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Music / Yoshiki Hayashi

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Related acts with which Yoshiki Hayashi has performed:
  • L.O.X.
  • Globe
  • V2 with Tetsuya Komuro
  • Violet UK (Yoshiki's solo project)
  • S.K.I.N ("superband" featuring GACKT, Miyavi, and Sugizo, one performance only
  • Various collaborations with other artists, everyone from Marilyn Manson to the Quartet San Francisco to many more...
Acts once signed to Extasy Records by Yoshiki as a solo producer (NOTE: as it no longer is signing artists, none of these are signed to it as of this time):
Yoshiki Hayashi (who usually goes by his first name, Yoshiki, which is capitalized as YOSHIKI in his solo or band work) is the bandleader, drummer, pianist, occasional guitarist, and co-creator of the rock band X Japan. While a true statement, it's also an understatement - he has also been everything from a product designer and male model to an American music producer known for his work on Saw IV, Catacombs, and Repo! The Genetic Opera. He is also the founder of the first dedicated Visual Kei label, Extasy Records, and has been as such the Record Producer for a lot of Visual Kei bands other than his own, including Dir en grey and Glay.

Other projects he has been attached to or involved in in some way include Globe, V2, and classical solo performances, including one for the emperor of Japan (the Anniversary Concert). As of 2002 until the reunion of X Japan, he has been doing most work toward his solo project, Violet UK. (Yoshiki is the only current permanent member of Violet UK.) He has also produced work with Roger Taylor and George Martin among others. As of 2012, he has become the composer of note for the 69th and 70th Annual Golden Globes. He has also released two classical albums (Yoshiki Selection 1 and 2) with a third (Yoshiki Classical) released on US Itunes on August 27, 2013, with an international and physical CD release delayed but completed in October and November due to a controversy with cover art.

Yoshiki is also a video blogger and an executive advisor with Ustream. He posts regularly on Twitter at @YoshikiOfficial, and does most interaction with other artists and celebrities and even fans there, and on Facebook. Though he's also on Tumblr, Instagram, LINE, and Google+. He has also opened a Weibo account for Chinese fans of X Japan, and seems very interested in encouraging peace between Japan and China, having performed multiple times in China and refusing to take a public stance on any contentious political issues.

NOT related to Yo-Yo Plot Point, though if his film auteur aspirations ever became successful, who knows?

Tropes relating to or included in Blood Red Dragon, the Comic Book featuring his Author Avatar are to be listed on that page. They are NOT to be listed on this page, which deals with the real artist.

Yoshiki's charitable and awareness efforts have become more widely known over 2011: not only has he worked, through the Yoshiki Foundation, to raise funds and help with the Great East Japan Earthquake relief effort, he also has donated money, band memorabilia, and more for the Thailand floods relief effort, and seems to be very concerned for disaster victims especially in the countries which he has visited or to which X Japan has been on tour.

As of 2013, he began a new solo project of playing "classical" instrumental music, primarily rearranges/remixes of his X Japan and Violet UK music written for classical as opposed to covering classical pieces by historically famous composers, having released one album (the aforementioned Yoshiki Classical/Yoshiki Melodies Classics) and performed at the Grammy Museum twice - once in August 2013 and another time - to celebrate the museum exhibit devoted to him and announce many of the dates of his planned 2014 solo classical tour - in February 2014. He then performed twice at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2014, creating a viral video of himself playing Art of Life against a Projected Man - himself.

He completed a successful solo classical world tour, with concerts in California, Mexico, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan, and has written yet another song for Violet UK, Hero, which is the theme for the anime film Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary. His band X Japan has performed two sold-out shows in Yokohama Arena September 30th and October 1, 2014, as well as a US show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

(His name is, despite every time you may have heard it (mis)pronounced in mainstream media, properly pronounced closer to "Yosh'key" or "Yosh'ki." (those aren't even the exact pronunciations in Japanese, but for English speakers, they are the closest you can get to correct.) It is never, ever pronounced "Yosheekee," even if he often lets it go or even does it himself. "Yokashi" is only forgiven for Stan Lee, and "Yoshi" will make most people wonder why you're talking about the green dinosaur from Super Mario Bros..

