Visual Kei Pioneer Rock Legend and Classical Genius Gets Intimate with TJ [ Interview by Anthony Al-Jamie ]
30 million records sold, a 15-country world tour, 18 sold out Tokyo Dome concerts for 1,000,000 screaming fans, and Yoshiki and his band X Japan, are gearing up for another world tour. In his spare time, Yoshiki composed and recorded Eternal Melody, which remains one of Japan’s top-selling classical albums, and his most recent release “Yoshiki Classical” debuted at the top of the iTunes classical charts worldwide. He has collaborated with some of the world’s leading artists and producers including Queen’s Roger Taylor and legendary Beatles Producer Sir George Martin, performed for the Emperor of Japan, and he has created the theme songs for the World Expo and the last two Golden Globes. This classical genius is a hard rocking innovator and creator of the genre “Visual kei” – combining the styles of punk, rock, heavy metal, glam rock and classical music. In 2008, four years before Tupac’s hologram wowed Coachella, Yoshiki and X Japan brought back their deceased guitarist HIDE by hologram to perform in concert. Some may think it requires a super hero to accomplish all of this. Stan Lee, Marvel Comics founder and creator of Spiderman and the Hulk, agreed and created a superhero based on Yoshiki called “Blood Red Dragon.” What can’t Yoshiki do? Let’s find out.
TJ: Your new release Yoshiki Classical is doing fantastic and is rocking the iTunes charts. It debuted in the #1 slot in 10 countries and the #2 slot in the U.S. It looks like Yoshiki Classical is topping the charts!
YOSHIKI: It’s classical music and I think it’s doing pretty well. Better than I had expected.
TJ: Had you been planning this release for a while?
YOSHIKI: No, it was an accident. I wasn’t planning on releasing a classical album. But then over the last two years I did the Golden Globe Awards theme song. A friend of mine suggested I release an album that would include the Golden Globes theme song, the theme song I composed for the World Expo, and a song that I did for the Emperor of Japan. I thought, “What a great idea!” I also spent the beginning of the year working on the X Japan album and another project I have been working on for over 10 years called Violet UK. Right when I was about to finish and release these albums, the classical album just came in and took over.