A perfect Exclusive Interview with Yoshiki

date ?

i. = Interviewer from Fool's Mate

y. = Yoshiki


X Japan's Last Live on December 31, 1997. And then sudden death of hide on May 2nd last year. The leader of X Japan and the most centripetal artist in the Japanese rock scene, Yoshiki, has kept silence since the shocking accident. His beautiful and acute music has brought an enthusiasm to people's hearts ever since the debut of X. Those melodies have led him to a glorious success as a rock musician. His talent recieved a high praise not only in Japan but also in foreign countries and his debut in America has been prepared all right. Everyone thought that it would not be long before he work actively all over the world. But Yoshiki remains silent now. His heart wich crouches down firm and doesn't move an inch, seems to be frozen and refuses other people. The seperation with Toshi, who had been his best friend from childhood, and the world without hide, whom he respected most, drove his heart into a corner.Though hurt and confused, Yoshiki never gave up his music. He is now certainly trying to step forward to the future, loving and hating the past that he has accumulated. If I could follow the time that Yoshiki watches, from the past to the future... This interview started with such an intention. Yoshiki's soul that swings has revailed through enormous conversation. With a calm and deep kindness he answered my questions honestl

y. Though his eyes under the sunglasses with tears were painfull and his voice ometimes trembles, his facial expression was noble.

i. You came back to Japan after a long absence in 1999.

y. Yes. I came back to determine whether I would do a 'hide tribute concert' and to have a meeting with the artists of my record company and ... to meet my friends to ask them 'how have you been?'. I also had a meeting for some new producing work. I have a lot of problems to solve in my record company. I received a lot of offers and I had to answer them. As my contract has been expired, many people offered me a lot o fnew business, so I came back to listen to them, too.

i. You are really busy.

y. I think I have some more things to do ... but I can't remember.

i. You have too much work to do.

y. No, not really...

i. But you have to do all of them during this short stay.

y. I thought I could go back to LA sooner, but I was too optimistic.

i. You can't finish your work so soon.

y. I have to be in Japan a little longer.

i. You announced in February that you wouldn't do a 'hide tribute concert' on the first anniversary day of his death.

y. I decided no. To tell you the truth, it's not a problem of the schedule or the circumstances, but it's because I'm still feeling the pain. The reason why I have never accepted any interviews since last year is that I have been confused after hide's death. I couldn't understand what was going on. At hide's funeral I had to say something as a leader of X to the fans who were worried, grieving or crying in pain. I talked to them, 'Please be calm.'allthough I was absent minded. But after I went back to LA and found that I was the most uncalm. I bagan to think what I was, then I was unable to do anything at all. I felt a strange responsibility. I thought, ' If hide had not met me, he would not be like this.' or 'What was the memory of X?' or 'What should I do from now on?'.

i. You are still thinking of hide?

y. Yes. When hide was alive, I had a dream.... I thought I would make the 2nd X. I really do. I talked with hide, "Let's do something toward the year of 2000." And I was also very constructive with my solo work. In addition, under such circumstances that I wasn't abel to htink of anything because of hides death, I hard about Toshi. I didn't know why Toshi had changed like that because I had been in LA, but I came ot feel scared. All of hte people who had something to do with me had changed. I'm afraid if I started something again and involved someone, I would lead them to another awfull end again... Now, I'm scared of starting something new of my own will, so I can't do anything.

i. Have you done nothing at all?

y. Well, I was writing songs under such circumstances. It must be very rude to say... but writting songs for other artists of my record label or recording songs for them deverted me. The producing work has nothing to do with my own artistic region. I have no time to think of myself when I think of the other artists' activites, or their music or their music or their directions. I don't have to htink of what I will be, I don't have to touch teh future of X. I wanted to put myself in a totally different place from before. So I made myself busy on purpose.

i. You are producing many bands at a time, aren't you?

y. I'm producing 8 to 10 artists now. I booked 3 or 4 studios in a day, and worked so hard as I fainted. I expected to become calm in such days... but it was in vain. I'm too scared to even think of hide. I feel sad only to look at his pictures. I can't even look at hide's photos. I can't watch X's videos or his solo videos. I don't want to see them. So I'm much more confused than before, because I came back to Japan with such a mind condition.

i. When will your mind be calm?