Provides Examples of:

  • A Bloody Mess: The "Fake Blood" story from his old myspace blog. Long story short, he walked out of a photoshoot where he was taking a Blood Bath and posing with real scratches and tons of fake blood and bandages and wounds, not knowing a minor car accident had happened nearby. An LAPD officer investigating the car accident saw him, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Ace Custom: Yoshiki's studios (first the one he bought from Bob Rock and remade for his own use, then the new one he bought and was involved with almost every aspect of the creation/setup) are a Real Life version of this: while other musicians and other acts can, obviously, be recorded and produced there, the main utility is for Yoshiki's solo classical works / Violet UK, and X Japan right down to the acoustics and the space arrangement and similar.
  • All Drummers Are Animals:
    • Though somewhat averted in that Yoshiki managed to create a combined image of fragility and beauty fused with brutality and power rather than being the "big dumb drummer" stereotype.
    • Played straight in the 2010 video for Jade, in which Yoshiki is morphed into a CGI werewolf. A little bit of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot and mythology fail also applies there, as he seems to identify more with "vampire" than "werewolf" in most of his image...
  • Ass Kicking Pose: When he stands on his drums before jumping back behind them (or in more recent performances, holds his sticks in the X shape).
  • Ass Shove: There is a photoshoot photo from around the Jealousy era (early 1990s) that is of him standing under a waterfall, performing one of these on himself with his fingers.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: One of the very first Visual Kei artists to do this and absolutely succeed at it. Even now that he looks more masculine, the androgyny he still possesses makes him attractive to some (though not to very heteronormative people...)
  • Author Appeal: Cool Cars have often made their way into videos for the band (such as the 2010 version of Rusty Nail), and quite a few of his photographs. He and X Japan also once sponsored a Le Mans race team in The '90s.
  • Bleached Underpants: His classical solo career seems to be taking this turn, as he wishes to be serious and appeal to a wide demographic, which frequent use of the Cluster F-Bomb, Intercourse with You songs, and Shock Rock tropes generally don't help, at least in the traditional view. Whether he will continue on with the process of remaking his image, or try to fuse classical to rock more as he's mentioned wanting to do (and therefore potentially bring in the rock demographic, while taking the risk of spurning more traditional classical fans), no one knows.
  • Blood Bath: Once took such a bath in fake blood (while fully clothed) during a photoshoot for Fool's Mate magazine and, in the past with X Japan, has written a song about the Trope Maker Elizabeth Báthory entitled "Rose of Pain".
  • Distressed Dude: Combine this with Dominatrix and you have White Poem PV and live for X Japan.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Yoshiki is notably one of the few Japanese rock musicians who has rarely, if ever, posed with even an obvious prop gun nor used firearms or firearm iconography in his personal imagery. He's posed with knives and other weapons and blood, but the absence of guns (especially since guns are the definition of a shocking image in Japan where they are forbidden by law to all but the police and yakuza) is definitely notable.
  • Dramatic Shattering: May very well be the king of this trope. Has done it onstage, in videos for both X Japan and Violet UK, and elsewhere.
  • Epic Rocking: When he tries, it tends to hurt him very badly, but this is the person who brought Art of Life into being. And who, before his injuries got so severe, would perform it AND the rest of a set during shows.
    • 12 minute drum solo at the Yokohama live August 15th.
    • Any given drum solo on the North American tour 2010.
  • Fainting: He has fainted onstage and/or before/after shows due to anemia, emotional overload, exhaustion, or faking it onstage for the sake of drama, or some combination of all of the above.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: He plays into this image so much it has become both a part of his image and Memetic Mutation.
  • Genre Popularizer: Visual Kei alongside BUCK-TICK, SEIKIMA-II and D'erlanger, and the first to name Visual Kei as such as listed below. Arguably alongside others such as Loudness, Anthem, and Rosenfeld, Japan's heavy metal scene in the 1980s.
