THE LAST ROCKSTARS, Yoshiki, Hyde, Sugizo, and Miyavi, are returning to Los Angeles, CA this fall! The performance will be at the YouTube Theater on November 29, 2023. Notably, it will be the only show in the US for this very limited tour, which will also be live streamed for those who are unable to attend the performance in-person. There will also be a Tokyo, Japan leg of the tour prior to their stop in LA at the Ariake Arena from November 21 to November 23, 2023
The band’s second single “Psycho Love,” released the same day as the press conference on August 4, topped #1 on iTunes Rock and Dance Charts, including #1 on Japan’s iTunes All Genres chart. Composed by Hyde and written by Hyde and Yoshiki, the English-lyric song is a powerful, upbeat rock ballad, worthy as an epic theme to the Avengers of J-rock.
Earlier this year, THE LAST ROCKSTARS released their first single and launched “THE LAST ROCKSTARS Live Debut 2023” tour, which included several sold-out shows in Tokyo, New York City, and Los Angeles. The highly-anticipated follow-up tour, and being the only show in the US, will likely follow the same trajectory.
PRESS CONFERENCE & INTERVIEW
We sat in on the last minute press conference virtually last week while they made the announcements and toasted in celebration to both the tour and the release of their second single.
It is a rare and very special occasion for all four legends to be in the same room together, and rarer yet to see their dynamics and personalities bounce off each other outside of a concert setting. Members were gracious enough to answer a few questions for both local and international journalists. To give the most faithful experience, we have transcribed the question and answers as they were provided live. Taking a memorable line from the chorus of their second single, “Psycho Love,” “I’m breaking the wall, with my passion,” was the theme of the night.
1) Since you’re all flying around the world to pursue individual projects, it must be really rare for the party to be together like today. So what do you all think about each other’s individual activity and projects? [- Emily, ENGLISH]
Yoshiki: I really respect everyone is doing their own things. Miyavi has been working really hard. Sugizo is working on his solo. Hyde is doing solo, as well. Hyde is doing another tour show and everything. I think this is like, as I say, kind of like Avengers, right? Individually, we can have (our) own career. But when we make it together… 1+1+1+1 is not 4, it’s almost becoming a 100. Something like this. I really respect their own careers, as well.
Miyavi: After the first shows in Tokyo and America, we could have continued as a band, our activity. But the thing is, we all have our own career and our own activities. And also the things we need to protect. Even though we’re not active as a band, we’re improving. We’re going to move forward… We all bring whatever we gained while not together. So I really, really respect what Yoshiki has been doing, Hyde’s been doing, Sugizo’s been doing. That’s the beauty. That’s the difficulty with this band as well ‘cause they’re too busy. That’s the tricky part.
Yoshiki: We’re always dedicating our time for this band.
Hyde: I think we are all very different, a very diverse band. But we are such great puzzle pieces together. We fill in each other’s weaknesses and we also bring out what’s good. So we are such a great band. Each member is so wonderful and if one of us was missing, THE LAST ROCKSTARS wouldn’t be us. It’s such a perfect balance. We are own chaotic in our own ways.
Yoshiki: Yeah, we totally are chaotic. You all say that I am chaotic, but I think you are all chaotic.
2) A lot of super groups sound good on paper, but it’s not the same thing when you go to a live. When I saw you live in New York, it was very clear you had this great chemistry. How did you build up to that? Was it just as spontaneous as it seemed or was there some sort of way you built up this comradely even though you know each other? [- Bryan, ENGLISH]
Yoshiki: I think it’s a combination of our skills. We’ve been crafting this skill for so many years individually. Also, we respect each other. It could easily be a disaster. “Super group” sounds good, but at the same time [we haven’t 100% proven ourselves] yet. We’re still a pretty new band. We kind of proved it in New York and Los Angeles shows. As Hyde said, we’re a missing puzzle. Somehow, we are creating one art, each one of us is a puzzle. Somehow, we are doing this. If I must say one word, it’s respect towards each other. So that’s the keyword for us, I think.
3) And also when you picked the name Last Rockstar ‘cause… obviously, pop and hiphop. I know in America, rock isn’t dead, but pop and hip hop certainly dominate the media. And I’m getting the impression that it’s the same thing in Japan. So what’s it like over in Japan and how do you feel you guys can help bring back some visibility to rock music and help inspire some of the younger bands? [- Bryan, ENGLISH]
Yoshiki: I mean it’s such a bold name to say. “THE LAST ROCKSTARS.” Miyavi, Hyde, Sugizo, we all talked about this when naming our band, THE LAST ROCKSTARS. I feel like, just go for it. I’m not saying we need more drama in terms of the rock industry and everything. But, yes, hip hop is dominating… But rock used to be like that. So, we’re not afraid to create drama, if they don’t mind.
4) Why did you choose for the next US show to be the YouTube Theater that will have a livestream? Why did you choose that particular venue? [- Bryan, ENGLISH]
Miyavi: That was available.
