SHOXX #7 Excerpts

“living & death”
When I was a child I often thought about “dying” before I went to sleep. Now I don’ really do that anymore. Nowadays it seems kinda cute but when I was young I used to have this dream quite often. I can still remember it clearly. My parents and me and some guy who looked like a devil were in that dream. We were standing at a high place and below us was a sea of fire, and we were told “one of you has to jump”. At that time I thought “I will surely jump” and when I jumped the dream always ended. So as a child I thought “if my parents or relatives had to die then it is better that I die instead of them”. I had been having this dream until elementary school and thought like that. I thought that “before people that I know have to die then I would rather die for them”. When I got older I didn’t have this dream anymore, so as an adult I have become quite egoistic, ne. I seem to have become a person who thinks “better not me”. I don’t like that. (laughs)
Now, recently I haven’t felt death close to me but I have experienced the death of a friend as my former band’s manager died. But still I didn’t really know. It feels like “what is the difference?” when a dying person lies in front of you. Until now…no idea. Of course it is sad but already as a child they tell you that death is something very sad so of course it makes you sad. For me feeling sadness is something like “I don’t want to experience this ever again”. So like people going to another country….what is the difference? The real feeling hasn’t come up yet, so I still don’t know. Right now, it’s vague and exaggerated, so I don’t know and honestly I kind of don’t want to think about it.

“prodigy & genius”
My parents wanted me to become a talented student, so they gave me the name Hideto. As a result I have become a genius (laughs). Saying that…I am really stupid, ne. Among those people close to me, Yoshiki is a person who is a genius and a prodigy at the same time. Really, he is such a hardworking person…that’s why. That kind of Rocker is quite unusual, I think.
You have to salute to this person’s effort.
I haven’t seen that kind person. When you realize that you have to succumb to something and then set your mind on working hard. Sometimes it turns into violence but it’ll also settle down (laughs). No matter how high the wall before your eyes is, with the strength of one’s efforts come what may. This way of thinking is that of a genius. Making a lot of effort is a prodigy. So maybe this talented student close by is this man.

“foreign country & japan”
Speaking of Foreign countries, then the very first country that comes to my mind is America. In my hometown of Yokosuka there are a lot of foreigners and since I was young I have seen lot of drunk foreigners there and as a result I didn’t like foreigners very much. Either one I disliked. But european music I liked a lot. Within myself the drunk foreigners of Yokosuka and Rock-music playing foreigners were two different things. Now at work I have the chance to meet foreigners who are experts. Being able to work with the foreigners of the world of rock that I looked up to in the past makes me very happy. Being inspired by many things, being quite impressed and getting motivation because of this. On the contrary working with this kind of foreigners I often get the feeling of “after all I am Japanese”. One thing or another this absolutely is the Japanese spirit (laughs).

“manly & womanly”
Of course womanliness is important, I think. But when my parents had been told such a thing they were in a rage. Everytime I put up posters with japanese bands wearing make-up, they would tear them down saying “take on more manly manners” and “take part in club activities and become more manly” so this kind of talk was very much to my dislike. When I see a woman however I unintentionally think about womanliness.
- Yeah, in front of women you feel their womanliness?
That is when the meal she cooks for you is delicious (laughs). Of course this is the best, I think. Feeling manliness is when the meal a woman cooks for you is delicious, I think (laughs). And there is probably nothing better than that.
“justice & tenderness”
It is not to say that it’s unusual. There is a social obligation and one’s own feelings. The connection is of course Extasy [records]. Watching Yoshiki and George these words come up. No matter how often George gets beaten screaming “But Yoshiki…this is….” I feel it. That’s why in my surrounding social obligation and one’s own feelings means Yoshiki and George. Me? I don’t feel this suits me.
Speaking about it when we drove back from a show in Osaka and it took 11 hours by bus. During that time I watched the 5 parts of “jigi naki tataki” [The Yakuza Papers - Battles Without Honor & Humanity]. I often go by myself to the video rental store and rent those kind of movies a lot. But the one I like most is “ore no sora”, like the kind of Motomiya Hiroshi. This is a manga but like this kind of world. Social obligation and compassion is around me a lot but I am not this type of person. Of course this element exists but whenever I hear those words I think of Yoshiki’s and George’s face. Because they are people who repeat the world of giri and ninjô at the izakaya (laughs).

