Yamada Shinya started drumming when he was just a boy. His parents, having noticed his unique talent early on, convinced him to enter a taiko (Japanese drum) competition. He was only six years old but he competed against many professionals and adults, and easily won.
Shinya was popular in high school and was asked by many people to be in their bands. He met Sugihara Yasuhiro (SUGIZO) during their sophomore year and they formed the band Pinocchio. Later on through several friends, he met J and INORAN and they asked him to be in a new band they were forming - Lunacy. He agreed but only on the condition that SUGIZO be allowed to join as well. And the rest is history.
Even though LUNA SEA was extremely successful, they took a break in 1997 and Shinya started his career as a solo artist. He released the singles Rakkasuru taiyou and Hyouryuusha in between working with the other LUNA SEA members on their own solo projects. He collaborated with J on the song Back Line Beast for his album Pyromania in Los Angeles and then traveled to London to work with SUGIZO on his album, Truth? When he returned to Japan, he released an album ironically titled No Sticks and a PV VHS, Melody.
The following year, Shinya released a documentary video of his trip to London entitled Shinya London Calling. It also featured interviews with friends and fellow drummers La'Cryma Christi‘s Levin and ex-Siam Shade’s Junji. LUNA SEA reformed shortly after and all solo activities were put on hold for a while.
In 2000, Shinya married former Morning Musume member Ishiguro Aya, and their first daughter, Reimu, was born shortly after. Tragically, LUNA SEA disbanded on December 27th, much to everyone's chagrin.
Unsettled and not sure what he wanted to do with his career, Shinya created the indies label True Colored. After signing a few indies acts, Shinya and the label teamed up with Dir en grey's Shinya and Junji and they did a few events called Shinya gumi, natsu no saiten (Shinya Gang Summer Festival).
With renewed vigor, Shinya came back on the music scene again. He appeared on several music and variety shows and started a column in the magazine Arena 37°. Entitled Dad no machi (A Dad's Path), he shares what's going on in his and his family's lives as well his philosophies on life, family and music.
Shinya worked with Chirolyn (ex-hide with Spread Beaver) on his single Kimi wa kiseki and participated in two of his live shows in 2002. On June 29th and July 7th, he held two solo lives and hinted at the possibility of a new album in the works. Shinya also worked with other artists such as Aikawa Nanase and Kikkawa Koji during this time.
In 2003, Shinya teamed up again with Chirolyn and newcomer Milky for a few live events. He even made an appearance on October 23rd, 2003 supporting miyavi along with other well-known artists. In the mean time, he got back in touch with his old pal SUGIZO and they made an agreement to be more active in the each other's live events. The fans were excited to see two ex-LUNA SEA members finally working together again.
From time to time he updated his official homepage with messages for his fans and things that were going on in his everyday life. He took part in a few radio shows and joined SUGIZO for his Ascention To The Next Level events. He also worked with pop singer Ohguro Maki during the summer and Himuro Kyosuke in the winter. And on November 26th, he traveled to Seoul, South Korea to participate in a LUNA SEA film gig. There was still no more information about his solo album or any other solo releases.
The year 2005 finally saw the release of some new solo material. He formed the band Potbelly with the singer Milky and they released the single CRASH, CRASH, CRASH.
During that year, Shinya participated in Sakurai Tetsuo's Super Hard Rock Night events on May 20th and 24th and joined D.I.E. and Pata as Aikawa Nanase's support band for her summer tour. He also teamed up again with Ohguro Maki to form a session band. And who should happen to play at one of their events? None other than J himself which was interesting considering that Kawamura Ryuichi and INORAN had already formed their Tourbillon unit with H. Hayama.
In 2006, along with Levin, he participated in several events and exhibitions for Pearl Drum's 60th anniversary. He also became a regular MC on the show "J-Hits Countdown" until he left a year later in June 2007. The year 2006 was also the time when Shinya slowed down his various other activities. He started to only help out other artists with their recording and live shows. For the rest of 2006 and 2007, Shinya helped out artists such as Creature Creature, Ohguro Maki and even LM.C who was just starting out at the time. At the end of 2007, LUNA SEA returned for a one night reunion on December 24th titled GOD BLESS YOU〜One Night Dejavu〜. This was later released as a DVD the next year in March.
It was not long before LUNA SEA came back together for the hide memorial summit in May of 2008. The next project he helped with was X JAPAN’s TOSHI’s project, TOSHI with T-EARTH, for the rest of the year. In 2009, he went back to helping even more artists out with their music. That year he helped artists such as Koda Kumi, DEAD END and LOUDNESS. In October, he collaborated with the new visual kei band Seven for their first release, Hana.
So far, 2010 has not shown very many activities for Shinya, but hopefully we will see something new from him soon.
Once the drummer for the highly popular and internationally famous LUNA SEA, Shinya has started a solo career in singing as well as producing. He possesses a surprisingly deep voice that is very well suited for the often slow and tranquil songs he's fond of releasing.
Even though the singing portion of his career has been put on hold for quite some time, Shinya's intense and powerful drumming style is unmistakable and well worth listening to.