Translator: Juria

‘A to Z’

AMBITIOUS
Boys be ambitious… ‘Boys be ambitious’*, is that right? When I was a child, I wanted to be a pianist, I wanted to be a rock star.
The energy to accomplish this aspiration is, of course, from the words of encouragement of each and every friend and fan.
The path to realization is a hard one, but an ambition is not something you should give up. I really like this quote.
It gives the feeling of, ‘you can do anything if you try’.
Everyone thinks that many things are impossible, that they can’t do these things. But I think it’s not just like that. If you try your best, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.
You know, before you give up doing something you think you can’t do, you have to try doing it. If you think “I’ll fly”, then try to fly. Make it your manifesto(laughs).
I read a poem of Richard Bach, and it said, “People can become birds. But, they don’t try. “** In other words, it means that even though we have the strength to fly, we think we can’t and we don’t try to. These words are very moving for me. When I read this poem, about a year ago, I felt like “This is it”, I could sympathize. I think there are many people who, even if they think “I’ll do this”, somewhere along the way they think “I can’t do this, can I?” and then they’re not able to take any more steps forward.
So, if you happen to feel like this, please remember these words. Me too, if I think that way, I will remember these words and encourage myself.
[* He says the quote in english and then in japanese.]
[** I am not familiar with this quote. I tried to look it up online for the original english but nothing came up. ]

BABY
Baby, huh… The time when I was a baby. I was weak, and was always suffering of asthma and catching colds. I was hospitalized all the time. Even after growing up, I am indebted to the help of the hospital, because I was always getting run over by cars and bikes. It’s true, I was always going to the hospital. Even today that hasn’t changed. Getting injured and getting all kinds of sickness. Appendicitis, abdominal hernia… I have 2 scars of these, and I’ve spotted them on the pictures of this issue of SHOXX(laughs).
Hm, baby… When I was a baby, I really don’t remember many things from that time. If we are to speak of consciousness, I just remember about being at the hospital a lot.

Now, I like babies and kids. Yeah, basically, I like them, however.., however, if I am around children I will become irritated easily. If they hit me or something, I’ll say “Ah, that hurts, you…!”(laughs). I think I’m hopeless with them. Even though I think I’m acting from a higher level, before I know it, we’re the same level. At the beginning, I think “Sure, I’ll play with you” but gradually I start to regret playing with them. It turns out like that. And if I get in a fight with a kid, I’ll get angry and leave. I wonder if my mental age is that of a child(laughs).

My own child? That’s scary. I can’t imagine. They would be uncontrollable. Because my mother couldn’t control me when I was a kid. Because I had fragile health, if I went outside surely I would get myself in trouble. Even nowadays, nothing has changed(laughs). I don’t dislike kids, but they scare me. But, I don’t like annoying brats. Because I will pick a fight with them.

CRASH
This is a good one. It’s a really precise theme for me. I love destruction. Now and in the past too. I want to live destroying things, crash & destroy, everything.
Lately, I think I broke all of my drum set on stage. Well, but it’s not that I break it on all the live dates. One day at Yokohama Arena, I didn’t use all my strength to break it. It’s not a thing that I should break all the time either, so if I don’t want to break it, I won’t. So, there are times during a live when it doesn’t happen. But, breaking things because it’s my ‘duty’ to, I dislike that idea. In truth, it’s not only the drums, but I’d like to break the piano and the guitars and everything.
Things that I don’t want to break… I don’t think there is one. Human relationships… Hm… I don’t know. It’s like that line from ‘Say Anything’, “Destroy, anything and everything”.

But, basically, I am a pacifist. It sounds like a contradiction. But in my mind, nothing is in order, everything is chaos. Talking like this makes it seem like I’m only being contradictory. “Aah, I don’t know any more. Yeah, I’ll just break everything!”, it’s like that(laughs). There are many things that I think that can be ‘breakable’, like, if I have a machine before me, involuntarily I will break it. That is why, of course, this word is so appealing to me(laughs).

DEYAMA TOSHIZO*
His name in japanese, out of the blue(laughs)? Of course, I think he is a wonderful singer. And a very kind person too. He’s 180 degrees different from me, but he’s a guy who is determined to do what he sets his mind upon. I think that’s why we’ve been doing this together for a long time now. It is a fatal connection, we are inseparable.
(“Now that you say it, isn’t next year going to be 10 years since you started the band?” the author asks.)
Ah, yes it is. Next year will be 10 years. So, what should I do, I wonder. A concert party celebrating 10 years maybe… Yeah, both of us should do it(laughs). I’ll decide if there will be a concert.
Before X, when we were together, Toshi was always a good person. Occasionally, he goes wild(laughs). But, privately, I don’t know well. Because he always disappears without a trace. I always go drinking with the other members, but him, I never know what he’s doing usually. His behavior is of a mysterious person. He doesn’t really go to our after-parties either because during a tour, he doesn’t drink. But, I respect him a lot(laughs). We’re beyond close friends. But, I don’t really know his personality. He’s a mysterious but good at singing chinese** guy, let’s leave it like that(laughs).
[ * It is rare to see this, but Toshi is also sometimes called Toshizo. In this magazine his name appears as Toshizo. In fact, Toshizo is one of the ways to read the characters of his name, Toshimitsu.]
[ ** ?]

