Hizaki (born February 17th, 1979) is a Japanese Visual Kei musician, songwriter, record producer, and fashion model, best known as the lead guitarist for the Symphonic Power Metal band Versailles. Before Versailles, he was a member of several independent bands and had a solo career.
Hizaki debuted in 1997 as guitarist of Garnet Grave. After two years, he and bandmate Hizumi left Garnet Grave and formed Crack Brain, which disbanded in 2002. Hizaki later formed the band Grotesque Romantica with fellow Crack Brain member Airi. They changed their name to Schwardix Marvally in 2003 and released two EPs before disbanding in 2004. Hizaki started a solo career that same year, releasing two more EPs before joining Sulfuric Acid until the band's dissolution in 2006.
Hizaki would later form the Hizaki Grace Project with Jasmine You (formerly known as Yuu) on bass, Teru on guitar, Hikaru on vocals, who was later replace by ex-Moi Dix Mois vocalist Juka, and ex-Sulfuric Acid drummer Seiji, who was later replaced by Mikage.
After Hizaki Grace Project's last live performance, Hizaki would later support the supergroup Node of Scherzo, together with Kamijo, Jasmine You, Asagi, Juka and Kaya. At Node of Scherzo's first live performance, it was announced that Hizaki and Kamijo would be forming a new band with the members of Hizaki Grace Project, plus Yuki of Sugar Trip. The band would later be called Versailles and become massively successful before parting ways with each other in 2012. Following the hiatus/subsequent disbandment (and now reunion) of Versailles, Hizaki and the other instrumentalists of the band reunited and formed Jupiter with Zin as the new vocalist.
Bands associated with Hizaki:
- Garnet Grave (joined as guitarist in 1997)
- Crack Brain (disbanded 2002)
- Grotesque Romantica/Schwardix Marvally (200204)
- Sulfuric Acid (2004-2006)
- Hizaki Grace Project (200407)
- Node of Scherzo (200708)
- Versailles (200712, 2015present)
- Jupiter (2013present)
- MaidenRitual (EP, 2004)
- Dance with Grace (EP, 2005)
- Dignity of Crest (2007)
- Curse of Virgo (EP, 2007)
Hizaki provides examples of:
- Butt-Monkey: He is often picked on by his bandmates offstage.
- Character Tics: Known for rapidly jerking his head around repeatedly while doing guitar solos.
- Costume Porn: Comes with being a Visual Kei musician.
- Drama Queen: Though not to an extent as more extreme examples such as Kisaki and Yoshiki, he still has his moments.
- Even the Guys Want Him: There's a running joke among fandom that he's the Mr. Fanservice for the (straight) male fans of the bands he's associated with. This is somewhat accurate.
- Flower Motif: Roses. Loads and loads of them.
- High Turnover Rate: He's been in and out of the music scene, has gone through many bands and has had a successful if unstable solo career.
- I Am the Band: Hizaki Grace Project.
- Impractically Fancy Outfit: A Visual Kei staple, although Hizaki takes it farther than most. This has backfired on him on several occasions; he's managed to trip over his own skirt on stage multiple times (one ended up as a Funny Background Event in Versailles' final concert DVD). One YouTube clip that has circulated shows him falling down during a Versailles concert in London at the start of a guitar solo—and still performing it perfectly, without missing a note.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Listen to Hizaki speak.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally 6 to 8, although he has his fair share of Power Ballads and has gone all the way up to 9 (Jupiter's "ALLEGORY CAVE")
- Nice Shoes: Black platform boots.
- Older Than They Look: Seriously, would you believe that he's a man in his mid-thirties?
- Pimped-Out Dress: Pretty much his entire visual shtick.
- The Red Stapler: ESP guitars (especially his signature Maiden◊); Baby, The Stars Shine Bright dresses; and Elmo.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: One of his specialties. As a more literal example than most, here's him performing a portion of Mozarts Symphony No. 40 as part of a guitar solo.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Inverted. Hizaki is adorable, but he's also a heavy metal musician whose songs usually occupy the top half of the Mohs scale and whose lyrics can get downright creepy.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Onstage, in the new wave of Visual Kei.
- Vocal Dissonance: His voice isn't particularly deep, but even people who are already aware that he's a man get tripped up when they first hear him speak. He's also surprisingly good at providing background Harsh Vocals when the situation warrants it.