LOS ANGELES, CA- Hideto Takarai is the Japanese rock vocalist known as HYDE. His presence is huge in Japan, as over the years he has entrenched himself in the countries artistic culture as a musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor. He is probably best known as lead vocalist of the rock band L’Arc-en-Ciel, but has also received global acclaim as the lead vocalist of his band Vamps and for his own solo career.

In 2018, after over a 10 year hiatus, Hideto returned to releasing  solo music as HYDE with a series of his rocking singles including “Who’s Gonna Save Us” (June 2018), “After Light” (June 2018) and “Fake Divine” (October 2018) and most recently  released “Zipang”, featuring Yoshiki, in February of this year. These singles culminated in the release of HYDE’s fourth solo album, Antiwhich was released on May 3rd, 2019.

This Spring, HYDE has been touring the Unites States, hitting up huge festival dates and also as support for In This Moment, and the tour will wrap up in Los Angeles at 1720 which is guaranteed to be an amazing evening of hard rocking music destined to get the adrenaline pulsing through your viens.

Blurred Culture was able to chat with HYDE ahead of his Los Angeles engagement, and talk about the changing times and some of the music on his forthcoming album.


It’s been over 10 years since you last performed as HYDE. What inspired you to write and release music as HYDE as opposed to your other musical projects after all these years?

Until now, I had been approaching the US market with VAMPS, but we weren’t able to work efficiently, so I decided to start again as a solo act.

But now I have more freedom, and because of that I have progressed drastically.

How has the U.S. reception been at your recent shows?  You’ve recently performed at several high project festivals (Epicenter and Welcome To Rockville) and have been touring with In This Moment in addition to small headlining shows. Are you noticing more longtime fans or new fans in your crowds?

When I perform as a support act or at a festival, the majority of the audience are not our fans, but as we play further into our set, the audience’s reaction gets better little by little.  Seeing that happen in front of me makes me feel like I’m breaking new ground and that is interesting.

As for the fans, I think I see many of the same people.

And with the newer fans, to me it seems like most of them are Americans.

Any particular performance thus far that has stood out as special or memorable?

Each day of touring with IN THIS MOMENT is very exciting.

Figuring out how to pump up a crowd of people who aren’t necessarily our fans leads to our growth as a band.

How is the U.S. audience different from Asian audiences?

The Asian audience tend to move together as one big group, but everyone moves freely in their own way in the U.S.

Both crowds have their own good qualities.

With the recent rise of Asian pop (BTS) and metal (Babymetal) acts in the American market, do you think there’s an opportunity for HYDE to break into the U.S. market? I know when you were performing as Vamps, you spoke about how difficult it was to break in the U.S, because at that time there wasn’t anything you could model yourselves after. Do you think there’s a clearer path today to getting your music out to the U.S. masses this time around?

I do think that the circumstances have improved slightly.

We also put more thought into various things.

There’s no way I can dance while singing like them (laughs), but I’m hoping that I get a good response for my new album.

You recently released “Anti” (May 3rd). It’s a fantastically kick-ass album. Aggressive industrial guitars, and rocking, anthemic hooks. Even more subdued recordings like the Yoshiki track “Zipang” swells with an epic tone. I love it. Is there any song in particular that you feel encapsulates your personal experience with this album? Any song in particular that you are most fond of, whether because of its meaning or because you just enjoy playing it?

Thank you.

ZIPANG is a song that I hope will prompt people to look back at the “good old days” that the modern Japanese society is starting to forget.  A culture that appreciates the seasons, and instead of just being shy, a society that cares for each other.  For example, we try not to speak loudly on the streets because it may be a nuisance to those around us.  Without knowing the thought behind it, some of our actions like these may seem weird, but it all stems from one person trying to be considerate of another.  And because of that, Japan is a country where riots don’t occur after a natural disaster.

YOSHIKI also contributed to this song by playing the piano, so I think that listeners all over the world will enjoy the Japan-like feel of this song.

As for the other songs, I want the audience to go crazy.

We have no doubt that they will.  Tickets for HYDE’s concert in Los Angeles may still be available. CLICK HERE to find out.

Follow HYDE on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Hyde. Publicity photo. Courtesy of the Artist. Used with permission.
Hyde. Publicity photo. Courtesy of the Artist. Used with permission.