EXTASY
Managing it is a great effort. It’s hard, but I need to do it. “Do your best, Extasy! Let’s break through major record companies!” I wonder if I can say that(laughs).
Extasy Summit’s next objective? I’ve heard some rumors about Tokyo Dome… Ah, I was there. Well, we’ll do Tokyo Dome! That is, in our case, speaking of a concert, it is decided(laughs).
My friends from Extasy, they’re all very good friends. But on the opposite, thinking about it in a way, I don’t know(laughs). Everyone is very genuine. Each and every person is amazing. I too, have a lot of respect for them. It can be very agitated. Many of them are very extreme, but I think they are really wonderful. Yeah, I’m not very far behind.
When I founded Extasy, of course I wanted it to grow, but honestly, I didn’t expect it to be this big. Somehow, it all just happened while I was working on it. People started to gather. It’s a strange thing. Even hide once said, “People have a tendency to gather around Yoshiki“. Even though I agree with that, I really don’t know why it’s like that. Why?

FRIEND
Since the old days, I’m the type to have many friends. They are very important to me. To me it seems that there is a thin line between friendship and love.
There’s been a lot of times when I just thought “what a lovely person” and then became friends with them. I want to be on good terms with all of the people I know.
For example, in the case of Extasy, I’m always saying to them, “If something happens, you can talk to me”. Well, I also say that to other people who are not of Extasy.
Something that’s written a lot is “Friendship between men is important”, but usually it turns out that way. I’m not going out of my way to make friends.
There’s been a lot of times when the people of Extasy helped me with things, so that’s why, if I can, within my ability, I want to support them.
Therefore, I want to say, without restraints, “make use of me”.
Because, now I’m on such a situation, maybe I will be able to do something that another person might be struggling with.
But it may sound strange to say “make use of me”.
It’s the same thing with girls, the feeling of friendship. Friendship and affection are things that are kind of blurred, though(laughs).
Anyway, I don’t have anyone I hate. I would beat up a person I hated(laughs).
But if we get in a fight, soon we’ll be on good terms again, it happens a lot.
Because if I say to someone I dislike “I hate you”, it’ll surely turn into a fight. So… Yeah, I don’t have anyone I dislike.

GOD
It’s not like I don’t believe in god(s), but to me it’s indifferent. Because I don’t like to depend on others. First of all I think that I always have to try to do everything on my own. I really don’t like to ask for favors. For example if a person asks a favor, and something really good happens, they won’t be separated from religion in their lifetime. As for myself, I don’t ask others anything… And then, if they run away, it’s bad. Well, there may be people who need religion, but to me, I don’t think it’s necessary. It has no relation to me. I don’t think religion is a bad thing, but I feel that I just have to do things on my own. Well, to rely on god(s)… I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much frustration enough to. Maybe I have felt frustrated, but, first, it’s because I think I can’t stand up again. Maybe it’s because I’m strong. Hm… Strong, weak, I don’t know(laughs).

Life after death, I believe in it. I’ve read books about it, I’m interested. If there is one, I think it is like a dream.
Generally, I believe in supernatural phenomenons. Aliens and UFOs too. But I’m not the type to be too obsessed with that.
I think aliens should visit Planet Earth soon. I’d like to meet them.
I have romantic ideas of these things, I’m not really afraid of these ideas.
“Would aliens want to be my friends?” or “If I died now, what would happen of the feelings I have about here?” and such.
Eventually, I’ll die, it’s something I don’t know. Yeah, when I die I’ll know if there is a world after death(laughs).
But, it’s interesting. Everyone seeks romantic ideas.
I am a disorganized reader, I’ll read anything. Just… Lately I haven’t been reading. I’m busy studying english. So, recently, I read the short story book “Illusion” in english. And Japan Times, I’m reading it with all my efforts. And even though I’m reading these with all my might, books just don’t seem to make time pass.

