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The X Japan drummer/songwriter and globally renowned artist was tapped to compose this year’s Golden Globes theme song. Kenny Herzog spoke to Yoshiki about the honor, why he’s excited for a Ricky Gervais teasing, and where plans for X’s next record fit into all this.

By Kenny Herzog
January 11, 2012

Like Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy, Yoshiki is kind of a big deal. It was only a matter of time until Hollywood summoned the X Japan maestro and multi-instrumentalist for something loftier than writing music for the Saw franchise (though X’s “I.V.” was arguably Saw IV’s shining moment). Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) President Dr. Aida Takia-O’Reilly—herself a native Egyptian—reached out to Yoshiki shortly after being instated in 2011. She’d hoped he would compose this year’s Golden Globes theme song and help send a message of global inclusion to the ceremony’s audience.

Naturally, Yoshiki embraced the opportunity as both a privilege and creative challenge, and a chance to continue pursuing his quest to make music that affects people from ocean to ocean. Not that it was easy. (Wrangling musicians and engineers during the holidays can be a logistical nightmare.) But as he explains below in his latest interview with Kenny Herzog(who spoke to the philanthropic hard-rock icon just after last summer’s tragic earthquake in Japan), Yoshiki is confident he delivered a song that’s fittingly grand but will make his worldwide fans no less X-static.

You just turned the Golden Globes theme into the HFPA this week. For all your and X Japan’s fans, how would you describe what they can expect?

You can hear a Yoshiki melody in it, then also there’s an element of classical music and an element of rock. I combined those together.

Did you consult songs from years past or just do your own thing?

I watched some DVDs of several years of the Golden Globes. Also, I was there last year, so I know what kind of vibe [they need].

Also, the president of HFPA gave me some keywords, like it needs to be Hollywood, needs to be prestigious, needs to be edgy.

So I listened to all those words carefully, digested in my head and then composed the song.

Is it a song you feel kicks ass beyond that grandeur and prestige?

I’ve never really done this kind of instrumental piece with an orchestra and a band together.

When I composed for the Japanese emperor, it was kind of a concerto. When I composed for the World Expo [in 2005], it had pop vibes too, but kind of a classical base.

This is a little more rock ‘n’ roll, but with classical in it. I’m proud of this song. It’s a totally addictive melody. I wanted to come up with something very catchy and still have some kind of depth.

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