YOSHIKI is a composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer, and leader of the rock groups X Japan and The Last Rockstars. He has sold over 30 million albums and singles, and is reportedly the first Japanese artist to have headlined Japan’s Tokyo Garden Theater, England’s Royal Albert Hall, Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. The new documentary film YOSHIKI: Under The Sky premiered earlier this year, as supported via the YOSHIKI Classical 10th Anniversary World Tour with Orchestra 2023 REQUIEM, and is expected to come to a U.S.-based streamer in the coming months.
So what does that have to do with Van Halen?” When gearing up to interview YOSHIKI as part of a recent junket, loyal Van Halen News Desk reader — and author of the forthcoming book DLR Book: How David Lee Roth Changed The World and co-host of The DLR Cast with Steve Roth — read about the impact KISS had on a very young YOSHIKI. In knowing that both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS have taken credit for discovering Van Halen, Paltrowitz threw in some KISS-related questions to YOSHIKI including:
– Whether Van Halen was one of YOSHIKI’s major influences (“I’m a huge Van Halen fan… I liked the era of David Lee Roth, I liked them with Sammy Hagar”)
– Whether Van Halen ever recorded at one of the recording studios owned by YOSHIKI (affirmative)
– Whether YOSHIKI’s wearing a neck brace in concert while drumming had anything to do with Alex Van Halen doing the same (“I did not know he was wearing a neck brace. I have to check that out”)
– Whether YOSHIKI ever encountered Diamond Dave during his DLR’s time spent living in Tokyo in the early 2010s (“I wish… I may have had the same tour manager, actually Martin Hom… Marty did Shakira, Beyonce, Rolling Stones, he’s my tour manager for a long time”)
– Whether YOSHIKI — who Gene Simmons style, has collaborated on products with countless brands, including Coca-Cola, Michael Mondav, Pommery and Hello Kitty — plans to market neck braces (possibly, to humor Darren) or coffins (negative)
YOSHIKI: Under The Sky features the X Japan co-founder’s collaborations with a variety of artists, including Sarah Brightman, Nicole Scherzinger, St. Vincent, Scorpions (who played with Van Hagar as part of 1988’s Monsters Of Rock tour), The Chainsmokers, HYDE, SUGIZO, SixTONES, Jane Zhang and Lindsey Stirling. So only time will tell which YOSHIKI-related artist Paltrowitz will next bother with some Van Halen-related questions.
Watch “YOSHIKI – DRUM SOLO after 2 neck surgeries – No Audience Live – X JAPAN”