Speaking of god(s), for some reason I am reminded of Gotou-san(X video director). Gotou-san, please let me eat more good food(laughs)! Eh? I don’t live in luxury. In relation to food, I’m only being honest. For example, I’ve argued so much with hide-chan because of food, but I think everyone has been fooled at a point because of the atmosphere of a place. Like when you go to a sashimi restaurant, and there’s fish swimming in an aquarium, and everything looks expensive and everyone has the impression it will be good. But, wherever you go, if it’s not good, then it’s not good! When you go to a place that looks pretty and there’s a whole situation arranged, you’ll think that the food has to be good. I’m very picky, so I like relatively simple foods. Tofu, cold tofu… By nature, I like japanese food. So, I think, in relation to food, things like the price, ambiance etc can’t be deceiving(laughs)…

HIDE
Hide-chan? Our food fights are temporarily settled now. But I don’t understand hide-chan’s taste(laughs).
Ah, see, I’m starting the debate again(laughs). If someone tells hide-chan something tastes good, he’ll think it does.
You can say, “See that restaurant, it’s a good place.” and before he eats there he’ll keep in mind that it’s a good place. That’s convenient(laughs).
Because of the atmosphere and appearance, he’ll be like “Is this good?”, and when you answer, “it may be good.”, he’ll say, “It’s good then!”(laughs). He’s such a child(laughs).

I respect him very much. When it comes to food he’s childish but that’s another side(laughs).
Of course he always has so many ideas. He thinks too much about things like strategies for the band. He’s very serious about it.
Artistically, musically, he has idea after idea, so many of them.
Well, he’s a reptile-like person. Our reptile. Toshi is our ‘normal person’, Pata is the damn old man(laughs). Taiji, I wonder what he could be.
In the past he was our ‘wild kid’, but now that doesn’t fit him.
Toshi says he’s our ‘Tattoo guy’ but I wouldn’t really say this. Well, about me? Eventually the others will say.

Hide-chan is an amazingly kind person who supports the band a lot.
I admire it all, but then there are the love life theories(laughs)… There’s rumors for me, Toshi, Hide and Taiji… Ah, speaking of it, Pata seems to be the only one who hasn’t(laughs). With the exception of Pata, there’s love life theories for everyone(laughs)… I wonder if there weren’t any until now. But, as for me, I’m on the ‘I don’t care’ side, and our friendship isn’t about silly things like that, you know.
But I think hide-chan is surely a wonderful person.
Except for his sense of taste… Yeah(laughs).

INDIES
It hasn’t much power nowadays. The indies record companies are making everyone go major, and I wonder if that is good. For some time, I have the feeling that many companies want to make their bands like in major companies. But even so, it doesn’t mean that the best thing is to go major. Indies does not mean you have to do something you can’t in a major company. If you don’t become a member of a recording company, you are excluded from various restrictions. I think there are many things that an indies band can do, only imitating a major company is a bad thing.
But in relation to indies bands, I think they do have power, because I think they can do so many things. I think I don’t have an interest in major companies. There are bands who have, but I think you don’t need to work in the exact same way as this or that band. I’m not saying to only pursue individuality… Just saying that of so many bands I know, many of them are great, but as a whole, they lack power. I think, “If you did it in a more mixed‐up way, that would be all you needed!”(laughs). But maybe I wouldn’t like to be told that. To say there isn’t enough power would only be troublesome to them… But yeah, write it…

Maybe I should go back to being an indies band, because there are many things I can’t do, there are many limitations in being a major band.
I think the band boom thing isn’t close to an end yet. The thing is that, major companies have started it on their own, and will end it on their own.
When the boom is over, those who like doing music will continue doing music. I don’t think we should be concerned about this. Those who are in indies bands, not having the energy to refuse big fundings is bad enough. Because selling out for big funds isn’t really an indies thing. Big funds and media…
Those in indies bands, who are working hard, with all of their might, should think well. There are so many people who I would say “I really don’t want to tell you this…”(laughs). I mean, if there were many people who would use this as a incentive, like “huh, what are you saying?”, I would be happy.

JUSTICE
In a way or other. I think there is a sense of justice. Basically, when I was a kid I used to help the other kids who were bullied, But, I like to break things, destruction. So, it’s troubling to speak of a sense of justice. But, if I get into a fight, very few times it is because I started it. While it starts and while it ends, when I least expect it, the fight ends and I’m terribly angry(laughs). Yeah. that happens. Getting into a fight to stop it and before you know it’s over. But you know, usually I’ll be on good terms with the person after, this happens a lot. It’s fairly difficult. I used to go pick fights with those who were much more stronger and bigger than me. Because they thought they would win, they didn’t fight with me. And there’s been a lot of times where I thought I’d lose or just be badly beat up too. But, if that is justice or not, I don’t know well.

