If you’ve managed to look away from GACKT during his live performances, you’ve probably noticed the guys playing instruments alongside him. These men aren’t randomly hired musicians – they are GACKTJob: GACKT’s live support band. Without them, GACKT’s lives wouldn’t be as successful as they are. The band first made its appearance at the beginning of GACKT’s solo career and have become widely known throughout the GACKT fandom since. But they are more than just a support band; they are a big part of GACKT’s family. So please, read on to find out more about the guys who spend the most time with our dear GACKT, both current and former members.
A.K.A.: Chacha, Cha, Yukihiro Fujimura, The Legendary Guitarist of Kansai
Position: Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals/Band Leader
D.O.B.: March 3rd, 1960
Blood Type: ?
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Height: 170 cm (5’6″)
Chachamaru is one of the original members of GACKTJob, serving as the lead guitarist and band leader as well as associate producer for most of GACKT’s work. He also provides backing vocals on a number of tracks & during lives, and will lead the crowd on in cheers when GACKT is drinking water or out of breath. Chachamaru is probably the easiest member to pick out on stage; aside from the fact that he’s on lead guitar and always plays on his signature “Horus” models, he’s also the shortest member of the band and is incredibly energetic, despite his age. And without a doubt, Chacha will always be smiling whenever he performs (GACKT says it’s a bad habit of his, but we certainly don’t mind~).
As the eldest member of the band, Yukihiro has quite a history within the Japanese music scene. In 1983, he co-founded the progressive rock band Gerard with Toshio Egawa and was the lead vocalist and guitarist until the band’s disbandment in 1986, when their label decided to no longer support their style of music. In 1988 Yukihiro formed the progressive/hard rock band Vienna with Shusei Tsukamoto, on vocals and guitar once more. The band released two albums and a live record before going on hiatus. Yukihiro became the guitarist for Ded Chaplin in 1989, which was created by Minoru Niihara (vocalist of heavy metal band LOUDNESS), and also participated in a reunion recording with Gerard in 1990. Unfortunately, musical differences causes Yukihiro to leave the band permanently and he continued to perform with Ded Chaplin, recording a total of 3 albums until their disbandment in 1992. From 1994 to 1995, Yukihiro played guitar and composed for Toshi of X JAPAN for his album “Grace,” and provided live support as lead guitar and backing vocals. In 1996, Yukihiro changed to his current stage name “Chachamaru” and joined the hard rock band Girl U Need, releasing their first album in the same year. During this time, Chachamaru also created one last album with Vienna before their final disbandment. Chachamaru has worked with GACKT since 2000 and it seems like their collaboration together will continue on for years to come. In 2002 Chachamaru released a solo album, “Air,” and asked his old band members and other work colleagues to come and collaborate on the album; GACKT provided the vocals for the track “Kagerou.”
He is incredibly fond of the color pink and leopard print patterns, owning a number of clothing and items that contain one or the other, or a mixture of both. He is also completely afraid of heights, refusing to go on most roller coasters or free falls. His fear is so bad that even riding a horse terrifies him! Everyone looks up to Chacha as an older brother, though he sometimes gets teased and is called the elder “sister” of the band, due to his long hair and the fact that he is quite pretty. And GACKT always defaults to Chachamaru when performing fan service at most of his lives.
Chacha’s kind, quiet, fun personality and incredible guitar skills have earned him a lot of fans – it’s hard not to love this incredibly sweet and talented man!
YOU is the only other current member of GACKTJob that has been in the band since its beginning. He is the band’s rhythm guitarist as well as the violinist, and along with Chachamaru has become one of the band’s most beloved and recognized members among fans. Apart from the fact that YOU is always on stage left, YOU is also the tallest member of the band, just a few inches taller that GACKT, and the two are often mistaken for brothers or each other when placed together (especially when their hair color is the same). In fact, the two often end up changing their hair color or styles to what the other previously had, which can sometimes even confuse long-time fans!