y. I know I have to try to be strong, as I owe what I am to the fans and to the people who supported X, but I found my nerves broken in this situation. I have no confidence. I thought that I would not go out to the public any more, and work behind. I really thought that it would be better for me to be merely a song writer. I was not sure if it's good or bad for me to begin something and involve other people again.

i. Yoshiki, you talked to the fans when hdie died, even though you are the saddest. Many young people could control themselves by your words then. A lot of your fans could overcome the pain and they couldact positivly to succeed hide's will after that. Your words made them step forward.

y. Is that so? Thinking back, I didn't understand anything at all. I was talking to them, "Please be calm," but it was I who didn't understand the reality that hide was dead. But it saved me a lot that you said that my words spread to the fans and made them control themselves.

i. It's true. Honestly, I'm very much shocked to know that Yoshiki, who sent the message, is still feeling such a pain. It is also very shocking to most of oyur fans to know that you are thinking of your retirement from the front job.

y. I don't know. I thought about the tribute concert a lot, too. If I were hide, if I wre him, I would like to be left alone... I don't know well. I adon't knwo what it is to be positive. I don't know what it will be. My mind is clear, but my heart doesn't correspond with my mind.

i. Back in LA, you have spent a really busy days working not only as a producer but also making a record company in America and building a new recording studio there.

y. Yes, I did everything very hard except working as an artist. I tried to be very busy. I hated to have time to think. I din't want to touch X. I didn't wanted to touch X, I wanted to escape.

i. Are you going to keep on thinking as such?

y. Well, I don't know. I shoudl stand up, but... am I a little selfish? I feel only sad when I go back to be an artist. I want to forget for all, but I can't forget at all. There are too many memories to be erased between me and X.

i. The business that you absorbed yourself in would not have been concluded without your talent.. I heard you have developed your business not only in Japan but also in America.

y. Certainliy yes. But I'm an artist still. I suddenly want to be on stage again and make a CD. But again I come to think I don't want to go there. My mind changes every moment. I'm inconsistend.

i. Two thoughts are conflicting in your mind.

y. Yes. For example, the moment I started to think forward, to think I want to begin my artistic work again or to record my own music, I come to fell sad. Them my thought went back to the past. I started a band. I formed X. Toshi left the band. X disbanded. hide passed away... The lines that arouse the desperate sadness are connected in me. So I'm living very careful, not trying to connect the lines, producing other artists or studying laws. Of course, I can not connect the lines to the future, because I can not connect them to the past.

i. Instead of this painfull situation in which you want to erease your past, X will never disappear, even if you tried to erease every line of your memories. With the charisma of Yoshiki, X was able to exist, wasn't it?

y. I have never thought me a charisma or I have never wanted to be one. I really don't know hwat a charisma is. I only did what I liked as I liked. I only said that it was not right, if I thought that it wa snot right... I only lived my life like that.

i. X has rushed though an untrodden path. The first Japanese band who sold out the Tokyo Dome concert. The rock band who sold 1.000.000 copies of CD by the next day of the release. These facts are the reason why you are a charisma in spite of your thought.

y. I have never considered that. The only thing I was carefull about was that I tried not tu say any careless words to our fans. Well, that's all. I didn't try to reflect my own life in my music. I was not a solo artist. I would not be here without the memebers of X. But with their existence I was seen as such.

i. The relationship of the group X and the personality of each member shone you.

y. I never sang alone. My drums and my piano where only parts of X. I'm only a musician. Teh energy which we sent out when all the members gathered to make on thing didn't belong to me alone. I only happend to be the leader.

i. It's obvious that Yoshiki exists bacuase X existet but X is no more. Does it damage you to konw that you can never go back to X?

y. No. It's far beyond than that. I don't want to think of it. I don't want to go back to it. I don't want to go back to any moment of my past. It's too painful bacuas there are too many memories.

i. You won't go back to your past, then there aren't any other vector to proceed from na than the one to the future.

y. Yes, that's right. But you have to look back to your past to some extent and watch your present to hace some visions to your future.

i. What you have done is also such a repition of oyur visison and your expression.

y. Yes. When I started the band I had a vision that I would play at Tokyo Dome, well... no... I didn't aim at Tokyo Dome at the beginning... Budokan was enough. OK, I had a vision that I would play at Budokan and after I realised it I could go to the next. I achieved one by one. My vision gradually grew bigger nevertheless, I could not give up X. No one, even I could ever imagined X's end would be like this.

