X Japan premieres documentary We Are X at Sundance Film Festival


X Japan, one of Japan’s most prolific and infamous heavy metal bands, premiered their documentary, We Are X , at the Sundance Film Festival as part of the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The film features band leader YOSHIKI speaking about how the band was formed with lead vocalist Toshi 35 years ago, and chronicles their journey. YOSHIKI attended the premiere’s red carpet and Q&A session, along with the film team. Stephen Kijak directed the documentary, with John Battsek as producer. YOSHIKI also performed with a live string quartet at the first Festival Base Camp party this Friday.

X Japan was formed back in 1982 by YOSHIKI and Toshi, with other members added later. Since their conception, they have released over 20 albums and 20 DVD releases, won multiple awards, and sold out their Tokyo Dome concert venues 18 times. That’s 55,000 seats each time! Though the band disbanded in 1997, they reformed in 2007 and are still going strong. They, unfortunately, lost original lead guitarist “hide” back in 1998, though the band still considers him to be a member and introduces him at every concert. They also lost bassist Taiji Sawada in 2011.

Uniquely, in 1999, by request of the government, YOSHIKI composed and performed for Emperor Akihito’s 10th anniversary celebrating 10 years on the throne.

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