KISS
Eh, what? Is it ‘first kiss’?
But, this is not a women’s gossip magazine… Hm, first kiss then…
(Without the interviewer saying anything, Yoshiki thought and decided by himself that the theme was ‘first kiss’)
Eh? Isn’t anyone going to say anything? Oh no… This is strange. I’m already an adult, I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about this kind of thing, yeah. (Yoshiki gets embarrassed just by himself.)
Kudou-san(staff), bring me a beer.
Kissss~? I don’t know! I’m not a middle school student anymore, so I have to do this decently.
Kudou-san, bring the cigarettes!
(He undresses and wipes off sweat.)
This doesn’t mean I am uninterested… Well, first kiss… Ehh, I don’t remember!
But it was when I was in middle school. Hahaha… Isn’t that cool.
There’s no alcohol here, so I can’t talk. Hahaha….
(Yoshiki laughs until he is in tears. Our interviewer asks “You had to do it on TV too, what are you getting shy about?”)
Ah, yeah, yeah. I did it on TV too. But even there, I felt so much anxiety. All of the staff were waiting for some good acting and a lot of press people were there. It wasn’t the time to do it. It was also a discourtesy to the lady. But, in my thoughts, I was so nervous that I thought my heart was going to explode. If there was a hole in the ground, surely I would hide myself down there.
The time I had to show up nude too, I thought I was going to die because I was so nervous. I was preparing myself, alone at the dressing room, when the staff called “Yocchan, can you do it?” and I said “I can do it, but should I really appear like this?”.
Do you want to think a little?” they asked, but the set was ready, and everyone was thinking that I was going to do it, so I said “I have no choice but to do it!”. That was a fast switchover.
But, basically, I’m a shy person. Everyone says that I am ‘ultra shy’. Even though I’m ultra shy, if there’s a chance to leave me alone I will soon find some confidence. But, by nature I am a very shy person… That’s why I’m terrible at answering questions like this(laughs).

LIE
I think people can’t live without lying.
I don’t think, up to this moment, that there hasn’t been a single person who could live without telling a single lie.
We can not want to lie, and when our lies hurt someone, we can say that we lied.
Because we are human, there are times when we don’t want to say the truth.
Lying, I think it’s something we all do at a point. But, lies that hurt another person are, of course, not good.
If it’s to tell a funny story, a joke, then that’s something I like to do… This is hard, yeah.
I think maybe there’s also the kind of lie like, ”Even if it’s a lie, I want you to tell me you love me”.
“I want you to deceive me, with pretty lies” and such. That might become part of some lyrics, yeah.
On “Say Anything” there’s some lyrics like that. Sometimes I’d like to tell some beautiful lies. Beautiful lies… It’s something hard to define.
If I was told a lie, If I was deceived, I’d think “This is just human nature”.
I hate the word ‘deceive’, ‘to be deceived’, it just has a bad sound to me.
I wonder if not tellings lies and only speaking the truth is the correct way to live…
By all means, I wonder how it would be to just speak honestly.
But if I prohibited myself to lie, I have the feeling I would do anything to not lie at all.

MARRIAGE
Hm, I’d like to try it.
(“Eh, you do? Before you said you didn’t want to.” inquires our interviewer.)
My feelings about it changed. But whoever I’d get married to wouldn’t be happy.
Maybe, there isn’t a person I love more than I love music.
Absolutely, music is the first thing in my mind.
Even if there was a person… I wonder how it would be. I don’t really care about how the wedding would be.
Lately, reading magazines, there’s so much of ”Meet someone, go on a date, get married.
Everyone is so obsessed with formality.
Above these things, the most important of them, is to love each other, I think.
Because, things like wedding ceremony and wedding reception are what come to mind. Moreover, divorcing, it’s something that should be thought of before you get married.
Anyway, the most important thing is mutual love.

The ideal woman… I haven’t thought much about this.
Basically, I am the type to care about another person. So, they must have a honest, open heart.
But, If I say, “I want to compose new songs, so don’t contact me for 6 months”.
I don’t think a woman who agrees with that exists.
Maybe I am really the type who isn’t good enough to get married…
But, if I started to think, “I’d like to”, I have the feeling it is because I’m being honest to myself.

NOW
I don’t watch TV. Therefore, there’s so many things I don;t know. I am concerned about environmental destruction, wars and such. I say I like destruction but I don’t like things that hurt people. I think “Why is everyone arguing” when there are these situation, but I just can’t speak carelessly. I just think to myself, by myself what might be going wrong. “All things are going toward ruin”, that’s a Nostradamus thing, isn’t it. I don’t think there is something that can last forever but I think if there was something that lasted forever, it would be very miserable. But maybe our spirit is what can’t be destructed.
For example, I wonder if everyone was told they had more 300 years to live, would they really be happy? I think we’re content to have a fixed cycle of life until death. I’ve read many books about this subject. Like, in the future, when people don’t have their physical body anymore, but only their spirit remains… And such, yeah. To break something forcibly, maybe it’s a bad idea, but what breaks should be broken, I think.
If I was told I had more 100 years to live, I wouldn’t be happy, at all.
There are many poems that express the idea of turning back time. But I don’t feel that sort of desire.
To truly return… Yeah. I don’t even like to think about it very much.

