Vicious Vol.10
January 1995
Interview with hide (X-Japan) and Kyo (Die In Cries)
Text by: Yusuke Kato
Translation: w_b

Has it been a while since you've last met up with Kyo-chan?
This is the first time since he put out his solo album.

You mean [Ihoujin]? Did you give it a listen?
Yeah. Even today, I was listening to it on my way here.
Kyo: He called me completely out of the blue. Here I was wondering what the hell he wanted and he goes, "Just thought I'd call to tell you I enjoyed your solo album". Man, I was happy.
hide: But that's cause I really did enjoy it! It shows your skill, you know. You've gotten good, Kyo-chan.

After all, he's the vocalist who sold out the '2 days' shows at Yokohama Arena *smiles*!
And I'm damn proud of him *laughs*.
Kyo: And this is what I heard from our mutual voice trainer, Michiko-san. "Kyo-chan, if you could have started singing properly in Saver (Tiger. hide and Kyo's ex-band that they had formed together), you would have, wouldn't you." That's what she said *laughs*.

So you weren't singing properly back then?
I was screaming *laughs*. Cause the keys were so high that I could only manage if I shouted. I mean, most songs went about as high as [Sadistic].
hide: That's X's [Sadistic Desire] now. But back then we called it [Emotion].
Kyo: TOSHI ♪, he can sing Sadistic Desire~ so damn well. But I ♪ would belt out Sadistic Emoshoooooon!!! *laughs*

That's real metal right there *smiles*.
It's metal alright *laughs*.
hide: I'm telling you, Kyo-chan's MC's were super vulgar *laughs*. "Hey you, are you even listening?! See that door behind you? Get the hell out of there, you asshole!" *laughs*

Are you in the Tokyo Yankees or something *laughs*?
But I did those kinds of MCs cause it made hide-chan happy *laughs*.
hide: Yet your current MCs haven't changed at all, have they? "Ey! Thanks for coming to the Die In Cries show today, ey! The next song is, ey!" It's fun trying to count how many times he'll go, "ey!" *laughs*.
Kyo: He brings this up every single time we drink *laughs*.
hide: I used to have this running joke, "Today, a stingr-ey! And then, a flounder!" *laughs* (1)

So you were pretty wild back then because you played metal?
That's not the case at all. I'd made it a rule to be stoic when I drank.

But I used to chuck beer bottles at the Yokohama National Gymnasium a lot *laughs*.

You're a hooligan alright, through and through *laughs*.
I've even thrown a juice vending machine into the ocean *laughs*. Cause see, my dream at the time was to sink the Hikawa-maru (a ship moored in the Port of Yokohama).
hide: TETSU (presently of CRAZE) would often talk about it, you know?
Kyo: Now, at the time I still lived with my parents so I'd take me two hours to get to the rehearsals in Yokohama. *laughs*
hide: See, I decided on Yokohama cause it was midway *laughs*.

That's what you call midway?! *laughs*
The rehearsals would end in the middle of the night, right? There weren't any trains so he'd bring me to Yokosuka instead. Then the next evening, I'd get a call from hide-chan asking if I'd go drinking with him. And then, when it'd be time for me to catch the last train, he'd go, "want to go to Moss Burger?" I wouldn't want to go and yet somehow he'd keep me from going home. And he still does the exact same thing these days. It sucked. I'd barely make the last Keihin express going home, I'd be sitting in the train all alone for two hours. It was so lonely *laughs*.
hide: Yeah, I remember *smiles*.
Kyo: (Back in those days) whenever I'd stay over at hide-chan's house it was so messy, he was so messy *laughs*. He had piles of magazines and records everywhere *laughs*.
hide: Had you followed my parents you would've seen right away that mine was the only messy room in there *smiles*.
Kyo: You know hide-chan's mom would always make us eat so much. And she'd get mad at us if we couldn't finish it all *laughs*.
hide: We had the body type that went with that behaviour in my family *laughs*. You'd get fattened up like geese for foie gras *laughs*.

But if I remember correctly, by then you didn't eat much anymore hide-chan? Your mom must've been happy, wasn't she? "Finally someone who can eat all of my food!"
I guess *smiles*.
hide: And then, another reason why I brought Kyo-chan to Yokosuka was that with his gold hair, his head was like BAM! so I told him that here it'd be a waste to put it up. Because really, no one did that that in Yokosuka.
Kyo: He was always telling me how I would create a stir, walking with my radio among the primitive locals *laughs*.
hide: Initially, Kyo-chan was recommended to me by a friend so I thought alright, let's meet this guy, and set up a meeting by the ticket gates of the Keihin Express' Yokosuka Chuo station. But you know, I got such a bad vibe from him that I almost ran the hell away from there *laughs*.
Kyo: Isn't he horrible? Calling me all the way over to Yokosuka *laughs*.

