Akira Takasaki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Akira Takasaki
Background information
Also known as Suzy[1]
Born (1961-02-22) February 22, 1961 (age 53)
Osaka, Japan
Genres Rock, heavy metal
Occupations Guitarist, musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Guitar, bass, drums
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts Lazy, Loudness
Notable instruments
ESP Signature Series [1]
Killer Guitars

Akira Takasaki (高崎 晃 Takasaki Akira?, born February 22, 1961, in Osaka, Japan) is the lead guitarist and founding member of the Japanese heavy metal band, Loudness.


He started his career as a guitarist, winning a TV contest for young music talents at the age of 14. He was rapidly put under contract to be part of the pop-rock band Lazy, of which drummer Munetaka Higuchi was also a member.[2] Lazy produced five successful albums at the end of the 70s, but Takasaki's musical style, oriented towards hard rock and heavy metal, did not gel with the band and in 1981 he decided to make his original band, Loudness, alongside bandmate Higuchi. The many heavy metal albums produced by Loudness brought him international fame and vast critical acclaim. He is the only member of Loudness that has been in the band since its inception, producing more than 20 studio albums in 25 years. Takasaki has also continued the production of solo works, starting with Tusk of Jaguar in 1982 and is now committed to a new side project called Ji-Zo.[3] In 1998 and in 2002, he was also directly involved in the reunion of Lazy for the release of two new studio albums and for a tour. Takasaki found enough time to start Killer Guitars, a company co-founded and managed with fellow guitarist George Azuma. He is responsible for several of the guitar designs.[4]


His guitar playing style is characterized by complicated heavy metal riffs executed at great speed and with extreme precision, often using alternate picking technique and little vibrato. His compositions are usually filled with melodies and hooks, in order to make well-constructed songs, instead of long neo-classical themes like some of his peers do.[3] His shred guitar work has attracted many fans over the world and his musicianship has often been compared to the ability of guitarists of his age like Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Steve Vai, David T. Chastain and others.[5] In 1986 he declared that the main influences for his compositions and guitar solos came from the work of Deep Purple’s guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and from Japanese music for koto.[6]


Takasaki uses ESP Signature Random Star guitars[7] and several Killer guitars, mostly the KG Prime model. He is co-owner of the Killer Guitars label, which are made and distributed by ESP.[4] He has used Marshall Amplifiers in the earlier years and later years of Loudness. He used Marshall JCM2000 DSL heads after 2000, but he can be seen using two JMP-1 preamps in the video for "Metal Mad" in 2008. He used two JVM410H heads during the Munetaka Higuchi: Forever Our Hero concert in 2009. In 2010, in the video for "King of Pain", he can be seen using a Marshall SL 1959RR Randy Rhoads signature head. Around the mid-1980s Takasaki switched from Marshall to Mesa Boogie, using their Mark III amplifiers around the time of the Loudness album Lightning Strikes (it should also be noted he gives thanks to Randall Smith of Mesa Boogie in the liner notes of the album). He started using Lee Jackson and Metaltronix amplifiers near the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, and then Peavey amplifiers around the early 1990s. He has also used Roland JC-120 combo amplifiers. His equipment in the 1980s was completed by Boss, Guyatone and Ibanez effects and Harmonizer, Roland delays, and Celestion speakers.[8] He also currently has his own signature Shredneck.[9]

Solo albums[edit]

  • Tusk of Jaguar (1982)
  • Ki (1994)
  • Wa (1996)
  • Gene Shaft (2001)
  • Made in Hawaii (2002)
  • Splash Mountain (2004)
  • Maca (2005)
  • Osaka Works #128 (2006)
  • Nenriki (2006)
  • Black Brown (2007)


  1. ^ "Lazy Biografia" (in Portuguese). J-Metal. 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  2. ^ Pecere, Antonio (9 February 2008). "Storia in breve!" (in Italian). Netlog. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Akira Takasaki Profile". Dinosaur Rock Guitar. 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Prime ( Akira Takasaki Signature Series)". Killer Guitars. Archived from the original on 29 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  5. ^ Brodie, Phil (2005). "The 10 fastest guitar shredders". Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  6. ^ Henderson, Paul (October 1986). "Akira Takasaki". Kerrang! (132): p. 44–45. 
  7. ^ "ESP guitars gallery". ESP Guitars. Archived from the original on 3 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  8. ^ Henderson, Paul (January 1987). "Lag: it's in the bag!". Kerrang! (137): p. 32–33. 
  9. ^ "Akria Takasaki signature model Shredneck". Shredneck.com. 2010-05-27. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 

External links[edit]