X Japan stream historic single release

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X Japan have released a stream of their new single, Born To Be Free. Released on November 6, it’s a song the band have performed regularly at live shows but has never previously been recorded.

“We are very happy to be debuting our new single, Born To Be Free, through Metal Hammer UK,” says band leader Yoshiki. “We are excited and very pleased with how the new album is going and the single is a really good taster. As soon as I started composing Born To Be Free, I knew it was going to be a special song for X Japan. We want people to interpret the song as a reflection of their personal journey. All of us are born free to dream what we want without any limits.”

Born To Be Free is taken from the band’s forthcoming album — their first in 20 years — which will be released on March 11 2016 and is the follow-up to 1996’s Dahlia. The album was recorded at Yoshiki’s home studio in Los Angeles and mixed by engineer Chris Lord-Alge, who has previously worked with the likes of Prince, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

The album’s launch will be celebrated at a multimedia event known as #XDAY at Wembley Arena in London, which will take place the day after the album’s release, on March 12. The event will include a X Japan live show and the world premiere of a documentary about the band, from Searching For Sugarman producer John Battsek and Stones In Exile director Stephen Kijak. Tickets are on sale now. “We can’t wait to get over to Europe for the Wembley Show,” says Yoshiki.

X Japan originally spilt up in 1997 after playing their fifth New Years Eve show at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome. They reformed in 2007, and have released two singles since: I.V. in 2008 and Jade in 2011. In October 2014 they played their debut Madison Square Garden show in New York, before announcing the new album and film in July this year.

For more information, visit the X Japan website.

Generation X: X Japan