Yoshiki: Well, first of all, I live in Los Angeles…
Around the world: Asia, South East Asia, Latin America, Europe, everywhere… I eventually would like to go all over the place. But America is also near Los Angeles. Especially, Los Angeles is the center of the entertainment world, right? So we want to try to see how we can break these… I wouldn’t say boundaries. So in terms of [impact] in the music scene is very important. We played the Palladium show last time, so why don’t we go a little bigger? That’s the kind of vibe.
5) You were saying you had offers from Asia, Latin America, and Europe. So I was wondering whether you had any specific plans for concerts or live gigs outside of Japan and the US? [-Anna, ENGLISH]
Miyavi: You would [need to] ask Yoshiki. How do you want to do it?
Yoshiki: You were in Brazil a few weeks ago?
Miyavi: Yeah, I was in Brazil [and] Singapore. But everyone was kind of excited to have us as a band in their territories. But as Yoshiki said, US is kind of the mecha of vocal and then our mission is to… And, also, that is kind of our second home. Hometown. So definitely next year, yeah. Maybe?
Yoshiki: I mean, I went to Paris 3 times this month and last month. I mean, why not? Europe?
(Yoshiki turning to Hyde and Sugizo, asking in Japanese) Do you guys want to go to Europe? Central America? South East Asia? Maybe?
Hyde: Yeah, we’d love to!
Sugizo: Yeah. But, you’re too busy!
6) I’d like to ask you about your new single. Hyde you created the demo and you’ve made the arrangements. You have different arrangements. How do you do the arrangements? Do you go into the studio and clash with each other? Do you have set plans? How do you guys collaborate and create music together? [- Metal Hammer Japan, JAPANESE]
Hyde: We just exchange data often. Each of us will create different versions and we will pick [the best option]. But with this song, I wanted to have each member’s personality stand out. But I totally cut off a lot of mine.
Miyavi: Everyone’s personality is really in it.
Hyde: I did have to cut a lot of it. But I think it’s a great balance.
7) And when you first played the arrangement together, was it like “This is it!” [- Metal Hammer Japan, JAPANESE]
Hyde: I thought it was good!
Miyavi: Actually, I’m like… pretty much dancing. But when I did this in the live performance, you can see everyone was dancing and enjoying [themselves]. So I think that was how it was meant to be.
Sugizo: The live performance felt even more joyful, and this single has evolved over the past 6 months. I think we’ve moved forward a bit.
Yoshiki: I feel like there’s never gonna be a finalized version. It’s never gonna be complete.
Miyavi: But currently, what we have the best now is the best we have.
8) As you made your announcement, I couldn’t help but wonder, are going to have a bassist or a support member? And who do you have in mind to play the bass line. [JAPANESE]
Yoshiki: That question I feel like, I don’t want you to feel offended, but I feel like it’s not important. Because as a rock band, you know. It’s a question of “Does a rock band always need a drum, base, vocal, and guitar?” In the concert, Miyavi plays the base line. He just tunes the guitar so that it sounds like the base line. That’s not a very important question for us.
Sugizo: I’m sorry, but you are very narrow-minded. You think that a rock band needs a bassist. We don’t have a bassist, but that’s why we are good. When we didn’t have a bassist, the song automatically became like a dance tune. I play bass. Miyavi plays bass. We don’t really have a set preconception that we need a bassist.
Miyavi: I don’t think we have to be tied down to the concept of rock.
Sugizo: And for this arrangement, if we had a real bassist, the song wouldn’t sound like it does right now.
In reflecting about the band and what they would like to accomplish for this new tour, band leader Yoshiki commented that as a rock band, “There are still many walls in the Japanese music scene. If we don’t break those down, there’s no way forward.” Which Miyavi countered, “Just don’t break the drums.”
Miyavi added that performing overseas is not an opportunity that is afforded to many Japanese artists. Yoshiki has overcome challenges such as language barrier and cultural barrier. And likewise, they as a group, will continue to smash these walls through their unique music of rock and roll.
SHOWS & TICKETS
Tickets are now on sale!
- November 21, 2023
- November 22, 2023
- November 23, 2023
Purchase tickets here: https://udo.jp/concert/THELASTROCKSTARS23A
- November 29, 2023
Purchase Tickets here: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0A005EFCE3645868
USA, Los Angeles – YouTube Theater [LIVE STREAM]
- November 29, 2023
Purchase Tickets here: TBA
ABOUT THE LAST ROCKSTARS
THE LAST ROCKSTARS is comprised of four living legends, who have each made their mark on Japan’s rock history.
YOSHIKI – classical pianist, composer, rock drummer, leader of X JAPAN
HYDE – solo artist, vocalist of L’Arc-en-Ciel and VAMPS
SUGIZO – composer, guitarist, and violinist of LUNA SEA and X JAPAN
MIYAVI – “samurai guitarist”, singer-songwriter
The band’s first single “The Last Rockstars (Paris Mix)” was released on December 23, 2022, through Melodee Music/Ingrooves/Virgin Music. Their live debut world tour in 2023 included sold-out concerts in Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles.
THE LAST ROCKSTARS