The YouTube channel Abroad in Japan, by the British youtuber Chris Broad, was lucky enough to spend six days with HYDE throughout his Zepp Tokyo concerts. In his journey condensed into 25 minutes, Chris manages to get to know HYDE and expose funny tidbits such as if he prefers PlayStation or Nintendo, vodka or wine. But he also touches on a more serious topic that revolves around the reason why HYDE started pushing for an international audience, specifically America.
Abroad in Japan typically explores Japan through travel videos and showcases different aspects of Japan. Recently, Chris underwent the “Journey Across Japan” challenge which took him to every prefecture of Japan on a bike. Throughout the years of content, there was never much focus on Japanese music, except when he offered Marmite to a Japanese idol group, among similar videos, so seeing the channel pushing out a video with one of Japan’s biggest rock star, HYDE, was a surprise.
While there’s a lot of information gained through the video, we wanted to share some of the highlights that we thought were interesting.
Because of how less intimate big concerts can be, HYDE decided to hold six concerts in a smaller venue instead. This is in order for him and the fans to get as much out of the concert as possible.
Chris: Why do six days in a row, Zepp Tokyo? [Instead of a big venue like Tokyo Dome?]
HYDE: The amount of people that come to Tokyo Dome is impressive, but Zepp Tokyo is truly crazy! The fans go crazy and so I feel, “This is rock!”. The audience gets fired up, it’s like ecstasy. That’s why Zepp Tokyo is so fun.
Before HYDE was following his dream as a musician, he actually wanted to become a manga artist, or designer, anything that allowed him to draw. But due to his colorblindness, he gave up that dream.
HYDE: Back when I was a kid I wanted to be a manga artist, or a designer—more than anything I just wanted to draw pictures. I was always drawing pictures since I was young. But my eyes… I’m color blind. Not entirely but I’m weak with colors, and so when after graduating, I thought “Can I really be a designer?”. I was worried I couldn’t do it, and then I discovered music.
I may not be able to draw with colors, but through music, I can create the image of color in people’s minds.
Later in the video, HYDE explains why he decided to target a new audience outside of Japan. He has specifically been pushing the American market lately, something we discussed in our interview with HYDE earlier this year.
HYDE: Because I’m already established in Japan, when I make music people are like “Ah, it’s HYDE from L’Arc-en-Ciel!”. So they assume what it’ll sound like and don’t give it a chance. I think half the people in Japan are like that. Of course, fans will listen to it, but if it’s just fans listening I can’t ever broaden my audience. I need to appeal to new listeners too.
But in America, nobody knows who I am, so they can listen to my music with a fresh perspective. “Oh it’s a song by HYDE—a new artists”, there’s no link to L’Arc-en-Ciel. They can listen to it without prejudice and judge for themselves.
This was a very interesting insight into HYDE’s mind and just knowing that HYDE decided to do this unique type of coverage already shows how dedicated he is to push for a broader audience!