Taiji (musician)

Last updated
Taiji
Taiji Sawada.JPG
Taiji performing with X circa 1990
Background information
Birth name Taiji Sawada
Also known as Ray
Born(1966-07-12)July 12, 1966
Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan
Died July 17, 2011(2011-07-17) (aged 45)
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Bass guitar
  • guitar
Years active 1982–2011
Associated acts
  • Trash
  • Dementia
  • X
  • Loudness
  • D.T.R
  • Kings
  • Cloud Nine
  • Otokaze
  • the Killing Red Addiction
  • Taiji with Heaven's
  • TSP
Website taiji-tsglaston.com

Taiji Sawada(Japanese:沢田 泰司, Hepburn:Sawada Taiji, July 12, 1966 – July 17, 2011), also known mononymously as Taiji, was a Japanese musician and songwriter. He is best known as the former bassist of the heavy metal band X, with whom he also composed music and played acoustic guitar. X rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, credited as founders of the Japanese visual kei movement. After leaving X in January 1992, Taiji went on to work with many other bands, including Loudness and D.T.R.

Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions, consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation.

Mononymous person individual who is known and addressed by single name

A mononymous person is an individual who is known and addressed by a single name, or mononym. In some cases, that name has been selected by the individual, who may have originally been given a polynym. In other cases, it has been determined by the custom of the country or by some interested segment. In the case of historical figures, it may be the only one of the individual's names that has survived and is still known today.

Contents

Early life

Taiji Sawada was born in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan on July 12, 1966. He was the second son of three children. His younger sister Masayo is a singer known as Sister MAYO. When Taiji was two years of age, he shoved his hand into a machine in a factory where his parents worked, resulting in a first joint cut on the middle finger, but luckily, it was not too serious. In 1974, at age eight, Taiji learned how to play acoustic guitar while in elementary school. In 1979, Taiji's parents were divorced.

Ichikawa, Chiba City in Kantō, Japan

Ichikawa is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is approximately 20 kilometers from the center of Tokyo. The city was founded on November 3, 1934.

Music career

1982–1992: Early bands and X

After dropping out of high school in 1982, Taiji formed his first band called Trash, [1] where he was the leader and guitarist. In late 1984, he switched to bass and going by the name Ray joined the metal group Dementia, [1] staying until 1985. He then played briefly with Prowler, as well as a few shows with X. [2] Until 1986 when he joined the very short-lived Dead Wire, whose line-up also included future Saver Tiger and D'erlanger members, Kyo and Tetsu. Soon after he officially rejoined X at the end of 1986. [2]

X Japan Japanese heavy metal band

X Japan is a Japanese rock band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi. Starting as a predominantly power/speed metal band with heavy symphonic elements, they later gravitated towards a progressive sound with an emphasis on ballads. Besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, the group is widely credited as one of the pioneers of visual kei, a movement among Japanese musicians comparable to Western glam.

D'erlanger is a Japanese rock band from Kyoto Prefecture, formed in 1983 by guitarist Cipher and bassist Seela. While they originally played speed and power metal, after recruiting drummer Tetsu and vocalist Kyo they switched to an alternative rock sound for their debut album La Vie En Rose in 1989. Although it was on an indie label, it sold out and was reissued three times that year, earning them a major label record deal with BMG Japan the following year. They released Basilisk in March 1990 and it reached the top five on the charts. However, in December the group suddenly announced their disbandment.

Although he wrote many songs for the band, "Phantom of Guilt", "Desperate Angel" and "Voiceless Screaming" were some of the few that were officially released. In 2001, some of the unpublished songs were finally released in Rose & Blood -Indies of X-. Taiji left X in 1992, the official reason given by the band was due to musical differences. However, in his autobiography, Taiji claimed that he was asked to leave because he confronted Yoshiki due to the substantial income gap between Yoshiki and each of the other members. [1] When asked about Taiji's departure in 2016, Yoshiki said that while he really respected Taiji's musical skills and still does, he "crossed the line of our band's rules" and "To this day I still don't know if the decision was right or wrong, but we didn't have a choice." [3] Taiji's last concert with the band was the last day of three consecutive nights at the Tokyo Dome, it was released on DVD as On the Verge of Destruction 1992.1.7 Tokyo Dome Live .

