SXSW is happening next week and sadly I must inform that PiercingMetal will once again NOT be in attendance based on personal time commitments and this year it really bothers me based on so many awesome Metal and Hard Rock related happenings going on. Earlier on Friday evening I received this piece of press about the incredible X Japan who now have a documentary coming called “We Are X” which will be screened during the course of the festival week along with an appearance by Yoshiki. I’ve snagged the whole release and some images along with this trailer for your indulgence so grab a beverage and relax as this is a lengthy one.
The Press Release:
As X JAPAN prepare for the SXSW Film Festival debut of ‘WE ARE X’–the award-winning, music documentary on the Japanese rock group X JAPAN from Passion Pictures–the trailer exclusively premiered this morning on DEADLINE Hollywood (here). To share the official ‘WE ARE X’ trailer now, go to YouTube (here). ‘WE ARE X’ explores the evolution, groundbreaking history and hopeful future of the land of the rising sun’s most culturally significant and iconic rock group. From X JAPAN’s massive success (over 30 million albums, singles and videos sold) and sold-out tours worldwide, ‘WE ARE X’ chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of this legendary quintet who continue to tour the world performing sold-out shows to massive arenas in 16 countries throughout the U.S. and Europe.
SXSW Film has announced that ‘WE ARE X’ is already a finalist for the “SXSW 2016 Award for Excellence in Title Design”. Three screenings of WE ARE X will be part of the SXSW Film Festival’s “24 Beats Per Second” which showcases the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians with an emphasis on documentary and is open to both music and film badge holders. On Friday, March 18 at 7:15pm immediately following the ‘WE ARE X’ screening at the Paramount Theatre, YOSHIKI–songwriter, drummer, classically-trained pianist and the creative force of X JAPAN will perform classical versions of X JAPAN’s songs with a string quartet live on stage.Tickets for YOSHIKI’s 7:15pm performance are available in advance (here) and at the Paramount Theatre box office.
X JAPAN’s ‘WE ARE X’ At SXSW in Austin, TX
DATE TIME VENUE
‘WE ARE X’ screenings (music and film badges)
FRI – 3/11 – 6:30PM @ Satellite Venue: Marchesa (6226 Middle Fiskville Rd)
WED – 3/16 – 10:45AM @ Topfer Theatre at ZACH (1510 Toomey Rd)
FRI – 3/18 – 5:30PM @ Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Ave)
YOSHIKI Live Performance (music/film badges and ticket holders)
FRI – 3/18 – 7:15PM @ Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Ave) (Tickets)
X JAPAN (L-R): Pata (guitar), Heath (bass), Yoshiki (composer, drums, piano), Toshi (vocals) and Sugizo (violin, guitar)
‘WE ARE X’was produced by John Battsek of Passion Pictures, producer of two Academy Award-winning documentaries (Searching For SugarMan, One Day In September), and directed by Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile, Scott Walker: 30th Century Man). The film wonthe Special Jury Award for “Best Editing”at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Awards (Jan. 20) in Park City, UT. ‘WE ARE X’–edited by Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringuoin and assisted by June Okada–earned rousing ovations during its six Sundance screenings throughout film festival.
X JAPAN–YOSHIKI (drums/piano/composer), TOSHI (vocals), PATA (guitar), HEATH (bass), SUGIZO (violin/guitar) alongside their fallen brothers HIDE (guitars, 1987-1997) and TAIJI (1986-1992)–are currently laying down tracks in a Los Angeles studio for their as-yet-untitled album, which is due for a worldwide release in late 2016.
About X JAPAN:
X Japan is the most successful rock band in Japanese history, and that is not a statement made lightly. The band has sold more than 30 million albums; singles and videos combined, sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times – so far – and have played to tens of thousands of fans outside of Japan. In the band’s early days their look and sound sparked a global interest in entertainment, especially with the Japanese cultural rock phenomenon, “Visual-Kei,” a movement X Japan pioneered that spread globally.
X Japan formed in 1982 (calling themselves X) by Yoshiki and Toshi while they were still teenagers. Over the next 13 years, the band released five studio albums–Vanishing Vision (1988), Blue Blood (1989), Jealousy (1991), Art of Life (1993) and Dahlia (1996), as well as six live albums, ten best hits albums and 20 DVD releases. X Japan was the first Japanese band to achieve mainstream success while signed to an independent label. The band was so popular they became a cultural phenomenon.
In the fall of 1997, at the height of their success, the band broke up. Four months later, Hide, X Japan’s original lead guitarist, was found dead in his Tokyo apartment. At his funeral, more than 50,000 fans came to mourn his passing. In early 2007 Yoshiki and Toshi resumed communication and later that year X Japan officially reformed. The band launched its reunion in 2008 with 3 nights at the Tokyo Dome. 2 years later, X Japan filmed a music video on the rooftop of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre with a throng of some 8,000 U.S. fans taking part in the shoot on Hollywood Blvd. But it was on August 8, 2010 that X Japan performed in front of a mainstream American crowd for the first time at Lollapalooza. Immediately following the festival, X Japan played the biggest concert in its history, selling out two consecutive shows at Japan’s Nissan Stadium, filling 140,000 seats. The band’s first North American tour wrapped with a monumental New York date selling out The Roseland Ballroom on Oct. 11, 2010.
In June 2011, X Japan kicked off a European Tour at London’s Shepherd’s Bush (selling -out the venue in 30 minutes). The tour continued to Paris and Utrecht wrapping in Berlin before the band traveled back to Japan to play the famed Summer Sonic Festival. That same year the world tour took them to South America where they sold out shows playing to massive crowds in Santiago, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima and Mexico City. X Japan then returned to Asia playing arena shows in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Bangkok. In 2012 X Japan was the first Japanese band to take home the prize for “Best International Band” at the Golden Gods Awards held in the U.S.
In 2014 X Japan headlined a colossal show at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden in the U.S. Now, in 2016, X Japan is gearing up for the biggest event in the band’s history. The current line-up of X Japan is Yoshiki/drums, piano; Toshi/vocals; Pata/guitars; Heath/bass; and Sugizo/guitars,violin. X Japan recently announced the release of the band’s 1st new studio album in 20 years, which will be available in worldwide release late 2016.
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PiercingMetal Thoughts: Whew, are you folks still with me? Good. Okay so at the time of this press release posting, I have actually seen X Japan twice in concert. Once at the now couple of years shuttered and demolished Roseland Ballroom and the second time at this Madison Square Garden show that is referenced in the copy above and will be a part of the documentary. That show at MSG was nothing short of extraordinary with moment after moment of exciting visual and musical display. This show rivaled that of KISS and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in terms of overall spectacle and was worth much more than the ticket prices that they asked for. Yes my friends it was that good and parts of it still play in my musical mind. My hope is that while a part of the documentary, that there is the means to enjoy the full concert on its own somehow because it was that good. Since the band has not travelled here all that much, I added that whole big “about” text so you are more up to speed. I cannot wait to see this documentary as the trailer looks awesome and I think that the bands many existing fans will have to make some room for the rest of us who will be joining into the cause with the rallying cry of “WE ARE X”. Let me know what you think about this whole thing in the comments below of course and especially if you have been following them for a longer time.