YOU is GACKT’s best friend of twenty years. They first met back when GACKT was working as a sound technician at a local studio, and YOU was a part of a band that would come and work in the studio on occasion. During that time, GACKT attended many lives at the local livehouse and was really fond of one guitarist, though he never knew who he was. In the studio, GACKT really disliked YOU and didn’t get along with him, claiming that he had a somewhat hostile attitude and didn’t express himself much. When GACKT asked him about the guitarist from the live, he was shocked to find that the man standing in front of him was that same guitarist. GACKT did not believe him and the two ended up arguing and fighting about it until YOU took GACKT to his house to show him pictures of the lives, proving him wrong. GACKT apologized and after clearing up the misunderstanding, the two became friends and made their first band together – CAINS:FEEL. YOU was on guitar and GACKT was the drummer, but their band had no vocalist. As a joke, GACKT suggested he become the vocalist until they found someone better, to which YOU laughed in disbelief. After more arguing, YOU challenged GACKT to prove he could sing and gave him songs to practice on. After a week of vocal training, GACKT sang in front of YOU for the first time, and the rest they say is history.
It’s not far-fetched to say that if it weren’t for YOU, GACKT would never have become a vocalist.
In the same way YOU was the catalyst that GACKT needed to become a vocalist, it was GACKT that prompted YOU to learn how to play the violin and piano, just a few years before GACKT left Malice Mizer to start his own solo activities. GACKT often refers to YOU as his best friend, brother, and soul mate, claiming that they spend more time together than with any family member or girl, and that YOU is the one who understands him best. Another way of describing their relationship is that GACKT is like a living toy box in charge of making messes, and YOU is in charge of putting everything back in order. Aside from music, YOU is a great photographer and has had his work featured in galleries and has taken photos of GACKT for the monthly fan club magazine. He is also a bit of an otaku and loves to tinker around with technology. YOU is also the only member of the band that hasn’t made any attempt at a solo career, choosing to fully support GACKT in all his endeavors instead. It’s due to this loyalty and brotherly relationship with GACKT that fans can’t help but love YOU too.
Jun-ji is the current drummer for GACKTJob, and the band’s third drummer overall. He joined the band back in 2007 and has performed in the DruG Party, Requiem et Reminiscence II, and the first of the YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz tours. Jun-ji is best known for being one of the members of the band Siam Shade, which had a long streak of success from the early 1990s until their disbandment in 2002. He’s a sweet and funny guy, as seen in Platinum Boxes VIII, IX, and X. He posts the most random pictures in his blogs and is a real crowd pleaser. It’s also easy to spot him from far away thanks to his signature orange and black hair.
Jun-ji first entered the music world as the drummer for the band Siam Shade, which had a long career of success from the early 1990’s until it’s disbandment in 2002. Since the band’s break-up, Jun-ji has made a career as a solo drummer, creating three albums in which he does drums, guitar, and even sings! He is well known and requested in the music scene and has also been a support drummer for various bands and artists such as T.M. Revolution, VAMPS, LM.C, Janne Da Arc, and Acid Black Cherry.
It is interesting to note that the positions of drummer and bassist are constantly changing in GACKTJob. Jun-ji is the band’s 3rd drummer overall, but hopefully he’ll stay with the band for a long time to come =]
Birthdate: October 14th
Blood Type: A
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Official Site: Chirolyn.jp
Chirolyn is the newest member of GACKTJob, joining the band during the Arena Tour portion of the 2009 Requiem et Reminiscence II Tour. He is the band’s 3rd bassist overall and before he entered GACKTJob, he was a support bassist for HYDE’s band VAMPS.
Chirolyn isn’t new to the music scene; he’s been a support bassist for notable bands and artists such as HOTEI, MIYAVI, and Hide with Spread Beaver. Chirolyn is also an occasional actor and has released many solo CDs and albums where he is also a vocalist.
Since Chirolyn is the newest member, not much is known about him yet besides the fact that he’s easily distinguishable due to his bright pink mohawk. But I can tell you from personal experience, being at one of the lives this past summer, that he’s a very funny person and loves to entertain people. He makes the funniest faces and don’t let his seemingly tough image fool you – he’s really a sweet man!
Name: Masa Shinozaki
Birthdate: September 30th
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Height: 5’8″ (178 cm)
Official Site: Marmarsa-Mu
Masa was one of the original members of GACKTJob and played the guitar. Although Masa is no longer a part of the band, he still remains a favorite within the fandom.
Masa studied music over in the U.S.A. for three years and learned English while he lived in New York. After he graduated from his university he went back to Japan where he worked as a support member for Yusuke Asada. It was during this time where he met GACKT and joined him as part of his support band. It is widely believed that the two met when GACKT visited New York and asked to see Masa play.