OBSESSION
Wild fantasies, they’re wonderful things.
If the ‘you’ of reality is the true you, or if the ‘you’ of your imagination is the true you…
Generally, it’s said that the ‘you’ of reality is the real you but, I don’t know for sure if that’s really it.
Maybe some of us are living only inside their imagination. “Living only inside my dreams”, right. That may be my dream.
Paranoia, that’s somewhat a scary thing. I don’t like to think about it.
If I’d get paranoid, I think I would try to make sure that my worries were real.
But, beautiful wild fantasies, we should gradually try to depict them.
I think it’s a good thing to have some fantasies, living in this world.

PATA
Actually, he is a person who is very similar to me.
We often go drink together and our conversation often turns into “We’re so much alike, aren’t we.”.
I think once Pata said, “Yoshiki is the leader, then I can play guitar”.
He’s a lazy person but also a deep person. Even though he’s a lazy person, when it’s time to do something, he will do it.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing to call him lazy.
I think now is a time to make a name for him(laughs)…
‘Damn old man’…? Anyhow, it’s something like that, yeah(laughs).
But, he is not one to speak very much, but he is very observant.
When I’m having any discussion with him, I notice it. I have the feeling that maybe, he has the intention to be lazy.
The only thing is, I’m worried about him drinking too much. Everyone, please stop sending him drinks, please send to Pata healthier things(laughs).

QUEEN
Such a good band that they were… I mean, Queen itself still exists.
More than just asking why he died, the fact that Freddie Mercury died is a shock.
I used to listen to “On Time” a lot. Just because it was too hard, I didn’t try to play a cover of it. The piano is just so difficult!
I like their music a lot, but I don’t know about how the members were, like I know how KISS members are and such.
But it’s really a sad thing, that he died.
I always thought, that as a band, if they didn’t have that radiance, it wouldn’t be the same thing. Not just in the past.
Meaning that, they were such a great band.
I’ve listened a lot to the new album, “Innuendo”.
Simply put, the news of his death shocked me.
But, that was his life.
May his soul rest in peace.

RADIO
I don’t do it. I dislike it. When I’m on TV, I don’t get nervous, but I get very nervous if I am on radio.
It is hard to show emotional expression on radio, so for me it’s no good.
I think I went once, and then a month before I went with Toshi but I really didn’t say anything.
If I don’t say a few words, I won’t speak at all.
If I don’t say “hello” people will be asking “Were you really there?”(laughs).
I don’t know, but I don’t like it when people only can hear me.
Last time it was to be a dialog with David Bowie, to do such a thing…
During the time of our debut, I went on radio a few times.
But I talk fast, I don’t really talk very well, so it’s no good either.
I also don’t like speaking on the phone.
Because I talk with my body. To just speak with my voice is too hard.
I think text interviews are also very difficult.
For now, I’ll leave this radio business to Toshi.

SECRET
My secrets? There’s so many, I don’t really know(laughs).
For example, in profiles and such I don’t reveal my real name or birth date.
But, that’s because I want people to see the ‘present me’, and because I want people to listen to what I have to say.
The past is the past, it has nothing to do with the present me, it doesn’t interest me either.
My birth date, I don’t like to be told “Happy birthday” and when no one says anything also.
But, I’m happy to have everyone congratulating me, but more than that it is embarrassing for me.

My birth year, I think there are a lot of people who know, and between those who don’t know, there are so many theories it is amusing.
Like, A lot of people say I’m way too old and some say I’m way too young.
As for blood type personality and such, personally, I don’t believe in it, so, whatever.
Of course, there might be some relevance, but, I think it’s impossible to categorize personalities in 4 groups.
In other countries, people seem to believe more in star signs rather than blood type, there’s 12 of them. Well, that’s better.
I don’t like the idea of deciding personality like “Because you have such blood type and such star sign, you will write music like this, you are that type of person”.
Well, speaking on the contrary, I could say that there is a small possibility.
Generally, in a matter of a few days all of the cells in our bodies are completely replaced by new cells.
So that’s why I believe blood type personality and star sign are of no meaning.

And then, there’s my real name. That also, I think it’s trivial.
I say that, because people will say I made it(the name Yoshiki too) up(laughs).
But that’s also indifferent for me.
More than ‘hiding’ it, it’s that I just don’t want to say it.
I think it’s better if it’s not said. That’s all.

