Y-xiz // A devil and a god on each end of the vertical axis

Y-xiz is a Stylish Hard Rock Band existing out of vocalist yesk and guitarist You., inspired by mythology, retro movies and theater and a sound that is rooted in hardrock – much like the description already suggests.

The duo released their first single “Guilty” in February of 2023, along with their second single “RING” on the same day. At the moment of writing they have released 8 singles in total, showing off that their music is not limited to just one style or theme.
From what I understand Y-xiz is still relatively unknown, since even the members themselves have expressed this to me behind the scenes while we were doing this interview. All the more reason for me to present them to you through this interview today, don’t you think? I don’t want to give too much away in this introduction, since I want you to experience their work for yourself rather than simply taking my word for it.

This interview is done with yesk and You., but they did make a special request. One I wholeheartedly agree with.
Since yesk and You. are the ones at the front, the ones you see in their music videos and on their live stage, but Y-xiz is made possible by not just them, but also thanks to the help of extremely talented musicians like Rin (guitar) and Yo-hey (drums) (both ex.Scarlet Valse) and Shigure (bass) and staff, like Sakura for arranging and recording and Takamasa Nishibayashi for the jacket design for each of their works. Just to name a few.

Are you ready to step into the world of Y-xiz? Then let’s go!


“I wanted to add an element of sex appeal to it’s appearance and work style.”

To officially start the interview, could you please introduce yourselves to the readers first?
yesk: I’m yesk, the vocalist. Nice to meet you.
You.: I’m You., the guitarist. Only the “Y” is capitalized, the last is a period, and the reading is “yo”.

Together you form Y-xiz, which is definitely one of the more unique band names out there. Is there a special story behind this name?
yesk: We talked about wanting to name Y-xiz something that started with the letter “Y”, the initial for both You. and yesk, and it was a coined word inspired by the Y-axis (vertical axis) used in mathematics.
Through works that have an axis (core) and are born in the coordinates of minus, zero and plus, we were able to approach them in various ways.
You.: Oh yeah, the y-axis that yesk suggested was very good in terms of meaning. I have a mythical image of me being the devil at the bottom of the vertical axis, yesk being the god at the top, fighting for the humans on the horizontal axis (ground), and Y-xiz climbing from the bottom to the top. It also serves as an axis that shows the current position.

With your mythical image of You. being the devil at the bottom and yesk being the god at the top, I do wonder what makes you both the perfect combination for this project?
yesk: It’s been a long time since I met You., but he has always told me that he wanted to form a band with me someday. I think it was about the time I was transitioning to a solo career that he came to me with the idea of forming a band, and we talked about various things, I realized that I wanted to make some cool music together.
You.: I was attracted to his singing voice from the very first time we played with him on tour, and I wanted him to sing some of my songs, so when he came to Tokyo with his band, I approached him. Until he came to Tokyo, I had expanded my horizons to other vocalists, but there was no one better than him. Before I met yesk I had asked Seth to help me, but due to various circumstances it didn’t work out, and he has been a great talent ever since.

You describe Y-xiz as a “Japanese Stylish Hard Rock Band”, but I feel like different people will interpret this description differently. To clarify this right from the start, could you please explain me your concept in more detail?
yesk: When we thought about disseminating our work to the world, we first wanted people to know that Y-xiz is a Japanese band. I added “Stylish” because I wanted to add an element of sex appeal to it’s appearance and work style. I guess that’s what Hard Rock Band means.
You.: It’s our intention to create works that are rooted In a hard rock sound, with a focus on melodies and visuals that are particular to a uniquely Japanese aesthetic sense.


“Y-xiz doesn’t release a song or MV until they are satisfied with it, so both of them take time.”

I of course want to know more about your music as well, but before I start asking about each song individually, I’m very curious about your inspirations. Since your work reminds me a lot of the books and stories I like to read in my free time.
yesk: I love mythology, space, retro movies and theater, and some of my songs are directly influenced by those things. For example, I wanted to write lyrics that were easy to understand, so “Silence” was inspired by Romeo and Juliet, and “Zealous” was inspired by The Phantom of the Opera. For an original story, write a story about a fantasy world or draw an image of it, then put the melody on the orchestra and write the lyrics by collecting and connecting the words that naturally come to mind. There are many.
Even though there is a wide range of songs, they all take place within the framework of Y-xiz, so there is a connection between the works. However, since I create the image I created after listening to You.’s songs, the chronology of each song is different, and the locations and characters are different each time.

