Title / Artist
Interview with HIZAKI at Hyper Japan
Date: 2017.01.29
Artist:   Versailles Philharmonic Quintet   HIZAKI  
Hizaki is back in London at Hyper Japan. He is performing solo this time, yet his band, Versailles, will be on tour in early 2017. Hizaki’s new instrumental album “Rosario” was released in August. Nippon Project would like to thank Hizaki and Hyper Japan to have the interview.

Hello. Thank you for your time. It’s great to see you in London again!
How was the meet and greet? What’s your impression of fans in London?

It’s been almost 4 years since I last visited London but I’m pleased to see my fans who came to my last show today again.

You have an experience of 20 years in the visual-kei scene, what do you like the most about it?

It’s a genre that I can express my view artistically and musically.

Is there any specific reason that you had your first solo gig outside Japan?

Ideally I wanted to come with the band but it actually costs a lot more if all members in the band came. I came by myself this time. It’s like making a first step before coming here with the band.

You’ve collaborated with various people. Which one is more memorable to you?

On the other day, there was a big event in Japan. I was with Yoshiki from X JAPAN. I was moved when I stood on the same stage with him.

Do you feel different when you are on stage by yourself and with Versailles?

I must speak when I’m solo on the stage. That’s a huge difference.

What is the best part when you are playing on solo? Anything else besides talking on stage?

The best part is that it’s all about the guitar. I must play at my best all the time when I’m by myself.

How was your experience when you were in Europe last year performing your solo shows?

I could visit all the places I wanted! When I come with the band, I have to accept a majority decision.

Any specific locations you wanted to visit in London?

I didn’t have time today but I’d love to visit Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abby. I have to make it happen tomorrow. It’s a must.

Where do you get your inspiration for your music from?

When I go abroad, I often go to churches to get inspirations.

What is the concept of your outfit today?

An angel. Sparkly one.

Do you have a different creative process when you are in your band and solo?

I create music that I can perform both solo and in the band. Whether you sing or play with a guitar is the only difference.

When did you start playing guitar? Was there a reason you chose a guitar?

I was about 12, in my 6th year in school, when I started. I always liked the sound of violin and was interested in classic music. My older brother was playing guitar at home and I thought it sounded little bit like violin. That was my initial thought made me pick up a guitar.

Is there anyone still inspires you?

In Japan, X JAPAN.

Could you tell us about your new album “Rosario”?

It was my debute album as a solo musician. It’s a guitar instrumental album but even if you aren’t really into guitar sound, I’m sure you can still enjoy it. Of course if you like guitar sound then you’d definitely enjoy it.

Which one is your favourite track?

I covered Antonio Vivaldi’s “Presto”. I believe I could arrenge it the way I wanted.

Do you think European audience is different from Japanese audience?

I guess European audiences are more likely to express their excitement than Japanese audience.

What’s your setlist like for today’s show?
There will be people who haven’t heard about me. I chose tracks that people who already know me and don’t know me can enjoy.

In spare time which musician do you listen to?
I’ve been listening to MUSE since I arrived in London.

You are coming back in January 2017 with your band Versailles. Are you excited about that?

It’s been 4 years since I toured with Versailles. Again, we are doing our tour in Europe before Japan. I am looking forward to it because it will determine the band’s future and also I will be able to meet our fans again.

Can you possibly tell us a little bit about how the tour is going to be like visually?

On the last tour, we felt like we were restricted to a lot of things on stage. This time, we will try to fully express the world of Versailles.

If you were to pick one word to describe year 2016, what would it be?
Passion. Very passionate year for me.

How about 2017?

I’d like it to be Hyper. Hyper Japan!

Which British aspect do you find the most bizarre?

mmm…do you wash your dishes properly? Honestly.

Is there anything you always bring from Japan when you are touring in Europe?

I take a lot of books with me. I don’t have enough time to read when I’m in Japan so I read books when I’m traveling.

Which visual-kei artist do you like at the moment?

Golden Bomber.

Any oversea musician you’d like to collaborate with?

I performed with Dragon Force last year and the vocalist of the band actually came to see me just now. I would like to collaborate with them again, possibly in London!

Could you give Nippon Project a comment?

Versailles is coming to Europe in January and February 2017. Please come and support us and enjoy the show!
Author: Meiko Kikuta
last update: 2017-01-29