TAIJI
He is very much like a lone wolf. He is a very passionate guy and very true to himself. On stage he seems very cool, and to me, I have a feeling of him as very daring, brave. He has also a stylish side, yeah. When he has to do something he is very thorough, and his will-power shows through. As a musician and as a person, I respect him. Even if he went to another band, he is a guy to respect.

UNFORGETTABLE
There’s so many things. When I collapsed on stage, a lot of things from lives, and also frustrations. But, I drag along these frustrations.
I think what is most memorable for me, was Yokohama Arena. Because I was so frustrated. I had so many emotions about that day, that I don’t even know how much time passed. Even on stage, from my drum solo afterwards, I don’t have any recollections.
That day, from the beginning, my condition was very bad, that I thought I wouldn’t be able to play, but after thinking, I decided “I’ll do this only for us and only for our fans”.
However, because I kept thinking that I was in bad condition, I kept playing the drums with more and more strength, until the point I have no recollections. My body remembers so that I could play.
After that I’m not very sure of what happened but I think when I was back at the dressing room, I was screaming and crying.
After, I regained my senses when my doctor* was lightly hitting my face. After that we talked and while my doctor was crying too, they said, “Please, stop it. Let’s go to a hospital” but I was just like “I have to return on stage” and started retouching my make up.
But, I really don’t remember about these strange things well.
While everyone around me was thinking “Yoshiki is out of his mind”, I was taken to an emergency hospital.
At that time, until the next day I really don’t know what happened.
So, honestly, it’s something I don’t want to try to remember, but I just can’t run away from it, so of course it is an unforgettable thing for me.
[* The word is unclear(various meanings) but there is a high chance he is talking about a doctor in this case.]

VACATION
Sometimes I plan on going. Like, going with everyone to the beach.
Before we went to America, I planned for us to go to the beach, but when the day came, to my frustration, I was sick with a cold and only I ended up not going. They all left me behind(laughs).
I want to go scuba diving, I’ve made some plans for that.
I usually think that if I go, my view of the world will expand and surely it will be useful for music, so that’s why I want to do it.
I really love swimming too. And the sea, but well, only I didn’t go. Hide and Toshi went too. What a pity(laughs).
If I have some free time to go on vacation, I’d like to try going for scuba diving and sky diving too.
(“Yoshiki, can I boast a little? I have a scuba diving license.” says our interviewer.)
Eh! Really! That sounds cool… Isn’t it pretty?
Wow, so cool. Ok, I have to get a license too! When I get some time off, I will surely get a license!
It’s just that now my interest in it sparked a flame.
But, before getting my license, somehow I have to get free time for vacation, right. Fuuuh…(sighs).

WAR
I don’t like wars, of course. I said it before (on the NOW word).
I always think, “Why does mankind have the need to hurt each other, even though we’re all the same?”
Mankind should seek with great effort a way to settle down their differences without having to use war, I think.

X
I love it. It’s a good name. I also like the shape of the letter(laughs). At first, when we started out, we hadn’t decided a name for the band. So, at first, we just left it as X. Because it is only one letter, when we went to television shows and such, there was the not yet known possibility of many meanings like “Super X”, “High X” but more and more we became to like the name.
So we thought the current name was good enough. Even now, I still think it’s good(laughs).
But among fans, it seems there are many who associate it with Mathematics lessons, when they see problems like [X+Y], yeah.
It’s a letter that rapidly gets your attention.
Extasy also, the correct way to write it is Ecstasy, but I used the X letter. Even now, to other people, they don’t seem to think that way(laughs). They seem to think it’s unrelated(laughs).

YELLOW
After visiting another country, I have felt very little the concept of belonging to another race. On the other hand I don’t think people spend too much time worrying about this. Actually, even though racial discrimination exists, I believe it has never happened to me yet. But I think I should have pride, I think there are smart japanese people, and their discipline level is high.
Well, I don’t know if this is right, but it seems that foreigners are bad at mathematics. When I go shopping, there are many times, when using money, that I think “Why don’t you know this kind of thing”. Like, subtraction and multiplication. Sometimes there are things that I just can’t believe. Japanese people, for that part, their average discipline on it is to overdo it. Personally, not, but maybe there are greater artists who don’t go through this.
Yeah, there are many great japanese designers and such but typically a lot of people are average. But there are also many people who are great in what they do. I’m not necessarily trying to deprecate myself and make everyone else seem great but it’s just that I want to have pride in myself.

ZERO
Starting from zero… Or rather, I think I started from one. But, if you throw everything away, it will become zero, that’s good. In the past, there’s been times when I received the lowest grade, zero, at school(laughs). I’m sure it was at art class. I think classic literature too. It doesn’t mean it was on purpose, but just that I didn’t study and couldn’t do it. That time, more than being in shock, I just laughed funnily. Classes like literature, if I didn’t study before, I wasn’t able to do anything. Well, after getting a zero point mark, because I didn’t have a job I studied and I think never again I got a failing mark. Even if I just had a look, never again I got to that point, because I would be kicked off of class(laughs). Studying itself, is something I like to do, I’m just very extreme with it. For example, with mathematics I’d get the highest grade, and with literature I’d get the lowest grade. My report card was like that, 5 and 1 only. I remember looking at it and being amazed, thinking “This is kind of a rare thing”(laughs).