I’m going to group your first two songs, “Guilty” and “RING” together for this question. Aside from them both being a very strong start for you as a band, they’re also completely different. Can you tell me a little more about these two songs?
yesk: When I first heard the song, it’s title was “Guilty” and I started with my own interpretation of “sin”. As I listened to it over and over and over again, partially because of the guitar, I thought: “isn’t this an act that imposes a proportionate amount of guilt?”, and I expressed something like the stupidity of people.
“RING” is the opposite really. When I was handed the song, You. asked me to write it with the theme of “R.I.P” in mind. Reincarnation is one of my favorite themes, so I came up with a few stories, one of which was “The soul and body that live repeatedly, each combination is unique. You will never come back to life, and the you that you are now is the only one.” I wrote it on the theme of “existence”. I personally have memories from a while before I was born, and as I write about these feelings I think I can feel more of the power of life.
You.: I imagined “Guilty” and “RING” as tentative titles when the lyrics and melodies were still in the original stage. “RING”’s first working title was “R.I.P”. After thinking about it, I decided that “RING” would be a good choice because of it’s theme of reincarnation, and the lyrics for both songs were based on that theme, so that became the title.

Y-xiz // Guilty (MV)


Next I want to ask about your song “Silence”, which is also your most recent music video at the moment of writing, despite the song being released quite a bit before the video. You describe this song as “a fast song that interweaves stillness and movement while it has an intense, ephemeral, beautiful melody”, but there also is a story behind it, isn’t there?
yesk: “Silence” was the first thing I worked on with Y-xiz. I think You. was making “Guilty” at the same time. Let’s go with black for the first band image! After talking with him, we decided to shoot the MV for Guilty first, and only the song for “Silence” was released. We had originally planned to shoot the MV for it as well.
You.: Ever since “Silence” was completed, I had wanted to leave a legacy through a music video. It took me a while however to formulate the image. I actually wanted to make the MV sooner after “Guilty”. Y-xiz doesn’t release a song or MV until they are satisfied with it, so both of them take time. With songs like this and “Deephaze”, the story gives me an image, so I want to make a music video, and I think that one would be a good option for a music video.
雪 (Yuki): I wanted to save my opinion about “Deephaze” for a little later in this interview, but I wholeheartedly agree. We’ll talk about this in more detail in a moment, but from all the songs I have heard so far, I too think that “Deephaze” has the most potential for an MV from a story point of view!

falldown” is your second acoustic song, and also your “darkest” song lyrics wise, and I feel like there is a reason it was chosen as your second MV?
yesk: Yes, definitely. I like dark songs. If I had to give one reason for making it into a music video, it’s would be that “falldown” depicts the spiritual world in which the main character of “Guilty” lives. I’m imagining a state in which I no longer even have desire and am surrounded by despair. I wanted to visualize that. In order to express the state of having no energy or physical strength, I recorded while sitting, with no abdominal breathing allowed. I made the room pitch black too.
You.: That’s right. (laugh) Y-xiz’ songs basically have a theme and are independent, but “Guilty” and “falldown” are the only ones that continue. “Guilty” goes crazy because he can’t bear the weight of his sin. “falldown” is a song about a person who has lost everything and has fallen, so it’s the darkest song. The music videos for these two songs were shot simultaneously. Even during the recording, I wanted him to sing without putting too much effort into it, so I had him sit down and sing as relaxed as possible, just like you see in the MV.

Devils Bless You” is “a classic hard rock song with a catchy melody, sound and rhythm”, but it’s also the most upbeat song in your discography so far, don’t you think? Is there a reason you’ve released this song after “falldown” specifically, or is this merely a coincidence?
yesk: Why do I create contrasting songs? I guess it’s the feeling of wanting to eat something salty after eating something sweet. There is no narrative connection between these two songs. When I first heard “Devils Bless You” I felt like it had to be catchy. As catchy as the chorus is, I try to rhyme in the A and B melodies and use wordplay to give the scenes a lightness. I’d be happy if you enjoyed listening to it without thinking about anything too difficult.
You.: It is the brightest song so far! (laugh) We’ve been conscious of not letting the image of the band be biased by the songs we’ve released so far, either completed or in progress. Although I said there was a continuation between “Guilty” and “falldown”, I chose “RING” because it was my first release, so I wanted to show off Y-xiz’ many possibilities.

Because of chronological order, we now get to talk about “Deephaze” in more detail. This song has a more theatrical theme to it, and I personally find it very interesting that you used a movie theater as an element in your lyrics, it also really stands out among your other works.
yesk: Situations such as “somewhere that isn’t real, but nostalgic” and “walking through a deep fog and a movie theater appears” came to my mind, and I created a metaphor based on the scenes seen by people who are wandering between life and death. I wrote this while mixing. When the light that extends from a small window to the screen in a movie theater hits the screen, you can see what’s on the screen, but even if you get close to the source of the light, you won’t be able to tell what’s really going on, right? I think that when you’re inside a movie theater it feels like you’re in a dream. This is the story from when I finished watching that “dream”, and walked out of the movie theater. It’s one of my favorite songs too.
雪 (Yuki): I actually worked behind the scenes in a movie theater, so I understand what you mean with the light coming from the projector very well. There is something magical about a movie theater, and you can really set the mood by choosing the right music to play before the movie starts. So these lyrics really stood out to me personally.