Yoshiki (musician) Japanese musician

Yoshiki Hayashi, known by the mononym Yoshiki, is a Japanese musician, songwriter, composer and record producer. He is best known as co-founder of the visual kei rock band X Japan, for which he is the drummer, pianist and main songwriter. Yoshiki's solo career includes two classical studio albums—Eternal Melody (1993), produced by George Martin, and Eternal Melody II (2005)—and the classical compilation Yoshiki Classical (2013). He has also collaborated and played with artists such as Tetsuya Komuro, Roger Taylor, and Sarah Brightman.

Tokyo Dome stadium in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Dome is a stadium in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Construction on the stadium began on May 16, 1985, and it opened on March 17, 1988. It was built on the site of the Velodrome, adjacent to the predecessor ballpark, Kōrakuen Stadium. It has a maximum total capacity of 57,000 depending on configuration, with an all-seating configuration of 42,000.

On the Verge of Destruction 1992.1.7 Tokyo Dome Live is a live VHS/LD released by X Japan on November 1, 1992. It contains the band's performance at the Tokyo Dome on January 7, 1992, the last with Taiji Sawada on bass. The video was re-released on DVD on September 25, 2001, there is also a two-CD version of the same name.

1992–2006: Loudness, D.T.R, Cloud Nine

In April 1992, he was invited to join Japanese metal band Loudness. [4] He left them in November 1993, after recording only one studio album and one live album. In July 1994, he formed his own band and named it D.T.R, which stood for "Dirty Trashroad" and featured Mitsuo Takeuchi (ex:Joe-Erk) on vocals, Taiji Fujimoto (ex:The Dead Pop Stars, ex:Judy and Mary) on guitar and Toshihiko Okabe on drums. [5]

Loudness (band) Japanese heavy metal band

Loudness is a Japanese heavy metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi. They were the first Japanese metal act signed to a major label in the United States, releasing twenty-six studio albums and nine live albums by 2014 and reaching the Billboard Top 100 in their moment of maximum international popularity, as well as charting on Oricon dozens of times. Despite numerous changes in their roster, with Takasaki the sole constant member, the band continued their activities throughout the 1990s, finally reuniting the original line-up in 2001. This incarnation released a further seven albums until November 30, 2008, when original drummer Munetaka Higuchi died from liver cancer at a hospital in Osaka at age 49. He was replaced with Masayuki Suzuki.

The Dead Pop Stars is a Japanese visual kei rock band formed in 1992 by ex-Kamaitachi drummer Kenzi. Its current line-up consists of original members Aki and Kenzi on vocals and drums respectively, Hideto and Kentarou on guitar, and Ruiji on bass.

Judy and Mary was a Japanese rock band formed in 1991 in Japan by bassist Yoshihito Onda and vocalist Yuki, with drummer Kohta Igarashi and guitarist Taiji Fujimoto completing the lineup in 1992. Guitarist Takuya replaced Taiji the following year. The band is known for their innovative punk, rock, and pop meldings of noisy but melodic music in the 1990s.

In 1995, he also joined the short-lived supergroup Kings, with Shuichi Aoiki (Night Hawks) on vocals, Luke Takamura (Seikima-II) on guitar, and Satoshi "Joe" Miyawaki (44 Magnum, Spread Beaver) as support drummer.

A supergroup is a musical performing group whose members have successful solo careers, are members of other groups, or are well known in other musical professions. The term is usually used in the context of rock and pop music, but it has occasionally been applied to other musical genres. For example, The Three Tenors—composed of opera superstars José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti—or Rainbow have been called a supergroup.

Luke Takamura Japanese musician

Luke Takamura is a Japanese musician and songwriter. He is best known as guitarist of the heavy metal band Seikima-II from 1987 to 1999. In 1995 he joined the short-lived supergroup Kings, with Shuichi Aoiki on vocals, Taiji Sawada on bass and Satoshi "Joe" Miyawaki on drums. He is currently lead singer and guitarist of Canta, with his fellow Seikima-II member Raiden Yuzawa and bassist Masaki (Animetal). He provided guitar for the song "Chateau de Sable" on the 2016 album Fate by Mary's Blood.