  • Godiva Hair: Accomplished this in Nude, with extensions added to his already long hair, to make his hair reach his feet.
  • Grief Song: Tears, which was written for Yoshiki's father who committed suicide when Yoshiki was 10, and then rededicated to hide. Without You, which was written for hide. Also a very common theme in his Violet UK work.
  • I Am the Band: For Violet UK, Yoshiki is the only permanent member.
  • Iconic Items: His acrylic "crystal" drumkit and piano.
  • In-Joke: RICE MONSTER! Also, the "piano guy." As of The New '10s, bananas.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: The Yoshikimono fashion shows/kimonos, which he actually said he got into doing because it is his family's tradition - being kimono makers, and as the oldest son he wanted to give back to his obligation in a way.
    • Also known for wearing kimono (front-tied ones...) onstage, and for wearing a lot of other traditional costuming - though he usually goes for the female type of it out of androgyny. For example, at X Japan's world tour stop in Bangkok, Thailand, he wore a traditional Thai women's dress.
  • Kung-Shui: Once caused so much damage via Bar Brawl and so much damage while drunk otherwise that he was banned by name from several Tokyo bars, drinking establishments, hotels, and restaurants, the ban only being removed once he was rich enough to pay for any damages on the spot and famous enough that "having your bar destroyed by Yoshiki" was a good thing. Also well-known for smashing up the stage and grabbing random objects and throwing or running with them...
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Subverted Trope: Yoshiki has an infamous photo book entitled "Nude." However, due to the photo book being shot and primarily sold in Japan, which at the time (and currently) insists on at least token censorship for male genitalia, he has a sheet and lighting covering it in every pic where it could possibly be seen.
  • Moustache de Plume: Inverted, his alias of "Hitomi Shiratori."
  • One-Mario Limit: If you're a Japanese musician named Yoshiki, just try to not have people confuse you with the most famous one. Even people who were active before/contiguously with when this Yoshiki became famous (e.g. the guitarist of Guitar Wolf) often get confused.
  • One-Steve Limit: The above has resulted in many modern artists altering the spelling or capitalization or pronunciation, adding their last names, or otherwise doing something to try to differentiate themselves, especially if they play the same instruments or are composers.
  • Pop-Star Composer: How he first became known in the US outside of existing X Japan fans - he's signed on to several film music and soundtrack projects.
  • Projected Man: Created one of these of himself for the 2014 South By Southwest Flaunt Magazine party performance - playing Art of Life in a piano "duel" against it - which became a viral video and likely got him more publicity than anything else in the world at large.
  • Raging Stiffie: The mokkori pics. Around ten official photos (some being selfies) that tend to circulate on fandom communities.
  • Record Producer: Extasy Records. Among bands he has produced at one point or another: Luna Sea, Tokyo Yankees, Music/Glay, Abandoned Pools, Kidney Thieves, Dir en grey.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Smashing his drums/drum kit is a pretty common part of Yoshiki's shows...
  • Secret Identity: Has had a few. "Gary Yoshiki," and "Hitomi Shiratori" (overlapping with an inversion of Moustache de Plume) are two of the ones he's used in the past.
  • Shower Scene: A photoshoot exists where he's taking a shower fully clothed.
  • Sitting Sexy on a Piano: There is a picture from at least one concert of Yoshiki lying back on his piano with his legs spread.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: Yoshiki's occasional reaction to stumbling upon his haters.
  • Something about a Rose: Yoshiki and X Japan often have a lot of rose motifs. This is also Author Appeal for Yoshiki as he has mentioned maintaining a rose garden at his home.
  • Sunglasses at Night: He wears sunglasses almost all the time, to the point that seeing his eyes is considered rare.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: White Poem for X Japan in both the PV and the live is one example, but he tends to do this either on his drum kit, on the stage, or in the audience at any given live show. And for more than three minutes, too...