Hideto Matsumoto (松本 秀人, Matsumoto Hideto?, December 13, 1964–May 2, 1998), was a popular Japanese musician. More commonly known by his stage name hide (pronounced /hi.de/, given in all-lowercase letters by the artist), he is primarily known for his work as lead guitarist of the popular rock band X Japan. He was also a successful solo artist and co-founder of the United States based band Zilch.
Early years (1964–1984)
Hideto Matsumoto was born in St Joseph's Hospital, Midorigaoka, Yokosuka, on December 13, 1964. He entered kindergarten in 1968, studying English for three years, followed by an
On March 11, 1980, Matsumoto graduated from Tokiwa Junior High School. He then entered Kaisei Senior High School in Zushi, Kanagawa, where he entered the school's brass band as a club activity. He quit the band soon though, because he was assigned the clarinet, while he wanted to play the trumpet. After this, he concentrated on guitar playing and in 1981, formed the independent band Saver Tiger. A year after their founding, they started playing shows at live houses in Yokosuka, such as Rock City.
In April 1983 he started attending cosmetology and fashion
In 1986 the group changed its name to Yokosuka Saver Tiger to avoid confusion with a similarly-named band from Sapporo. Their first appearance with the new name was on the sampler Devil Must Be Driven out with Devil. They continued to perform in live houses and night clubs such as Meguro Rokumeikan, Omiya Freaks and Meguro Live Station.
X Japan (1987–1997)
Hide joined X Japan (then called X) in 1987 after Yoshiki called him up. He became the band's lead guitarist and occasional songwriter, composing songs like "Celebration", "Joker" and the single "Scars". Shortly after the release of the album Art of Life, the members of X Japan took a break, to start solo projects. Around that time, the group also dropped most of its original visual kei aesthetics, the exception being Matsumoto, who would still perform in wildly colorful outfits and with his trademark pink hair.
Solo career (1993–1998)
In early 1993, Matsumoto was featured on the sampler Dance 2 Noise 004, with the song "Frozen Bug", which he recorded with Inoran and J of Luna Sea. He also starred in an art film titled Seth et Holth, along with Tusk of Zi:Kill. Hide released his first solo album, Hide Your Face, in 1994. In addition to songwriting, he played all the guitars (including bass) and provided all the vocals. The cover art was based on a mask designed by Swiss artist H. R. Giger. The album's musical style differed significantly from the speed metal anthems and power ballads of X Japan, leaning more towards alternative rock. Matsumoto then went on the Hide our Psychommunity Tour, for which the live band was hired that would later become part of Hide with Spread Beaver.
A second album, Psyence, was released in 1996, also followed by a tour, Psyence a Go Go. After X Japan disbanded in 1997, Hide formally titled his solo project "Hide with Spread Beaver". He also formed a second band, named Zilch, which, apart from himself and Spread Beaver percussionist I.N.A. was comprised of American and British artists, such as Joey Castillo (formerly in Danzig) and Paul Raven of Killing Joke. As with his solo project, Matsumoto acted as primary songwriter, singer and guitarist. In 1998, work on first albums of both, Spread Beaver and Zilch began, which Matsumoto never finished himself, due to his death in the same year.
Hideto Matsumoto died on May 2, 1998. He was found hanged with a towel tied to a doorknob, in his Tokyo apartment, his death shocking friends and colleagues, as well as the Japanese public. Three fans died in copycat suicides, of the 50,000 people who attended his funeral, 60 were hospitalized. Later that month, the single "Pink Spider" was released, entering the Oricon charts at number one. The song would also receive that year's MTV Video Music Award in the category "Japan Viewers Choice".
On the question whether Matsumoto's death was indeed suicide, Yoshiki Hayashi, co-founder of X Japan stated that he believed in an accident, a notion supported by the fact that no
The Zilch debut album 3.2.1. was also released and the group continued to perform and record for several years. While they never achieved mainstream success in the United States one of their songs was included on the soundtrack for Heavy Metal 2000. On May 1, 1999, a tribute album was released, titled Tribute Spirits. It features covers of Hide songs by several bands (such as Buck-Tick, Luna Sea and Oblivion Dust) and solo artists, among them most former X Japan members. A Hide museum opened in Yokosuka on July 20, 2000.
As with many other late musicians, re-issues, compilations and previously unreleased portions of Matsumoto's work continue to be published, the most recent being several singles, re-released on May 2, 2007, the ninth anniversary of the artist's death. On July 8, 2007 Yoshiki announced to be in talks with several musicians regarding a Hide tribute concert set for 2008, in order to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his former bandmate's passing