i. The shock was too hard.

y. Contradictiory, if I would have a vision gaina, it must be based on X. I would never be able to become a completly different Yoshiki. But I refuse to remember the past X now. I can't find my way to go.

i. But you are trying to find a way to go, aren't you?

y. Well, I'm not sure. I was very positive when I disbanded X. I thought I could go to teh next step then. The trace of X had a lot of hard things, but it was a wonderful memory. I made X by my own hand, and I met a lot of people; the members, the fans, teh staff, and etc. I'm proud of it. But in May last year... collapsed... something in me. When I disbanded it had not collapsed yet.

i. Was the begining of X's separaton the debut in America? X became X Japan and you moved to LA to make your debut in America. While you worked so hard to prepare fo rit including the legal matters and the business matters there arose some differences among the members schedule and musical tastes and when you bagan to record your songs you had a problem in the pronouncination of the vocal's English. Did you think that X would not be able to go further under such circumastances?

y. I never thought that X itself would fail, I didn't think that a band should get together all the time. I thought taht it would be all right if we can put oput a power when we gathered even if we were not always together. I thought the process before the stage was not so important.

i. But you didn't release any CD during that period. The rocord company told you to release it as soon as possible, but you couldn't even record it. I imagine you had a very hard time as a band.

y. Yes, certaionly, it was hard. As for recording a song, or writing one, there are about 300 bars in a song. You are watching one or two bars. You are thinking of them for a long time. It would all be right if you can think of them easily but you think of them very hard and become unable to see the whole song. Then you change your mind to make the main melody and you are thinkin gof the 16 bars, but when you finish them, saying, "I made a wonderful song." you find that it has turned into another song. I always try to see the whole with a big vision, but I gradually went into a cornerto find myself to be lost. Then I become angry when they tell me the limitation of time or the budget. I can't take an objective view and when the American record company say "We have been waiting for you for 5 years, so you have to finish it as soon as possible." I say to them, "You don't have to wait for me."

i. But you haven't give it up.

y. When I make my song I never think "What kind of music would please my fans?" nor "What kind of music will sell?". Instead I think "Will this melody move me?" or "Does this music fascinate us?" The biggest intension was to please the members. That's all. I made my songs to make the members say, "It's cool!" I really enjoced the moment.

i. Is that so?

y. The goal of my creation was to make a song to which the members, including me, say "Yes." Then we went to the next step. "Let's make the other people appreciate it." Then we planned a strategy to make the other poeple appriciate it.

i. You had such a planing stage.

It was simple. I was armed with theory, however contradictory it might be. My way of expression was to win even though my theory was perfectly nonsense. "This is right, becuase this album or this song means this or that...." I never thought of the style of X nor the scene in which X emerged. We only carried out the things that we really wanted to do. I think the scene follewed us.

i. What kind of comments did the members give you when you played a new song on the piano before them for the fist time? Did they say only one sentence or did you discuss about the song?

y. They were rother cool.

i. Really?

y. "Well, it's not bad." That's what they said.

i. What did Toshi and hide say?

y. They used to tell me their imressions in the beginning... but later, they only said, "We'll leave it too you?", so... They left the songs to me, and gradually they came to leave everything to me. At leaste they said, "It's ok with us, if it's ok wiht Yoshiki." I felt very said...

i. Have you ever thought of playing solo?

y. No, I haven't. Because I can't sing in the fist place.

i. Haven't you ever sung a song at all?

y. Well, I have once sung before... when I was a student... and I thought "I'm a very bad singer." And I haven't sung since then.

i. Is that so?

y. Yes. I produced some bands and artists, so I know my level well.

i. But if you had kept singing you might have improved.

y. I see sings calmly, so I can criticize my own songs. I can say, "Why did I write such a bad song?" I see my music as a music. The voice is a part of music. So I can make an accurate judgement on my voice too.

i. So your voice wasn't good?

y. It wasn't good.

i. You have played in a band for a long time, and you have never compromised for example, X has changed it's members more than twenty times. There were some memebers who left the band because they could not bear the practises that lasted for more than ten hours a day. Was the music that you wanted to achive such a kind of music that you had to polish it that way?