Interview

Interview (Excerpt)

Now, in this timing and with this title(“Heading to Destruction”), won’t it make people worried?
What, what, this timing…(laughs)
Aren’t people spreading rumors on their own? Did you hear about anything?

Yes. I’ve heard a lot of rumors.
Since when we were in America people have been saying the band is breaking up.
It’s something that’s around even before we went to America.

X is the kind of band that has a lot of these break up rumors, right?
It’s not just limited to us, but to any band that is successful. I’m already more on the ‘I don’t care’ side.

Have you, yourself heard of these rumors?
Sometimes, yeah. But it’s because this kind of thing is said since the early days of X. People always ask “Are you breaking up?”. So, when the band got bigger, we got more fans and with that, more people to ask it. But, there seem to be people who like spreading this kind of rumor. I don’t worry about it at all, so I just think that they should do what they like and that’s all(laughs).
But since I started the V2 project, these rumors have grown too. It’s something that’s been around for a while but just now the timing was unexpected. And then also, unexpectedly, the title for the Tokyo Dome lives is “Heading towards destruction”, and even though I think it added a kind of weight, it has no relation to anything. There’s no basis for that too. More than saying “Isn’t that band going to break up”, I would rather have people speculate “They might break up” with suspense.

You disappeared for an entire month.
A lot of people misunderstood that, because it doesn’t mean I stopped all activity for the band.
If people who thought I disappeared were wondering what I’m doing… We’re recording.
Now, we’re finishing what will be our next album “Art Of Life”.

Will it be the same way as “Jealousy”?
Same. Just that now, we are working on it in America. How they are going to do it is fine by me, since they’ll do it properly. But some fans don’t understand what this means. When we said on stage “The 5 of us are now unstoppable”, wasn’t that an answer? There is no need for explanations, right? The people who keep thinking we’ll break up, then they are free to make X break up in their minds. That’s what I’m thinking, recently. Now, I’m at a hotel, but right after I came back from LA, the phone in my house was ringing. And it was someone crying on the phone saying “Is the band breaking up?”, saying “Stop it please”.

Huh, who was it on the phone?
A fan. Hearing that, it really hurt me. It even worried me about the band breaking up(laughs).

But, because X has grown to these proportions, the rumors can’t be stopped either, right?
It doesn’t feel to me it’s grown. We haven’t changed from when we started. Conversely, our actions have become bolder and we are much more sharp than in the past, I think. A lot of fear has increased, but a lot of what we feared disappeared. But, to come to where we are now, I don’t think there’s anything left to fear. Anything that should come our way. Whatever!!

Hey, hey. (laughs)
I mean, this is truly the way I feel.

(…)

So, you don’t have a “normal person day to day” kind of life?
Not at all. The closest thing to one is… I’m studying for some tests. Studying a lot.

What are you studying?
English… Piano… And anything else.

Are you taking singing lessons?
That is a secret(laughs).

A secret?
Ah, but, it’s ok if you publish it. (laughs) Recently… I’m not attending. That was only for the beginning.
When we record, I’m constantly in supervision of the vocal recording.
When Toshi lost his voice, that was something that looked really painful for me.
It was something that I had to know how hard it was, so we went to doctor’s place.
There, his voice began to return unexpectedly.
Well, it doesn’t mean that I want to sing(laughs).

At the Nissin Power Station, you said “I’m hopeless”.
I’m hopeless(laughs).

Really?
It’s the truth(laughs).

But when you did it, you seemed like you could sing. Even after saying you are hopeless, people didn’t believe you, right?
I don’t believe in hundreds of people. Even I, myself don’t know.
Any way, I won’t sing.
I’ll leave this singing business to Toshi!

Earlier you said about studying like studying for a test. Does that mean you have a time limit?
No, that’s not what I meant. Just that I wanted to study. It makes me calm.
If there are many subject in a fast tempo, I can learn them on my own better.
If I have the chance to take 1 year of free time, I’d like to go to university. If I could, I would study abroad.

That is, to study music?
Yes. If somehow X reached a point to take a break, I would really like to go to university.
Then, Now… Ah, I better stop here.

What, you stopped mid-sentence(laughs).
Well, truth is, this year I decided to take the first level of eiken*. So, I’m studying desperately.
But saying that, I don’t have any time to study other than when I’m on car, going to a place from other…
Ah, I said it. That was meant to be a secret(laughs).
[* english proficiency test. usually, first stage is a written test, second stage is a spoken test.]