“outside & inside”
My parents told me “since childhood you were a lion at home and a mouse abroad”, surely it is like that? In the past I was a child who always had a school report card saying “you should speak more actively”. Though when I came home I would scream and make a fuss. As an adult now I am not a person who is different from the inside on the outside. For that I have to drink alcohol (laughs). Now when I come home I am not in a rage anymore. If I did these kind of things now I would just be a lunatic (laughs). Only if I do something dim-witted at home, then of course this is another me.
By nature I cannot think about many different things at the same time. That’s why I usually do foolish things. Other people often ask me “are you upset about something?” but it’s just me being a little stupid. That’s also why before going on stage the only thing I can think of is “playing a live show”. On the contrary I can immerse myself into things. I can concentrate a lot on one task and if I don’t, then I think about nothing. When I start then I concentrate a lot but before I start doing that it’s bad. If I don’t have a chance then I fool around. This is the meaning of inside and outside, that’s why the gap is quite intense, I think.

In private, the movies I like best are those with clean cuts. I have come to like movies that have a tasteful screen layout and are beautifully monochrome. I also like movies that are like a puzzle. These days, I like Sydney Sheldon a lot. That guy is a genius. I like the novels better but overseas they made movies out of them. I also like horror-movies. In the past I collected horror-movies. Splatter-movies are also ok. “Phenomena” I like but I love “Suspiria. These colors are so cool. In terms of horror “mein” is scary. Suspiria 1 is scary in a psychological way. When I watch horror-movies I think “this is not a ghost story at all” and then I am not scared. Suspiria 1 about bloodthirsty murderers of a religious group, when I think like that in an instant I am not frightened anymore but then I still get scared (laughs). The color and screen layout is cool and it seems like youget chased psychologically, so you’ll get frightened. There are movies that scare you physiologically but this movie is psychologically scary. Until Middle-School I couldn’t watch such movies at all. When I did I couldn’t go to the toilet at night alone. (laugs) In High-School, I only watched horror-movies. With the same feeling like I listened to rock music I would ask my friends “hey, did you watch that one?”. Later many rockbands wrote scores for horror-movies. Didn’t Iron Maiden and Motörhead contribute songs to Phenomena? So like listening to rock music it was the same fanatic feeling.


For that matter, do you fall asleep easily?
HIDE: I’m quick to both wake up and fall asleep. It’s a bit different once I come back to Tokyo, but during tours I just snap wide awake. Hey, do I wake up easily?
KUMA: Yes. You do.
HIDE: I’m quick to fall asleep too, but it takes me a pretty long time to get to bed. It’s like, I don’t wanna go to bed, I’ll just go to this one more bar *laughs*. And then once I’m in bed, I turn into a stone statue. Completely motionless.

How come you know what you’re like when you’re asleep?
HIDE: Toshi said so. Back in the day around the time of our indies, whenever we had a live in Osaka all of us would stay with Toshi’s relatives, we’d lay out our futons and sleep there.
Then when George was our roadie he’d follow us, all on his own, and sleep with all of us, except he snored so damn loud that no one could sleep *laughs*. I was the only one. In all of that noise, that snoring and grinding of teeth, I momentarily turned stiff as a statue and fell asleep. The others were always sighing how lucky I was that I could sleep through that. Apparently the way George snores and grinds his teeth is so bad it’s unearthly, and yet I never even had the slightest idea *laughs*.


So you have no trouble sleeping even if you aren’t in your own bed, right?
HIDE: Yup. Instead, I stay up as long as possible. Even if I’m sleepy, I’ll resist going to bed until I can barely stand. I sleep more soundly that way. Plus you know, I don’t really like sleeping. I mean, don’t you find it boring?

Alright, then I’m assuming you don’t sleep a whole lot?
HIDE: I take power naps. Generally speaking, during a tour I’ll go to bed around 9 and by 11 I’ll already be awake.

What? So, 2 hours?
HIDE: It’s been that way ever since my indies. Generally I’ll sleep 2, 3 hours. I mean, it’s a waste of time, no?


Is it that you don’t dream then?
HIDE: I do dream. I’m telling you, I’m busy *laughs*. I’ve been told that I’m busier asleep than when I’m awake.

