Attitude and visual rock.
"I don't think our breed of Visual Kei exists anymore..."
— Dynamite Tommy, commenting on the modern Visual Kei
Hiroshi "Dynamite Tommy"
Tomioka is an ex-singer and currently the most prolific label owner and producer in Japanese Visual Kei
. Debuting in 1986 as the vocalist for Visual Punk Rock
, he became known at first for his then Improbable Hairstyle
(the entire band, true to their name, went with incredibly over the top hair color and style), for his very much Love It or Hate It
vocal style, and for a nigh-legendary feud
with Yoshiki Hayashi
that led to the total demolition of a bar
during one of their fights
While performing with COLOR
, he realized he had a talent for A&R and production, and formed Free Will Records
. He has maintained a steadier focus on music and music-related activities throughout his career, seeming to prefer the role of producer and finder of talent, though he has been involved in a steady stream of bands, the latest band of his own being The Killing Red Addiction
Currently, he is the most active figure in Japanese Visual Kei
, with Free Will Records
being the most active label. He is also somewhat outspoken on the issue of music as a part of society in Japan, but currently tends to keep a lower profile internationally.
He posts regularly on Twitter
as @tommy_f_w.Provides Examples of:
- Angst: Marry, his friend and bassist from COLOR, died some years ago. Taiji Sawada, another close friend of his and a bandmate in The Killing Red Addiction, died in 2011.
- Attention Whore: Played straight as part of his Visual Punk Rock aesthetic. In the day, he had huge, multicolored hair contrasting with A Nazi by Any Other Name style uniforms, plain black funeral clothes, ninja clothes and much, MUCH more... now averted as part of that same Punk Rock aesthetic. He toned down his appearance and clothes and hair to barely look Visual Kei at all, and took more of a backroom role, mostly out of disgust with how much the genre had become about attention whoring.
- Dye Hard: Back in the day.
- Epic Rocking: This depends on what you think of his voice. In a more meta sense, he has helped some of the most Epic Rocking bands ever (including Dir En Grey) on their way to notice and, for some, eventually stardom.
- Flame War: While he and Yoshiki Hayashi may be on relatively good terms now (as opposed to waging literal Flame War in bars), their fans are occasionally all too happy to continue the Flame War online. It's generally not a good idea to discuss Dynamite Tommy favorably around Yoshiki fen, nor a good one to discuss Yoshiki favorably around many Dynamite Tommy fen. And unless you want to ignite an almost nuke-level flare of internet backdraft, do not even bring up the subject of Dir En Grey moving from Extasy to Free Will.
- Genre Popularizer: Visual Kei.
- In Joke: "SAAAANNNDDDBAAAAAGGGG BAAAYYYBAAAYYYYYY" is one that was created via Memetic Mutation among his Hatedom, from his singing in an early COLOR Performance Video.
- Record Producer: TONS of past and present Visual Kei bands.
- The Rival: Yoshiki. Can range from anything to open fighting to cooperation and semi-friendship.
- Rule of Drama: Somewhat averted. Aside from the deaths of friends and one arrest (for which he was later found not guilty and released), he tends to be more quiet about personal drama and doesn't put as much of it on display.
- Self-Serving Memory: His interviews in "Attitude" can definitely seem like this.
- Spoken Word In Music: His singing style is pretty much a hybrid of this + Careful With That Axe - his vocals have little to no melody and little if any flow and are speaking/screaming as singing. It's probably Stylistic Suck, or that he realized that even if he wasn't a good singer his backing band would make up for it, which seems to have been the case: COLOR was a fairly good band aside from his vocals, and with The Killing Red Addiction, Taiji and Kenzi pretty much made whatever he was singing irrelevant. It also helped back in the COLOR days that he did have the visuals and fan interaction parts down, making him a good live performer even if an arguably mediocre studio vocalist.
- Visual Kei: One of the first artists to have went post-Visual, due to his disgust on how modern VK has become all about gaining attention and copying famous artists. Nonetheless, he has signed some of the most successful modern Visual Kei bands, and still signs new/indies Visual Kei artists.