JaME met with Yoshiki, the mastermind of the JRock Revolution event, in his dressing room at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California. The star was gracious enough to grant us an interview on day two of JRock Revolution, the evening after the confirmation of Miyavi as the 4th member of the super band SKIN.
We know you’re extremely busy this evening, thank you for granting us a few moments of your time. Let’s start with a few questions about tonight’s event. How long have you been thinking about an event like JRock Revolution?
Yoshiki: About a year I guess. Maybe more like a year and a half.
What are your hopes and expectations for the event?
Yoshiki: First, I wanted to show all the band members their fan base outside of Japan. Many of the bands hear of their popularity here, but it seems to them to be more of a rumor. I wanted them to see the fans first hand. And also, I wanted to bring JRock to the US.
Where did you first get the idea?
Yoshiki: I saw Dir en grey live. They played here in this theatre. There were tons of fans at the show and the fan reaction was great, so I started thinking about it then. Also, I saw all the messages on my MySpace page, asking for Japanese bands.
You seem to be very in touch with your fan base. Do you think that’s because of your MySpace page?
Yoshiki: Yes. When I was doing X-Japan, hide was the one. His role was to communicate with the fans, I was just the crazy leader, just doing whatever I wanted. Not to say that I didn’t care about the fans, but hide was the one who played that role. But, we don’t have hide anymore, so I think I should be the one to assume that role.
How were the bands that are participating selected?
Yoshiki: That was really hard. There were a lot of bands that wanted to come. It was really hard to make the schedule work, to make sure all the bands were available at the same time. Also, the JRock Revolution MySpace page ran some polls and did some research to see who the fans wanted the most, so we used that research as a reference. We wanted to make sure and bring a wide variety of bands, not just one genre.
Were there any bands that you really would have liked to have seen perform that were unable to make it?
Yoshiki: Yes, but this is just the beginning. There wasn’t a lot of time when we planned the show. It was initially supposed to be 3 days with more bands, but there were many problems like visas, passports, and schedules. We decided to just keep it simpler this time so we could properly prepare. So next time we will have more time to prepare, and we’ll bring the bands that weren’t able to make it this time.
Would you take an event like this on tour?
Yoshiki: I’d love to, if it can be arranged. Logistically, it would have to be fewer bands. Having a tour with 9 or 10 bands would be too difficult to organize, and too costly. We’d need to tour with fewer bands to make it more efficient.
Why did you decide not to perform at the event? Many fans were hoping to see you take the stage and drum with a few of the bands.
Yoshiki: I don’t know ….I wanted to make sure everything was organized first. If I performed there would probably be some kind of disaster (laughs).
Will you answer a few questions for us about your new band SKIN? Many fans are wondering about it..
Yoshiki: Sure, of course!
Do you have someone in mind to play bass?
Yoshiki: Actually ….we haven’t decided (laughs).
Will there be an album, or just a series of live appearances?
Yoshiki: We’re planning on releasing an album. We’ve already recorded rough versions of seven or eight songs. Everyone came here to Los Angeles in March for a few weeks so we could work on it.
What kind of a time frame do you have in mind for the band? Is this a short term project, or something we can expect more longevity from?
Yoshiki: Well, it’s a band. You never know how long it will last (laughs). But, before we were a band we were all friends so I think it will last.
So that we don’t take up any more of your time this evening, let’s end with a final message for your fans.
Yoshiki: I have to say that without you guys I am pretty much nothing. I believe I exist because of my fans’ support.
JaME would like to thank Yoshiki and Sony management for making this interview possible.
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