Zealous” actually reminds us a lot of the ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei) style that was popular in the 90’s, mainly Malice Mizer. You’re also choosing a different style of vocals, mixed with a faster, more metal-like pace…
yesk: I agree. In the 90’s there were a lot of high quality artists who were different from today, and I love them. Of course, I think Malice Mizer has been a huge influence on me.
By the time “Zealous” was handed over to me, even the melody of the song had been completed. When singing that melody, I unconsciously chose the voice and singing style that I think would best fit it, but I ended up finding out what I liked.
You.: I was imagining yesk’s voice when I put the melody on, so I’m satisfied with how it turned out.

Y-xiz // Silence (MV)


Your newest song, “LOST EDEN”, has a more power-metal feel to it than your previous songs, and it also feels “lighter” lyrics wise. Do I hear X JAPAN influence in this song too, or am I imagining things?
You.: The influence of X JAPAN is huge, because I am a fan. (laughs)
yesk: I received the melody already completed, but I wanted it to have a meaning other than just “losing” the meaning of LOST. And the place I needed to be in my new home, the place I lost. I thought that the feel of LOST and EDEN would change depending on their own decisions and perspectives. I don’t know the definition of “light”, but I don’t use it in a light way, and I created it with the message that it is okay to live with hope.

When I look at your Spotify and Apple Music accounts, I can’t help but to notice that “Guilty” and “RING” are missing from the available list here, essentially missing a part of your discography. Is there a reason these two songs aren’t available for streaming?
You.: It may have been officially announced by the time this interview is published, but around the end of May or the beginning of June we will be re-releasing all songs we released last year as a single collection. (“Silence” and “falldown” were also scheduled to be discontinued, but they were updated due to a flaw.)

I’m going to guess that most of our readers aren’t familiar with your music yet, so I am curious to what song (or songs) you’d recommend them to listen to first to get an impression of your work? And out of mere curiosity, do you have personal favorites as well?
You.: Well, I can’t choose (laughs), because I only release songs that I like. If I had to choose, I would say “Silence”. This song is filled with the “likes” that became my roots.
yesk: Personally, I think “RING” is the best because I have strong memories of composing it. The first song I want everyone to hear is “Guilty”. After that, I want you to listen to what you like.
You.: “RING” is good too!


“We’d be happy if you could join us in making Y-xiz even more exciting.”

It might be a bit early to ask, especially now streaming is getting more and more popular, but do you have plans to release a physical CD in the future as well? Or would you rather focus on the digital versions?
You.: It will be digital releases for a while, but I would like to make CDs someday. I also want to pay attention to the jacket and packaging.

I hope this interview has sparked people’s interest to check out your work if they haven’t already, but in terms of updates, where can people best follow you?
You.: I think it would be best to check our official X account, or the homepage.

What about your future plans? Are you currently working on something, or is there something you’d really like to do in the future?
You.: Yes! We are currently creating new songs and videos and will release them one after another. My dream is to perform at Tokyo Dome and do a world tour!
yesk: Personally, I’ve never done it before in my life, so I’d like to perform in many different countries. I want to experience how music truly transcends borders by directly exchanging emotions with everyone who supports me.

I’ve been asking you a ton of questions for this interview, but I’m sure you too have something you would like to ask the readers?
yesk: Y-xiz’s songs have a relatively wide range, so I wonder if there will be someone who can sing for them. When we perform live, there are times when I want you to sing with me, so I would like to ask you that question.
You.: Certainly, I would be happy if you could sing it! In a live performance for example, wouldn’t it be possible to sing just the chorus, or do a call and response?

Unfortunately this means I’m at the end of my list for today, but I do have one final request to close off the interview. Do you have a message for everyone who has been reading along?
yesk: We’re a new band. We’ll do things that will make our fans happy, so we’d be happy if you could join us in making Y-xiz even more exciting.
You.: Thank you for reading until the end! If you’ve read this far, I think you’re at least a little interested. I’ll continue to release songs that I can confidently say are cool. Please listen!


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🎂 11/07

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雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind Arlequin.
She originally started the project in 2009 as a photographer under the name of Arlequin Photography, but developed an interest in journalism and translation ever since. Because of these interests interviews and reviews were added to the project, until it eventually hit the limits as a "photographer" in 2021, and Arlequin Magazine was added to the mix.

雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker with a graphic design degree, which means she is also the main person behind Arlequin Creations.
After all these years she is still the main person who does interviews the interviews and live photos that you see on Arlequin, but also a large chunk of the reviews and behind-the-scenes work and communication goes through her.

She speaks Dutch and English on a native level, but also understands Japanese and German.

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