X Japan Announces World Premiere of Documentary Film 'WE ARE X'
SET FOR SUNDANCE 2016 ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 23
“Your average Westerner couldn't name one song, yet they've sold 30 million albums, spawned
their own subculture and fill the world's most iconic arenas. Meet X JAPAN: rock's biggest cult
--CLASSIC ROCK (U.K., November 2015)
“They have collapsed and been revived, with varying lineups, countless times. In many ways,
their unkillable spirit has been the source of their mythological reputation and power. They are
rock's most flamboyant survivors.
--ROLLING STONE (October 2014)
As X JAPAN lay down tracks in a Los Angeles studio for their as-yet-untitled album, Japan's most iconic rock band have announced that the world premiere of the new documentary film from Passion Pictures--‘WE ARE X’--will take place this week at the Sundance Film Festival. ‘WE ARE X’ explores the evolution, groundbreaking history and hopeful future of the land of the rising sun's most legendary rock group. X JAPAN have sold 30 million singles and albums combined and continue to tour the world performing sold-out shows to massive arenas in 16 countries throughout the U.S.
On Friday, January 22 at 9pm, YOSHIKI--songwriter, drummer, classically-trained pianist and the creative force of X JAPAN--will perform live with a string quartet for the first-ever Sundance Festival Base Camp party, presented by Canada Goose. YOSHIKI will headline the Festival Base Camp, a new outdoor venue located at Swede Alley, behind Main Street. Other artists confirmed to perform include Dan Deacon, Flying Lotus and Neon Indian.
“It's overwhelming to see the full documentary 'WE ARE X,' says YOSHIKI of X JAPAN. Stephen Kijak and John Battsek opened doors, which I shut and never intended to re- open. I didn't realize that on the other side, dark memories could co-exist with a meaningful future. Audiences will be a witness to our history and future."
Saturday, January 23 will mark the world premiere of ‘WE ARE X’ in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Prospector Square Theater in Park City at 2:30pm. YOSHIKI and the film team will be on hand for the red carpet at 2:00pm and a Q&A after the premiere. ‘WE ARE X’ was created by the production team behind the Academy Award- winning film Searching For Sugarman: producer John Battsek (Passion Pictures) alongside renowned director Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile and Scott Walker: 30 Century Man-- (executive produced by David Bowie). 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 will never give up. On Sunday, January 24, YOSHIKI will perform live at the ASCAP CAFÉ at Sundance at 4:00pm. For the full Sundance 2016 schedule for performances and screenings of 'WE ARE X,' see the grid below.
X JAPAN initially split up in 1997 after playing their fifth New Year's Eve show at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome; they have now sold out the Tokyo Dome a record 18 times. The group reformed in 2007 and have released three singles: “I.V.” in 2008, “Jade” in 2011 and “Born To Be Free” in late 2015. They've been touring worldwide ever since--and in October 2014, the group performed their debut Madison Square Garden show in New York before announcing the new album and ‘WE ARE X’ film releases slated for 2016.
X JAPAN is: 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).
Catch YOSHIKI of X JAPAN's performances and the ‘WE ARE X’ screenings at Sundance 2016:
DATE LOCATION VENUE TIME
YOSHIKI Performance at Sundance Festival Base Camp
FRI 1/22 Sundance-Park City,UT Outdoor Venue (Swede Alley, behind Main Street) 9:00PM
‘WE ARE X’ World Premiere
SAT 1/23 Sundance-Park City,UT Prospector Square Theatre 2:30PM
‘WE ARE X’ Press and Industry Screening
SUN 1/24 Sundance-Park City, UT Holiday Village Cinema 2 9:00AM
SUN 1/24 Sundance-Park City, UT ASCAP CAFÉ (Rich Haines Gallery) 4:00 PM
‘WE ARE X’ Public Screenings
SUN 1/24 Salt Lake City, UT Tower Theatre 6:00PM
TUE 1/26 Sundance-Park City, UT Redstone Cinema 10:00PM
THUR 1/28 Sundance-Park City, UT Yarrow Hotel Theatre 9:00AM
FRI 1/29 Sundance-Park City, UT Holiday Village Cinema 2 9:15PM
Listen, watch and share the “Born To Be Free” video, streaming here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zggyy_qxbrY.
Watch X JAPAN in concert here: https://www.youtube.com/user/XJAPANpodcast.
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 on March 11, 2016 in the U.K. and Japan with U.S. and other territories to follow in late 2016. The band will also perform live at SSE Wembley Arena in the U.K. for XDAY, immediately following a screening of their new documentary film ‘WE ARE X’ on March 12, 2016.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history