Is there anything you dream of often?
HIDE: I dream about running a fever pretty often. But I can’t remember much of it, you know. I mean, when it comes to dreams, you’ll remember them pretty well right after waking up but then you’ll forget them during the day, or sometimes, you’ll only remember right when you’re about to fall asleep again. Right? But I sleep very little so it feels like I usually dream about the same stuff. I can’t really remember now, but I don’t think they’re particularly good dreams. They don’t make any sense, even if I try to write them down. They’ve just always been like that.
I think that people who say their dreams are coherent stories are either nuts or simply lying. I mean, doesn’t that sound ridiculous to you? I’ve never had dreams like that. I’ve only ever dreamt stuff that makes no sense.


Yoshiki says he sleeps very little too. Does all of X seldom sleep?
HIDE: Not so. Pata and Taiji, do they ever sleep! Those two never wake up, no matter how many times you try to wake them *laughs*. But for me it’s inconceivable that I could stay asleep when someone’s trying to wake me up. Whenever someone tries to I wake right up with this possessed groan.
I’m not kidding, I’m a real zombie. I’ll be sleeping like a statue, not a peep, and then the moment someone calls my name I’ll groan awake and just like that, I’m washing my teeth *laughs*.

Are you quick on the uptake right after you wake up?
HIDE: Nope. I can’t think straight so I wash my teeth, use the toilet, take a bath, all in a complete daze. Lately I’ve often been eating the moment I wake up. I wake up groaning like some zombie and just start shoving food in my mouth *laughs*.


No. I meant when you get sleep paralysis *laughs*.
HIDE: Well, see, I can still move my eyes and my mouth. So I’ll bite my lips, cause it’ll pass if I do that. I also count out loud, or I hit the wall against my head since my head’s the only part I can move….

HIDE: Oops, sorry. There’s no walls crashing into my head *laughs*. I hit my head against the wall, that’s what I meant.


You really do love alcohol, don’t you?
HIDE: But you know, I wasn’t that much of a heavy drinker until I joined X.

What, really?
HIDE: ‘Cause I didn’t drink excessively.

But, back during the Saver Tiger era there was this one zine where you were interviewed with Yoshiki, remember? And you only talked of your drinking stories, the both of you. I think even the caption might have been along the lines of, “where there is alcohol, there is life”….
HIDE: Oh right, that one. Why are you wasting your memory on something like that?

It left an impression *laughs*.
HIDE: Of course I did drink. I’ve even bar-hopped with a bottle in hand, but a lot of it was just for show. I wasn’t one to drink so recklessly. Mm……well personally I think so anyway, though now I wonder if maybe I’m exaggerating.

When did you start drinking?
HIDE: Around 3rd year of senior high, I think. How old was I, in 3rd year? 17 or 18? Yeah, so I’ve been drinking regularly since then. But I had no money back then, right. So I didn’t drink anything expensive.

And what did you drink?
HIDE: Beer that my sempai treated me to, or absinthe I was given to try.

Absinthe? Isn’t that incredibly strong?
HIDE: It’s strong and it’s foul. I was plastered in no time.


Because you weren’t one to drink as excessively, back in the day?
HIDE: You know, I wasn’t. Even now I don’t really like chugging.

What, really?
HIDE: Really. It’s really not something I like. I mean, I do it when I meet up with people but it’s not something I’ll ever propose we do. I absolutely hate chugging all my drinks in a row.

So then, you like drinking what you like at your own pace?
HIDE: Yeah…… But whenever I hear something like that it inevitably brings PATA’s face to mind *laughs*. He really loves his booze. I neither love it, nor do I need it to live. I don’t drink every day, and I practically never drink at home.

Because you don’t drink alone by yourself?
HIDE: I don’t drink at home unless I’m feeling extremely down. But I do have a terrific amount of booze at my place, just standing there all in a row.

So what you really mean by that, is that you aren’t a lush.
HIDE: What I like is the atmosphere that comes with drinking. I like the atmosphere when I’m drinking with everybody, that’s why I don’t like drinking by myself much. Generally speaking, drinking alone never works out well for me. I guess that’s the reason I hate it.

Why, what happens when you do?
HIDE: I kind of turn glum. Every time I drink alone.


Sometimes when you’ve been drinking you’ve been known to say, “I’d be better off dead”. Is that also something you say because of your negative attitude towards yourself?
HIDE: That could be why. Though I really don’t think that I’d be better off dead, at all. I don’t normally think that.