y. Yes. The attractive thing about the band is that you can never form a band with the people you don'T like, however talented or good at playing the person my be.

i. Is that so?

y. However bad he may play or however optimistic view of life he may have, it is ok, if I like him. It's very important that I feel good when I'm with him. So, it's difficult to decide where to draw the line. If we have perfectly different objection in music or if he plays awfully bad... But even when I can gather the best musicians if I can't be in a room with them for more than five minutes I can't form a band with them.

i. To make X was to make the music to aim at the best music and to find out the persons that you can share the time with.

y. Yes. Moste of the members of X were the leaders of other bands.

i. Each one was a individualist.

y. Yes. It's not interesing if they only say "Yes" everytime I ask them to do something. You won't become better. And teh members shoudl be the persons that I can respect.

i. So the people you gathered appriciate and respect each other.

y. Yes. I wanted to gather the people who say difficult things without hesitation. X formed as such.

i. You and Toshi met when you were five years old. You formed a band together and you were tided tightly to each other by teh music. You two built X. You showed and threw everything to each other to make music. It seems to be a miracle that you could meet with your best partner in such an early infance.

y. Toshi's home was very near to mine. Toshi was not a vocalist at first. He played the guitar. When the former vocalist left our band I asked the members "Is there anyone who can sing?" Every one sang, and Toshik was the best. Then I said to him "OK, you are teh vocalist from now on."

i. You spent enormous time with Toshi.

y. Yes. So... Toshi must be tired. We had directly opposite personalities.

i. Is that so?

y. In plain when were were High School students I was a bad boy, but he was a sportsman.

i. But you liked the differences?

y. I often talked with hide about him. He was an ordinary man. He wasn't a rock musician. I and hide changed the ordinary Toshi into a rock musician. We told him "Speak like this on stage." or "Make your hair more showly like this." And there were the times when Toshi in such a fearfull disguise bagan to talk like an ordinary person and we loved teh gap. "Our voclist is an ordinary man."

i. I noticed the moment when Toshi began to speak ordinarily.

y. No doubt.

i. Was it a pleasure for Toshi too to express another personality?

y. I don't know if he enjoyed it or not. At first I forced him to. But I think he also enjoyed it a little. I think my recording work was very hard for him. I made him sing every day and I used his throat as an instrument. I told him to sing even though his voice became hoarse. I had my image of my song which was drawn with Toshi's voice. My recordings work was to bring the real song close to the image that I had when I had finished writing it. Every song, my drums too, never reached the image but I wanted to bring the vocals as close to ti as possible. I tried hard to tell him the vision in my head but he could not unterstand easil

y. I can't explain by singing so I said many things.

i. For example?

y. For example I wrote down the word "love" on a page of my notebook, very small, and then I wrote a bit "love" on the next pagen and I said to him, "The size of love that I want is not hte small love's size but the big one. And it isn't written in a beautiful style, but it was written roughly." Toshi said, "I don't understand what you mean." So I changed the way of my explanation as I thought it was not good, I said "Ok, now you are on the beach. But Toshi, you are alone. It's just after sunset but you can see some people walking far away. Now watching the peoples siluette will you express your love by shouting?" I also spoke like a play writer during teh recording. And Toshi got confused. Then I suddenly abandoned him, saying "It's enough. You can sing as you like."

i. You wanted Toshi's voice to make your so ngs perfect.

y. Yes. I was fanatic, trying to inspire him and deceive him to record the perfect voice of Toshi that I wanted. But think it over he was a vitim of mine. I happened to notice that his opinion was lost. I asked him "What do you think of htis?" but he only answered "It's ok with me if Yoshiki think it's ok." But I always said to him "I'm sorry for having obliged you to bear such a hard recording work. But I love your voice and I'm writing my songs for your voice. I think I know you more than you do.

i. What did Toshi say to you then?

y. Sometimes he said, "I understand." Sometimes he said "What do you want from me is beyond my ability." It was a crazy recording. But I took 7 or 8, sometimes 10 tracks. Then it is my turn to struggle. I struggle twice at much as Toshi did. I put tracks in my computer to edit them.

i. The finishing brush of oyur recording.

