Tomoyasu Hotei, best known internationally for his original song, “Battle Without Honor or Humanity”, instantly recognisable as the theme from Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill, boasts a stellar career spanning more than three decades. Hotei’s accomplishments as a guitarist, composer, singer-songwriter, and producer place him firmly among the ranks of global music legends.
Inspired by music and artists around the world, Hotei developed his own unique guitar style which has revolutionized the aesthetics of music in his native Japan, generated multimillion selling albums, record-breaking chart releases, and inspired future generations of musicians.
Hotei’s innovative sound and electrifying performance continue to win him acclaim and admiration. Recent tour highlights have included performances at Montreux Jazz Festival 2014, Cornbury Music Festival and Y Not Festival in the UK, and a private appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (UK), preceded by sold-out headline shows in both London and New York in November of 2013. In March of 2014, Hotei also played live with The Rolling Stones on stage as a guest during their concert.
Hotei and his family relocated to London in 2012 to focus on his international career, and in 2014 Hotei wrote and recorded a new album in conjunction with a variety of collaborators including iconic rock vocalist Iggy Pop, with writing and production credits including Youth (Pink Floyd, Verve), Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Paolo Nutini) and Stephen Lipson (Batman soundtrack etc). That album will be released internationally in 2015 via Universal Music, Hotei’s long time record label.
A much sought-after collaborator both in the studio and on the stage, Hotei has joined forces with David Bowie, Andy Mackay (Roxy Music), Jesus Jones, Brian Setzer, INXS, Blondie, Mike Stern, Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Apocalyptica, Ray Cooper, Joni Mitchell, David Sanborn, Lee Ritenour, Darren Price (Underworld), Chicago, and many others. In 1996, Hotei played guitar under the baton of Michael Kamen at the closing ceremony for the Atlanta Olympics, which then led to their collaboration on Kamen’s album Guitar Concerto.
Hotei’s music has been placed in numerous international movies, most notably Kill Bill, Transformers, and Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, for which he composed part of the soundtrack. His music continues to be used in a wide variety of TV commericials, films, and events around the world.
Hotei’s career originally began as a guitarist in the legendary Japanese rock band BOØWY (pronounced Boy) in 1981, enjoying phenomenal success as one of Japan’s most popular rock bands in history. In 1988, Hotei established himself as a solo artist, kicking off with the album “Guitarhythm,” recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. This was the beginning of a series of albums achieving multimillion sales. In 1989-1990, Hotei formed the rock duo COMPLEX, releasing two albums which both went to number one in the charts.
Alongside his own album releases, Hotei has written and produced numerous hit songs for other artists, making him one of the most important and widely respected active musicians of his generation.