It's not like it was a phone club date or anything *laughs*. (2)
And then he came, looking like the Terminator *laughs*. ♪ Tattara~ta~ra~ tattara~ta~ra~ tattara~ta~ra~ tattarata~ (he sings music from the movie Apocalypse Now), with su~ch a huge head you know, wearing a red jacket like the one Michael Monroe has and jewellery jangling all over the place, he came, clomp, clomp, jangle, jangle *laughs*. I thought, it was like that FLATBACKER song, the one that goes " ♪ and he jangles when he walks around town", had been written about him *laughs*!
Kyo: See, back then I thought I looked like a Japanese Michael Monroe *laughs*. (3)
hide: Didn't that ignite a rivalry between you and G.D. FLICKERS' J♂E-san? *laughs*
Kyo: I'd tell him stuff like, "You're doing it wrong! You're not there yet!" *laughs*
hide: Didn't you wimp out after you saw an ad of his though?
Kyo: I thought, damn! He actually made it *laughs*!

So if Kyo-chan was Michael Monroe then who were you, hide-chan?
I was a mishmash of different people. Blackie Lawless among others, he was somewhere in there.
Kyo: And Captain Herlock.

That's from an anime, isn't it? *laughs*
And yet he was in there *laughs*!
hide: And Ranmaru, because I used to like him. (4)
Kyo: Right, Ranmaru was in there too. And yet you fit in, walking around Kichijoji like that.

You could also call it the Mandala style *smiles*.
Because the patterns I wore were Indian.

So your Bindi dot is a remnant of that style?
Not quite right. Mine's from Chinatown, it's more of a pseudo-Hindu thing. Oh, and speaking of which, you know Kyo-chan used to grow out the nail on his pinky finger. I thought cool! ...and then I saw him using it to pick snot from his nose *laughs*.
Kyo: Well it was handy *laughs*. It's alright, you can print that *laughs*.
hide: You don't grow it out anymore, do you?
Kyo: I do just a little bit. But it won't be long anymore by the time you print this~ *laughs*! But, when I think about it now, back in the day we must have looked terrifying to anyone who saw us, walking around Yokosuka's shopping strip *laughs*.
hide: And while doing all of that I eventually ended up in Tokyo, crashing at this girl's place *laughs*.
Kyo: And all of a sudden rehearsals were in Tokyo *laughs*.

Man, what a selfish guy *laughs*.
Still, I really was in a tight spot. I'd do the rehearsal and drive home, and by home I mean XXXX (it's somewhere in Tokyo), right. You know the place, Kato-chan. And then I'd get up at 5am to drive all the way to the bar in Yokosuka.
Kyo: We'd still go out together a lot, even though Saver ceased to exist after hide-chan came to Tokyo. And I'd bring girls over whenever I could. Oh yeah, right, this one time I was on my way to hide's place with a girl when I decided to go to a love hotel with her, and when I started looking for one I ran into PATA right in front of the station *laughs*. It was bad, I actually asked him if he didn't know of a hotel in the area *laughs*.
hide: XXXX was becoming more and more of a rock zone then, wasn't it. I was there, Kyo-chan and TETSU were there as well, and we'd call ZI:KILL over. By now enough time has passed that I can tell you that when Kyo-chan broke his hip it was in the park across from my place.
Kyo: The year before I debuted in D'ERLANGER, I was in the park across from hide-chan's place drinking beer and setting of fireworks, that's when I broke my hip and spent a month in the hospital.
hide: Wasn't it because you fell from a tree? *laughs* GEESS, the vocalist from this band called Dementia, was chasing Kyo-chan with a firework. And then Kyo-chan climbed high up a tree and came crashing down *laughs*. And off to the emergency room he went *laughs*.
Kyo: I went to that emergency room as Matsumoto Hideto (hide's name) *laughs*.
hide: That's cause you borrowed my insurance card *laughs*.
Kyo: At first I thought I had sprained my lower back or something. But when the doctor told me that I'd have to be admitted to the hospital I realized I couldn't do it as Matsumoto Hideto, and went home to my parents *laughs*.
hide: You can go ahead and print that since the statute of limitations has already expired *laughs*.

1. I tweaked the original joke a tiny bit because I wanted it to immediately make sense in English. The original line goes, "今日はさ, エイ! だからさ, ヒラメ!" (Kyou ha sa, ei! Dakara sa, hirame!)
Hirame is a type of fish called a flounder. As for the 'ei' Kyo is so fond of shouting, it can also mean a stingray. So the whole joke lies in the double meaning of 'ei' as both Kyo's favourite exclamation, and the name of a fish. I tweaked the spelling of stingray to make the joke a bit more obvious when translated.

2. Quoting the Wikipedia blurb about telephone clubs: "In the original incarnation of the telephone club, popular in the mid-1990s, a male client would pay a fee to enter a booth with a phone. The phone would then ring with calls from women or girls willing to go on a date - the implicit understanding being that this would lead to paid sex. These clubs have been outlawed as fronts for prostitution in some jurisdictions in Japan."
In other words what Kato-chan meant was, "It's not like you were going to have sex with him." :p

3. All you need to do is look up Michael Monroe's name to get dozens of great photos. I'll just leave you with his official website:

4. Ranmaru is the lead guitarist from The Street Sliders.