y. I don't exaggerate it. I edit one line for one or one and half hour each. If the song has 60 lines I edit them for 100 hours. I thought I must make the best combination from them because he had sung so hars. When I finished editing then I called Toshi to come to the studios and I said "Listen to it. Please listen to it." And he said "Wow, great. Is this really me who sang this son?" I was really happy at the moment.

i. Has X ever been saturated when you were fighting to make a nwe song, a good music?

y. We made up X by ourselves but when we were exposed to a various places, everyone categorised us. Then there gradually arose some differences between the X seen from outside and X itself. When teh members began to talk based on the Xism that the other people made up. I felt that it was something wrong.

i. When was it?

y. I was thinking like that while I was recording the album Dahlia.

i. When you started the band as a professional band, you did everything by ourselves, carring the equipments or driving the delivery van. After playing at the live houses and releasing records from your independent label, you have rushed up to the major scene. Whyt you have done were heretical and treasonal in your major scene, weren't they?

y. Well, I didn't intend to be a heretic or a traitor. I wasn't reluctant to play on TV. The people from the Sony records told me, "Yoshiki, a rock band should not play on tv."

i. Oh, no!

y. They said that the image of a rock band is outside the picture tube of television so that it's too dangerous to appear on tv. But I thought "Ok, then I'll play on tv bacause they say it is too dangerous." If they hate us juste because we play on tv it means that it's so much for us. I don't need such fans who speak ill of us about it. Well, I was aggressive. I was full of confidence.

i. What did the members think of you who carried though your intentions? Did they enjoy it?

y. hide analysed the circumstances calmly and adviced me a lot of things, saying "Yoshiki, it's no good." So I said, "Is it?" first, but again, I insisted, "It's still interesting. Let's do it." And I actually went on, breaking the taboos. But I think Toshi felt uneasy about my deeds and words. He must have been always thinking "Is it all right?" Pata was always drinking, so he often asked me not to trouble him.

i. Yoshiki, who has carried out like that is now standing still.

y. Now I only feel sad. It used to be a fun to look back to my past though there had been a lot of hard things. I have played in X for more than 10 years, and I think I had a wonderful time there. But I have never dreamed of such an end of the story of X. I've never imagined that hide would pass away. I'm sure I can make a new story again, but at the same time I'm afraid that I should not make it again if there would wait the same sad ending as this. I love music very mcuh so I think IÄll be able to carry on my musical agtivities without going out in public explaining myself like this in an interview...

i. Do you want to seal "Yoshiki of X"?

y. Maybe I might have given some hopes to a lot of people but I have given them much more sadness... in a lot of meanings. For example Toshi who has been always with me for a long time... I haven't talked with him recently ao I'M not sure how he is now, but I think he suffered from me because he had been with me for too long. If he had not been involved in X, he might... If I had not persuaded him to mcome with me he might have been in a different situation. hide too. If I had not asked him to join X he might have been alive still...

i. I think you're blaming yourself too much.

y. Maybe... but I can't stop blaming me now. I can't think that it can't be helped. I can't think that it is all right becuase we have spent some wonderful time with X. It is an escape.

i. Have you ever imagined that hide would end like this?

y. No. I always thought that it must be me who would be led to such an end. I have always been thinking "I wish I would break into pieces." I'm actually going to break into pieces now, and I find it really hurts.

i. You're hurt so badly.

y. My doctor gabe me some tranquilizers. I go to a therapy in L.A.

i. Therapy?

y. Yes. Talking to a therapist, you must be healed.

i. Yes.

y. The therapist listened to my story, nodding. He said, "I understand you well." When I talked about my feeling he said, "I know." The I gradualy became angry and I asked him "Do you really understand?" He said, "Yes, I do." But I got crazy and shouted at him, "It can't be so! It's impossible for you to understand this feeling in me!" The therapist defended himself, saying "What I mean is..." But I left him. The therapy didn't work well.

i. Did you understand the reason why Toshi left the band?

y. I think I might not be good to say such a thing but at the moment I saw his eyes, I knew it was hopeless. I don't mean that he seemed strange. We had been friends for more than 20 years, so I only said "Ok, I understand."

i. Did Toshi tell you the reasons why?

y. I'm not sure if he wanted to tell me the reasons... but I didn't ask him. He said "I want to leave X". After about five seconds I answered him "Ok". Then I said "But I can't deside only by myself, so may I call the other members?" So they came in about one hour. Though they didn't shout they discussed intensely for a while, while I was listening to them without saying anything. hide said "How come? What will become of our lives?" I hate to tell you this because it sounds like Toshi should be blamed but it was true. I thought it could not be helped.

