Yukihiro Awaji (淡路 幸宏, Awaji Yukihiro?), known professionally as yukihiro, is the drummer and remixer of the Japanese rock band L'Arc~en~Ciel as well as the leader of Acid Android. His nickname is "Yukki"(or "Yukkie") as well as "teacher".
He joined L'Arc~en~Ciel in 1998, taking over the former drummer, Sakura. yukihiro is very skinny (it has been reported his weight is only 48 kg) . He composed a few songs for L'Arc~en~Ciel, including "trick", "cradle", "Revelation", "New World" and "Drink It Down". He is also known for his remixing works of the band, and released the remix album, "ectomorphed works" in 2000. He had been a member of some other Japanese rock bands, including Die in Cries and Zi:Kill.
Yukihiro was born on November 24, 1968 in Chiba, near Tokyo. His father is a company worker, and his mother is a kimono-wearing instructor. He has a younger sister. Yukihiro has stated that he had as ordinary a childhood as any other Japanese kid, never questioning his destined path of going to school, graduating to a university, and ultimately becoming a white-collar salaryman. But he loved music, both Japanese and American, from Heavy Metal to Pop music. He was also a good short-track athlete in junior high school. However, he was fired from his athletics club for his sabotaging of daily training.
When he entered high school, he started to play the drums and immediately decided to be a professional rock drummer. Once he made the decision, he told his parents that he was leaving school because it was of no use to him. His parents forbade this. Thus, he continued his education while devoting himself mostly to rock music.
During his university days (he left The Chiba University of Commerce), he joined Zi:Kill, one of the rising Japanese rock groups at that time.
Zi:Kill signed a recording contract with Extasy Records in 1989. However, they turned into a quarrel during the first album recording outside Japan. Finally, yukihiro was fired there. After that, he formed the band named Optic Nerve with guitarist Shin Murohime. In 1991, he joined Die in Cries.
Die in Cries released their debut album, "Nothing to Revolution" in 1991. They became popular among Japanese rock fandom, and they succeeded the performance live in Nippon Budokan in 1994. However, yukihiro became frustrated with the strict band policy. Later, he stated that Die in Cries was caught in the "heavy metal" manner which was made by themselves, especially, lead singer KYO. yukihiro wrote some songs for the band, but they were rejected because of unlikely style for "heavy metal rule". Some of these songs, "trick" and "L'heure" later have been recorded under L'Arc~en~Ciel in 1999.
Die in Cries broke up in 1995, with their last album 'SEED'. For a while, yukihiro worked as free-lance drummer. During that time, he had no home and moved around his friends. tetsu stated it was so hard to catch yukihiro then, because he had no mobile phone and always relocated among the friends.
When it was announced that the former L'Arc drummer Sakura quit the band in 1997, tetsu, the leader of the band, asked yukihiro to help record the new single, via their common friends. During that time, they had a good chemistry between them. His unique rhythm track was accepted in the song. When their first come-back single "Niji(虹)" was released and did the comeback concert "Reincarnation in Tokyo Dome", yukihiro was still a support member. It is in 1998 when the band announced yukihiro as official member with the new album "HEART".
Despite of some arguments from sakura's fans, yukihiro quickly got acclimatized to L'Arc. His first song, "a swell in the sun", was played as a prologue during the 1998 tour ハートに火をつけろ！Light My Fire. L'Arc~en~Ciel became one of the most popular bands, that which all of them have never expected. The hall tour was sold out, the album got platinum disk. The band rushed to release the seven new singles and hit the top 10 charts, every month.
On July 1, 1999, they released their sixth and seventh albums "ark" and "ray" on the same day. They began the a concert tour named the Grand-Cross Tour. The album hit the top two ranks, and the tour was huge success.
In 2000, they released new album, "Real". yukihiro wrote "get out from the shell-English version", while "Japanese version" was c/w of "STAY AWAY". However,L'Arc~en~Ciel had stopped their project until 2003,"Shibuya Seven Days" concert. Each member started their solo projects. yukihiro also started his solo project, Acid Android. He sang as a lead singer, firstly.
The band came back with the new single "READY STEADY GO!" and album "SMILE" after the three year hiatus in 2004, then following up with the album "AWAKE" and single "Link" in 2005. As of 2007, L'Arc~en~Ciel have released a new single called "My heart draws a dream" and a new album "KISS." The group also planned to release the single "Drink It Down" for January 2008, with the music composed by Yukihiro himself.
He is an endorser of Pearl drums, pedals and hardware, Sabian cymbals (mostly from the HH and AA series) and Remo drumheads (mostly from the Emperor series), like Sakura. He uses two double bass drum kits, with different set ups. He has his own signature 13x3.5" snare drum made by Pearl. He has also played his kit with Remo rototoms.
* He is the seventh member of L'Arc~en~Ciel(French word "rainbow", seven colors) since the band started.
* His name had been published "YUKIHIRO" in capital letters until Die In Cries. After joining L'Arc, it was changed to lowercase letters, "yukihiro," to match the rest of the members' names.
* Despite his skinny appearance, yukihiro's favourite foods are chocolate, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's FishMac.
* yukihiro's favourite brand is Hysteric Glamour.
* some of yukihiro's fans loved his ways of speaking, as "hiragana shaberi". This phrase is derived from his soft and loose voice style.