Yesterday afternoon I was honored to be one of the members of the media who were invited to the Japan Society for a Press Conference that was being held by Yoshiki Hayashi from the band X Japan (I should mention that he pretty much just goes by “Yoshiki” in the media world so I will refer to him as such as well going forward). The Japan Society is a beautiful space located way down on East 47th Street and I’ll add their link at the bottom of this narrative so you can investigate them a little more if you are interested in Japanese Cultural things because they certainly have a lot of fascinating programs to offer the general public.
Towards the rear of the lobby was a room that appeared to be aimed at Press Conferences and other similar meetings and it was nicely set up for us to hear what Yoshiki was going to say. According to the Press Release that I received for this happening, the musician would be lining out the bands details about their upcoming one night only performance at Madison Square Garden and his comic book collaboration with the great Stan Lee (master of all things Marvel Comics).
Part of the reason Yoshiki was here was also to do a walk through of Madison Square Garden and that kept the press conference from starting at its exact time but no one seemed to mind that since this was going to be an interesting listen for sure. Get excited devotees of Yoshiki, because he was going to walk through this very door soon……(queue dramatic music)
Yoshiki was in a very good mood today and was keeping the smile going as he first explained how amazing it was to walk around The Garden and see where his band was going to play this sure to be sold out show.
Yoshiki brought up a little about the bands history and how they had broken up after one of the members had passed away but eventually the decision was made to reunite and bring their exciting sounds to the world at large.
When Yoshiki spoke about their sold out show at the now shuttered Roseland Ballroom he seemed to get more excited remembering that night. As an attendee of the show I can tell you that it was really impressive to be a part of the audience seeing how they affected their fans. I went to this show as a complete novice with no real idea about the band until that very night. It was so enjoyable.
I posed a question to Yoshiki about who might be the lucky band to open up for this show and would be surprised to learn that no one would be leading the crowds energy into the X Japan set but that they would be doing it all alone. He stressed how this would be the first time ever that their full production would be done outside of Japan so it was going to be very involved. Opening bands of the world you may now sigh in heartbreak.
He discussed his charity foundation and let us know that this was how he originally met the great Stan Lee in person and from there the rest is history about the collaboration. Yoshiki didn’t give too much insight as to what the comic book they are doing together would be like and said that this was being saved for Comic Con. That makes sense but he did stress he is a superhero of some kind and has some crazy powers and the title will be “Blood Red Dragon”. I hope to be able to review this series on the site for our comic book hungry readers. Stay tuned for that.
When asked what fans could expect from this upcoming show, Yoshiki informed us that it should be like “KISS times ten”. That is a pretty big show if you asked me, and this is coming from someone who has seen KISS in concert about 50 times over the years.
One of the things Yoshiki is hoping that will happen with this show is that the music of X Japan will be more accessible here than it ever was before. He said to the press how with their doing multiple styles of music that sometimes they were viewed as the black sheep on the label. It was too difficult to place X Japan anywhere. I think with the fans of heavier music being a little more open nowadays that this success can happen more easily.
He would field a few more short questions but I pretty much lined out the most important details for you all. Sadly there would be no time to do any media introductions for us all outside of this conference as his schedule was completely booked for this very short visit. He only arrived the evening before and would be leaving the following day (or tonight since I am posting this the day after the meeting).
Now its up to the fans of X Japan to begin the countdown and watch for when the tickets will be going on sale for this show. Madison Square Garden is a huge place to execute something of this fashion but since it is such a grand and milestone of a happening I expect fans to travel to NYC from all parts of the United States and even from their native Japan. Don’t miss out as otherwise you will be hoping that it was recorded for a live DVD.
I snagged a few minutes of video from the Press Conference which you can enjoy below.
I got to answer a couple of questions posed to me by a Japanese Journalist which was very nice to have been asked to do. That said I took her photograph as well and included it.