Seikima-II band that plays heavy metal music

Seikima-II is a Japanese heavy metal band, formed in 1982. Throughout their career they have had numerous lineups, with lead singer Demon Kakka the sole constant member. The group has sold over 10 million records in Japan alone.

Guitarist Tomoyuki Kuroda later joined D.T.R in 1995, but a year later, Yoshihiko left, and then the band was put on hold when Taiji was going through personal problems. [5] During this time, Taiji was divorced from his wife, of whom he married in 1989, and became homeless. [1]

In 1999, he created Cloud Nine, but left in 2001 and they decided to continue on without him. [4] He then formed Otokaze(音風) with his sister Masayo on vocals, they released one self-titled album on November 9, 2004. [6]

In 2005 Taiji was in a motorcycle accident, where he badly injured the ligaments in his foot.[ citation needed ] D.T.R resumed activity in 2006 with keyboardist Kenji Shimizu and their former support drummer Kazuhisa "Roger" Takahashi, now official members. [7] [5]

2006–2009: Taiji with Heaven's, the Killing Red Addiction

Also in April 2006, he formed another band, Taiji with Heaven's, with Taiji on bass and Dai on vocals; later guitarist Ryutaro joined. [4] In 2009, they officially started activities; in May 2010, Takanari joined on drums and they released their first mini-album on January 13, 2010. [4]

In 2007, Taiji returned to Cloud Nine. [4] In 2009, he announced that he would once again be playing bass in a supergroup, The Killing Red Addiction with guitarist Tatsu (Gastunk), drummer Kenzi (Anti Feminism, The Dead Pop Stars, ex:Kamaitachi) and vocalist Dynamite Tommy (ex: Color). [8] They had their debut performance on June 22 at the Whiskey A Go Go, in Los Angeles, United States. [8] Their second performance was in Osaka, Japan at the Shinjuku Loft on December 29, and they released a cover of Gastunk's "Devil" on iTunes on January 13, 2010.

In December 2008, Taiji's staff announced on his blog that since September, his epilepsy and chronic strokes had worsened, [9] that he was suffering from necrosis after a hip joint replacement of the femoral component on his left hip, [9] and that on December 2, he was hospitalized again after falling and hurting his chest and throat. [9]

2010–2011: TSP, Reunited with X

In 2010, he formed TSP (Taiji & Shu Project), with Taiji on bass, guitarist Shu (Cloud Nine, Crazy Quarter Mile), vocalist Dai (Taiji with Heaven's) and drummer Hina (Crazy Quarter Mile). [2] Taiji with Heaven's also performed a show in Korea that year and later announced plans for further activities in the country the following year. [10] [11] However, these were cancelled due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

On August 12, 2010, Taiji rejoined X (now known as X Japan), with founders Yoshiki and Toshi at a press conference, to announce that he would be performing as a guest with X Japan at their August 14 and 15 shows at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama. [12] [13]

On October 9, it was announced that Dai was leaving TSP, and would be replaced by Hiroshi "Tazz" Maruki, which resulted in their debut album being delayed. [14]

On January 23, 2011, it was announced that Ryutaro was withdrawing from Taiji with Heaven's due to bad health and personal reasons. On February 17, Tokiya joined as guitarist, and it was announced that Taiji with Heavens would now be written without the apostrophe.

2011: Arrest and death

On July 11, 2011, Taiji argued with his female manager, named KT, on Delta Airlines Flight 298 during the final approach from Japan to Saipan. After the argument became physical, he was restrained by other passengers and a flight attendant, and he was moved to another seat, but his aggression persisted as he continued to punch windows and kick other seats. He was arrested upon landing in Saipan. [15] [16] [17] He faced federal charges in the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. [15] On July 14, Taiji was found unconscious in his detention cell, appearing to have attempted suicide by hanging himself with a bed sheet. He was rushed to an intensive care unit at Saipan's Commonwealth Health Center, where he was observed to be brain dead. His comatose body was placed on life support. [16] [18] [18] [19] [20] Taiji died on July 17 after his mother and fiancée made the decision to turn off his life support system. [20] [21] His fiancée, Tomomi Akatsuka, claimed that there were no marks of strangulation on his neck. In her 2015 book, Taiji, she wrote that she asked that his body be returned to Japan, but it was instead cremated without an autopsy. [22] She started a petition called: "Taiji voiceless truth" pleading for the investigation into his death be reopened. [23] [24]