Do you hate yourself?
HIDE: I don’t necessarily hate myself, but there are parts I dislike. Some 30% of me. And if I were to love myself and think I was the best, that doesn’t mean it’s all that I’d ever think. Because if it was, then I wouldn’t have a need to create, nor would I be able take pleasure from creating, right? Take clay work for example. I think that someone who likes everything about himself won’t be able to create anything but carbon copies of himself. Doesn’t matter if it’s a cow, a rhino, or an elephant. So I have to wonder, when it comes to the act of creation, whether hating yourself to a certain degree isn’t necessary for it to work.
Now, I really don’t know whether it’s true what they say, that the stronger a person is the more sublime their creation. But I wonder, maybe it’s that when you think you’re perfect, that you’re number one, you just don’t have the need to ever create anything different. And if you get that far, then you start feeling just like God, the creator of man, no? But that’s really not something you’ll get unless you attain godliness. Wait, what was I talking about again? *laughs*

About whether you hated yourself.
HIDE: Right, right *laughs*. But you know, what I say when I’m drunk, about how I’d be better off dead. I myself don’t get what I really mean by that. I bet it’s because I’m drunk *laughs*. And besides, I haven’t said it lately.


What about cigarettes?
HIDE: I’m a super heavy smoker. Back in the day when I worked part time there definitely were times when I wasn’t allowed to smoke on the job but that’s not the case now.
When I’m recording in the studio, I smoke even more. I think about five, six packs a day?

Doesn’t that make you a chain smoker?
HIDE: Yep. It’s an insane amount. But I never think about quitting.

Your throat doesn’t get sore?
HIDE: It does. Plus it’s hard, you know, the times I catch a cold. And sometimes my lungs hurt. However……by now it’s been so long that I really don’t want to quit. And I do think that I’d gain weight if I did *laughs*. The rare times I catch a cold, and stop smoking for the duration, all I do is eat and eat. If I stopped smoking because of the pain in my lungs, or because I don’t enjoy the taste of cigarettes, I’d do nothing but eat instead.

You used to be overweight, am I correct?
HIDE: Shut up *laughs*. But you see, if you were overweight at one point in time, the number of fat cells in your body will always stay the same after that, so the risk of gaining the weight back is extremely high. For people who were overweight just once in their life and then lost the weight, it’s a lifelong effort to keep the weight off. You can’t ever lose your focus. I’m not kidding you.

If you were told to give up either smoking or alcohol, which would you choose?
HIDE: Alcohol, no doubt about that. I could give up drinking easily if I ever wanted to. Drinking is a pastime, smoking is a daily necessity. To me, cigarettes are more than just a luxury item, you know *laughs*.



Is that so.
HIDE: Trust me, I’m patient. And I don’t like to fight.

Is it because you care about your friends?
HIDE: Yeah, but I mistrust people a lot too. Happens several times each month, sometimes even lasts several weeks.

It happens that often?
HIDE: Yep. I’m quite the misanthrope.

Does it make you deeply depressed, whenever you feel like that?
HIDE: I can’t say myself, whether I’m depressed or not. I think you wouldn’t be able to tell even if you kept an eye on me right from the outset, seeing as I don’t really have mood swings. The one thing that happens when I notice I’m being mistrustful is that I don’t leave my house much, I try to meet people as little as possible because I turn all paranoid. Because if I meet up and chat with anyone, then once I get home I start thinking, what exactly were they implying when they said what they did? Bah, it’s just your run of the mill paranoia. Although I’m not exactly sure what a ‘run of the mill paranoia’ entails *laughs*.

But I know that you’re kind towards other people, or even strangers.
HIDE: I wonder, am I…? I’m not too sure about that.



And the snake head you are sporting today, was that also based on a concept of yours?
HIDE: See, I told them I wanted to be a snake-man, or a Gorgon.

What’s a Gorgon?
HIDE: She’s a snake-woman, those who saw her reflection would turn to stone….

HIDE: Isn’t the Gorgon Medusa’s relative? I don’t remember which is which but anyway, that’s what I wanted to be. I’ve been saying for a while how I wanted to have my hair be all snakes, but I asked Kameyama-san cause I knew he was the one who could make it happen. […]