YFCz: Read As “WTFz”

According to the announcement on GACKT’s official FB as well as the YFCz OHP, GACKT’s grungy side-project is really getting crispy this summer. Not only did GACKT step up his international activities with a considerably more substantial European tour this summer, but he stated another interesting release to put on the list right under Disney x Visual Kei for September: On the 14th, the first-ever official YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz single is destined to drop.


2011.9.14 Release


●Limited Edition (CD+DVD) /¥1,890

●Regular Edition (CD) /¥1,260

It would seem that, for reasons I have yet to fully comprehend, YFCz also buffed up its members by….adding a few? Unfortunately this means saying goodbye to Jun-Ji and Chirolyn, but GACKT’s backup have always seemed relatively temp.
Apparently 4 new members have joined ranks: bassist U-ZO  (MIYAVI), guitarist TAKUMI (SUGIZO,  MIYAVI), drummer SHINYA (Luna Sea), and (WTF moment of the week? Month? Century?) vocalist Jon (formerly of Fade).

I realize that was a lot of parentheses. It’s alright to take a breather.

 This “new format” has been described as “triple guitars and double-vocals”, and is, for a purist and strict GACKT-ian conventionalist such as myself, an absolute and utter blasphemy. I can’t imagine what exactly GACKT plans on doing with this white boy, but as far as I can see, it can’t possibly be Visualist-kosher. And thus, under the weight of this intense suspicion, I will at least (based on my promise to myself to trust GACKT and his decisions enough to not read any books by any covers) try it before I denounce it entirely.

 That being said, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea– absolutely no disrespect is meant to Jon or Fade, or GACKT for that matter, and I respect and admire the “gaijin” who make it in the Japanese music industry… It’s just that GACKT + a second vocalist (especially an English-speaking one) is not a concept that computes. While collabs come and go, this “new lineup” is, in my eyes, one experiment that may have gone beyond my ability to accept.

YFCz has also been added to the prolific V-ROCK FEST ’11 lineup. The festival takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in October.

Seriously, though.

YFCz official website


10 responses to “YFCz: Read As “WTFz”

  1. Be nice to the ‘gaijin,’ you never know, it might turn out better then you expect…

    On one hand, the idea of ‘double-vocals’ seems a little bit much… (even by GACKT’s standards)…on the other hand, I’m always thrilled to see Japanese and non-Japanese artists work together. I know it’s nice to think of Visual Kei like you would some super-exclusive club (as in,”No Gaijin Musicians Allowed”). But keep in mind – Japan is not the only county on earth with decent musicians. So if you’re gonna complain about this Jon, do it for the legitimate reason of not wanting to see GACKT try this in general, not because of his skin colour or country of birth.

    P.s. I’m sorry if I come off as upset or argumentative – I’m not and didn’t mean it to sound that way at all. =)

    • I think you might’ve skimmed over a paragraph I did include in the post intentionally: That being said, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea– absolutely no disrespect is meant to Jon or Fade, or GACKT for that matter, and I respect and admire the “gaijin” who make it in the Japanese music industry… It’s just that GACKT + a second vocalist (especially an English-speaking one) is not a concept that computes. Given that the tone of the post wasn’t exactly warm, I can understand if you took the disclaimer as a sort of token-sympathy. In actuality, I meant what I said — as I always have, and always do.

      And actually, I don’t think a racial-exclusive genre of music is a nice thought in the least– the Visual Kei industry at large is much better off for having multiple “gaijin musicians” — as well as vocalists, whose work I am familiar with and have a high appreciation of. I hope that non-Japanese musicians continue breaking boundaries and joining and, hopefully, starting bands in the J-music industry.

      As I’m confident you won’t find any dissing of Jon or his band Fade (already an independently established Jrock band in its own right) in the actual post in question, a re-read may further serve to convince you that my only disagreement with this “issue” lies in simply having a decade’s worth of a legacy to prove that the last thing GACKT needs is a singing partner.

      • I’ll admit that I skimmed over things a little, and I’m sorry that I misunderstood you.

        On a lot of sites that I’ve seen, it’s not uncommon to see fans use ‘gaijin musician’ as a term of derision instead of meaning it as it would literally be translated. So after seeing non-Japanese Visual musicians put down time and time again by other so-called fans, I guess I jumped to the conclusion that what you said was probably meant the same way…and you’re right, if I’d paid more attention, I would have seen that it wasn’t the case here.

        I’m really sorry. I’ll pay more attention next time. I probably should have though a little more before posting a reply. I see now that what I wrote probably sounded twice as mean-spirited as anything you had to say in your post. I hope you don’t stay mad at me or anything, I really didn’t mean to sound that way. =(

      • Please, I was never “mad at you” or anything of the kind. I can see how one may have misunderstood my sentiments, and since I have, I feel, nothing to defend and nothing to hide, except to profess my own position on your side of the argument, we’re on good ground. In any case, I think this is generally a sensitive topic among Visualists, particularly non-Japanese ones who probably all, whether openly with ambition or secretly in fantasy, share a common longing to be of a more fundamental role in the industry. However, I think you’ll find your sympathies are more closely shared here, by reader and blogger alike, than they are argued, and I can confidently state that I won’t stand by any [anyone] gaijin-bashing on my blog.