Discography

Came with Taiji's autobiography titled Uchuu o Kakeru Tomo e: Densetsu no Bando X no Sei to Shi.
Came with a photobook titled Photograph.
With Dementia
With X
With Loudness
With D.T.R
With Kings
With Cloud Nine
Various artists compilation album in Vol. 3 of We Rock magazine.
Various artists compilation album in Vol. 15 of We Rock magazine.
With Otokaze
With The Killing Red Addiction
With Taiji with Heaven's
Various artists compilation album in Vol. 15 of We Rock magazine.
Various artists compilation album in Vol. 27 of We Rock magazine.
With TSP
Various artists compilation album in Vol. 21 of We Rock magazine.
Various artists compilation album in Vol. 27 of We Rock magazine.

Other work

Various artists compilation DVD, features an interview with Taiji, rehearsal and other footage.
Various artists compilation DVD, features an interview, studio rehearsal and live footage of D.T.R.
Various artists compilation DVD, features an interview with Taiji and Dai from Taiji with Heaven's, and live performances of "Black Vampire" and "Freeze" by TSP from April 24, 2010.
Tribute DVD to Taiji in Vol. 26 of We Rock magazine, composed of various footage of his bands from 2000 to 2011, mostly those included within issues of Rockin 'f and We Rock.

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 "Biography". taiji-tsglaston.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  3. "I am Yoshiki – Pianist, Drummer and Leader of X Japan. Ask me anything!". Reddit . 2016-03-13. Archived from the original on 2017-04-01. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "TAIJI With HEAVEN'S – In The Blood". carlbegai.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
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  8. 1 2 "THE KILLING RED ADDICTION – Japanese "All Star" Band Featuring Ex-LOUDNESS / Ex-X JAPAN Bassist And DIR EN GREY Executive Producer Announce Live Date For West Hollywood". bravewords.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
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  14. "Dai leaves TSP". jackup.co.jp/tsp/index.html. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  15. 1 2 "Unruly plane passenger arrested". mvariety.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
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  17. Agence France-Presse/Jiji Press, "Former X rocker dies in Saipan", Japan Times , 19 July 2011, p. 2.
  18. 1 2 "Sawada tries to kill self in jail". saipantribune.com. Archived from the original on 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  19. "Unruly plane passenger brought to ICU". mvariety.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.[ permanent dead link ]
  20. 1 2 "Musician Sawada dies". saipantribune.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2014-09-13.
  21. "Former X member Taiji dies in Saipan". natalie.mu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  22. "TAIJI The Voiceless Truth". Tamd.org. Archived from the original on 2017-11-19. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  23. "TAIJI Official Web Site". Taiji-tsglaston.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  24. "『YOSHIKIゴールデングローブ賞の記事&TAIJI海外での記事』". Ameblo.jp. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  25. 1 2 LOUDNESSのシングル売り上げランキング Archived 2010-06-03 at the Wayback Machine .oricon.co.jp Retrieved 2011-01-02
  26. 1 2 LOUDNESSのアルバム売り上げランキング Archived 2012-11-14 at the Wayback Machine .oricon.co.jp Retrieved 2011-01-02
  27. 1 2 DIRTY TRASHROADのシングル売り上げランキング Archived 2013-12-08 at the Wayback Machine .oricon.co.jp Retrieved 2011-01-02
  28. D.T.R.のアルバム売り上げランキング Archived 2013-12-08 at the Wayback Machine .oricon.co.jp Retrieved 2011-01-02
  29. KINGSのアルバム売り上げランキング Archived 2013-12-08 at the Wayback Machine .oricon.co.jp Retrieved 2011-01-02

Further reading