i. Really?

y. I had spent my life with Toshi since I was 5 years old. I could not hate him, whatever he did. It was very important for me to know the reason why Toshi wanted to leave. In fact, I wanted to know everything in his mind.

i. But you didn't ask him?

y. We are all different persons. It's odd if all five members think the same. So I thought it reasonable for them to begin to think of themselves. I thoguht it was good for them to have their own management office fot their solo works. I thingk I know where I can participate or what is not my business. When Toshi said, "I want to leave." I could not ask him why because I respected him and he determind to "leave".

i. You understood Toshi the most.

y. I wanted to say "Ok, I understand." whatever the reason was. I also thought it would not be different if I had asked him to stay. You could think of a lot of different th ings if it happended only a few years after the band's formation, but after you had played together fora ten years, I thoght it would only be an ugly argument. So I merely said "I understand."

i. It was a serious desicion for X.

y. Of course I thought it was the best thing to respect Toshi's will. My life belongs to me and Toshi's life belongs to him and he determind so for his life.

i. Could you imagine a "X without Toshi"?

y. I wondered at the moment whether we should disband X or we should continue it without him. I accepted the fact that Toshi will leave. I really accepted it in only about five seconds because Toshi had never wanted to leave before. So I thought about the remaining four members.

i. You thought about the concrete future of X, didn't you?

y. Yes. While the other members were saying something to Toshi, I was thinking of the remaining four members. After Toshi went, the other mebers aksed me, "What shall we do?" and I said, "There is nothing else to do." I told them to finish the recording work that was still left undone. We could think about the other things later. But what we all thought then was... "How would our fans feel, if another vocalist sang the same songs on the stage instead fo Toshi?" Of course we had a little confidence that we could make it... If a new vocalist sings the songs of X, they will be different. I wrote all of the songs because I had met Toshi. It wasn't like that I wrote songs first and then looked for a singer whose voice would match them. So I was afraid that we would not be able to play the old songs any more. But I wanted to continue with the remaining members...Anyway we promised to find a new vocalist within two years. Hide actually called me up and saiy, "Yoshiki, the vocalist of this band is very good. Will you research about him?" But I answered him, "I don't like to hire someone from another band." Anyway let's listen to him sing." I often talked with hide about such things. I was positive.

i. While you were looking for a new vocalsit, you anticipated that X would end.

y. I anticipated that the X that needed Toshis voice. would come to an end. I had already had a plan to form the 2nd X then.

i. You were trembling at the press conference announcing the sidband of X in a squeezed voice.

y. I understood well in my mind that it was a new start for the next X, but when I actually came to the situation, another person in me began to talk, "Are you really going to announce it?" I decided to give the press conference by my own will and I knew the whole schedule. Nevertheless, when I began to talkactually, I suddenly felt sad, thinking that it was really over.

i. So you could not hide your unrest?

y. After the press conference a very shocking thing happend. We gave the press conference by the four without Toshi because Toshi had left the band in April. But Toshi said "I wasn't informed about the press conference." Of course we gave the information about it to his office previously through the manager of X. I myself didn't think I should tell Toshi who had already left teh band. I thought there was no sense in what he said. Though I got angry and wanted to argue against him in some magazines, I kept silent, bacause it would only hurt us each other. But I got so angry at Toshi that I could not forgive him. I wrote a song called "The Last Song" after that, but I didn't meet him. I said, "I don't want to see his face anymore." I was in LA and Toshi was in Japan. I didn't talk with him directly. I only talked with the staff of the vocal recording on the telephone. I was really angry about him.

i. And you came back for the last concert.

y. I finally talked to him on the day before the concert, December 30th, thinking "We should give a good concert tomorrow."

i. What did you say to him?

y. I didn't want to see him even in rehearsal, so I was playing alone. I don't know whether the old members were playing with Toshi then. During the rehearsal I talked to him only one instant. I said, I really got mad, but lets show them a good show tomorrow and make it to an end."

i. But you could not control your anger.

