Japanese rock star Yoshiki will team up with American rock legends KISS for a once-in-a-lifetime television performance on Japan’s NHK network.
The artists will appear together as ‘Yoshiki feat. KISS’ (‘YOSHIKISS’) during the New Year’s Eve ‘Red And White Music Battle’ (‘Kouhaku Uta Gassen’), the most-watched television programme in Japan, which is also broadcast worldwide.
Yoshiki’s televised performance with KISS follows his surprise on-stage appearances with the band at Tokyo Dome and Kyocera Dome Osaka during their ‘End Of The Road’ world tour, electrifying the audience with a piano performance on ‘Beth’ and playing the drums on ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’.
The Japanese star previously worked with KISS to create a 72-piece orchestral cover of ‘Black Diamond’ for the 1994 tribute album Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved. In 2016, Gene Simmons joined Yoshiki on stage to perform ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ at the Visual Japan Summit in Tokyo.
The upcoming performance will mark the first time Yoshiki and KISS have appeared on television together.
“I want us to create a performance that will have a big impact,” Yoshiki said in a statement. “I think we’re really going to shock people.”
“It’s an honour to perform on NHK in my favourite country in the world,” says Gene Simmons of KISS. “Yoshiki is a Japanese legend, but he never forgets to have a humble heart. I’ve been influenced by his humble approach to his work.”
KISS’ Paul Stanley also praised the star, adding, “Not only is Yoshiki a wonderful pianist and drummer, but he continues to express the importance of living and has had a great impact on us.”
For Yoshiki, KISS were a life-saving force in his childhood as he dealt with the despair caused by the sudden death of his father. Yoshiki, who studied classical piano throughout his youth and began drumming as a way of releasing his emotional pain, was shown the way ahead by listening to KISS’ music.
“KISS saved my life”, he said in the X Japan documentary film We Are X. “Instead of banging things, I started banging drums.”
Gene Simmons appears in the film to praise the band which was in fact inspired by KISS. “If those guys were born in America,” Simmons said, “they might be the biggest band in the world.”
Yoshiki’s ‘Kohaku Uta Gassen’ appearance will mark his fifth consecutive performance since 2015 as both a solo artist and as leader of the rock group X Japan.