Like always, the super busy Yoshiki(laughs).
But when I’m studying, it makes me calmer than when I have nothing to do.

(…)

Because you are busy recently, isn’t it that you don’t have time to compose?
Basically, I write a song once in an year.
And, I’m always writing here and there.
There’s always the time when I’m composing, as I have the piano in the hotel.
When recording, if I gather all the songs I have, it means that I’m composing constantly.

Piano in a hotel? Are you without a home now?
Yes. I quit living at the place I was before, so now I’m living hotel to hotel…

Doesn’t that put an extra emotional weight on you?
Yes, maybe it does.
Because it’s a hotel after all. Different from my house.
Maybe I can’t feel truly at ease.

What about food?
Basically, I only eat at outside places.
But, since it’s extravagant, it’s all right(laughs).
I’m… annoying when the subject is food(laughs).

I know. At the dressing room at Nissin Power Station, I saw your food.
There were around 10 plates on the table, and they were of western food, japanese food, chinese food, noodles, various kinds.

Yes, yes. I eat in quantity too.
I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and also eat between.
I eat a lot, but that’s since a long time ago.

What do you eat between meals?
Chocolate… I’ve asked before “Don’t give me chocolate”. Because I really love it.
When I was a child, I ate too much chocolate and I had to be taken away in an ambulance(laughs).
I love it to that extent, but truth is, I can’t eat it because of doctor’s order.
It’s no good, when I start eating chocolate, I can’t stop.
And when I eat it, my skin suffers too(laughs). I do what I can to not eat it.

I don’t think chocolate suits your image(laughs).
It does… There’s been times when we’re on tour and I go out and buy a lot of chocolate.
And then everyone says “Why didn’t you buy it before the tour?” and then I explain that “Ah, but you know, this brand…”(laughs).
So now, I say to staff and fans “Don’t have chocolate in front of me please” (while saying that, Yoshiki reached for a Kit Kat on the table).

You say that but aren’t you eating one now? (laughs)
A Kit Kat is ok. Because there’s fewer chocolate parts.
I can eat this and Pocky*.
But, if I don’t notice it (piling up the Kit Kats like a mountain), I can eat all of them, it’s dangerous.
After I finish eating them all, I get very regretful.
[* a kind of sweet snack]

So, your book comes out before Valentine’s Day, so you did write about that.
I’m begging.
”I won’t accept chocolate. Yoshiki.”
It’s written properly.

You eat a lot for your meals and you also eat chocolate between them. How can you stay this thin?
I wonder how(laughs). There are some serious theories I am not human.

Yoshiki, an alien?
Yes. When people said that to me, at first I thought, “What are you even saying”. but then gradually, I started to think it might be the case.
Who knows, maybe I’ll return to my planet in 2 or 3 years(laughs).

Where did the ‘non-human Yoshiki’ theories came from?
From trouble with equipment. Like always, I managed to break equipment.
During the V2 project recording, the engineer person said “I’ve been working for more than 10 years but this is the first time I’ve seen something like this”, it was an outburst…

What did you break?
Well, there were a lot of computers. Usually I end up breaking electronic stuff.
Now, even when I come near hide’s effect set he says, “Don’t get too close to my things”.
Also, before, just standing too close to the equipment messed up the data.
So the engineer said “Sorry, but you’re going to have to listen to this from a distance”(laughs).
Well, there’s a lot more things.

I thought the basis for these theories was the fact that even if you didn’t sleep, you felt fine. But the truth is that, that is actually hide’s case, right?
hide doesn’t sleep a lot either. But, comparatively, he sleeps easier than I.
In the past, we used to sleep in the same room, and he talks when he sleeps.
So when I’m calling him, “hide-chan”, he is already sleeping again in a second(laughs).
If I sleep in a room with other people, until they’re all sleeping, I can’t sleep.

So, it must be great trouble to sleep with everyone.
Yes. I’m an insomniac. Also, a night before a concert, I can’t sleep.
The day before Tokyo Dome, I didn’t sleep. I think it’s all because I’m timid.

So, it is painful when you can’t sleep?
Maybe it is, but if I keep on thinking “it’s so difficult to sleep”, then I won’t sleep at all.
So I try not to think that I won’t sleep.
Maybe I’m really not human, with so few sleep and so much food(laughs).

And heavy drinker? (laughs)
I’m a heavy drinker.
But, the alien theories started with our director and Toshi.

Do you think that about yourself?
Eh, I don’t know. If I were an alien, that would still be fine.
Alien or not, I want to keep going forward, even if I think I am at my limits.
When I think that I am tired and can’t do more, I want to keep going.