[ ap bank | Bank Band ]
Name: 桜井和寿 [Kazutoshi Sakurai]
Blood type: O
Height: 172 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Martial Status: Married to 吉野美佳 [Mika Yoshino]
Position: Vocal, guitar, lyrist, and composer
radio show (Yaruki-Manman)
Sakurai has written and composed the song "tegami", which is the third track on Atari Kousuke's mini-album "natsukasha no shima". The album was released October 11th, 2006 and was also used as a CM song for the Japan Post. Sakurai also teamed up with GAKU-MC to release 'Te wo Dasuna!' on May 31, 2006 and with Bank Band and Salyu again to release the song 'to U' on July 19, 2006. In 2007, he was a guest vocal on Kai Yoshihiro's '10 Stories' album which did a cover song of 'Kurumi', and he co-wrote the lyrics to the GOLDEN CIRCLE ft. Yumi Matsutoya, Yohito Teraoka, Yuzu single 'MUSIC', which was released on July 11, 2007. In July 2007 Sakurai wrote a new theme song for ap bank fes. '07 titled 'Yoku kita ne', followed a month later on September 1, 2007 when Bank Band released their first iTunes only song titled 'Harumatsu ibuki'. The song was used as the theme song for the Japanese movie 'Midnight eagle', with the lyrics written by Kazutoshi Sakurai and composed by Takeshi Kobyashi. Part of the profits from the song will be donated to people affected by the Nigata earthquake, with the rest of the profits going to fund more projects at ap bank. Sakurai also help co-write AIDS charity single 'RED RIBBON Spiritual Song ~umare kuru kodomo tachi no tameni' available at store on November 28, 2007. Originally sung at RED RIBBON LIVE 2006, the song in addition to being co-written by Sakurai was also partially sung by himm singing part of the song at the live in 2006. However, although he helped write it, Sakurai will not be participating in the studio recording of the single. The single was only in production for 6 months with all net profits donated to the Japan AIDS stop fund.
With Bank Band, Sakurai released 'Soushi Souai 2' and 'ap bank fes '07' DVD in 2008, and ap bank fes '08 in 2009.
In July 2002 lead singer Kazutoshi Sakurai was hospitalized after a blockage in his cerebellum was detected. The group canceled the remainder of their 'Wonderful World' tour and put all group activities on a temporary hiatus. In late August of that same year, after inspecting his recovery progress, doctors gave the okay for Sakurai to return to group activities. This lead him to write a new song called HERO, which went on to sell over 600,000 copies.
For those who don't know what the cerebellum is:
It is a large portion of the base of the brain which serves to coordinate voluntary movements (like dancing), posture, and balance, located in the back of the skull behind the brainstem.
Takeshi Kobayashi was the one who announced Mr. Children were going on hiatus (surprisingly enough). I suppose the other members didn't want to be drilled with a thousand questions. All the articles I read didn't mention surgery, but one can only guess he did to fix the blockage. There was also a lot of worries that if it was severe, Sakurai wouldn't be able to sing anymore. Blockage of the cerebellum usually happens to people over 45 so it was a BIG shock to everyone when it happened to him since he was in his early 30s [he was 32 at the time]. Anyways he was so happy to learn that he was going to be okay that he started working on the next single titled HERO. A lot of people love the song because of it's heartfelt meaning. During the ap bank fes' last year he started crying while singing this song. So it has a deep meaning. The song is also rumored to be dedicated to his son.