Masa remained with the band until the end of the 2001 Requiem et Reimiscence Tour. Afterwards, he decided to work with the band Spiky as the vocalist and guitarist. Spiky disbanded in 2006 after Masa left to form his own band called DIZZY DRIVE. From there Masa has performed as a support artist and created Mamasamu which had the same band members from DIZZY DRIVE but with an entirely new concept. As of 2008 the band has disbanded and Masa is on a break from music, not sure whether to return as a vocalist, guitarist, or both.
Name: Ren Aoba
Birthdate: April 12th
Blood Type: O
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Height: 5’4″ (165 cm)
Ren was one of the original members of GACKTJob and played the bass. He is also the shortest member overall (even more so than Chacha!) and is still very much loved by the fandom today.
Ren is GACKT’s childhood friend (note that this doesn’t necessarily mean they spent every day together, they just know each other from way back then) and spent a lot of time with GACKT while recording in L.A. back in 1999. He was also a part of CAINS:FEEL alongside YOU and GACKT. You can also hear Ren’s voice in U+K as he is the one making the adorable “nya nya” sounds! Ren left the band after the 2003 Jougen no Tsuki Tour and went on to be the bassist of the band LiN CLOVER. The band has disbanded as of 2008 and I’m not exactly sure what has become of Ren, though he is most likely still in the music business.
Name: Toshiyugi Sugino
Birthdate: Feburary 21st
Blood Type: A
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Height: 5’8″ (177 cm)
Toshi is one of the original members of GACKTJob and was on drums. Before joining GACKTJob, he had played in bands such as SHEEN and LA-PISH. Toshi left the band after the 2001 Requiem et Reminiscence Tour and went on to assist Masa with his band Spiky on drums. Although he left GACKTJob, Toshi continued to provide drum recordings for many of GACKT’s later songs.
Name: Igarashi Junichi
Birthdate: April 27th
Blood Type: B
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Igao was one of the original members of GACKTJob, but is the only member whom has never been seen performing on stage. He provided all the keyboard sounds for GACKT’s lives. It is unknown whether he has left the band or not as there isn’t much known about him.
Name: Ryuichi Nishida
Birthdate: Feburary 28th, 1964
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Site: Ryu Dragon
Ryu joined GACKTJob during the Kagen no Tsuki Tour as the drummer for the band, the 2nd one overall. He has also been a support drummer for other bands such as Dope HEADz and for Vienna when Chachamaru was with them. Ryu left the band after the 2005 DIABOLOS Tour and has since worked with other bands such as Janne Da Arc and VERTICAL SKOOL.
A.K.A.: Ju-ken the Bass
Birthdate: June 27th, 1971
Blood Type: B
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Height: 6’0″ (183 cm)
Official Site: Ju-ken the Bass
Ju-ken joined GACKTJob during the 2004 Sixth Day and Seventh Night Tour as the bassist for the band, 2nd overall. He is one of Japan’s most requested bassists and has performed with notable acts such as Anna Tsuchiya, Day After Tomorrow, FAKE?, HYDE, VAMPS, S.K.I.N. and more.
Out of all the GACKTJob members, Ju-ken is the one who uploads his blog the most frequently. There’s a new entry everyday – sometimes more than 3 entries at a time! He loves motorcycles and collecting boots. He’s a real crowd pleaser and loves to throw his own style into every performance he gives.
Ju-ken is a really funny guy (it seems like all the GACKTJob boys are ne?) and this can be seen in Platinum Boxes VII, VIII, and IX.
Ju-ken was with GACKTJob up until the end of the Hall Tour portion of the 2009 Requiem et Reminiscence II Tour, but was unable to perform the Arena portion because he was performing with VAMPS. It is unclear whether or not Ju-ken will come back to perform with GACKTJob or if he has left the band for good, but it is assumed that Chirolyn has since taken his place.
Support Members When Needed
Birthday: September 13th
Blood Type: B
Official Site: Minami-Drums
Minami is GACKTJob’s support drummer when the current member of GACKTJob is unable to perform.
Birthday: December 25th
Nell is GACKTJob’s support bassist when the current member of GACKTJob is unable to perform.