        Actually, personally I find the whole, I hate to call it “segregation” because of the strictly negative associations with the term — but that’s more or less how I’ve come to perceive it, issue an extremely interesting topic. I think it wouldn’t be terribly far from the truth to refer to Visual Kei/ the J-music industry as something of an elitist-club. The amount of non-Japanese, gaijin-musicians, whatever, who have successfully crossed this line (formally instated or otherwise) are still few, although this is changing steadily as the years go by and the industry shifts to cope with economics and demographics. It’s a bit ironic to be like, “Why aren’t there more non-Japanese in the Japanese music industry?” It’s the same as saying, “Why aren’t there more Japanese in the white, standard, a-typical American music industry?” As much as it sucks, yes there are prejudices (among both respective parties), language barriers, and other reasons why it’s a difficult egg to crack, so to speak. However, to say “They can’t pull it off because they’re not Japanese”, which seems to be the common idea behind the prejudice, is absolutely untrue and unfair. There are artists and musicians who aren’t Japanese — or of the Asian-persuasion at all– who have an innate ability to feel the genre the way the good ol’ boys (and girls) do, and these people will, through their own confidence, thoroughly and effortlessly convince the rest of the world that they have their place in that genre, regardless of race, appearance, gender, and language.

  2. Triple guitars, two vocals, in what I assume to be mini-army of sleeveless shirted, neck-tied rockers on a mission to rock, cause ear traumas, and (in the case of GACKT) bring swarms of Japanese and European ladies to the ER with his ability to rip his shirts off and rises the female body temperature to dangerous levels and maybe release an album in the future. Correct?

    • Although I’m still trying to figure out how chicks can get a temperature-rise out of the YFCz’s aesthetic, I think you’ve basically summed it up pretty neatly. We’ll see how the single goes before we start churning for an album, though, shall we?

  3. When I saw the line-up, my only thought was “this looks like SKIN all over again, if only it had an X-Japan member.” Only they are actually planning to release something. . . and here I thought YFCz would only be a session band.

    This line-up looks like quite the impressive team. I’ll try it out for the sake of GACKT, Shinya, and out of curiosity, Jon. Didn’t realize he was a “gaijin!”

  4. have you seen the preview? it was actually kinda good…

    maybe after the release, i’d find myself liking it

    dunno, GACKT seems to have overuse his voice, i didn’t like some of his previous releases

  5. Showing up extremely late here, but..

    D: something changed when YFC started.. Or maybe when they got Jon.. Or maybe it was when he started using his new and improved English.. Or maybe this has been happening the whole time, and these drastic changes jarred me so and made me see it all at once, but it seems to me like he’s a different G now..

    << I'm NOT a big fan of Jon, though, that much I can assure anybody.. Maybe I'm just territorial, but sometihng about seeing him up there with G, mimicking his movements and chiming in when G has to breath, something about that just irks the crap out of me.. If I listen very closely, I can hear the love and tolerance switch flipping inside my head..

    • Late is fine; these debates are, at least in my opinion, in continuous open-house mode. Since YFCz has, since the beginning, been a touchy subject, I’m always curious about other Visualists’ opinions and thoughts on the whole scene.

      I’ve been following GACKT for a few years now, and although I’ve face-palmed over a few of his decisions, I would consider myself pretty open to changes and new directions, being understanding of the fact that artists, like all people, move on and need to bring change into their lives. But honestly, I just can’t get interested in YFCz (and I’m ok with that, as long as he continues his solo act alongside). It’s been challenging for me to really be able to put my finger on why that was, but reading through your comment just now has helped me at least recognize what may be the biggest reason.

      something changed when YFC started.. Or maybe when they got Jon.. Or maybe it was when he started using his new and improved English.. Or maybe this has been happening the whole time, and these drastic changes jarred me so and made me see it all at once, but it seems to me like he’s a different G now..

      I think you hit the nail on the head with this…. It really doesn’t have anything to do with Jon, and I feel a bit sorry that he may end up a bit of a scapegoat. I guess the best way I could compress what you articulated into one line would be to say: GACKT is internationalizing.

      I, personally, feel as though he wants to, or feels the need to, adopt a “global” image in order to appeal to his international fans. Now I’m not saying this is true or factual, but I feel that when I look at his image in YFCz, I don’t see GACKT trusting that GACKT can be a global impact. I see GACKT changing to fit a global market.

      And if he genuinely wants this, then I totally appreciate that and wish him all the best in it. And I definitely don’t doubt that he believes in what he’s doing. It’s just disappointing when incredible artists think they have to sing in English and have an adaptable, unprepossessing image in order to appeal outside of their country. To me it feels like, bring something beautiful and unique to someplace new, rather than conforming to fit in.

      I guess in my own selfish heart, it’s hard to let go of the GACKT whose music and performances became the doorway to a completely unknown and brand new world. But in the end it’s all projections, isn’t it? And it’s best if we can find that power within ourselves and not become dependent on an external force.

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