Despite becoming megastars in the 1980s and playing the 50,000-capacity Tokyo Dome 18 times over, X Japan are relatively unknown outside their home country. But a new film is set to change all that. Showing at UK cinemas on March 2, two days before they play Wembley Arena, We Are X reveals the band’s beginnings in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba, the cult of fandom that sprung up around them, and a series of tragedies that sent them receding into the darkness for a decade. Produced by the team behind the Oscar-winning Searching For Sugar Man, it’s an intimate portrait of a band whose story really is stranger than fiction. Now reformed, and with a new album on the way, X Japan are back for another shot at global success. We caught up with mainman/drummer Yoshiki to find out how the film came about.
You’ve got the X Japan movie coming out, We Are X. How much involvement did you have with the film?
“To decide to create the film, I was involved, but once it’s in the process, I just give everything to the director and producers and just became the subject. It must be impossible for me to direct or produce, because it’s too personal, too painful, too crazy to be a true story, so I had to have somebody to do this.”
Why should people go to watch the film?
“I didn’t want to create this film, because it would have been way too painful. But eventually, people convinced me. The reason I decided to do it was this film can give people courage to move on. These film may be able to give people hope, and strength to carry on. It may help people.”
What was the most difficult part for you?
“Going back to each moment of what happened to our band. Talking about my father’s death, I remember Hide’s death, talking about Taji’s death, talking about my friend Toshi being brainwashed. It’s crazy, but at the same it was kind of therapeutic.”
You’ve been in the studio with Marilyn Manson. What have you worked on?
“We are working on songs together. I don’t know if I should give details, but it’s cool working in the studio with Manson.”
We Are X is in UK cinemas March 2.