y. Toshi made his choice of his life and wanted to leave the band, so we accepted it. I thought that Toshi should tell only the truth to the fans. Instead he said "I was not invited to the press conference." It sounded like that he was the vitim. When I heard the words, I imagined that he wanted to pretend to have been fired by me. If so, he's unfair. I thought he was not honest to our fans. We made our fans feel sad by disbanding X. I believed that we owend what we were to our fans. I thought that he should talk honestly to them, even if he was to be blame or not. He had to tell them, "I left the band by my own will." I despised hime because he didn't do that at the end.

i. I didn't know that.

y. When I was talking with hide, I said to him, "I don'T want to play with Toshi in the last concert. Let's play the songs only on the instruments without a vocal." I even thought that we could ask the fans to sing. But hide said, "We should play with Toshi, if we play the songs of X." He said "Yoshiki, you worte all the songs for Toshi's voice, didn't you?" He said "...for Toshis voice..."

i. ...you wrote them for...

y. "...you wrote them for..., didn't you?" he said. So... Toshi joined the band again because hide said so.

i. Did your anger vanish on the day of the last live?

y. I had been raging since the day after the press conference until the day before the last concert. I had not spoken to Toshi during that period. I intended to beat him at the end of the concert.

i. On the stage?

y. Yes. On the stage. I didn't want a beautiful break up. It was my true feeling I was going to beat him at the end of the concert and leave the stage. Do your remember the moment that I and Toshi walked toward each other? I had been thinking of beating him until that moment.

i. Really?

y. I was going to beat him there, but...

i. ....

y. But when he appeared in front of me, there was "my friend Toshi" whom I had known since I was five years old.

i. So you held him tight at the end of the concert. You couldn't hurt him anywa


y. I rather be killed than I kill someone. You suffer more from the sence of guilt if you hurt someone. It will give me more pain to think that I hurt someone. I can bear the pain from an attack but I can't bear the pain of heart that I had hurt someone. It will suffer me more.

i. I think that the gentleness of you was the spirit of X.

y. Is that so? Last May, after hide went away like that, I did not determind what was happening as I said before. Lots of fans gathered and the things went terrible. I did not know how to deal with "death". I had experienced some parting before; one of my friends died before, and I had lost my father. But I was the most upset. Anyway, I talked to the fans on TV, telling them to be calm, because I did not want things to go more confused. But I was not calm at all. I thought that I was an great entertainer who can speak in public like that. But in fact, I wasn't calm at all. I didn't understand anything at all.

i. You went back to LA still confused?

y. I thought that I would be able to talk about me and hide after a while. I thought I would be ready by the New Years Day. But I'm not ready...

i. You don't have to blame yourself for hide's death. Most of your fans know that, they understand more than anyone else.

y. But still, if he had not met me, he would nto be like this... We chased dreams together sharing them with each other, but it turned out to be a nightmare at the end.

i. There are a lot fo your fans who rely on your songs and hide's. They will never change.

y. Well, I wish I could think positively.

i. You said that you could not imagine yourself in your thirties before.

y. I hate it. I really hate it.

i. Why do you hate it?

y. Why...? I... my father died when he was 33 years old.

i. Is that so...?

y. He... killed himself. I wrote the words of "Tears". I wrote them for him. "Someday I will be older than you." Isn't it strange? I'll be older than my father. I'm astonished to think about it. hide happend to be the same age... as my father.

i. ... he was 33 years old.

y. So I have been thinking... I have been thinking about it for a long time... since I was a child. I was 10 years old when my father died. The reason why I said, "I don't want to see me in my thirties." was that I could not imagine myself to be older than my father. Because... Father should have been more than 20 years older than I. I had been thinking how it would be to be older than him. It's very strange to be older than your father. Maybe I had always been afraid of it. I have never talked about it before, but I can be strong now.

i. You are strong, really, because you are living the days of your 33 years old now.

y. I try to be strong in public.

i. Then it's good for you to be surrouned by people.

y. But I get tired if I'm surrounded by people for a long time.

i. That's true.

y. I'm joking. But I think I can be strong in public, surely.

i. When will you begin to think of you future?

y. I'm escaping from thinking of myself now, but if I do, I would think that I will try not to do the same thing. I think I won't play the drums again. I have played them for long enough.

i. Yoshiki won't play the drums...

y. That's right. I want to be a totally different Yoshiki, if I should appear on stage again someday.