : This is an interesting question. I don’t really know. But I think both of them equally represent X Japan.

Orient-Extrême : I was hoping to get a clue about the future reunification of X Japan… Do you already know if the new X Japan will be something like your early work, or like… Forever Love, for example ?
YOSHIKI : Well, I haven’t completely decided yet, but I’ve been thinking about it for the past several months, because last year, my old vocalist, Toshi, contacted me. But I’m not really gonna try to resurrect the old X Japan; if I do it, it could be for just one tour, or something like this. I just wanna put a period on the X Japan era ; because, after Toshi left X Japan, hide and I were supposed to reform. When he died, he left me out dry, so I haven’t really put a period to it. To move on. I don’t know if it’s good, or bad, I just want to "do something". So if I do it, it may just be X Japan’s old song… there’s actually one song I wrote after hide died… so there could be one new song.

Orient-Extrême : So you don’t have particular ambitions about that reunification that actually won’t be a real one ?
YOSHIKI : I don’t know. It’s too painful. I mean : there’s no way to resurrect X Japan. Without hide, there’s no X Japan. I just want to properly finish X Japan, for him, but also for myself… because I just couldn’t move on, during the past ten years.

Orient-Extrême : About the future, on inevitable question : is there a precise final date for this so-called Violet UK album we’ve been waiting since 2002 ?
YOSHIKI : Yeah… it may sound too perfectionist. I’ve been recording and recording… and I believe now that it’s almost done. I’m just waiting for a good timing, to release it. So it’s pretty much done, I’ll finally be able to deliver it to people.

Orient-Extrême : We’re waiting for it. What about KIN ? There’s been the first member’s meeting in March, in Los Angeles. Did both of you immediately have the same way of thinking SKIN’s music ?
YOSHIKI : Well… before we moved forward, I kind of told them that I wanted something hard. You know… I don’t want anything pop in this band. So it WILL be hard. Still, it doesn’t mean we won’t make any ballad, it just won’t be pop. So yes, there was a common idea.

Orient-Extrême : SKIN lacked a bassist. Ju-ken, who’s usually one of Gackt musicians, played as a replacement during your first live. Is he going to be the one, or will there soon be another change ?
YOSHIKI : I don’t know yet. At that time, of course, we didn’t have a bass player, so we asked him to play. But we haven’t decided anything. But this is a possibility… We just don’t know yet. It’s not like we’re keeping everything secret, you know ! We REALLY don’t know yet.

Orient-Extrême : SKIN is a band which has international ambitions. Is it going to be exported in Europe ? Do you plan tours or CD releases in Europe ?
YOSHIKI : Oh, I hope so. I’d love to. Probably.

Orient-Extrême : Nothing planned, so far?
YOSHIKI : We’re gonna start planning very, very soon. Until now, we were just trying to finish that show, about last week or so; so we were just focusing on it, and were not thinking about anything else.

Orient-Extrême : By the way, what about this show? What did you think of it?
YOSHIKI : I think it was great. I mean : as a band, I really think it was ok. Of course, we could have performed better, but fans were just awesome, they supported us so much…

Orient-Extrême : Yet another project for you, since you’ve been entrusted with making original soundtrack of the new animated series The Rose of Versailles. How’s it going? Since the directors let you do whatever you want, where did you start from, to make that OST ?
YOSHIKI : At that time, there were just using whatever I released, classic albums, whatever I composed. Here, it’s kind of difficult, because they don’t say anything. They just said : "do whatever you want". So I say "ok!" [laughs]. I don‘t know. We’ll see.

Orient-Extrême : Let’s just go back in time. A personal question, about one of your most popular singles, Tears. It seems there are two versions of the song : in the first one, Toshi talks with a low voice, during the last minutes. In the second, his voice disappeared. Is there an explanation ?
YOSHIKI : Well, actually, I was the one talking (smiles). I was my voice.

Orient-Extrême (imitating seppuku) : O-o-okay… Then why is there another version ?
YOSHIKI : I don’t know. Usually I like to make different versions when I compose a song. But about that one, the version in which I talk was a little bit too personal… because I’m talking to my father, who’s just died at that time.

Orient-Extrême : Knowing that, one can understand why the “talking” version is simply the best. What kind of feelings helps you writing, if there are specific ones ? More positive feelings, or more negative feelings ?
YOSHIKI : I sure think about death, a lot. But it doesn’t mean I always think negatively : when I write a song, I’m gonna think about death, THEN I’m gonna think about life, the one we’re living, and I try to think about positive things. But in the end, everything comes from death, pretty much. And I’m gonna write songs till I die. So sure, pain helps me writing. If I can’t write, or can’t perform, certainly I’m not alive. Because everything I want is in music.

Orient-Extrême : About life. Recently, you’ve kinda launched out into medical research, with experienced people’s collaboration, focusing on general music effects on human brain. You even played piano in front of mentally disease people. Are you still into it ? Why those researches did interest you in the first place ?
YOSHIKI : One of my family members had a heart disease; she had to go through an operation, and at that time, during the surgery, doctors played my classical music. The operation was successful. So I went to see them, and asked "why ?" They told me that first, it helped everyone relax during the operation, and it also has effects on patient. I found that very interesting. I started talking about that around me, then met musical therapists, who help disable people, or mentally ill people… and while doing my researches, I realized than music DOES have some effects. So right now, I’m still experimenting. But before I die, make it five years or ten years, I’m gonna try to create a music or sounds that may affect brain to just heal some diseases.

Orient-Extrême : One last thing : I read on Toshi’s website that when both of you were recording Without you, you said "One song tells much more than million words".
YOSHIKI : Yes. Toshi and I met in Los Angeles in March. That was actually the second time we met face to face after hide’s death. And when he arrived, he just started talking about a lot of things, I don’t remember what, I just couldn’t concentrate. He kept talking and talking, and then I told him : "Do you know what ? I don’t understand what you’re talking about". So he said "ok, then, let’s do one song". When he started singing and I started playing piano, I don’t know, I felt we were connected. Music can do something, more than words. It’s so hard to be connected just through words; music is the only way Toshi and I can be. Which means we still haven’t found the way out, and are still trying to figure it out. Because, our lives have always been so different… even before X Japan’s disband. But once he singed and I played, everything was okay. What’s what he meant, I think.

Orient-Extrême: Thank you so much for your answers, and just… please, keep doing music forever.
YOSHIKI : I will.
by californialiving | 2007-07-25 07:58 | YOSHIKI