I'd like to first of all thank Isis Tse for lending me her gorgeous Luis and Clark carbon fibre cello. Could not think of a more fitting instrument for this cover.
X Japan stands as the most influential group from Japan for me and my musical development, and its drummer/pianist Yoshiki being the most influential Japanese artist. The history of the band and its energy when they perform makes them a legend to behold if you can catch their live concert, and I find an extraordinary level of emotion in their heartfelt ballads.
So when I saw that they released their latest song "Born To Be Free" after a long hiatus, I took a listen and loved every moment of it. The energy from the (pseudo?) symphonic rock style that is so characteristic of X Japan is clearly still there but at the same time it has grown and become more modern as well.
My rendition of "Born To Be Free" came about because being a guitarist at heart, I wanted to rock out again after doing classical/orchestral covers, but at the same time I still wanted to incorporate a level of traditional style into it, so I had the cello take the main melody for some parts, but at the same time incorporating traditional Chinese instruments to harmonize and support it. To me, the addition of traditional Chinese instruments gave it more of a bite and it adds percussiveness yet beauty at the same time to it.
Hope you guys will enjoy a refined version of my rock 'n roll self.