The visual-kei, metal, classically-inspired rock band is returning with a single message: “We are X.”
Even though the musical landscape of Japan is currently full of carefully-curated boy and girl super groups, anyone who is familiar with the music scene in the 80s and 90s recognizes the name X Japan.
According to Gene Simmons, the front man of KISS, in the promo video for the documentary film We Are X, X Japan might have been one of the greatest bands ever if they had been based in the U.S. or performed in English. That’s high praise from the singer of arguably one of the greatest rock bands in the world.
Ever since the reformation of the band in 2008 with original members Yoshiki, Toshi and Pata, along with their bass guitarist Heath and the addition of Sugizo, the guitarist from Luna Sea, X Japan began their steady return back to the ears and hearts of fans across the world.
But even with their official reunion, there has only been a smattering of live shows and appearances, clearly not enough to satisfy their immense fan base. However, the winds are changing for the group after a year-long delay due to Pata’s health. 2017 will mark the release of their documentary film and the release of their long-awaited studio album, the first in 20 years and their first in English.
▼ A perfect example of why X Japan isn’t labeled as only a rock/metal band.
For Japanese fans, nothing has truly signaled their return more than an autograph session in their home country, an event they have been waiting nearly 30 years for. Lucky fans were able to snag one of 300 spots to meet and briefly chat with their musical heroes by buying the We Are X motion picture soundtrack.
Thankfully it’s only the beginning of more to come from the group, as drummer and composer Yoshiki seemed to hint at a yet-unannounced world tour that would accompany their new album. If X Japan wants to solidify their place in rock history, they will have to do it the best way they know how, playing their hearts out in jam-packed stadiums full of screaming fans.